Permadeath, also known as “permanent death,” is a game mechanic in which a player’s character is permanently removed from the game upon death. It is a feature only seen in the most hardcore games.
This feature is rare in modern MMORPGs, but certain players do enjoy the torture of playing a game where death has real consequences. For these players, MMOs featuring permadeath are the ultimate challenge.
Below is a list of the few MMOs and online RPGs that feature permadeath in 2023. These titles are some of the most intense online games available and will challenge even the most hardcore players:
Realm of the Mad God
- Developer: Wild Shadow Studios, Deca Games
- Release Date: February 20, 2012
- Platform: PC, Mac
- For fans of Retro Games
One popular MMORPG that includes permadeath is Realm of the Mad God. It is a retro-style bullet-hell MMO shooter.
Players must navigate a procedurally generated world filled with dangerous monsters and bosses in this game.
Upon death, the player’s character is permanently removed from the game, and all progress made with that character is lost. This adds tension to the gameplay, as players must carefully weigh every action’s risks and rewards.
Path of Exile Hardcore Mode
- Developer: Grinding Gear Games
- Release Date: October 23, 2013
- Platform: PC, Playstation, Xbox, Mac
- For fans of ARPGs, Diablo, Isometric MMOs
Another Online RPG with permadeath is Path of Exile. At least in Hardcore Mode. In this mode, players must create a separate character from their standard character progression.
If this character dies, it is permanently removed from the game, and the player must create a new one. This mode is popular among players who want a more challenging and hardcore experience.
Path of Exile is already the best ARPG on the market, but Hardcore Mode takes it to the next level for players who want an even more significant challenge.
- Developer: Gamepot, Headlock Inc.
- Release Date: January 30, 2013
- Platform: PC
- For fans of Anime MMOs
Wizardry Online was a short-lived MMO released in 2013 and was shut down the following year in the west, and a few years later, it was shut down in its homeland of Japan as well.
The game was never a huge hit, but it built a small dedicated audience that has recently begun resurrecting the dead MMO into a private server.
This server is not affiliated with the official game. The private server is currently in development, but a test server is already available for players to experience the game in an unfinished state.
For fans of eastern MMOs, this is an excellent opportunity to experience one of the few games that feature this game mechanic. The intense challenge and pressure of permanent death will surely test even the most experienced players.
While permadeath is not for everyone, it adds an extra layer of challenge and consequence to MMORPGs that can be highly rewarding for those willing to take on the risk. These three games offer a unique and challenging experience for players looking for an MMORPG with permadeath.
Do you know any other games with permadeath that should be included on this list? Let us know in the comments!