The 10 Most Anticipated MMORPGs In 2016

If 2015 was a year when fantasy, survival and sandbox titles ruled the roost, then 2016 will see developers dusting off popular franchises and slugging out shooter titles. We have gathered 10 MMORPGs that we believe are keeping fans feeling flustered due to their amazing graphics, unique gameplay features and expansive story lore.

Looking at our Top 10 list, there seem to be three major MMORPG launch themes: The big franchise upgrade, super slick shooters, and Western ports of popular Korean titles. The list below is arranged alphabetically, and we gave each of our picks a helpful rundown on their key features and buzz-worthy traits so you can pick which one to play next year.

However, there’s also a few surprises – several titles you might have expected didn’t make the list. But let’s start with the first game…

Black Desert 2

Black Desert

Developer: Pearl Abyss
Publisher: Daum Communications
Type: F2P
Official Site: http://www.pearlabyss.com/
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pearl.Abyss.Black.Desert, ~17,000 likes
Gameplay: Black Desert takes the sandbox concept and takes it to the next level by incorporating elements of real world physics and weather. It boasts of a very cool parkour system – similar to those seen so far in cutting-edge console titles such as Assassin’s Creed – where players can climb and interact with buildings and other environmental objects. A dynamic weather system which whips up typhoons or fog also adds another element to combat as players take advantage of these conditions.

Popularity: There is a certain cool factor behind Black Desert an an MMORPG that tries to blur the line between the real world and the virtual game world. The Western launch of the Black Desert has been quite a long time coming, and the title has been popping up in other videogame critics lists as one of the MMORPGs that could prove to be a sleeper hit when it hits stateside. The Black Desert Facebook page has more than 66,000 likes.

Blade and Soul

Blade & Soul

Developer: NCSOFT
Publishers: NCSOFT, Tencent
Type: F2P
Official Site: http://www.bladeandsoul.com/en
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bladeandsoul, ~51,000 likes
Gameplay: Blade & Soul is a Korean martial arts and fantasy MMORPG that is looking to make waves with a Western launch in early 2016. Its core fighting system uses martial arts, taking elements from the likes of the Chinese martials technique Qing Gong. Players will be able to chain combo attacks similar to console fighting games. When not cracking skulls, martial arts heroes in Blade & Soul will be exploring its beautifully colored open world as one of four playable races based on the four benevolent animals.

Popularity: Blade & Soul brings the kind of arcade combo action that MMORPG fans have long been craving in the genre. Sure, sidescrollers and other titles have attempted to also , but Blade & Soul adds a layer of martial arts mystique to the equation, bringing a variety of fighting styles that significantly raises the fun factor and replayability of the game. Blade & Soul’s Facebook page has more than 51,000 likes, and the more popular videos uploaded on its YouTube channel Blade&Soul have been getting more than 500,000 views.

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Bless Online

Bless Online

Developer: Neowiz Bless Studio
Publisher: Neowiz Games
Type: F2P
Official Site: http://bless-source.com
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlessSource, ~20,000 likes
Gameplay: In Bless, players are plunged in a medieval world and fictional era known as the Era of Blessing where conflict between the two main factions, Cosmopolis and Hierapolis, dominates the world affairs. Heroes will fight for their respective faction and walk through a special storyline specific to one of the 10 races they chose, which should draw in role-playing fans and those craving for high replayability.

Popularity: There is high expectation that Bless will be a visual stunner because it is an MMORPG based on the Unreal Engine 3 – the same engine that was used for Gears of War, among other impressive-looking titles. Add to this the rising reputation of developer Neowiz Games for pushing out titles like Alliance of Valiant Arms and FIFA Online 2, and there appears a lot of faith that the team will deliver on the hype. The Bless Online Facebook page has more than 20,000 likes.

Ghost in the Shell Online

Ghost in the Shell Online

Developer: Neople
Publisher: Nexon
Type: Freemium
Official Site: http://firstassault.nexon.net/en
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ghostintheshellonlinefps, ~10,000 likes
Gameplay: Ghost in the Shell Online is first-person shooter MMORPG based on the wildly popular sci-fi Japanese comic and anime of the same name. Players can select from a variety of shooter classes, which are based on the characters in the series, each with its own set of skills and abilities. There will be PvE and PvP modes available, but there seems to be a greater emphasis on teamwork with players able to perform more powerful skills with ample coordination with allies. Cyborg customization will be a main feature with reportedly more than 5,000 variations.

Popularity: While other games have been made based on Ghost in the Shell, this MMORPG iteration is reported to be the first specifically made for PC and multiplayer gamers. That distinction not only has been whetting the appetite of hardcore shooters that want to play with friends, but also hardcore series fans that want to spend hundreds of hours playing and exploring the Ghost in the Shell universe. Ghost in the Shell Online Facebook page has 10,000 likes, and one of the trailers it recently released attracted more than 100,000 views.

Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance

Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance

Developer: NCSOFT
Publisher: NCSOFT
Type: TBA
Official Site: http://lineage-eternal.eu
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lineage-Eternal-Twilight-Resistance-125325430914021, ~3,000 likes
Gameplay: Lineage Eternal puts players in the boots of a fantasy action hero, grants them hack-and-slash combat capabilities, and then plunges them in exciting boss fights and massive sieges. In terms of combat, players will have to learn an interesting new drag action input system where skills become activated through on-screen mouse gestures – a cool departure from the often heavy keyboard clicking in other MMORPGs.

Popularity: Lineage Eternal is the next installment to the pioneering Lineage MMORPG franchise. With more than two decades since the launch of the original, there is a build-up of veteran nostalgia and curious anticipation driving interest for this title. Many are wondering how Lineage will be transformed for the modern-day era of MMORPGs, and with deft direction of NCSOFT, hopes are high that it will make quite a splash during its global release in 2016. The Lineage Eternal Facebook page has around 3,000 likes so far.

Lost Ark

Lost Ark

Developer: Tripod Studio
Publisher: Smilegate
Type:
Official Site: http://www.lostarkworld.com
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lostarkonlineglobal, ~11,000 likes
Gameplay: Lost Ark is an action MMORPG where players can control a class and proceed to explore a mysterious world, plumb the depths of dungeons to take on huge bosses and retrieve legendary loot. Fans have compared it to Diablo but with more classes – 18 announced so far – from which to choose. This bumps up the fun factor in co-op as players figure out the optimal party configurations for a particularly difficult boss battle.

Popularity: Mystery is a concept that does not really get a lot of developer attention, which is probably why the Lost Ark is turning heads among fans looking for an alternative to the bubblegum anime and shooter selections in 2016. The nod to the classic Diablo art style as well as party adventure system definitely gives it some style points, and fans are looking forward to see how it evolves on that formula either through the combat system or other features. The Lost Ark Facebook fan page has more than 11,000 likes.

Otherland 3

Otherland

Developer: DRAGO Entertainment
Publisher: Otherland co-production GmbH
Type: B2P
Official Site: http://www.drago-entertainment.com/otherland
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/otherlandthegame, ~1,800 likes
Gameplay: Otherland is a fantasy cyberbunk MMORPG based on the best-selling books by Tad Williams. Built using the Unreal Engine 3, Otherland has arresting graphics and strong focus on character look customization. Players can lock in one of four classes for their character, and each class is allowed to equip every weapon available in the game, although some classes are more efficient in certain weapons than others.

Popularity: Otherland explores some meta-level trippiness that few other MMORPGs offer where players enter a world filled with virtual reality zones. The unique look, strong source material and luscious graphics are primarily what are keeping fans glued to its release in 2016. The Otherland Facebook page has more than 1,800 likes.

overwatch

Overwatch

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Type: TBA
Official Site: http://us.battle.net/overwatch/en
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PlayOverwatch, ~300,000 likes
Gameplay: Overwatch is a multiplayer first-person shooter where player heroes form squads of six the square off against each other in various game modes. There is a large aspect of on-the-fly tactics in Overwatch, with players capable of switching characters after their death in a match. Teams that hope to dominate must be able to coordinate their class-switching to full effectiveness. Overwatch maps are based on actual real world locations but the game itself is set in a fictional future Earth after humanity had defeated the Omnic robots and a dire new conspiracy seems to be afoot.

Popularity: Any game with the Blizzard developer name attached to it is bound to build a lot of anticipation, especially since this is the first multiplayer first-person shooter to come out of the highly acclaimed studio. The Overwatch Facebook page has 300,000 likes.

SkySaga

SkySaga

Developer: Radiant Worlds
Publisher: Smilegate Entertainment
Type: F2P
Official Site: https://www.skysaga.com
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkySaga, ~67,000 likes
Gameplay: SkySaga is a fantasy building and sandbox adventure game that gives players the tools to build, explore, experiment and interact with the community. While other MMORPG titles lead players down a certain quest path or storyline, SkySaga offers many paths that are meant to be equally entertaining and enjoyable. Crafters can focus on churning out items, tools and armor – all of which are created by players only and are not produced by developers. Adventurers can venture out into new territories, and each embarkation can be a different journey because of the procedurally generated environments.

Popularity: Minecraft has triggered a wave of building games in the MMORPG market, but SkySaga seems to have honed all the best bits about the genre and meshed them with the appeal of MMORPG raids. What players get is the creative freedom to customize their home world while also satisfying their urge to slay and loot through player portal raids. The SkySaga Facebook page has 67,000 likes.

Warhammer 40000: Eternal Crusade

Warhammer 40000: Eternal Crusade

Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix, Behaviour Digital
Type: F2P
Official Site: https://www.eternalcrusade.com
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/40kcrusade, ~31,000 likes
Gameplay: Warhammer 40000: Eternal Crusade is an MMORPG set in the Warhammer 40000 universe, and takes place in the planet of Arkhona. For the most part, PvP is the name of the game in Eternal Crusade, with players selecting from four franchise races, such as a Space Marine or Ork, and proceed to blow up each other’s brains in brutal free action combat. Those that want to rise in the competitive ranks must master how to hit accurately, dodge, fine-tune their character kit based on their enemies, and check off objectives in order to rack up rewards.

Popularity: The Warhammer franchise is an enduringly popular one, and many players continue to cross their fingers that Eternal Crusade will be a cut above recent Warhammer attempts. The involvement of Square Enix in the MMORPG project has certainly brought a level of fan boy fever to the title, and initial screens and trailers have been keeping the buzz alive. The Warhammer 40000: Eternal Crusade Facebook page has nearly 31,000 likes.

There you have it – the Top 10 MMORPGs that will likely dominate the videogame headlines in 2016. While there seems to be relatively less original franchises launching next year, it can be comforting for some fans to explore a world that they are already familiar with. There is also a satisfying variety of genres, visual styles and concepts to cater to most gamers, from sandbox tinkerers, to hardcore PvP fighters, to adventure lovers.

Who didn’t make the cut?

You’ll notice that some well-known titles are missing from the list. Rest assured, we didn’t forget them. Unfortunately though we lost some trust in the previously hyped titles of Everquest Next and Star Citizen. In our opinion neither of them is going to make a significant MMO debut in 2016. There’s legitimate concerns in the community that those two might actually never see the light of day. One in spite of plenty of funding, the other because of an apparent lack of it.

What about the horror survival games? Again, we think that gamers are going to pull the short straw with Rust, Ark and H1Z1. While those games have gathered a lot of attention, the economic reality is that they already cashed in on that hype – without actually having to deliver a full game. Our money is on those games staying in ‘alphas’ or ‘betas’ for a long-time to come, while the studios dedicate their resources to the next big ‘early release money maker. Sad.

What did you think of our list? Anything you would like to add? Let us know in the comments below.



  • gosu757

    I think you’re wrong about star citizen. This will def come out, just not as early as most would like to.

  • Wim de Gier

    Overwatch is not a mmo

    • Archmike

      This.

  • Karin

    I think you are incorrect about ARK for sure, they release patches almost daily, they will release a full game in the next year I guarantee it. The rest you are probably right.

    • Sylvain Paquette

      Yeah i feel the same as you. I feel Ark is already a pretty complete game and they keep adding stuff. On the opposite hand the Zombie survival games are all a huge mess an i’m glad i didn’t bought any of those. The funniest thing is that H1Z1 early access requires you to pay for that piece of crap but when the game will get released it will be free 2 play doesn’t make any sense.

      • Pekka Hekka

        It will not be free, and now they have done a game split so either you buy H1z1 just surviving or H1z1 king of the kill, 20$ each. They hade a sale before the split so alot off ppl got both games for 15$.

        • Steve Chambers

          It still won’t be a hit as it’s just a shameless cash grab riding the zombie popularity wave of 2012-2015 mostly created by DayZ which itself pulled a bullshit alpha cash grab. In short, the people who would buy the full games already have so there’s no reason for the developers to put lots of funding into making them better.

  • BH nullvalue

    blade and soul…what a shame .. who wants to wait in a queue to play? got logged in ? Crash to desktop , back in the queue. Uninstalled. 🙁

    • Divine

      Name one important mechanic that makes you wait? Teleport cooldow is no big deal at all. I been playing for 3 weeks now and it isn’t pay to win at all. Longest queue time I waited was 15 mins during the first few days of release and haven’t had any queue time since. Havnt spent a dime in the game and dont need to.

      • BH nullvalue

        LOL you just said “longest queue time i spend..” guess what .. 1 minute is too long..

        • sealion

          “haven’t had any queue time since..”

    • kevin

      I have had no issues playing Blade and Soul. I’m not sure what server you are trying to play on but I have been playing for over 2 weeks now and haven’t had any issues at all. Also it is not P2W at all. There aren’t any game breaking pay walls that I have found and there aren’t any PVP breaking cash shop items.

  • Simon Hughes
  • Theo Walander

    bdo isnt F2P in EU/NA…. look shit up first you cunts.. and yes it ids f2p in korea and RU, but this is in english and there3fore covers eu/english servers

  • Nyappy Crappy

    Black Desert F2P? heuheuheu