Winner: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Much has been said of Final Fantasy XIV and its unique success story. But Shadowbringers, especially in 2020, has taken the already-amazing game and expanded its appeal to every type of MMO and Final Fantasy fan. Story-centric players have enjoyed the full arc of one of the Final Fantasy series’ strongest villains ever. Casual players have gotten a steady stream of interesting new dungeons, trials, and raids for every skill level. Hardcore players have enjoyed Savage versions of new content to test their mettle in mechanically unique battles. Players of exceptionally refined tastes have even enjoyed the YoRHa raid experience from guest creators Yosuke Saito and Yoko Taro. It speaks to the wealth of content that, even with everything already listed, there are dozens of people yelling at the screen because I’ve left off their favorite addition of the year. But perhaps most meaningfully, Final Fantasy XIV’s free trial now goes all the way through Level 60, including the fan-favorite (or at least, this fan’s favorite) Heavensward expansion, 100% free to all players. How’s that for an introductory experience?
by Wes Iliff
Runner-Up: Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact is an entertaining open-world action RPG built around a game that is continuously evolving and growing. Teyvat is a massive world to lose oneself in and explore, and only two of its seven countries have yet to be uncovered thus far. The differences between Mondstadt and Liyue are distinct and impressively conveyed and show quite a bit of promise for the as-of-yet unrevealed regions of the game world. Characters available for pulling are also changed at regular intervals, meaning you can grab some neat new party members to experiment with while on the field. Add to that constant story and quest updates, and there always seems to be something to do or discover when logging into Genshin Impact.
by Audra Bowling