The Daily Grind: What older MMO feels like it holds up remarkably well graphically?

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I recognize that I may be biased here, but it always surprises me how good Final Fantasy XI actually looks. Sure, there are a lot of games out that look a lot better than it does, but the game came out in 2002 and it’s still visually pleasing. There are parts of it that look significantly better than City of Heroes, which came out a couple years later. That’s pretty impressive for a game designed to work on a PlayStation 2.

For every game that started looking pretty terrible as soon as it started showing its age (EverQuest, I’m looking in your direction) you have MMOs that have gotten older but are still remarkably good-looking, like Lord of the Rings Online. So what older MMO feels like it holds up remarkably well graphically, even when you’re comparing it to more recent releases? What are the titles that impress you years later by still looking nice?

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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EVE Online looks amazing. CCP invests in keeping up appearances.

Brown Jenkin

Definitely LotRO, characters look awful (but those outfits are great) but the world is gorgeous.


I don’t play them anymore but GW2 looked well after many years, so did FFXIV. EVE Online also looks fine, but this is the type of game where it is very easy to make everything look aesthetically pleasing even with minor engine upgrades. WoW also looks good for the kind of art style it uses.

The other games did not age as well. For example, I remember logging back into LOTRO a year or so ago and it looked like total ass in terms of UI and in terms of character details or texture details or even stuff like trees and other objects in the world. It looked good when I used to play it many years ago and I didn’t play any other games which looked better so I had nothing to compare it to but now it’s just severely outdated. Hopefully Amazon will make a good replacement.

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I know people criticize LotRO’s characters, but I never noticed them – I was always too busy looking at the beautiful landscapes. I still think they’re the best at representing real life biomes.

EVE Online looks about ten times better than it did at launch.


I’d say the two MMOs I still play somewhat regularly hold up okay graphics wise, (they’re both around 10 years old now) and they would be:
Star Trek Online (Some of their ship model redos are nice.)

Bahamut X

Suppose to some extent MapleStory also has that as well. Given the pixel art tends to date itself less than various 3D models.


World of Warcraft, hands down. Nothing else even comes close to remaining graphically relevant after so many years.

And unlike most MMOs that age, WoW has actually been improving its graphics pretty much every expansion.

10/10 to Blizzard and the developers in this category. They have done an outstanding job with this.


GW1 & Dofus

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I forgot about Dofus, I love the art style of that universe.


WW2OL still looks as bad today as it did at launch, does that count as “holding up” technically?

(Don’t get me wrong, I still have a place in my heart for that game but polygonal hills and roads that are only straight in 2020 make me weep inside.)


Would definitely say Allods is up there, even years later it’s art style still holds up. Personally I’ve always been a sucker for good cartoony art styles so something like Wildstar even though it’s not around anymore. If we’re talking about older games from like pre 2010 era I’d vote for Silkroad Online just because even though it has that older graphical look, the art style works well, even between the chinese and european character selection.