*THE* MMO -- deep, immersive, real, challenging, & addictive; even if you don't like MMOs (I didn't)

User Rating: 9.5 | Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles PC
I thought I wasn't an MMO player, and never would be. I'd played the occasional MMOFPS, maybe; but those are exactly like playing any FPS multiplayer -- no persistent or sandbox universe, no quests, minimal social interaction, etc. And I had no use for that, for real MMORPGs; or so I thought. Now I have enormous use for one, just one -- DAoC. It only, of all of them out there; but it had me hooked the fateful moment 7 weeks ago when I saw an ad for the free trial and figured, what the heck, I'm bored, maybe I'll try something new (didn't expect much, of course). Next thing I knew I'd *subscribed*; and I'm also the type who on principle just refuses to PAY for any online game. Except, again, DAoC.
It's that good. It's that much better (imo -- tastes differ, so pls. no fanboys jump me) than its clones &/or successors -- WoW, Age of Conan, Runescape, SUN, Mabinogi, whatever. It has an intelligence and a depth they just lack (imo again), and the RvR system is more like war than anything I've run across in a game -- other games have PvP, but not the same; not the same at all. (After being amazed by DAoC, I tried other well-reviewed MMOs, thinking maybe I'd underestimated the whole genre; but none of them were anything like DAoC; they struck me as cartoonish, too easy, a bit silly. (IMO. :) & I should note that I'm of adult years -- 38 -- w/ preferences to match.)
It's hard for me to describe what the special something is about DAoC; the review does a good job, so I refer you back to it. But it is a great game. "Great" as in Great. It's not hard to level up to 50, which is when the brilliant endgame starts, the RvR. Then it will challenge the heck out of you. Grad school at an Ivy was easier for me. Yet I don't feel defeated, I feel awed. Humbled, but seeing no possibility of boredom; not w/ so much to learn--my own fighting skills, tactics, strategy, group coordination--all of which demand skill & more skill, practice, more practice, learning and more learning. It's an endless beautiful world w/ an endless amount to do and learn.
I play one MMO now; many more hours a week than is good for me, but I can't stay away. Try it. The trial is free. Just be careful, or you may end up like me. :)

Don't be put off by the fact that this game is 9 years old -- it's updated regularly, the graphics are gorgeous, and the gameplay sets the standard for MMORPGs. Its longevity is a testament to how addictive it is and how astonishingly much players love it. Really LOVE it. I am now one of them. And I used to laugh at MMOs. (I'm still a little underwhelmed by any other,)