VR has many potential applications, but perhaps one of the most exciting is its ability to immerse us in massive virtual worlds.
The potential of VR when it comes to MMORPGs has arguably not been fully realised yet, but developers are already starting to take advantage of the capabilities of VR to create massively multiplayer games with the tech in mind.
Many of these games are still on the horizon, but some are available right now. There aren’t a huge amount of VR MMORPG experiences to play at the moment, but we’d like to take some time to look at the ones that are worthwhile, as well as the ones on the horizon that warrant your attention.
Here, then, are the 10 best VR MMORPGs of 2023, whether they’re out right now or scheduled for release in the future!
When we’re talking about VR MMORPGs, it’s impossible not to mention Zenith: The Last City, an anime-inflected RPG available right now across PC VR headsets and PlayStation VR.
With action-RPG combat, a world inspired by the likes of Phantasy Star Online, and plenty of content to keep you occupied, Zenith: The Last City is well worth a look if you want the best VR MMORPG 2023 has to offer. Just don’t blame us if you never want to log out!
Available across PC VR devices and Quest headsets, OrbusVR: Reborn comes complete with eight different classes to choose from, so you can live out your fantasy MMO life however you choose.
It offers a massive world designed for room-scale VR, as well as tons of quests, social features, and even group-based dungeons and raids to work your way through. Of course, if you don’t feel like engaging in combat, you can kick back and enjoy some fishing or gathering as well, in true MMO style.
Square Enix is famously rather averse to the concept of modding Final Fantasy XIV, but hopefully, this excellent-looking VR mod escapes the studio’s notice.
As the title suggests, the Flat2VR mod for Final Fantasy XIV allows you to experience Eorzea with six degrees of freedom-based VR technology. Imagine being able to see the full scale of Shinryu, or watching as Susano’s massive sword comes crashing down on your head!
At time of writing, Ilysia is scheduled for an October 2023 Early Access release, but it’s making many of the right noises when it comes to bringing the world of the MMO to VR.
The developers of Ilysia say they’re inspired by the “glory days” of the MMORPG; think mid-2000s World of Warcraft and you’re most of the way there. The game promises immersive combat, plenty of social features, and a huge world to explore and get lost in, which is, in the end, all we want from a VR MMORPG!
Unfortunately, this is where we enter the realms of the speculative, because it’s actually pretty tricky to build an entire MMORPG in VR, which means many developers are still in the early phases of their projects.
VRKraft looks like exactly the kind of immersive, pseudo-realistic MMORPG we want to see from VR, though. You can gather resources, build your own gear, and then take that gear into combat as one of several different classes. The game will even support PvP, so you can take on your friends in Domination or Capture the Flag games.
6. Elysium VR
If the aforementioned games skew just a little too far towards fantasy for you, then you’ll probably want to check out Elysium VR, which, unfortunately, still doesn’t have a release date.
The game is inspired by Grand Theft Auto Online, as well as simulation games, and has you inhabiting a real world in which you can drive vehicles, take up professions, and generally try to build a life for yourself. You won’t be slaying orcs or building magic swords here; instead, you’ll be driving taxis, chopping down trees, or hunting animals.
7. Arch Gate
Arch Gate’s big boast is what the developers term “roleplay as a service”. The idea is that the studio employs professional actors and game masters to roleplay within the game world for you, creating a stronger sense of immersion.
Of course, since the game is still in development at time of writing, we don’t know how well that’s going to work, but the description alone has us very interested. After all, what good is a VR MMORPG if nobody around you is willing to commit to actually living in that world?
8. God’s Domain
This project, which is currently in development over at Kasumi Games, looks characteristically ambitious. The idea, according to the blurb, is to create a “separate reality” through which you can escape from your daily life.
You’ll be able to engage in either co-operative or PvP gameplay, assist NPCs with a variety of quests, and gather crafting materials with which you can create your own equipment. God’s Domain doesn’t have a release date yet, but fans of VR MMOs should keep their eyes on it.
Unfortunately, it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything concrete from UnboundedVR, which is a shame because it looks like exactly the kind of project we’d like to get excited about.
We’re including it on this list because there aren’t too many VR MMORPGs in active development right now, and we desperately want this one to come together. It’ll offer rich character creation, a full day-night cycle, and a rather adorable blocky world in which to immerse yourself.
10. Rec Room
Last but not least, we’re being slightly cheeky by including this game here, because Rec Room isn’t technically a VR MMORPG; it’s more of a modular experience in which players can create their own fun games for everyone else to enjoy.
Still, Rec Room does rely rather heavily on its community to generate content, and it’s principally intended to be enjoyed as a VR experience, so we’re including it here anyway. If you’re looking for a game that recreates the experience of playing dodgeball in your school’s gymnasium, look no further than Rec Room.
- What is a VR MMORPG?
- A VR MMORPG is a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. It allows players to immerse themselves in vast digital worlds while interacting with many other players in real time, all within a VR environment.
- Are all these VR MMORPGs available to play now in 2023?
- Not all. Some of these MMORPGs are already released and playable, while others are still in development and expected to be launched in the future.
- Can I play “Zenith: The Last City” on PlayStation VR?
- Yes, “Zenith: The Last City” is available across PC VR headsets and PlayStation VR.
- Is the Final Fantasy XIV Flat2VR mod an official release from Square Enix?
- No, it’s a mod developed by third-party creators. Square Enix is typically averse to modding, so this is not an official VR version of the game.
- Which of these games is inspired by mid-2000s World of Warcraft?
- “Ilysia” claims inspiration from the “glory days” of MMORPGs like mid-2000s World of Warcraft.
- Are there any non-fantasy VR MMORPGs on this list?
- Yes, “Elysium VR” is inspired by games like Grand Theft Auto Online and offers a more real-world experience compared to fantasy settings.
- What does “roleplay as a service” mean in Arch Gate?
- In “Arch Gate”, the developers employ professional actors and game masters to roleplay within the game world, aiming to create a richer and more immersive in-game roleplaying experience.
- Is “Rec Room” a traditional MMORPG?
- No, “Rec Room” isn’t technically a VR MMORPG. It’s a modular experience where players can create and play various games, but it’s primarily designed to be a VR experience.
- Why are some of these games mentioned as speculative?
- Building a full-fledged MMORPG in VR is a complex endeavor, and many developers are still in the early stages of their projects, so their final products are still uncertain.
- Do any of these games offer player versus player (PvP) combat?
Yes, games like “VRKraft” and “God’s Domain” offer PvP gameplay modes.
Virtual Reality offers a transformative platform for the MMORPG genre, taking player immersion to unparalleled levels. 2023 is seeing a blend of fully-realized VR MMORPGs, promising projects on the horizon, and some speculative ones that have piqued our curiosity. As VR technology continues to evolve, and developers grasp its full potential, we can only anticipate even richer and more engaging MMORPG experiences in the future. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy worlds or seeking a virtual reality that mirrors our own, there’s likely a VR MMORPG on this list that will capture your imagination. Happy gaming!