MassivelyOP’s 2023 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 New World 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 2023 is…


Andy McAdams: WoW Retail. I know this will be controversial, but I think WoW has done a lot to improve the game for the filthy casuals. Blizzard still has a long way to go with WoW, but I really loved what I saw this year. Lots of customization improvements, a gradual change to giving folks more to do that’s not “LOL Raid or GTFO.” I wouldn’t call it great, since WoW was starting so far in the hole from where it needed to be that even being massively improved (SWIDT), and it’s only just now approaching the line what we expect out of a modern MMO.

Brianna Royce: World of Warcraft, New World. I have a dozen reasons to think World of Warcraft isn’t a top MMORPG anymore, and don’t even start me on Blizzard itself, but I can’t really argue with the reality that the game has been taking two steps forward and one step back all year. But that’s still a step forward, and that’s what this award is about. I guess it’s one of those situations where you have to hit rock bottom to start the journey back up, and the further you fell, the further you can climb. Hell, just breaking the content/comms drought tradition is a massive improvement, even if I am not sold on what’s being added or said.

Carlo Lacsina: Guild Wars 2, owing to its planned weapon system. Being able to use more weapons with more builds will mean more build variety. That’s not just from a gameplay perspective, either. Guild Wars 2 is a roleplayer’s paradise, and being able to wield more weapons just means there’s more ways to tell a story about your character.

Chris Neal: New World. Rise of the Angry Earth did a lot to right the ship of Amazon’s own MMORPG and showed that it’s capable of making some important strides into being a “real” game. It wasn’t a big splash to make it into some of the bigger awards, but what it’s managed this year has gotten my notice as well as my play time.

Colin Henry: New World.

Eliot Lefebvre: World of Warcraft. Speaking from a couple days ago about D-level work that’s now up at a C+, we have World of Warcraft, which has spent the past couple of years often being hilariously bad but spent 2023 trying hard to move away from cringeworthy ads, genuinely terrible management, and lots of other problems and toward just… making the game a better experience. It still has huge, glaring issues and it hasn’t fixed a lot of them but slapped bandages on them, and it really shouldn’t be sticking to archaic design goals that aren’t doing it any favor, but for the most part it does feel like the developers have genuinely been trying to move the needle and do better. I appreciate that.

Justin Olivetti: World of Warcraft. There, I said it. Dragonflight may not be anyone’s #1 best expansion of all time, but it is so much better than the last two. I’m still impressed that Blizzard set an aggressive roadmap for this year’s development — and stuck to it with six patches over the course of the year. We wish we had it this good back in Warlords of Draenor.

Tyler Edwards: World of Warcraft on the grounds that people still don’t seem to be particularly angry at Dragonflight, which is more than can be said for most recent expansions at this point in their life cycle.

WoW Retail took our award for Most Improved MMO. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the most improved MMO of 2023?

  • World of Warcraft Retail (27%, 184 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (11%, 77 Votes)
  • New World (20%, 137 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Online (5%, 33 Votes)
  • Final Fantasy XIV (3%, 22 Votes)
  • Black Desert (3%, 21 Votes)
  • EVE Online (3%, 20 Votes)
  • SWTOR (1%, 10 Votes)
  • LOTRO (6%, 39 Votes)
  • Albion Online (1%, 4 Votes)
  • RuneScape (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Lost Ark (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Star Trek Online (1%, 6 Votes)
  • ArcheAge (0%, 0 Votes)
  • No Man's Sky (5%, 36 Votes)
  • Blade and Soul (0%, 0 Votes)
  • DC Universe Online (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Neverwinter (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Nothing was improved enough (9%, 63 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (1%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 614

Loading ... Loading ...
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. Reader poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
Previous articleIt’s game over for E3 as the ESA declares the tradeshow officially dead
Next articleFollowing its alpha test, Pax Dei addresses building freedom and crafting mechanics

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments