Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

Archive for April 2009

Let’s face it; even if we say otherwise, graphics are still an important aspect of a game. We’d like to think at times that things like gameplay, story and music are more important than graphics but let’s face it, a game that looks terrible can ruin an otherwise excellent MMO. But also keep in mind that graphics alone can’t salvage an otherwise bad title. What really surprises me about this list is how far free MMORPGs / MMOs have evolved, as most of the titles below look just as good as any pay to play game. Without further adu, the MMOHut official top 5 most graphically impressive MMORPGs / MMOs are:

5. RF Online

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I think I’ll get a lot of disagreements about RF Online making it to the list, but for some reason I feel that the game’s graphics are incredibly sharp. Sure it’s not the best game, but it has some great visuals and some unique game music.

4. Atlantica Online

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This beauty is considered one of the best free MMORPGs of all times. With its unique turn based gameplay and large playerbase Atlantica Online is certainly a lot more than just an MMORPG with a pretty face. Its combat closely resembles that of traditional turn based RPGs for the console.

3. Perfect World

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Perfect World is perhaps best known for its amazingly detailed character customization, but the game should also be known for its stellar graphics. Upon cranking this game’s visuals to maximum on a high resolution monitor, everything from the game’s character models to environments truly resemble a ‘perfect world’.

2. Project Torque

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Even though Project Torque is now at least a year or so old, the game is still considered one of the best looking free MMOs out there. Just about every aspect of this game from the detailed environments to the car models are incredibly polished. If you’re looking for a solid realistic fast paced racing game, Project Torque is well worth trying out.

1. Sword of the New World (Granada Espada)

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Aside from having the best music in any free MMORPG, Sword of the New World also has top notch graphics. On top of having some of the best visuals and audio of any game, Sword of the New World has incredibly unique and polished gameplay.

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One thing that I noticed that most MMORPG Games have a lot of is ‘Grinding’. For those that aren’t familiar with the term ‘grinding’, it refers to the process of mindlessly killing hundreds of monsters just to gain enough experience to level up. I mean, the concept of killing monsters in order to get stronger makes sense, but whoever thought it would be fun to mindlessly kill monsters for 10 hours in order to gain just one level is just plain insane. Unfortunately though, if you play MMOs regularly the concept of having to grind for hours on end to gain a single level shouldn’t be too foreign to you.

I remember when I first started playing Maplestory I didn’t mind ‘grinding’ because it didn’t take too long to gain a level. After I reached level 40 or so, gaining each additional level took 6 hours of nonstop grinding to achieve, which I felt was ridiculous. The earlier levels in the game were actually quite enjoyable because experience gain was moderately paced and the game has a huge community. Maplestory isn’t the only game that’s notorious for slow experience gain, as even newer 3D games like Perfect World, Florensia, 4story and Silkroad Online have incredibly slow experience gain.

Developers need to completely revamp the ‘progression’ system in both pay to play MMORPGs and free to play MMORPGs. ‘Leveling up’ just isn’t cutting it anymore, as the current system rewards whoever mindlessly grinds the longest and that’s just plain stupid. Simply progressing in the game shouldn’t be the ultimate goal of the game. The entire ‘kill monsters to progress’ system is so simple and basic that I’m surprised it’s still so heavily used today. Why gamers aren’t demanding change is beyond me. I guess most people don’t mind grinding for hours on end.

It seems like even though a lot of new free MMORPGs and MMOs are being released every month, none of them really feel unique. Except of course for a few exceptions like MLB Dugout Heroes and Dungeon Party there really aren’t any games that are pushing the ‘innovation’ bar up any higher. What I’d like to see developers work on is new ideas rather than just rehashing old ones and releasing them as new games. I mean come on, how many generic fantasy MMORPGs do we need? There are literally almost 40 of them already! Here are some concepts I’d love to see developed in an MMORPG / MMO

Post Apocalyptic MMORPG

There have been countless movies and games about a post apocalyptic world but no MMORPGs? What’s up with that? I’m not saying the idea itself is unique, but an MMORPG set in a post apocalyptic world would certainly be interesting, as it would likely be set in the future which in and of itself is pretty unique considering there are only a handful of sci-fi MMORPGs out there.

Swimming MMO

They have a baseball MMO (MLB Dugout Heroes), a Tennis MMO (Fantasy Tennis), a golfing MMO (Shot Online), a Soccer MMO (Kicks Online) and even a Track MMO (Tales Runner) but not a single swimming MMO! I mean come on! There are already boat loads of racing games out there, so why developers keep releasing racing MMOs rather than something unique like a swimming MMO is beyond me.

Zombie Shooter MMO

The world of MMOFPS games are rapidly growing, but unfortunately almost all MMOFPS games today can fall under the sub genre of ‘tactical shooter’, which in layman terms means ‘counter strike’ clone. Come on, with the popularity of valve’s Left 4 Dead, I’m surprised that no MMO developer has pushed for a Zombie Shoot em up MMO. The game can be room based or even level based sort of like Lunia where each level gets progressively harder. The game would have MMO elements like ‘Who can stay alive the longest’ while rewarding the winners with bonus XP and money which can be used in the game’s store to purchase better weapons. This is just off the top of my head, so the idea isn’t exactly refined, but i’m confident that a Zombie Shoot-em-up MMO could do well if its done right.

Well there you have it, here are three decent ideas that no MMORPG / MMO developer has yet to explore. Instead of churning out new ideas, most companies are giving us gamers more of the same stuff over and over again. I’m not saying ‘Fantasy MMORPGs’ are bad, but I am saying that i’m a bit tired of them and would rather see some innovation.

One thing that I feel a lot of MMORPGs and MMO neglect is music. Now, I’ve never really experienced ‘epic’ music from a game until I played Final Fantasy X for the Playstation 2, but the fact that so many MMOs have such uninspiring graphics is a bit sad. I don’t expect epic music from any MMO I play, but having good music certainly enhances the enjoyment of an MMO. Without further adu here is the official MMO Hut ‘Top 5 MMORPGs / MMOs with The Best Music”:

5. Project Powder

This one was a tough call. The fact is since there are so many free MMORPGs and MMOs, there are more than five titles with good music. The music itself in Project Powder is good, but not great. The reason though that Project Powder made it onto this list is that the game’s music fits the fast paced snowboarding MMO really well. The music really helps the player get into the ‘zone’ while racing down the game’s slopes.

4. Perfect World

This one was a tough pick. Perfect World certainly has good music, but unfortunately it only has a few ‘great’ tracks, as most of them aren’t anything special. Actually, if you’re looking for music in a game, Perfect World is a great choice, because it has a built in radio where players can stream music their favorite bands.

3. RF Online (Rising Force Online)

Even though the ‘in game’ tracks aren’t nearly as impressive as the music in the game’s intro cutscene, RF Online still deserves a spot on this list. Even though the game didn’t really perform well in the United States, the game has an incredibly high production value. Just about everything in this game from its music to animations feel ‘top notch’, so it shouldn’t be surprising that RF Online made its way to the #3 spot.

2. S4 League

If you’ve ever played this fast paced Sci-fi Shooter you’d certainly agree with me that it has some of the best music out there. I would actually venture to say that S4 League has the best music of any MMOFPS, as the game’s beats match the theme of the game incredibly well. The game actually has its own sound track with all of the beats being nothing short of impressive.

1. Sword of the New World (Granada Espada)

Sword of the New World, also known as Granada Espada in some places, has without a doubt the best music of any free MMORPG / MMO that I’ve ever played. I’d actually venture to say that it has the best music of any pay to play game as well. Unlike some of the other games on the list, Sword of the New World has great music all around, rather than just in one cutscene or part of the game. Whenever I play this game, I actually take off my headphones so the folks around me could also listen in on the game’s tunes. The only adjective that can accurately describe the music in this game is ‘Epic’, and if you’d listen to the youtube video above, you’d certainly agree with me. The game actually got quite ‘poor’ reviews from the mainstream gaming magazines, but from my experience, it’s an under rated title that’s well worth checking out. No one video / track will do the game justice, as the game has an incredible amount of expertly composed tracks.

I would hate to end this article without mentioning other MMOs with great music, so here is a small list of games that were really close to making the list: Ragnarok OnlineLunia, Fantasy Tennis


Top 5 Free MMORPGs With the Best Music (With Videos/Music!)