The Best MMORPG Graphics Of All Time As of 2018
We’ve combed through all of the MMORPGs that has shown up in the past two decades and chosen the most eye-pleasing games with the best graphics and beautifully rendered assets to offer.
We have and will only add MMORPGs that are already or nearly playable in the West to this list. However, keep in mind that this is an on-going list, so upcoming MMOs that would otherwise be on this list like Ashes of Creation, Peria Chronicles, Moonlight Blade or any other games that deserve to be listed will be added when they are fully released in English.
We are listing these games based on release dates in descending order.
Western Release: Beta – May 2018
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Bless Online offers a semi-realistic open-world environment that can be traversed entirely without loading screens. It is by far the best looking MMORPG created with the well-aged Unreal Engine 3. Character details and shading are top notch, while issues with clipping are commonplace. The game’s client has a history of doing a poor job of optimizing with the graphic level. Issues regarding dropped frame-rate were constant in the Eastern versions. Bless Online is an upcoming MMORPG set in a fantasy world with two factions locked at war with each other for ultimate rule over the world they live in.
Western Release: Live – June 8, 2016
Developer: Black Eye Games
Publisher: Black Eye Games
Engine: Unity 5
Gloria Victis is a medieval MMORPG with an emphasis on PvP and realism. Players fight for power and wealth like control over territory in life-like scenarios with non-target combat, sandbox crafting and a player-driven economy. Graphically, it follows the same principle. Characters, armor, weapons and environments hardly ever go beyond the realm of what is possible in the real world; axes, swords, bucklers and bear hide coats. The game’s environmental shading is great, but is notorious for causing heavy lag. This has been addressed in a recent update.
Global Release: Live – May 10, 2016
Developer: IMC Games Co.
Publisher: IMC Games Co.
Tree of Savior’s graphics graciously combine old-school simplistic 3D chibi characters and assets seen from its spiritual predecessor Ragnarok Online with modern animation to give environments and enemies more depth. Tree of Savior is an isometric MMORPG set in world plunged into chaos where you embark on a journey to search and rescue goddesses.
Western Release: Live – March 3, 2016
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Publisher: Kakao Games
Engine: Black Desert Engine
Black Desert Online offers a world full of graphical surprises that will make you want to screenshot every step of your journey. Crawling through a field of wheat looks realistic with the way the game handles collisions. The game also boasts an extensive character customization system allowing the creation of some of the most eye-pleasing player-made characters in the MMORPG genre.
Western Release: Live – January 19 2016
Developer: Team Bloodlust (NCsoft Developer Division)
Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Blade and Soul’s world is anime-styled with a vibrant environment. Character assets are lower on the graphical totem-pole with terribly plain textures for assets such as in-game items, clothing and NPCs. However, players can easily witness the beauty of Blade and Soul‘s various instanced areas with gliding capabilities. On maximum graphics, the scenery can be a spectacle.
Western Release: Live – July 16, 2015
Developer: Allods Team
Skyforge pushes a great combination of Sci-fi and fantasy in one beautiful world. While the game only offers instanced areas, often times, it’s easy to forget the invicible walls due the immense size and beauty of each instance. Skyforge is a third-person action MMORPG in which players take the role of powerful immortal beings fighting to defend their world from the hoards of hostile gods on the planet of Aelion.
Western Release: Live – September 16, 2014
Publisher: XL Games
Developer: Trion Worlds
Engine: CryEngine 3
ArcheAge offers two graphical masterpieces; water graphics and an incomparable flight experience that allows smooth and lag-less environmental rendering. You will not see water in an MMORPG as responsive and realistic as the rivers and seas in ArcheAge. ArcheAge is a sandbox MMORPG set in the world of Erenor and offers a variety of unique features such as a judicial and trial system for outlaws, very realistic ocean and water physics, farming, real estate manipulation and more.
Western Release: Live – April 4, 2014
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Engine: Custom with the help of HeroEngine
The Elder Scrolls Online’s graphics are above most in almost all criteria. A mix of racial diversity and realism forms environments that you would expect out of an MMORPG version of Skyrim. The level of skill effects quality this game offers are difficult to find in other MMORPGs. On top of this, the game is well optimized. Of course, it’s not on the same level as Skyrim when it comes to its graphical achievements, but that cannot be helped due to the technical limitations of massive multi-character rendering. There is just no way for it to get the same photo-realism that Skyrim offers with the current limits of graphic engines. An MMORPG as stunning as Skyrim, well, that would be an amazing feat!
Final Fantasy XIV offers racially diverse world and environments that provide something new to see for every mission. Final Fantasy XIV is fantasy MMORPG set in the main area of Eorzea, a continent on the planet of Hydaelun. Players begin their journey with the ability to see the past. The PC version was originally released in September of 2010 and re-released in 2013 after a complete overhaul, including many graphical features.
Western Release: Live – July 3, 2012
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Secret World Legends offers artistic environments that justifiably combine Sci-fi and fantasy. The design of the explorable cities from London to Seoul to New York are reminiscent of their real-world counterparts. Secret World Legends takes place in a contemporary world that is under constant attack by dark forces. The game is very story-based, with its story including many elements of pop culture, ancient mythologies, urban legends, and history. Secret World Legends is the relaunched version of The Secret World.
Western Release: Live – May 6, 2003
Developer: CCP Games
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Interactive
While nearly a decade older than the game it is next to on this list, Eve Online has no trouble competing with the new kids on the playground when it comes to graphical finesse. Space is not an easy environment to pull off, but CCP Games has done a marvelous job throughout the years of perfecting a universe that makes the vastness of space a familiar home. Its character creator has been one of the most praised in the genre. Eve Online is a space-based MMORPG set over 21,000 years in the future. Humanity has drained most of Earth’s resources and have taken to the stars! Expansion has led to multiple factions fighting over the vast resources of the milky way, similar to that of the events that led to Earth’s demise.
Here is a short list of a handful of MMORPGs with stunning graphics that we’ve chosen to leave out because they have yet to be released globally or for Western players.
- Ascent: Infinite Realm
- Chronicles of Elyria
- Lost Ark
- Moonlight Blade
- Peria Chronicles
- Phantasy Star Online 2
Let us know which MMORPG you think deserves the award of having the best graphics!