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5 Addictive Games Like World of Warcraft

5 Addictive Games Like World of Warcraft

Do you like playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG)? World of Warcraft is one such popular game, but there are others too that you might not have explored. Techspirited shortlists the best lookalikes of WOW from a huge list of similar games available online, and provides a brief synopsis of each.
Vibhav Gaonkar
WOW!!!
World of Warcraft holds the Guinness World Record for the most popular MMORPG by subscribers.

World of Warcraft (WOW) has been a great attraction in the MMORPG segment. It was developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the fourth part of the fantasy Warcraft Universe. After its release in 2004, it eventually gained immense popularity among online gaming fanatics. With approximately 10 million subscribers, WOW is considered as one of the important benchmarks in MMORPG gaming. The game, till date, has witnessed four major expansions, which include 'The Burning Crusade', 'Wrath of the Lich King', 'Cataclysm', and 'Mists of Pandaria'. The fifth expansion 'Warlords of Draenor' has been announced in 2013, and would be released soon.

WOW can be played for free till the 20th level, but post level 20, the game demands a monthly subscription. Although the subscription factor feels like a hindrance to many, there are other fans who are so amazed by the game that they don't mind paying a fee every month to play it. The game is one of its kind and very addicting. But there are many other similar MMOs available with fantasy, sci-fi, or completely unique themes. Take a look at some online games like World of Warcraft; some of them are completely free, while some require a subscription after the trial ends.

Games Similar to WOW

#1 Star Wars: The Old Republic
The game is popularly abbreviated to SWTOR and belongs to the science-fiction sub genre. The game was developed by BioWare and published by EA and LucasArts. If you have seen the movie, you would get a rough idea about the fictional star war universe where the game is based.

The gameplay is quite fascinating here, and something which WOW fans would enjoy. A player plays as a member of either of the two main factions, which are the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. He/she advances by completing missions, defeating enemies, and exploration (combination of all three). The game emphasizes more on the individual player's morality, which does not necessarily have to be on par with his/her clan. It also features several playable species, classes in each of the two factions, starships, and companions. With every new level, skills are unlocked, and can be learned via several trainers.

SWTOR requires a player to subscribe after completing one free month, but the game is worth every penny spent. The subscription can be either made for a single month, or for a two, three, or six month's block.

#2 The Lord of the Rings Online
LOTRO, as it is referred to, was developed and published by Turbine Inc. in 2007. The game previously needed a player to subscribe, but eventually the franchise decided to provide a significant portion of the game free of cost.

The gameplay is based on the popular novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. LOTRO is typically a lore-based game, wherein a player controls an avatar and uses it throughout the game. This game, like SWTOR, employs the morale principle in contrast to hit points and health in other role-playing games. The player advances to higher levels as he/she completes certain deeds; deeds are basically a set of objectives which need to be completed before proceeding to the next stage. A player can also acquire certain traits which impart bonuses and special abilities. Another feature of the game is 'fellowship', quite similar to the concept of companionship in SWTOR. Fellowship enables the player to complete quests and accomplish group hunts. The game also provides an interesting feature called PvP or simply Player vs. Player, which enables a player to invite another player for a one-on-one.

The game serves as a very good alternative to WOW, and is really fun to play.

#3 Guild Wars 2
A sequel to its predecessor Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2 features better gameplay and improved gaming environment. It deserves a mention here, because it, and its predecessor, doesn't require a subscription fee. The cost for the development and maintenance of the game is recovered solely through the sale of the game.

The game is set 250 years after its predecessor, and uses a skill-based combat system, wherein the player has to select a total of 10 skills from a much bigger pool. Unlike its predecessor, the game focuses on quality skills and doesn't really emphasize number of skills. A player has the freedom to customize his character using a set of five races and eight professions. Apart from game modes like PvP and PvE (Player vs. Environment), Guild Wars 2 features a unique mode called World versus World, which enables players to participate in a large-scale combat in a persistent world, independent of the main world. The game also offers eight crafting disciplines, 2 of which can be learned by a player at a time. Players who have played the first version of the game would receive bonuses in this version in exchange for their accumulated achievements and honors.

The game has received superb ratings from a fleet of critics, like GameSpy, GameRadar, IGN, Metacritic, etc. On an average, it has been rated 9 on 10, and is a must-play for WOW fans.

#4 Rift
If you wish to play something very identical to WOW, this is the game you are looking for. Rift is a fantasy MMORPG, developed, published, and distributed by Trion Worlds. The game received very good ratings from popular critics like GameSpy, GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, etc. It was released in 2011, and required a subscription fee till June 12, 2013, after which the franchise discontinued the mandate of subscription and made the game available for free. The game has launched a single expansion till date in 2012 - Storm Legion.

A rift in the game is basically an area that spawns monsters due to elemental instability. As more and more of these rifts open, the monsters conquer large areas of the game map. The player, along with others in a public group, fight the monsters and try closing the rifts. Once a rift is closed, the players are rewarded based on their contribution in the fight.

The game allows players to customize their avatars, aspects of which include their hairstyle, facial features, tattoos, skin color, and sex. It also features PvP, PvE, party, and raid gameplay.

#5 Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI is again a one-of-a-kind game, as it features a cross-platform support, including gaming consoles like Xbox360, Playstation 2, and Windows of course. The game was primarily designed and developed in Japan like its predecessors, and was released in 2002. The franchise has also launched sequels in recent years, which haven't received exceptional ratings like the one in discussion. Critics rate this game somewhere around 8 out of 10.

The gameplay features customizable avatars, 3D landscape, and 16 public game worlds. Advancement to a higher rank occurs when a player completes certain missions; this also unlocks new areas, bonuses, and various other story-lines. Like the first four listed here, this one also includes a job system, hobbies and crafting system, and battle and party system. The game also explores PvP and PvE game modes for a more competitive gameplay. It employs its own currency Gil, which can be exchanged for goods through an auction house.

The game, till date, has released five expansion sets and six add-on scenarios. It is a good alternative to WOW with respect to gameplay; however, users have to pay a monthly fee to play.

Some More Alternatives

  • Eve Online (Genre: Fantasy)
  • PlanetSide 2 (Genre: First-Person Shooter)
  • The Secret World (Genre: Dark-Fantasy)
  • DC Universe (Genre: Superhero Theme)
  • Age of Conan: Unchained (Genre: Fantasy)
  • Clash of Clans (Genre: Strategy and Fantasy)