4.5/5 RIFT is a free to play MMO with a familiar (Warcraft) feel to it, that does enough to distinguish itself from all the other f2p MMOs out there.
- The class system has been designed with flexibility in mind. Every class has the ability to switch roles, so you could be tanking in a dungeon one minute and doing solo quests as a DPS the next. MMO newbies can play with preset skill-trees to avoid being overwhelmed, whilst MMO veterans can tinker away with custom builds to their heart's content.
- Dynamic zone events. You can be quietly questing in a zone, when suddenly, rifts open up spawning mobs and eventually, the event boss. This encourages everyone in a zone to band together to close rifts and take down the boss, which is great fun.
- How you choose to level up is really flexible. Do quests, instant adventures (kill/fetch quests with other players), zone events or dungeons.
- RIFT is still actively being developed. Version 3.0 is due soon (end of Otober 2014)
- Once you hit lvl 50, a new skill tree system (planar attunement) opens up, offering more customisation. A special set of dungeons (Chronicles) designed for 1-2 playes also becomes accessible from lvl 50+.
- If want to try dungeons (designed for 5 players) but haven't got guild friends to join with, you can join a dungeon queue that will automatically match 5 random players together. (Note: the wait time depends on your role, it seems that tanks are in short supply, followed by healers)
- Quests can get a bit grindy sometimes; many are of the "collect 20 of .." or "kill 12 of ..." variety. However, occasionally you do come across more fun/unusual/interesting/innovative quests, lifting the game above your standard MMO.
- Some zones are not well optimized and FPS will suddenly drop from a smooth 60fps down to 20fps.
- Free players can buy stuff from the auction house but can't sell (although there is a trade chat channel available). It is possible however to use in-game currency (plat) to buy something called REX that another player has paid for using real cash. The REX can be used to unlock the ability to sell in the auction house.
Recommendation: If you want to experience the fun and familiarity of an MMO like Warcraft, but don't want to pay a monthly subscription, then RIFT will provide exactly what you are looking for. It is a well-designed, flexible game ... and did I mention it was free?