We don’t give out a formal end-of-the-year award for MMO graphics at Massively OP. It’d be almost impossible to come to a consensus. As we wrote a few years back, “Where some people aren’t satisfied until games are hyperrealistic, others require fanciful and dreamlike artistic rendering and still others can look at a cutesy retro game and squee. Some people juggle geese.”
I fully admit I juggle geese; I’ve been happily playing a classic MMO for many months now, and while it holds up OK with mods, it’s not winning any beauty contests in 2018. However, I can still look at games like Black Desert, which saw a major graphics upgrade this year, and give it a hearty salute for pushing the envelope in a genre that doesn’t often put bleeding edge graphics first.
If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, new or old, as long as it’s live, which game would walk home with the prize?