When done right, massively multiplayer online games can have longevity few other genres in the gaming sphere can boast. The first graphical virtual world ever developed dates back to 1974. It took another ten years for the first commercial MMORPG to come out with the multi-user dungeon game Island of Kesmai releasing on the CompuServe online service and another decade for such games to transition to the internet.

While none of these early platforms survived the turn of the 21st century, a handful of pioneers stood the test of time regardless of their old age. So, which ones of these trailblazers are worth a shot decades after their initial launch? Let’s check out some of the oldest MMOs still available to play.

Ultima Online

The Ultima series has been going strong for over 40 years. The first computer-based RPG installments in the franchise dropped in the 1980s before developers at Origin Systems ventured into the online world in 1997. Being the studio’s first persistent online game, Ultima Online introduced several exclusive mechanics while still retaining its signature focus on PvP action. And the magic worked, as it reached 100,000 subscribers in no time.

The first truly massive fantasy MMORPG in history originally consisted of a single world. Its map became more expansive over time, bringing extra dungeons to explore and creatures designed by comic-book icons like Todd McFarlane. Thematic lands also made their way into the game, including a prehistoric-style landmass and islands inspired by feudal Japan. Aside from these welcome add-ons, a new game engine significantly upgraded the visuals of the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn expansion back in 2007. Most recently, a fresh shard has been confirmed to be in the works, heralding a much-awaited return to the series’ core roleplaying elements.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is by no means the world’s oldest MMORPG. Still, almost twenty years have passed since Blizzard Entertainment released what would become a proper pop culture phenomenon that cemented the genre into the mainstream. Incidentally, WoW is probably the only MMORPG non-gamers have heard of, as references to its universe made it to comic books, satirical shows like South Park, and movies. TV commercials featuring world-famous action stars like Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme also caught the public eye in the 2000s.

This legendary MMORPG influenced many spiritual successors and crossovers, from the digital collectible card game Hearthstone to the upcoming fantasy MMO codenamed Ghost. The original World of Warcraft could have been content with leaving such a profound impact on the online gaming industry. Yet, countless new iterations, expansions, and spin-offs kept it relevant from 2004 to this day. The 2022 Dragonflight expansion was especially well received, earning close-to-perfect scores across the board.


Launched in 1996, Furcadia was crowned the longest continuously-running social MMORPG by the Guinness World Records. As the name implies, this free-to-play fantasy game is all about socializing in a virtual world populated by anthropomorphic creatures. The game actively encourages players to conceive virtual worlds called Dreams through world-building tools like a map-creating program or a script editor. As such, Furcadia laid the groundwork for user-generated content and modding. Many in-game Dreams draw inspiration from popular books and TV series or explore fantasy plots. Custom-made mods also let players design places like entertainment resorts and even fully functional casinos.

Of course, these virtual gambling halls aren’t exactly as exciting as their land-based and online counterparts. To strike it lucky, many players had better turn to real money casinos. Even first-timers can fancy a gamble by checking out reviews compiled by expert writers. Touching upon critical factors like sign-up procedures, safety, commitment to responsible gambling, and customer support, reviewers deliver a fair overview of what to expect out of any given platform. Additionally, they outline the bonuses players can claim – and the wagering requirements attached to these casino offers. Both regular gamblers and newcomers can, therefore, benefit from their advice to pick a trustworthy casino operator online.

MMO fans often have to deal with the disheartening shutdown of their favorite online servers. Despite the genre’s intrinsic volatility, the above platforms are still in service decades after welcoming their first players. As surprising as it sounds, they are no mere exception. Indeed, we could have mentioned the sci-fi MMORPGs EVE Online and Anarchy Online or the fantasy MMORPG Everquest, which all found the perfect formula between staying true to their roots and integrating new gameplay features to keep evolving.