Massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) have become extremely popular since the last decade of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Some of these games have millions of regular players who immerse themselves in large and detailed virtual environments that can simulate entire fantasy worlds or even immense galactic empires. They assume the guise of a character whom they play in various adventures and quests. Players can cooperate to achieve goals, fight each other, and join organizations of other like-minded individuals. Depending on the genre, they may face monsters, aliens, or enemy spaceships just to name a few possible foes. Choosing the best MMORPG is a matter of deciding which genre you want to play in, how much you are willing to spend, and gathering information about some games in order to pick the right one.
The first thing to consider is the genre. MMORPG games can generally be classified into one of two broad genres, although there is a great deal of variation between individual games, and some games combine elements of both genres or other sub-genres. Fantasy and science fiction are the two main genres. Some games may attempt to step outside these two genres entirely, but such games are not as common or popular. All MMORPG games focus on advancing your character's skills and abilities to enable them to take on more powerful enemies and earn greater rewards in the form of powerful items and treasures.
Fantasy games tend to focus on mythical realms, where players use medieval style weapons and magic spells to battle dragons, orcs, giants and other figures from fantasy literature and mythology, as well as creatures created by the game's designers. Science fiction games concentrate on settings in which technology is paramount. Alien worlds, spaceships, interstellar or interplanetary empires stocked with strange creatures and alien races provide the backdrop for adventures where players use all kinds of technology from laser rifles to nanobots against various creatures and each other or engage in ship to ship combat in deep space. Some games may be based on popular works of fiction or on movies. Other genres and subjects include the American West and post-apocalyptic and comic book style superhero worlds.
Cost is the other main consideration. While most MMORPGs were originally subscription based and charged a monthly fee for access, as of 2012, it is much more common for these games to be free for the basic game and its functions, with players paying a small monthly fee or one time charges for access to premium features, content, or in-game items. It is possible to play and enjoy many of these games without paying anything, but some games require a fair amount of spending to enjoy the best parts of the game or to be competitive with other players who chose to spend real-life funds. Some games are available as a free download for the game program itself, and others require a one time initial purchase just to get started.
The Internet is an excellent place to gather information on MMORPGs, and many websites provide reviews from professional reviewers and players alike, giving a synopsis of what the game offers and how enjoyable it is to play. A simple Internet search for "MMORPG" will yield a large number of results from which to begin an information gathering endeavor. Gaming magazines and social media are another good way to gather information on MMORPGs. Many people play these games with real-life as well as online friends, so word of mouth is a valuable source of opinions and detailed information about games. Many magazines, websites, and consumer groups that are concerned with electronic media give annual awards to games of this type.
Once you have gathered information about the type of game you would like to play, reviews and opinions, and the fees and costs associated with those games, it is much easier to choose a game that is best for you. Since most of these games are also free to at least try, it is very easy to sample a few or even several of them to get a feel for how much you might enjoy playing them in the long term. Of course, not every game is the right fit for every person, but using these tips can help you pick the best game for you.