Perfect Ten: Ten quirky and interesting MMOs worth trying

    
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Quite often while I’m writing columns for Massively OP, the catalyst behind a given topic is what interests me right then — and, I figure, if it has my attention, perhaps it’s something others think about as well. And something I think about every so often are MMORPGs off the beaten path. You know, the underrated, unknown, and underappreciated titles that offer a quirky experience to those who dare to venture into their wilds.

So if you ever get bored with current MMO offerings and need a vacation to realms that don’t have “world,” “final,” or “star” in their names, here are 10 offbeat and interesting titles that might bear exploring. As a bonus, I’m including videos or trailers with each one so that you can get the flavor of the MMO before jumping into it.

Broken Ranks

If you want to conjure up memories of old school CRPGs and strategy titles, Broken Ranks is there for you. This isometric, turn-based MMO offers a journey through a story-rich world, unique classes such as Voodoo and Sheed, and a massive fantasy world. It’s also more of a bloody and gritty game for those who crave a grimdark experience. While it’s currently only for PC, mobile and Mac editions are in the works for the future.

Eterspire

But if you’re allergic to grimdark (and I wouldn’t blame you), sneeze yourself right over to Eterspire, a cheery, colorful, and decidedly non-offensive MMO. This browser game has hints of Old School RuneScape (at least in its looks) and leans into being wacky and weird.

Chimeraland

Wading further out from the shores of oddity into the deep, endless depths of true weirdness is Chimeraland. In this MMO, you can mix-and-match animals to make your own crazy character: “You might be a Dragonborn or a Jellyfish girl, and you just landed on this prehistoric, mythical world.” There are transformations and morphing past the character creation screen, throwing your very concept of reality into question.

Arcane Waters

Fusing together pirates and gorgeous 16-bit-style pixel art, Arcane Waters is set to enter early access later this fall. Its turn-based combat system may take some getting used to, but that’s worth it for the joy of being able to sail your own naval vessel and blast all of the krakens. All of them.

Therian Saga

If you can get past the more abstract concept art and board game look, Therian Saga promises a wealth of depth — and a very different way to play MMOs. In fact, you get to queue up orders for your hero during your play sessions and then rest easy knowing that said hero will carry out those actions whether or not you’re online. I’ve seen some strong word-of-mouth praise for this one, so it very well might be worth checking out.

Aberoth

If a 16-bit graphics are too fancy for you, why not jump back to the 8-bit era with Aberoth? This browser MMO is remarkably full-featured, as you’ll discover once you break out of your virtual prison and explore this retro world. You can even transform yourself into a monster and engage in the PvP that runs rampant across most of the land.

HackMUD

If you’re really looking to walk on the weird side, here’s a two-for-one prospect. Not only can you try out a unique text-based MMO, but you can try your hand at hacking instead of hack-and-slashing. HackMUD may have a steep learning curve, but proponents of the game rave about its style and feel.

Neocron

With 20 years of operation under its belt and a community team developing for it, Neocron is an MMO that’s begging to be discovered by more people. Sure, the graphics may look dated, but consider that part of the charm and the price of stepping into this involved cyberpunk setting.

Eternal Lands

And speaking of long-running MMORPGs, there’s Eternal Lands, a two-decade-old title that’s blossomed under the freedom of being open source. With a small game footprint and multiple platforms — including mobile — on which you can play it, Eternal Lands is certainly not hard to get into.

Haven and Hearth

Haven and Hearth might be one of those MMOs you wrote off a while ago due to a small launch and no splashy follow-ups. However, this isometric fantasy game’s been consistently building up its world with more polish and a gobton of features, making it a great candidate for exploration.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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