What’s The Best Subscription-Only MMO?

What’s the best subscription-only MMO out there right now? If you could only pick one to maintain, which one would it be? (By the way, the possible answers are: WoW, EVE, WildStar, ESO, or FFXIV.)

This is pretty easy for me to answer, actually: Final Fantasy XIV. Hands down. No need to even talk about it. It’s beautiful, it’s fun, there’s a lot to do, it’s updated often, it does every MMO mechanic (that matters) exactly right, and it’s cheaper than the others at $12/month. The only down side is that replayability is low if you ever want to make a second character. (You don’t need to, though, since you can play any class.)

Somewhere in Final Fantasy XIV.
Somewhere in Final Fantasy XIV.

In second place I would probably put WoW. It’s more expensive but it’s hard to beat the sheer magnitude of content available. For me, though, the lack of modern MMO features gets on my nerves and the gameplay gets repetitive after a month or so.

WildStar and ESO are both great games, too, but only for a limited time. Each one becomes repetitive quickly, so there’s no need to keep a subscription going all the time unless you have friends that play it.

EVE? Come on. Do I even have to say? That game is just not fun. It’s barely even a “game.” It’s more of a point-and-click adventure. The only reason to subscribe now is if you somehow got invested in the game years ago and built up tons of skills to the point that now you have to subscribe because you can no longer learn any skills in under 6 months.

This is not to say that I wouldn’t subscribe to WoW, EVE, WildStar, or ESO ever. I just would only do it for an occasional month here or there. What I’m saying is that FFXIV is the best one to stay subscribed to all the time. At least for me. Opinions may vary, of course. :)

13 thoughts on “What’s The Best Subscription-Only MMO?”

  1. As a WoWer, I’m slightly biased towards it, especially as I never played any of the others. My father plays EVE, and it looks… complicated. Like, he has entire spreadsheets and databases and stuff. Not my cup of tea.

    That being said, I’m contemplating giving Final Fantasy 14 a go, especially as a) I got paid today, and b) I hear they’re bringing Triple Triad from FF8 into it!

    I spent SO MANY HOURS playing that damn card game. Such fun.

    One to spend all my time with though? I’d probably stick with what I know! :D

  2. I think I have to agree. Though I’ve invested years into Warcraft at this point, I think about returning and just have to ask myself, “Why? What would you do?” Which puts me off quickly enough. And I liked WildStar.. but same issues as WoW. The grind doesn’t feel worth it. I haven’t been near EVE, and ESO I can’t afford, but FFXIV was fun when I payed it. I feel it suffers from the same issues as WoW and WildStar but it’s gorgeous and has an amazing soundtrack, and with regular updates it’s not so bad.

  3. I agree with FFXIV.

    It’s the first game I’ve subbed to in many years. I never thought I’d go back to paying a sub, but and I discovered I don’t mind it. I like that there’s no cash shop shenanigans constantly going on in FFXIV. If the devs make something, I have the same access to it as everyone else because I pay the same as everyone else. I guess I’m kinda burned on F2P games shoving their cash shop items in my face all the time.

    When ESO and Wildstar rolled around, I wasn’t as interested in them because I knew I’d only play one subbed game at a time. I tried the beta for both, found them lacking what I enjoyed when compared to FFXIV, and decided to stick around Eorzea instead of moving on to newer games.

    I haven’t regretted that choice as FFXIV continues to surprise and delight me with new releases that come far more often than more oldskool sub games ever provided. I’m content with where I am and still have a lot to explore in FFXIV!

  4. I’ve always been super impressed with FFXIV updates, both major and minor. Somehow they always seemed to nail the worst problems with surprisingly effective fixes. I’m not subscribed at the moment, but I will probably start it up again soon. There’s a lot of new stuff that I haven’t seen yet.

  5. I’d have to agree with Final Fantasy 14 if you’re an MMO bittervet – ahem – veteran who hasn’t had the pleasure of romping around on a Chocobo in quite some time. The amount of tiered content out there is quite attractive, the world is brilliant (love the range and fluidity of character animations) and the combat is smooth albeit borderline laconic for those of us accustomed to a 1.5s GCD or instagib telegraphs. In fact, I’m buying the game right now and will be subbing at the Entry level after a month. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  6. FFXIV is actually the first Final Fantasy game I’ve ever played heh. I guess people who have played every other version might be sick of it by now, but it’s all new (and a bit weird :) to me.

    True about the slower combat.. mostly I don’t mind but sometimes it can get frustrating when you’re waiting on cooldowns.

  7. FFXIV seems to be a WoW clone for the most part with a Final Fantasy world theme over it one that I find disappointing because although you get some easter eggs from the series you mostly get what seems to be rushed attempts to create “original” material.

    Though after 15 years I still get nostalgic about Everquest which my wife doesn’t enjoy and finding an MMO that isn’t basically WoW for us to play seems much more difficult than one might think.

    Though it maybe somewhat predictable we would probably be much happier with some sort of modern EQ clone. Which EQ2 is not just to point out it is a total WoW clone.

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