Developed by Jagex and released in 2001, Runescape is an open world role playing game where players can level up by fighting monsters, hone skills like mining, explore vast wildernesses and dungeons, collect vanity items, smith your own armor, go on quests with your friends, and a wide variety of other fun activities. Set in the fictional realm of Gielinor, this medieval fantasy game is played via your browser or you can manually download the client to your computer. The game is free to play so if you want to try it out you can log into the website, make an account and begin playing, without needing to download anything. Though the game is free, you can buy a membership which costs $9 per month and get access to new skills, a handful of new quests, a player housing system and a much larger world to explore.
Runescape was the first MMO game for many people of this generation, myself included. It’s crazy thinking how even after 15 years the game is still going strong. What started as a basic free playing game has evolved into one of the most popular games on the Internet. Whether you’re hooked with playing games similar to Runescape or if you just need a break, there are plenty of other games out there for you to check out if you want something more. Here are the top five games similar to Runescape.
Top Five Games Like Runescape – 2018 List
#5 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, Xbox360, PS3)
If you haven’t yet heard of Skyrim then you are missing out on one of the most popular games of all time. It’s the latest entry to Bethesda’s incredibly popular Elder Scrolls franchise. Set in the fictional province of Skyrim, the player begins the game like most Elder Scrolls games: being sent to your death. After a few minutes of figuring out what is going on the player is able to customize their character by choosing one of the several available races and then alter their physical appearance however they see fit. Right after you choose your name you are then sent to get your head chopped off. Just before you die a wild dragon appears from the clouds and destroys everything in its path. Everyone then forgets you exist and focuses on killing the dragon, thus you make your escape through a cave. You are then lead on the main quest which has the player discovering they have the power of dragons inside of them.
Aesthetic wise, Skyrim is like a more modern and polished version of Runescape. You control your character in first or third person view while dual wielding your weapons. Enemies tend to ambush you while you’re not looking, often times in groups in an attempt to get the upper hand. The majority of these enemies are residents of Skyrim but there are also wild animals that will attack you, mainly packs of wolves or if you’re really lucky a grizzly bear. Every action you perform grants experience points in the governing skill. Want to be a better fire mage? Cast more fireballs. Want to be a finer smith than Eorlund Gray-Mane? Keep on smithing. Choosing when you want to level up can often times require strategy. If you’re in a fight with a large group of enemies and you’re about to die you can choose to level up right then and you will become fully healed, plus get ten points added to your health, stamina or magic.
Another similarity is the crafting system. Some of the best weapons and armor in the game can come from you making it. You just need to purchase or acquire the right ingredients, mainly leather and iron. There are a wide variety of items to create but make sure they are the right choice for your character. You don’t want to be a tank wearing light armor.
But the best thing about Skyrim is the modding community. If you play Skyrim on your computer you are able to add mods that other people created to your game. These mods range from new quests, more armor, graphics upgrades, followers and even new ways to play the game.
Overall, Skyrim is a great game, one that you can easily spend hundreds of hours into. If your computer has enough hard drive space it is definitely recommended to purchase Skyrim on Steam. You can usually find a great deal on the game and get all of the expansions for a low price.
#4 – World of Warcraft (PC)
At this point I’m sure every person on the planet has heard of World of Warcraft. It wasn’t the first subscription based MMO game but it certainly is the most popular. At its peak it had well over 11 million subscribers. If you aren’t one of the millions of people who have played World of Warcraft then I suggest checking it out now. It’s a great time to get into the game, so don’t think It’s “too late” to start. It’s very new player friendly, as you get a free level 90 character boost with the game. Although most people recommend going through the game from the beginning so you can learn the lore.
World of Warcraft is a fantasy based MMO that takes place in the fictional world of Azeroth. There are 13 different races to choose from and each race gets their own set of classes that they can master. There are also two factions you can choose: the Alliance or the Horde. Each faction has six classes, so say you want to play as a human you must choose Alliance, and if you want to play an Orc you must choose to be on the Horde. Each race and class has their own lore and set of quests to go on. It really is a very complex game that offers a lot of options.
There are tons of things to do in World of Warcraft. You can go through dungeons in parties, go on quests, explore dozens of beautiful regions, level up, meet friends, interact in player vs. player combat, defeat monsters, collect mounts, battle pets, participate in holiday festivals, craft armor and lots of other things that I’m forgetting right now. A lot of the game play has to deal with defeating monsters and bosses. While you progress through the game you will get attacked by enemies and when you defeat them you gain experience points. You can also do quests for experience points and with enough experience you level up. You tend to get a new skill every five levels or so and the more skills you have, odds are, the more powerful you are.
There are also dozens of dungeons that you can explore which is normally the best way to upgrade your armor.
World of Warcraft really has become a global phenomenon. In 2009 a movie called Warcraft was announced which is based on the first battle of Humans vs. Orcs. It also was inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2015 alongside other notable entries like Tetris and Super Mario Bros.
#3 – Guild Wars 2 (PC)
Guild Wars 2 is a sequel to the very popular Guild Wars MMO that was released in 2005. Two years after Guild Wars was released the development team behind the game came up with a plan to revolutionize the MMO genre but in doing so they would need to create a brand new game, thus development for Guild Wars 2 began. The team knew that if they were going to do this they would need to dedicate lots of time and effort into making the sequel very different from the original game. In 2012, five years after the initial announcement, Guild Wars 2 was released.
The great thing about Guild Wars 2 is that it’s completely free. It didn’t start out that way. At first you needed to purchase the core game, but numbers are high enough now that they can afford to give the game away. However, you should note that future expansions will not be free and if you wish to play them you will need to buy them. The game also supports micro-transactions. I know a lot of people have strong opinions about paying for in-game items but the nice thing is everything you can buy with real money is just there for vanity’s sake. Guild Wars 2 is far from being Pay2Win.
I mentioned before that the developers wanted Guild Wars 2 to be different from most MMO games. The way they accomplished this was making a game with the same core aspects as other MMOs, but tweaking them so you get a completely different experience. For example, in Guild Wars 2 you can pretty much level in any zone that you want so long as you’re higher than the recommended level. Say you’re level 30 and you want to go to a certain zone, but it’s for level 10s. That is okay. Your level will automatically scale so that you can get experience there. Your stats will go down but you will still be able to retain all of your skills. This is very useful if you have a lot of lower-level friends. You don’t have to make an alternate account to experience the game with them – you can just go wherever they are. This also keeps high level players from camping lower level players which is a huge problem in most MMO games.
The combat and crafting systems are nice too. With combat, any class can do any role – be it tanking, healing or damage dealing. Every class has their own set of skills which do damage, heal and protect you. This basically means you don’t have to wait around all day trying to find a healer or a tank to go spelunking with you. You can just find four other people. The downside to this though is that battles lack any sort of strategy and leadership. Everything sort of does what their class can do and it can get very unorganized. With crafting, creating the armor you need is very simple. You can get ingredients and everything for what you want to make very easily. I know in some MMO games you have to scour the auction house to find your missing ingredient, to then find out it’ll cost you all your gold. Guild Wars 2 doesn’t have that problem.
Overall the developers put in a lot of effort to do something new, which is nice from the handful of other MMO games out there that simply just do what is popular.
#2 – Neverwinter (PC, Xbox One)
Neverwinter is an action game that is based on the popular tabletop role playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Developed by Cryptic Studios and originally announced in 2010, Neverwinter was set to release in 2011; however it was delayed until 2012 and then delayed once more. But in June 2013 Neverwinter was finally released as a free game. Neverwinter is based in the Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter. There is another game by the name of Neverwinter Nights that was developed by BioWare and released in 2002. You should know that Neverwinter is not a sequel nor is it related to Neverwinter Nights in any way, other than the fact they are both based on Dungeons & Dragons.
Players are able to choose one of eight available classes and level up in the game by killing monsters and completing quests. You begin the game by starting in Neverwinter only to discover the city has been completely taken over by the living dead. The Lich Queen known as Valindra and her Dracolich have taken over and turned the city into chaos.
Neverwinter is a very story-driven game and focuses more on lore rather than fighting. Although that doesn’t mean there isn’t the traditional features that most MMO games come with these days.
The most unique thing about Neverwinter is the questing system. Once players reach level 15 they are able to design their own quests which can be implemented into the game. Though this doesn’t mean you can get away with adding exploits because the developers of course check to make sure everything is free from those. But if you do make a quest and it gets added to the game, anyone is allowed to complete it. The more people who complete your quest the more rewards you are able to accumulate. Things like mounts and companions are available rewards.
If you have played Dungeons & Dragons before then I suggest checking out Neverwinter.
#1 – Dragon Nest (PC)
Dragon Nest is a free-to-play fantasy based MMO game. It was developed by Eyedentity Games but is published by Nexon, which is the same company that released Maple Story. Dragon Nest has had many releases all around the world; originally releasing in Korea and then China in 2010 until it received a North American release in August 2011.
Dragon Nest has players enter instanced dungeons to fight monsters in order to earn experience, receive weapons and armor, among other things. Fighting these monsters is very easy as the combat system is done in a fast-paced manner. The developers wanted the player to not have to worry about tabbing each enemy in order to target them, as that style of combat is a lot slower. There is also player vs. player combat which is done differently than most MMO games. Where many games makes it easy for high level players to take out low level players in a single shot, Dragon Nest has their system set up where everything is skill based. So if a high level player is trying to kill you, you’re able to kill them if you are skilled enough. This is one feature I wish other games would implement more, as being camped by high level players is incredibly annoying.
Other than that Dragon Nest is a pretty simple game to get into. It doesn’t have as many features as most MMO games do but it still holds up on its own, especially if you are itching for a game that is mainly combat based.
That does it for the top five games like Runescape. I tried basing this list on one of two things: the setting and the combat. I really wanted games that have that medieval theme that Runescape pulls off so well. The combat in Runescape is very basic, but it works. The way you can just run in and fight things without really needing to think about is very appealing.
I hope you enjoyed this list and if you know of any other games that are like Runescape feel free to post in the comments below!