As a new gamer, you probably often asked yourself what does MOBA mean and although you encountered many games that fall into this category and you could easily recognize them, you never actually knew what the abbreviation was supposed to mean. MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena and it’s one of the most appreciated genres of game, making up a large chunk of the gaming population.
It all started with the world-renowned game creator company Blizzard and their iconic releases of StarCraft and WarCraft, specifically WarCraft III, that laid the foundations of this genre. They set the stage for a more interactive experience and user-based content. The first prototype to ever air was called DotA, Defense of the Ancients, and it was released in 2002 by a player known as Eul as a custom game for The Frozen Throne, the third title of the Warcraft series. The objective of the game was simple, 2 enemy teams were battling to destroy each other’s defenses. The first team to clear all the enemy structures would have won.
Soon enough, there will be 20 years since MOBA mods were introduced to the gaming community. This is a great opportunity to check out what are the latest and the most popular games of this genre that keep gamers busy nowadays. All that said, what are the best of the best that you can currently play?
10 Best MOBA Games
Not only that Dota represented the start of the MOBA legacy, but it continued to improve through DotA, Heroes of Newerth, and now Dota 2. For a change, Blizzard is no longer the owner of this game since the rights for it have been purchased in 2009 by Valve, the company that owns Steam.
What Blizzard thought it would be a game too risky to invest in and develop, it came to be one of the most popular franchises that hold the biggest yearly e-sports event. The tournament called The International has the greatest prizes among all e-sports competitions. The total prize pool for 2018 was about $25,532,177 and it’s continuously increasing for the years to come.
As for the looks of the game. It is very well optimized. Ever since it was launched in 2013, Dota 2 went through major changes and optimizations to get as good as possible and offer the players smooth gaming experience. It has a total of 117 heroes for now and they all have unique appearance and abilities, and their number is increasing almost yearly. Playing it, you’ll probably find the best balance between gameplay, looks, and mechanics that we’re all longing for.
League of Legends
League of Legends, or simply said, LOL, was developed by Riot Games and released back in 2009. Like most of the MOBA games, this one as well found inspirations in the first DotA mod. Compared to Dota 2, it has a more cartoonish style and slightly different mechanics, but, per total, these 2 games are very similar.
The number of unique champions featured here is of 144 for the moment, although it is steadily growing. As for the community, the popularity of LOL reached a global level which means players from all over the world can meet in a match or change impressions over the dedicated forums. The fame this game gained propelled it to the top and made it have its own tournament can be compared to The International.
Heroes of the Storm
Although Blizzard refused to develop DotA in a game of its own and not just a mod of The Frozen Throne, when it heard about the huge success Dota 2 had, it started to work on a game of its own. This game was launched just 2 years later, in 2015 and it was simply named Heroes of the Storm or HotS.
In terms of looks, its quality is pretty much similar to the games we already talked about. The gameplay is similar too and the objectives are no different. The only noticeable difference is the fact its playable heroes are not necessarily unique, but a gathering of a multitude of characters from all over the games developed by this company.
Smite is a third-person MOBA video game that was developed and published by Hi-Rez Studios. Compared to the games above, it is available not only for PC, but also for consoles.
If so far, the characters featured in all the other titles mentioned were unique, the ones that players can control in Smite are either gods, goddesses or mythological figures. Of course, they’ve all been reinterpreted to suit the vision of the developers, but their abilities and looks are of the deities they’re meant to resemble. Since it is a third-person game, its gameplay is somehow different and gives a bit the impression of a battle royale arena rather than a multiplayer online battle arena, but this similarity just adds to its appeal.
Launched not too long ago, in 2017, by S2 Games, Strife is a game that found as a great source of inspiration in Heroes of Newerth. While it might not be any better than any game of the same genre out there, it has a unique approach to reduce the level of the toxicity within the community. Through its particular interface, the players cannot get clear stats of each other, either if we talk about the kills, deaths, assists or gold farmed. At the end of the game, an entire report will be shown as for what were the final results for each individual that took part in the match.
Heroes of Newerth
We kept talking about Heroes of Newerth, but we never got to properly introduce this game to you. Actually, HoN is the so-called ancestor of Strife, developed and published by the same company, S2 Games. Launched back in 2010, this game, along with Dota 2, is the closest to resemble both the characteristics of the first Defense of the Ancients and the playable avatars.
In the years that passed since it was first released, it improved greatly in mechanics, looks, and gameplay, reaching a level comparable to those at the top of this list.
The impossible is now possible. Vainglory is a video game developed and published by Super Evil Megacorp that was first launched back in 2014 for iOS. The second version of it was out for the phone users just a half a year later, this time dedicated to the Android OS. 3 years after being live, exclusively for mobile devices, it was finally launched for PC too.
When we said “the impossible is now possible”, we referred to the fact the players from all the devices Vainglory is available on can join a match together, of course, within the player-limit. This thing has its pros and cons, but so far, the game received many praises for such a courageous approach.
Prime World is a hybrid that brings the perfect balance between the MOBA and the MMORPG genres. It was developed and published by Nival and it revolves around the story of the fierce battle between 2 nations, the Dokht Imperium and the Keepers of Adornia, in order to gain the control of Prime, a critical resource. The players are in charge of controlling the in-game hero, a character that leads its own army towards capturing new territories, attempting at the very same time to destroy the enemy base.
Battlerite is not your usual type of MOBA. Released by Stunlock Studios back in 2017, this game has nothing from the Defense of the Ancients legacy. Maybe, the only thing that links it to DotA is the fact that 2 enemy teams are facing each other with the goal of gaining as many kills as possible. The matches are usually very short and the players are thrown in a circular arena where they have to stay alive while inflicting damage on the enemies and ultimately killing them. No structures or additional units are involved, the skill being the primary requirement.
Another game that was first released for mobile and got a PC version after it became very popular is Heroes Evolved. It was developed and published by R2Games, a well-known company that worked on the various acclaimed browser and mobile video games. Although it is the last item on our list, it follows the same principles of MOBA and it’s just as good as all the others featured here.
And that for the top today. These MOBA games, among all the ones we tried, proved to be best. Of course, it could be a personal preference and you might not rank them the same, but nevertheless, we can conclude they are all amazing!