Top 5 MOBA of All TimeJul 27, 2015 | 1 Votes by Aethyna 10 rate Massively Online Battle Arena (MOBA) is one of the most popular game genres, particularly among the other eSports games. Interested to know more? Well, do read on!
Massively Online Battle Arena (MOBA) is one of the most popular game genres, particularly among the other eSports games. In fact, if you take a look at the numbers of monthly active players that these games are racking up, you’ll be super surprised. They surpass even highly popular, albeit subscription-based games, like World of Warcraft by like a stone’s throw away! Interested to know more? Well, do read on!
Coming in hot in the number 1 position is the ever popular League of Legends (LoL)! It has the largest community ever seen in competitive gaming history, beating out the old MMOFPS favorite, Call of Duty (CoD). If you just look at the stats, Riot Games reported last year that LoL has 27 million daily players with a peak of 7.5 million! The site also reported that LoL has 67 million monthly players and that’s approximately 27 million more than the players in all of the Call of Duty franchise combined – 40 million players (in 2011. There were no updated numbers after 2011 for CoD)! It has become such a huge game to be reckoned with that even the United States have officially declared it as a sport!
It’s in the top spot mainly because of its accessibility to newcomers to the MOBA genre, but it can also be very competitive, as evident in the many LoL tourneys and championships organized just last year (As long as you get out from the bronze 5 player bracket, that is). The game also features a monthly hero rotation system, allowing players to try out new heroes every month. Not to mention, the game is constantly updated with new champions, features, maps and many more, making the game feels fresh and lively to its loyal player base.
The second most popular MOBA is definitely Defense of the Ancient 2 (DotA 2) by Valve. Steam charts reported approximately 17 million monthly players for the last 30 days this year and the numbers are rising by an average of 20 thousand new daily players every day! These stats are, of course, not as impressive as LoL and this is probably because DotA 2 is considered as the hardcore gamers’ MOBA of choice. Thus, it loses out in terms of accessibility. However, as more and more players are drawn into the competitive world of eSports, the number of hardcore gamers may be on an exponential increase. Furthermore, the game offers all of its 100 unique heroes to its players for FREE -Yes, you didn’t read wrongly- making it a very generous MOBA game.
Nonetheless, although DotA 2 does not seem to be able to catch up to LoL any time soon, it may just get the chance to dethrone LoL… only if LoL isn’t careful! So, the ball’s in your court, Riot Games!
The third place on this list is occupied by none other than the rapidly popular newcomer (2014) to the MOBA genre, Smite, by Hi-Rez Studios! This game surprised the entire MOBA community by offering the MOBA gameplay in a third person perspective, which allows players to be ‘ganked’ from behind, if no one’s covering your back, that is. Moreover, without an overhead view of the map, you will need to keep an eye on your surroundings more actively instead. Smite provides more of a TPS feel, particularly when you control your character using the WASD keys, rather than the standard MOBA fanfare. The refreshing uniqueness that Smite brings to the table may have been the prime factor that contributed to its meteoric rise to the top 5 most popular MOBA.
Not to mention, instead of providing unique heroes like DotA 2 or LoL, the game utilizes the already-established gods from various pantheons as their ‘heroes’ in the game, while incorporating each god’s mythology into the god skill designs. You can even unlock heroes as you go and that it is, in no way, pay to win!
The fourth place is awarded to Infinite Crisis by Turbine Inc, a relatively new MOBA game that is released in 2013. The fact that this game is able to scale up the top 5 list within just 2 years is nothing short of astonishing! This is perhaps because this game is set in the hugely popular DC universe, featuring 6 alternative versions of Earth as well as alternate versions of our favorite DC heroes and villains! So, in other words, you get to play your favorite DC comic characters in an arena while fighting other equally famous DC characters. How cool is that! In addition, the game breaks free from the tight constrains of the standard ‘3-lane maps’ that defines the MOBA genre by providing circular maps that pits players right into the thick of action along with capture points to conquer.
Rounding it up on the fifth position is Prime World by Nival. This game is released in 2013 and has a very nice and invigorating take on the MOBA genre as well – it combines castle building with its MOBA element, making it one-of-its-kind! The castle-building part is incorporated so flawlessly into the game to provide you with materials to upgrade your buildings as well as to craft new talents. Some buildings will provide passive bonuses for your heroes too!
The game also offers an extensive out-of-game talent system that rivals the talent trees in MMORPGs, as opposed to the item-buying system that MOBAs like DotA 2 or LoL uses. This makes the game much more attractive to players as they are able to fully customize their heroes to their play style. This feature increases its approachability to players who are new to MOBA as well!
Prime World even provides unique maps riddled with capture areas along the lanes. Each capture area will provide a slight but noticeable bonus in its area of influence to the team that captured it, thus, forcing the opposing team to alter their approach to avoid confrontation in these areas.
To sum this article all up, there are a couple of MOBAs that I believe deserve an honorable mention although they did not make the top 5 list. Here goes!
The first honorable mention is awarded to Dawngate, an exciting open-beta MOBA that seem to have so much potential. It would have made the top 5 list (in the 5th spot in fact) if it’s still around. Unfortunately, it was taken down by EA Games just early this month (February 2015).
The second honorable mention goes to another open-beta MOBA, Strife, by S2 Games. Yes, they are the same developers as the infamous Heroes of Newerth (HoN), but it’s best to hold back on the hate-spewing and actually give the game a go first! It is a MOBA that is deliberately made to be easy to pick up and this makes it even more approachable than any of the MOBAs on the top 5 list. The game even has plenty of stimulating new features, in which most of them are pretty awesome, but it currently has very little hero variety (27 heroes) and I’m still kind of on the fence about its hero item crafting system. However, although the game is not yet as popular, it’s steadily getting there. In fact, I won’t be surprised if it took the 5th spot this year!
The last, not-so-honorable, mention is given to Heroes of Newerth (HoN). It used to be a top competitor in the MOBA genre and had been ranked among DotA and LoL as the top 3 best MOBAs a few years ago. However, its drastic fall from grace is often attributed to its very toxic community as well as several player-reported money-grabbing tactics used by the developers to milk HoN for what it is worth. Players left the game in droves and found themselves a new home in LoL, DotA/ DotA 2 as well as the many other MOBA games that have cropped up. Hopefully, S2 Games will learn from their mistakes and do HoN some justice by not messing up Strife.