Massively Multiplayer Online games are the topic of our newest Top 10! These games require so much dedication and involvement from their players, and are definitely worth talking about. There are also many upcoming MMOs that are promising to bring a lot of fun for gamers worldwide, but we’re only going to focus on the past and present. So let’s see what made our list!
10 – Age of Wushu
Age of Wushu is one of the most recent MMOs to make our list. The MMO is a Free 2 Play game brought to North America by Snail Game, and is an Eastern MMO which includes the usual grinding. However, it doesn’t include a pay-to-win shop, which is a big relief for most players. It’s also quite a competitive game and features a complete sandbox experience, including guild compounds with the ability to create and upgrade buildings in that territory. The game features quite a few systems that lots of players have been requesting over the years. The whole game is based on martial arts, so it’s great if you’re into that. Overall, the game is quite enjoyable and has a lot to offer for active PvP (Player VS. Player) guilds and groups that like territorial fights and faction control.
9 – Seed
This is one of the games in this list that, unfortunately, does not exist anymore on an official channel. Seed was, for lack of a better term, a social hub. Everything in this game was set up for players to interact with each other and work toward a greater goal. No fighting and no PvP was available, but to replace that, social faction was established, and you could decide to support the group that better fitted your views on what should happen. It was supposed to be constantly evolving and bringing new targets for the players to achieve, and tried to do all of this through crafting and socializing. Unfortunately, while the game was was pretty fun and interesting while it existed, the lack of interest from publishers and distributers cut the developers off from any commercial success. Still, for what it could have been and what it was, Seed lands at number nine on our list.
8 – The Matrix: Online
Continuing with the deceased games of our times, The Matrix: Online is a perfect example of niche game that couldn’t make it to the big leagues. Unfortunately, while the game was quite interesting, the general population of the MMO scene didn’t take to it. There’s rumors, however, of an ongoing revival attempt, which I hope comes to fruition. Meanwhile, what made The Matrix: Online part of this list is simple: it continued the story of The Matrix for four years. The unique combat and crafting systems also made it quite an interesting MMO to play.
7 – EverQuest
While EverQuest is one of the first MMOs to ever exist (at least in the manner we know them today), it is also quite old and not appealing for most. EverQuest II upgraded the original quite nicely, but its popularity never reached the like of EverQuest, and there are still lots of players who have kept to the original, which is unsurprising. After you’ve been in that world so much over the many years and expansions, you don’t feel the need to switch to anything else. If you want to experience what definitely influenced the MMO genre, go try both, as they can easily be picked up and are both free-to-play now.
6 – Star Wars Galaxies
I promise this is the last of the dead games on this list. Gamers get pretty nostalgic over MMOs since they put tons of time and effort in them, and it’s pretty heartbreaking when the game is killed by the developer based on their change of direction. This is exactly what happened to Star Wars Galaxies. After two years and three expansions, the game received a complete overhaul that didn’t agree with the majority of the existing player base. So while Star Wars Galaxies does not make it in this list for the game it became after the changes, it indeed does for everything it was before. Unfortunately, because of the massive changes, it was shut down after a few more years of attempting to bring it back. Several projects have sprung up since then in an effort to bring back a pre-change game, but all of them are still a ways away of being properly playable.
5 – The Saga of Ryzom
From the French developer Nevrax came an MMO that blew my mind with its art and graphics. The game is set on this huge living world and includes some of the strangest races I’ve encountered in various video games. While Ryzom did suffer from the timing of its release (World of Warcraft was released a few months later), it still pushed forward to offer something that players had only dreamed in the genre until then: player-made content. Neverwinter Nights fans remembered the time and fun they playing or creating content, and the same came to Ryzom. The game is now free to play, which means you also have access to the incredible amount of content that the players incorporated into it.
4 – Eve Online
Fifth in our list (and one of the most massive games out there) is Eve Online. Sandbox gameplay, spaceships, and battle is what you can expect from this game, all on one massive server. What most people don’t realise is that having one server to handle what Eve Online does is quite impressive. The game hosts thousands of ships battling for supremacy of a corner of the universe. Of course, all this is player-based and does not include any NPCs or developer-made events, and players also make their own events, like the infamous Hulkageddon. All of this combined means that you have what everyone making sandbox games should aim for: a completely player-controlled game only being influenced by the added content that the developer designs for the player base.
3 – Shattered Galaxy
The first published MMORTS (Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Strategy) to show up in North America, Shattered Galaxy also became a favorite of mine. Being a fan of RTS helped, but the game is quite immersive, and the quick skirmishes are always interesting. It doesn’t require as much commitment as other MMOs, and you have something that would appeal a lot of RTS players. If you fancy gaining control of a faction, you can do it with elections and different positions available. The game also features quite a few RPG elements to help you out as a commander, but the main appeal is definitely the RTS part. From building your team to defending or assaulting different regions on a planet to gain control, you’ll spend a lot of quality time in the game.
2 – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
After all the trouble they went through to re-release this game, they should be praised for keeping at it. Of course, the newer iteration of Final Fantasy XIV has received more acclaim and positive reviews than ever before (even from our own reviewer, Dan Reintjes – read his complete review here). The reason it’s number two on the list is simple: it’s damn quite good and is one of the few MMOs available for consoles. Of course, PC gamers would disregard this, but if you want to see what MMOs are about and don’t have a PC, this is definitely one of the better choices out there at the moment.
1 – The Secret World
Let’s start by understanding who is behind this masterpiece. The developer of The Secret World is Funcom, the creators of The Longest Journey series and Anarchy Online, one of the first MMOs out there. The game was well done, fun, and in a universe that was not exactly well-explored until that point – folklore and horror. It also features some of the best customization out there; you can change your role and skills at any time, and you to have access to everything you want with no restrictions other than putting in the necessary time to get everything. Overall, the story, unique world, and gameplay of The Secret World come together to make a game worth playing and experiencing, and is why it is our number one.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.