Most Played MMOs in 2023 – Sorted By Active Players

In the ever-evolving world of MMOs, the midyear of 2023 brings us an exciting update on the most popular MMOs based on active player numbers and Google Trends.
Most Played MMOs in 2023

Top 11 Most Popular MMOs in 2023.

In the ever-evolving world of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games, the midyear of 2023 brings us an exciting update on the most popular MMOs based on active player numbers and Google Trends. In this video, We explore the shifting landscape of MMOs, highlighting their current state and player engagement. ( Note this will be data from before the new kid on the block Baldur’s Gate 3 by Larian Studios, which has taken the gaming community by storm)

11). New World

Most Played MMOs in 2023

While it’s not quite as popular as it was when it dropped, with its Fresh Start servers introduced last year, it’s still very respectable and getting better with each quarter. 

 I expect it to jump a few places again when its next expansion is released, most notably since this expansion is where new world receives mounts, among other features. Yes, you read that correctly, mounts will be available in New World. I’m extremely interested to see how they’ve chosen to integrate mounts in this game. Did they go with the basic four-legged beasts that travel quickly, or did they take a more Guild Wars 2 approach? Time will tell, but the expansion appears to be enormous for the game. I admire the creators for not giving up on this game and making it better with each quarter, which, let’s be honest, was critical for its survival. 

 New World has a vast seamless open world for you to explore, and that’s where it really shines when you’re out and about. exploring, killing, and gathering, and everything you come across along the road every tree, bush and rock may be gathered to level up your crafting and gathering.

New World features the Holy Trinity of tank, healer, and DPS, as well as some incredibly difficult Dungeons and a mutation system for those dungeons that essentially acts as a Mythic plus system from WOW.

The content can be incredibly fun, but it can also be incredibly difficult to find groups, but this is improving with each major patch new world has added. 

 If we look at the trends for the game, it steadily went up for a long time it approached the launch of the Fresh Start servers after the Brimstone Sans expansion now it’s been settling back down likely due to the fact that while the content that’s in the game is great, it’s still very light on content compared to its more seasoned counterparts. 

10). Elder Scrolls Online

Most Played MMOs in 2023

Elder Scrolls Online is a magnificent theme park MMO set in the Elder Scrolls universe that takes place roughly 950 years before Skyrim. Despite being 8 years old, it is one of the younger games on the list and boasts the Holy Trinity of tank healer and DPS. ESO offers 12 player raids, four player dungeons, and a ton of single player content for you to enjoy. Each of these types of content has three categories of difficulty, allowing players to push themselves farther and further. 

Every quest, and I mean every single one, is voice acted every single word of it, making it one of the more story-driven MMO experiences available. ESO is a free-to-play MMO with an optional subscription, meaning you can just buy the base game and gain hundreds of hours of content.  

 Elder Scrolls Online offers action combat, which is generally a love-hate relationship for people who try out this MMO. 

It will take some getting used to if you’re used to Tabs in old MMOs.  

 There is some great news for ESO however as it recently released an amazing expansion necron leaving the community reinvigorated for the future this expansion added two new zones and a brand new class among other things the population for this game is still very healthy and thanks to the fact that it features Mega servers the population is not fragmented like most other MMOs which means you won’t have any problems finding other people 

9). Classic WOW

Most Played MMOs in 2023

Blizzard ultimately bowed on March of 2017 and announced that they would be making World of Warcraft classics. The launch of World of Warcraft Classic surprised Blizzard, who had assumed that players would not want a classic server because the retail version of the game was so popular. 

World of Warcraft Classic was a return to wow before its first expansion, and then in 2021 it added the Burning Crusade, and last year it added Wrath of the Lich King, which was another fan favorite. 

 Through slower combat and a rigorous adherence to the Holy Trinity of tank healer ntps, wow classic is the classic MMO experience. It was also a straight Main Direct injection of nostalgia for every player.  

  It will be interesting to see how long this nostalgia-fueled trip through classic wow can maintain its steam. Some fear that wrath was the peak of the wow experience for many and will be the peak of the classic experience, but others aren’t convinced. If we look at Google trends for Wow classic, we can see its explosive launch in 2019 followed by a moderate level of interest in the months and years to come. 

 Hardcore wow classic has lately gotten a lot of traction, and official hardcore servers are being spun up by blizzard, so keep an eye out for that if you’re hoping for a spicier wild classic experience where your character is erased permanently upon dying, while classic was number five on the list last year.  

  Classic Wow made it and it slid to number nine now will it jump higher again in the future or is it getting less appealing the farther it gets from vanilla wow it’s going to be interesting to find out still its population is pretty impressive for a spin-off of an existing MMO and for the proof that there is still a strong appetite for the classic MMO experience out there. 

8). RuneScape

Most Played MMO’S in 2023

RuneScape is a video game. where you can level anything by doing it. level fishing by fishing level magic by using magic it’s a grindy MMO with tons of content because it’s been getting new content for over 20 years as much as RuneScape has evolved past its sibling old school RuneScape it’s still very much an old school MMO experience slow pace fights basic combat and not so the state of the art Graphics As it grew older, RuneScape added a wow-like ability system and a contentious cash store, resulting in the development of its sequel. 

 Old School RuneScape, which we’ll discuss later in this video, the beta win nature of this cash shop didn’t go over well with the community, and in a strange but telling twist, the classic version of the game without the Pay to Win cash up has ended up with more players than the modern version if we look at the trend for RuneScape you can see how insanely popular it was back in the mid-2000s absolutely massive popularity.  

 if you weren’t playing wow you were probably dabbling in RuneScape.

7). Guild Wars 2

Most Played MMOs in 2023

Guild Wars 2 is the first MMO on this list to jump from number 11 to number seven and it’s likely not going to stop there as it’s approaching its next expansion called Secrets of the Obscure this expansion will feature a massive combat overhaul so if you’ve tried it before but didn’t care for the combat it might be worth revisiting it’s also worth noting that Guild Wars has been trending up for the last few years which we don’t think is surprising 

 Guild Wars 2 is a free-to-play MMORPG created by Arenanet and distributed by NCsoft. It’s worth noting that because it was built by Arenanet, it won’t feel like an NCsoft game. I’ll let you decide whether it’s a good or negative thing in the context of MMOs. Guild Wars has a good job of driving Zone exploration and completion, and it worked hard to break the trend of having players race from one yellow exclamation mark to the next. 

 If you try it, you’ll see what I mean; it’s a pretty unique questing experience that I enjoy. The first 80 levels of Guild Wars 2 are free, and the game does not include a sub, not even one of those quote-unquote optional ones. Subsequently, when it claims you can play it for free, it means you can. There is a lot of wonderful stuff to be acquired in the expansions after the first day levels, however they will have to be purchased, and these expansions probably hold the finest content in the game. 

6). Lost Ark

Most Played MMOs in 2023

Lost Ark, the list’s youngest MMO, is a free-to-play top-down MMORPG that started in the east in 2019 and subsequently in the west in 2022. As I previously stated, Lost Ark is a stunning MMO that feels like a cross between Diablo and Final Fantasy.The game itself is well polished and has a ton of content thanks to the fact that it launched years earlier in the East, but there’s been a lot of dissatisfaction in the game’s community recently. It does have a cash shop and a gear progression system that will frequently remind you of its eastern MMO roots, but the game is 100% pay to win. 

But it is also one of the few major MMOs that you can play for free there are more currencies than you can count and your gear progression involves multiple layers of gambling said currencies despite its top down view it does feature Dungeons and raids and these are definitely some of the most popular content the game has to offer the ultimate goal in Los Arc is to sell around the world and collect everything while increasing your character’s level.  

One of Lost Ark’s biggest strengths is its combat, which many players will tell you is extremely satisfying. On top of that, the game features over 17 different classes with more on the way, each with their own look and feel, ensuring that anyone can find the right class for them. If we look at Lost Ark’s Trends, we can see that interest in the Lost Arc exploded in February of 2022 when it launched here in the west and then quickly dropped back down below Worlwide. 

 Lost Ark gets a lot of flak for having a lot of bots, and if you’ve recently booted up the game, that’s pretty accurate. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a lot of real players, since it’s doubtful Google Trends are impacted by bots in the same way as steam charts are.   

5). MapleStory

Most Played MMOs in 2023

The most shocking move on this list is MapleStory leaping from number 10 to number five at the time of this update due to a big spike in the game in recent months. I’m not sure if this will hold, but for now it gets to claim the fifth slot. Mabel’s Story was released in 2003 in the East and 2005 in the West. It was a gateway MMORPG for many modern-day MMO gamers. It was hugely successful and continues to be relevant nearly two decades later. 

 Wizit’s MapleStory is a free-to-play 2D side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game produced by Nexon. So date, the game has over 260 million registered users worldwide and has earned over $3 billion in lifetime revenue. To put that in context, the only MMO that comes close to having that many people try it is World of Warcraft, which has 42 distinct classes for players to attempt.  

  MapleStory offers a really unique and accessible experience, so if your computer specs aren’t the best or if you’re looking for something completely different, give this game a shot; it has two decades of content. 

4). Black Dessert online "BDO"

Most Played MMOs in 2023

If you ask someone why they play video games, it’s nearly usually the combat, along with how beautiful the game is. Video is an open world game with very little instance content; you don’t play it for dungeons and raids; you play it to kill objects in the open world, frequently for hours merely to achieve a few percent of level. 

 BDO has a ton of unique classes and continues to actively update the game, but how is the game’s population trending recently? Let’s take a look at Google Trends here. If we look at the charts here, we can see that the game’s launch was incredible and garnered a ton of interest. The game bled players for a long time, as MMOs do, but its recent expansion saw a significant increase in interest in the game.  

  This race and expansion centered on questing and bossing, two things that the game has never truly emphasized previously, and it seemed to be paying off. 

3). Old School RuneScape

Most Played MMOs in 2023

RuneScape launched in 2013 and has continued to climb as if completely unaware that MMOs are supposed to become less popular with age. You can play this game on a computer a phone, and probably a toaster because the system requirements are so low.  

  success to this in addition to the previous school RuneScape is a player-run game, with each important update voted on by the player population. 

old school RuneScape was created as a consequence of the community’s dissatisfaction with some of the modifications made to the game retail. RuneScape included wildlike abilities and a cash shop, which many accused of introducing pay to win to the game. As a result, the community petitioned the developers to establish old school RuneScape servers, and Jagex finally obliged and created servers based on the 2007 version of the game. 

 RuneScape does not have a chronological storyline and instead allows the user to take their own path through the game. Players can opt to kill enemies or not. go on a quest or level up one of their many skills old fashioned RuneScape is a game where you skill up and level up your crafting, sword wielding, fishing, and whatever else you can think of. A lot of people like doing this. RuneScape is a sandbox MMORPG that allows for a lot of AFK Skilling and, because of this, it is a very popular game.  

  The pace is slow, and the computer requirements are really low. old school RuneScape was even made available on Android and iOS and became the top downloaded mobile game in eight different countries in less than two weeks, which I’m sure contributes to its popularity. 

2). "FFX 14" Final Fantasy 14

Most Played MMOs in 2023

As it prepares to reveal its next major expansion, an incredible achievement for an MMO that debuted with such a flop that it had to be shut down and relaunched. Final Fantasy 14 continues to be a story that gives hope to Rocky MMO launches today. If you’re willing to listen to your fans’ input and put in the effort, you can fix an imperfect MMO. 

To that aim, the dungeons are unlocked as part of the tale. Some of the most memorable moments in the game are delivered in the middle of a trial as you’re fighting for your life, thanks to the trouser unlocked and woven into the tale.  

  Final Fantasy 14 is a master storyteller; it also has 20 different classes and the Holy Trinity of tank, healer, and DPS. There is a free trial period in which you can play the game for 60 levels without cost. Following that, you must purchase the game as well as pay the necessary sub. 

 However, this game is free of pay to win, loot boxes, and has hundreds of cosmetics and mounts that you can earn in game by playing the game. It will be fascinating to watch and see what direction they go with the story in their next expansion and, more importantly, how many people show up.  

  Take a look at how Final Fantasy 14 is trending on Google. It’s been challenging WoW for the top spot, but with the release of Dragonfly, everything changed, bringing us to, unsurprisingly, number one on the list. 

1). World of Warcraft "WOW"

Most Played MMOs in 2023

The lead-up to Dragonflight propelled it above Final Fantasy 14, and it’s held on to a lot of that interest public opinion in the game has largely recovered since the self-inflicted wound that one was.  

The expansion of the Shadowlands Furthermore, at BlizzCon in November, we should see Blizzard reveal its next expansion, which should be a tremendous boon for interest in the game. 

People have spent their whole lives playing World of Warcraft, with some gamers now clocking 18 years of play time, demonstrating the game’s tremendous appeal. World of Warcraft is a big seamless MMO that handles size better than nearly any other MMO I’ve experienced; you can see areas numerous zones away and travel to them quickly.  

Then fly to them with your mount This is something that many MMOs built after a while are still unable to deliver on since they are divided into smaller zones.Despite its age, thanks to an art style that has aged extremely well over the years and several engine overhauls, it still looks amazing. Wow has the Trinity of tank or ntps and has 13 distinct classes, each with a variety of specifications. There is plenty of single player content to level and play through, as well as dungeons and raids. Wow’s Dungeons and Dragons  

  Raids are among the best available, but be prepared to invest a significant amount of time to them as they are significantly longer than most MMO Dungeons and raids nowadays. 

So, how does interest in WoW look like according to Google Trends? You can see on this graph here how it absolutely dwarfed the competition in its prime looking at its popularity from 2004 to 2012 nothing else even comes close and while wow continues to fall in popularity when we zoom in and look at the last five years there is still a significant gap between the two.  

The interest in WOW and every other MMO we’ve examined so far, this Titan in the business is still just that, a Titan in the industry, and with the success of Dragonflight, it’s held its status at number one. 

 It is also worth mentioning Wow’s been on a bit of a rise in recent years, but will it be able to sustain its momentum this time? We’ll check back in later in the year, but for now, it’s number one and it’s not even close. 


It’s been an incredible journey.  

Several MMOs have released very magnificent additions in the last few years, including Wow’s dragonflight Guild Wars 2’s end of dragon’s Final Fantasy 14’s and Walker eso’s necron vids Land Of The Morning Light and New World’s Brimstone Sands. There’s also an exciting year ahead with an approaching Guild Wars 2 new World Final Fantasy 14 ESO and World Warcraft expansion due to be released within the next 12 months. Did any of the findings on this list surprise you? Let me know in the comments below. 

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