Free to play MMOs and MMORPGs have been growing considerably over the last few years. Games geared towards an older audience, such as The Lord of the Rings Online and Runes of Magic, have been growing super fast. But kids MMORPGs have grown considerably too. And by considerably, I mean A LOT. I think free to play games like Free Realms from Sony Online Entertainment have really raised the bar in terms of quality for kids games. Free Realms does an incredible job of combing the social elements of games like Fantage and Woozworld with actual gameplay mechanics. The thing about browser games like Fantge is that they’re big on social, but lacking on actual gameplay content. The cool thing about Free Realms is that even if you’re not 10-16 years old, you can still enjoy Free Realms, as I personally find the game quite fun, and I’m well over 20!
One unusually popular kids game is Club Penguin from Disney. Disney has really been on the ball in terms of embracing free to play MMOs, as aside from Club Penguin (Which has millions of users world-wide), Disney has Pixie Hollow and World of Cars Online. Both of these games are moderately popular too – though Club Penguin is by far their most successful MMO. Another neat browser based kids MMO is Neopets – the first and still best virtual pets website. I remember playing this one when I was a lot younger. The guys behind Neopets made another game recently – PetPet Park. I never played that one too much, so I don’t know much about it.
I honestly do have to say that it’s a good time to be a kid. There are so many awesome MMOs aimed at younger audiences today. Even if you ignore the very “kiddy” titles like Moshi Monsters, there are a lot of client based MMORPGs with bright cartoony graphics. Even games like Legend of Edda and Drift City from GamesCampus are fun titles for kids to try. Ether Saga Online from Perfect World Entertainment is cool too, though those under 11 may not be able to figure the game out on their own. Side scrolling MMORPGs like Wonderking and MapleStory are perhaps the best kinds of games for kids, as they’re the simplest client based games available. I actually introduced my cousin to MapleStory when she was in grade school, and she absolutely loved it. I don’t blame her, as it’s a game I used to play a lot too. Nexon really knows how to make games, as MapleStory has over a hundred million players world-wide. Their other cartoony titles – Mabinogi and Dungeon Fighter Online are also very popular.
I think the most popular kids friendly games today are Moshi Monsters and MapleStory. Moshi Monsters is for those younger than 11 while MapleStory is much more inclusive.