Yeah, I know, there are tens, if not hundreds, of free alternatives to WoW. Why 3? Why not 5? Why not 10? The answer is simply, quality. These are the top 3 free alternatives on my list. Why WoW? MMORPG's are addictive. So addictive, in fact, that even when people are disgusted with one game, they search for another just like it. Maybe they need a change of scenery. Maybe they need a change of rules. And sometimes, they just don't have any money to spend on a game anymore. This is where the free MMORPG comes in. A good one can satisfy all three needs and more. Over the past couple of years, the offerings on the free multiplayer game lists have really improved.
You may ask how they make money. Most F2P MMORPG's make money by selling items in an online store on their site. This is probably not what you think. In most, you can gain all the best items by just playing, so you don't have to worry about the rich kid that buys everything in site on eBay beating you in PvP. These stores mainly sell items that get you to those items faster. Double and triple XP boosters, stat boosters, and and temporary protections. When games do sell armor and weapon items, you can usually trade these in-game, so it's possible to get them without buying them.
Enough of the shop talk, let's talk about the list. I look for games that give me the same look and feel as World of Warcraft. Are they going to look as good or have the same amount of content? No. But they are getting better and they are free.
1. Archlord -- After looking through and testing some of the latest free MMORPG's, I have decided I was a bit too tough on this game in my Archlord Review. It comes close, very close. For a free game, this game probably deserves a 27 or 28 out of 30. Prominent features include a good PvP system, castle sieges, and lots of content. It's also the only WASD movement game that made the list. Apparently, players agree, after only a month of being free, they are adding a third server.
2. Rappelz -- This game has been around for a while. So, long, they have come out with 4 major updates. And they just continue to improve. Lots of in-game content, dungeon sieges, PvP, and pets. Rappelz also has an excellent community inside and outside of the game. Take a look at our Rappelz Review for more.
3. 9Dragons -- There are actually several that could fit into this slot. I chose 9Dragons because out of all the games I've tried, it has kept me in the longest. 9Dragons has an excellent storyline, good PvP content, good quest content...at lower levels. Once you get around the 30-40th level range, it starts waning and really becomes grindy. The other reason I put it on the list is because it's rumored that a big update will be coming soon that will add more high-level content. It may come before you reach 40, who knows. It is an interesting concept with good oriental graphics. Our 9Dragons review has more.
There you have it. There are several games I could talk about in the honorable mention space, but just subscribe to our feed, and I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date on the latest MMORPG's coming out. I'm seriously looking at Twelve Sky right now and it has potential to make this list in the future.
Looking for something else? Check out our free multiplayer game listings for lots of other options.
Have others you think are better? Don't hesitate to list them in our comments and I'll check them out.