World of Warcraft has been the defining MMORPG for years. It brought the genre to the forefront, and is what many people consider when the subject of MMORPGs comes up. A contender has risen in the MMORPG realm, however: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Final Fantasy XIV is similar to World of Warcraft, and yet it is quite different. Both games do a good job of defining what makes up a great MMORPG, and are quite similar, and at the same time so different.
World of Warcraft first released in 2004. An offshoot of the Warcraft series, World of Warcraft has players create a character and quest through the world in solo missions and multiplayer dungeons. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a reboot of the original Final Fantasy XIV, which was a disaster. Like World of Warcraft, A Realm Reborn has players create a custom character and quest through the game’s world through a series of quests and dungeons. Both games have players choose a race and class, which is one area where the games differ. In World of Warcraft, once a class is chosen, that character must stick to that class. In A Realm Reborn, however, players are able to switch their classes, and quite easily. This gives A Realm Reborn more versatility when creating a character, as players are not stuck to one class. Final Fantasy XIV also has the job system, which allows players to take their class into a more specialized role with advanced abilities.
In World of Warcraft, all races either belong to the Alliance or the Horde. Players are able to battle the other side in a variety of PvP environments. A Realm Reborn on the other hand sticks players in the same side throughout the game, and does not offer PvP on the level of World of Warcraft. Public quests, however, are easier to attend in A Realm Reborn. Players simply have to step into the area that the quest is taking place in and will automatically become a part of it. This makes it easier to gain experience in Final Fantasy XIV. Combat in the games is incredibly similar, as is the leveling system. However, A Realm Reborn feels more story driven than World of Warcraft, with a much more definitive plot.
Both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn are subscription based games. While both are on PC, A Realm Reborn is also on console, and features cross-play. Unlike Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft has reached out to other various types of media. This includes comics, board games, and card games. Overall, both titles are incredibly similar on a base level, but differ heavily when getting past the basic mechanics. World of Warcraft may be the current king of MMORPGs, but Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn may one day steal that crown.