There have been hundreds of MMO over the years, but the number of new releases has boiled down recently. You may be confused about what to play right now if you don’t know which games are growing and which ones are fading.
Most MMOs thrive on loyal, even massive communities. The genre has a delicate balance of in-game player events, player economy, and friendship/teamwork systems. These core elements need a consistent, even a massive player base to function.
Hence, we’re taking a look at the best MMO with most population. Alternatively, we’re adding MMOs with the most consistent communities.
DISCLOSURE: I’m adding daily player data for all games. I used the MMO-Population info-base for all of the numbers to keep consistency. I added some official data to complete the statistics.
Best MMOs With Most Population
- Developer: Square Enix
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: 2012 (A Realm Reborn revision) / 2006 (Original Game)
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Windows, MacOS
- Player Base: 2.25 Million Concurrent Players
Final Fantasy XIV seems like the MMO to try right now. It’s growing fast, and it’s gaining popularity amongst fans, streamers, and media. It offers an outstanding Final Fantasy online experience both RPG and series fans could love.
The adventure takes you to explore a vast world. You can choose from a roster of races, classes, and jobs that provide a significant amount of player choice and progression mechanics. Better yet: the game gently guides you as you level up, quest, and learn new mechanics.
FFXIV Online is an addictive game. You can play non-stop while finding new stuff to do every time and new ways to improve your character. Also, once you reach the end-game, your main character can master all of the available jobs. That means you can taste everything the game has to offer with a single character.
Sadly, though, the game is quite pricey. You’d need to buy the starter bundle (base game plus the first expansion) and buy the two subsequent DLCs. Moreover, you need to pay a monthly fee, albeit you can try the base game for 30 days without paying anything extra. Either way, the base game has about 120 hours of content, so it’s a lot to chew.
- Developer: Amazon Game Studios
- Publisher: Amazon Game Studios
- Release Date: September 2021
- Platform: Windows
- Player Base: 1.3 Million Concurrent Players
Amazon’s New World debut was bittersweet. The game sold more than the company expected, which is good. However, waiting queues turned into the norm, and Amazon had to open new servers at the nick of time to solve the issue. That means much of these newer servers will close or merge. Thus players could lose part of its progress.
Setting that aside, the highly anticipated MMORPG is the biggest game of its genre in recent years. It’s also massive, featuring a map full of enemies, quests, side quests, treasures, and enemy NPCs.
New World players explore a new fantasy continent, “Aeternum.” The main quest is about solving a death and rebirth curse in the land. However, the core gameplay is about joining exploration “companies” to colonize pieces of land. The latter mechanic requires big, 50v50 siege battles.
So far, the game is looking great and features a healthy player base. It has about 1.3 million concurrent players across multiple servers. Also, it features action-adventure combat plus a weapon mastery progression system.
- Developer: Blizzard
- Publisher: Activision Blizzard
- Release Date: 2004
- Platform: Windows, MacOS
- Player Base: 1.1 Million Concurrent Players
World of Warcraft is still the biggest MMORPG in the world. According to Blizzard’s earning call Q2, the game has about 26 million active players. However, they have lost half its player base since 2017’s Battle for Azeroth Wow expansion. Also, the statistic is mischievous: the game has about 1.1 million concurrent players at any time.
The game requires a monthly subscription, plus buying every subsequent expansion. For example, the latest content, Shadowlands, takes players to the land of the dead while hunting for Sylvannas Windrunner-. Otherwise, players could go towards a WoW Classic server to play a “vanilla WoW” experience or play for free up to level 20.
If you’re unfamiliar with the title, WoW offers a classic theme-park MMORPG experience. You choose among a roster of classes and races, pick a faction (Alliance or Horde), and enter Blizzard’s fictional world. Then, you follow the story-beats of any given expansion, plus all of the side content you could imagine.
It’s a massive game with an enormous player economy, a deep crafting system, and superb character progression mechanics. It lacks the modern approach to combat, as WoW offers the standard action bar plus click-targeting mechanics.
- Developer: Bungie
- Publisher: Bungie
- Release Date: 2017
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Google Stadia, Windows
- Player Base: 1 Million Concurrent Players
Destiny 2 is a free-to-play MMO shooter. You play alongside thousands of players in a single, evolving world you can explore solo or with your friends. The base game it’s free, but its several expansions might set you back significantly.
The game has a simple formula. You loot armor and weapons, shoot, and use a couple of powers. The powers depend on the Guardian you choose, and they are as simple as a protective shield or a concussive blast. That’s enough to deliver a fun sci-fi shooter that allows an engaging co-op.
Then, there’s the main hub, where you’d see most of the players hanging. It has stores, customization options, quests, and lore to explore. From there, you can jump to another world, like planets or bases, to complete missions. You can go solo or alone, and other players can join your instance as well.
Story-wise, it’s not as deep as previous Bungie games (like Halo). You’re a Guardian, and you help defend the Last City of humanity in a Solar System full of enemies.
- Developer: AreaNet
- Publisher: NcSoft
- Release Date: 2012
- Platform: Windows, MacOS
- Player Base: 420K+ Concurrent Players
Guild Wars 2 is a classic casual MMORPG. It boasts a loyal fan base, incredible developer support, and many years of experience.
You enter the game’s fantasy world after you pick one of the available races. Then, you follow the main plotline to defeat a legendary threat.
Moreover, the game is always welcoming new players. Because it has a prevalent community, amateurs will find old-school players are kind and eager to help newcomers. And once you get some experience, you can participate in the many in-game player events for epic PvE or PvP content.
Currently, players can create their own guilds, claim areas for the guild, and combat against other guilds for areas. These battles may include siege weaponry.
- Developer: Zenimax Online Studios
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Release Date: 2014
- Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Windows, MacOS
- Player Base: 360K Concurrent Players
The Elder Scrolls Online has had a consistent player base for years, after a sub-par debut. It offers you the opportunity to play a classic sandbox RPG game with your friends.
You pick from a rooster of classes and races and then play the main quest from any part of the world you prefer. There’re tons of activities to do aside from the story all across Tamriel, including dungeon-crawling, crafting, looting, joining guilds, raids, or PvP battles.
It’s a huge game, capable of delivering a stellar Elder Scrolls solo adventure or an MMORPG experience. Best of all is how the world works: it’s persistent and ever-growing, so you can always repeat content while you wait for the next expansion.
No matter what you do, though, combat is the meat of the experience. Battle mechanics are hard to master, but they are engaging, fun, and offer many customization options. You’d be able to play with any kind of build you imagine without following meta-rules. It is very casual.
- Developer: Pearl Abyss
- Publisher: Pearl Abyss
- Release Date: 2016
- Platform: Xbox One, PS4, Windows, Android, iOS
- Player Base: 320K+ Concurrent Players
Black Desert Online is an MMORPG with a healthy and consistent player-base. It offers a vast world, stunning graphics, and fast-paced combat. Speaking of which, the core mechanics are about hunting monsters and slaying bosses.
The game also has sandbox elements, as there’s a proper harvesting and crafting system. In return, that creates a player-based economy that mostly depends on player work.
Battle mechanics feature an action-adventure approach, but it’s easy enough to master. Similarly, exploring the world is seamless as it has no loading screens. That means everything you do feels smooth, and it gets better with real-time weather and day-night systems.
Lastly, the game has a deep character creation system that allows you to create any kind of look. The complexity doesn’t end there: aside from combat, you can harvest ingredients, create potions with alchemy, cook foods, craft items, and trade or build your own resources.
- Developer: Roblox Corporation
- Publisher: Roblox Corporation
- Release Date: 2006
- Platform: Xbox One, Windows, macOS, FireOS, Android
- Player Base: 200K+ Concurrent Players
Roblox Corporation created perhaps the popular MMO platform for all ages. Despite having about 200K daily players, the game boasts about 23M active players.
The game offers a family-friendly sandbox online experience. It provides a vast array of tools so Roblox players can customize their aesthetics, items, customizations, and buildings. In other words, Roblox is not a game: it’s a game engine.
Players can enter the platform and create their own mini-games with Roblox’s tools. The amount of things you can do is almost infinite, as Roblox is the biggest sandbox in the video-game industry.
Over 5million Roblox players have created mini-games within the platform. Most of these are for kids, so the game is huge for kids around 9 and 13 years old. In essence, players explore a 3D world to collect resources, create mini-games, build structures, or combat against other players.
- Developer: Jagex
- Publisher: Jagex
- Release Date: 2013
- Platform: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS
- Player Base: 100k+ Concurrent Players
According to their official site, Old School RuneScape has about 100K concurrent players at any time. It’s a massive number for such an old game. This is a free-to-play sandbox MMORPG.
The game features a fair world with tons of activities to do. Performing one of these activities, like fishing, levels up the relevant skill. The thing is, the game works like a pyramid, from the economy to the tech. That means you start from scratch and build your way up to the top.
There’re multiple skills, though, and not enough time to master them all. There’s, for example, blacksmith, which allows you to craft weapons and armor from the stones you pick. There’s mining, which allows you to mine stronger and stronger stones. There’s also fletching, enabling you to craft arrows from stones or an archery skill that levels up your ranged damage.
So, aside from all this, there’s a series of main quests, side quests, PvP, and many systems that populate the game. And If you don’t like its outdated graphics, you could play the newer version, RuneScape.
- Developer: Cloud Imperium Games
- Publisher: Cloud Imperium Games
- Release Date: TBA (ALpha Test)
- Platform: Windows, TBA
- Player Base: 400K
Star Citizen is a first-person space exploration simulator. The game is in active development, and, currently, they are on the Alpha stage. However, you can play it right now, and many people do: it has about 400K daily players.
The game offers a vast universe you can explore in whichever way you like. You could be a scavenger, an outlaw, a robber, a cargo hauler, and much more. Then, you explore through procedurally generated as well as handcrafted worlds. Each one features NPCs you can interact with.
The gameplay systems allow you to drive and combat in spaceships, shoot first-person, gather resources, and trade. You can also explore cities, hubs, ships, bases, and more. It also allows piracy, which means boarding other ships to steal their resources. That said, you can play solo or co-op. Your friends can jump to your ship to explore the universe with you.
Star Citizen has multiple mechanics, and they will grow over time as the Alpha 3.1 evolves. Speaking of which, the public Alpha test premiered recently. Check the trailer below:
The quality of an MMO community does not mean the number of people that play any particular game.
For instance, WoW is the biggest MMORPG by active player numbers. However, the game’s fundamental design makes it, so you don’t have to interact with anyone if you don’t want to.
You can enter the game, join a queue via an interface, and then enter a raid with a couple of your friends. So, it doesn’t matter how many players are there, does it?
Well, yes and no. Unhealthy player bases can disrupt the economy. In particular, pyramid economies like those on New World or RuneScape can suffer greatly from a lack of players. MMOs like WoW suffer because the number of legendary items becomes more scarce.
Other games, like Guild Wars 2, are lighter. You don’t even have to worry about gear because there’s no better gear than others. That means you could join GW2 and enjoy it for its outstanding community, despite the game not being as big as others on the list.
Nowadays, the MMORPG genre is not at its best. Gamers have moved on to battle royales, Minecraft, Minecraft-clones, survival games, and MOBAS. Two decades ago, though, every developer was trying to create their MMO.
In the end, you should try the game you think you’d enjoy the most.