MassivelyOP’s 2022 Awards: Most Improved MMO


Welcome back to Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year awards!

Today’s award is for the Most Improved MMO, which was awarded to The Elder Scrolls Online last year. All live MMOs, regardless of release date, were eligible for this award, provided they made the improvements they’re being praised for this 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 Improved MMO of 2022 is…


​Andrew Ross: Orna, the GPS RPG. The new tutorial makes the game much easier to understand for modern gamers, the appraisal building makes it easier to know what to keep or toss, and even though my neighborhood/town is a poor fit for the new Mnemonic hunts, it’s enjoyable enough that I can imagine it giving rural players a lot to do, which is something rare in the MMOARG genre.

Andy McAdams: New World.

Brianna Royce: New World. I think this award was hands-down the easiest one we settled in 2022; most of us, even those who don’t play NW, were in agreement that Amazon’s efforts to shore up the game, particularly this past fall, represented the biggest set of improvements to an MMO. Many games would’ve crumbled and been abandoned by now. Then again, it also had much farther to climb – and it’s still got a long way to go.

Carlo Lacsina: New World. 

Chris Neal: New World. I love how this one has begun to right itself, especially in the face of worries that Amazon would “pull a Google” and cut it down before it could really take root. New World’s turnaround is why our genre is one of the best in gaming, and the devs working to make it better deserve the nod.

Colin Henry: New World. New World’s recent revamp helped the flow of the early levels a lot, and helped introduce the player to the main story a lot earlier, and the fresh start servers were a great way to call players back to the game to see it all. I hope the team keeps up the good work and does the same for the upper levels, which were always the problem anyway.

Eliot Lefebvre: New World. We mention among ourselves most years that the award being “most improved” sounds like it’s referring to a game that got better after being really bad, and… well, there’s no other way to say it, New World had set the bar about as low as it could go after its launch. While usually the potentially backhanded implications are to be avoided, here this is definitely a case of a game salvaging itself. But it did better! Probably not better enough to reach “good” for a while, but hey.

Justin Olivetti: World of Warcraft, for finally rejecting “borrowed power” and returning to evergreen systems that can be improved and expanded upon. Getting out of the blah Shadowlands era and into Dragonflight may be the course correction this title desperately needed. I’m also still frustrated that the Warcraft mobile title that Blizz and NetEase were working on was canned.

MJ Guthrie: New World. While I haven’t played it in a long, long while, I think New World has done quite a bit to right itself and get on a positive track. I have enjoyed listening to friends enjoy the game more even if I do not feel the pull to return anytime soon.

Sam Kash: New World.

Tyler Edwards: New World. This definitely deserves to go to New World. It’s made huge strides over the course of the year, and it’s in a much better place now than it was at the start of 2022. It’s very gratifying as a fan of the game to see my faith in it rewarded.

New World took our award for Most Improved MMO. What’s your pick?

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

  • New World (31%, 324 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (17%, 182 Votes)
  • Orna (0%, 4 Votes)
  • LOTRO (10%, 105 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (4%, 44 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (8%, 83 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (2%, 25 Votes)
  • Black Desert (8%, 84 Votes)
  • SWTOR (1%, 10 Votes)
  • EVE Online (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Swords of Legends Online (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Albion Online (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (0%, 5 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (1%, 8 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (0%, 3 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (0%, 0 Votes)
  • PlanetSide 2 (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Elite Dangerous (0%, 2 Votes)
  • EverQuest II (1%, 8 Votes)
  • No Man's Sky (4%, 39 Votes)
  • Nothing was improved enough (5%, 57 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 958

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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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