The most played MMORPGs of 2023 are an integral part of the gaming industry that is currently still peaking to new heights.
In 2021, World of Warcraft claimed the number one spot as the most played MMORPG by player count, however, a lot has changed since then.
Many extremely popular MMORPGs have either gone free to play or given players so much additional content to explore that they grew tremendously in the last few years but have they managed to surpass the king of MMOs, World of Warcraft?
Below are the 10 most played MMORPGs of 2023 by daily active players. Finding out how many players are active in a game can often be a complex task as we need to rely on APIs and other sources to get a good estimate.
These numbers are not 100% accurate but should give you a good indication of how many daily players are logging in on each MMO.
The 10 Most Popular MMORPGs of 2023
10. EVE ONLINE – 230,000 Daily Players
Eve Online is a space-based MMORPG that has been around since 2003 and remains one of the most played MMORPGs today. Players can choose from a variety of races and professions to create their own unique characters.
Explore the vast and beautiful galaxy, and make money through various in-game activities like mining, trading, and piracy.
EVE Online is notorious for its steep learning curve, but those who stick with it are rewarded with a truly unique experience. Eve Online has a player-driven economy that is the envy of the gaming world and constantly evolving game mechanics.
MMORPG fans that truly want to immerse themselves into a game should give EVE Online a try.
9. ELITE DANGEROUS – 275,000 Daily Players
Elite Dangerous is a space-simulation MMORPG that has been around since 2014. The game has around 275,000 daily active players and was recently updated in March 2022 with new content.
In Elite Dangerous, players take on the role of a starship captain and can explore a vast galaxy filled with stars, planets, and other players. The game has various expansions including: Horizons and Beyond with seasonal elements seen in other MMORPGs.
Elite Dangerous is known for its steep learning curve which can be a bit daunting for new players. However, those who stick with it are rewarded with an extremely detailed and complex game world.
8. BLACK DESERT ONLINE – 325,000 Daily Players
Black Desert Online comes in at number nine on this list of most played MMORPG of 2023. BDO is a sandbox MMO that lets players do pretty much whatever they want, which can either be great or bad depending on your playstyle.
The combat system used in Black Desert has no auto-attack and instead gives players full control over their characters, which is a huge plus for many players. The world of BDO is also incredibly beautiful and full of things to do.
One downside to the game is that it can be overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it, Black Desert Online is one of the best MMOs out there. With stunning graphics, excellent combat, and a huge open world, Black Desert Online is a great choice for any MMORPG fan.
7. GUILD WARS 2 – 350,000 Daily Players
The 8th most played MMORPG of 2023 is Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 is a beautiful and unique MMO that takes place in the world of Tyria. Players can choose from five different races and nine professions, which allows for plenty of customization.
GW2 is known for its dynamic events that can happen at any time, resulting in a constantly changing world. The game also has an interesting storyline that is sure to please fans of MMOs and RPGs.
The main downside to GW is that it can be a bit grindy, but the endgame content is worth it. Overall, Guild Wars is an excellent choice for MMO players who want epic PvP and combat as well as a unique world to explore where everything is optional.
6. THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE – 375,000 Daily Players
The Elder Scrolls Online comes in at number eight on the list of most played MMORPG. TESO is set in the world of Tamriel and lets players choose from three different classes: Dragon Knight, Templar, and Nightblade.
TESO also offers a wide variety of PvP modes for players who love to compete. The game has a detailed and well-made storyline, as well as plenty of side content to keep players busy.
One downside to TESO is that it can be difficult to find groups for endgame content, but this problem is gradually fading away with the game’s continually growing player base. Overall, The Elder Scrolls Online is an excellent choice for fans of the Elder Scrolls series who want to experience the world of Tamriel in an MMO setting.
5. WORLD OF WARCRAFT CLASSIC – 500,000 Daily Players
World of Warcraft is a classic MMO that launched back in 2004 and took gamers by storm. Since then World of Warcraft Classic has been re-released and players with an active WoW subscription can play retail World of Warcraft of Classic.
World of Warcraft quickly grew to become of the most played MMORPG and is set in the world of Azeroth and lets players choose from nine different classes.
WoW has a detailed storyline that players can follow, as well as plenty of side content. The game is also known for its PvP and PvE content, which has kept players entertained for years.
One downside to WoW is that the endgame can feel a bit stale for some players, but this problem seems to be getting better with time. Overall, World of Warcraft Classic is an excellent choice for old-school MMO fans who want nostalgia as well as a more difficult world compared to retail WoW.
4. RUNESCAPE – 525,000 Daily players
RuneScape is a fantasy MMORPG that originally launched back in 2001. Over time Jagex has made several changes to RuneScape and the current version is referred to as RuneScape 3.
RuneScape is set in Gielinor, a fantasy world with dragons, elves, and dwarves.
Players can choose from 17 different skills for Free To Play members and an additional 11 for paying members. These skills include Mining, Smithing, Woodcutting, and more.
One downside to RuneScape is that it can feel a bit dated (compared to some other MMORPGs), but Jagex is constantly making changes to the game to keep players engaged. Another downside is that there are no classes, so players are essentially left to their own devices when it comes to character development.
Despite its flaws, RuneScape is one of the most played MMORPGs of 2023 in the world and is a great choice for players who love fantasy worlds.
3. WORLD OF WARCRAFT – 1.2 Million Daily Players
Has the King of MMORPGs finally been toppled? It seems so! Coming in at number 3 of the most played MMORPG of 2023 is World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft is an MMORPG that was first released in 2004. The game has 117 million registered accounts according to FictionHorizon. WoW takes place in the world of Azeroth and lets players choose from a ton of different races to play. Some of the races include Humans, Undead, Dwarfs, Trolls, Orcs, Goblins, and more.
There are also 12 classes to choose from such as Mages, Paladins, and Warlocks.
World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPGs in 2023 and has a ton of content available.
The downside to World of Warcraft is that it can be quite time-consuming to keep up with raiding due to the various requirements players want before inviting you to a group.
This is actually the first year that World of Warcraft ISN’T the most played MMORPG.
2. OLD SCHOOL RUNESCAPE – 1.4 Million Daily Players
Coming in at number two on the list of most played MMORPGs of 2023 is Old School RuneScape.
Old School RuneScape is an MMORPG that was first released in 2013 and immediately became one of the most played games which eventually led to 1.4 million daily players.
OSRS was released as the 2007 version of RuneScape and takes place in Gielinor, which is divided into different regions such as Asgarnia or Karamja. The game also offers a variety of content including PVP, quests, and more.
The most popular activities in Old School RuneScape are bossing (tougher enemies) such as the Giant Mole or Daganoth Kings, which all have great rewards to earn from killing them.
One downside about Old School RuneScape is that it can be difficult for new players to get started as there is a lot of content available. Another downside is that the graphics might not appeal to players that never played RuneScape before.
1. FINAL FANTASY XIV – 3 Million Daily Players
The most played MMORPG of 2023 is Final Fantasy XIV. Final Fantasy XIV has been growing at such a rapid pace that they even had to temporarily shut down their free trial. As of writing this, the free trial is back online so new players and start playing again.
Despite Final Fantasy XIV’s initial release in 2010 being a complete disaster. FFXIV’s popularity started steadily increasing once they release A Realm Reborn in 2013.
The game takes place in the world of Eorzea and lets players choose from a variety of classes to play which include Paladins, Dragoon, Black Mage, and more.
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the most popular MMORPGs in 2023 due to its amazing graphics and interesting storyline that keeps players engaged throughout their journey across Eorzea.
Besides all that good stuff, Final Fantasy XIV has been designed to be an MMORPG that can be played completely solo if you so desire. If you just want to experience the story without engaging much with other players, that is completely possible.
There are however a few downsides to FFXIV, one being the language used. Most of the speech in the game is often over the top and very fantasy/Tolkien-like. This isn’t exactly uncommon for a Final Fantasy game but it does need some time to get used to.
That’s it for this list of the 10 most played MMORPGs of 2023. This is actually the first year that WoW has been surpassed in terms of daily active players which is quite incredible.
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