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What is the best Free-to-Play MMO?

by ShawnaR (follow)
It seems that every winter for the past several years I have started playing World of Warcraft. By the end of the season, as the weather warms up and the lake and hiking trails begin to beckon, I tend to lose interest in the game. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are Blizzard) it usually takes me a few months to realize that I haven’t played in awhile and I won’t be playing until it gets cold again. Then I belatedly cancel my subscription and am out 2-3 months of subscription fees. In order to avoid this in future, I’m hoping to find a new game that I can play for free. What do you think is the best free-to-play MMO?

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There are tons of free MMOs out there but few, if any, have the amount of polish that you'll see in WoW. The good thing is that WoW is pretty old in terms of online games, so graphics and game play have come a long way since WoW's release.

I would recommend taste-testing a bunch of different games to find what you'll like best. A great place to start is Perfect World Games, they have software called ARC, which is a centralized software where you can download all the Perfect World games, similar to Steam. Perfect World has a good dozen free-to-Play MMOs that you can try. Since you are into WoW, I would recommend checking out Forsaken World first. If you are looking to stay in the Fantasy genre, then NeverWinter is also awesome.

Some games that were subscription based also changed to free-to-play, which might be more your alley. A couple are DDO (Dungeon and Dragons Online) and Lord of the Rings Online.

If you are gaming on a Mac, then DDO and Lord of the Rings Online are the way to go. Unfortunately there are few free-to-play options that are Mac compatible in the MMO world.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the suggestions for the Mac. I would be gaming on one and I completely neglected to mention that! I'm still interested to hear what's out there for PC too.
Great question - I'm a bit out of touch with free MMOs, so I'm looking forward to some answers.
I like the Mists of Pandaria version of WOW. But similar to you, I lose interest when I go back to university.
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