5. The Elder Scrolls Online (800k)
The 5th most popular MMORPG of 2021 is none other than The Elder Scrolls Online. Fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise have mixed feelings about the Elder Scrolls Online. Mainly because any game in the TES franchise needs to live up to Skyrim, which is extremely difficult.
ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) has some bugs and glitches that need fixing, but other than that it’s a fantastic game. You will need to buy the base game first which usually costs around $20. There is also an optional subscription called ESO+ which will give you extra features like unlimited access to new DLC, unlimited storage, some Crowns to spend in the shop, and more. You can also play this popular MMORPG on consoles as well as PC.
4. World of Warcraft Classic (900k)
Relive the past with World of Warcraft Classic. WOW Classic quickly became one of the most played MMORPGs of the year and comes included in your subscription for World of Warcraft. This means you can choose which version of World of Warcraft you’d like to play at no additional cost.
Old school players will love World of Warcraft Classic as it allows you to relive all the old memories you had as your younger self.
The spirit of WOW Classic remains the same as it did in the past. WOW Classic will give you a more true experience to the game you once loved – in case the new versions of World of Warcraft weren’t your thing.
3. Old School RuneScape (1.6m)
Goold ol’ Old School RuneScape enters near the top of the charts as the 3rd most played MMORPG of 2021. Amassing approximately 1.6 million active players!
It seems that the older type of MMORPGs are really thriving in 2021, with players begging for that old-school experience.
The main differences between RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape are not only related to graphics, but also to the gameplay. Old School RuneScape takes players a much longer time to reach the ‘end game’. OSRS also has a much longer shelf-life because it of.
Combat is however more simply compared to RS3. OSRS also has no microtransactions, and it’s not purely focused on who has the best DPS.
Old School RuneScape is a lot more complex and more catered to gamers that wish for a long-lasting experience. If that sounds like something you would like – give it try. If you’ve never played any RuneScape title before but want to get into it then perhaps it would be best to start with RuneScape 3 as it is much more modern and easier to get into (whilst maintaining a large userbase).
2. Final Fantasy XIV (2.0m)
Unchanged in position from last year, Final Fantasy XIV nears the top as the 2nd most played MMORPG. Final Fantasy XIV wasn’t always a popular MMORPG – during its first year, it required a complete revamp as the initial developers messed up the game so much. Square Enix offered players that purchased Final Fantasy XIV to play for free until they released what is now known as Final Fantasy XIV: Reborn.
The story in Final Fantasy XIV is like any Final Fantasy title – amazing. However, FFXIV can become a little complex and sometimes even a little bit tedious. The graphics and gameplay are amazing with stunning combat, interesting bosses and creatures, and a wholesome community. The only downside for some is the lack of PvP, or more the lack of factions (similar to WoW where you have Horde and Alliance). There is PvP in the game but it’s just different from other titles where you can just randomly fight each other while questing.
There is a behemoth of content available for Final Fantasy XIV, and players have praised the expansions like no other MMORPG before it. FFXIV is also extremely popular with some of the most popular Twitch Thots. FFXIV is truly an astonishing MMORPG to get into and worthy of every bit of success it has after getting past the terrible initial launch.
You will however need a subscription to play FFXIV, it’s about $9,99 but you can play for free until level 60, though many features are limited – leaving you to play solo for a long time. If you want to avoid that and play with friends or strangers, it’ll be best to just purchase the game from the start.
If you are thinking of taking this game seriously – you will want to check out our best prebuilt gaming PC’s for under $1000.
1. World of Warcraft (4.5m)
The king of all MMORPGs and by far the most played MMORPG of 2021 (and perhaps all time) goes to World of Warcraft.
Grab your favorite gaming keyword and join World of Warcraft! Blizzard recently released an expansion called Shadowlands in late 2020 which caused a huge surge in players peaking their active players to over 7 million.
World of Warcraft is also one of the most popular games to stream on Twitch, with popular Twitch Streamers like Azmongold amassing hundreds of thousands of views a day.
With the release of new expansion as well as WOW Classic, World of Warcraft managed to grow its userbase significantly over the past few years. The latest expansion – Shadowlands, is also the fastest-selling PC game of all time.
World of Warcraft is a must-play for any fan of MMO games and offers a bit of everything for every type of gamer. Whether you like PvP or PvE – there are great options for both. You can even hunt the rarest mounts in World of Warcraft if you’d like.
That’s it for the most popular MMORPGs of 2021. Lockdown has really helped grow the MMO audiences compared to 2020, which is a great thing. Hopefully next year we will be able to play Amazon’s new MMORPG as well!
Like the article? Check out our article on the best prebuilt Streaming PCs under $1000!