Not everyone likes MMORPGs, but players who do greatly enjoy the feeling of being in a living, breathing world filled with other players. There are other elements of MMORPGs players can love, ranging from the feeling of personal ownership of your character to the feeling of a wide-open world filled with tasks for players to undertake.
While it’s hard to know what every individual player gets from MMORPGs, some single-player games are uniquely well–suited to replicating the experience found in MMORPGs of all different stripes. They’re work keeping in mind both for players who want the experience without the online component and those curious to see how MMORPG-like systems work in a single-player world.
10/10 Final Fantasy XII
Many players speculated that Final Fantasy XII in some way was based off of the first Square-Enix MMORPG, Final Fantasy XI, due to similarities in design. As it turns out, it was simply a coincidence of convergent design, but the net result is that the game will feel very familiar to any veteran of the older title.
While players do not get to customize their party members’ appearance in this particular title, the most common version of the game on modern platforms like the Switch does allow for players to build a customized combination of classes for taking on the game’s challenges. Those who enjoy farming and class-building will feel right at home in this game.
While Skyrim initially launched in 2011, the game has been kept alive by both a constant stream of re-releases and a seemingly endless number of fan-made modifications that range from adding new mechanics to entirely new quest lines for exploration. This alone would make it worthwhile as having a nonstop flow of content to explore.
Beyond that, however, Skyrim qualifies as a game where players can easily go off the rails and wholly bypass the main plot line in favor of self-created goals or even just side quests. This ensures that no two playthroughs need to be exactly the same, and there’s always the option to take on different tasks throughout the world.
8/10 Cyberpunk 2077
Despite its buggy status at launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has developed into an excellent open-world game that should engage almost anyone looking for a deep exploratory experience. That and the variety of customization options available to players would be enough to recommend it for potential fans, but there’s more.
Cyberpunk 2077 boasts a robust crafting and modification system, and while players are not forced to take part in it to progress in the game, mastering the crafting is a key to unlocking the full potential of the title. Anyone who enjoys the bespoke experience of making items will have a great deal of opportunity to do that within the streets of Night City.
7/10 Code Vein
The sheer variety of player characters that can be designed within the limits of Code Vein’s character creator was remarked upon as soon as the game launched. But this particular dark fantasy title offers something else of note to MMORPG fans, starting with the intense boss battles one would expect of the genre.
Players can also explore an ever-changing and nearly infinite labyrinth of content in the game’s randomly generated dungeons, mimicking the experience of delving into challenging enemy lairs in MMORPGs quite deftly. And the fact that you can bring along various other characters from the story only adds to the feeling.
6/10 Saints Row 4
After starting on the Xbox, the Saints Row franchise went in interesting directions and ultimately headed to this particular game, featuring a great deal of open-world content for players to engage with. That alone would make the game appealing to MMORPG fans as they traverse the virtual Steelport and claim control of territories.
Beyond that, though, Saints Row 4 features not only robust customization options but a dizzying array of player powers and strange challenges to engage with that will likely keep even veteran MMORPG players engaged. And that’s even without the enjoyable but almost wholly superfluous vehicle customization options.
5/10 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
A casual observer might think it odd that one of the most recent game in the Assassin’s Creed franchise can feature little to no actual assassination, but exploring Britain will offer many opportunities for dynamic content as the player gets to build a character focused on a wide variety of potential skills.
When combined with the opportunity to build up a distinct base for one’s Viking allies as well as a plethora of side activities, it’s easy to feel as if Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was always meant to stand as a single-player MMORPG-like experience. And if you want that experience to include stealthy assassinations, there’s nothing stopping you.
4/10 Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Obscure but well-loved, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is an open-world RPG that not only allows players to make their own avatar but also their very own “pawn,” a traveling companion with customized abilities and weapon selection. This not only permits a variety of character builds but also a great deal of flexibility in how one approaches the game.
Another game that is frequently modded and expanded by enterprising fans, Dragon’s Dogma is well worth a look for any player looking for an MMORPG-like experience focused less upon a linear storyline and more upon individual exploration and intent.
3/10 Torchlight 2
Sometimes games are best approached as exercises in customizing a character built to wreak the greatest amount of destruction possible. Torchlight 2 is a bit long in the tooth now, but its unique art style and distinct classes provide players with an opportunity to do exactly that.
While the general subgenre of click-heavy ARPG titles has many entries, it is notable that Torchlight 2 predates most of these being mandatory online titles. This makes the game even more suitable for those looking for an online-style experience while remaining single-player.
Sometimes what a player wants from an MMORPG is not combat, but building, crafting, and establishing a house. Minecraft is not known for having particularly robust combat, but it is known for having extensive crafting and giving players freedom to build dizzying structures throughout the world.
Anyone looking to get into the game now also will benefit from a wealth of experience and resources for any and all players, which makes it easy to both navigate and set distinct goals. And the fact that the game can be played on an extremely wide variety of platforms helps as well.
1/10 Ragnarok Clicker
As a general rule, most MMORPGs don’t have single-player spinoffs; while the initial game might be based off of a single-player title, it’s rare to see a series with a single-player sequel. But that’s precisely what happened with Ragnarok Clicker, a free-to-play clicker game in the style of Cookie Clicker based off of Ragnarok Online.
The gameplay itself isn’t particularly similar to Ragnarok Online, of course, although there is still a great deal of clicking. But for players who enjoy idle clicker titles and have a great deal of affection for the source title, this is a fun trip down memory lane.
NEXT: Best Free-To-Play MMORPGs, Ranked