Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2016, which was awarded to ARK: Survival Evolved last year. As you might surmise, the games eligible for this category are online games that generally aren’t considered traditional MMORPGs — they’re MOBAs, online dungeon crawlers, ARPGs, online shooters, survival sandboxes, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t full MMORPGs. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2016 titles, as long as they accomplished something truly notable in this calendar year. 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 2016 is…
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): It’s probably obvious that I’m voting for Pokemon Go. People on the street talk about it. I feel like it’s World of Warcraft all over again, in that people suddenly are aware of the genre, but more importantly, it’s brought games into meatspace in a new way. Niantic doesn’t seem like they were totally ready for what they got themselves into, but that’s exciting, not just as a game blogger, but as a player.
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Overwatch. Overwatch wins this hands down for me, as it’s completely taken over my casual gaming time and is the first shooter to do that since Team Fortress 2. There’s a high MOBA-like skill cap on learning to play each character that lends itself well to competitive gaming, and it’s the first shooter in a years that literally all of my friends are playing. The latest patch in particular has added a lot to the game with the new Mystery Duel, Elimination and Mystery Heroes modes, giving something to do even if you only have five to ten minutes to play.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): This can’t be anything but Overwatch when my MMORPG guildies are playing it every single night and my husband is always squeezing in “just one more match.” Even to someone not even remotely interested in shooters, it’s immediately obvious after five seconds of watching that Overwatch is Blizzard’s art, design, and UI teams in absolute top form. Now, if they can just fix the matchmaking trainwreck. Runner-up points to Atlas Reactor, which needs praise for trying something new, and Path of Exile, which churned out more content this year and continued to increase the size of its team — but then, Path of Exile is almost too much of an MMORPG to be relegated to the Pseudos anymore!
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): Overwatch. It’s kind of a gimme that this will take the lead in this category considering its popularity, sales, constant headlines, and trademark Blizzard polish. But I’ll put in a runner-up vote for Paragon and Gigantic, which are each trying to create fun and interesting competitors for this online shooter space.
Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): If Overwatch doesn’t win this category this year, we need to take away our gamer cards. No one — even those who don’t play Overwatch — can avoid the impact this game as made on the industry. Besides having amazing gameplay and PvP mechanics, the game also has heart. There are characters in Overwatch that player attach themselves to. It’s hilarious to see the voice actors, like Darin De Paul who voices Reinhardt, being asked to recite their incredibly limited number of lines over and over at conventions and other fan gatherings because fans love these characters so much.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): I give this award to SMITE! I would have never in a million years thought I could get into this kind of a game, but I did. The addition of the PvE arena cemented it as something I really love to do with friends. And learning my gods in that feature made me want to move beyond the PvE into the other game modes. Two, I give it to Path of Exile. That game just keeps doing regular updates like no one else can — meaty updates that add major features and fun new leagues every three months. How can you beat that? The leagues make me want to play more!
Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): Overwatch should take this prize and run away with it! I don’t play myself, but I have to admit that I watch over the shoulders of my friends and housemates as they play and I am falling for the game’s quirky, quintessentially-Blizzard charm in a big way. It’s a stunning little project that is sophisticated in its competitive scale, and its gorgeous theme and general aesthetics make it stand out since it doesn’t try hard to be all boringly gritty or “real” like most of its competitors. Overwatch is making inroads into the wild world of e-sports, so I hope that its longevity in a fairly saturated area of the market is secured for a long time yet.
Overwatch won our award for Pseudo-MMO of the Year in 2016. What’s your pick?
Reader poll: What was the best pseudo-MMO of 2016?
- Overwatch (24%, 179 Votes)
- Pokemon Go (9%, 68 Votes)
- SMITE (2%, 12 Votes)
- Path of Exile (14%, 106 Votes)
- Atlas Reactor (1%, 11 Votes)
- ARK: Survival Evolved (3%, 26 Votes)
- Gigantic (1%, 4 Votes)
- Paragon (1%, 6 Votes)
- Paladins (2%, 13 Votes)
- League of Legends (1%, 11 Votes)
- Warframe (6%, 48 Votes)
- The Division (10%, 73 Votes)
- Marvel Heroes (7%, 50 Votes)
- Diablo III (3%, 26 Votes)
- Elder Scrolls Legends (1%, 11 Votes)
- HEX (1%, 6 Votes)
- Hearthstone (1%, 5 Votes)
- GTA Online (3%, 20 Votes)
- Dota 2 (1%, 10 Votes)
- Destiny (3%, 23 Votes)
- Chronicle RuneScape Legends (0%, 3 Votes)
- Nothing (3%, 26 Votes)
- Something else (let us know in the comments!) (2%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 750