Best Upcoming MMORPGs 2021 (And Beyond)

If you like MMORPGs and MMO games, then this list of the absolute best upcoming MMORPGs will no doubt pique your interest.

The history of MMORPGs is littered with utter failures and ambitious games that never received the attention or funding they desperately deserved.

However, things are different in 2021, as the continued success of long-running games like WoW Classic and Final Fantasy XIV proving how timeless MMORPGs can be.

In this list, we’ll highlight the best upcoming MMORPGs of 2021, including the best new MMORPGs and upcoming sandbox MMORPGs.

We’ll be updating this list in the future with new titles, so make sure to check back and let us know if we missed any games!

Related:Best Upcoming RPGs 2021Best Upcoming PC Games 2021 (And Beyond)Best Free To Play PC Games 2021

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Previously scheduled to release in May 2020, Amazon Games’ upcoming open-world MMO New World is now dropping at the tail end of September 2021.

The game takes place during the mid-1600s and sees players settling in a dangerous world based on colonial-era America where magic topples all.

Forging a new destiny, you’ll explore the supernatural island of Aeternum as you fight enemies, gather materials, and explore the wilderness and ruins in search of clues.

New World features non-class-based real-time combat with PvE and PvP battling and doesn’t include any monthly subscription fees but rather follows a “buy-to-play” model.

Destiny’s Sword is an upcoming squad-based strategy MMO where winning a battle is about more than brute strength.

This is because the game features unique social mechanics that task players with managing both the physical and mental wellbeing of their team as they command them through battles with enemy factions.

As the war progresses, your character will start to develop mental illnesses that can affect their team morale as well as their performance in battle.

Destiny’s Sword considers itself a “community-first MMO,” where personal victories take a backseat to elevating your teammates.

Developed and published by Bandai Namco, Blue Protocol is an anime MMORPG slated for a Japan-only release later this year, with a global expansion on the horizon.

Progress is still early on, though the game’s closed beta status suggests its coming along just fine.

The story takes place on the planet Regnus, and revolves around time travel, a mysterious light called Engram, and an ancient civilization known as the Bafarians.

Blue Protocol currently features four character classes based on different playstyles, including spellcasting and elements such as air, fire, earth, etc.

Most MMOs are great at letting you explore things at a measured and relaxed pace and that’s totally the vibe we get from the upcoming Palia.

Set in a high fantasy setting, it combines open-world exploration with adventure, social, and farming game mechanics inspired by Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley.

There’s a cozy look and feel to game’s world and an overall sense of warmth and welcome you don’t quite get with most MMORPGs.

In it, you play as a one of many newly re-emerged humans tasked with exploring and rebuilding a forgotten world filled with magic and mystery.

The Day Before is an upcoming open-world MMO about trying to survive in a deadly post-pandemic United States overrun by flesh-hungry infected and untrustworthy survivors.

After your character awakes with amnesia, they set out to uncover the truth while scavenging for resources to stay alive.

You’ll explore a beautiful world plunged into chaos and search abandoned vehicles, houses, and buildings looking for useful items and defending yourself from enemies.

So far, the game looks surprisingly polished despite not having a confirmed release date, leaving us a bit skeptical as to whether the full game will be as consistent.

Another top-down MMORPG currently in development is Corepunk, which blends cyberpunk, steampunk, dark fantasy, and science fiction.

The game presents a persistent universe inhabited by four unique cultures and a physical fog-of-war that limits how far your character can see.

This encourages exploration and gives rise to new tactics and strategies when battling enemies.

Corepunk also features more traditional MMO elements such as professions, guilds, dungeons, raids, a karma system, and more, in order to keep you engaged and coming back for more.

Fractured looks to stand out from the competition by being the first open-world sandbox MMORPG to combine real-time combat with fully interactable environments.

It takes a unique approach by determining your character’s power through skill and resourcefulness rather than equipment or traditionally leveling.

Your primary activities are gathering resources, crafting new items, trading with other players, venturing off on solo quests, building settlements with a guild, or competing in PvP combat.

Fractured has three playable races that affect game mechanics in several ways beyond just abilities, allowing for multiple approaches to different challenge in the game.

An early alpha preview of Ashes of Creation bodes well for Intrepid’s upcoming MMORPG.

Its in-engine footage highlights one of the game’s raid bosses as well as a unique node system that lets players fill up the world map with their own housing and invest in multiple properties, ranging from farms to luxurious mansions.

Another notable feature is the ability to raid castles with support for guilds and large-scale battles.

While Ashes of Creation’s high fantasy aesthetic may pull it a bit too close to a generic-looking territory, Intrepid appears to be on the brink of something great, evident by the game’s approach to a player-driven economy and property ownership.

Dual Universe is another upcoming MMO set in outer space that shows a great deal of promise.

The game boasts the first fully changeable univese where players are free to create vehicles, ships, buildings, and even full-sized cities.

But it doesn’t end there, as player-driven economy, politics, trade, and warfare systems offer a truly immersive experience.

While a game of this scale could easily fall prey to many of the usual MMO trappings, the developer has come up with an ambitious solution: make the entire universe seamless by connecting every player in real-time.

Having been in development for roughly six years, Arthurian fantasy MMO Camelot Unchained appears to be the latest victim of what’s been deemed “development hell.” 

So far, we know the game will let players join one of three factions — Arthurian, Tuatha De Danann, or Viking.

From there, players will be able to explore a variety of activities, including large-scale battles spanning multiple realms, base building, trading, and armor/weapon crafting.

While far from release-ready, the game’s beta period has provided a bit more context as to what players can expect from Camelot Unchained in the future.

While many are still mourning the loss of the wildly popular superhero MMO City of Heroes, developer Missing Worlds Media has spent the last six years creating a spiritual successor, aptly named City of Titans.

Similar to CoH, the game will allow players to create an original hero or villain and begin carving out their adventures through selectable storylines.

In-game powers cover just about every superhero trope you could imagine, including flight, teleportation, super strength, and laser vision, to name a few.

Although CoT is still very far from being finished or even playable, the most recent developer update shows improvements to the game’s UI and character creation tools.

Formerly called Ascent: Infinite Realm, Elyon is an upcoming MMO developed by Bluehole, the company behind PUBG.

The game sees players exploring a massive steampunk fantasy open-world in search of a new home.

However, to traverse Elyon’s mostly vertical environments, players will have to take to the skies using a wide selection of highly customizable hover vehicles and flying mounts.

Additionally, ground base weaponry such as mechs, anti-air artillery, and cannons make Elyon’s large-scale wars feel like epic battles pulled straight off a page of a fantasy novel.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is another upcoming MMO set in a high-fantasy world filled with swords and sorcery.

Taking on the role of a legendary hero who’s been stripped of their powers, players will have to rebuild their legacy by exploring Terminus, a world brimming with formidable foes and powerful relics waiting to be revealed.

The game places a heavy emphasis on group play and social interaction, with many high-reward quests requiring a full party.

Most promising is Pantheon’s strategic combat system, which removes the option to rotate abilities and instead encourages players to carefully plan out every action before executing.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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