In our TenSpot: The Ten Best Multiplayer Games, we singled out the ten best multiplayer games that have challenged players over the years. The games all shared something in common: They addicted us to hours and hours of play; they drove us to compete as well as to cooperate to outwit the foe; and they were all highly replayable and balanced games. And GameSpot readers mostly agreed with our choices; however, there are some differences, as you'll see. More than 6,500 votes were placed by readers, who also passionately defended their candidates and their place among the greatest multiplayer games of all time.
In the end, readers voted for a wide variety of good games. Yet fundamentally, you agreed with us that the most important selection criteria were a game's addictiveness, gameplay balance, replayability (the lasting value to consumers), and the flexibility to create new strategies that add depth to gameplay. Readers also mentioned game performance over standard dial-up connections as an important factor--it's a very practical concern even in this age of high bandwidth. But perhaps the hardest criterion to define in simple terms was "fun." "Fun" means so many different things to players; as such, we'll let the readers speak for themselves.
Before we get to the top ten, we'll mention, as is tradition, a few games that didn't make it but deserve a nod. Doom didn't make the final ten, but many readers wrote in about Doom, explaining that it was the first game to hook them on multiplayer gaming. A lot of readers voted for Rainbow Six because of its realism, but it didn't garner enough votes in the end. Other noteworthy games are Warcraft II, innumerable Quake and Unreal Tournament mods, the original Diablo, and the old-time favorite SubSpace. But by popular vote, here is the top ten countdown of your favorite multiplayer games of all time.
It's a bit surprising to see the old-school favorite at number ten with two percent of all votes. Furthermore, Quake barely squeaked by Quake III with a narrow margin of only four reader votes. However, the Quake games represent an important stage of evolution of the first-person shooter, especially of multiplayer gaming.
"It created online gaming as we know it today, and no other game has ever come close to the impact that Quake made." --Rutger Sjogrim
"Doom may have been the first major online multiplayer game, but Quake was the greatest and largest. The Quake community still exists among many dedicated gamers although most have moved on. Quake started the whole online gaming revolution through various game types and a basic game that could run on just about any computer." --Amrit Singh
"Competition, plain and simple. Quake was the first online game to seriously involve thousands of gamers competing on a level never seen before. The difference nowadays is a lot play for the money and fame if you will, but Quake was strictly competition on a level of enjoyment unmatched by anything since." --Barry Shockley
"Quake is the best for a simple reason: Although there were many other multiplayer games before it, Quake was the first game to attract thousands of people to the multiplayer sessions, and it was the first game in which multiplayer ended up being more important than the single-player game." --Eduardo
"While Doom introduced us to the idea of multiplayer gaming back when most games came on 5.25-inch floppies, Quake took the idea of multiplayer to a whole new level. Most people could only play Doom with a couple of friends over a LAN, but Quake, coupled with the massive growth of the Internet, allowed people to play an easily modifiable, fast-paced, graphically beautiful game with numerous other people over the Internet. Quake's open-source code led to dozens of mods, such as Team Fortress, which provided even more playability. Doom introduced the idea of multiplayer gaming; Quake revolutionized it and brought it to everyone's attention." --Harbinger
"This game created so many of the features and modes of play that we now take for granted in almost any multiplayer situation. It has to be easier to improve than to produce original and groundbreaking concepts." --Ashley
"Although my computer is now 4 years old, I can still play it on equal footing with anybody today, and I don't miss out on anything that the newer games offer that is actually important to gameplay." --Stu
Asheron's Call didn't make our top ten list, but this game is one of our readers' favorite multiplayer games of all time. From its huge environments to its flexible character classes, Asheron's Call immerses adventurers in a continually evolving world.
"Stunning environmental graphics, an enormous gameworld populated with unique creatures, and an allegiance system that encourages interaction and teamwork." --Brian Coneys
"Asheron's Call is far more advanced than EverQuest; it has a lot more to see; and a person is not forced to spend hours over the duration of gameplay just looking for a group to join. Solo adventurers, fellowships, and more-advanced graphics give Asheron's Call the thumbs up over EverQuest." --Asherons Call
"I once read somewhere that Asheron's Call was the best kept secret in online gaming, and I have to agree. While the game does have its flaws, it also has all the features that make online gaming great, without many of the silly restrictions found in others. There are no skill or level limits, and the game is as open-ended as a given player has time to put into it. A player can decide what level of social interaction she or he desires and still have an enjoyable gaming experience. And the PvP server is practically a whole new game to learn and enjoy. In addition, the game features monthly updates to both plot and content by the developers." --Matthew O'Keefe
"There are some good massively multiplayer online role-playing games, but I say Asheron's Call must be the best one I have played. Everyone who has this game enjoys the storyline because it progresses every month, and players can change it by just accomplishing a quest that might unleash good or evil. Also, this game requires a lot of thinking about your character and about the battlefield. Creating a character is fun, but it can also make you think a lot. In the beginning you choose your human race, of which there are three types. Then you choose your facial appearance, which you can make from different styles, so everyone looks different (or just about). Then you choose your class from warrior to mage. But a custom character is the best. You have six attributes: strength, endurance, coordination, quickness, focus, and self. You have many skills to choose from, and you can raise them a little by specializing. For instance, you can be a warrior that can cast magic spells.
"Allegiances are similar to guilds but are much better. Not only do you go on quests or do other things that a normal guild would do, but you also get experience through the system of allegiance. For example, the more players a monarch has in his or her tree, the more experience he or she gets. Everyone under the monarch is a vassal. You can join someone's allegiance by swearing to them in the game just by clicking a button, and you can break an allegiance in the same process. Thus, I can have an allegiance that can give me over a million experience points, which is crazy, but I can give you an advantage in fast leveling and raising skills/attributes. The only thing the game lacks is graphics, not on the world but in its player characters. They're similar to Lara Croft from Tomb Raider I. Otherwise, this game is great; there's much more to this game than what I can explain here. But there's one thing that I must tell you: All critters attack you on sight depending on your distance from them, and you can have well over 10 monsters on you at a time, so you better raise the run skill!" --Josh
"The constantly evolving world and changing storyline not only affect the gameworld, but also affects how players react to it. I'll never forget the rush I felt when my party of adventurers rushed into the acid vault and were overrun by hordes of olthoi: We flung countless curses against the bugs before we finally crushed them." --Erwin
"Community, action, real people all the time, graphics, ease of control, and monthly updates make an overall great game, and I have never bought another game since I bought this one one and a half years ago. Totally addictive." --Bazmyth
With three percent of all votes, Total Annihilation is your eighth favorite multiplayer game of all time. It was a game that was ahead of its time, and thanks to its great flexibility and support for add-on units and new maps, players still play it today. Indeed, the active player community has kept Total Annihilation alive for others to enjoy.
"Total Annihilation's game engine was ahead of its time in many ways. Total Annihilation's keyboard commands and queuing were so well integrated into the interface that the focus of gameplay shifted to massive battles where you didn't need to worry about how much control over each individual unit you had. The game focused on grand strategies, and had the options available to let you tailor a game to exactly what you wanted. As a real-time strategy game, it is still the unsurpassed greatest game of all time." --Mike
"The incredible depth of units and strategies makes this game the best. For almost every unit, there is a counterunit, and it requires skill to master the units and defenses available." --Philip Wilcox
"Expandability and variety. Its variety of units allowed for millions of different strategies. Its expandability and customization gave it even more life; fan-made units, maps, and modifications could be added to the game. And no other game developer provided so many free downloadable add-on units for their game like Cavedog did. If Cavedog were still around today, it would most likely be at the top of the gaming industry once again." --Caleb Jackson
"The game's depth gives it so many different ways of playing. Battles can last from mere minutes with small unit limits (setting the unit limit to 20 and resources right up on a metal map is an incredible way to play) to battles that last hours. The maps are huge, and if you have the machine to run them, the maps allow for incredibly huge battles rather than the sort of minor skirmishes all other games have. The number of units gives a huge range of strategies. Decent artillery buildings add another level of play, especially the Big Bertha with its huge thumping boom as it fires halfway across the map into an incoming group of units. The true physics for projectiles and missiles, the 3D terrain, and true line of sight increase the level of tactics required. If you like realistic battles, this game is far better than any other out there today." --Geoff Biggs
"It's still the best real-time strategy game I've ever played. You see, while Starcraft offers an almost perfect balance among three races, it doesn't have the same variety of units you can find in Total Annihilation. More units, more realistic terrains, and the use of wide-area sensors and radars mean more tactics and much more interesting gameplay at the core of the strategy genre. Even though Blizzard's games have dominated sales, they couldn't integrate more intense gameplay into the product." --Hyunsoo Kim
"Total Annihilation was one of the first games to initiate so many customizable real-time strategy features into one game, and it had so many groundbreaking features as well--things such as sharing resources (even automatically), and wreckage, which blocks movement and can be salvaged. Total Annihilation was the first RTS game with an intricate queuing system for building and movement. Terrain had a significant effect on weapons and movement. The list goes on and on. It is truly the best RTS game made to date in terms of depth." --Laplace
"Simply put, Total Annihilation has the best online community support. The best map editors, and the only unit editors, were developed by the player community. And despite the death of Cavedog, the Total Annihilation community is still stronger than many other communities. While TA's base installation is relatively small, it and all of the add-ons from the community that I've installed now take up over 1.6 GB of space on my hard drive! If you want more proof, head over to www.tamec.org and notice how many Total Annihilation maps there are (and new ones that have come in) compared to the other games supported by TAMEC (Total Annihilation Map Evaluation Center). In fact, Total Annihilation is what got TAMEC started!" --Jacob Jones
"Age of Empires II is, hands down, the most thoroughly polished and balanced real-time strategy game ever made. While it loses points due to its relative lack of originality, the game holds up well at many levels of play, and it suffers much less from the rushing strategies that sometimes plague multiplayer real-time strategy games. There is a reason why it has been the most popular retail game at the Zone almost since its release." --Anthony Damiani
"In what other game can one start with little more than four villagers and end up battling with close to 120 units in the span of 30 minutes, all the while having to constantly adjust to a gaming environment shaped exclusively by another's play? Age of Empires II is unique because the environment is completely dependent on how the game "plays" and requires the player to focus on many levels. There are very few games that make your brain tingle during the entire experience, and Age of Empires II and its expansion are among the best games invented. Your article passed over one of the truly revolutionary games of the century." --Brad Lund
"More than just blood and gore, Age of Empires II requires quick reflexes, planning, and strategy to manage hundreds of diverse units. No other RTS game has such a huge online multiplayer following." --Randy Dorsey
"It has an incredible amount of options including maps and game types. It has a huge tech tree, and excellent "rock, paper, scissors" tactical gameplay. The only needed improvement could be the network code, but broadband connections help make the game run smoothly. I have played it fine on a 56K modem as well, but there are times when you can get latency." --Jeffrey Cooper
"Age of Empires II, along with The Conquerors expansion, has basically given us unlimited replay value in being able to start each and every game on a newly generated random map unknown to all players and in the ability to choose from over a dozen civilizations to match your playing style and a chosen map type. Being able to add computer players as either allies or enemies is also an added strength. For example, maybe you wanted to play teams but had an odd number of players. AOE lets you make up the difference. In a nutshell, so many options exist that you can tailor a game to fit all the needs of all the players, no matter how picky they are." --The Jackal
"This game has many various races; the combat is fun; and you can build empires within the game to show off to your friends. It's not a simple battle like in Starcraft or Quake-type games; it's an epic war, and every game is a parallel universe with its beginnings unfolding at your fingertips." --Brian Pawlowski
We picked the original Tribes for our top ten, but readers thought that Tribes 2 was better overall. With three percent of all votes and a larger show of hands, Tribes 2 edged slightly ahead of Total Annihilation and Age of Empires II.
"Seriously, immense and great graphics, very good gameplay, and large action without all the lag. Even on my 56K modem, I can knock out 100 other people without the standstills seen when playing games like Half-Life or Counter-Strike online." --Matt
"It has something for everybody. If you like being the team medic, you can grab a repair pack. If you like being a sniper, take a long rifle, or if you like to attack, be a light armor unit, and so on. Tribes 2 is the coolest online game ever." --Kelly Moon
"Tribes 2 incorporates the perfect blend of first-person shooter action and the strategy aspects of RTS games. With the improved graphics and the way the game brings the Tribes 2 community together, it makes the obvious choice for best multiplayer game. It has everything you need right out of the box." --Danny
"Inventive weapons. Team play. Vehicles include bombers, shrikes, and tanks. Easy mods. A great community." --Cody Lewis
"This game has the depth of gameplay to make it the best multiplayer game to date. If it were not for the bugs and huge system requirements, this would be a must-have for every first-person shooter fan out there. As it stands, there is so much going on and so many roles available to play that it's destined for greatness. A fabulous game to be sure." --Skorpion
"It has the most well-balanced gameplay ever in a first-person shooter, not to mention that its strategic elements fall solely into the hands of the player, and its flexibility of gameplay is unchallenged by all other games today. Its excellent network code allows for fun games even via modems, which is a tribute to the time and effort that went into this production. Even if you don't have the computing power to let you see some of greatest graphics in any online game ever, you will have a blast. Did I also say it supports 64 players in a game?" --Gavin Winter
"It's the first game that simulates war sufficiently. Not only are the controls and the weapons good, but the list of items is also extensive, and the vehicles are interesting and fun. The whole scale of the game says "huge." There's nothing like being in a five-on-five fire fight, with two shrikes dogfighting a bomber overhead, yet still knowing that you have a set of defensive people back at your base to handle any other threats that might be approaching from elsewhere on the huge maps." --Scott
"What could be more exciting than an online team game where the possibilities are endless? The rush of placing yourself with a teammate in a sniper tower, clearing the way for your assaulting allies with your laser rifle, or just the satisfaction of making an instant-kill head shot to an opponent 2,000 meters away? Then arming yourself with repair kits to patch up injured warriors to have them go off to fight once more! Switch your inventory around, then either go by single- or multiperson vehicle or just by foot with a squad of men to infiltrate the enemy base, sneak around the back and steal the flag, while your teammates distract the enemy turrets and other players! All this, with unlimited strategic attacks to invent, can be done in one 30-minute match." --Ben
"The sense of actually being part of a team is better than in any game I have played. The combat and controls are great, plus the ability to drive vehicles is amazing. Nothing is more fun than you and a friend flying a bomber in behind the enemy's base and then grabbing the flag and making a quick getaway." --Ron Caffrey
"Tribes 2 provides extremely complex gameplay elements wrapped up in a simple and easy-to-use format, allowing anyone to simply jump in and have great fun. But for those who have mastered the elaborate and powerful options available to them, their battles will be much more tense, dangerous, and rewarding, but fun all the while. The only downside to Tribes 2 is that most systems out there won't be able to play it properly. All in all, it is a worthy successor to Starsiege: Tribes in every aspect." --Jared Blair
The online role-playing game EverQuest comes in at number 5 with four percent of reader votes. Just about everyone who wrote in about this massively multiplayer RPG mentioned addiction as the primary reason for this game's greatness.
"Pure addiction. No other game has kept me entertained for anything like my 2,000-plus hours of EverQuest play time, even in spite of its flaws." --Michael Low
"EverQuest was the first game to combine character building with team-based action, and it's set in a huge world teeming with items and monsters." --Alec Perring
"EverQuest is the best because it was really the first successful massively multiplayer game. It created a gameworld that went on whether you were there or not. You could do whatever you wanted. You weren't confined to the linear gameplay of many offline RPGs. And most of all, there are so many players that it's a completely different experience every time you play." --Ryan O'Hare
"Despite arriving after Ultima Online, EverQuest has surpassed all massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Verant continually improves its graphics, gameplay, world, classes, and items. There is no stagnation. The quality of gameplay and its social aspect are a standard against which all other future massively multiplayer online RPGs will be judged. Love it or hate it, EQ is the most addictive." --Vincent Scrimenti
"The world seems real: For one thing the locations are diverse and fascinating. Nothing beats exploring and uncovering a new realm with a couple of friends. Or of finding a new encounter. I had more fun with this game than any other multiplayer game, with over 40 days of played time. (That's not as much as some others, I know, but it's still more game time than any other game I've played.)" --James Dean
"I'm 40 pounds heavier, I have only one friend left, and his name is Zandar from Neriak... evil, addictive game!" --Ascenzion
"While I've played other games online, no other game has provided the kind of immersive, life-eating enjoyment that EverQuest has. Quake, Age of Empires II, and so on were started, played, and finished; the participants went their separate ways. EverQuest presented a persistent world, with friendships to be made and grudges to bear. It was EQ that has made "massively multiplayer" the new buzzword in an industry looking for new outlets." --Dean Peet
"I have a ton of computer games, most of which have online play in some form. The only one I continue to come back to is EverQuest--a combination of RPG and chat room is totally addictive. Where else can you travel from one end of the world to the other and find all manner of terrain in between, from deserts to mountain ranges, to swamps, to lava, and snow fields? It's the most addictive and fulfilling online game I have ever played." --James Mahoney
"This is hands-down the best MMORPG out there today. The dynamics of the game make grouping with other players a necessity in the later stages, which promotes interactions with a community. And it's the EverQuest community that makes this game so special; in fact, Verant and Sony even hold official Fan Faire events at which EQ players gather to meet in person. Truly a remarkable game." --Ryan L.
"It is the most addictive, frustrating, enjoyable, satisfying, irritating, and pleasurable game I have ever played (I like it!)." --Brock
Readers have chimed in: Unreal Tournament surpasses each Quake game in the final vote. From its more-varied weapons and additional game types, UT just offered more variety to online players, and is your fourth favorite multiplayer game of all time.
"I still remember the day I purchased Unreal Tournament. I had just finished building my own custom gaming rig. I turned on my new system, installed Windows, and then said to myself, "Hey, this is a gaming machine--I need a killer game." So I went on a quest to find a game worthy of my machine. This quest eventually took me to my local game retailer where on the shelf sat two games, one of which was Unreal Tournament and the other was Quake III Arena. I chose Unreal Tournament. I took it home, installed it on my new rig, and was blown away by the graphics, the various play modes, and the inventive weapons and levels. To this day UT remains one of my favorite PC games of all time." --Ben Pritchitt
"This is the most complete game ever. It is the game that got me into online shooters. It has the best bots of any game ever, great weapon balance, great graphics, great 3D sound, an excellent interface, and an excellent tutorial mode, so it's easy for newbies to get into. And the assault mode is the greatest mode ever in an online shooter. Also mods, maps, and mutators have been popping up like mad, because UT's editing tools are so easy to use." --Anonymous
"This is the best multiplayer game ever because it combines an amazing 3D engine with a great team atmosphere that really develops into what gaming truly is about." --Heath Kimery
"The incredible mod community that has sprung up around the game has expanded the first-person shooter genre in every conceivable direction. From Infiltration's almost disturbing realism to the variety, originality, and unbelievable power of the weapons of U4E, it is difficult to buy another shooter that has so many possible variations." --Lucas Holloway
"Unreal Tournament is the best multiplayer game of all time for various reasons. It's original, it has many weapons, and you can customize it from all ways thinkable. All the game modes (deathmatch, assault, domination, CTF, last man standing) are significantly superior to other game modes. In other words, if you don't play Unreal Tournament, you must be crazy." --Juan Dominguez Jimenez
"The map and weapon balance offered in UT is simply incredible. As a professional gamer who plays team deathmatch mode, I speak from experience when I say that this game outperforms any other first-person shooter ever. If you haven't had the chance, download a TDM demo and watch the strategic holdings of areas, powerups, and weapons. It's an action-packed chessmatch! Furthermore, UT has something Quake III clearly does not: mobility. The "dodge" feature in UT gives you a chance to fight stronger opponents with a little mobility! I feel that all these features implemented together clearly make UT the best multiplayer game of all time (with Myth II as a close second)." --Dustin Illingworth
"Unreal Tournament combines all the elements of team play, graphics, sound, environments, and classic deathmatch all in one sleek and desirable package. I personally think Unreal Tournament has the best music ever composed for a PC game, which is a big plus for the thrill of the game." --EagleEye_SS
Counter-Strike got 10 percent of all votes, and because of its addictive and realistic gameplay that requires teamwork, players love to enter the fray to test their skills.
"When a game like Counter-Strike makes you miss work, school, and weekends with friends, you know it has to be the best multiplayer game ever." --John
"Among all the popular first-person shooters, Counter-Strike demands a higher level of skill in teamwork. It seems that great games like Unreal Tournament and Quake III are massive hordes of deathmatch people who only care about getting the highest score. Counter-Strike adds addictive gameplay and great graphics to great team play, which sets it a level above all contenders. It's a breath of fresh air among multiplayer first-person shooters." --Stealth Contempo
"Do I really have to say why CS is the best multiplayer game of all time? No game ever was so dependent on team play. No game ever had such brilliant levels like Dust and Inferno. No game ever had such campers. Counter-Strike has the best gameplay, the most realism, and most of all, it's simply fun every time around. You never ever get tired of playing! I've been playing it every day for the last year. Seriously, every single day I was home I played. And it's still fun--it's more fun than it was 5 months ago, or 10 months ago, or a month ago. Addictive, fun team play, camping, rushing... the best game ever." --Yuval Lask
"For all the reasons in the Ten Spot feature, plus the fact that it embodies the real virtues of humanity in that the developers could dedicate themselves to a game that they would distribute freely over the Internet. The fact that they did what megacorporations could not do and created an intensely gratifying "massively multiplayer" game is just the icing on the cake." --Mark Healey
"Not since Classic CTF and Team Fortress has a mod been so widely accepted and played. The balance maintained between fun and the sheer realism of the game in just about every aspect make Counter-Strike the most enjoyable multiplayer game I have ever experienced." --Sindep Patel
"Counter-Strike is a revolutionary first-person shooter. It not only makes everything extremely realistic, but it features team play superior to that of Starsiege Tribes. These two things added together, combined with an intense environment, great graphics (especially the textures), amazingly awesome maps, and the best online community I've ever seen make it the best multiplayer game." --Jjthebear
"While I loved to play the original Quake, Unreal Tournament, and multiplayer Tribes, Counter-Strike has taken the cake as the best of the bunch. Tribes took a big step forward in defining roles for each player beyond what the individual player's style was, but I feel that Counter-Strike has done an even more effective job of this. The system for purchasing guns and playing out each match causes players to find a role during a round and play it, whether it be sniper or a target for the other team. Counter-Strike is the perfect balance of action and strategy, of realism and fantasy. And let us not forget how satisfying it is to cap someone in the face with an AK." --James Thom
"From the variety of guns right down to the fun maps, this game was great. But I have to contradict GameSpot on one point: A team of MP5 navies could still do serious damage to a team with rifles; weapons didn't compensate for raw skill and talent, and that made Counter-Strike one of the best games of all time." --Cory A.
"In a few words, its diversity and immediate accessibility appealed to me greatly. It offered a degree of realism that even surpassed the likes of Rainbow Six, SWAT3, and Hidden and Dangerous. Its huge arsenal of real-world weapons also drew me in. Since when has a mod been the most popular game in Internet history? Achieving that earns it my vote for best multiplayer game ever." --Pawan Jeswani
"Because this was the only game that could attract hundreds of gamers and non-gamers to cooperate and play against each other in one server. I know hundreds of CS gamers who never even played Quake, Half-Life, UT, or even used a computer for gaming at all. The moment when CS was known to the world, everybody started playing it: geeks, nerds, jocks, gangsters, drug addicts, computer wimps, men, women--I mean everybody. Now give me another game that could get close to that. This game was free anyway, and it was a modification. It was the first in the top ten multiplayer games last year, beating Quake III, Unreal Tournament, and Half-Life. I don't know anybody who doesn't know CS." --Tempus.
Even more popular than Counter-Strike is Diablo II, which received 19 percent of all votes. Players overwhelmingly loved the accessibility of this game via Blizzard's Battle.net, as well as the additional character-building options that enhance multiplayer mode.
"The ability to play with and against other players, coupled with the strategies and planning that can go into battles and skill points, especially for players with solid teammates (ones who stick with you the whole way), make Diablo II a great multiplayer game. Though Doom 2 definitely set the path for almost all of what has come, Diablo II is undisputedly the best multiplayer game." --Aton
"It is not necessarily the best multiplayer game of all time but just an outstandingly good one. It is one of the few games where you can trade various items and you can test your skill against other players by fighting them with up to 30 different skills. Or you can help each other conquer other enemies online or in quests." --Matthew
"It has made me realize that I don't want to be without a blade in my hand. I can never be who I once was before this game. I have nothing left in the world except for my hardcore action." --Anonymous
"Because even my wife likes playing it." --Jeff Durand
"There is so much you can do: trading, working as a team, chatting, dueling, all that, and it's hack -free." --Mark Norris
"This game allows for excellent co-op play while at the same time allowing for good PvP combat. What I think makes this game good all around is the "constant reward system": You kill a monster, then you get an item with a pretty looking graphic, and you can now kill more monsters better. This is why the game can appeal to anyone." --Lord Chimera
"Because back in the day, Gauntlet was the only game that would let four people game together at the arcades, and Diablo II is Gauntlet on steroids. It has everything: cool items, great character classes, and plenty of action from start to finish." --ChemicalX
"This is the best multiplayer game because lots of people play it, it's highly addictive, and there's more than one way to play and build your desired class. The game also has a really wide variety of items because of random generation. It's not one of those traditional turn-based or menu-selecting RPGs. You actually choose your target and attack... Another great game from Blizzard and it will be even better with the expansion. See ya on Battle.net." --Jason
"It has a way of making you want to keep playing... I got to get better equipment, I got to beat this next boss, I got to complete this next quest, I got to get this next waypoint, and even when you do shut it down, it makes you want to come back for more." --Mike Zagorsky
"Battle.net works so well that you can play with other people really easily and have heaps of fun doing it--Diablo II is a really good game." --David Bain
Starcraft received 21 percent of all votes, beating another Blizzard game, Diablo II, by only two percent, and thus, Blizzard comes to dominate this top ten with an amazing 40 percent of all reader ballots. Thanks to its balanced races, an easy-to-use map editor, and its potential for great strategic battles, Starcraft is your favorite multiplayer game of all time.
"Nothing can compare to multiplayer Starcraft simply because it is by far one of the most deepest and complex games of all time. With endless possible strategies for three different races, and a use for every unit of each race, Starcraft never ceases to amaze. Shooters may require some strategy and quick aiming, but they're little compared to the brainpower needed in Starcraft. EverQuest needs little thinking, only copious amounts of time to master, but Starcraft requires time, dedication, and ceaseless practice. Nothing matches it." --Chris Trinh
"No online game has gotten my juices flowing better than Starcraft. One-on-one ladder matches would provide enough adrenaline, pressure, and tension to kill anybody who isn't physically fit! This game oozes strategy. Every map makes you use a different technique. This, coupled with the availability of three different races, makes this game the best!" --Joel Nicholas
"It offers a wide range of multiplayer options, and it's a game that raised the bar for gamers of all ages. It's just too bad it's not as big here anymore as it is in Korea today because I'd really like to see it turned into a movie. It'd be like Starship Troopers but better!" --Luke Reid
"It has a great balance of the three different races. No matter how often I try going to another game, I keep coming back to this one. It has provided me with many fun nights of playing with my friends." --Matt Korhner
"As a real-time strategy fan, I used to salute C&C Red Alert, but ever since Blizzard released Starcraft, I haved bowed to Blizzard's Starcraft. It is the only multiplayer strategy game that comes with three perfectly balanced races, and it also balances each unit. Nobody is able to rely on only one or two types of units and expect to win a game. No RTS game comes close to Starcraft, not even any game in the C&C series--not even Red Alert can come close to Starcraft. It has style!" --Calvin Foo
"Any old-school gamer would understand. It has great depth but has simplicity of gameplay. It's a fast-paced game unlike Command & Conquer, and it has better graphics than Warcraft II. It is a game in which you use your wits, and it has endless strategies to learn and perfect. It revolutionized the game industry with Battle.net, which is Blizzard's user-friendly gaming service. P.S. You doesn't need a top-of-the-line Pentium 4 to play it." --Gino Delos Reyes
"The game had the best map editor for any strategy game, which allowed gamers to make countless truly unique maps. No other game has made a strategy game feel almost like an RPG. Maps like Smash TV, Commando Wars, and so on are maps very few will ever forget, all because of the unparalleled map editor that came with Starcraft." --Marvin
"Starcraft has the depth that no other multiplayer game has ever had. Even with the vast difference between the three races, Blizzard managed to balance this game perfectly for multiplayer mode. Although Battle.net has its flaws, Starcraft can be played on a 56K modem connection without any problem. That and a lot more (too much to mention here) is what makes Starcraft the best multiplayer game of all time." --Squash
"Starcraft is the best multiplayer game of all time because of the differences between the races and how they are perfectly balanced. This, coupled with the wide range of strategies a player can employ and the large number of units, ensures an almost limitless variety in play styles and game types. You can never play the same game twice!" --Matt Spellman