Exploring the Best MMORPGs of 2024: A Comprehensive Review

MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) continue to be a cornerstone of the gaming community, offering expansive worlds, immersive stories, and endless adventures. This article reviews and discusses the most popular MMORPGs in 2024, highlighting their unique features and what makes them stand out in an ever-evolving genre.

Final Fantasy 14 – A Critically Acclaimed Epic

Final Fantasy 14 (FF14) is often hailed as one of the finest MMORPGs ever created. With its roots in the legendary Final Fantasy franchise, this game brings a level of polish and narrative depth that few other games in the genre can match. It has evolved significantly since its initial release, overcoming early challenges to become a beloved title among gamers worldwide.

Game Overview

FF14 operates on a pay-to-play model, which ensures a steady influx of high-quality content. The game’s tab-target combat system strikes a perfect balance between complexity and accessibility, making it appealing to both hardcore and casual players. The graphics are stunning, with beautifully crafted environments and detailed character models that bring the world of Eorzea to life. The story quality rivals that of standalone RPGs, providing an immersive experience that keeps players coming back for more.

One of FF14’s standout features is its expansive free trial, allowing players to experience a significant portion of the game without any financial commitment. This trial includes the base game and the first expansion, giving newcomers a substantial taste of what FF14 has to offer.

Rich Narrative and Expansive World

The storyline of FF14 is a major draw for many players. Set in the fantastical world of Eorzea, the game follows the journey of the Warrior of Light as they battle against ancient evils and uncover hidden truths. Each expansion builds on the narrative, introducing new characters, conflicts, and locations. The storytelling is top-notch, with intricate plots and emotional arcs that rival those of single-player RPGs.

The world of Eorzea itself is vast and varied, featuring diverse regions such as the bustling city-state of Limsa Lominsa, the lush forests of Gridania, and the arid deserts of Ul’dah. Each area is rich in lore and history, providing a deep and immersive experience for players who take the time to explore.

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Gameplay and Combat

FF14’s combat system is both engaging and strategic. Utilizing a traditional tab-targeting system, the game offers a wide range of classes, each with unique abilities and roles. Players can further specialize their characters through the job system, which allows for greater customization and versatility in combat. Whether you prefer to heal, tank, or deal damage, FF14 provides a satisfying and balanced combat experience.

The game also features a robust crafting and gathering system, allowing players to create and collect a wide variety of items. These systems are integrated into the game’s economy, providing opportunities for players to trade and interact in meaningful ways.

Community and Social Features

One of the strongest aspects of FF14 is its community. The game fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment, with numerous social activities and events that encourage player interaction. From player-run events and festivals to in-game weddings and housing, FF14 offers a wealth of opportunities for players to connect and build lasting friendships.

The game’s developers are highly engaged with the community, regularly hosting live streams and Q&A sessions to address player concerns and provide updates on upcoming content. This level of transparency and communication has helped build a strong sense of trust and loyalty among the player base.

Personal Thoughts on FF14

As a long-time player of FF14, I can confidently say that the game offers one of the most complete and satisfying MMORPG experiences available. The narrative depth and character development in expansions like “Endwalker” and “Shadowbringers” are particularly noteworthy, providing emotional and thrilling adventures. The combination of beautiful graphics, engaging gameplay, and a vibrant community makes FF14 a standout title in 2024.

World of Warcraft – The Timeless Classic

World of Warcraft (WoW) is a name that has become synonymous with MMORPGs. Since its launch in 2004, WoW has set the standard for the genre, influencing countless other games with its groundbreaking design and expansive world. Despite its age, WoW continues to thrive, drawing in new players while retaining a loyal veteran base.

Game Overview

WoW operates on a pay-to-play model similar to FF14, which ensures continuous updates and expansions. The game is known for its distinctive art style, which combines cartoonish aesthetics with detailed environments and characters. This unique look has helped WoW maintain its charm and appeal over the years.

The gameplay in WoW revolves around a combination of questing, dungeons, raids, and player-versus-player (PVP) combat. The game’s open-world design allows players to explore vast continents, each with its own distinct cultures, histories, and challenges. From the frozen wastes of Northrend to the tropical jungles of Stranglethorn Vale, WoW offers a diverse and immersive world.

Expansive World and Lore

One of WoW’s greatest strengths is its rich lore and world-building. The game is set in the fantastical world of Azeroth, a place filled with epic battles, powerful magic, and ancient mysteries. Each expansion adds new layers to the story, introducing new regions and factions. The ongoing narrative keeps players engaged, as they uncover the secrets of Azeroth and fight against ever-greater threats.

The game’s lore is deeply embedded in its gameplay, with quests and dungeons often tied to significant story events. This integration of story and gameplay helps create a cohesive and immersive experience.

Gameplay and Combat

WoW’s combat system is built around a traditional tab-targeting mechanic, similar to FF14. However, WoW differentiates itself with its fast-paced and dynamic combat, which requires players to constantly adapt to changing situations. The game offers a wide range of classes and specializations, each with unique abilities and playstyles.

The endgame content in WoW is particularly noteworthy. The game features challenging raids and dungeons, which require coordinated teamwork and strategy. These high-level activities provide some of the most rewarding experiences in the game, as players work together to defeat powerful bosses and earn valuable loot.

Community and Social Features

WoW has a massive player base, with millions of active players worldwide. This large community is divided across multiple servers, each with its own unique culture and player dynamics. The game offers numerous social features, including guilds, which allow players to form long-lasting bonds and work together towards common goals.

Blizzard, the developer of WoW, actively engages with the community through forums, social media, and in-game events. This strong connection between developers and players has helped WoW maintain its relevance and popularity over the years.

Personal Thoughts on WoW

World of Warcraft remains a timeless classic in the MMORPG genre. Its rich lore, expansive world, and engaging gameplay continue to captivate players. While the game has evolved significantly since its launch, it retains the core elements that made it a hit. For those seeking a deep and rewarding MMORPG experience, WoW is a fantastic choice in 2024.

The Elder Scrolls Online – A World of Adventure

The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) brings the beloved world of Tamriel to the MMORPG genre. As a buy-to-play game, ESO offers a different approach compared to subscription-based models like FF14 and WoW. It combines the rich lore and immersive world-building of The Elder Scrolls series with the social and cooperative aspects of an MMORPG.

Game Overview

ESO is set in the continent of Tamriel, a land filled with diverse regions and cultures. The game allows players to explore iconic locations from previous Elder Scrolls games, such as Skyrim, Morrowind, and Cyrodiil. The graphics are impressive, capturing the essence of Tamriel’s varied landscapes and detailed environments.

One of the standout features of ESO is its voice-acted story and dynamic quests. The game employs a more action-oriented combat system, which includes mechanics like animation cancelling to optimize performance. This system provides a different feel compared to the more traditional tab-targeting systems of FF14 and WoW.

Rich Narrative and Expansions

ESO excels in storytelling, with a narrative that is both engaging and expansive. Each chapter and expansion introduces new storylines, characters, and regions. Recent expansions like “Blackwood” and “Deadlands” have added significant depth to the game’s lore, allowing players to delve into the mysteries of Tamriel.

The game’s quests are designed to be dynamic and immersive, often featuring moral choices that impact the story’s outcome. This level of interactivity makes the questing experience more engaging and personal.

Gameplay and Combat

ESO’s combat system is more action-oriented than that of FF14 and WoW. Players must actively dodge, block, and time their attacks, making combat feel more dynamic and responsive. The game offers a wide range of classes, each with its unique abilities and playstyles. The flexibility of the skill system allows for extensive customization, enabling players to tailor their characters to their preferred combat roles.

Public dungeons and world events provide additional opportunities for cooperative play. These activities encourage players to team up and tackle challenges together, fostering a sense of community and cooperation.

Community and Social Features

ESO has a vibrant and active community. The game supports a wide range of social features, including guilds, player housing, and in-game events. The player housing system is particularly detailed, allowing players to decorate and personalize their homes with a variety of items and furnishings.

ZeniMax Online Studios, the developer of ESO, regularly engages with the community through live streams, forums, and social media. This active communication helps keep players informed about upcoming content and changes, ensuring that the community feels involved and valued.

Personal Thoughts on ESO

The Elder Scrolls Online offers a unique MMORPG experience, blending the rich lore and immersive world of The Elder Scrolls series with the cooperative elements of an online game. Its dynamic combat system and engaging storylines make it a standout title in 2024. For fans of The Elder Scrolls and those looking for a fresh take on the MMORPG genre, ESO is a must-try.

Black Desert Online – Visual Excellence

Black Desert Online (BDO) is renowned for its stunning visuals and deep gameplay mechanics. As a buy-to-play MMORPG, BDO offers a seamless open-world experience that sets it apart from other games in the genre. Its combination of high-quality graphics, intricate character customization, and dynamic combat has made it a favorite among gamers.

Game Overview

BDO’s seamless open-world design allows players to explore vast and varied landscapes without loading screens. The game’s graphics are among the best in the genre, with detailed environments, realistic weather effects, and fluid character animations. The character creation system is incredibly detailed, giving players unprecedented control over their character’s appearance.

The combat system in BDO is action-oriented, requiring players to actively aim, dodge, and time their attacks. This system provides a fast-paced and engaging combat experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

Life-Skilling and Economy

One of BDO’s unique features is its extensive life-skilling system. Players can engage in a variety of non-combat activities, such as fishing, cooking, farming, and trading. These activities are not just side hobbies but are integrated into the game’s economy, providing meaningful ways to earn in-game currency and resources.

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The game’s economy is player-driven, with a robust trading system that allows players to buy and sell goods in a dynamic market. This economic depth adds another layer of immersion and complexity to the game.

Continuous Updates and New Content

BDO is known for its continuous content updates. The developers regularly introduce new classes, regions, and events, ensuring that the game remains fresh and engaging. Each new class brings unique abilities and playstyles, adding to the game’s diversity and replayability.

Seasonal events and special challenges provide additional content and rewards, encouraging players to stay active and engaged. These updates help keep the community vibrant and the game world ever-evolving.

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Community and Social Features

BDO has a strong community, with numerous social features that encourage player interaction. The game offers guilds, player housing, and in-game events, all of which provide opportunities for players to connect and cooperate. The guild system is particularly robust, offering various activities and benefits for members.

The developers are active in the community, frequently communicating with players through forums, social media, and live streams. This engagement helps build a sense of trust and loyalty among the player base.

Personal Thoughts on BDO

As someone who has spent countless hours in Black Desert Online, I can attest to its visual excellence and deep gameplay mechanics. The game’s seamless world and dynamic combat provide an immersive and satisfying experience. Whether you’re drawn to its stunning graphics, intricate character customization, or robust life-skilling system, BDO offers something for everyone. It’s a standout title in the MMORPG genre for 2024.

Waven – A Unique Turn-Based Experience

Waven is a relatively new entrant to the MMORPG scene, offering a unique twist with its turn-based grid combat system. As a free-to-play game available on multiple platforms, including Steam, Waven provides a different experience compared to traditional MMORPGs. Its distinctive gameplay mechanics and cross-platform availability make it an exciting option for gamers looking for something fresh.

Game Overview

Waven’s turn-based grid combat system sets it apart from other MMORPGs. Players engage in strategic battles, positioning their characters on a grid and using various abilities to defeat opponents. This system requires careful planning and tactical thinking, offering a different pace compared to the more action-oriented combat of games like FF14 and BDO.

The game features a vibrant world with distinct zones, each filled with quests, challenges, and secrets to uncover. The art style is colorful and stylized, creating a visually appealing and unique game environment.

Combat and Summoning Mechanics

The combat in Waven is both strategic and engaging. Players must carefully position their characters and choose their actions wisely to succeed. The summoning mechanics add another layer of depth, allowing players to call forth powerful allies to aid them in battle. These mechanics provide a rich and varied combat experience that rewards strategic thinking and careful planning.

The game also features competitive PVP and cooperative PVE content, offering a variety of challenges for players to tackle. Whether you’re battling other players in intense PVP matches or teaming up with friends to take on powerful bosses, Waven offers a dynamic and exciting gameplay experience.

Zones and Quest System

Waven’s world is divided into distinct zones, each with its own unique challenges and quests. The quest system is designed to be engaging and rewarding, with a mix of story-driven and gameplay-focused tasks. Players can explore these zones, uncovering hidden secrets and completing quests to earn rewards and progress through the game.

The game’s zones are visually diverse, featuring a range of environments from lush forests to arid deserts. This diversity helps keep the exploration experience fresh and exciting, encouraging players to venture into new areas and discover what they have to offer.

Community and Social Features

Waven has a growing community, supported by various social features that encourage player interaction. The game offers guilds, in-game events, and social hubs where players can meet and interact. These features help foster a sense of community and belonging, making Waven more than just a game but a social experience.

The developers are active in the community, regularly communicating with players and providing updates on new content and features. This engagement helps build a strong and loyal player base, ensuring that the game continues to thrive.

Personal Thoughts on Waven

Waven offers a unique and refreshing take on the MMORPG genre with its turn-based grid combat system. The game’s strategic depth and vibrant world make it an exciting option for players looking for something different. The combination of tactical gameplay, engaging quests, and a supportive community makes Waven a standout title in 2024. It’s a game that challenges traditional MMORPG norms and provides a fresh and enjoyable experience.


In 2024, the MMORPG genre continues to evolve, offering a diverse range of experiences for players. From the rich narratives and engaging gameplay of Final Fantasy 14 and World of Warcraft to the visual excellence of Black Desert Online and the unique turn-based combat of Waven, there is something for everyone. Each of these games offers a unique take on the genre, providing countless hours of entertainment and adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to MMORPGs, these games are worth exploring. They showcase the best of what the genre has to offer, combining immersive worlds, engaging stories, and dynamic gameplay. So dive in, find your adventure, and see why these titles are the best MMORPGs of 2024.

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Thank you to all the patrons and supporters who make it possible to continue exploring and reviewing these fantastic games.

Happy gaming!

Isaac Hanson

LitRPG Author Isaac Hanson

Isaac Hanson is the wizard behind the curtain when it comes to understanding and dissecting the complex magic systems of Dungeons & Dragons. With a background in mathematics and a love for all things arcane, Isaac has dedicated himself to exploring the mechanics of spellcasting, magical items, and mystical lore. (And rogues. But who doesn't love a thief!) At LitRPG Reads, Isaac's articles delve into the nuances of magical classes, spell optimization, magical theory, and much more when he's interested in the topic. His analytical approach brings a scientific edge to the fantastical world of D&D, helping players maximize their magical prowess and understand the underlying principles of their favorite spells. Outside of his writing, Isaac is an avid gamer, both on the tabletop and online. He's also a member of various magic-themed communities and enjoys experimenting with homebrew magical systems. His mantra: "Magic is not just fantasy; it's a science waiting to be understood."

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