Top Ten Free-to-Play Games
By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley
Please refer to the Top
Free-to-Play Games Portal to find out how to get a game you
make or like on this list.
Week in Review
Confession time: I only played one game this week: style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica Online. style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica is the
only game I needed to fill all of my (too little) free time with
enjoyment. Open Beta is alive and doing well, and the game is still
very fun. I
told readers last week that my current goal is only to find
the very solid titles to round out my Top Ten. As I go forward, I am
trying to also go back. That is, I have enjoyed style="font-style: italic;">Rohan into level
30+, but I have not reached my 30s in style="font-style: italic;">Perfect World International.
Will I still find the game enjoyable when the grind sets in? If I get
bored and quit before level 30, can I keep the game on the list? So, I
am trying new games while still playing the ones already in the Top Ten
to be thorough.
Some of you have more gaming time on your hands than I do. If
I recommend a game based on a favorable initial experience--like href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/769"> style="font-style: italic;">Requiem: Bloodymare--but
don't ever play into the mid-levels, I will never know about the
colossal grind. By contrast, readers may plow straight into the grind
and think I am a sadist or a masochist, depending on whether they think
I was trying to inflict the grind on them or myself.
I'm not changing my stance about first impressions being key
with free-to-play (F2P) games. If a F2P title has not dazzled me in the
first 3-5 hours, I will probably never play it again.
Subscription-based, or pay-to-play (P2P) games, don't face such a
challenge. If a gamer shells out $30-50 for a game, he is very likely
to try to get his money's worth by taking full advantage of his 30-day
free trial. He feels obligated to justify his purchase. That's just not
the case with F2P titles. Now I am applying extra scrutiny about the
longevity of my pleasure with F2P titles, too.
My one change this week is to bring style="font-style: italic;">Fiesta Online back
into the Top Ten. I've said for a while now that the slot occupied by href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/853"> style="font-style: italic;">CABAL Online
could be held by a number of games. Fiesta is one of those. It's a
great game for your younger brother to cut his teeth on. Once he has
gotten the concepts down, you can blow him away with some of the other
titles on the list.
I downloaded and installed
style="font-style: italic;">Florensia and
style="font-style: italic;">Cronous. The former
title has been recommended by a handful of readers. The latter is
another F2P game from Aeria Games. The question is whether it is more
like DOMO (solid translation and fun class system that make playing
worthwhile) or like Shaiya
(poor translation and grinding gameplay that made me uninstall).
Look for news about these two titles soon. In the meantime,
here are my Top Ten Free-to-Play Games for this week.
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of
the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.
October 3, 2008
would sit in the Top Ten of my favorite massively-multiplayer online
games. It's the best game that subscription gamers may never try
because of the common biases against free-to-play titles.
KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.
style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101 has some
fun minigames that can eat hours of your time if you let them. I
style="font-style: italic;">Mabinogi may have
art style that is geared toward younger players, but I feel confident
that adults other than myself can find something to like in this game.
( target="_blank">http://www.dungeonrunners.com style="font-weight: bold;">) NCSoft
Runners is a fun example of self-reflective media. The
jokes may take gamers outside of the fantasy world (so they break
immersion), but they help you have fun at the satirical expense of
href="http://domo.aeriagames.com/">http://domo.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Aeria Games &
Dream of Mirror
Online uses some of the staples of fantasy gaming because
its foundation is a mythology that has existed for thousands of years.
Even so, it has some quirky fun things, like the special fashion
clothes players can obtain.
has pretty much tanked according to the gaming "public" who visit many
forums I read. I disagree and really suggest anyone who isn't
afraid of nProtect Gameguard hacker protection (it's one of those
rootkit-like programs used to keep players from cheating). style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">
- ( href="http://mwo.enjoymmo.com/" target="_blank">http://mwo.enjoymmo.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Magic World Online
offers all of the features a player could want: questing, crafting,
city warfare, and player-vs-player combat.
( href="http://www.runesofmagic.com/">www.runesofmagic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Runes of Magic
remains the only game on the list that the general public can't play
(it's in Closed Beta). The publicly released details are very promising.
- ( target="_blank">www.perfectworld.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Beijing Perfect World
International makes some commendable attempts to establish
a story and make the world come to life.
( href="http://fiesta.outspark.com/" target="_blank">http://fiesta.outspark.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
The grind may start to wear down the shine on this game in the
mid-teens, but it is high on fun and low on cost. style="font-weight: bold;">
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Dungeon Runners Game Page.