The fact you have chosen to read this article is reason enough for me to believe that you fall into the category of people trying to find that game that is just right for them. It's okay to be picky, really it is - and fortunately in today's technology driven world there is an abundance of free MMORPG´s for you to choose from. The recent boom of the gaming industry speaks volumes for the demand of things to fill that recreational void we know all too well as boredom. So this raises the question: How do I find which game is right for me?
The answer is quite obvious, so there's really no need for any cryptic pattern analysis or over complicated venn diagrams to lay out the things you already know that you like; it's all about preference. Let's start with the basics.

Fantasy MMORPG´s (Free Realms, Mabinogi, Lunia) We've all seen it, we've all at one point or another given one of these games a try, but what surprises me is that some people essentially ridicule them before they actually get more deeply involved with the plot. Scratch this category off your list too soon and you just may regret it. As far as gameplay goes... the storylines are usually like this: As with all MMOs you start out by selecting a class and gender, then proceed with a highly customizable appearance. Before long you are thrown into a brightly coloured world with lots to do and many interesting things to see.
Anime MMORPG´s (MapleStory, Fly For Fun,) are more often than not set in some sort of Linksunny tropical paradise and are filled with pure eye candy accompanied by easy to remember hotkeys and controls. Much like their medieval counterparts, games from this category often give you the option to group together with other players in guilds, though the tasks may greatly differ. While these games may be based off or around anime, try to look at it from a gamer's perspective if you hold any prejudice toward them. These are usually fun games with a nice light storyline and friendly inhabitants.

For those of you who are arcade style fighting fans I doubt side-scrolling anime based games will appeal to you. So why not try MMO Games like Rakion, Battlefield Heroes, S4 League, Exteel, Rumble Fighter, GunZ: The Duel or Infinity. There isn't much committment required in terms of pouring hours into it just so you can try and level up. This type of game is usually considered a "pick up and go" type game where you just jump right in. The same also applies to casual style games like snooker, and some of the more slow-paced sports games. Most hand-to-hand fighting games take place on the street, much like their "street fighting" style implies - whereas the moment weapons are introduced we begin to see bigger and better fighting grounds unfold. From building rooftops to sparring dojos you can enjoy a wide variety of fighting techniques, especially when the theme of the game is focused on martial arts.

If you are drawn in by the romantics of medieval siege weapons or the clashing of swords in the battle of the century then perhaps you would be happier immersing yourself in a gaming environment which caters to enriched story-lines and long but rewarding quests with lots of tasks to complete and plenty of cretins to slay throughout your ventures. (Atlantica Online, Runes of Magic, Warrior Epic, Perfect World, Sword of the New World, Knight Online, Shin Megami Tensei) You will often find yourself being asked to join a guild and work together with other players, especially in cases where there is a stage boss, or just some really difficult tasks. Games like these usually take place in small towns or villages, and sometimes forests. The monsters you must face come from all walks of life.. you may find yourself ploughing through hordes of orcs, trolls, demons, whatever else the creative minds of the developers can conjure up.

But let's assume the whole "save forsaken land, get girl, live happily ever after" structure doesn't tickle your fancy. Maybe you are more interested in carrying out your virtual endeavours in a futuristic shoot 'em up scenario. And no I'm not referring to those mindless free MMOFPS games where your entire online experience is ruined because of some fat spoiled twelve year old kid screaming into the microphone every five minutes. If you wanted to get your fix of immaturity you would head over to 4chan, amirite? The games I am referring to can be quite fun. However this is for the most part new territory to the gaming industry, as most future-based games are FPS, rather than MMO. From what I've seen games of this nature are usually light on the theatrics and like to get down to business straight away. This is an extremely unbounded category where there are literally no limits. You may be required to blast through the galaxies at light speed, or gun down aliens at short notice. (Anarchy Online, RF Online , Project of Planets) Soundlike the game for you?

Aside from all the violence and mayhem there are plenty genres left to choose from. Some of which include social MMOs, which are essentially virtual replicas of the real world, usually with some sort of twist. A fun category to play around in if you are not a fan of destruction or war-based games. (Second Life, There, Project Entropia,) Insome cases you will find that a real world scenario has been taken and been implemented into a fantasy oriented environment, where the actual social experience may mirror that of a normal social MMO, but with other creative additives such as talking animals, trees, or other things you might see on an LSD trip. All jokes aside, these games can also be utilized as simple chat rooms or places to meet new people that share commonalities in a relaxing laid back atmosphere. These are particularly good for days when you don't really feel like doing much and you just want to mellow out but without your mind turning to mush infront of a TV.

If nothing thus far has whet your appetite then perhaps you have been blessed with an imagination that is never easy to satisfy, but, as always, there is an MMO genre just for you. Fantasy-based games tend to be very 'out there' and like to test the limits of just about everything be it physics, gravity, time... not many people can honestly say they were bored during a Fantasy-based MMO as there is just so much possibility for both you and the developers to experiment with. A large collective of fantasy MMO fans claim that these are by far the most interesting and addicting games on the market. The main reason fantasy oriented MMOs are often seen dominating the charts is because they truly do stretch the imagination and allow the players to delve into a completely different fresh new world. Most characteristics of a fantasy MMO can be described as unique, mysterious, intruiging, and all around fun. The roles you find yourself playing vary from game to game but usually circle around the whole 'melee/warrior', 'ranged fighter', and 'mage' type classes. Games of this nature are often heavily influenced by working together in parties or guilds, as the combination of the classes create a highly effective team. Like most MMOs the overall beginner scenarios are pretty generic, but they all tend to fork out, take different routes and explode into their own world of creativity once the player has decided that they've grasped the basic concepts of the game.

FreeMMOGamer has compiled a list of their Top 10 free MMORPG´s, and some Recommended MMO Games. So why not give one of these a try. Hopefully this has helped shed some light on the variety that is out there. Now go out and find your game!

by ColdShadow, Freemmogamer.com - Posted 7/9/09

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