Welcome to FreeMMOStation’s Free MMO Game Awards 2013-2014! Take a sit and enjoy the show as we let you know on our choices for the best free MMO games released, in beta or gone free to play during 2013, as well as our most anticipated games for 2014 and beyond! Don’t leave before the show is over, because we also have a few joke awards at the end.
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Best MMORPG 2013
We’ll start with what is certainly the most desirable award, the best MMORPG award. We can’t exactly say it was a great year for free-to-play MMORPGs, but we had a few quality releases, or re-releases. Here are our candidates:
And the winner is… Tera! A great MMORPG with exciting action combat and some impressive visuals that make up perfectly for the somewhat generic quests.
Best Shooter 2013
Online shooters come and go and it’s difficult to stick to a particular game. This year we were able to play some truly promising games such as Warframe, or the eternally in development Firefall. Here are the four games that, in our opinion, are packing more heat:
And the winner is… Warframe! Digital Reality’s game is a very polished and entertaining shooter with a lot of style. Although a bit repetitive, it’s really enjoyable and fun to play with a few friends in co-op.
Best MOBA 2013
Everyone and their moms wants to launch a MOBA game and 2013 saw a few big hitters attracting a lot of players. Valve is leading the pack with Dota 2, but SMITE is also a big contender, along with other games with a lot of arguments. League of Legends is really getting some competition now, so let’s see our choices:
And the winner is… Dota 2! Despite some high quality competition, Valve stayed true to its roots and created a really compelling MOBA which manages to be different enough from League of Legends to pose a serious threat to the king. 2014 will tell who wins the battle.
Best Character Customization 2013
While everyone is drooling at the character creation systems of the upcoming Blade & Soul, ArcheAge and Phantasy Star Online 2 games, this year still had some nice entries to the best character customization award. Nowadays we’re pretty much free to create whatever we want too, even to the point of adjusting buttock size. Is this too much customization? Our candidates are:
And the winner is… Dragon’s Prophet! Even if the actual game wasn’t the hit we were hoping for, we just can’t find any fault in the character customization. You can make the most fearsome warrior or the most wretched atrocity, it’s all in your hands.
Best Graphics 2013
Graphics are still a very important part of an MMO game to many players, so developers have to make their best efforts to deliver a stunning game. While some may argue that it’s easier to make a great looking FPS than a beautiful MMORPG, we decided to get them all in the same bag. Here are our main choices:
And the winner is… Tera! Although we were unsure between this MMORPG and Crytek’s dazzling Warface, ultimately we decided in favor of the amazing Korean art style instead of the cold military realistic feel. This is our choice, let’s hear about yours!
Best Surprise 2013
Sometimes, a game comes out of nowhere and becomes a surprise hit; other times, you don’t give much for a game until sometime later you realize that it is so much more than you were expecting. We love to be surprised and this year had a few of those success stories. Here are the candidates:
And the winner is… Prime World! A year ago no one would expect this Russian game to become such an important part of the MOBA genre. Mixing MOBA gameplay with RPG and city building elements, this is a fine game that dares to try something new… and succeeds.
Now we’re talking! The upcoming years are going to bring us some truly amazing games and while it’s still too soon to say if most of them are going to be free to play, they definitely got our attention. You’ll certainly notice that South Korea is becoming a massive force in free to play videogames, with some highly anticipated MMOs. Here are our candidates:
And the winner is… EverQuest Next! Sorry, South Korea, but we had to go for the only MMORPG which is attempting to start a revolution. Sony Online is going for an unprecedent level of community driven content and destructibility, among many other promises that are making us count the days until Landmark, mostly the building part of EverQuest Next, is released.
All anime fans should look no further than the East to see some pretty stunning MMO games. Captain Obvious, right? But the difficult task is to choose the ones that look good while also having a nice bunch of features to make them stand from the crowd. Here are our candidates:
And the winner is… Peria Chronicles! This MMORPG is shaping up to be an amazing disciple of the Pokémon school, while still offering a few unique tricks and having a focus on user content.
Most Time in Development 2013
While not exactly in development hell, some games just take their sweet time to be released. Some get into a kind of beta limbo, while others are almost completely revamped due to bad feedback from players. Here are our candidates:
And the winner is… Firefall! Red 5 Studios was founded in 2005 and is yet to release its first game, Firefall, which was announced in 2010, already many years into development. In 2013 PvP was entirely scrapped and is being revamped, so Firefall is a fair winner of this award and a likely candidate for years to come.
Most Regretted Shutdown or Cancelation 2013
We’ve all been expecting or playing a game which ended up canceled. This year we’ve had our fair share of goodbyes, most of them to games which won’t be missed. But somewhere in between there were a few regrets to be had and thousands of players left crying. Here are our candidates:
And the winner is… Otherland! This MMORPG was based on the acclaimed books by author Tad Williams and the game world, or worlds, mixing medieval fantasy with sci-fi, cyberpunk and virtual reality, was shaping up to be quite unique. Too bad the studio had to fire everyone and cancel development.
Most Bouncy Characters Winner: Scarlet Blade
This was pretty much a one on one match between Scarlet Blade and Blade and Soul, but we decided to go for the Aeria Games title. The reasons were simple: the game is extremely fan service, launching with an all-female cast that is very gifted indeed.
Most Oiled Characters Winner: Blade and Soul
The original anime art style on Blade and Soul is extremely accomplished, with disproportional characters that still manage to look amazing. One of the things that make this game different from most is the way the characters look oiled up and shiny to the point of potentially becoming successful cover models.
Most Thundercats In One Game Winner: Bless
There’s no question that Bless is looking amazing, but it’s not just the graphical awe that is exciting – the fact that there’s a race which looks a lot like the Thundercats characters and they’re badass. We’re referring to the original 80’s version, not the 2011 anime-inspired, one season and it’s canceled, Thundercats.
Most Exciting MMO Country Winner: South Korea
While the West is all hyped up about the new PS4 and Xbox One and the consequent underwhelming launch line-up, South Korea is proving that they are a major development force on the PC. We could list many games, but here are just a few: Blade and Soul, Black Desert, Tera, Peria Chronicles, Bless, Mabinogi 2: Arena and so on.
Biggest Disappointment: Ragnarok Online 2
If there’s a game that deserves a magnificent sequel then that game would be Ragnarok Online. However, the World of Warcraft-ization of Ragnarok Online 2 and the adherence to all the clichés that make an MMORPG today were ultimately huge disappointments for players expecting a great update. Far from being a bad game, Ragnarok Online 2 was just… one more.
And that’s the end of our first ever FreeMMOStation.com awards. We hope you enjoyed the show and keep coming back for more exciting news and videos on the best and the worst free-to-play MMO games.