Although not the first of its kind to hit the market, Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest was the MMORPG that seemingly started it all. Eventually known as "EverCrack," the game pulls players into new territory: a persistent virtual fantasy world called Norrath. Since its launch back in 1999, SOE has launched 16 expansion packs, adding new equipment, continents, quests, zones, classes, races, and a whole lot more.
Unlike old-school text-based games, EverQuest introduced subscribers at the time of its launch to a thriving, virtual world where they could explore, endure quests that spanned multiple zones, or team up with a party to take on a huge towering beast. The game still is an enchanting title, although its lack of a free-to-play system and World of Warcraft's overwhelming popularity has knocked it out of the spotlight.
In 2004, SOE released EverQuest II, another MMORPG that takes place 500 years after the Planes of Power storyline in the original EverQuest game. Although it sports better graphics than its predecessor, it still falls under the shadow of Blizzard's World of Warcraft.
The original EverQuest currently offers players a limitless, 10-level trial. The game costs $39.99 (which includes all expansions) and a $14.99 per month subscription fee. EverQuest II can be purchased online (which includes all expansions) and also costs $14.99 per month. Interested gamers can give the MMORPG a try for 14 days free.