Leaderboard: What was the best new MMO of 2018?


Last week, we announced our award for MMO of the Year; it once again went to Final Fantasy XIV. You might notice that XIV didn’t actually launch this year; it was eligible for our award, however, because years back we expanded the category to include MMOs that launched before 2015, primarily in the hopes of avoiding a repeat of our 2014 “nothing” vote.

But it’s certainly possible to whittle it down to just a list of MMOs and similar games that launched strictly in 2018. So which one is the best? Let’s find out. For the purposes of this poll, we’ve included a wide range of newish MMORPGs, MMOs, and MMO-adjacent multiplayer sandboxes, but not battle royale games, MOBAs, or shooters, since those are another orbit out. We also included a range of games in various states of launch, from completely and totally out of the gate to early access.

Leaderboard: What was the best new MMO of 2018?

  • Project Gorgon (11%, 72 Votes)
  • Boundless (1%, 8 Votes)
  • MapleStory 2 (9%, 63 Votes)
  • Bless Online (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Atlas (13%, 88 Votes)
  • Closers (1%, 6 Votes)
  • One Hour One Life (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Worlds Adrift (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Soulworker Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Shroud of the Avatar (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Defiance 2050 (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Occupy White Walls (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Wild West Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Legends of Aria (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Sea of Thieves (3%, 23 Votes)
  • Monster Hunter Online (10%, 71 Votes)
  • Fallout 76 (3%, 20 Votes)
  • Red Dead Online (3%, 19 Votes)
  • Darkfall New Dawn (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Conan Exiles (8%, 55 Votes)
  • Rend (0%, 3 Votes)
  • Dauntless (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Stash (0%, 1 Votes)
  • The Crew 2 (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Nothing (22%, 150 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 605

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Vincent Clark

I mean, I get that FFXIV isn’t for everyone, but to even put LotRO in the same playing field (in terms of graphics) as FFXIV is laughable. Hell, a lot of players with top end machines have to reduce their settings down to DX9 just to play LotRO with no crashes.

But the proof is in the pudding. Here are two expansion launch trailers, both of them using in-game assets.

Kickstarter Donor

Atlas has more votes than Conan Exiles for best game of 2018??? the world really has gone mad. If broke a** games, however nice their concept is is a measure of good then the market is flooded with good games right now lol

Robert Mann

Nothing. Many on the list are either not-so-new, not really released yet, too small to be an MMO, or whatnot.

We got nothing worth being excited about at this point. I guess MapleStory 2 is the best of what is left… and that’s very sad indeed. OWW isn’t my thing, but maybe that one as well, since it is in full release?

Atlas and Project Gorgon are not really released yet, or would likely be the top two right now to me. Because they both have some interesting aspects, even if they are still rough in-dev things.

Frank White

It’s pretty telling that two of the three games with the most votes aren’t really MMO’s at all, in my opinion (and some of the others listed definitely aren’t). Take out the “massive” and make them MO’s? Although on second thought, a lot of MMO’s these days are doing well to average 50 to 70 concurrent players on a server, so what do I know. ;) But yeah, I didn’t find a lot of MMO’s, new or old, to get too excited about this past year. Make that none. Hopefully 2019 will be better.

James Crow

BIG Nothing to be honest.
also i dont think MHO count as MMO, its more like Destiny and TD.

-not sure about Crew


I picked MapleStory 2, Closer and Occupy White Walls…as I am continuing to hear good things about them. Though I should also of included Monster Hunter Online, for the same reason. :)

Melissa McDonald

Tried Final Fantasy XIV on this recommendation but I found it very disappointing. Graphically it’s in no way better than LOTRO.


To be honest I dont like XIV too but it has a lot fans and it appeals to them. Just like with every game, it cant appeal to everyone. From Theme-Park gameplay games I like ESO/SWTOR/LOTRO more than it and from more actionish ones GW2 appealed more to me than XIV as well

Random MMO fan
Random MMO fan

I understand that sense of aesthetics can be pretty subjective, but I can see plenty of difference between something like this:
comment image
(for people who play the game – it’s taken with gpose, no out-of-game reshading tools used)

and something like this:comment image

and I do prefer what I see in the first screenshot much better than the stuff from second one ;-)


Yeah I mean I love LotRO (lifetimer) but I’m also a very big FF14 fan and while one can have their graphical preferences, I hold FF14 up as one of the nicest looking games out there, with my favorite player models.


Lets not be too misleading now. FFXIV does look better than LOTRO, but Gpose does use extra effects than what you would have in normal gameplay.


Its to a big part a matter if you are a fan of something. I dont like any FF based graphs much from FFX and onwords. That doesnt mean they arent good games for their fans – just isnt good for me. Same time I like the more serious middle earth graphs of LOTRO as a style. Fidelity is another thing though. That said while as newer game XIV has better fidelity you didnt even pick a good screenshot of the second, while you used gpose on the first too. Even the angle is tailored so the first screen is more outlined as well. Its the same difference having in RL someone get a good angle selfie and a simple frontal photo – the first will look better

Frank White

I know that everyone’s taste is different, but I have to confess I’m a little dismayed that anyone would say that FFXIV looks no better than LoTRO. But to each his own.

Robert Mann

I’d say on the textures, model fidelity, etc. it is by far… but in terms of design (landscape, buildings, areas) LoTRO may well have the upper hand by enough to counter that.

Stating it the way you have is open to too much conflict with what has already been the typical reply here.


There’s been nothing worth a damn this year, so none.

Project Gorgon has some great systems at its core and is probably the best on the list so its worth a mention, however its been an abysmal year for the MMO fan.


None of them. Nothing has been as good as SWTOR, I’m sticking with it until it shuts down. I do sometimes play ESO, DCUO, and STO though. But nothing new in 2018 has been any good.


None. bBut if I was forced to play one listed, Conan Exiles.