Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was heralded as an amazing turnaround for the once-ailing MMORPG. Heavensward was the developers' true fresh start, however, in creating a story and lands not dictated by the past. The result is nothing short of amazing, as Heavensward's world, story, and characters are all a marked step up from what came before. Giving players the ability to fly meant complete freedom in the design of the new areas, and this "verticality" made possible fascinating new areas. The story is head and shoulders above not only what came before, and most MMO stories, but it actually puts Heavensward on par with a traditional RPG in terms of story and character development. The all-new musical score is nothing short of astounding, thanks to both returning composer Masayoshi Soken, and Final Fantasy legend Nobuo Uematsu delivering the gorgeous main theme "Dragonsong." This is all on top of already-solid gameplay, now packed with even more things to do and more ways to interact with your friends, with additions like exploratory missions for dozens of players, and the ability to craft large-scale projects like airships as a group. Producer Naoki Yoshida and his team already set an exceedingly high bar with A Realm Reborn, and yet they continue to raise it with subsequent updates. The future of Final Fantasy XIV is bright indeed.
Writeup by Mike Salbato
Read our review of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
It took a while, but Guild Wars 2's first expansion is a fun and impressive addition to already great MMO. The expansive new maps, awesome mastery and specialization system, and great new PvP mode are welcome additions to the base game. The sense of adventure and the amount of fun to be had while exploring the depths of the Maguuma jungle is phenomenal and is sure to take your breath away. If you're a fan of Guild Wars 2, you owe it to yourself to pick up the expansion. If you have never played Guild Wars 2, then stop waiting and go download it, because the base game is now 100% free to play!
Writeup by Scott Clay
Read our review of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
Final Fantasy XIV demolished Guild Wars 2 in the reader voting, with Square Enix's flagship MMO earning more than four times as many votes as Guild Wars 2.