Best MMORPGs: Guild Wars 2

Gaming online is a big commitment which will take up a lot of your time, especially when it comes to massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. You'll want to pick the right one, so we've rounded up the best five MMORPGs you can play in 2015. See also: Best free online games: 25 best casual games with which to waste your lunch hour.

5 Best MMORPGs 2015 UK

1. Guild Wars 2

One of the refreshing things about Guild Wars 2 (above) is that it neither opts for the subscription or free-to-play model. Instead you buy it with a one time fee, just like you would with a console game. You can get it for £34 which is the Digital Heroic Edition, or go for the Digital Deluxe Edition at £49 which gets you additional in-game items like a 'Miniature Rytlock' and the 'Chalice of Glory'.

Instead of simply recreating WoW (below) in a different game, Guild Wars 2 does a fantastic job of reinventing. It looks great and is packed with variety boiling the genre down to its core elements - levelling up, player vs player combat, exploration, crafting, self-expression, the need for players to pay - and then worked out how to improve each one.  

Read our Guild Wars 2 review.

2. World of Warcraft

Best MMORPGs: World of Warcraft

Commonly known as WoW, World of Warcraft has been around for a rather long time and has a huge subscriber base. Maker Blizzard must be doing something right to have more than seven million gamers playing WoW making it the most popular MMORPG around.

As with other MMORPGs, you take control of a character avatar and explore the landscape, fighting with various monsters, complete quests, and interact with both non-player characters (NPCs) or other players. It has the advantage of a wealth of content which is always being updated.

The fourth and latest expansion pack for WoW is called Mists of Pandaria and the next, Warlords of Draenor, was announced last year at BlizzCon.

Of course, WoW won't be for everyone so if you've never played it before try the free Starter Edition which you can play until level 20. If it's not the MMORPG for you, try one of the other games we've listed.

Read our World of Warcraft review.

3. Rift

Best MMORPGs: Rift

Previously known as Rift: Planes of Telara, Rift is another free-to-play option when it comes to MMORPGs. It's developed Trion Worlds and takes place within the fantasy world Telara.

One of Rift's best features is its unique character/class building approach, which bucks the usual linear trend of MMORPGs. There are 6 races to choose from and 36 unique Souls, each with hundreds of traits and abilities. You can choose up to three souls which act like skill trees so you can develop in multiple areas or focus on just one.  You can mix and match on the fly but also re-specialize if you feel like it.

True to the game's title, rifts are areas of elemental instability that represent the intrusion of elemental planes (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Life, and Death). One a rift appears, monsters are spawned resulting in an unexpected mini raid. You must defeat the enemies and close the rift.

With some unique and dynamic features, Rift is definitely an MMORPG to try out. It's free so no harm if it turns out not to be your cup of tea.

Read our Rift review.

4. Star Wars: The Old Republic

Best MMORPGs: Star Wars The Old Republic

From the maker of Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic (Bioware), it's no surprise that Star  Wars: The Old Republic has a strong focus on storytelling. While the game is is unabashedly traditional for the MMO genre, it redeems itself from being WoW in space with the addition of a heavily story-based, semi-singleplayer layer that tries to lend purpose to your adventures and monster-bashing.

Yes, light sabres are involved and regular updates of new content will keep you coming back for more.

If taking control of a quasi-evil Jedi or a noble Sith-contracted Bounty Hunter, or vice-versa, or anything in between gets your heart racing then this is the MMORPG for you. If you're not a Star Wars fan then check out Lord of the Rings Online below.

Read our Star Wars: The Old Republic review.

5. Lord of the Rings Online

Best MMORPGs: Lord of the Rings Online

Like Wow, Lord of the Rings Online has been around for a long time – since 2007 – but it's still worthy of a place here. It was originally subscription-based but is now free-to-play. However, there is a paid VIP subscription available which provides various perks so you will need to pay to get access to all regions, use swift travel and remove the currency cap.

Nevertheless, it' still a great game as, as you might expect, the gameplay is set in Tolkien's Middle-earth. It manages to appeal to hardcore customers while being easy access for newcomers.

AS well as your regular MMORPG elements (crafting and questing), LOTRO offers some other interesting features. There are four districts in which you can utilise banks, healers, bards and more. Plus you can buy items to decorate your home with. We particularly like the 'Player vs Monster Player' mode which at level 10, allows you play as a monster such as an Orc.