Massively OP's Best of 2015 Awards: MMO of the Year

Massively OP's end-of-the-year awards conclude today with our award for MMO of the Year.

In 2014, we couldn't reach consensus on an MMO of the year. In fact, enough of us voted "nothing" that "nothing" is exactly what won, which was a depressing way to end the year. I'm pleased to say that this year, the choices were a bit easier, in part because we took readers' advice and opened this category up to all MMOs, provided they did something noteworthy this year.

All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end, and congratulations to all of this year's nominees and winners.

The Massively OP staff pick for MMO of the Year is...

Final Fantasy XIV

mmooftheyear

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 became a very different game this year with the release of the Heart of Thorns expansion, and releasing the base game for free has brought in tons of new players. Several of my friends have picked the game up since it went free to play, and showing them everything in the game has really made it fresh again. It feels like that moment when everyone in your circle of friends finally gave in and bought World of Warcraft except this time it's free and a lot more casual.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Final Fantasy XIV is not a game I play, but it's the only major MMORPG that didn't spend at least part of this year mired in some sort of PR mess. And it managed to deliver a massive expansion in the classic style that somehow always manages to be a pure crowd-pleaser. The fact that it's done so well post-relaunch is just icing on the cake.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Final Fantasy XIV. Easy nod for me, and one that I don't expect to get the win, but a game that deserves it. The game's content updates roll out like clockwork, the systems are polished, the graphics are gorgeous, the community is happy, the whole thing hums along marvelously. The relaunch is an indisputable success story, it just keeps getting better, and the quality of life keeps improving with each patch - the most recent patch includes such off-the-wall features as an elaborate system for roommates, a new style of outdoor content as an experiment, and an entire RTS as a bonus feature. It's going to take a lot to dethrone this one as an unsung hero.

Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): Again, no vote. Wake me up when Star Citizen, Camelot Unchained, and some of these other in-development virtual worlds actually launch.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): WildStar. Last year I wanted to put WildStar, but I held off because it hadn't earned it yet. This year I strongly feel that Carbine has taken an ill-fitting business model, some development missteps, and a truly fun MMO and addressed the first two issues while boosting the latter. WildStar got great this year and hopefully will continue that trend into the next.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): How can I not give it to Star Wars: The Old Republic? This is the year of Star Wars, and SWTOR launched an expansion that blew me out of the water. It added features that have drown me back to older content. And it continues to draw me back even when I should just walk away.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): Tough call, but it's gonna hafta be Final Fantasy XIV for me. It is the one game in which I've spent the most time this year, by a significant margin, and I honestly feel that FFXIV continues to provide one of the more unique experiences currently available on the MMO market. Yeah, sure, on the surface it's kind of a run-of-the-mill themepark RPG, but the deep gathering and crafting systems, the wide array of classes available, and the kind of storyline that only a Final Fantasy game can provide all combine to make a game that keeps me coming back.

Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): Can I possibly say anything other than Guild Wars 2? Nope! I adore the game, obviously, and this year was smashing. HoT is such a promising expansion, and there's so much more to come. The excitement surrounding the title right now is undeniable, and I'm enjoying myself even more than I always did!

Final Fantasy XIV won our MMO of the Year for 2015. What's your pick?

What was the best MMO of 2015?

  • Final Fantasy XIV (16%, 426 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (10%, 255 Votes)
  • WildStar (2%, 61 Votes)
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (7%, 188 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (4%, 97 Votes)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online (39%, 1,022 Votes)
  • The Secret World (2%, 50 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (1%, 14 Votes)
  • EVE Online (1%, 36 Votes)
  • Skyforge (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Trove (1%, 19 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Landmark (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Elite: Dangerous (1%, 33 Votes)
  • RIFT (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Marvel Heroes (4%, 112 Votes)
  • TERA (1%, 17 Votes)
  • World of Tanks (0%, 5 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Wander (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Devilian (0%, 5 Votes)
  • World of Warships (0%, 9 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Otherland (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Cabal 2 (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Crew (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Nothing (4%, 115 Votes)
  • Something else -- please post in the comments! (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (1%, 35 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (0%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,634

Loading ... Loading ...
Poll options include all games nominated, all major MMOs that launched in 2015, and several major MMOs from the last few years.

MASSIVELY OP'S 2015 AWARDS
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138 Comments on "Massively OP's Best of 2015 Awards: MMO of the Year"

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MattyTock
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MattyTock

Despair MattyTock Marelius Planetside 2 regularly does way more than anything ESO has to offer in terms of player size, and that game is 3 years old now.

Marelius
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Marelius

Despair Marelius LOL wow you just pull those numbers out like it is gospel. Can't believe a word you say and don't be shocked when ESO cuts back even more because of low pops.

Despair
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Despair

MattyTock Despair Marelius Technically ESO supports up to 600 vs 600 vs 600, however most players don't have such a good PC to participate in that. EVE might be able to compete with that, but EVE is much more basic anyways. The amount of spells going on in ESO PvP would crash EVE servers with just 100 vs 100, probably even less.

MattyTock
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MattyTock

Despair Marelius TFW people honestly believe 200 v 200 is a lot

Despair
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Despair

Marelius Despair With the team they have? ESO team hasn't changed at all, they didn't lose any important devs. Lag is only in PvP when there is 200 vs 200 player battles. FFXIV's servers can't handle 1/10 of that (but that's pretty normal, no other MMO has such huge PvP battles), that's why it's not surprising that devs never bothered with FFXIV's PvP. As for the bugs, ESO doesn't have any more bugs than FFXIV does, even though it's using much more modern complicated systems. 

Besides ESO's Cons are only with the technical problems. The game is in a superb state. It might not be for you as it's actually for adults, compared to FFXIV, WoW and 95% of other MMOs on the market.

As for WoW they didn't even have 2mil subs in the West (Q3), considering ESO's optional subscription has been on top of PS4 "best selling DLC", it's fair to say ESO has at least 2 mil subs across all platforms, with active playerbase much higher.

Marelius
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Marelius

Despair Marelius LOL go on keep dreaming. But I agree if they make major changes with developers and more so on bring someone in that can fix the lag and other major bugs then yeah they could over take WoW but right now with the team they have, forget it.

Despair
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Despair

Marelius Lol ESO is by far superior game to FFXIV, it's also doing much better. It's only a matter of time before it overtakes WoW. And with Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood releasing next year Q1 and Q2, you can be sure it's gonna keep on growing.

Rynn
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Rynn

I agree with the editors. While SWTOR and ESO both had solid years, FFXIV has been killing it since it relaunched, and Heavensward continued that trend. It's the only MMORPG I've played since City of Heroes where my subscription is pretty much always active.

Marelius
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Marelius

I had to agree and go with FFXIV. Shocked so many are going for ESO.
The game just has so many bugs and issues and support over all is super
bad. I really don't see the game lasting another year. Unless of course
they change some people that have a better vision for the game. But to
each there own! :-D

wanderv15
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wanderv15

Lotro because of Minas Tirith

MattyTock
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MattyTock

ApathyCurve WoT is better tho

Rogbarz
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Rogbarz

Picked Swtor as I liked what they did this year with the game, second choice is ESO. Just a wonderful game and what a turn around !

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

vicariousfan ? Aint gotta report me for my opinions and facts.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

ESO gets my vote.  It's also the only one I play regularly and pay for the monthly subscription.

TamaraPostma
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TamaraPostma

black desert online

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

WannaBAMBAM vicariousfan purewitz oh god its you... so you have another sockpuppet account. 

ok reporting

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

vicariousfan What bugs? Can you even tell me of one that actually exists? I also noticed you mention about the achievements being broken.

What achievements and bugs? 2+ years and I have not run into a single problem.

So, yeah, what bugs?

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

vicariousfan Neo_Wolf "I find myself playing DIABLO 3 more just cause they have ways of making the same content fun and interesting. "

==========================

Because you can solo the entire game like SWTOR? I did.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

vicariousfan purewitz "This should be no surprise, but I'm with Larry. Star Wars: The Old Republic had the best year in MMOs this year. The first 9 chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire and  Game Update 4.0 blew away every other MMO and MMO expansion this year. Plus as Larry said, "This is the year of Star Wars". As a whole Star Wars is just owning it this year from every aspect of the franchise in every medium. Its been ten years since the last movie, but Star Wars is back in a big way."

================================

I'm reading the original OP post, can you show me where in this statement that he say's FF fumbled it this year?

I'm asking because purewitz is my real life roommate. And even he is wondering where you got that FF was a "fumble" LOL.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

thatchefdude purewitz I have to agree with this too. FF got new dungeons, raids, zones, flying, TT, etc as where SWTOR only got 10...er...i mean 9 chapters at 10 hours.

Besides, FF did NOT have server rollbacks, hackers, and companion nerf and buffs.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

thatchefdude Scarecrowe I can get 1 to 15 by just doing hunting logs lol

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

xania WannaBAMBAM Actually do the math. By doing beast tribe alone will net you 20 of 1 item in 30 days. Then add on allied seal, poetics, law, etc.

It's not hard and if rumors are to be believed, someone in JP already has theirs.

http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/275963-Apparently-someone-in-the-JPN-servers-has-completed-their-Animus-relic%21

ApathyCurve
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ApathyCurve

Armored Warfare.  It's World of Tanks without the suck.

And yes, it qualifies as a MMO.  Massively says so.  Look at the default voting list, chumpy.

Loyheta
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Loyheta

ffxiv. No doubt. I don't like the game as much as I want to but I know it is still a great game.

BryanCo
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BryanCo

Anyone else surprised at the strong showing of Marvel Heroes in the poll?  Basically tied with ESO for fourth place* when I think most who follow the site could have predicted that FF14, GW2, and SWTOR would likely be the top three.

* That is, of course, as of the time I write this.

poordevil
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poordevil

Don't Have unlimited access to a high end gaming computer any more, it has been commandeered by my son, lol. So I have been regulated to my HDTV and the Playstation 4. That means FFXIV is the only MMO I can play. Glad to see it is regarded so highly even by those who have access to every MMO out there.

It is a very well done game. Even on the console with the controller it looks great and runs well. I am pretty casual about it, haven't joined a guild yet and pretty much solo the content except for the dungeons. I am level 30 something, an archer, and the combat is fun. My favorite attributes of the game is the writing and the attention to detail of the environments and characters. I haven't come across anything in the game that appears slipshod or half baked. It is a polished product from graphics, controls, cut scenes, motion quality of all characters and NPCs. All around a great product and a pleasure to play.

As far as the gameplay itself I split my time between rising in rank in my Grand Company, following the main story quest line, doing side quests for money, and filling out my hunting log. That is plenty to keep me busy!

ShagrathVtc
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ShagrathVtc

SWTOR: KotFE is my fav in 2015! Honorable mentions: LOTRO's latest update and Wildstar's transition to F2P!

Pashgan
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Pashgan

Without Warframe this is really strange list.

thatchefdude
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thatchefdude

purewitz Seriously, cause I played KOTFE and I like SWTOR even in Year 1, and I have to say this update is one of the worst things to happen to the game... The story sucks, and its very linear and antisocial...even for SWTOR, which is pretty antisocial to begin with

thatchefdude
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thatchefdude

Scarecrowe Leveling the others is kinda optional, if you just want to play one class and its job, you only need to level one other class to lvl 15, which can be done in less than 1 hour.

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

Neo_Wolf yup agree with SWTOR and ESO having great years,  ESO has really picked itsefl up.

Marvel Heroes... i just wish they would add playable content.  I have the ultimate founders pack and i got 3 hereoes up to 30 but i'm so bored of doing the same thing again and agian.

I find myself playing DIABLO 3 more just cause they have ways of making the same content fun and interesting.

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

melissaheather well to be fair LOtrO has WB backing it and they are coming off of the Hobbit Trilogy.

xania
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xania

WannaBAMBAM xania 
I find it extremely hard to believe you can get it done that fast, unless "easily" means hours of grinding every single day for a month, plus having traded in a Zeta, plus being good friends with specialist crafters of every stripe. And yes, it is a grind 100%, don't be silly. Hundreds of Alex runs, tens of thousands of tomes, I forget how many beastmen quests but it was a stupid amount - these are all ridiculous grinds.

Congrats on your weapon when you get it, but the Anima weapons are indefensible. Especially since Yoshi-P backtracked on his promise not to include bullshit like the atma grind ever again. Especially since they were pushed back from 3.1 to be fined tuned when it is literally the same things we've been grinding since forever. Especially since the rest of the patch didn't even pick up the slack!

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

Scarecrowe i keep trying to play it but yeah with the bugs and the repetative nature its very hard especially when there are MMOs that do everything better.

vicariousfan
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vicariousfan

purewitz agree completely FFXIV kind of fumbled it this year

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

purewitz "but Star Wars is back in a big way"

===================================

I remember when you said this when JJ Abrams was re doing star trek and you tried to get me to play that shitty STO game.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

Scarecrowe I just started a new character last night, what repetitive gameplay? Doing quests? Which quests in peticular? What made it repetitive?

Can't say dungeons, your first comes at 15. Can't say quests because there all different. The only thing I can think your doing is.....fates? But why if quests give enough xp? Hunting logs are fun too. Unlocking things.

So you can see where we get confused on your statement.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

xania That's because some of us are LITERALLY a quarter done with it. I have the 4x4 HQ items and 7 each of the 4 items needed, shell, bone, etc.

I see people crying but, this can be completed in about 2 to 3 weeks easily, especially if you get to it.

When Relic hit, people said they wanted more time consuming relic quests. Instead we got grind Relics. Now the Anima is really about time and way less about grind.

Besides, step 2 wont be out for a couple of months so we got time.

WannaBAMBAM
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WannaBAMBAM

purewitz Ummm no it didnt. SWTOR's expac had 10 hours of gameplay, then a grind with companions. Heavensward brought several new huge zones, over 100 hours gameplay(easily mind you),  flying, new dungeons, raids, 10 extra levels, 3 new jobs/classes, Diadem, Lords of Verminion, Triple Triad, etc.

Oh yeah, SWTOR got no new flash points or raids........yet you think it did better........

Call me when they get swoop bike races and pazzak. And new raids and flashpoints. And i'll come back when it feels like I CANT solo the entire game without help at all.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

It's funny, this type of sentiment has been repeated ad nauseam this year and every year since MMO games were a thing.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

Everyday another sandbox comes out and everyday sandbox lovers rush to forums of some kind to tell everyone that it wasn't the sandbox they wanted.

xania
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xania

Surprised 3.15 didn't single-handedly tank FFXIV's votes.

Koshelkin
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Koshelkin

McSleaz Koshelkin And Justin Bieber made million of dollars because he is such a good musician, yeah?

Scarecrowe
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Scarecrowe

Thank you, Jef!  We finally got a "nothing" option. (wish you had chosen something similar for the previous polls)

Personally, I detested FFXIV. I know some folks liked it but the amazing amount of repetitive gameplay even during the early levels just bored me silly. And that was just levelling one class. I'd have had to repeat that ad infinitum to level the others...

TimoMajere
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TimoMajere

CloakingDonkey TimoMajere No It means Massively Multiplayer online., you're right.
That other comment was just to be a troll..
And just because YOU do not believe it to be MMO does not mean is isn't MMO.
And for the record, there's LOTS of Minecraft server hosting over 1000 people at once.. even more..
Perhaps if you played it, you'd know this.

purewitz
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purewitz

This should be no surprise, but I'm with Larry. Star Wars: The Old Republic had the best year in MMOs this year. The first 9 chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire and  Game Update 4.0 blew away every other MMO and MMO expansion this year. Plus as Larry said, "This is the year of Star Wars". As a whole Star Wars is just owning it this year from every aspect of the franchise in every medium. Its been ten years since the last movie, but Star Wars is back in a big way.

CloakingDonkey
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CloakingDonkey

deekay_zero CloakingDonkey TimoMajere that's nice. You're still wrong on this. mod support is not a feature that excuses bad game design and it doesn't make the base game something it isn't. especially when you're trying to hand out entirely arbitrary rewards. Within the bounds of these awards, Minecraft does not qualify or should not qualify.

Otherwise, why not CoD? Or Skyrim? Or how about we just give everyone a participation trophy?

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

Amorey
You should not vote for something you have heard, but what's best for you.
I voted LotrO too, because it may be an old MMO, but it's still the one I spend most time in and enjoying the most.

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

Corvus Monedula melissaheather
We've moved from a virtually empty server to one that's so full, you can't go few steps without running into someone.
Its like 2009 again.  :D

Hikikomicklori
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Hikikomicklori

I have said it many times in the past, and will continue to until Square Enix does something to change my opinion, but Final Fantasy 14 is the only MMO out there that I believe EARNS the subscription money I pay it.

wpDiscuz