Top 5 World War II MMOs
There can be no doubt that the Second World War is the most popular historical conflict in terms of online gaming. Many different World War 2 mmo games abound, ranging all the way from first-person shooters to full-blown strategy games. It's no wonder that this conflict has become so popular with gamers over the last few decades in both video games and tabletop games. First, you have the epic scope of the conflict that raged from Europe to the Pacific to the Eastern Front in Russia. Then there's the individual battles that military historians and armchair generals continuously study: D-Day, El Alamein, Anzio, Iwo Jima, Kursk, and the Battle of the Bulge. Another consideration is that every aspect of warfare can be re-imagined in a game setting, whether the battle is on the sea, the air, on land, or a combination thereof. It just seems that gamers can't get enough WWII action, so we present our top five World War II mmos.
World of Tanks
The first item on our list of the top five World War II mmos is World of Tanks. This juggernaut of an mmo captured the gaming world by storm when it was first released. Featuring realistically detailed armored fighting vehicles, World of Tanks has over 75 million registered users and generated a total revenue of $372 million in 2013, which has paved the way for Wargaming.net to develop other WW2-themed mmos.
What makes World of Tanks so fun is that it concentrated on armored battles, with players fighting it out in various game modes. Every one loves playing as a deadly armored tank, so a game that focuses on real world tanks that are historically accurate, mixed with sweet PvP action, is an addicting one. For the truly hardcore tanker, they can take part in the never-ending clan wars. Armored warfare remains intriguing as the last true massive tank battles took place in the Second World War, and World of Tanks lovingly brings that conflict to the desktop.
Next on our list of the top five WW2 mmos is War Thunder. This online rpg features planes, armored vehicles, and ships for players to use as they engage in battle. Unlike most online games that take place in WW2, this one features both PvE and PvP action. There's a sliding scale of realism in War Thunder that appeals to a broad spectrum of players. For most players, there's an arcade version where the realism is muted and players can select freely from the arsenal of both factions. Gamers looking for a higher degree of realism can play realistic battles, which feature a greater degree of real world physics. War Thunder players can also engage in both historical battles as well as alternative history battles in this mode. Simulator battles are for the most advanced gamer or one looking for the greatest historical accuracy as the Allies and the Axis continue their struggle for supremacy in the virtual realm.
Panzer General Online
Getting away from action-based combat, we turn to the next game on our list, Panzer General Online. What makes this game unique is that it's based upon the amazingly successful Panzer General games that go back to the 1990s. This WWII mmo is a turn-based collectible card game where the action takes place on a map featuring three lanes that are comprised of hexagonal tiles. There is a PvE campaign for both Allies and Axis that feature over 150 missions, and players can take part in PvP once they hit level six. Just like any good collectible card game, players can purchase card packs that contain units and command cards, and these cards can be traded between players. Panzer General Online makes a nice change of pace when you're looking to take your time fighting World War II battles.
Heroes & Generals
Fourth on our list of the top five WWII mmos is Heroes & Generals. What makes this game special is that it combines both strategy and tactics into a coherent whole. The Generals portion of the game is for advanced players to create units and move them around on an extremely large campaign map. When rival forces meet, a battle begins that is played out on the tactical level. This is the Heroes part of the game and it's akin to a first-person shooter. Players can play a variety of roles, ranging from basic infantry to tank commander to fighter pilot, as they gain in levels. Players can also unlock vehicles and new weapons, depending upon their role, as well. The kicker is that the Generals need to keep supplies flowing to the battles, and if they run out, then that side runs out of respawns. Once that happens, that side is eventually ground down and overwhelmed by the superior forces of the opposing side.
Company of Heroes 2
The last item on our list of the top five World War 2 mmos is Company of Heroes 2. Most games dealing with WW2 tend to focus on the European theater, but this mmo focuses on the Eastern Front. Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game that focuses on the Eastern Front campaign from the viewpoint of a Soviet lieutenant, Lev Abraham Isakovich, and is told through flashbacks. The strongest element of this rts is the insane level of detail of the units and weapons used. Terrain is a huge factor as is the weather, and one of the more interesting aspects of the game is that it uses real line-of-sight mechanics where a fence or a hill may be hiding enemy units. While popular in the West, Company of Heroes 2 was pulled from distribution in Russia due to many gamers feeling that the rts portrayed the actions of the Red Army in a negative light. The fact that the flashbacks of the Eastern Front campaign by the lieutenant occur as he's being interrogated in a gulag after the war may lead some credence to those charges.
The fascination that gamers have for World War II will not diminish any time in the near future. There's a whole host of possibilities to explore using the troops, equipment, and battles of that era as the war can be recreated as a first-person shooter, a strategy mmo, a virtual card game, and so on. Throw in the ability to create your own battles or to have alternative history twist things around, then the gaming possibilities are virtually endless. Our list of the top five World War II mmos encompasses this wide range of gameplay, which should fit into the various gaming style of most players.