7 MMO games like The Elder Scrolls Online

7 MMO games like The Elder Scrolls Online
Miljan Truc Updated on by

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The Elder Scrolls Online, or ESO, holds a special place among current MMO games. Besides inhabiting the beloved world from other Elder Scrolls games, it offers a unique formula that hasn’t been successfully replicated since. That is not to say that ESO didn’t have its trials and tribulations. What sets ESO apart from other MMOs is its unique perspective and combat system, as well as the immersive way it tells its stories. You may want to try something new while waiting for the latest ESO expansion. We have compiled a list of alternatives to The Elder Scrolls Online.

✓ At a glance

Games similar to Elder Scrolls Online are:

  • World of Warcraft
  • New World
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Runescape
  • Black Desert
  • Lost Ark

World of Warcraft

  • Release Date: November 23, 2004
    • – 11 February 2005 (PC)
  • Platform(s): macOS, PC
  • Genre(s): Fantasy, Massively Multiplayer, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG
Sources coming soon

Would you recommend this game?

For anyone who has been playing games over the past two decades, World of Warcraft needs no introduction. At one point, it was the biggest game in the world. Blizzard Entertainment’s juggernaut revolutionized the MMO genre and was such a presence that any other MMO coming out was tasked to become the “WoW-killer”. Even after nine expansions, WoW doesn’t seem to be slowing down, despite the audience waxing and waning over time. Many systems in WoW are different yet familiar to ESO players, with the most notable difference in combat and in the way that WoW presents its story. And in keeping with its ingrained staying power, WoW demands a paid monthly subscription.

New World

  • Release Date: September 28, 2021
    • – 25 August 2020 (PC)
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Massively Multiplayer, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG

Would you recommend this game?

Coming from Amazon Games, New World presented an interesting take on the usual MMO formula. Set in the alternative history version of our planet during the age of exploration, New World is filled with magic and mystery. Players are tasked to explore the open-world island of Aeternum, with both PVE and PVP content available. The perspective will feel familiar to ESO players, however, New World is a classless game. That means that players can tailor their characters to their preference, with hundreds of potential mixes. While you need to buy the base game, New World doesn’t have a mandatory subscription model.

Guild Wars 2

  • Release Date: August 28, 2012
    • – 28 August 2012 (PC)
  • Platform(s): macOS, PC
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy, Massively Multiplayer, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG

Would you recommend this game?

Guild Wars 2 is another popular MMO that needs little introduction. Ever since its release in 2012, it managed to retain a faithful playerbase. During that time, it changed its model several times and is now free to play with an optional subscription. In many ways, GW2 is very similar to World of Warcraft, featuring a fully open world and an innovative combat system (for its time). In fact, ESO players will find the action-centric parts of the game’s combat very familiar. With five races and eight professions to choose from, and a still-evolving story told across Seasons, there is plenty to keep you engaged in Guild Wars 2.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

  • Release Date: 14 April 2014
    • – 14 April 2014 (PlayStation 4)
    • – 27 August 2013 (PlayStation 3, PC)
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
  • Genre(s): Fantasy, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG
Sources coming soon

Would you recommend this game?

After a rocky start in 2010, Square Enix had to go back to the drawing board and completely reinvent Final Fantasy 14. A few years later, FF14 took the MMO world by storm with A Realm Reborn, which was a completely different game, rebuilt from the ground up. Nowadays, FF14 is one of the biggest MMOs on the market, with a whimsical world and systems that will keep players engaged for a long time. Notably, endgame PVE content for FF14 is among the best offerings in recent years. However, the game follows the traditional subscription model, though there are more flexible options besides the usual monthly fee.


  • Release Date: March 29, 2001
  • Platform(s): Android, iOS, PC
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Fantasy, Massively Multiplayer, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG

Would you recommend this game?

The original RuneScape is often described as the father of all modern MMOs. It’s no secret that World of Warcraft designers took many cues from the classic game. Nowadays, you can still play a version of that game, rebranded as Old School RuneScape for free. However, there is a modernized version bearing most of the hallmarks from the original, simply called RuneScape. Released in 2020, RuneScape is free to play through Steam, with an optional subscription model. It continues the storyline of the original, with reinvented classes and modernised systems. Though distinctly different from ESO in many ways, it’s worth giving it a try to see where it all began.

Black Desert

  • Release Date: 03 March 2016
    • – 03 March 2016 (PC)
    • – 01 January 2017 (Xbox One)
    • – 31 December 2019 (PlayStation 4)
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre(s): Fantasy, Massively Multiplayer Online, RPG
Sources coming soon

Would you recommend this game?

Upon release, Black Desert garnered many fans due to its intricate character creation system. The game behind it, however, was riddled with issues, including bugs, grindy systems, and excessive microtransactions. There were many good points though, especially the fun combat system and organic PVP. Years later, Black Desert has undergone several core changes, making the game more approachable to players. It evolved into a more fun experience, which finally allowed players to enjoy the beautiful world that was crafted for the game. The game’s profession system deserves special praise, and ESO players will recognize many similar elements.

Lost Ark

  • Release Date: February 11, 2022
  • Platform(s): PC
  • Genre(s): Massively Multiplayer, RPG

Would you recommend this game?

Lost Ark is an odd amalgam of MMO and aRPG that somehow works. It boats gameplay elements that are as recognizable to a Diablo player as to any MMO fan. While the game’s story is fun and you will unlock different systems while progressing through it, it’s the raids that deserve a special mention. Lost Ark’s combat system provides a unique challenge to boss fights that we’re used to in other MMO games. If anything, it’s worth giving it a try for that reason alone. And best of all, you can play Lost Ark for free through Steam.