[Top 15] Most Played MMORPGs in 2023

Because what good are MMORPGs if there are no people to play with, right?

What are the most played MMORPGs in 2023?

Popularity isn't the best way to measure the quality of a game, however when we talk about MMORPGs, the "massive" part really makes a difference. A lot of the content in these games can only be enjoyed or even completed at all if you have a large number of players playing at the same time.

In this article we will be looking at the most played MMORPGs in 2023, their unique features, platforms and gameplay styles.


15. Phantasy Star Online 2 - 2012

(PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Starting off our list with a bang we have Phantasy Star Online 2, or PSO2 for short, a game that puts you in the space boots of a special agent tasked with ensuring peace in the universe, and also a personal favorite of mine. While this game might have gone under the radar of western players for most of its lifespan, due to only being available in Japanese up until a few years ago, PSO2 is a massively popular game in Japan, and for very good reasons.

First of all, the game looks amazing, and the Sci-fi theme present here is something that we don’t see all that often in MMORPGs. People will often look at Black Desert Online when it comes to action combat, however I’d rather look at PSO2. Combat in this game is just so smooth and satisfactory, plus the animations all look amazing. It is truly a Hack and Slash MMORPG, with all of the great features that you would expect from a console game of that genre, such as incredible mobility, quick dodges that heavily depend on your reflexes and learning enemy patterns, and the potential for lots of different combos using your abilities.

Currently, Phantasy Star Online 2 is estimated to have around 3.8 Million players worldwide, and the community is very active and welcoming to new players, with lots of people hanging out at the social hubs and talking at all times.

Choose PSO2 if you like:

  • Hack and Slash games that have great mobility, lots of combos and are heavily dependant on your quick reflexes to stay alive;
  • Sci-fi games with advanced technology and a variety of weird aliens species for your to fight against;
  • Games with an anime style to them and lots of customization to create your perfect waifu or husbando.

Fun Factor Score: 90/100

Jump into an exciting adventure in space with millions of other players right now


14. Albion Online - 2017

(PC, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS)

If you ever needed proof that mobile games can be really good, then look no further. Albion is an amazing MMORPG with crossplay between PC and mobile.

In Albion, you'll travel through zones of varying difficulty, some with open PvP just to make things that more exciting, and tackle a variety of different dungeons. The gameplay of Albion feels very similar to playing MOBAs such as League of Legends or DOTA 2, clicking to move and using abilities with the QWER buttons. There are many game modes such as PvP arenas, PvE dungeons, and even some modes that mix and match PvP and PvE. A highlight of Albion Online is the fact that all of the commerce is player driven, meaning that you always sell your loot to other players and also buy items from other players, crafted or looted, which keeps the community alive and interacting with each other.

With a total estimated playerbase of 4.3 Million, that really appears to be so much higher once you login to the game and see the cities crowded with players, Albion is one of the games with the most active playerbase on this list.

Choose Albion if you like:

  • MOBA gameplay style with pointing and clicking;
  • The practicality of being able to play on your mobile device as well;
  • Open PvP with high risk and reward.

Fun Factor Score: 85/100

The beauty of simplicity done right in an amazing game


13. MapleStory - 2003


If you were a pre-teenager in the early 2000s and had access to the internet, it is probably that you have played MapleStory at one point or another. This game is one of the first to really popularize the genre to the general public, and it is impressive that it still remains so popular to this day.

MapleStory is a sidescroller anime MMORPG where you will be grinding endless amounts of enemies and watch those insane damage numbers pop up. This game is all about the charming artstyle and the chill feeling of the gameplay. Just turn off your brain and grind, there is a beauty in that classic eastern MMORPG design perspective, you know?

With two decades of history, currently we have an estimated number of 5.7 Million total players in good old MapleStory, and we hope that the game survives 20 more years.

Choose MapleStory if you like:

  • Cute and cartoonish anime graphics;
  • Turning off your brain and grinding ridiculous amounts of enemies;
  • Playing 2D side scrolling games.

Fun Factor Score: 70/100

The classic and cutesy sidescroller MMORPG that survived the test of time


12. Eve Online - 2003 

(PC, MacOS X)

Eve Online is one of the oldest games in this list and it still remains in the spot of best space simulation MMORPG. This game is all about traveling through a vast and beautiful online universe, upgrading your ship in many different ways and engaging in strategic battles in space.

This game is very famous for the epic battles between player driven factions, which shape the universe of the game through territorial and economic developments. If you like combat for the strategic aspect more than the action itself, this is a great game for you once you get the hang of it. It may be overwhelming at first, and sometimes the gameplay can be a bit slow, but if you’re into classic Sci-fi and spaceship combat, this might be the best MMORPG for you.

With two decades of lifespan under its wing, this game still stays strong with an estimated playerbase of 9.5 Million players, and each one of them are waiting for you, as potential allies or enemies, in the huge universe of Eve Online

Choose Eve Online if you like:

  • Strategic battles involving spaceships;
  • Player driven universes where each decision of a large guild can impact all of the playerbase;
  • The idea of traveling through one of the largest virtual universes ever created, with beautiful planets and stars to be seen.

Fun Factor Score: 70/100

Engage in epic large scale space battles throughout a player driven universe


11. Star Wars: The Old Republic - 2011


Star Wars is one of the most recognizable franchises in the whole world, with millions of fans that love everything involving the franchise (except that TV special, you know the one), and Star Wars: The Old Republic, also called SWTOR, is one of the greatest videogame entries to this beloved universe.

This game takes a lot of inspiration from World of Warcraft, with the faction based gameplay and top notch tab targeting combat system, however it gives its own spin in every aspect. The real highlight here is definitely the story, SWTOR is known for having some of the best questlines and story developments in any MMORPG, with outstanding voice acting, group cutscenes that allow for multiple players to engage in the same cutscene together, moral choices in dialogue, and much more. A real treat to any Star Wars fan.

Player counts for SWTOR are estimated to be around 11.6 Million total players, with a large number of daily active players. Queue times for group content, both PvP and PvE are usually short, and the community is thriving with a wide variety of active guilds, from hardcore gamers to roleplayers.

Choose SWTOR if you like:

  • Anything related to the Star Wars universe;
  • Amazing cutscenes with top tier voice acting;
  • Unique and engaging storylines with tons of replayability.

Fun Factor Score: 85/100

Experience the Star Wars universe like you’ve never done before


10. Black Desert Online - 2015 

(PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Feel like cutting through hordes of enemies and watching all of those bodies hit the floor? Then you are feeling Black Desert Online, the industry standard for action combat MMORPGs.

Honestly, there are just so many great features about this game that it is hard to summarize, but let's give it a try. The graphics, physics and animations are the best out of any MMORPG, the action combat system is fast paced and a lot of fun, there are many professions for you to make money with, the world is huge and beautiful, you can sail through the oceans, you can engage in open world PvP, and so much more.

The estimation for playerbase numbers in Black Desert online sits currently at 12.3 Million players, and if you play the game you’ll certainly see many people around you, just stay away from those who wish to kill you.

Choose Black Desert if you like:

  • Top tier graphics and physics;
  • Fast paced action combat with over the top animations and ridiculous amounts of enemies;
  • Open world PvP.

Fun Factor Score: 90/100

Insane over the top battles against hordes of enemies are waiting for you


9. New World - 2021


New World was one of the most anticipated releases of the MMORPG genre in the last few years. Although many problems during the first year of the game have stopped it from reaching its full potential, New World is nothing shy of a great MMORPG.

Taking the role of an adventurer shipwrecked on a cursed island, you will travel through Victorian settlements in a wild environment full of danger. The combat in New World feels very deliberate and certainly takes inspiration from Souls Like games, with a heavy emphasis on dodging and scoring heavy hits on the enemy, having very few abilities on your hotbar. One of the best aspects of New World is the audiovisual feedback, from gathering to crafting, everything looks and sounds satisfactory.

With an estimated 14.9 Million total player count, New World still has a long way to go, considering it is a totally new IP by Amazon Games, but it has shown that it can survive even the toughest times.

Choose New World if you like:

  • A deliberate combat system focused on dodging and taking advantage of enemy openings;
  • Late medieval aesthetics with pirates and plague doctors;
  • The best gathering system in any MMORPG.

Fun Factor Score: 90/100

Join the expedition and venture forth into this mysterious island


8. Lost Ark - 2019 


Lost Ark was the absolute peak of hype when it first released here in the west last year, but the game had already been a huge hit in Asia since 2019 and it remains untouched as the best MMORPG with ARPG mechanics currently in the market.

In Lost Ark you’ll go on a search for, you guessed it, lost arks. You can pick from a wide variety of classes, each with their own unique set of skills and the possibility to further customize your character by upgrading specific abilities. Combat here is top notch ARPG, everything a Diablo fan could ever dream of, it is very responsive, combos have a lot of fun to pull off and the animations look amazing. From my personal experience, Lost Ark has a feature that I wish every other MMORPG had, which are the balanced PvP arenas where you can join at any level and fight as an equal against a higher level player or lower level player, independent of your gear or any other factors.

Holding 16.2 Million estimated total players, Lost Ark is still a very popular game and a great experience if you haven’t tried it already.

Choose Lost Ark if you like:

  • ARPGs such as Diablo and Path of Exile;
  • Balanced PvP which are dependant on your skill and not on your gear score;
  • Pulling off amazing combos that require perfect timing of your abilities.

Fun Factor Score: 85/100

The ARPG genre at its best with amazing graphics and smooth gameplay


7. Runescape - 2001 

(PC, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS)

Runescape is one of the staples of the MMORPG genre and a game that got a lot of people into online gaming in general. Here we will be taking a look at the current retail Runescape, or Runescape 3, which is an updated version or maybe even a sequel to the original game.

While this version of Runescape shares a lot of similarities with its old school counterpart, there are some notable differences here too. The combat system is now much more in depth, with many skills for you to use, and the graphics look much better. Plus, it keeps the design philosophy of offering great quests to the players, although they are nowhere near the grand adventures that the quests in Old School Runescape are.

Right now, Runescape has an estimated total of 17.6 Million players, with a diverse community of hardcore fans and casual players alike.

Choose Runescape if you like:

  • An updated take on a classic of the genre;
  • Open ended journeys without a linear path;
  • Great questlines and adventures to be had.

Fun Factor Score: 70/100

A fresh take on a timeless classic


6. Guild Wars 2 - 2012


Another juggernaut that comes to everyone’s mind when people talk about MMORPGs is Guild Wars 2, a staple of the genre for over a decade now, being the sequel to the beloved Guild Wars. In Guild Wars 2 you can choose your own path from many story options given in character creation, and from there start your own journey.

GW2 provides a unique playstyle when compared to the other most popular MMORPGs in the industry, with a lot of platforming, many different story paths with great cutscenes, horizontal progression and a non-linear gameplay loop that is perfect for completionists. This game is really a lot of fun, with a sense of freedom that is hard to match in the MMORPG genre, and it is a specially great choice for casual players. One of the coolest things about the combat in Guild Wars 2 is the fact that each class can equip multiple weapons, and the same weapon types will have different skills depending on the class, so, for example, a warrior uses a sword in a completely different way that a mesmer would use that exact same sword. Another highlight of Guild Wars 2 has to be the mount system, where each mount has a unique set of skills that allow you to travel in a completely different way.

With an estimated player count of 17.9 Million of players, a healthy active playerbase, and a gameplay loop that spreads the players all around the game’s world, Guild Wars 2 is a lively MMORPG.

Choose Guild Wars 2 if you like:

  • A horizontal gameplay loop that allows you to choose your own adventure;
  • A wide variety of main storylines to choose from, all of them unique to your chosen race;
  • Platforming, open world events and a simple yet fun combat system.

Fun Factor Score: 85/100

Make your own path through the living world of Guild Wars 2


5. The Elder Scrolls Online - 2014

(PC, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

The Elder Scrolls franchise, developed by Bethesda, is a brand that requires no introduction, as one of the most popular and long lasting RPG franchises in gaming history. The Elder Scrolls Online, or ESO for short, is a great entry to that famous universe, allowing you to create your own character and experience many different adventures throughout Tamriel.

I will try to be objective here, because ESO is another personal favorite, but the game is truly amazing, yet not without its flaws, namely the animation canceling in combat and ping issues for players outside of NA and EU regions. If you can live with those two problems, then you have an awesome game ahead of you, with endless possibilities due to the horizontal progression of ESO, meaning that you can play in any zone and at time and in any order that you feel like. Playing ESO feels like a real adventure, where you can just ride around in your horse and encounter situations that deserve your attention. Many times the NPCs will even come after you to ask for help, or talk to you as you walk past them. Combat here is satisfactory enough once you get used to the system, and you can also spend your time with other activities such as crafting and housing. Freedom is the name of the game here, be it in questing or in building your character, you always feel like you are making your own path.

The estimated total player count of The Elder Scrolls Online sits at 22.1 Million players and, from my own experience, the world of Tamriel feels very alive and populated at every zone.

Choose ESO if you like:

  • A classic medieval adventure in the world of The Elder Scrolls franchise;
  • An open ended adventure with endless possibilities;
  • Amazing and immersive quests with great writing and voice acting.

Fun Factor Score: 90/100

A franchise that needs no introduction with unparalleled quests and epic monsters


4. WoW Classic - 2019 

(PC, MacOS)

Back in the day, when World of Warcraft was originally released, maybe you were too young, or perhaps you just didn’t have the money to pay for the subscription at the time, and that made you miss the ride. In 2019, Blizzard released WoW Classic, servers that take you back in time to an updated version of the vanilla WoW experience, and also progression servers that are currently in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion (which is the favorite of so many people).

WoW Classic is first and foremost a nostalgia ride, but it also has all of the great MMORPG features that made everyone fall in love with World of Warcraft in the first place. Combat here is more slow paced and deliberate when compared to the retail version, and the difficulty skyrockets, meaning that players will need to interact and work together if they want to progress in the game.

Total player numbers for WoW Classic are estimated to be around the 27.5 Million mark, which is very impressive for such a retro gaming experience.

Choose WoW Classic if you like:

  • Old school MMORPGs;
  • To experience the classic World of Warcraft content if you didn’t have the change back in the day;
  • A difficult and more slow paced gameplay.

Fun Factor Score: 80/100

Now you have the chance to go back and play through the adventure that started it all


3. Old School Runescape - 2013 

(PC, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS)

It is really impressive that Old School Runescape still remains as a top 3 MMORPG, which is, if anything, a statement of the quality of the game regardless of its simplicity. Old School Runescape was released in 2013 and, just like WoW would do later, divided the game into the classic version and the retail version, which is the Runescape that we have already covered before on the list.

This game needs no introduction, and if you’ve never played it, well, I can only guess that you have been living under a rock for the last 20 years or so. The mechanics here are as simple as they can be, you basically just use your mouse to click and interact with stuff, but the freedom that Old School Runescape gives to their players is remarkable. Quests here are huge journeys that actually require you to read and interpret the information given by NPCs, and every step of your progress feels earned.

Standing the test of time, Old School Runescape currently has 38.4 Million estimated players, and the game still receives constant updates to this day.

Choose Old School Runescape if you like:

  • Old School MMORPGs that are simple yet difficult;
  • A nostalgia ride back to simpler times;
  • Huge quests that require you to actually earn every step of progress.

Fun Factor Score: 80/100

A timeless classic that holds a place in the heart of the MMORPG community

2. Final Fantasy XIV - 2013 

(PC, MacOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5)

We have finally reached the two absolute juggernauts of the MMORPG industry, and the first one is Final Fantasy XIV, the beautiful adventure crafted by Square Enix with attention to every bit of detail.

While the main story here is certainly divisive, some players love it and other players despise it, the fact is that the game does tell a classic Final Fantasy story, with AAA quality cutscenes and graphics to back it up. When you first try out the combat, it will feel very slow, but is by design because in FFXIV you slowly unlock more and more abilities for your class, allowing you to master every step of your skill rotation before moving on to the next. And talking about classes, here you can play with every class in the same character, with an instant job changing system that allows you to level up different classes independently. Furthermore, we can’t talk about FFXIV without talking about the awesome community of this game, with so many social players and roleplayers who make the game feel so alive.

Estimates for FFXIV total player numbers are around 42.1 Million, and a quick glimpse at Limsa Lominsa during any time of the day is enough to prove that number.

Choose FFXIV if you like:

  • A classic Final Fantasy story, but this time with your own original character as the protagonist;
  • A combat system that is heavily dependant on collaboration and each player mastering their role;
  • Social gameplay such as housing and roleplaying.

Fun Factor Score: 95/100

Hop onto your chocobo and get ready for an unforgettable adventure


1. World of Warcraft - 2004


Here comes the boy, World of Warcraft, the undefeated titan of MMORPGs for almost two complete decades now. WoW is the golden standard for what a good MMORPG should be like and it has the popularity to back it up.

World of Warcraft is a direct sequel to the Warcraft RTS games that were a huge hit back in the day, and that certainly contributed to its initial success. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about, everyone was dying to know what would happen to Arthas next. Put together a beloved story with amazing cutscenes and a snappy combat system that feels very responsive, and you have the recipe for success. Every class in WoW feels unique and every role is a blast to play in dungeons, raids or even PvP. On top of all that, the recent release of Dragonflight added some awesome new features to the game, namely the Dragon Riding system which allows you to fly around at incredible speeds while managing the dragon’s movement mechanics.

The player count for World of Warcraft is ridiculous, with an estimate of 125.4 Million players, standing way ahead of even the mightiest competition as the most popular MMORPG. 

Choose WoW if you like:

  • A great story with impressive cutscenes;
  • Snappy combat where everything feels responsive and has great audiovisual feedback;
  • Constant expansions that add new features to the game.

Fun Factor Score: 95/100

Enter the world of Azeroth and join one of the most famous conflicts in gaming history

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Oh, you think gaming is your ally. But you merely adopted gaming; I was born in it, moulded by it. I didn't see the outside until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but boring!
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Risk of Rain 2/Final Fantasy XI
Top 3 Favorite Games:LISA, Saints Row IV, Superhot

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