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Bill's Top Ten P2P MMOs

William Murphy Posted:
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Okay, so last week I chose my top five free-to-play games, and while we didn't all agree on what game deserved to be listed and what games even really qualified as F2P, the list was simply my opinion based on my experiences with those games. This week, we're doing the same thing, in the hopes that we'll have an epic clash of the forumites with opinions flying left and right. Why? Because we all like discussion for discussion's sake. And that's what these lists are all about.

I've been playing MMOs now for around 11 years, and I've stated in previous articles and postings what my first love was. Asheron's Call 2 is the game that got me hooked when all others merely held a passing interest. But that doesn't mean Turbine's now defunct offering is my all-time numero uno title. Keep in mind that this list, like last week's, is purely my own opinion and can and should be used as a stepping stone into a broader discussion about what you all would list as your top subscription-based game of all time.

Without further adieu, here is my top ten. As with all personal lists, it can and will change. This is how it stands right now. Apologies in advance if you're favorite doesn't make the list. But this one's mine, all mine!

10. Pirates of the Burning Sea

I wish I could chart (pun intended) PotBS higher on my list. Simply put, it's a bundle of great ideas with mediocre execution. Heck, one could almost say that about the vast majority of MMORPGs available today. But there are plenty of reasons Pirates did make my list. The naval combat is the best available in the nautical sub-genre, the authentic recreation of the Caribbean always makes me want a margarita, and the economy system is one of the most in-depth experiences I've ever had trying (and failing) to be a wealthy merchant.

9. Ultima Online

This is one of those games that I probably missed out on the heyday for. I was there in 1999 for a little bit, but I was foolish to expect the game to play out like The Black Gate that just happened to have other people around, and not a world where the players themselves pretty much crafted the experience. MMOGs were still new to me (and most everyone, really) and I had no clue what I was missing. Even so, I still enjoy the game to this day, checking back in on the world time and again even if the systems within are antiquated. It may be old, but UO is responsible for cracking the door open on MMORPGs. Number 9 might be lower than most of my fellow gamers would give it, but hey at least it made my list! Sorry, Everquest.

8. Auto Assault

Gosh I miss Auto Assault. Yes, I know it was shallow. Yes I realize it was under-baked. And yes I'm fully aware just how awkward the on-foot segments were. But it had something very important to me: FUN. I grew up with games like Twisted Metal wasting away the hours with friends, and Auto Assault was Twisted Metal... with thousands of other people all rolling about and squishing things under their tires. I will forever be of the mind that NCSoft should have taken a shot at making both AA and Tabula Rasa free to play, if only because then I could still log into the wastes and roll about in my Engineer's van once in a while again.

7. City of Heroes/Villains

CoH and CoV are two halves of one game that just keeps improving year over year. One of the first AAA titles to really foster community created content, City Of is managing to age well in the face of some stiff competition. The downside to the game for me will always be its repetitive nature, and the slog through the mid and late levels, but the community in CoH/V is second to none. While its user-base has certainly shrunk in recent years, there is still a very faithful group of followers who keep the game thriving and fun to explore. CoH and CoV are rare games in which I may never see the level cap and I just don't care because I have plenty of fun making hero after hero.

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William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.