Massively OP’s 2020 Awards: Best MMO Character Customization


MassivelyOP’s end-of-the-year awards for 2020 continue today with… what’s this? A brand-new award? Yep! This year we’re debuting a new formal award for Best MMO Character Customization. After all, making toons is one of the few things pretty much every MMO and every MMO player truly has in common. Will this award be around next year? We have no idea! Let’s see how it goes over. So don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Best MMO Character Customization of 2020 is…


Andy McAdams: Elder Scrolls Online or Guild Wars 2 are my two favorites. I still maintain the BDO is only a good character customization if you subscribe to the maxim of “You can have any color you want as long it’s black.” I’ve found BDO’s character creator to be incredibly limiting. My vote for GW2 is largely because of the Sylvari, my favorite fantasy race ever.

Brianna Royce: City of Heroes, Black Desert, Guild Wars 2. I don’t really think anything tops City of Heroes for character customization, not even the other superhero titles, so it’ll be lovely when it’s official again (ahem) so we can give it awards. In the meantime, I can get behind Black Desert. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s detailed as heck.

Carlo Lacsina: Black Desert.

Chris Neal: City of Heroes, Black Desert. CoH continues to provide evidence that sometimes the good old days were indeed better than today. This, of course, is helped out with some new options added by the folks handling the Homecoming rogue servers, but the fact remains that, as far as complete customization goes, from looks to powers, City of Heroes is still the undefeated champion.

Eliot Lefebvre: Star Trek Online.

Justin Olivetti: City of Heroes, Guild Wars 2, Champions Online.

Mia DeSanzo: Black Desert Online.

MJ Guthrie: Yipes! Here’s a category you’d think was made for me, right? That doesn’t make it an obvious or easy choice. It all depends on what you define as customization. Is it just character creation? Because there are games with a generous character creation, including styles, colors, even sliders for every possible feature. There are games that let you dress however you want regardless of gear with appearance slots and such. And there are games that allow you to freely customize your skills and build, even changing on the go. And different games top the lists in each of these. But I am giving the tip top slot to Secret World Legends for nailing two out of three of these categories. I wish more games would allow characters to dress freely without it affecting stats (all “gear” is accessories, not clothing) and let you buildup your personal skill build while allowing for freedom to readily swap. SWL does these both very well.

Tyler Edwards: I still don’t think anything quite tops Aion, though City of Heroes is a pretty solid choice as well. As much as I love Black Desert character creator, it has too many weird arbitrary restrictions (like gender locks) for me to say it’s the best.

Black Desert took our award for Best MMO Character Creation in 2020. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: Which MMO offered the best character customization in 2020?

  • Black Desert (24%, 119 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (12%, 59 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (13%, 64 Votes)
  • City of Heroes (13%, 65 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Champions Online (4%, 18 Votes)
  • Secret World Legends (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Aion (2%, 10 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (4%, 18 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (9%, 43 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 1 Votes)
  • LOTRO (1%, 6 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (1%, 5 Votes)
  • TERA (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (1%, 5 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 5 Votes)
  • SWTOR (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (4%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 410

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together to nominate and discuss candidates and hopefully settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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