411 Games Top 5 08.31.13: The Top 5 MMORPGs
Posted by Sean Garmer on 08.31.2013
From World of Warcraft to Star Wars: The Old Republic to Everquest, EVE Online, DC Universe Online and more, the 411 staff counts down the top 5 MMORPGs of all time!
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, who enjoys role playing of the massive multiplayer variety?
* This Week the 411 staff were asked to come up with their Top 5 MMO's*
Stephen Randle (Games Zone Reviewer, Quizmaster of Four Player Co-op, Organizer of Cooperative Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast, Writer of Wrestling News Experience)
5. Defense Of The Ancients 2 - Well, it's got lots of players and it is multiplayer, so I'm counting it. And I know, I've said "fuck MOBAs" many, many times, and believe me, every time I play I feel dirty, but then again, I have been playing quite a lot of it, so it must be doing something right.
4. Ragnarok Online - I always considered WoW my first MMO, but truth be told, I played this game well before Warcraft took over. One of the bigger free Japanese RPGs, it didn't have much depth beyond "kill things and level", but it did have a strangely addictive leveling and crafting system, so I played way more hours than I'm comfortable with admitting.
3. Marvel Heroes - I don't think this game gets enough credit for being decent, because the bizzare pricing structure tended to undercut it in a lot of peoples' eyes. The game that exists is pretty fun, although not particularly difficult (except the last boss fight, which ramps up a ridiculous amount), and hey, you get to play as Marvel superheroes. I don't ask for much.
2. The Old Republic - I wanted this game to be so much more than it ended up being. First things first, the story mode of nearly every character class is incredible, some of the best stuff I've played in a video game. That said, there's no endgame to speak of, you can pretty much experience the entire thing as a single player, and unfortunately, it had no real longevity. This could have been my new WoW, but there was just no reason to keep playing.
1. World of Warcraft - I gave this game way too many years of my life, but I don't regret...well, most of it, anyway. I had fun, I met some good friends, and I played a game that, while far from perfect, was as close as we'll probably ever get in a fantasy MMO. No other game has really had as much of a personal impact on me as WoW, and if I had a good reason, I'd go back to it tomorrow. The day I realized all my friends had moved on from it was a sad one, and I'd give a lot to get the gang back together. Ah well...
Daniel Anderson (Games Zone Reviewer, Organizer of 411 Games Fact or Fiction, Regular Contributor to Cooperative Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast)
HM: City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, EVE Online, Rift, Guild Wars
5. The Old Republic - I really, really wanted to enjoy this game more than I did. The single player campaign was a lot of fun and very, very detailed. Then, one the single player story was over, there was nothing else to do. There was almost no endgame content at all. I would also say that the character classes were not well balanced at all. There were some classes much stronger than others. The game stumbled out of the gate, and, while not perfect, is still fun to play.
4. Champions Online - After I got out of WoW, I was tired of MMO's. I didn't want to play them again because I was very frustrated. Then a few friends of mine convinced me to give this game a shot. At the time I was amazed with the way to build your hero. You had the option to pick and choose your powers as you leveled, no matter what tree the powers were in. Want a lightning hero that can also call down an orbital strike from a satellite? You can do that. Want to have an ice hero who could also play with fire? You can do that too. It was a power gamer's fondest desire and allowed for a lot of creativity.
3. Everquest - Everquest was, in many ways, ahead of its time. Before WoW, Everquest was the name in MMO's. Very dated and complicated by today's standards, you can still find people who claim that this game was better than WoW. Everquest 2 failed to take off which helped WoW gain a solid foothold in the MMO market.
2. DC Universe Online - I think this is the game that, in many ways, is the anti-WoW. It has action game elements, along with no auto-attacking, it is more of a sci-fi world instead of a fantasy world, and you do not have to have 40+ people to run endgame content. That being said, there was one flaw that killed the number of subscribers in this game and eventually forced it to be free to play. When SOE's servers got hacked, the game was down for a month and the game never recovered. DCUO is a good game that does not get the credit it deserves.
1. World of Warcraft - Could any other MMO be the best of all time? I am not saying WoW is a perfect game. There are a lot of things I did not, and still do not, like about the game. That being said, WoW is a juggernaut. No game has been able to compete against it for several reasons. WoW is the standard that all other MMOs are judged against (hell, I referred to it in three of the games above), and therefore has to be considered the best MMO.
Jeremy Thomas (Senior Editor of 411mania.com, Writes A Ton of things around 411mania.com, Regular Contributor to Cooperative Multiplayer 411 Games Podcast)
Honorable Mention: Lineage II, Marvel Heroes, City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2
5. EVE Online - It's difficult to do space-set MMORPGs really well. Star Trek Online tried and there are fun aspects to that, but there are also a lot of things about it that bugged me. EVE on the other hand did it just right in my opinion. The variety of things you can do means that it appeals to many different times of people and while I am not a huge fan of the pro-griefing aspects, it definitely provides a strong risk/reward experience. It's a game that has managed to survive through a lot of ups and downs where many other MMOs have fallen by the wayside.
4. The Old Republic - It hurts me to have SW:TOR this low on the list, because it is the MMO I have devoted most of my time to outside of THAT one. (You know the one.) BioWare did some great things with The Old Republic and let's face it; after the debacle of SW: Galaxies the idea of a Star Wars-themed MMORPG had a rather steep hill to climb. But they devoted a lot of development into the storyline and that paid off in droves. If only they hadn't mucked it all up when it came to endgame and lack of speedy content updates, I would probably still be playing.
3. DC Universe Online - DCUO is, in all actuality, probably the game I have had the most fun with and if I hadn't already been getting out of the genre for time reasons I would probably still be playing. The in-game universe was great, the character design was well-done and it was the perfect balance of graphics, gameplay and strategy. DCUO's failure wasn't its own fault and that's kind of tragic, because this one really could have been much bigger than it is.
2. EverQuest - I will confess to hating EverCrack. I loathed this game; I played about twenty minutes and was instantly done. In fact, it nearly killed any chances of me ever getting on board with the genre. That being said, it has to be on this list for importance to MMORPGs. Without EQ, there never would have been any of the other games on this or any other list; at the very least the genre wouldn't have risen to be as big as it was. I never enjoyed my EQ experience and will never go back but I have to give it props for basically creating the market.
1. World of Warcraft - There has probably never been a more obvious selection for #1 on a list before. WoW is THE MMORPG. There's no debate in my mind. The game changed the face of online gaming and has withstood more assaults by other games than any other property would be able to handle. Every year there's a new "WoW killer" and every year that WoW Killer fails to accomplish its mission, usually tucking tail and becoming free to play in short order. It's the easy winner on this list and nothing even begins to come close.
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