Free online games have been around for many many years. In fact, GameOgre.com was started around 2k to cover that very topic. During all the time, there have been a big variety of free online games top play and two main ways to play them. There are games that you can play in your browser and then there are free games to download.
Some of the main older games that could be played in your browser included Adventure Quest, Hobo Wars, and Runescape. Not surprisingly, these three free games have been popular for many years and still exist in form or another. If these Online RPG games charged per month in order to play like most MMORPGs used to, the results would likely vary quite a bit.
Downloadable Free Games
Free games that could be downloaded started as shareware or free demos. Once you downloaded the game and played so much or for so long, you would then be asked to pay in order to continue. Another form of this is the free trial that is still widely used today. The good news is that at GameTop, all games are full versions and free to download without having to sign up. There are also no in-game ads that disrupt gameplay or malware at all. However, the real shot in the arm to the free online game genre came when downloadable Free MMORPGs arrived!
Free MMORPGs allowed players to delve into a game world with many other players at the same time! This was without a doubt the most popular online game genre for a number of years. Ironically, the craze started when pay-to-play juggernaut World of Warcraft (WoW) arrived and surged to its initial lofty heights as the undisputed king of MMORPGs for several years. WoW was so popular that it drove up demand for all MMORPGs and served as the real mainstream introduction for the MMORPG. Players could just not enough so game makers do what most companies do when there is a hot trend or fad; flood the market with a similar product. Although it took several years, supply of MMORPGs finally dwarfed their demand so the whole industry (including WoW) has been in a general decline ever since!
Right about the time that MMORPGs had started their overall decline in popularity, the MOBA (Massive Online Battle Arena) started taking off. What was interesting about the MOBA genre was that, like MMORPGs with WoW, it was led primarily by one ruling game. That ruling MOBA is League of Legends (LoL). More importantly, MOBAs were one of the main forces behind Esports taking off because it can be played with small teams versus small teams. Esports are one of the key factors to the future of gaming so MOBAs have carved a nice spot that could last far longer the popularity of Free MMORPGs!
Although MOBAs will likely have a long term popularity due to Esports, they are no longer the hottest online gaming niche. That distinction has belonged to Battle Royales for a few years. Games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends have each had stints on top as the most popular Battle Royale and thus avoiding the trends set by MMORPGs and MOBAs!