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2005 Reader's Choice Awards

Awards By Dana Massey on December 26, 2005

Which games offered the best 'player vs. player' experience in 2005?

"Players vs. Player" (PvP) combat lets players fight against other players in an online-persistent world. Quite often games get pigeon holed as either PvP or PvE, but the reality is that most games offer both. Nonetheless, we believe this deserves its own category. Below we ask you to consider our five nominees and then vote for the game that you believe offers the best PvP experience.

City of Heroes / Villains, Cryptic Studios / NCSoft

When City of Villains - the sequel to City of Heroes - hit a little while back, it introduced a new element to both games: PvP. Now players can live out the age old fantasy of being a super-hero or super-villain and fighting your good/evil counterparts in several ways. Rather than just letting players mindlessly bash each other in the head, the games offer base-raids, mission-based maps and other options.

Dark Age of Camelot, Mythic Entertainment

Dark Age of Camelot did for PvP what EverQuest did for PvE. Mythic's hit title made PvP nearly obligatory for the success of any MMORPG with its innovative "Realm vs. Realm" (RvR) combat that pits players in distinct factions against each other in a large scale war. With the free "New Frontiers" expansion, Mythic showed that they still have what it takes as Hibernia, Albion and Midgard continue to battle an eternal war across the game's many servers.

Guild Wars, ArenaNet / NCSoft

Some will argue it is not actually an MMORPG, but Guild Wars most definitely offers online PvP arena-based combat. This free-to-play game from NCSoft and ArenaNet had gained a loyal following of players who regularly duke it out online. It is not quite like a lot of other games in this genre, but it most definitely earned a nod in the PvP category.

Lineage II, NCSoft

From the other side of the world comes a cross-ocean hit that focuses squarely in on PvP. Lineage II allows PvP combat practically anywhere, anytime and between anyone. These types of rules have caused major headaches for North American titles (see Ultima Online), but for the primarily Asian crown of Lineage II their open PvP combat has created one of the genre's biggest hits.

Shadowbane, Wolfpack Studios

Shadowbane was billed as a PvP game. The title was designed around the concept and brought to the North American market in March of 2003. A range of issues hurt the game's commercial success, but here we are on the doorstep of 2006 and Wolfpack's PvP title continues to live on. Those who love PvP often swear by Shadowbane, but is it the best the genre has to offer?


Editor's Note (12/27/05): Based on write-in supprt, we will hold a run off between the top contenders in this category and EVE Online in the week after voting closes.

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