In Pictures: 20 MMOGs You Should Explore, Part 2

Perfect World

Developed by Beijing Perfect World, the MMORPG Perfect World (International) is set in the mythical world of Pan Gu and is heavily influenced by Chinese mythology. The game features four races with two classes each: humans, winged elves, untamed, and "tideborn." Many of the game's distinguished features include a "deep" level of avatar customization, player-created content, the ability for guilds to build structures on their territory, and fighting while in flight and at sea.

Perfect World is free to download and play, while virtual items players purchase at the in-game marketplace support the MMORPG financially.

Requiem: Momento Mori

Slated as a "horror" MMORPG, Requiem: Momento Mori hit the North American market on June 19, 2008. Developed and published by Gravity Co., Ltd., the game is more in tune with "dark fantasy," along with gratuitous amounts of blood.

What makes Requiem unique is its overall dark atmosphere, littered with strange architecture and creature designs. For those who love a challenge, boss-like beasts called Nightmare Monsters come out between 23:00 and 2:00 yielding increased experience points and possible "rare" items. However, these monsters are more suited to a group of players.

Requiem is free to download and play, while the game also offers two premium packages for additional experience points and greater chances for item drops.

RF Online

CCR's Rising Force (RF) Online was originally launched as a retail 3D MMORPG in February 2006. However the game was shut down in November 2008 and then re-launched as a free-to-play MMORG in January 2009.

The game is a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, relying solely on the latter genre by offering magic, swords, and questing, while throwing futuristic technology into the mix. The game's political system also plays a major role, centering around three warring races--the Bellato, the Cora, and the Union. Player-versus-player is the main focus of gameplay, forcing players to seek refuge in their character's racial headquarters and surrounding settlements for safety.

The game is free to download and play, and relies on player microtransactions.


Originally called The Saga of Ryzom when it launched in September 2004, Ryzom is a science fiction fantasy MMORPG taking place more than 2000 years in the future on a planet called Atys. The story centers around a war between two mysterious forces: the spirits of nature called the Kami and sophisticated warriors from another planet, the Karavan.

The game has seen its share of drama since its original launch, initially offering a subscription service, then reverting to free-to-play due to financial troubles of GameForge France, and then reverting back to a subscription service. The game is actually free to download and install, but gamers are required to pay a monthly fee of $10.95.

Silkroad Online

Unlike most MMORPGs on the market, Silkroad Online actually takes place on Earth along the Silk Road between Europe and China. The title draws from the rich history of the route, which dates back to the seventh century, while using the region’s culture and stories as the game's overall backdrop.

One of the game's prominent features is its caravan-related Triangular Conflict System, which allows players to serve as a hunter, thief, or trader, and then fight each other in player-versus-player combat. Hunters level up by protecting traders from thieves; thieves level up by killing both traders and hunters; and traders level up by completing trade runs. European characters include the warrior, rogue, wizard, warlock, bard, and cleric, while Arabic characters can summon genies.

Silkroad Online is free to download and play and generates revenue with microtransactions.


Shaiya is a fantasy-based 3D MMORPG that takes place on a distant world. The overall storyline centers around the typical battle between good and evil--in this case, it's the Alliance of Light and the Union of Fury. The game actually allows the player to choose difficulty modes, while the more treacherous of a path the player picks, the greater the rewards. As an example, death in Ultimate Mode means that the character cannot be re-spawned back to life at a specific anchor point. Shaiya also gives players access to mounts, such as giant basilisks, unicorns, stallions, tigers, and even two-headed dragons.

The game offers player-versus-environment and player-versus-player modes and massive realm-versus-realm battles for the blessing of their goddess. Shaiya is free to download and play and generates revenue with player microtransactions.

Sword 2: Granado Espada

This fantasy-based MMORPG actually has several names: Granado Espada, Sword of the New World: Granado Espada, and Sword 2: Granado Espada here in the United States.

What makes this game unique is its visual approach, referencing back to the Baroque period in Europe (Age of Exploration). The MMORPG is also unique in that players can control up to three characters simultaneously, including a fighter, musketeer, wizard, or scout, as well as an elementalist-- eventually gamers can recruit other non-player characters (NPCs) into the party as well.

The actual storyline is based on a newly discovered continent similar to the Americas during the Age of Exploration. Players take the role of a pioneering family arriving from the Old World before stumbling into a feud between the Republicans and the Royalists. Sword 2: Granado Espada is free to download and play and generates income with microtransactions.

Ultima Online

Many Tom's readers were upset that we didn't include Ultima Online in our last MMOG roundup. In fact, some took offense that we said EverQuest "started it all." Indeed, while SOE's fantasy-based 3D MMORPG brought the genre to the masses in a first-person perspective, Richard Garriott's Ultima Online was in fact the first graphical MMORPG. The game originally launched online on September 24, 1997 and still remains active to this day.

According to EA, Ultima Online was the first MMORPG to reach the 100,000 subscriber base, far exceeding that of any game that came before it. The game eventually received a visual overhaul back in 2007 and its eighth expansion pack, Stygian Abyss, was released in September 2009. Ultima Online offers a 14-day free trial after which players must pay a monthly subscription fee of $12.99 and $29.99 for the full game.

Vanguard: Saga Of Heroes

The fantasy-themed MMORPG Vanguard: Saga of Heroes launched on January 30, 2007 and offered a different approach than Sony Online Entertainment’s other highly-successful MMORPG franchise, EverQuest. Originally created by Sigil Games Online, the game saw a relatively rough launch, with critics and gamers complaining that it seemed prematurely released with low amounts of content for high-level players, bugs, and performance issues.

By May 2007, SOE had squired all assets from Sigil and retained over half of the Vanguard development team. The team is now focusing on platform stability and plans to release smaller batches of content rather than one huge update. A 14-day free trial is available and the game can be purchased for $19.99 with an additional $14.99 monthly fee.

  • joytech22
    It's funny because only 1 or 2 games here are even remotely taxing on your hardware.

    Entropia Universe is visually very impressive in comparison to everything else but I still haven't got the hang of it, I ran out of ammunition during hunter training and now I can't finish it.
  • HappyBB
    The subscription fees for many of these games are just too expensive and outrageous!! That's why I hate MMOGs.
  • kelfen
    HappyBBThe subscription fees for many of these games are just too expensive and outrageous!! That's why I hate MMOGs.when you consider buying a game for 50 60 bucks that will only last say at max 3 mounths usually it is worth it
  • kathiki
    Vangaurd saga of heroes is just about the most wonderful, rich and elaborate mmorpg of all times..... i would say equal to the complexity and depth of eve online....

    the description above for a world that is not enough for high lvl players is far from true. After 2 years of exploration on this HUGE mmorpg i found myself having not even remotely discovered 30% of the land......

    factions, diplomacy affecting factions, very entertaining raiding and countless hours of fun with quests.......

    The graphics in the game still look awesome for its genre, but your pc needs to have real horse power to play it.....
  • kathiki
    mayankleoboy1i dont like rpg's. i find them repetitive and tedious after some time. give me a gun and a nanosuit, and i'm fine.
    i would say you still have not experienced the fun of pvp against other players while having to use more than 30 skills at your disposal, nor the fact that you also need to have played the other classes and subclasses to be able to know their potential, their weaknesses and their strong points...

    aren't all games repetitive after some time? are most games of the fps genre a 20-30 hours of experience for 60-80 euros? isn't that a major rip-off?
  • silverblue
    Aion is taxing when it comes to sieges though that's more the servers being unable to cope. I imagine it'll be a different story once 3.0 is released - your whole system will fall to its knees regardless of whether you're sieging or not. ;)

    Aion has been spotted on the cheap though, you just need to look.
  • Darkerson
    I may have to try a couple of these to pass the time while I wait for the various beta events for Rift. That game is shaping up to be freaking awesome.
  • silverblue
    I should also add that I'm very pleased to see RF: Online still going.
  • haplo602
    ah, more tips on what to play :-) seems I have 2 or 3 games from the list that I'll try ...
  • jasonpwns
    kelfenwhen you consider buying a game for 50 60 bucks that will only last say at max 3 mounths usually it is worth it
    Or I could buy guild wars 2 when it comes out. Gonna be 50$ most likely and have no dumb monthly fee. Oh and it will last longer than 3 months.