Leaderboard: What’s the best classic MMORPG still running at the end of 2019?


We’ve noted before that while our awards are pretty good at identifying the big modern MMORPGs and the indie gems, it’s much harder to properly reward “classic” MMOs – those MMOs that have been around a reaaaaally long damn time. Some of them even get more content updates than the “big five” games, but because they’re old or small or even (I’ll say it) ugly, they’re just not the games we think of when we’re voting for the biggest and best.

So a few years back, MOP commenter Agemyth proposed this topic for a Leaderboard, and now it’s become one of our staple polls for the end of the year as we try to collectively determine which MMOs are best at “gracefully aging.” Traditionally, we’ve left World of Warcraft off this poll, seeing as it’s usually a top contender for formal awards and would invalidate the vote, but this time around, we’re going to include WoW Classic. We’ve also restricted the voting to just older MMOs that are technically still living – and this year, that includes City of Heroes, since it seems likely it’s only a matter of time until it’s legitimized.

Yes, we know that the definition of the word “classic” is hard to define. We’ve done our best to pick out MMOs from the first couple of generations. Unless you guys really do just want to have an Ultima Online and EverQuest face-off for all eternity, this seems like a lot more fun. To the polls! Oh yeah, and you get three votes, so spend ’em wisely!

Leaderboard: What's the best classic MMORPG still running at the end of 2019?

  • Age of Conan (1%, 83 Votes)
  • Anarchy Online (1%, 75 Votes)
  • A Tale in the Desert (0%, 11 Votes)
  • City of Heroes (28%, 2,512 Votes)
  • Dark Age of Camelot (2%, 193 Votes)
  • Dofus (1%, 58 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (2%, 199 Votes)
  • EVE Online (4%, 320 Votes)
  • EverQuest (5%, 450 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (2%, 176 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XI (4%, 377 Votes)
  • Guild Wars (4%, 338 Votes)
  • Lineage (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Lineage II (1%, 81 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (5%, 485 Votes)
  • Meridian 59 (0%, 22 Votes)
  • RuneScape (21%, 1,937 Votes)
  • Ryzom (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Second Life (1%, 69 Votes)
  • Ultima Online (2%, 199 Votes)
  • WoW Classic (12%, 1,098 Votes)
  • Wurm Online (0%, 30 Votes)
  • I can't believe you forgot X! I'm going to go down to the comments and politely suggest it right now! (3%, 296 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,618

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If you going to include a dead game like City of Heroes that only lives on in emu form, then I feel like I need to add Star Wars Galaxies to the conversation. There are still plenty of SWG emu servers out there, representing each combat system era of SWG.

Michael Hartman

How about: Threshold RPG

    Opened in 1996.
    The first free-to-play game in history.
    Roleplay required (the longest running commercial rp required game online).
    Player run level system, governments, and economy.
    Arguably the most flexible and expansive housing systems.
    23 (and counting) years of constant world evolution through player RP.
    Constant content development.



Chris Engh

Phantasy Star Online anyone? Pretty impressive you can power on your Dreamcast and still find people to play with online !


Tibia…. Second oldest MMORPG. People have played it since it’s beginning to this day. People still grind 10-15 hr days every day. Made the most money it has ever made in the last year. Still going strong.


Vendetta Online (natch), 2002 – present. I’ve been there for 16 of those years.

Ben Stone

I think WoW classic missed an opportunity to offer the classic Wow experience with the modern graphic update. Look at the fanfare over Warcraft 3 remastered. Make it optional to swap to classic graphics for the purists.


The 4th Coming!
Damn… First ever mmo I played and I still remember today the blast it was. Saw recently it’s launched on Steam! Oh boi… Those were the days. I kind of miss those times.
The character creation was based on your moral choices on some text situations thrown at you. So awesome…

My friend's list is me screaming

I think everyone forgets maplestory exists still and is still updating

Andrew Goenner

Star Wars the Old Republic isn’t on there, and it is an amazing game. I’m disappointed (though not surprised) that WoW is #1 (nostalgia is big, I guess), but I’m pleasantly surprised at how high on the list the vastly superior LotRO is.

Michael Doc Duggan

I agree. SWtoR is an amazing game. I actually favor it over WoW

Oleg Chebeneev

EVE and WoW are the best MMOs on the market in my opinion, one as sandbox, one as theme park. Both classify as classic MMOs. And no, I dont mean classic WoW, I mean retail. Еvery classic MMO had years of updates too