Last week I covered the best casual MMORPGs, so it was only fitting that we shift our gaze this week towards the most hardcore games the genre has to offer. Instead of focusing solely on games that are currently live and flourishing, I’ve mixed it up with some old-school entries as well on this list. First and foremost though, I define hardcore to mean games that are inherently designed to be difficult, unforgiving, and intense by design. By this definition, they just don’t make MMOs like they used to.
While the majority of MMOs that have released in the past 10 years have mostly focused on delivering a themepark style experience that focus on accessibility and wide reach, the epic worlds of the best were happy to beat you down. This isn’t to say that hardcore games don’t exist today, but new ones are few and far between. Now let’s take the time appreciate the top 5 best hardcore MMORPGs of today and yesteryear.