Massively OP’s Best of 2015 Awards: Pseudo-MMO of the Year


Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the best pseudo-MMO of the year.

The games that populate this category are games that we’d usually cover under Not So Massively — they’re MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers and ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs. Games did not need to have released in 2015 to be eligible but should have done something notable this year. Last year, our winner was Hearthstone.

Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!

The Massively OP staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2015 is…

ARK: Survival Evolved

Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Path of Exile. This year we saw Path of Exile really come into its own with the release of its first expansion, The Awakening. The frequent addition of new items and skill gems has kept people developing new builds and the we’ve seen several innovative new race event types. Mostly I’m just impressed that Path of Exile has remained popular all throughout 2015 with gamers, YouTube personalities, twitch streamers. It’s even managed to keep selling crowdfunding-style support packages that let players design items like divination cards long after release.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): ARK: Survival Evolved has managed to capture a broad audience of people who don’t traditionally think much of survival sandboxes. While Destiny might have continued dominating headlines and raking in sick money, Studio Wildcard is pushing out faster updates and cementing its position at the head of its subgenre. Honorable mention to Paladins, whose gameplay has MMORPG fans intrigued, and Gigantic, whose art direction is just brilliant.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): Overwatch. I can’t be the only person who thinks this game has wound up going for a niche too narrow for what it could be, but the fact of the matter is that it’s a brand-new IP for Blizzard that’s generated tons of buzz, put lots of people in an excited mood, and keeps generating conversation. Whether or not it’s the hybrid-MOBA-and-Team-Fortress-2 game we all necessarily want, it’s the one generating a lot of attention, and there’s every reason to believe that it could really wind up big with time.

Jef Reahard (@jefreahard): ARK: Survival Evolved, and it isn’t a close race. Aside from being a fun, beautiful, and well-made multiplayer survival sandbox with MMO elements, Studio Wildcard set the bar for early access games (and really, dev teams in general) by updating ARK on a ridiculously frequent basis. These weren’t token updates either, but large content adds and significant bug-fixing patches that happened at least once and usually two to three times per week.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Destiny. Purist MMO lovers might scoff at Destiny (and I am not overly fond of it myself), but I know way too many people playing it and pouring money into its Taken King expansion to dismiss its apparent success either. Also ARK: Dinos plus the ever-popular survival-crafting game genre. It’s a smash hit and deservedly so.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I’d never thought that the survival genre would step beyond zombies. But ARK appeals to a very strong childhood fantasy. ARK is one of those games that isn’t an MMO, but pulls very strongly on the MMO player because it’s highly social and is persistent to the private servers they are set up on. Because of its addictive appeal, I had to fight to keep some of my MMO guildies in the guild. If ARK were an MMO, I’d probably give it the award for best new MMO of the year.

Matt Daniel (@Matt_DanielMVOP): Let’s go with ARK! I haven’t played it in a while, but holy shit, it’s a crafting/construction-based sandbox with DINOSAURS. THAT YOU CAN RIDE! I don’t feel like I really need to say anything else.

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Although it is only in early access right now, I seriously have to say ARK: Survival Evolved. This game puts all other games — early access and live — to shame with the frequency of updates and addition of content.

Tina Lauro (@purpletinabeans): Paladins wins this for me with no contest! I have to throw my hands up and admit to generally loathing pseudo-MMOs, mainly because I’m appalling at quick, map-reliant gameplay because I can get lost in my own home! This major problem of mine is dampened significantly in Paladins because of the transport system and super-clear telegraphing. This game blew me away at Gamescom, and I am now happily tinkering with the beta.

ARK: Survival Evolved won our pick for best pseudo-MMO of the year. What’s your pick?

What was the best pseudo-MMO of 2015?

  • ARK: Survival Evolved (30%, 221 Votes)
  • Paladins (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Destiny (12%, 85 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (13%, 98 Votes)
  • Overwatch (4%, 30 Votes)
  • Gigantic (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Diablo III (10%, 76 Votes)
  • Heroes of the Storm (6%, 47 Votes)
  • League of Legends (3%, 20 Votes)
  • SMITE (2%, 17 Votes)
  • Dota 2 (3%, 19 Votes)
  • Hearthstone (7%, 48 Votes)
  • HEX (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Something else -- let us know in the comments! (5%, 39 Votes)

Total Voters: 727

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Poll options include all games nominated plus several other major NSM games.

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