Multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) path planning is the benchmark problem of multiple UAVs application, which belongs to the non-deterministic polynomial problem. Its objective is to require multiple UAVs flying safely to the goal position according to their specific start position in three-dimensional space. This issue can be defined as a high-dimensional optimization problem, the solution of which requires optimization techniques with global optimization capabilities. Equilibrium optimizer (EO) is a population-based meta-heuristic algorithm. In order to improve the optimization ability of EO to solve high dimensional problems, this paper proposes a modified equilibrium optimizer with generalized opposition-based learning (MGOEO), which improves the population activity by increasing the internal mutation and cross of the population. In addition, the generalized opposition-based learning is used to construct the population, which can effectively ensure that the algorithm has ability to jump out of the limitation of local optimal. Firstly, numerical experiments show that MGOEO has better optimization precision than EO and several other swarm intelligent algorithms. Then, the paths of UAVs are simulated in three different obstacle environments. The simulation results show that MGOEO can obtain safe and smooth paths, which are better than EO and other eight state-of-the-art optimization algorithms.