Massively OP’s Best of 2016 Awards: Best Popcorn MMO of 2016


Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Best Popcorn MMO of 2016, which is a brand-new award on MOP this year and was pitched by reader Agemyth. We’re defining “popcorn game” akin to the way Mark Jacobs describes his upcoming game’s “popcorn crafting” — they’re snacks, quick bites, jump-in-jump-out games that aren’t necessarily intended to be eight-hour escapades (although they can have that too). These are the games we play when we need to fill 15 or 30 minutes, not when we want a traditional MMORPG experience, and we’ve opted to include pre-2016 MMOs and pseudo-MMOs (shooters, MOBAs, OARPGs, etc.) as long as they accomplished something truly popcorn-worthy 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 Popcorn MMO of 2016 is…



Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Pokemon Go. In fact, I feel it’s probably best played in bites. It’s interesting how many people I’ve met while just pulling the game out to check a gym or catch some nearby ‘mon.

Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): Marvel Heroes remains one of my favorite modern MMOs, whether or not you consider it a true MMORPG or just an upjumped OARPG, and that’s precisely because it offers something my pet “core” MMORPGs do not — casual, short-duration, quick-start play that tosses me in with actual live humans but doesn’t make me a burden to them when I need to go AFK, and I still manage to accomplish something, even if it’s just to blow some dudes up. It’s the perfect popcorn MMO and has only gotten better with age, more characters, and revamps. If and when it hits console, that’ll just be the cape on the superhero.

Eliot Lefebvre (@Eliot_Lefebvre, blog): As before, I’ve got issues with Overwatch. But I did like being able to jump in, play a match or two, and then jump out without feeling as if I hadn’t accomplished anything while also not feeling like I had to just keep grinding at the game for hours. It definitely delivers on that front, and if what you want is an online experience with some solidity and that quick hammer of content, it does that very well.

Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): AdventureQuest 3D: I’m still on the fence about how this game plays, but the fact that you can log into AQ3D from numerous devices and quickly team up with friends for missions makes it an ideal bathroom break MMO.

Larry Everett (@Shaddoe, blog): I am super casual at playing Marvel Heroes, but the game doesn’t punish me for that. In fact, it’s the only game that seems to welcome me back as if nothing has changed since I left last time. It wraps its arm over my shoulder and asks, “Hey, how have you been? How are the kids? You wanna jump into a mission right quick?”

MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Marvel Heroes! Especially on Mondays for Midtown madness. Seriously, this is one game that fulfills that need for big explosions and quick rewards. If you want to feel powerful and drown in loot, this is the closest to instant gratification you can get. I can hop in for just an hour here and there and enjoy my time every time. And with so many different heroes, I have a huge variety of new things to experience.

Tina Lauro Pollock (@purpletinabeans): I think I have made the point several times that Guild Wars 2 is a fantastic MMO to pop in and out of as the fancy takes you. There’s a dizzying offering of general stuff to do, most of which can easily be enjoyed in bitesized chunks as and when suits. The narrative is episodic, easily digestible, and engaging, so you won’t feel too lost if and when you decide it’s time for a break. Maybe it’s just me trying to get more of you to join me in Tyria, but I seriously recommend it for some low-key casual fun that will never burn you out if you don’t want to engage in the more high-octane content types.

Marvel Heroes won our award for Best Popcorn MMO of 2016. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best 'popcorn MMO' of 2016?

  • Marvel Heroes (41%, 246 Votes)
  • Overwatch (10%, 60 Votes)
  • Pokemon Go (5%, 27 Votes)
  • Guild Wars 2 (8%, 48 Votes)
  • AdventureQuest 3D (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (5%, 32 Votes)
  • Hearthstone (4%, 21 Votes)
  • Devilian (1%, 8 Votes)
  • World of Warcraft (6%, 37 Votes)
  • RuneScape Chronicle Legends (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Destiny (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Elder Scrolls Legends (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Diablo III (7%, 40 Votes)
  • Nothing (6%, 34 Votes)
  • Something else (let us know in the comments!) (4%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 598

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Poll options include all games nominated plus several major relevant MMOs from the last few years.

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