Massively multi-player online games are fun. For me they not only offer a way to kill a few hours and unwind, but also a way to keep in touch with close friends that live on the other side of the country (or the world).
The downside is that most of these games cost about $50 in the store, but to play the game online you must also pay a recurring monthly charge of $10 to $15 (depending on the game). Although this is a relatively low cost, I generally don't like recurring charges, so I have avoided most of these games, except for taking advantage of various free trial offers.
Happily, there is one winning alternative to the recurring monthly fee scheme. Enter Guild Wars. A very well crafted series of games, Guild Wars is similar in style to World of Warcraft & to Everquest. These games are gorgeous to look at and amazingly fun to play. The designers put a lot of thought into game design and storyline, and the large number of worldwide Guild Wars players means that the game supports a very vibrant community.
Best of all, Guild Wars does not have any monthly charges. Playing the game online is absolutely free once you purchase the software. Let me repeat that: no recurring fees. It's a personal finance blogger's dream... :-)
Each installment of Guild Wars is a self-contained game. While I own all three titles released to date, I am still playing the oldest title in the series which I purchased about two years ago and the game is still fun and exciting. That's what I call value for money.
An interesting factoid: those of you wondering about my Blog nickname, Shadox Memf is the name of one of my Guild Wars characters... you may be interested to know that Shadox's net worth is approximately 55 platinum pieces, and he is invested mostly in precious metals and jewelry. The return on his protfolio is fairly dismal given the shortage of index fund options in the game... if you play the Guild Wars, look me up online.
Do you know of any other free to play massively multi-player games? Please share the info by leaving a comment.