6. Everquest 2
I spoke on my blog a while back about my own form of MMO ADD. Everquest 2 is part of that problem. Every time I find myself enjoying one title for more than a month at a time, someone in my circle of online friends brings up some new change to EQ2. No, SOE's sequel didn't quite do as well as I'm sure they hoped when stacked up against the unforeseen success of Blizzard's behemoth but that doesn't mean it hasn't matured rather nicely over the years to rival any of the top DIKU MMOs on hand.
My only real problem with EQ2 lies in its visuals. There is something of a disconnect for me between the characters and the world they inhabit, that keeps me from being fully immersed. Still, the title's voiceover work, in-depth plotlines, and sheer amount of content mean I'll always have something to do whenever I feel like visiting Norrath.
5. Champions Online
Here's where I probably lose all credibility if I haven't already. Most folks would probably summarize Champions Online as a game that needed a lot longer in the oven to compete with its not so distant cousin from the same studio, but I can't help my adoration for the times I've had in CO since launch. Not only that, but it's a title that seems perfectly suited to bite-sized play sessions. Some may count that as a mark against Champions Online, but I believe it's a plus with my hectic schedule these days. Still the game is lacking in content in some areas, and the lack of ability to level up via different paths through the content counts against it. My love for all things comics and superheroes puts CO on my list, and maybe in time it'll even climb a bit. Vibora Bay was a good start, that's for sure.
4. Lord of the Rings Online
I've said it in other lists, so I won't drone on too long here. AC2 was my "Eureka!" moment in MMO gaming. It was with AC2 and the dying community I found there that I finally got hooked into the idea of these games. If it weren't for AC2, I probably wouldn't be here writing this. So yeah, you can blame Turbine. A lot of the work done on AC2 was a precursor to the content that would come with LotRO, so it only makes sense that I would love Turbine's vision of Tolkien's world. That's an important statement there. It may not be Middle-earth Online as it was originally envisioned, but as a PvE-centric alternate telling of Frodo's quest, I'll gladly pony up the cash to play LotRO now and again. I only wish I'd taken the plunge and gone for a lifetime membership.
3. Age of Conan
Age of Conan was a title I was ready to love from the moment I heard about it. I'm a Robert E. Howard fan, and the chance to play in his world was very tempting. And while the game initially underwhelmed, Funcom has done everything they can to bring it up to par in the two years since its launch. The forthcoming expansion, with its focus on lateral character development as opposed to simply raising the level cap among a slew of other updates is just one more reason among many that Age of Conan is currently my most-played title.
2. Warhammer Online
WAR... did it do everything EA hoped it would? Namely, did it topple World of Warcraft? Um, no. Not even close. But no other game on this list has given as much of a rush when running about an open warzone with my guild. I'm sure there are plenty of other games that arguably do PvP/RvR better, but from my point of view no game offered as many memorable moments battling opposing players as WAR did and still does. It needs some work in the PvE department, but the developers never did set out to make a compelling quest-based game. They set out to make a game that players would relish competing in. For the most part in my eyes, it succeeds. And if they ever do add in a third faction? This one might move one more spot up on my list.
1. World of Warcraft
I know. How could I? How dare I put the game that's number one subscription-wise at the top of this list. Truth be told, I'm not even actively playing WoW right now. But that doesn't change the fact that no other company is currently capable of matching the quality and breadth of content offered by Blizzard, even if said game is not your own preferred MMO of choice. When it comes down to it, and I need something I know I'll have a good time with even if I've played the content over and over, World of Warcraft is my go-to game. If I were to add up all the hours played, months subscribed, un-subscriptions, and re-subscriptions and stack them against the other titles on this list the world of Azeroth would be the winner. The cynic in me hates to admit it... but it's my number one and will be until something manages to dethrone it.