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Top 10 Most Wanted Free MMO Games 2012

2012 is set to be a great year for the free-to-play market. Publishers finally understand that they need to create games that are a labor of love, not just another rushed pay-to-win clone of the month. Some big name developers such as Ubisoft and Crytek are also trying to get their share. Who wins in the end? Players, of course.

Here is our Top 10 Most Wanted Free MMO Games for 2012:

10-Marvel Heroes

With Marvel Super Hero Squad Online out of the way and into the hearts (and wallets) of kids all over the world, Gazillion Entertainment now turns to Marvel Heroes, the superhero MMORPG previously known as Marvel Universe Online. This game will also be free-to-play but hopefully we won’t have to spend money on most of the characters to get a proper experience.

With Champions Online: Free For All and DC Universe Online falling short of expectations, there is a large demand for a great superhero game. Hopefully Marvel Heroes will be the one with superpowers… and supervillains to boot.

Release date: TBA

9-End of Nations
When veterans from Westwood Studios (from the Command and Conquer series) decide to create a free-to-play game, it had to be a real-time strategy affair with a sci-fi theme. At least it’s likely to feel more C&C than Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, the browser-based game in development by EA Phenomic, the studio behind F2P games Lord of Ultima and Battleforge.

End of Nations offers a persistent game world where two factions (Liberation Front and Shadow Revolution) battle for control with over 50 players in the battlefield. The inclusion of a campaign is a great bonus for players looking for some single-player time – although it can also be explored with other players.

Release date: 2012

8-World of Warplanes
The worldwide acclaim of the F2P action shooter MMO World of Tanks led to a trilogy that is likely to be memorable. had covered the ground with these metal beasts and is now locking sights on the skies with World of Warplanes. Dozens of airplanes from German, Soviet and US origin are expected, with more from Japan and Great Britain added later.

It’s very likely that World of Warplanes’ gameplay will be a fast-paced and twitchy affair, but if it includes some of the tactical aspects that made World of Tanks such a success, then we’re ready for some great dogfights in the sky. We’re also curious about the final game in the trilogy, World of Battleships, but we’ll delve into it any other time…

Release date: 2012

RaiderZ is a great looking MMORPG that is set to give games such as Vindictus and mostly the Monster Hunter series a run for their money. In development since 2006 and with the closed beta sign up finally open, RaiderZ pits players against some huge monsters with a real-time combat system that is hopefully going to become the norm in the next few years.

There is no class system to limit players and the development of the characters will be based on the style and abilities that each one prefers. Not a bad choice, we reckon.

Release date: Q3 2012

6-Tactical Intervention
The name Minh Le may not mean anything to most players, but those familiar to the FPS genre may know that he is the co-creator of the hit Counter-Strike. He’s been working on a new game for a few years already and guess what: it’s a free-to-play online multiplayer first-person shooter.

Tactical Intervention uses a similar template to Counter-Strike with two teams fighting for dominance. However, players will be able to do more stuff, such as driving and shooting, use attack dogs and beware of hostages being used as human shields. It is looking good yet far from groundbreaking, but if the gameplay mechanics are just right, then we’re bound for a surefire hit.

Release date: Spring 2012

Red 5 Studios has many Blizzard ex-employees in the team but their first game couldn’t be more different from World of Warcraft. Firefall is a team-based shooter with a smooth cel-shaded look and jetpack-fueled gameplay that will certainly please fans of Tribes: Ascend and Global Agenda.

Although it doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the template (classes are the usual Assault, Medic, Recon and possibly the Engineer), it’s the production values that make Firefall stand out from the competition. The setting is also underexploited and we are eager to take a break from our fighting in the tired military theme.

Release date: TBA

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4-Ghost Recon Online
Ubisoft is bringing the Ghost Recon franchise to the F2P market, hopefully with all the quality that previous games used to offer. The focus of the game will be the cover-based action, along with cooperation with the other players from the team and some thinking on what is the best way to tackle the enemy team. There are only three classes available (Assault, Specialist and Recon), but this should be enough to cater for some exciting matches.

Ghost Recon Online is shaping up to be a fresh take on the crowded free-to-play FPS genre and hopefully the micro-transactions won’t ruin the balance of the game. At least, that is what Ubisoft is claiming, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Release date: 2012

There’s a shortage of mech combat games in the free-to-play genre… Actually, there are no mech games to speak of and so it’s good news that Hawken seems so intense and beautiful to look at (Unreal Engine 3) that we can’t wait for December. The fact that the team got $10 million in funding is also great news.

Adhesive Games is a new studio and Hawken is their first game and they seem to know exactly what they’re doing. The videos show hulking mechs and fast-paced action that looks way more convincing than Day 1 Studios rival Reign of Thunder.

Release date: December 12, 2012

Warface is a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter, but don’t leave yet, there’s something really special about this one. It’s being developed by Crytek, the studio behind Far Cry and Crysis and runs on the CryEngine 3. It marks the entry of the acclaimed developer in the freemium market and expectations are naturally high.

Although players are used to having fun with shooters such as Repulse, Cross Fire or Alliance of Valiant Arms, there’s nothing like some next-gen visuals and general high production values to keep us coming back for more PvE and PvP. Hopefully Warface will change the face of war (pun intended).

Release date: 2012

Otherland comes from a new studio, so it can’t be that good, right? Wrong. RealU may be a new name but the staff (over 80) includes ex-employees from EA, THQ and Melbourne House. This is an action MMORPG that seems too original for its own sake, with an adaptation of the bestselling Tad Williams sci-fi epic offering some amazing virtual reality scenarios that range from Blade Runner cities to medieval castles, Mars and others that defy logic. All powered by the Unreal Engine 3 and with avatars that evolve visually as you play.

Besides chatting and fighting, there’s even the option to collect eDNA from creatures and objects and use it to create our own world. If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s because it is… It’s virtual reality!

Release date: 2012

Remember to express your opinion in the comments, if there are other games that deserve to feature here. There are many other games that could make this list, so let us know which ones you're waiting for. If you liked this article please follow us on Facebook.