Leaderboard: What’s the best classic MMORPG still running in 2017?

Those of you who’ve been following Massively OP for a while know that many our writers have a fondness for old MMORPGs – that’s how we got into the hobby in the first place. My little secret is that I still maintain one of my original Ultima Online accounts with a house and gardens and a stable of toons (mostly bards!).

And yet come awards season, classic MMOs rarely win awards, which hardly seems fair. Yes, some of them have graphics that have fallen by the wayside, but most have mechanics that can stand toe to toe with anything made in 2017.

Thanks to commenter Agemyth, who suggested this topic last year, we’re going to put it to a vote, again this year including a wide range of “gracefully aging” MMOs that could reasonably be considered classics based on the era of their launch. No, we didn’t include blockbusters like World of Warcraft that are still winning awards in 2017, nor did we list any closed games (the Asheron’s Call games were sunsetted this year, alas). Onward to the future where the past lives on in the present!

What's the best classic MMORPG still running at the end of 2017?

  • Age of Conan (3%, 19 Votes)
  • Anarchy Online (3%, 22 Votes)
  • A Tale in the Desert (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Battleground Europe (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Dark Age of Camelot (7%, 50 Votes)
  • Dofus (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (6%, 42 Votes)
  • EVE Online (7%, 52 Votes)
  • EverQuest (13%, 88 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (9%, 60 Votes)
  • Fallen Earth (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XI (8%, 56 Votes)
  • Guild Wars (6%, 39 Votes)
  • Lineage (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (22%, 152 Votes)
  • Meridian 59 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea (0%, 2 Votes)
  • RuneScape (4%, 31 Votes)
  • Ryzom (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Second Life (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Ultima Online (6%, 41 Votes)
  • Wurm Online (1%, 5 Votes)
  • I can't believe you forgot X! I'm going to go down to the comments and politely suggest it right now! (2%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 604

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49 Comments on "Leaderboard: What’s the best classic MMORPG still running in 2017?"

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Crowe

I’ve got nothing here. And I haven’t really played a MMO for more than a couple of weeks in about 2 years now. We’re in a drought and need a classically designed MMO! (and most of the announced in development look like they are catering to a niche crowd)

drivendawn
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drivendawn

FFXI

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Thomas

In my opinion, no one has ever topped Guild Wars for sheer game design magnificence. I played GW to excess back in the day, but one can only play through the same content so many times.

GW1 (most definitely not GW2) is to MMOs (OK, OK, “CORPGs”) what the Mass Effect trilogy is to SPRPGs: a genuine classic.

It frustrates me to see so many mediocre games trying to emulate WoW, when GW1 was the example to follow.

Veldan
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Veldan

While it was an amazing game and it saddens me that it has no (spiritual) successor, I also think GW should not be in any MMO polls because it wasn’t an MMO. This is not just terminology, it was a different type of game.

What I mean is that studios that want to make an MMO can’t follow GW’s example because it wasn’t one. If GW is ever to have a spiritual successor, we need a studio that says “OK, we’re not making an MMO and we’re not doing an F2P model like everyone else, we’re just going to make a good, team-based game like GW was”. I don’t see this happening.

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touchofkiel

FFXI. Still a unique experience both as a FF game and definitely as an MMO. Still a joy to play and explore – and a lot more convenient these days, too, without missing that sense of getting lost exploring the excellent game world, wondering if those mos will aggro…

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Roger Melly

WoW really should have been included as others have pointed out .

I am actually trying WoW again for the first time in nearly 10 years ( I quit just after Wrath of the Lich King ) I still enjoy the pvp but the questing offer zero challenge at all for the most part even in the legion areas ) . For questing and pve in general lotro offers better overall but I think WoW probably has better endgame raids . That is why I voted lotro .

Fully intend to play on the classic servers when they are out but I thought it would be nice to have a couple of max level characters on regular servers so I can also enjoy the newer warfronts as well.

I hope the success of the new classic servers will prompt Blizzard to offer the pristine servers they talked about a while back which hopefully would offer us the something close to the challenge and depth of the original game in its first few years .

The option to play on a server which is for all intents and purposes and harder less streamlined version of the game I suspect would bring back a lot of subscriptions .

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Mallus

I voted LOTRO but Wow should have been up here and it would have won hands down.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Games that came out after WoW are not really classic mmorpgs in my opinion and shouldn’t be included in this poll. And…if you decide to include them… then you should include WoW…

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Vincent Clark

This discussion has come up fairly recently already. In fact, remove “running in 2017” part from the title and it’s identical to an earlier thread–which, coincidentally, had the same issue with the exclusion of WoW.

Veldan
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Veldan

Tbh it’s a good question what is meant by classic.

I’m not native English speaker, and after reading Castagere Shaikura’s comment below I googled a few dictionaries and went through all the possible meanings of the word. The most fitting meaning seems to be “traditional”, which would refer to an MMO that was made the way all the early MMOs were made. That would then exclude WoW, but also LotRO (too modern and WoW-like to be called traditional), GW (too different from the others, and not actually an MMO besides), and possibly more.

So honestly, what does “classic” mean here, and how does that lead to the list of MMOs in the poll?

Veldan
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Veldan

RuneScape, obviously! The RS community has always been underrepresented on this site though, so I never expected it to score high. If anything I’m surprised it even got the 21 votes that it has right now.