MassivelyOP’s 2022 Awards: Most Underrated MMO


Welcome once again to Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year awards.

Every year, we poll our writers on the best and worst MMOs, stories, studios, and trends and assign awards to the winners. For the last eight years nowwe’ve been splitting our awards into individual posts, the better to explain our nominations and consensus process. We also include unofficial reader’s polls at the end so we can compare our picks with yours! Expect another award every day through (almost) the end of the month, all leading up to our MMORPG of the year.

Today’s award is for the Most Underrated MMO of 2022, which was awarded to Elyon last year. As is our tradition, all launched and live MMOs are eligible for many of these awards, including this one, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year. 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 Most Underrated MMO of 2022 is…


Andy McAdams: Elder Scrolls Online.

Brianna Royce: Elder Scrolls Online. Elder Scrolls Online continues to be an MMO that I know is solid and it stays on my hard drive, but it doesn’t drive much of a hype machine anymore, and I always forget about it in favor of other titles. I think it’s been underrated the last two years; its output and quality are still high even if the glitz and glam are gone.

Carlo Lacsina: Swords of Legends Online.

Chris Neal: Albion Online, Elder Scrolls Online. ESO kind of shot itself in the foot here – who really cared about the Systres Archipelago that much? – but I also can’t really balk at how steady it has been this past year. Perhaps the rumors of its next destination will inject some much-needed excitement into this one, but being a stalwart and continually updating game still deserves an award if you ask me.

Colin Henry: Elder Scrolls Online. The Elder Scrolls Online is in this weird state where it continues to crank out solid content year after year on a predictable schedule, yet it somehow generates zero hype. I fell off of ESO after Blackwood but recently returned for High Isle and had one of those “Why was I not playing this all along?” moments. I don’t know if it’s a failing of the marketing team or the playerbase or maybe the game just plays it too safe and predictable, but this game is good, and people are playing it, yet people who aren’t currently playing it just seem to forget it exists. Here’s hoping that it makes more waves in 2023!

Eliot Lefebvre: Yes, there is definitely reason to give praise to The Elder Scrolls Online because it has a fantastic ability to keep on keepin’ on. I’m kind of sad that it doesn’t really do a better hype engine because that would help a lot; it’s solid but not terribly well-promoted. And I say this as someone for whom the setting is basically a net negative, to boot. You need a year when you do something to wow people again. Just don’t do it during an FFXIV expansion year; then I’ll feel conflicted.

Justin Olivetti: Lord of the Rings Online. Shouldn’t this game be slowing down in its advanced years? Instead, it feels positively youthful with a few big updates (Yondershire, Before the Shadow), some massive game design shifts (PvMP improvements, class trait revamp, more class/race combos unlocked), and an expanding team. The bump it got from the new Amazon TV show didn’t hurt none, either.

MJ Guthrie: Elder Scrolls Onlinehasn’t done anything flashy to set it apart this year, but it doesn’t deserve to have faded into the background either. Consistent updates bring new stuff, and honestly I am still happy each time I log in and can group with friends to run through content together. (Yes, I was scarred that bad by pre-One Tamriel!)

Tyler Edwards: Aion and Star Trek Online.

Elder Scrolls Online took our award for Most Underrated MMO of 2022. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the most underrated MMO of 2022?

  • Elder Scrolls Online (18%, 188 Votes)
  • Lord of the Rings Online (24%, 245 Votes)
  • Swords of Legends Online (2%, 17 Votes)
  • Albion Online (4%, 42 Votes)
  • Aion (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (4%, 44 Votes)
  • SWTOR (5%, 54 Votes)
  • New World (10%, 99 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Mortal Online 2 (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Black Desert (3%, 31 Votes)
  • RuneScape (2%, 21 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (2%, 20 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (4%, 40 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (2%, 20 Votes)
  • EVE Online (2%, 18 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 2 (2%, 20 Votes)
  • PSO2 (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Zenith (0%, 4 Votes)
  • Embers Adrift (2%, 16 Votes)
  • Dual Universe (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (1%, 14 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (3%, 36 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (6%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 897

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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 commentary from writers so that you can see our thought process. 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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