For those who don’t know MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online role-playing games. These games are obviously an online extension of the many role-playing games that populated the PC gaming space during the 90s and early 2000s, which were in turn inspired by the traditional “pen and paper” role-playing game formats that have existed since around the 70s.
The MMO has become one of the most popular genres on earth, and their popularity will only continue to thrive as this format moves to gaming consoles and as players demand more global connectivity and multiplayer functions. So how has 2016 been for MMORPGs? Pretty good by most accounts. Though very few of these games have been released in 2016, they have at least received an important update to the core game that keeps players coming back and maintains their enduring popularity. Let’s take a look.
Destiny had a lot to prove right out of the gate but unfortunately stumbled at the first hurdle. Many found the game’s shooting mechanics to be sound, but the quest systems, story, and progression to be incredibly lacking for an MMO. While the game sold well, critics were not kind. Developers Bungie took the criticism to heart and worked hard on implementing improvements as they continued adding expansions.
As of 2016, the content plan for Destiny is winding down as we approach the announcement of the much-rumoured sequel. It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses since Bungie decided to right the wrongs of the main game, and in some ways, they’ve largely had their hands tied by having to begin work on the sequel. The quality of the expansions will vary as a result, but ultimately Destiny is in a better shape in now than when it launched in 2014.
Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn
Here’s another game that didn’t do quite well after it was unleashed on the world. Base Final Fantasy 14 was basically reviled by all but the series hardcore and left developers Square Enix with a conundrum. Either they leave the game as it is and arguably just leave it to die, or they take the time and effort to rebuild the MMO to be more player-friendly. They made the right decision and therefore came A Realm Reborn.
2016 is as good a year as any to get into Final Fantasy 14 because of this. Although A Realm Reborn did launch a while ago, some people are still put off by the impression they had of the game when it first launched. As of 2016, hopefully, those negative feelings have gone away, and you can now try the rebuilt version of the game out for yourself.
Tom Clancy’s: The Division
The Division is the only game on this list that actually launched this year. Most certainly it has learned from the stumbling blocks games like Destiny have encountered previously, and overall had a much smoother launch. The Division merges the MMO format with a third person shooter. It isn’t unheard of, but The Division is probably the first game we can easily say pulls it off competently. I would honestly call it the best MMO of 2016 by the virtue that it does something new, pulls it off mostly without a hitch, and actually was released in 2016 unlike the other games in this list.
World Of Warcraft
The granddaddy of all MMOs is still going strong, and with a new expansion released in 2016, there’s never been a better time to go back to WoW. There’s not a lot to say about WoW that hasn’t already been stated. It’s the largest known quantity in the MMO space, and despite being nearly a decade and a half old seems to be chugging along just fine. There may come a day when WoW has to step down from the throne of being regarded as the “best” MMO, but that’s unlikely to come anytime soon.