Massively OP’s 2018 Awards: MMORPG of the Year


Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year 2018 awards draw to a dramatic close today with our award for MMORPG of the Year, which was awarded to The Elder Scrolls Online last year.

Longtime readers of this site and Massively-that-was will recall that in 2014, we couldn’t reach consensus on an MMO of the year; so many of us voted “nothing” that “nothing” is exactly what won. The following year, we took readers’ feedback and opened this category up to all live MMOs, regardless of launch year, provided they did something noteworthy this year. We’ve done the same this year. 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 the MMORPG of the Year for 2018 is…

Final Fantasy XIV

Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Project Gorgon. I’m not currently playing it, but it hit both the nostalgia notes and the innovation ones. I know it looks a bit rough around the edges, but its guts are far more interesting than most of the other MMOs I fired up this year.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Final Fantasy XIV. It’s partly a result of what other games didn’t quite get right as much as it’s about what XIV nailed. My gut on this was to throw for Elder Scrolls Online again this year, but I thought aside from Summerset, its 2018 DLC fell a bit flat. That was the case for most of the AAA MMORPGs… some good stuff, some bad. XIV had nothing bad. It just kept on solidly plugging along, and it ended the year with a huge bang. It deserves this. I also want to hat tip Project Gorgon, which took Best Indie MMO, but I think it deserves a mention here too. There are a couple of others, like Boundless, that I think will see more love in the “best new MMO” poll next week.

Chris Neal (@wolfyseyes, blog): The consistency and quality of updates that Final Fantasy XIV puts out is beyond reproach and thoroughly appreciated besides. In a year where it felt like lots of games were either on shaky ground or infrequently updating, the team behind XIV just keeps on keepin’ on, which inspires all sorts of confidence in the game’s longevity. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Final Fantasy XIV suffers from the Usagi Yojimbo problem. The game is not just good, but so consistently good that it’s hard to find new things to say about it. It’s a brilliant, beautiful, wonderful game, full of stuff to do, and I came back from this year’s fan festival excited to play it not just from anticipation but because the convention reminded me of how much I already like it. Seriously, this is another one not worth sleeping on, and it’s just been consistently delivering good updates the whole year through. When your biggest criticism of a game is that this year’s huge sprawling set of new zones in a new content style was more contentious than the last expansion? It’s going well.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): WoW Classic. The MMO field seems really ripe for legacy servers, and the BlizzCon demo generated a lot of buzz and fond memories. Can we go back again? Perhaps… perhaps.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): Final Fantasy XIV. In a year of not much happening, FFXIV is the one game I keep coming back to again and again.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): As much as I can’t answer for our floppy/stormy outlook category, I also find it hard to answer Game of the Year for MMOs. Part of that is how dang disappointing MMORPGs have been over the last few (many?)years. That said, I am still impressed with how Final Fantasy XIV keeps trucking along, with devs and a studio head who take responsibility for actions and work hard to deliver a good product. And deliver they do! Without scandals, black-eyes, and nefarious shenanigans. That’s a huge plus. I may not play personally (though if there were a few more non-sub days to sneak in I would!), but the enthusiasm of staff who do is great. My one complaint would be the housing issues because I don’t want to get invested in a game I can’t get a house for, and I’d never get one there.

How does Massively OP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few days to discuss candidates and ideally settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.

Final Fantasy XIV won our award for MMORPG of the Year for 2018. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best MMORPG of 2018?

  • Final Fantasy XIV (48%, 1,378 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (16%, 453 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (4%, 115 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (7%, 192 Votes)
  • Black Desert (2%, 71 Votes)
  • Star Wars The Old Republic (1%, 32 Votes)
  • EVE Online (1%, 33 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (2%, 66 Votes)
  • TERA (0%, 13 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Bless Online (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Boundless (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (1%, 33 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 28 Votes)
  • Project Gorgon (1%, 33 Votes)
  • Secret World Legends (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (0%, 11 Votes)
  • RIFT (0%, 4 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (0%, 5 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (2%, 53 Votes)
  • Destiny 2 (1%, 23 Votes)
  • Skyforge (0%, 1 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Warframe (3%, 78 Votes)
  • Shroud of the Avatar (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 9 Votes)
  • One Hour One Life (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Worlds Adrift (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Monster Hunter World (1%, 33 Votes)
  • Pokemon Go (1%, 15 Votes)
  • The Crew 2 (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Nothing (3%, 89 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,590

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Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought had a chance!
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