MMOBomb's Best of 2012 Awards

As the year draws to a close it's important to look back and reflect on all of the good things that happened this year. Well, since we deal in games, that's where we'll be reflecting. There's been a few Free to Play hits this year and more than a fair share of duds, so the staff at MMOBomb.Com decided to come together and hash out what they collectively thought were the top contenders for 2012.

The rules are simple: To qualify for a category you had launch or go to open beta in 2012. You had to win over the majority of the MMOBomb Staff to make the list and to win. And no... no one paid to be on the list.

While any list like this is SURE to cause a bit of debate, and believe me there were PLENTY of debates just within our team, it is our hope that you will find something you like in the list and who knows, maybe you'll find something you haven't tried yet to play before 2012 ends. Enjoy!

Best Graphics in a Free to Play Game of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)


Planetside 2


Blacklight: Retribution

MechWarrior Online

Winner: PlanetSide 2

A quick scan of any forum where Planetside 2 is discussed will give you a TON of posts where gamers are upset at their rig being unable to play Planetside 2. Granted a good deal of them are processor and optimization issues, but graphics cards have also entered into the equation. Vista like sunsets while standing on the top of futuristic buildings and incredible nighttime battles, do well to highlight Planetside 2’s fantastic lighting engine, which helped propel Planetside 2 into the top spot. While we have seen better visuals from some buy to play games, the sheer scale of detail within Planetside 2 is at times overwhelming enough to make you stop in your tracks and simply take in the visuals… if your PC was able to play the game on high settings that is.

Best PvP in a Free to Play Game of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)

Tribes: Ascend


Planetside 2

MechWarrior Online

Super MNC

Winner: PlanetSide 2

From the moment you are dropped into Planetside 2 you have the feeling of intense combat. Planetside 2 offers players just as much high octane, intense firefighting action as it does, small scale warfare which surprosingly offers an element of surprise and strategy that can be just as useful when executed correctly. The entire feeling of 3 faction PvP with literally thousands of other players is just so damn compelling that many haven’t played another game since Planetside 2′s release. The game doesn’t give you much, if any, training to start out with but once everything clicks for you not only do you play a lot better but you feel downright satisfied that YOU figured it out yourself. Planetside 2′s PvP is so addictive that even many non-PvPers have picked the game up and are unable to put it down. In most respects it’s easy to see why this was our PvP Game of the Year.

Publisher or Developer of the Year 2012

Sony Online Entertainment
Perfect World Entertainment
Riot Games

Winner: Riot Games

While Riot Games didn’t release any new titles in 2012 that took the world by storm the way League of Legends has, they did manage to bring millions of eyeballs to the E-sports scene with their annual World Championships which boasted over 2 million dollars in prize money and over 1 million fans tuned in via livestream to watch the world finals. Riot has also taken some dramatic steps to improve the negative perceptions of MOBA communities by implementing an honor system where players can “honor” teammates and worthy opponents who demonstrated superb sportsmanship. On top of that, Riot Games added the fleshed out Spectator Mode, added fuel to many fires regarding “Supremacy Mode”, dropped an in depth video about upcoming balance changes, and did all of this while continuing their steady stream of skins and character additions and updates. While Sony Online was briefly considered for this award, one decent cash shop just wasn’t enough to take on the impressive year Riot Games had in 2012.

Best Free to Play Strategy of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)



Super MNC

Battle for Graxia

World of Battles

Winner: AirMech

2012 was not exactly the year of the strategy games and this category may have been one of the more heavily debated by the MMOBomb staff simply because of that fact. While not requiring the level of strategy that some other games demand, AirMech is readily accessible to almost anyone. Being available on Steam or as a Chrome browser game means the potential audience is vast. Borrowing mechanics from a number of other games, AirMech creates a fun and challenging "tug of war" type battle when two equally skilled teams take the battlefield. Take to the ground or air, build and command units to assist your team, and have a blast with this well mixed strategy/arcade action type title.

Best Browser Game of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)




Offensive Combat

The Lost Titans

Winner: Gameglobe

This partnership between Square Enix and Bigpoint was generally laughed at when initially announced. However, come beta time no one was laughing. Everyone was too busy running through HUNDREDS of user created levels or saving up points to buy items for their own crazy creations. With a play style similar to the smash hit Little Big Planet, GameGlobe is great for those 20 minutes you have before you leave for work while being addictive enough to suck a full gaming night right out of you. Add in leader boards and a comments section for each game you play AND the WIDE assortment of clever play styles and you have what is easily the best browser game to launch in 2012.

Most Anticipated Free to Play Game

*This category focuses on games that did NOT go into launch or open beta before the end of 2012 in Europe or United States.

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)

Age of Wushu



Phantasy Star
Dota 2

Winner: Firefall

Some may argue that Red 5's upcoming game Firefall has lost some of the steam it started this year with because of a slow beta ramp up. This may be true, but a quick glance at any gaming forum is likely to show that Firefall is still one of the most anticipated free to play titles. More and more players are finally gaining access to the closed beta and more and more content is revamped, added, or flat out changed based on those player's feedback. Solid and addictive gameplay and a true focus on teamwork in PvP make this a game many are playing, following, or anticipating.

Best Free to Play Shooter of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)


Planetside 2

MechWarrior Online

Tribes: Ascend

Blacklight: Retribution

Winner: PlanetSide 2

2012 seemed to be the year of the free to play shooters as a plethora of titles stormed onto the scene. While writing articles for the site it seemed like a new shooter was launching, going to beta, or being announced almost daily. Planetside 2 was on everyone’s radar all year as we eagerly awaited details and a release date. While the game still is not perfect, it quickly established itself as a time sink and top notch shooter. The fact that Sony was able to pull off a shooter with such as massive scale without making a player feel unimportant is a testement to how well Planetside 2 operates. A wide array of weapons, vehicles, and certifications just add to what makes Planetside 2 the “must play” shooter this year hands down. While some were hoping for a bit more strategy, when it comes to the basics of shooting, customizing, and combat, Planetside 2 is head and shoulders above the competition right now. And even then, Sony has already promised to continue bringing even more features and content as the time goes on in order to continually flesh out the experience. With additional vehicle types, new continents and perhaps even a 4th PvE faction, the Planetside 2 experience can only get better for fans as time goes on.

Best Free to Play MMORPG of 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)

Star Wars:
The Old Republic
(F2P Model)

Continent of
the Ninth Seal

Winner: Aion (F2P Model)

If you saw our update to the "Top 10 MMORPGs of 2012" a few months ago then this choice comes as no surprise for you. Originally starting as a sub based game, Aion had a bit of a rocky start with Western audiences. Viewed as too "mob grind heavy" for the Western crowd, the team at NCSoft opted to shift to a more traditional questing grind, added new features, and even expanded into the popular world of player housing. While being more "traditional" in terms of controls and game mechanics, the game's free to play relaunch was looked on favorably by the North American audiences for its "Truly Free to Play" model and talked about in confused tones when European servers fell under the service of a different model and company. All in all, if you're looking for an MMORPG that fits the more comfortable model while adding a few new twists along the way it was hard to do better than Aion this year.

Free to Play Game of the Year 2012

(Click on the windows to watch our first impressions videos)


Planetside 2


Star Wars:
The Old Republic
(F2P Model)

Winner: PlanetSide 2

Coming out just before the close of a year is SURE to get you a ton of recognition and keep you in the minds of voters who create lists like this. However, the downside is that if you do not deliver it WILL be remembered as well. Sony Online Entertainment's PvP extravaganza does not disappoint though. Engaging combat, fantastic graphics, and a surprisingly well balanced cash shop all combined to create the "Perfect Storm" of awesome for free to play gamers. If you've played it, you already saw this award coming and if you have not played it don't be surprised if it picks up a few more of these awards along the way.

So there's the list! How did we do? Did your favorites make the list? Put your comments below! While 2012 may be almost over, it looks like 2013 will be one exciting year for free to play. With more high quality games being released and more and more publishers adding free to play options to their portfolio, next year's list might be damn near impossible to make! See ya then!

Share this Video:

Discussion (94)

Gamer 9 years ago
They really need to update so many things right now... because I too do not agree with any of these awards.

A 10 years ago
I don't agree with any of the awards lol

MuShr00m 10 years ago
PS2 is epic for its genre... and like some people pointed out... if you dont get into an outfit or a squad... and using strategy... then you're not doing it right...


chelseymorris 10 years ago
I love that cat

Kingslayer45 10 years ago
PLanetside 2 one of my favorite games.

Macros 10 years ago
PS2 being Best PVP?
I could agree on many different pros of PS2 like good/best graphics but...
You're really terribly infatuated by PS2.

8BitTerror 10 years ago
Love Planetside 2 but my pc sucks so icant really play it -.-

Tovesan 10 years ago
hello why are Planetside 2 the winner of all?
I think you guys like it becuse of not the gameplay just becuse off that it shuold be so big and we waiting for it in years. but the truth IT SUCKS!
every shooter is the same gamplay. just becuse of planetside was big and great dosent mean that 2 is better than every thing.

Zariarn 10 years ago
The problem with these type of awards is that the games that release in Q3 or Q4 usually win. Hype gives them a little edge.

Planetside 2 is an outstanding game nonetheless.

Seawolf 10 years ago
Hahaha i think Sony has pay Mmobomb!!

mPascoal 10 years ago
I think Tribes should've won the best PvP category. PlanetSide 2 is good and I like it but basicly if you don't pay you will have really bad times till you get money for a new weapon. This is horrible for casual players, the game itself it isn't that great for casual players. Tribes if you don't pay you also take some time to get enought exp but if you focus on one class at the beginning you can pretty much unlock everything for that class with out paying and it doesn't take that long. Some classes you don't even nee to unlock weapons, the started one are pretty good (Jug, Brute, Sentinel aren't bad too but I prefer the second secondary...)

Ruckus 10 years ago
Planetside 2 wins ALL the things :D

mjaybird 10 years ago
Where is Star Trek Online or Lord of the rings online?

jake 10 years ago
in the "f2p goty" category

raiderz - never heard of
planetside 2 - OHHH YEAH (obvious winner)
hawken - slow boring
swtor - who cares (more boredom)
aion - never heard of

View 1 reply
jake 10 years ago
i cant believe the hate for planetside 2 here

imo its fantastic and is awesome to play and theres nothing out there quite like it

you guys do know there are TWO THOUSAND players per continent right?

and maps bigger than all the maps in any one FPS game combined

the other games in the catagory never had a chance as they are all horrible games to play and i was barely able to play them for an hour before boredom set in (especially blacklight and firefall - eww)

DeviLee 10 years ago
I lol'ed at SWTOR in the F2P category XD

Mister Obvious 10 years ago
"This article has been presented to you by Sony"
all right reserved

give me a break MMObomb... :(

fdsafds 10 years ago
planetside 2 winning almost everything? lol that game is a big pile of crap. especially the washed out graphics. wtf is going on?

Kevin 10 years ago
I can't believe PS2 won so much, the game is OK and has potential but there are SOO many issues currently that it should have won MAYBE 1 of those awards. I mean seriously it won BEST GRAPHICS! I have everything maxed on this game and it looks like it came out YEARS ago. They have to scale everything back in the game because of the sheer number of object you are seeing at once. Best PVP should have gone to Tribes: Ascend. If you want an honest review of PS2 go check out Angry Joe's review of the game.

Alchez 10 years ago
How come runescape isn't one of the Nominees of best browser games?

View 2 replies
break15 10 years ago
Raiderz is one of the Best mmorpgs not aion xD

Great Lvling
Big Monsterfights
Fight Model

Aion Europe <-- big shit ever

View 1 reply
Damm 10 years ago
Why did SWTOR f2p not win? lol

View 1 reply
dfgdfg 10 years ago
You can't put MOBAs at strategy games. MOBAs are more actions games then strategy

Gamer 10 years ago
I looked at "Most Anticipated Free to Play Games" and saw the first one was Age of Wushu... When I went on the game's website... it has all these deleuxe packets and a free try time... Like if you buy the deluexe packet, it looks like you'll have a better time on the game... (free experience while offline, special events, etc.). Such a buy to win game xD.

jesterhead85 10 years ago
most these games were boring.... planetside 2 very repetitive.. the CP's come slow and make it kinda grindy.

AION still way to slow paced as far as leveling goes. reason i opted out of the subscription i had when i bought it.. which is a shame. game looks good. but you have to invest a couple weeks of play to get to anything good. and by that time it starts to get grindy and repetitive again.

was excited for SWTOR to go F2P as i liked it a lot when it first came out. it just needed more endgame content. they added a bit more of that but restricted F2P to levels of ridiculousness.

Airmech just looks stupid to me. no other good strategy games came out.

of course this year about 10,000 other cute anime themed clones came out. another 10,000 ancient china themed games came out.... its just the same old things and the big league games never really hold up for very long.

another boring year.

too bad Wizardry didn't release. looks promising. Heres hoping 2013 brings less restricted F2P games with more original ideas and less repetitive or grindy gameplay.

View 1 reply
Razer 10 years ago
Bad year for gaming in both F2P and retail.

View 2 replies
Anusic 10 years ago
I have played The Lost Titans and I must strongly disagree with you about it's nomination for best browser game. Only thing that is good there is graphics. PvP system sucks. P2W players are unbeatable and ZQGame is not doing anything to prevent that. Many players gave great suggestions on how to stop p2w or atleast to make it less p2w, but all they're saying is, we can't do that. Game is 80% PvP area but no matter where you go, in pvp area, you'll land on p2w guy. I'm one of those pvp guys but this game is so disbalanced and pvp system sucks real hard.

Randy 10 years ago
I really think Tribes Ascend should have won best free to play or best pvp because Tribes really make it more fun than Planetside 2. Whats more fun to ski around giant maps (I know planetside 2 has an entire world to roam :P) with jetpacks in every class a roll down hills while killing people while invisible with grenades that stick to people and smoke grenades. Planetside 2 is an amazing game but I think you have more fun in Tribes while doing nothing but skiing in a map and looking at players shooting spinfusor shots at each other. I love Tribes Ascend.

Amerden 10 years ago
well this list is kinda akward. as someone already stated - graphic comparison is strange, planetside looks just common, raiderz - plastic and in the end - in all shows, discussions here no1 is talking about graphics that much. category itself seems strange.

aion - yep f2p, this year... but rly? it's quite old game, are you going to consider any other revamp, remake, repatch as nominee for this websites tops? it just seems strange.

f2p market is dynamic, but not like tv cinema music or gaming overall. dunno, from show to show you are talking about same publishers, devs and payment schemes and etc. wouldn't it make more sense to make nominations positions based on content you are doing? i mean like best publisher, worst publisher, best f2p option, worst f2p restriction and etc?

imo, this kind of sections for yearly acknowledgment in f2p market don't make any sense.

Humo 10 years ago
Planetside 2? Really?

The only category I could agree it winning as is best free to play shooter.

The graphic category by far is completely wrong. Even with "Forced Ultra" settings, it comes no where near the visuals that Hawken gives off. I think some of the people at Mmobomb are a little biased. Planetside 2 definitely does not deserve the Graphics category. Not even sure if it deserves a title as "Best Free To Play title of the year".

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion I suppose. It really doesn't take someone with 20/20 vision though to see that Hawken clearly beats down Planetside 2 in visuals.

View 1 reply
Coolzero 10 years ago
Hmmmmm wbu vindictus ? its a great game with awesome graphics

brutal 10 years ago

Dwightt 10 years ago
AdventureQuest Worlds wasn't even nominated for best Browser game?

What in the-?

View 2 replies
jdrew2000 10 years ago
I like them, most were true but there are alot of free games mmobomb doesn't cover that should be here.

View 1 reply
Cyberpunk 10 years ago
A very hard pick for me between HAWKEN and Planetside 2

lol 10 years ago
You guys forgot about this game

jonathansty 10 years ago
I'm not ok with all these planetside 2 wins. The game is not as much fun as expected.

Meh 10 years ago
Planetside2 is the worst shooter ever

Drfudge 10 years ago
Star Wars The Old Republic is amazing

Kess 10 years ago
Aion for best F2P 2012, hands down and no contest. Never before have I so thoroughly played through and enjoyed a game without paying a single cent for content.

Sladik 10 years ago
I would have said Tribes: Ascend for PvP, Valve for company(Come on, do you really think the championships were a success? They screen cheated! And opposing monitors were RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER! And Valve added a buttload of conten to TF2 this year, and how can you argue with DoTA 2?), Smite for strategy(though it hasn't been released yet), Hawken for most anticipated(Hawken's gotten so, so, so much hype over the past year, a lot more than Firefall; I'm excited about Firefall, too, but Hawken takes the keys to the hype train. And open beta starts in a few hours!), Tribes: Ascend for the best shooter(though I haven't played it for a while and its playerbase is dwindling, it was fun this summer), C9 for best mmorpg(It does the instance-based world better than any other instance-based mmorpg), and Hawken for game of the year(Not the "wet dream" Brim described it as, yet still very fun and with tons of features. Again, I can't wait for open beta!)

cacalips 10 years ago
OH god, PLanetside 2 taking majority of votes: PURE SHEEPLE choice. Planet Side 2 is like a MAC: There is only one. There is only one persistent online shooter. So yes, it gets a vote for that. BUT it is a FAIL as an FPS on every level of FPSdom: IT IS SITUATIONAL - NOT STRATEGIC! I have soloed 50% of the map because the situation allowed itself. The winner only wins due to situation of log ins and movements, that is the magic of PERSISTANT FPS, sadly, it FAILS on strategy on every level: Close combats, it is just most accurate gun (sniper or brutes), class is out the window. YOu can kill 100 people or heal 100000 of men aithout dying, but that is NOTHNG if the situation that presents itself based on the log ins; otherwise death vs payoff sucks.
The long range combat is Medicore, a broken vehicle combat that is SO OFF scale it sucks. A man on a ATV can take hits like alight armor truck. Weapons are a joke. Just laser gun like weapons from star wars. A truck mounted cannon cant even 2 shot a man on a ATV. So...what is in those magazines??
The TACTICAL COMBAT IS A JOKE: No tree or rock is EVER used to provide cover fire. Cover fire does not exist: IT IS JUST SITUATIONAL MOVEMENT. IF you have a tank, vs a tank, it is he who shoots first or he who has most guys logged in rround supporting. That is it, no tree or rock can give a strategic advantage like other shooters, making alll that land your PC is processing USELESS.

View 5 replies
cacalips 10 years ago
oh god. Tid da season. Every site is doing this.
So now we have mmobombs....let the games begin!

Blackaven 10 years ago

Echoman 10 years ago

View 2 replies
friteris 10 years ago

Watch Next

BombLive: Chasing off the Chosen in Firefall! (Ep. 9)

BombLive: Chasing off the Chosen in Firefall! (Ep. 9)

In this episode of Bomblive Spunkify ventures back into the lush jungles of Firefall.

By Michael Dunaway - 10 years ago

You May Enjoy

Always Online Podcast: Pax Dei MMORPG Reveal Thoughts, AVALON Formed, Embers Adrift Price Change, And Other MMO News Ep 465

Always Online Podcast: Pax Dei MMORPG Reveal Thoughts, AVALON Formed, Embers Adrift Price Change, And Other MMO News Ep 465

New MMOs, new companies, and some familiar faces change prices.

By Michael Byrne - 2 weeks ago
Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - Saying Goodbye To Zavala's Lance Reddick Ep 547

Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - Saying Goodbye To Zavala's Lance Reddick Ep 547

A sad day for the galaxy.

By Marlowe Ethos - 2 days ago
Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - League of Legends Source Code On The Black Market! Ep 543

Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - League of Legends Source Code On The Black Market! Ep 543

Reportedly, for the low, low price of $700K you too can owe League of Legends code.

By Marlowe Ethos - 1 month ago
Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - Halo Infinite Returns and Sony Deals with Activision EP 545

Top 5 Free to Play Weekly Stories - Halo Infinite Returns and Sony Deals with Activision EP 545

The latest on Throne and Liberty and more from this week in MMORPG news!

By Marlowe Ethos - 3 weeks ago
Always Online Podcast: Wayfinder Press Access Early Review, Exoprimal Beta And Launch, And Facepalming MMORPG News Ep 466

Always Online Podcast: Wayfinder Press Access Early Review, Exoprimal Beta And Launch, And Facepalming MMORPG News Ep 466

Dinosaurs and dungeons... we're looking in-depth at two games a lot of people are excited about releasing.

By Michael Byrne - 1 week ago
Always Online Podcast: Blizzard Bonuses Cut, More Day Before Drama, FFXIV's Next Expansion, And Underrated MMOs Ep 463

Always Online Podcast: Blizzard Bonuses Cut, More Day Before Drama, FFXIV's Next Expansion, And Underrated MMOs Ep 463

Good news, bad news, head slapping news... it's all on today's show!

By Michael Byrne - 1 month ago