2013 is now behind us, and we're at the point where it's time to start looking forward. Almost...but not quite. Before we move forward, let's take one last look back at what I thought was a great year for MMOs in 2013. Here's some of my thoughts for the top MMORPGs of 2013.
I've never personally played Defiance, and I'm more than aware of its incredibly rocky start - but I'm equally as aware of the promising concept behind it. After all, no one's really tried to tie a video game and TV series, never mind one with the scope of an MMORPG. Although reviews of the title have been lukewarm at best, it's a game that's all about potential. With a little bit of work on the part of Trion Worlds - who've displayed nothing but commitment to improving - the game's currently got nowhere to go but up. This potential is what's netted Defiance fifth place on our list.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Towards the end of 2012, Bioware and Electronic Arts decided to make Star Wars: The Old Republic free to play in light of falling subscriber counts. The game was no worse for wear as a result. In a narrative sense, it's still the strongest titles on the market, and though EA has made a few blunders with the game's freemium elements, as a whole, they've done a fairly good job balancing things between subscribers and non-subscribers. That, coupled with the announcement of a promising new expansion makes The Old Republic the fourth entry on our list.
I know I've leveled my fair share of criticism at Neverwinter in the past, but the fact remains that it's still one of the strongest D&D MMOs on the market, and an admirable free to play offering besides. Although Perfect World Entertainment hasn't quite gotten the hang of micro-transactions, none of the items sold in the shop are particularly game-changing. and though it could do more to immerse players, the gameplay is still very well-designed. Without a doubt, the strongest offering Neverwinter brings to the table is the Foundry, which allows players to craft their own quests. Maybe I'm just a sucker for user content, but if the developer plays their cards right, I feel like the Foundry could make Neverwinter one of the strongest MMORPGs of 2014.
Path of Exile
Although it's not necessarily a traditional MMORPG, Path of Exile earns itself second place on our list. As I said in my review, the title feels exactly like what Diablo III should have been, and features unique character progression, a novel approach to skills, and game-play that puts most other dungeon crawlers to shame. There's not a whole lot else to say about Path of Exile, other than the fact that Gamespot didn't name it 2013's Game of The Year without reason.
Guild Wars 2
It's been over a year since Guild Wars 2 launched, and in that time, the Arenanet team has displayed an unending dedication to updating and improving their game. Given the fact that the game's free to play after the initial purchase, this is no mean feat - the MMO, along with its added content, stands head and shoulders above its competition. Not only that, the in-game cash shop is probably one of the best designed I've ever seen; selling only reasonably-priced convenience and cosmetic items. Although the story-line might be less-than-stellar, the sheer volume of content and quality of game-play more than makes up for it. This commitment - and the enduring quality of the game - earn Guild Wars 2 the top spot on this year's list.
Eight of The Most Memorable MMO Dungeons Ever Designed
Dungeons are a staple of the MMO genre; large-scale challenges requiring co-operation and co-ordination between anywhere from five to a few hundred players to adequately complete. Of course, not all are created equal, and some stand head and shoulders above their peers. Today, I'd like to tip my hat to those few legends, those instances that'll stick with us for years to come as shining examples of how to do dungeons right.
Ten Of The Best MMORPG Songs Ever Heard
In many ways, an MMO is only as good as its music. Many of the best and most memorable moments in an MMO invariably have a song associated with them; a piece of music which brings the memories flooding back the moment it reaches one's ears. Today, I'd like to pay homage to some of those songs - and some of those moments. Here, for your listening pleasure (and in no particular order, I assure you) is a list of some of the best songs ever heard in an MMO.
Facebook's Purchase Of Oculus VR Isn't The End Of The World
For those of you who've been living under a rock, Facebook recently purchased Oculus VR to the tune of $2 billion. Understandably, backers and developers alike were rather unimpressed, calling it a betrayal. As for me? I've never been more excited.
Seven Of The Worst Things You Can Say In League
If you've played league, you've probably encountered at least one toxic player. If you haven't, there's a good chance that YOU are the toxic one. Don't believe me? Ask yourself if you've ever said any of the following...
Six Reasons You Should Be Playing Dark Souls II
I've been playing a lot of Dark Souls II lately - and you should be too. Say what you will about the game's flaws, it's still arguably one of the best action RPGs released in the past several years. If you're up for a bit of a challenge, it's well worth the buy. Don't believe me? Let's talk, then.
Eight Reasons The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Awesome
As you're all no doubt aware, The Elder Scrolls Online - currently in open beta - will be launching in a few months or so. In light of both the new release date and all the hype surfacing around it, I've decided that, over the next two weeks, I'll be looking at all the reasons to look forward to it...and all the reasons we shouldn't.
League of Legends or DOTA 2?
The debate between Dota 2 and League of Legends has been raging almost since the two games were first released. But which game is REALLY the superior of the two?
Champions of Regnum
Champions of Regnum is a Fantasy MMORPG published by NGD Studios.
City of Steam
City of Steam is a browser-based, steampunk Fantasy MMORPG by Mechanist Games
EverQuest Next: Landmark
EverQuest Next: Landmark is a sanbox MMORPG that is currently under development by Sony Online Entertainment.