Top 5 Live MMO Sandbox Games

In the mood for a sandbox MMO? Check out our picks for the top 5 on the market today.

Sandbox MMOs have been on the brain of not only myself, but plenty of gamers around the world as well recently. As they begin to tire of the scripted paths offered in the theme park MMO offerings of the day, it’s time to look at what the industry has immediately available for sandbox options. Fortunately for everyone reading this, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 sandbox MMOs I think are worth checking out. 

Whether you’re a fan of PvP, fantasy, science fiction, and more, this list has got you covered. If you think there’s a game missing from this list or one that doesn’t deserve to be here, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

5. Wurm Online


I gave Wurm Online a whirl back in August of this year and as I stated then, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Is it a bad game? Absolutely not. It’s just too involved for my personal tastes. If there is any game that takes the freedom of doing virtually anything to extremes, it’s Wurm Online. It may not be my cup of tea, but for those that enjoy an insanely detailed and involved crafting/building process and want a world of complete freedom to play in, I cannot recommend this game enough. It also happens to be 100% free to play so enjoy!

4. Darkfall: Unholy Wars

The community of Darkfall may not be the greatest in the world, but the game itself is interesting and still fresh enough that if you’re a fan of PvP, it deserves your attention. Sadly, this is the only game in the list that is has neither a free-to-play option nor a free trial of any kind (at least not at the moment). If you’re not willing to purchase the game to see if you like it, I’ll understand. Unholy Wars is the second iteration of Darkfall and has brought a number of improvements to the game. If you’re looking for a hardcore PvP, full loot game, then this may be the title for you. Create cities, defeat rival clans, and prove who the biggest badass is once and for all.

3. EverQuest


While you’re waiting for the potential awesomeness that is EverQuest Next: Landmark and EverQuest Next, check out one of the founding fathers of the MMO world. It’s far easier to level up (at least to the low 70s) than it was during the game’s heyday, but it’s still fun to play. It may not be a traditional sandbox game by modern definitions, but you can play anyway you wish, hunt in nearly any zone you wish, and you’d damned well better pay attention to your race’s faction standings to avoid being killed by zone guards. In other words, take the time to give this now free-to-play title a chance and you may be surprised.

2. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes


If you’re looking for a staggeringly expansive world to explore after choosing from a jaw-dropping number of distinctly different classes, then Vanguard is the game for you. Sure there are quests that you can follow from nearly beginning to end, but you’ll come across countless reasons to hop off the beaten path. You can see for miles and as you’re traveling, there will always be some distant ruin, cave entrance, or gargantuan construct that will demand your attention instead. The title also went free-to-play recently. With no reason to bother subscribing until you character is in their low 40s there’s plenty of time to play and see if you wish to continue.

1. EVE Online


My number one choice is a game I may not play often, but again, it’s just because it’s not quite my cup of tea. Hundreds of thousands of other gamers feel differently though. EVE Online is the only game in history that has seen steady growth every year for a decade now. Set in an incredibly massive universe, this epic space game screams freedom of every kind. Freedom like this comes at a heavy price though and that comes in the form of a cruel learning curve. The team at CCP has spent a lot of time improving the new player experience for those entering the game as newbies and continues to do so.


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