[Top 15] Bestselling MMORPGs of All Time (Ranked)

Come see our collection of the best-selling MMORPGs

15. Rift - 2011 

 A remarkably polished title on its release, developer Trion World staked its own name in the scene by expanding the base format of the series to be more active as a social experience.

It created a new focal point for a shared online play-space with its emergent open world that would year apart at the scenes forcing players into localized hot zones under a unified goal. Its fantasy world is committed fully to the chaos that the supernatural and magic can bring and used it to fuel its dynamic and very hostile open world.

At least 1 million registered players.


14. The Lord of the Rings Online - 2007 

It is rather fitting that a genre typically expressing fantasy settings and its related tropes that eventually the series that spawned much of western dark fantasy would show its face to stake its own claim in the online games space.

Focusing rather uniquely on survivalist mechanics and a more comprehensive roleplaying experience that truly aimed to allow all kinds of players to express themselves as a resident of Tolkien's world, The Lord of The Rings Online maintains a passionate audience to this day, a prospect that makes sense given how much power the game times the player to stake their own life within its world.

At least  2 million registered players


13. EverQuest - 1999


No chronicle of the MMORPG genre is complete without including its very forefather EverQuest.

The hugely influential title has maintained content support for over twenty years and outlined the basic formula later games would go on to refine and trim down - however its dedication to complexity and sheer moral relativism is what helped it stage such an interesting world to inhabit.

The classic MMORPG formula hailing from its MUD predecessors was born in no short form here, signifying at an early stage just how many lives the genre would go on to invade with its dedication to simulating another, more fantastical life to live.

At least 3 million registered players.


12. Guild Wars - 2005 

Guild Wars made waves upon its release following a divergent path, arriving not long after the genre exploded with World of Warcraft the game stood as a necessary contrast to show that genre didn't have to follow suit of the former title into homogeneity.

Segmenting its world into distinct interactive chunks and focusing on combat design more akin to collectible card games showed that instance based online RPGs can work on a smaller scale and be equally as potent. The game's social elements and focus on group play and organization helped manifest the promise of the genre: that MMOs would ultimately be a shared experience both competitively and co-operatively.

At least 6 million registered players.


11. MapleStory - 2005

Occupying a unique space in the genre for following a 2D side scroller format and taking place in an expressive, charming modern fantasy world, MapleStory took the world by storm by being one of the earlier examples of a free to play MMO, and by running comfortably on any hardware you could get your hands on making it an easy way to get into the grind and hustle of the MMO world.

Its delightfully charming style and art style contributed to the games major success alongside its highly accessible design ethos - it's the soundtrack that has stuck with us long after departing its loveable and irresistible world.

At least 8 million registered players


10. Phantasy Star Online 2 - 2012

This long revered cult classic of the genre that had long been relegated out of the reach of MMO fans as Japanese exclusive has now been released worldwide - a testament to the passion of the games audience and a desire amongst players  to see a more diverse set of games represented in the genre.

Still seeing significant development overhauls to this day, the enigmatic title brings signature Japanese magical realism and technological fantasy to the online world, delivering some seriously addictive systems and an impressive, engaging story to boot.

At least 9 million registered players.


9. Star Wars: The Old Republic - 2011

Cited as one of the most expensive productions in gaming history with its famously reported $200 million dollar budget, The Old Republic combines the time tested MMO formula with signature BioWare storytelling panache.

Providing a staggering number of storylines for each player class, each with complex branching narratives of the intrigue and drama BioWare are celebrated for in the world famous Star Wars setting, the stage was instantly set for a smash success title. Still supported to this day, players are probably still working through the sheer gargantuan level of high class storytelling content on the plate here.

At least 11 million registered players.


8. Guild Wars 2 - 2012

Following up on the first title saw studio NCSoft attempt to further expand on the ambitious and unique approach they had outlined for themselves previously. 

Promising a more dynamic world with persistence and tangible consequence for the collective players actions, Guild Wars 2 seeks to make the world itself a character that lives in tandem with its populace. Further setting itself apart with its alternative skill based approach to combat and focusing on a level scaled world to enhance player exploration, the game made waves on release for its unique identity that still remains popular to this day.

At least 16 million registered players. 


7. Lost Ark - 2022

The most recent release on our list has amassed an impressive audience in a remarkably short period of time.

By bringing action role playing game trappings a la Diablo into a wider persistent online context, developer SmileGate has found a novel way to breach the gap between both genres, which has proven to be an immediate hit around the world.

Action game ideology has found its way into MMOs in the preceding decades, and yet one thing is proven here: ARPGs are hopelessly addictive, MMORPGs are hopelessly addictive, and synthesis of the two proves that the combination of the two provides no diminishing returns.

At least 17 million registered players.


6. The Elder Scrolls: Online - 2014

After dominating the single-player market The Elder Scrolls series transitioned to the MMO space with impressive flourish, providing players already enamored with the setting of Cyrodiil even more real estate from which to create their own player driven stories and craft their fantastical characters.

Drawing upon the series mythos provided plenty of furtive creative ground, and the ambitious approach to PvP combat happening on a grand scale helped distinguish the game for lovers of the MMO genre.

At least 22 million registered players.


5. TERA Online - 2011

This South Korean spawned MMO appeared to tantalise the genre with its irresistible style and fantastical world - its eastern approach providing a necessary counterpoint to the traditionally western fantasy representation in the genre.

An early example of what a more action focused online RPG might look like, presupposing the later success of games like Black Rock by implementing player positioning as a factor - the game would carve out its own lane for its robust and novel planned economy approach and its evocative character and armor designs. 

At least 28 million registered players.


4. Runescape - 2001

Boasting one of the most impressive lifespans of any game, Runescape abides by the dictum “In with the old, in with the new” by responding to its nostalgia and long-lasting legacy by looking to the future and the past simultaneously.

The main game has continued to evolve to an impressive degree over the years, drawing in new audiences and remaining a popular and relevant title in the MMO space - while also providing a classic version of the game for players looking to take a time machine back to the turn of the millennium - this pincer approach has helped keep the game at the top of the genre.

At least 36 million registered players.


3. Black Desert: Online - 2019

Initially releasing in eastern territories Black Desert would amass a feverish following across the globe prompting a worldwide release - notable for its action forward approach to MMO design, it was able to carve out a space in the genre with its kinetic gameplay and advanced character creator.

Providing a significantly more action driven experience than most of its contemporaries the game presents an interesting and addictive mixture of stylish combat, dynamic open world systems and the addictive potentially life-ruining RPG systems of the genre.

At least 40 million registered players.


2: Final Fantasy XIV - 2013

A title that will go down in history not only as the most successful Final Fantasy title overall, and not only as one of the most successful MMORPGS, but also a fascinating and unprecedented story of salvage, repair, and rebirth.

Initially released in 2010 to a troubled response and commercial failure - the game was closed down and extensively reworked from the ground up and amazingly enough was wildly successful as it relaunched as A World Reborn. The game's momentum has only continued to escalate since, consistently updated with expansions and praised by critics and players. 

At least 40 million registered players. 


1. World of Warcraft - 2004

The paramount title that set the world ablaze and sent the genre itself into a tailspin as every company chased its success - a veritable watershed moment for the industry that still dominates the space to this day, WoW permanently shifted not only the expectations for what an online game could look like but popular culture itself.

Blizzard found instant success in executing its chief party trick: creating a game with substantial depth and yet remarkable accessibility, creating a comfortable transition point between traditional RPGs and the online world by tactfully rethinking core design principles and providing a vast and mystifying world synonymous with the word “addiction”.

At least 100 million registered players.


Writing about games is really fun! But more importantly it allows me to avoid the inclement weather of the British isles, and provides a nice distraction from obsessing about Twin Peaks.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Fortnite
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Dead Space