Nostalgia got the best of me and I decided to try a "free shard" for Ultima Online.
Settled on Ultima Online Forever at uoforever.com
After a marathon session, I forgot what year it was. I really encourage any MMO or sandbox fans out there to give it a try. The install is 3 clicks, everything is free and the game is a blast to play.
It's a reminder of the promise early UO had for the industry. Hopefully we see more sandbox experiences down the road. For now, I can honestly say the game holds up in this form.