The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal in 2019?


I’ll have you know that fighting over MMO graphics is a time-honored tradition around here. It’s a straight-up RvR showdown between the photo-realism side, the retro-gfx side, and the “look guys I just wanna build a house and kill shit and I don’t really care whether the skybox is perfectly rendered” side.

Last year, I gave my personal nod to Black Desert, and while it’s still not my favorite MMO ever – I am a mechanics-first girl – I know gorgeous when I see it.

If you were going to give out an award for best visual appeal in an MMORPG, which game would take the crown right now? Which MMORPG has the best graphical appeal in 2019?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Star Citizen alpha 3.8 on their PTU looks absolutely gorgeous with respect to space and the new planetary graphics.

Oleg Chebeneev

Star Citizen is light years above competition. BDO isnt even close. Honorable mentioning – Lost Ark. Georgeous game with amazing world design

Dilly Dolly

I’m actually really surprised people mentioning GW2, and it’s ‘artistic’ graphics. :D

Bruno Brito

GW2 artistic-wise.

If speaking from a full graphical perspective, BDO. And i loathe BDO.

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I still rate Rift very highly, for being a nice bridge between the colourful stylisation of WoW and the more realistic look of EQII. Guild Wars 2 is still awesome for its unique, painterly look. Archeage is my favourite of the modern ‘realistic’ bunch. Overall though… Hmm… Rift. It’s a great blend of realism and styled looks.

Ardra Ventax

BDO wins. And not just because of ANSEL . Not just screencaps, even in gameplay it’s amazing. Seeing sweat beads on the brow of my character after a strenuous combat? That’s some real attention to detail, right there.


Elder Scrolls Online for fantasy mmos and EVE Online for Sci-fi. I am not counting unreleased games by the way.


As much as I bust SC for it not being an actual game, it’s damned pretty. Screenshots are good, but seeing stuff in action is gorgeous. I guess as a tech demo it’s a winner?

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Ken from Chicago

STAR CITIZEN does make for pretty videos. So pretty.


BDO as far as screenshots go, though last I remember playing it there was a lot of oddities with lighting + shadows and then of course pop-ins while running around.

As for which one graphically appeals to me the most, probably FFXIV. It has some beautiful scenery and the graphics still hold up quite well. There are some textures that break up into pixels for some reason (i.e. on Hien’s outfit it’s very noticeable) but overall the visuals are gorgeous and they only seem to get better with each expansion.


Was going to say the same thing. BDO is drop-dead gorgeous in terms of screenshots. But in play even on high-end machines the pop in just drives me batty. (Haven’t played in a while, in case they’ve fixed it.)
Agree that FFXIV is damned pretty.


If you like the fantasy-world milieu it’s set in, it’s really hard to compete with BDO – and there’s a complete game to go along with the beautiful graphics. The world, the character art, the weather, I think I’ve spent almost as much time roaming around for screenshots as trying to accomplish tasks the game rewards me for. :)

If you’re willing to consider Star Citizen an actual MMO at this point (I won’t argue if you’re in the ‘no, it just isn’t’ camp there), then it’s going to get my call. Those mountains in the distance? You can not only go there, you can fly up out of the atmosphere, to another planet or moon, and go *there*.

It’s nowhere near a complete game, but graphically? It’s gorgeous, and getting better all the time.

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