It’s not been a good year for brand spanking new games in the MMORPG realm. Heck, when was the last time it was? But that doesn’t mean the games we already have haven’t been making a strong showing. In fact, some of the most popular games in the world right now are those that have been out for years already. Here is our list of the Best MMOs of 2018 So Far (in no particular order). Side note? We’re not counting any games in Early Access or Open Beta phases. Full launch or not at all, folks!
Cryptic’s D&D action MMORPG has been doing stellar these last months, with well-received console ports that continue to pull players and the most recent Ravenloft expansion. She ain’t perfect, but Perfect World, Wizards of the Coast, and Cryptic have been really pouring their hearts into the game and it shows.
After some setbacks, layoffs, and a less-than-profitable foray into VR, it seems that CCP is back and fully-focused on the EVE universe – and more importantly, EVE Online itself. While there are more projects coming in the near future, the recent patches and expansions to EVE have shown a renewed focus on the space MMORPG, which remains one of this site’s highest rated games of all time.
Ever since Path of Fire launched, ArenaNet has been on a roll with Guild Wars 2’s content updates. The most recent, Long Live the Lich, gives everyone what they wanted – more Joko and Roller Beetles. It’s anyone’s guess what comes next, but it’s going to be exciting to see what happens to Tyria.
The quiet period between Stormblood and the next big expansion is in full-swing, but as Michael O’Connell-Davidson, our FFXIV columnist, would tell you – that doesn’t mean Eorzea has been slumbering. The recent patches have pushed along the story, revamped features, and added content to keep people busy until the inevitable big announcements at the fan festivals.
If Morrowind was a new high for ESO, then Summerset raised that bar even higher. With arguably less new features but more new content, Summerset has seen a massive increase in new ESO players, with now over 11 million folks worldwide enjoying the world of Nirn online. With Wolfhunter due out in the coming weeks, and Murkmire right around the corner, ESO is looking to finish 2018 strong.
Warframe is the undisputed king of games not called Fortnite this year. Not only is it about to come out on the Nintendo Switch, but its next massive open world on Venus is right around the corner, its co-op PVE space missions look incredible, and somewhere near 30 million players of this F2P shooter RPG can’t get enough. Warframe has slowly but steadily evolved from little more than a demo into one of gaming’s most original and bravest experiences.
How can we not have WoW here? All these years later, and Blizzard’s behemoth is still the “King” of subscription based games, though we might never know again just how many people are playing it at a given time. Legion was an undisputed success, with a far better shelf-life than Warlords of Draenor, and Battle for Azeroth looks poised to up the ante once more for fans of the now-classic MMORPG that broke the mold.
Trove, with a foray into China, console launches, and some ambitious new expansions like the recent Geode drop, is another one of the more underrated MMOs out there. While the voxel visuals won’t be for everyone, it’s important to note that Trove continues to reinvent itself with every new release, and now all I’m waiting for is the Nintendo Switch version…
SECRET WORLD LEGENDS
The revamped Secret World may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but it remains one of my favorite games – and one of the few brave non-high fantasy games available that’s also worth playing (notice that the others are already on this list). SWL is a great reboot to the IP, and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see it ported over to consoles in 2019 as was the original game’s plan.
BLACK DESERT ONLINE
Continually in Steam’s highest sellers, BDO has managed to make itself one of the MMO industry’s bright spots. With a launch on Xbox One coming soon, and a mobile spinoff looking quite stellar, the Black Desert brand is booming. But when will players get long-requested content additions and features? 2018 has been the year where BDO maintains its popularity, so will 2019 be the year where it grows even bigger? That all depends on Pearl Abyss.