World of Warcraft, by Blizzard Entertainment
Everyone and their goldfish has at least heard of World of Warcraft, if not played it. It's the largest three dimensional game in the world today (and will probably still be tomorrow) with over ten million subscribers.
I personally liked playing World of Warcraft, I just hated the community. The only way for a somewhat intelligent person to have fun, is if they find their clique. From what I saw, the only place for intelligence was a leader type roll (which I dislike in most circumstances), or in a tight knit group of other intelligent people.
I probably would have played for longer if I had found either of those, I played 90% of the game by myself, which wasn't that bad. Although most of what I did was grinding low level instances (the lowest 8 instances I did by myself) for gold, which I used to buy generally useless stuff.
While grinding by itself is buckets of fun, it didn't encompass all of my gaming time. A few hours a week were spent in the hyper-competitive Battlegrounds, which are fun, until you find a bunch of twinks which are people who use their high level characters to immensely overpower a low level character, who they then use to destroy other equally low leveled characters.
Summary: The gameplay is decent, the community is not.
Mabinogi, by Nexon
I'm not going in any specific order for this list, so I decided to go with the fourth largest MMORPG now.
Mabinogi follows the same basic formula as most other Korean MMOs, You pay money, you get good, fast. The game has some of it's own tweaks that makes it different from some other MMORPGs.
For starters, the game has three races, Humans (oh wow), Elves, and Giants. Humans, predictably are balanced, elves are fragile and nimble, Giants are effectively walls of flesh. To go along with that, Elves are pretty much forced into being ranged fighters, and a Giant melee fighter is the norm.
One of the more interesting things, is the characters have Age. You can start from age 12 to age 18. At age twelve, your stats are much lower than what they would be at age 18. Roughly 168 hours (actual time) after the character was born the character gains one year of age, which increases their stats (and up to a certain point), their physical stature.
They do a little bit of creativity with their skills. The more you use them, the more experience you get with them. If you get 100 experience (of all the numbers they could have picked...) you are allowed to level up the skill. Assuming that you have enough Ability Points, which you gain every level, from certain quests, and when you age-up. The thing that makes this creative, is that you will not ever have enough Ability Points to upgrade all of your skills, you can only upgrade a handful of them when you need to.
There are also jobs that you can do, Part-Time Jobs. You are given a task by the shop keepers, which are generally simple (the tasks are easy too) and take a few hours. (in game time) The jobs are doing simple things, like killing eggs, sewing armor, getting armadillos, and forging clothes. The jobs give Gold and Experience for your character.
Summary: Try this game, it's different. The art is nice, the gameplay is different, it has a few systems that are pretty good. Try it, it's free (unless you want almost-useful stuff)
Voyage Century Online, by IGG
This game is one of my favorites, for little to no reason. It's just a fairly simple game, that is easy to grab hold of, and has fun, slightly satisfying gameplay.
The game takes place, generally, in the eastern hemisphere. You start out as a commoner, which changes in less than two minutes, to one of five classes that you can pick, which have very little differences. The only differences I can think of are what weapons you're suggested to use, and what clothes you can wear (Although there are equatable level clothing for each class)
Most of the game should take place at sea, because that's the more interesting part. But alas, it doesn't. Of the 40 hours I've spent playing it throughout the last week, I've spent maybe 5 of them at sea, which is a shame, because sea combat is fun.
The game's skills are fairly runescape-esque. You use them, you gain experience for them. But every 3 levels (I may be wrong about this) you gain a Stunt Point, which are used for getting Stunts, of all things. Stunts increase your character's Stamina, or their Carrying Capacity, or their ability to preform the skill.
Combat is fairly simplistic at low levels, hit, be hit, rinse, repeat until death occurs. At slightly higher levels, it gets slightly more complicated, with the usage of potions, and fighting Stunts, which do various things, like paralyze the enemy, or increase your attack power.
Sea Combat is very simplistic, giving you basically, three options to what you can do, Shoot, Ram, or Grapple. Shooting is fairly self explanatory, you shoot your incredibly short range cannons at them. Ramming, is also self explanatory, you use the ram on the front of your ship to ram the other ships, doing massive damage. Grappling is a stupid idea. It's throwing a Grappling Hook (of all things) onto the other ship, and engaging in combat with them that way.
Land Combat is boring, but great for making quick low risk cash, goats drop hats that sell for more than cannons. Sea Combat, is comparatively exciting, when you're surrounded by enemy ships that are doing next to nothing to your ship's armor. Ship combat get's intense when you just keep a combo of attacks going, firing from the port and starboard, and ramming every ship in sight. That is, until some flagship appears, and destroys your ship fairly quickly.
Piracy, while not outlawed explicitly, it is disliked. If you attack a nation's ship, while you might beat it in that fight, the nation will specifically send ships (made of awesome and destruction) to kill you, and imprison you, for hours at a time.
Summary: Sea-based game, land fighting sucks, sea fighting rocks, piracy is not accepted, try it, it's free. (unless you want to look cool, then it's expensive-ish)
Dofus, by Ankama Games
This game is slightly different, in that it's 2d, and turn based. The game itself doesn't give any breakthroughs, but it's fairly entertaining, and cheap as hell (at $6.9 a month)
One of the biggest things in the game is their class selection, having twelve classes. The classes are almost balanced, but the healer is useless.
Combat in the game is turn based, based on your character's Initiative. The person with the highest Initiative goes first, and is allowed to use their AP, or Action points in their skills. You start out with 6 AP per turn (no roll-overs), and can get more from equipment sets. If you would like to move, because combat is on a grid, turned something like 85 degrees clockwise, you can use your MP, or Movement Points, of which you start out with three, and can gain more from equipment sets.
Combat is entertaining when you're with a group of friends, tearing through a dungeon, of which there are 42.
If you feel that the game is too easy, you can elect to play on a Hardcore server, where the soundtrack is intense. Not really, but if you die, you're dead. The only real consolation is that you gain 3x exp and 3x money, and the drop rates of items are higher.
The game also has professions, of which there are 22 basic professions, and 11 specializations. You can pick one of six professions to start out, and to grab another you need to get to level 30 with the profession. The professions allow you to create almost anything you would use the the game, though they take a large amount of time (getting to level 20 in lumberjacking took me all of 8 hours).
There are also Guilds in the game, which can take over territories, and use them to collect resources from it. Although taking over a territory involves beating the other guild in combat, which is a fairly intense fight in all cases.
Summary: 2d turn based combat, ridiculous number of class/profession choices, cheap entertainment
EVE Online, by CCP
This game is also one of my favorites. I've played this game for a few months, sometimes for 10 hours straight.
This is one of the best game I've played, the gameplay is exciting at times, and fairly satisfying when you accomplish something.
The game itself is in Space, but not in space as we know it. The space it is in is through a wormhole, which apparently puts millions of particles in space (which means ships stop quickly if you cut the thrusters...), and makes objects in space never orbit.
In EVE there are four races, the Amarr, the Minmatar, the Caldari, and the Gallente, and they never really seem to get along, so they fight constantly. Morale: Even in the space-tastic future, we can't get along.
Combat is fun, but fairly simple in practice. You have people with short range guns, long range guns, missiles, lasers, torpedoes, smart-bombs, dooms-day devices, drones, repair drones... Fine, it's not simple, it's complex as hell to be able to consistently win against people
You can do things besides blowing space pirates out of the... not-air. People who have no sense of urgency at all can do Mining, which takes a long time to make money, or Trading, which takes an equally long amount of time to make money. If they're feeling daring, they can take up a bit of piracy, and attack player ships, and destroy player ships, that they worked hard for, and are now pissed off that they lost their ship, and quit EVE because some pirate blew up their ship and they're raging about it right now, pirates suck.
So, yeah, those are my thoughts on 5 MMOs that I've played over the last year, The EVE one is short because I took a two hour hiatus and lost motivation to write things down.