Leaderboard: What’s the best classic MMORPG still running at the end of 2020?

    
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glargh and suchlike

It’s been a longstanding problem that end-of-the-year awards for MMORPGs aren’t ideal for honoring “classic” MMOs, especially the really old games, really small games, really ugly games, and all the stuff you played when you were kids but that your kids probably think is dated as heck.

So for the last few years, we’ve been polling our readers for their pick for which of the classic MMOs is aging the most… gracefully. Last year, we even started including WoW Classic and some of the more reputable emulated MMOs at the urging of our readers, though for the most part, we’re still limiting the choices to living titles. As usual, we’ve done our best to pick out MMOs from the first couple of generations, but if you really do want to fight over what counts as “classic,” knock yourselves out in the comments, you do you. To the pollmobile with your three votes apiece!

Leaderboard: What's the best classic MMORPG still running at the end of 2020?

  • Age of Conan (1%, 102 Votes)
  • Anarchy Online (0%, 72 Votes)
  • A Tale in the Desert (0%, 12 Votes)
  • City of Heroes (7%, 1,000 Votes)
  • Dark Age of Camelot (2%, 359 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (1%, 140 Votes)
  • EVE Online (2%, 325 Votes)
  • EverQuest (2%, 317 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 99 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XI (2%, 319 Votes)
  • Guild Wars (2%, 334 Votes)
  • Lineage (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Lineage II (1%, 109 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (24%, 3,582 Votes)
  • MapleStory (0%, 70 Votes)
  • Meridian 59 (0%, 9 Votes)
  • RuneScape (3%, 400 Votes)
  • Ryzom (0%, 13 Votes)
  • Star Wars Galaxies (9%, 1,373 Votes)
  • Tibia (0%, 64 Votes)
  • Ultima Online (1%, 148 Votes)
  • Vendetta Online (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Warhammer Online (36%, 5,514 Votes)
  • WoW Classic (5%, 711 Votes)
  • Wurm Online (0%, 25 Votes)
  • You forgot X! I'm gonna drop it in the comments for next year! (1%, 117 Votes)

Total Voters: 13,468

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Luke John Brown

When does this end?

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Sjoerd van Rooij

I’m missing Star wars the old Republic it’s still going with a stable player base and recently moved to steam.

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Tyrel Garlinghouse

Asheron’s Call is still up and running as Acemulator and some servers even have new content. I still play!

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Pyotr F. Chekhovsky

I honestly believe the online games listed that are no longer live with an official company; that are only emulators/private servers should be removed from this poll-list. Half if not all these games were shutdown years and years ago. They should not be listed since they are not in the public eye of online gaming anymore after the shutdowns they had. You only have a few listed that are still officially live with its company.

GamesBond
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GamesBond

Yet, with equal attention from both emulators and companies, private servers and their communities seem to be way more resilient than their counterpart.

I believe it’s a clear message, they’re players after all. Many emulators have teams working around the clock, patching way more than companies do, in order to deliver a proper experience to its player base. An experience that, otherwise, would’ve not been available due to shutdowns.

It’s not players playing for free only. It’s players being able to play again.

You and I don’t decide who gets what. Communities enforce their presence and I’m sure if these emulators’ communities did not care, you wouldn’t see 10k+ votes on this poll. Other polls like “Best MMORPG of 2020” surely should not envelop these emulators. But when it comes back to classic, they surely have a presence backed by their own communities.

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Pyotr F. Chekhovsky

I agree with you on everything, don’t worry. I’m just saying I think there should be Live servers vs Live . And Emulators vs Emulators.

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J

I agree to a point. I think ones that have authorization from the owners should be listed. If they are in a grey area legally though, they shouldn’t be promoted here.

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swagsoompi

Need to have the other good RvR open pvp mmos out in your list. You are missing Champions of Regnum and Wwarhammer Return for Reckoning.

GamesBond
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GamesBond

Return of Reckoning is presented as Warhammer Online (the game being emulated)

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swagsoompi

Then put in Champions of Regnum now. It is at least as great as RoR, and has a longer and more distinguished international history.

GamesBond
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GamesBond

WAAAGH!

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Max Hayman

WAAAAAAAAAGHH!!

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swagsoompi

WAAAAGHHH!!! and Champions of Regnum :P Old-school mmos ftw.

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Xergon Xmat

WAAAAAGH!
War Never Ends!

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driveled

Seems like this poll was phrased in a way to omit WoW retail. I’m not sure its even the choice but why leave it off when its been around as long or longer than most games listed?

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Aaron Weddle

actually more then a few of these games existed before Wow Anarchy online, Star Wars galaxies EVE online everquest dark age of camelot and the list goes on

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Benjamin Foster

Really not a fan of privately run servers… they tend to be like high-school playgrounds. Especially when known credit exploiters act as community senators.

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Bruno Brito

True to an extent. Few of the most vocal servers can keep somewhat of a clean act. Sadly, many of them are Drama grounds too. SWG:Legends for instance is beloved in MOP ( i like it quite a lot too ) but maaaan does it have drama. Same with P99.

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Aaron Weddle

oooh Quit being snobby Privately run Servers keep an otherwise Dead game going sure it has some issues but id rather it exist and play on it Then it be dead forever legal status be damned..

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Buffy Klein

Star Wars Galaxies!! SWG Legends!

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PanagiotisLial1

I want to bring the attention to something else regarding them. Notice how, about all, got votes which shows the divercity in gameplay that existed in the past, despite there were fewer mmos. Each one was somebody’s loved mmo.

As for me, its hard to decide, I would have to pick at least 5 but so I reduced it excluding those that got modernised to keep up with todays stands, like EVE and WoW. Excluding these 2 I went for Anarchy Online, Ultima Online and Tibia. Still what can I say for dungeon and dragons online? it has the most immersive dungeon crawling paired with puzzles – and yet no major games tried to learn from that. LOTRO? A crafting that is unusually good for a themepark, large and beautiful world and fun character handling and combat and I am just touching the surface – almost all mentioned have something good to offer even after so many years. And hey, I would put TSW there as well