Text Games: Five of the Best

By Tony Celentano

If you're not counting Korean grindfests, there are few commercial graphical MMORPGs. So few, in fact, that the list of pay-to-play MMORPGs fit into one convienent Wikipedia article. The exact opposite is true for text games, however. Text games are the oldest and most enjoyable roleplaying experience on the PC, so it's no wonder that there are thousands of titles to choose from. Someone new to text games can be intimidated by how many online text games exist; often, they give up on text games altogether after an unpleasant experience in an undeveloped MU*. Being new to text games doesn't need to be a painful headache. I've compiled the 5 best text games in terms of roleplay, replayability value and content. Listed in no specific order, I urge you to check out these fascinating online text games!

1: Lusternia, Age of Ascension
Lusternia is a fantasy world text game with emphasis on extra-planar travel. It was developed in 2004 and maintains a strong playerbase to this day, most likely due to its huge, original world. With over 700+ abilities and spells, Lusternia offers deep and complex combat not seen in many text games. Many skills can be branched out to allow unique skill customization, allowing you to create the customized text game character you've always wanted. The non-violent art of Influencing is also available, allowing your character to level-up from engaging in heated debates!

2: Midkemia Online
Based on the New York Times bestselling 'Riftwar' series, Midkemia Online is an addictive and fast-paced text adventure that combines elements of espionage, politics and fierce PK. Hundreds of skills and abilities are available, with guilds including but not limited to thieves ruling over the criminal underworld, valiant soldiers of the Queen's Guard and foreign Tsurani invaders. Engaging roleplay is a huge part of this fantasy text game, as many Sects of the same religion war eachother! Set in the years following the bestselling book "A Darkness at Sethanon", Midkemia Online is definitely worth checking out if you're craving a richly detailed and enjoyable text game experience.

3: Aetolia, the Midnight Age
Aetolia is a spin-off of the #1 rated text game Achaea, featuring many of the same areas and classes. However, the text game world in Aetolia is darker and more violent. Warped and twisted vampires from the city of Bloodloch wage a bloody war on Enorian, the Beacon of Light. Paladins and undead clash constantly as players master the deep and complex combat system, which has struck out on its own considerably since its days of inception as an Achaea clone. For new and old text gamers alike, Aetolia is quite a thrilling rush worth experiencing.

4: Imperian, Sundered Heavens
Intense PVP combat and an immense original world await in the fantasy text game Imperian. PvP rules are more relaxed in Imperian, allowing players to get involved in intricate and realistic battles while keeping out the 'whiners'. A dynamic text game economy is part of the unique text game world, allowing players to directly impact the availability of resources. If you're looking for deep roleplay to go with your hardcore PK, give Imperian a shot. You won't be disappointed.

5: Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands
Released in 1997, Achaea has established itself as the #1 text game in the world. An extremeley loyal, newbie-friendly playerbase keeps Achaea alive to this day. Achaea was the first free online game to offer in-game item auctions, allowing players to gain an edge in combat in exchange for real life currency. However, the same items are attainable in-game, if your character works hard enough, thus ensuring balance for everyone. Many unique and original classes are also featured, and player-ran factions are available for you to join. You can even enter the political arena and become the elected leader of your faction! Player-owned ships are also available, allowing you to sail yourself and your party of friends to distant continents and islands.


Hiraejin's picture
12:51 PM

Is this still around or other similar promotions?

I need credits haha

Ankastra's picture
1:05 AM

Well... okay! Bit biased I

Well... okay! Bit biased I guess, heh.

Dvurkha's picture
2:05 PM

I don't get it. Why is an

I don't get it. Why is an article on the IRE site promoting only the IRE games? Preach to the choir more?

Timina's picture
1:09 AM

Lusternia for the win

I'm glad Lusternia is at the top of the list. It's always been my favorite of Iron Realm's. And Iron Realms games are always the best.

Xyas's picture
12:12 AM


This article is pretty funny but I do have to admit that these 5 games are probably the best!

Krixas's picture
6:20 PM

Pretty close

I don't know if it is the best order of them all, but I can't even kinda pick up another text game that doesn't run by the IRE mainframe without quickly becoming sad about the lack of...IREness

Everiine's picture
11:21 PM


Umm, not that I don't necessarily agree, but does no one else think it's odd that an article posted on an IRE website just happens to list all five IRE games as five of the "best text games?" Come on...

Iashe's picture
12:31 AM


But, it is 100% true!