The MMO genre of gaming is not a particularly young one. In fact, I’d say it’s only a few years younger than the modern RTS and FPS genres (I remember playing my very first graphical MMO in 1997). So, suffice it to say, I was a bit surprised when I found out that not one MMORPG has made it onto GameRanking.com’s top 100 list. I’ve checked the list and I’ve checked it twice (ho ho!) and I’m telling you there are no MMOs to be found which raises the question: why haven’t any MMOs made it there yet?
Believe it or not, despite the genre being over a decade old now there really aren’t that many MMOs in the market. In fact, of the actual “pay2play” model of MMO there are typically only a handful of games released each year, as opposed to the thousands of Wii, 360, PS3, PC games that are released each year. This probably has had some sort of impact as to why there are no MMOs on the list. Let’s face it, when there are so many games coming out every year the MMO is bound to slowly get pushed down the list until a new one makes it back up there. In fact, GTAIV actually pushed World of Warcraft right off the list (who now sits at #101). However, that said, this logic does seem to conflict with the “quality over quantity” saying. Despite putting out fewer games than most other genres, there are still many quality issues that exist within the games upon launch… which brings us to our next issue.
One of the most obvious reasons as to why most MMOs never make it to the top of review scores is primarily due to quality. MMOs are HUGE worlds with many aspects of gameplay all running simultaneously with thousands of gamers. The sheer scope of programmability within these games would probably dwarf about ten single player games of near any other genre. Because of this there are a number of quality issues that must be tested and, unfortunately, the best test usually occurs after the game has gone live. As many MMOGamers know many of the biggest fixes and features aren’t readily patched until a couple months after the games release, which cites the mantra of many gamers today: “An MMO on launch day will be completely different 6 months later.” Perhaps if reviewers would put up two reviews of an MMO there would be a better “leveling off” of the scores…
Anyways, take from this what you will. World of Warcraft still sits at a very respectable #101 right above Zelda: A Link to the Past (one of my favorite games) with the next “MMO” being WoW: Burning Crusade at #142. After that there is nothing until beyond the 200 mark. It’s very clear that GTAIV effectively pushed WoW out of the running, but even before then WoW was only at #99 which is just barely scraping it by. No telling what MMO will make it there next. While Age of Conan looks like it will receive fair scores, I seriously doubt it’ll reach the top 100. Anybody want to take bets on Warhammer Online?
Check out the full top 200 list HERE.