Plenty of games have online modes, but this category is for those games designed purely for online play. And as much as we'd like to give our more awards to World of Warcraft, it came out last year, clearing the way for...
Publisher: EA Developer: Digital Illusions
For a company that makes such amazing games, Digital Illusions sure has trouble with names. We don't have any trouble, though, naming their third entry in the Battlefield series, Battlefield 2, our online game of the year. On top of the rock-solid foundation introduced in Battlefield 1942 and continued with Battlefield: Vietnam, Battlefield 2 built a new, squad-based hierarchy scheme, topped it with the tactically burdened commander, and braced the whole new command structure with internal voice-chat support. By any other name, this is just a great game.
We didn't know what to make of Guild Wars at first because we'd never seen anything like it. This crafty title from MMOG guru NCsoft uses the lobby model from online shooters to launch players into cooperative dungeon crawls and deep, competitive arena battles. It may not be persistent, but without a monthly fee, your wallet will love it, and so will you.