We all know that good graphics doesn’t necessarily mean a good game but when it comes to MMORPGs
it certainly helps you get immersed in the game’s world. MMOs are also the most demanding games for
your PC to run, so this video is dedicated to you graphic types with your $3000 dollar PCs and for those
of you that can’t play above the lowest settings without causing a crash.
Keep in mind I only mention MMOs in this video that are either fully released or within 6 months of a full
#10 – Guild Wars 2
At number 10 we have Guild Wars 2. Now this is a game that began it’s development back in 2007 with a
release date in 2012. Journeying from the game’s starter zone’s though, you can really start to see the
game’s age and you may be surprised why it’s on this list but for me the reason I put it in at number 10 is
the visual upgrade of the zones you see in the Guild Wars 2’s recent expansion: Path Of Fire.
For me the visuals look especially good in the desert areas with the sand effects and lighting from the sun, one year
from now though I’d expect this game to not make this list.
Regardless if you’ve never played guild wars 2 before I recommend it as one of the best casual MMOs if
you haven’t got a lot of time as there’s not really a gear treadmill and the barrier to entry for most content
is very high.
#9 – Elder Scrolls Online
Similar to Guild Wars 2, The Elder Scrolls Online started development in 2007 and after 7 years of
development was released in 2014. I think the starting areas of ESO actually look better visually than the
starting areas of Guild Wars 2. Also, and as you would expect, the newer expansions zones generally have the most
highly detailed textures with better lighting and effects than the older stuff.
If you haven’t payed attention to this game since launch it’s actually in a really good place right now with a good player population and a wealth of content to sink your teeth into, I highly recommend it.
#8 – Archeage Unchained
At number 8 we have Archeage Unchained, the 2019 buy to play, non pay to win version of Archeage which initially started development in 2006, with a 2013 release date.
With the launch of Archeage Unchained came a bunch of graphical improvements that really kept the game looking quite visually pleasing and if this list was for the most beautiful looking ocean content this game would undoubtably be number 1.
As for the game itself, it’s a lot of fun, but the biggest issue it has in my opinion is a lack of structured content that brings guilds together for a few nights every week which leaves you feeling as though there’s not much reason to gear up. On top of that there’s far too many daily quests so it’s a mixed bag really.
#7 – Ascent Infinite Realm
Ascent Infinite Realm is the newest upcoming MMORPG from Bluehole that should be releasing in a few months in Asia with a western release coming later. There’s no info on the internet of an exact time this game went into development, but I spoke to an ex Bluehole dev and they told me it’s been in the works since around 2012 or 2013.
This game uses Unreal Engine 3 and whilst this is quite an out dated engine at this point, and it really shows in some places, the game as a whole looks really beautiful and certainly pushes the boundaries of the Unreal 3 engine really far.
The game itself was a reasonable amount of fun the last time I played it, however it is not the next big thing or anything. Instead, it is a game that tries to appeal to everyone and immerse you into a steam punk world with visually impressive flying rocks and clouds.
#6 – Lost Ark
For an isometric MMORPG Lost Ark has had an astronomically long development cycle initially starting in 2011 with a Korean release at the start of 2019. Despite this, and the game being made in Unreal Engine 3, this is the most beautiful top down game I’ve ever played. Also, I don’t think it is possible to push the boundaries of the Unreal 3 engine any further than this game has.
On top of all that, Lost Ark is optimized incredibly well and, due to its 90 million dollar budget, screams high production value everywhere you look.
#5 – Moonlight Blade
It’s been 4 years since I first covered Moonlight Blade in a first impressions video and this bloody game still hasn’t had a western release date announced despite Nexon getting the rights to publish the game in the west.
At the time my mind was blown by the graphics of this game, especially by the weather effects of the rain, lighting and sand storms. Fast forward 4 years and the game still looks really damn good, shining especially in the moments your character is flying through the air looking down at massive open environments.
I think I’ll revisit this game look as it looks a lot better now than when I first tried it.
#4 – New World
New World is the brand new open world sandbox MMORPG from Amazon game studios that will be releasing at the end of August in 2021. As you’d expect this is a game with a big budget behind it that uses Amazons custom Lumberyard engine and as you can see from the footage on screen is exactly what you’d expect visually from a modern MMO.
I’ve had the chance to play the game myself and whilst the game wasn’t fully developed in terms of visuals at the time I remember looking at some areas of the world and just saying to myself, Wow – that looks gorgeous! Maybe it’ll end up higher on this list once it’s fully released.
#3 – Swords of Legends Online
Swords Of Legends Online is a Chinese MMO that released at the end of 2018. This game was made in Unreal Engine 4 and features an instanced world, action combat, heavily story driven linear levelling experience, and a subscription fee past a certain level.
Visually the game is full of vibrant colours, with lots of environmental details packed into zones and an ever so slightly stylized look about it. I played this game last year and to be honest most of my fun came from just running around looking at the graphics.
#2 – Black Desert Online Remastered
Obviously we can’t talk about great MMORPG graphics without mentioning Black Desert Online Remastered. In fact, I bet a lot of you are wondering why I did not put this at number 1, which I will get to in a bit.
BDO initially went into development in 2010 and after 5 years of development, had its Korean release in 2015. Three years later the game had a graphical remaster which basically improved the lighting and made everything look really, really shiny.
I’ve had a love hate relationship with BDO over the years and I haven’t played the game seriously for almost 2 years. Something I always loved about the game was just how beautiful this game is up close, like seriously some of the screenshots people make for this game look like art pieces.
The reason BDO is at number 2 and not number 1 is that despite how gorgeous it is up close, the game still has really bad pop at a short distance when running through the world on your mount and when you look into the distance the visuals really fall off a lot.
Regardless, I’d imagine BDO will be towards the top of this list for many years to come and it’d obviously be number 1 if it wasn’t for the pop-in or low graphics in the distance.
#1 – Justice Online
At number 1, I’m gonna have to go with Justice Online, I played this game very recently and the game just looks absolutely stunning, theme-wise it is a very similar game to Swords of Legends Online except the environments are larger and it has a more realistic look to it.
Justice Online is an MMO using the latest advancements in graphics technology and was even featured at an Nvidia RTX showcase earlier this year. The water reflections, weather effects, colors and sheer amount of detail in the environment is crazy impressive for an MMO.
I put this game ahead of BDO simply because the visuals do not fall off so much in the distance and visually it felt more consistent to play.