Best Xbox MMO games

Tom West - April 12th 2018

Xbox offers quite a decent selection of MMOs to play if you fancy something meaty to work on between clearing your backlog — just remember that the genre is pretty time demanding, with the games needing hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to 'finish.' The genre is still in its infancy on consoles, so while there is a good selection to play right now, it's nothing compared to what's available on PC. Hopefully, that is something that will change in the future, though — will we see Blizzard's fabled World of Warcraft on Xbox once Microsoft's acquisition is complete? Who knows, but it's an exciting prospect even if it has a slim chance of becoming a reality. Here are some of the best MMOs you can play on Xbox right now.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 has had its share of ups and downs over the years, but Bungie's online FPS has been in a pretty good place for some time now on a mechanical level. Recent expansion The Witch Queen taps into this with a rework of the Void subclasses (others will get the same treatment in future seasons) that makes them more flexible, in line with the Stasis options added in Beyond Light, while a new crafting system allows Guardians to create weapons with the perks they want rather than grinding for that elusive god roll. Bungie danced around calling Destiny an MMO until only quite recently, preferring terms like 'shared world shooter' in the early days — the game is very much an MMO-lite so that logic was actually fairly sound in setting expectations while Destiny was still fresh, but that MMO DNA is clear once you start exploring the various destinations and dynamically teaming up with other players to take on Public Events, world bosses, and other emergent activities. The base game went free-to-play a few years back, although there isn't a huge amount to it since the Red War campaign was vaulted when Beyond Light launched. The expansions are where it's at now if it's story you're after, and the last few have been great on that front, as well as adding loads of new gear to chase, quests to undertake, and intense large-scale activities to take on as part of a Fireteam.

Free
Destiny 2

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rebuild the Warmind Rasputin. Pull off daring heists to steal pieces of Rasputin’s consciousness in a new matchmade activity. Grab your spy kit and infiltrate enemy battlegrounds for a cache of rewards including a new Exotic Submachine Gun and reprised weapons forged by Rasputin himself. 

Dive into the world of Destiny 2 to explore the mysteries of the solar system and experience responsive first-person shooter combat. Unlock powerful elemental abilities and collect unique gear to customize your Guardian's look and playstyle. Enjoy Destiny 2’s cinematic story, challenging co-op missions, and a variety of PvP modes alone or with friends. Download for free today and write your legend in the stars.

AN IMMERSIVE STORY
You are a Guardian, defender of the Last City of humanity in a solar system under siege by infamous villains. Look to the stars and stand against the darkness. Your legend begins now.

GUARDIAN CLASSES
Choose from the armored Titan, mystic Warlock, or swift Hunter.
• Disciplined and proud, Titans are capable of both aggressive assaults and stalwart defenses. Set your hammer ablaze, crack the sky with lightning, and go toe-to-toe with any opponent. Your team will stand tall behind the strength of your shield.
• Warlocks weaponize the mysteries of the universe to sustain themselves and destroy their foes. Rain devastation on the battlefield and clear hordes of enemies in the blink of an eye. Those who stand with you will know the true power of the Light.
• Agile and daring, Hunters are quick on their feet and quicker on the draw. Fan the hammer of your golden gun, flow through enemies like the wind, or strike from the darkness. Find the enemy, take aim, and end the fight before it starts.

COOPERATIVE AND COMPETITIVE MULTIPLAYER
Play with or against your friends and other Guardians in various PvE and PvP game modes.
• Exciting co-op adventures teeming await with rare and powerful rewards. Dive into the story with missions, quests, and patrols. Put together a small fireteam and secure the chest at the end of a quick Strike. Or test your team's skill with countless hours of raid progression – the ultimate challenge for any fireteam. You decide where your legend begins.
• Face off against other players in fast-paced free-for-all skirmishes, team arenas, and PvE/PvP hybrid competitions. Mark special competitions like Iron Banner on your calendar and collect limited-time rewards before they're gone.

EXOTIC WEAPONS AND ARMOR
Thousands of weapons, millions of options. Discover new gear combinations and define your own personal style. The hunt for the perfect arsenal begins.

105 GB hard drive storage space required as of November 10, 2020. Subject to change. Requires broadband internet. After November 10, 2020 see www.destinythegame.com/size-requirements for current requirements prior to purchase.

Destiny 2 may contain flashing patterns and images that may produce adverse effects for a small percentage of people sensitive to them.

Bungie, Inc. makes no guarantee regarding the availability of online play or features and may modify or discontinue online services with reasonable notice at any time. Using the software constitutes acceptance of the Destiny Software License Agreement available at www.bungie.net/sla.

© 2021 Bungie, Inc. All rights reserved. Destiny, the Destiny Logo, Bungie and the Bungie Logo are trademarks of Bungie, Inc. Published and distributed by Bungie, Inc.

The Elder Scrolls Online

It's no secret that The Elder Scrolls Online had a bumpy start in the early days, but seven years, five (soon to be six) expansion packs, 18 DLC packs, and ZeniMax's decision to make the game free-to-play with an optional subscription, has made the game a success across all platforms. Of course, with that number of content updates — which sees two DLC packs and one new expansion released yearly — The Elder Scrolls Online achievements are quite the time investment for hopeful completionists, but the ability to explore Tamriel with some friends is an extremely alluring prospect. ZeniMax chose to forgo the tried and tested class system in this one, instead opting to give you a base character profile that you can then mould into the style of play that you wish, which offers you a way to play exactly how you want — until the endgame, of course, and then it's meta builds only. The Elder Scrolls Online has earned its place as one of the more successful MMOs available at the moment, with Bethesda recently saying that the game has over 20 million players. The base game (which is huge) is completely free to play once you've bought the game or downloaded it from Xbox Game Pass, and there is an optional subscription available for players that want to access almost everything the game has to offer.

The Elder Scrolls® Online

Includes The Elder Scrolls Online base game and the Morrowind Chapter. Join over 18 million players in the award-winning online multiplayer RPG and experience an ever-expanding story in a persistent Elder Scrolls world.

Optimized for the Xbox Series X|S with Console Enhanced, bringing a new level of fidelity and performance—free for all ESO players.

Sea of Thieves

While not exactly an authentic MMO, Sea of Thieves still offers a large world that can be shared with a ton of players and is the ultimate wannabe pirate experience if you've got a group of friends ready to hoist the sails and hunt for some booty. Rare keeps this beast absolutely brimming with content on a regular basis to ensure you've always got a new adventure to tackle. Hopeful scallywags beware, though, because the Sea of Thieves achievements are probably the game's most challenging feature, and Rare has announced that some achievements will soon be discontinued. If that doesn't turn you off and you still want to get a piece of the action, you'll find a beautifully crafted world with no real objective aside from the promise of freedom. Ship on ship warfare, skeleton foes, treasure, Captain Jack Sparrow, the Kraken, and a ridiculous number of other things await you in Sea of Thieves. It's free-to-play once you've made the initial game purchase or downloaded it from Xbox Game Pass, and the regular content updates don't cost you a thing, so keep your gold for yourself. Solo or with some friends, we'll see you on the open sea...

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves offers the essential pirate experience, from sailing and fighting to exploring and looting – everything you need to live the pirate life and become a legend in your own right. With no set roles, you have complete freedom to approach the world, and other players, however you choose.

Whether you’re voyaging as a group or sailing solo, you’re bound to encounter other crews in this shared-world adventure – but will they be friends or foes, and how will you respond?

Elite: Dangerous

Huge is the most relevant word here, both in game size and the Elite: Dangerous achievements, of which there are 225. The monstrous game allows those interested in space exploration a chance to partake in a classic space simulator experience within a fully explorable galaxy. The gameplay mechanics are pretty robust, so this won't appeal to everyone, but players with an interest in this kind of thing will find a very satisfying experience for sure. It's a big time investment for sure, but once you've paid for the initial game, you're free to play without needing a subscription, which makes it the perfect game to have on the go between completions. Elite: Dangerous literally offers an experience that is out-of-this-world, and once you've travelled through the star-studded expanse of space for the first time, you'll find it difficult to put down.

Elite Dangerous Standard Edition

Take control of your own starship in a cutthroat galaxy. Elite Dangerous is the definitive massively multiplayer space epic, bringing gaming’s original open world adventure to the modern generation with a connected galaxy, evolving narrative and the entirety of the Milky Way re-created at its full galactic proportions.

DC Universe Online

If you've ever dreamed of running around the streets tightly squeezed into spandex but lack the real-world courage to pull it off, DC Universe Online might be for you. Here, everyone wears spandex, and they wear it proud while defeating bad guys in MMO-style gameplay. The game is a charming endeavour into the superhero lifestyle and allows you to create your own crime-fighting badass by picking and choosing their superpowers. It's free to download and play but if you want to get the most out of the game you'll need to pay for the privilege. If you fancy meeting up with the likes of Superman and The Joker, paying for the privilege might be worth your time, and the DC Universe Online achievements aren't too bad to work through either, well, if you don't mind playing through it multiple times with different characters — oh, and you don't need to play as a snooty hero either, so go ahead, create the ultimate supervillain.

Free
DC Universe Online

DC Universe™ Online is now on Xbox One! Join thousands of other players in this Free-to-Play, massive online action game set in the popular DC Comics universe. Choose your side – Hero or Villain – and create your character to experience true action combat, as you fight alongside and against legendary characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Lex Luthor, and Circe.

Please note the download is around 35GB and could take several hours, but it’s worth the wait!

Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online is a tough one; it's a fantastic addition to the franchise and fans are sure to find a ton to like about it, but those outside of the fanbase will more than likely struggle to remain overly engaged for a long period of time. Space travel and planet exploration play a major part here, with epic starship battles with Klingon adversaries. It nods to the Star Trek universe at every available opportunity, the customisation options available give the whole experience a familiar but personal feel and the available lore is a Trekkies ultimate gift. It's free to start and the Star Trek Online achievements are on the lower end of the expected MMO grindfest, so it could be worth a look if it interests you.

Free
Star Trek Online

In Star Trek Online, customize your Captain and enjoy your very own Star Trek experience with over 125 episodes through multiple story arcs, featuring content in both space and ground. Explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before in this ever-expanding, completely Free-to-Play online universe.

Neverwinter

Dungeons & Dragons has been a game enjoyed for decades, so it stands to reason that an MMO adaption would be a success. The game itself is beginning to show its age a little now, but much like other ageing MMOs that have built a strong player base, the devs are constantly adding new content. It's completely free to start and offers you a fantastic entry point if you're only just thinking of dipping your toes into the genre. Swords, sorcery, dragons, and everything else that makes the D&D universe so appealing is front and centre in the game design, and it's filled to the gunnels with lore, familiar characters, and the thrill of defeating powerful enemies with your friends. There are a ridiculous number of Neverwinter achievements to work through, though, so don't start without preparing yourself for an extreme time commitment.

Free
Neverwinter

Neverwinter is the premier Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG experience, featuring fast-paced combat and epic dungeons. Explore the vast city of Neverwinter and its surrounding regions, battle its many enemies, and be a part of Forgotten Realms history.

Warframe

Anyone that has played Bungie's Destiny games will feel fairly comfortable in the world of Warframe, which sports much of the sci-fi elements as Destiny does and is also free-to-play. It offers a rewarding learning curve and a world filled with lore, which has earned it a fairly hardcore fanbase. There is a ton of content on offer, with expansions and updates rolling out on a regular basis, along with events and other MMO-style goodies. The list of Warframe achievements is a lot smaller than some of the other games on this list, but the time needed to work your way through its entirety remains just as much of a commitment.

Free
Warframe

Join the Tenno and defend an ever-expanding universe. Wield your Warframe's tactical abilities, craft a loadout of devastating weaponry and define your playstyle to become an unstoppable force in this genre-defining looter-shooter.

Are you an avid player of any of these, or maybe you've got another MMO to recommend? Let us know down below!