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Top 4 Buy-to-Play MMORPGs You Can Enjoy Endlessly After a Single Purchase

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) come in many flavors. Today, we'll be talking about Buy2Play MMORPGs, or games where you only have to purchase the game once and get access to the core experience forever. These titles are the best of both worlds, offering a subscription-free experience with all of the content you could ever want.


Top 4 Buy-to-Play MMORPGs You Can Enjoy Endlessly After a Single Purchase


The List Criteria

Our list includes four standout MMORPGs that embody the Buy2Play model, but may offer additional content through DLC or expansions. It's important to note that even if you spend more money on these games down the line, their core experiences will always be there without ongoing fees. The selections were made by our own personal preferences and are in no particular order. If you know of any other great Buy2Play MMORPGs, let us know in the comments.


Elder Scrolls Online

  • - Type: Themepark
  • - Developer: Zenimax Online
  • - Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia
  • - Release Date: April 4th, 2014
  • - Model: Buy2Play


What Makes Elder Scrolls Online Unique?

Elder Scrolls Online happens in Tamriel – cool! But more than that is an MMO that scales its world with your level so you can play with friends at any point while also being set in a universe incredibly rich with lore and familiar locations from past single-player games for series veterans.


Who Should Play ESO?

If you love either Morrowind or Skyrim then this is just another reason for you to join an MMO – easy as that! That aside though it's best for players who prefer solo exploration alongside a gripping story and engaging PvP battles.


What Requires Real Money?

While the base game and major expansions require a purchase for entry into Tamriel there is a monthly ESO Plus membership available which grants access to all DLCs and additional perks. Also the Crown Shop has cosmetic items available for real money.


The Future of ESO

ESO is one of the most popular MMORPGs in the West, likely because it's that good and still receives regular updates and optimizations even now years after its release.


Black Desert Online

  • - Type: Sandbox
  • - Developer: Pearl Abyss
  • - Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • - Release Date: March 3rd, 2016
  • - Model: Buy2Play


What Sets Black Desert Online Apart?

Black Desert Online boasts no strict level cap as well as a combat system that puts more weight on player skill than gear. Not to mention it looks pretty fantastic which enables its sandbox elements to shine through and cater to players who want freedom in their gaming experience.


Who Is BDO For?

It's easiest to say if you value total freedom in your game then BDO is where you should be playing. Whether you're into crafting, housing, role-playing or large scale PvP battles this game has something for everyone.


What Requires Real Money?

After picking up the initial game (or sometimes during a 60% off sale) you may encounter some pricy cosmetic bits here and there such as Pets or Outfits but that's about it – unless Pay2Win concerns bug you.


The Future of BDO

Thanks to new platforms expanding its reach such as mobile versions and more BDO's ecosystem continues to grow.


Guild Wars 2

  • - Type: Themepark
  • - Developer: ArenaNet
  • - Platform: PC
  • - Release Date: August 26th, 2012
  • - Model: Buy2Play


Guild Wars 2's Unique Features.

If there's one thing GW2 does well it's continually delivering with free content updates called Living World episodes. ArenaNet aims to put out exciting quarterly updates with fresh storylines and content that keep players engaged while offering it all for free.


Who Should Play GW2?

GW2's a casual, living world type of MMO. It's perfect for dipping your toes in a rich world filled with events and story-driven gameplay. The game is all about cooperative play and getting you to max level as fast as possible so you can enjoy yourself in many other ways the game has to offer.


What Requires Real Money?

While the core game is free to play, expansions must be purchased to get the full experience. Cosmetic items and account upgrades are also sold in the shop, but you can earn them with in-game currency.


The Future of GW2

ArenaNet has gone through layoffs in the past, but continued updates and new content suggest that GW2 will be fine.


New World

  • - Type: Hybrid Themepark & Sandbox
  • - Developer: Amazon Games
  • - Platform: PC
  • - Release Date: September 28, 2021
  • - Model: Buy2Play


New World's Standout Elements

New World offers a unique combat system for an MMORPG, focusing on weapon-based skills instead of classes. The game incorporates exploration and crafting elements seen in survival games.


Who Will Enjoy New World?

Explorers, crafters, dungeon enthusiasts and territorial PvP combat lovers should have fun with New World. However, players hoping for a grand narrative might find the story falls flat compared to other MMO giants.


What Requires Real Money?

You'll need to buy the game to play it at all — no free trial or demo exists — then additional cosmetic items can be bought through the shop. Further convenience items may be added later on as well.


The Future of New World

A rocky launch aside, New World has improved greatly through patches and new content since its initial release. It seems likely that its path forward is a bright one.


Upcoming Buy2Play Titles on the Horizon 

Buy2Play MMORPGs are looking strong for now with Corepunk and Chrono Odyssey expected to bring innovative gameplay features to fresh experiences. Keep these titles on your radar as they move closer toward release

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