All the social interaction of a party without having to leave our room. I have a fondness for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Player Games, or MMORPGs. My partner was away for a few months and we found playing World of Warcraft to be a great way to keep in contact and have fun. That’s where the strengths lie for games like these. Their ability to bring people together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still online and anonymity can make people act like jerks, but by and large you met great people.
Few other genres allow you explore such expansive worlds as the MMO. From the blasted Lands to Westfall, World of Warcraft has given us hours of fun traversing its lands, and killing its fauna. But the game has been out for over a decade now. Maybe you feel like a change, maybe you want a new world to explore. Well you’re in luck, I just happen to have a list of five games in 2018 that are like World of Warcraft. These should satiate your bloodlust and wanderlust nicely.
Top 5 Games Like World of Warcraft – 2018 Updates
#5 – Blade & Soul
This Korean MMO has been available in the east for nearly four years, but was only just released in the west in January. It has all the tropes you associate with MMOs, crafting, quests, guilds, but differs in its approach to combat. I must say I was very surprised by it. I’m a big fan of fighting games, Street Fighter, KoF etc, I love the precision of a well executed combo, the speed chess nature of the back and forth and the meta games played with space and repetition. And honestly, NCSOFT has made an MMO that really captures all of that. The game is not without its faults, the PVE is borderline terrible and the crafting system is both boring and nearly useless. But the game shines in PVP, and that combat system is a work of genius. If you’re looking for a tight challenging PVP experience, with above average visuals, you can’t go wrong with Blade & Soul.
#4 – Star Wars: The Old Republic
Everything that I loved about the Knights of the Old Republic games blown up to epic proportions. Almost. The game plays like most MMOs, you level your character, gain points to put into skills. Cool down timers and rock paper scissors. Competent. Where it really shines is its so called “Fourth Pillar”. That of story. I have yet to play such a compelling story-line in an MMO. If you loved the Knights of the Old Republic games for their narrative then this is the game for you. Each class has their own galaxy spanning plot that you can play along with your friends. That focus on story has come at a minor cost though. When I played it there was very little in the way of endgame content. Now for me that isn’t a problem, as the endgame for most MMOs is where the most Skinner box-like gameplay resides. Grind an area, get the gear do the raid, rinse repeat. Boring. The game is free to play, which is always a boon, but you can’t sprint until you reach level 15 for some reason.
#3 – Final Fantasy XIV
While I may prefer my numbered Final Fantasy games to be offline single player journeys though strange worlds, where the fate of the world rests on your impossibly slight shoulders; They are not the only experiences that Square Enix has given us within the franchise. First with Final Fantasy XI and now with Final Fantasy XIV. In its original form FFXIV was a disaster. The game was badly designed and poorly optimized. So terrible was it that the whole thing was removed from the market and brought in from the cold for a complete overhaul. It returned under the new title “A Realm Reborn” and received much critical acclaim upon release. The game has become one of the most popular MMOs on the market, with more than a million active users and climbing. Unlike the other games on this list it uses a subscription model, a little outdated but it seems to be working, so keep that in mind when picking the game. If you want a frankly gorgeous game, with a huge player base this is the one to choose.
#2 – DC Universe Online
I mentioned in the Clash of Clans article that it was one of two free to play games that I dropped cash on, I just enjoyed the game immensely. The game has an interesting active combat system. It isn’t as tight as Blade & Soul’s but it was the closest to a fighting game I could find at the time, in PVE anyway. The plot is nothing to write home about but the voice acting is stellar. You get to select a Hero or a Villain to play as, doesn’t change the gameplay too much, and you run about Gotham City or Metropolis, and a few other instanced areas, fighting crime or causing mayhem. Good clean fun. I made an amalgam of Robin and Impulse and had hours of fun just racing through the streets at super speed, slingshotting off buildings and street lamps. The end game content is well put together and good for hours of fun, running raids and upgrading equipment. Pick this up if you want to feel like a hero for a while, or if you miss Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy as The Joker and Batman.
#1 – Guild Wars 2
Once upon a time you had to buy a copy of the game to play Guild Wars 2, but as of 2015 that is no longer the case. With no entry fee, not a subscription, you have run out of reasons to not give this game a try. The game combines the story telling of The Old Republic with its own innovations in quest content. What I really love about the game is its PVE questing system. It’s dynamically generated within the game world as you move around, and auto scaled by how many people are with you. So instead of going to a boring bulletin board and picking up a quest you see something happening and it pops up in your queue. It rewards curiosity and exploration in a way I’ve never seen before, not to mention a sense of continuity in the game world. The combat is fluid and satisfying, the dodge mechanic really adds some much needed urgency to it. Did I mention the graphics? No? Well they are, in a word, stunning. The thing about MMOs is that they are limited in the graphics department, you have to send and receive a lot of data to keep everyone in sync, and that gets hard if there are a lot of fancy effect flying around all over the place. Guild Wars 2 takes that limitation and works around it. It has a slightly stylized look, that makes it look fresh even to this day, and just enough polish. I would have to call this the best alternative to World of Warcraft on the market, though comparing it to WoW does this game a disservice.
So there we have it, my top five games like World of Warcraft. The MMO world is constantly evolving. New business models, new kinds of gameplay, new kinds of games even. This year alone we can expect to see no fewer than thirty two games in 2016, not only role playing games, but shooters and space sims and all kinds of others. It looks like the industry is moving away from the restrictive gameplay of the old guard, games like World of Warcraft, into a more robust and varied gaming environment. And I for one cannot wait to see what they come up with.
If you have any suggestions for other games like World of Warcraft that you play please comment and let us know.