There are a lot of ways that stories can be told in MMORPGs, but one of the most straight-forward and visually exciting is the cinematic cutscene. These temporarily yank the player out from actively controlling a character to simply watch an important narrative beat play out as a small movie in the game.
Not every MMO has them, and not every MMO’s in-game cinematics are equal in quality and effectiveness. I always loved The Secret World’s mission bestowal cutscenes for their personality, and I’ve been warming up to World of Warcraft’s gorgeous game engine cinematics over the last two expansions (even if the story they tell often doesn’t make sense). But it’s hard to deny that Final Fantasy XIV’s cutscenes aren’t a huge backbone of that game’s narrative.
Allowing for both pre-rendered cinematics and cutscenes that use the game’s engine to create, which MMO wields these the best inside of the game itself?