The Best MMO of All Times

by Matthew Evans 8 months ago in mmo

Listicle About the Best Cult MMO of All Times

The Best MMO of All Times

MMORPGs keep coming out every year; they are flashy, beautiful and vivid. They promise unique gameplay and features you have never seen before. But the newcomers often can’t compete with the older titles, even if oldies haven’t been updated for ages. It may come as a surprise, but it’s often not nostalgia or general distaste for everything new. These games became cult classic for a good reason. And the reason is they are really legendary and top-notch. So let’s gather round our imaginary bonfire and remember these feats of game design, writing, and community building.

'Ultima Online'

The one that started it all: living legend, cult classic, every modern MMO grandpa still going strong after more than 20 years. A successor to a series of popular RPGs set its goal to give players maximum freedom and let them roam one of the first real virtual worlds. It was a complete sandbox experience with its skill-based system, which allowed you to do whatever you like. You could go monster hunting or fishing, buy a house and decorate it or set a store in it, kill other players or never draw a weapon. What’s more, it was the first MMORPG to gain 100,000 monthly paying subscribers and had 250,000 subscribers at its peak.

Is it playable today? In the world of MMOs, where fads explode and fade in a matter of years, UO is a gem that stood the test of time. It may be a bit hardcore for today’s players but has some real historical value.

'Ragnarok Online'

The art style is outstanding in this one—2,5D with great design and animations. In fact, it looks cartoonish for a good reason. The game based on Korean manhwa. The soundtrack completes the immersion into the colorful world of Ragnarok. However, there is more to this book than a beautiful cover. The number of builds is practically endless: two characters of the same guts class can have different skills and stats, modified by gear and special card system. With dozens of classes, this allows creating a character that fits your play style like a glove. This makes gameplay varied and gives great replay ability to this MMO.

Is it playable today? Yes, and actually there was a renewal in 2010, which revitalized Ragnarok, opening for newbies as well as bringing nostalgic old players around.

'Everquest 2'

When it comes to great fantasy worlds to dive into, Everquest 2, which has turned 14 this year, still has little competitors. Its scale is colossal with tons of content and gameplay allowing solo exploring as well as team fun. When asked why they like it, the most common answer from players is that it is the “deepest” MMO they ever played. Quests are wonderful and rich with storytelling, designing well thought out, and communities dedicated to in-game home decorating are still active.

Unfortunately, WOW released several weeks after, so Everquest 2 did not do so well financially. Players at the time also complained about system requirements being too high, because of the game’s poor optimization. However, these drawbacks faded with time leaving us a great game.

Is it playable today? Gone free-to-play, so it will not hurt to try. Has some confusing mechanics, but really fun to explore and travel across.

'EVE Online'

Some people call it the best MMO ever, others run away in terror not feeling like investing so much time into just learning how to play the game. The truth is that EVE really scratched the itch of sci-fi fans around the world for an enormous open space experience. The game universe is a single map with 12,000 star systems, and what is astonishing is the fact that everyone plays on the same server, no shards.

EVE's social aspect is so good, it is simply unreachable—its politics, diplomacy, espionage and trading system leave competitors far behind. It has massive space battles, where the game’s competitiveness and ruthlessness really shine through. Some in-game battles were so massive they got mainstream media to write about EVE. It often takes months of preparation and hundreds of real dollars to equip your space battleship, which you can lose within moments.

Is it playable today? Sure. EVE is a niche game with tons of things to learn, but its uniqueness has earned it a spot in hearts of thousands of players all over the world and a place in this list.

'World of Warcraft'

We bet you have heard about this one. The most popular MMO of all times, holder of numerous awards and records, the absolute champion. It is also the most profitable video game ever—by 2017, Activision Blizzard had earned $9.23 billion. The game brought the genre to pop culture level, being featured in a South Park episode and getting a successful film version of its universe as tokens of mainstream appreciation.

It may be hard to see the game itself behind its status, but it is still here. Based on a popular RTS franchise with its rich lore and devoted fan base, it took everything that was hard or annoying in the genre and turned it to an extraordinary fun experience. The world is enormous and interesting to explore, the quests are fun and well written, raids are hard and rewarding, and almost any computer can run it. Nostalgia is a great factor too with people returning after long breaks because they miss all the time they spent in the game.

Is it playable today? Absolutely. After seven successful expansions, World of Warcraft is still going strong. Though the game passed its peak of 12 million subscribers, there is still a lot to do and see in Azeroth.

'Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn'

Final Fantasy franchise is the most famous JRPG series in history. It is no wonder that when MMOs became popular, Square Enix decided to try their hand at the genre. FFXIV is the second attempt of the company and it is even more successful than the first one, FFXI. It packed with references to the older games of the series, has nice visuals, good level design and engaging mechanics. Some players especially note the great combat system, which is fast and smooth. It is also story-driven and the quests fleshed out with excellent writing.

Is it playable today? Eight years after the release, still good as new.

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