Massively OP’s 2019 Awards: Not-So-Massively Game of the Year

    
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Massively Overpowered’s end-of-the-year 2019 awards continue today with our award for Not-So-Massively Game of the Year, which was awarded to Warframe last year. 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, battle royale titles, and other games that tread into MMO territory but aren’t quite there. Once again, we’ve opted to include pre-2019 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!

And the MassivelyOP staff pick for the Not-So-Massively Game of 2019 is…

NO MAN’S SKY

Andy McAdams: No Man’s Sky was an easy one here. There weren’t many other contenders but even if there had been, No Man’s Sky gargantuan updates and fun gameplay I think earned it the best here.

Ben Griggs: World of Warships. After years of avoiding this game due to the heavy PvP focus, it finally got its hooks into me. I love that it’s a PvP game that rewards positioning and situational awareness over speed and reaction time. As someone who’s solidly in the middle-aged camp, this is a nice literal and figurative change of pace.

Brendan Drain: No Man’s Sky, with the caveat that I actually believe this should be a contender for MMO of the year rather than non-MMO. This year’s Beyond update added full avatar and ship multiplayer to the game, and transformed the Anomaly ship into a massive multidimensional hub where players from across the virtual cosmos can meet, do missions together, and even visit each other’s bases. Players can now join groups and go on missions together, and there’s even a weekly mission now that sends everyone to the same planet through a stargate-style portal. Players leave clues for each other in message buoys and beacons to help them find mission-critical resources, race to catalogue all of the native flora and fauna, and even chase each other around the planet and engage in firefights. Beyond was a total overhaul of the game, and it was followed up just a few months later by the equally impressive Synthesis update, which added ship salvaging, new base-building tools, and a ton of quality of life improvements. No Man’s Sky has sucked in all of my gaming time this winter.

Brianna Royce: I have no qualms at all handing this one off to No Man’s Sky, which has followed up its disastrous launch with now several years and many patches to bring the game up to where it should’ve launched and beyond – now, essentially an MMO in truth.

Carlo Lacsina: Teamfight Tactics. I never played No Man Sky, as it’s not my kind of game; however, Teamfight Tactics got me into the autobattler genre. It’s got the strategic depth of many TCGs but you don’t need to buy anything to do well. Everyone has access to all the basic tools, and it doesn’t require much in terms of computer hardware. If you haven’t picked up an autobattler yet I recommend giving this a try. It’s got familiar characters and it’s really fun watching the little pieces fight it out with each other!

Chris Neal: Dauntless. I play this game a lot. A whole lot. Even when I take breaks, I come back to it with gusto. It keeps on drawing me in with its style, its fun gameplay, its presentation, and a monetization scheme that I feel is fair and probably one of the better implementations of the whole “season pass” thing. I love Dauntless.

Colin Henry: Warframe, No Man’s Sky.

Eliot Lefebvre: No Man’s Sky literally improved from a title that I used to make jokes about to one I picked up on sale and had a bunch of fun with, and with its big multiplayer addition this year… I mean, seriously, what a glow-up of a story, right?!

Mia DeSanzo: No Man’s Sky came roaring back from the brink of utter disaster to become the game that many people said it should have been all along. I’ve loved it from the start, and what I have gotten for the price of the original purchase, in terms of improvements and additions, has been utterly mind-blowing. If you are looking for a game to lose yourself in for many hours, this might be the one.

MJ Guthrie: While there are two games that vie for this for me, it is hard to choose at times. So I think I will have to give it a tie. Path of Exile gets it for having the most consistent and reliable content update schedule in existence, a focus on players, and ever increasing growth. And that cash shop has no bearing on the power of players. And did you see what’s coming? Oh the excitement! Warframe gets it for implementing Empyrean, an incredibly ambitious feature that ties together ever aspect of the game, from the original missions on ships/asteroids to open expanses (Eidolon, Fortuna) to archwings. It also has a fair cash shop. There is so much to both of these games!

Samon Kashani: Ashes of Creation Apocalypse. I know it didn’t really take off (might even be dead already) but AoC Apocalypse is really awesome. It’s a fun game. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the controls if you don’t play a lot of battle royales, but when you do catch on it’s fantastic. More people should have given this a shot, because it really is fun to play.

Tyler Edwards: My vote went to StarCraft II. Admittedly it hasn’t done a lot of new stuff this year, but that’s mainly because it’s already about as close to a perfect state as any game is likely to be. It doesn’t need much in the way of updates. It’s endlessly replayable as is.

No Man’s Sky won our award for Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2019. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best Not-So-Massively game of 2019?

  • No Man's Sky (17%, 93 Votes)
  • Warframe (13%, 71 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (18%, 97 Votes)
  • Dauntless (4%, 22 Votes)
  • Anthem (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Conan Exiles (5%, 29 Votes)
  • Red Dead Online (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Ashes of Creation Apocalypse (1%, 3 Votes)
  • World of Warships (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Fallout 76 (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Teamfight Tactics (1%, 7 Votes)
  • StarCraft II (1%, 6 Votes)
  • PlanetSide Arena (RIP) (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Astroneer (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Sea of Thieves (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Fortnite (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Destiny 2 (8%, 46 Votes)
  • Division 2 (3%, 15 Votes)
  • PUBG (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Overwatch (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Pokemon Go (1%, 6 Votes)
  • ARK Survival Evolved (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Monster Hunter World (5%, 30 Votes)
  • Hearthstone (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (5%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 452

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together over the course of a few weeks to nominate and discuss candidates and ideally settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include written commentary from every writer who submitted it on time so that you can see where some of us differed, what our secondary picks were, and why we personally nominated what we did (or didn’t). The site’s award goes to the staff selection, but we’ll include both it and the community’s top nomination in our debrief in January.
How does MassivelyOP populate this poll?
Poll options include all games nominated plus other games we thought should and would be in the running.
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Grim? Darhk

Why the hell would you play the cheap knock off (Dauntless) When Monster hunter World exists? Srsly.

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Alex Willis

Warframe by a huge margin for me.

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Xshinobi

I have to go with Destiny 2.

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Zero_1_Zerum

NMS went from being an overhyped joke of a game, to a game I’d probably be playing right now if I had a working computer. It’s going to be one of the first games I get, once I’m able to afford a new PC.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

For pulling its posterior out of the fire, No Man’s Sky is deserving. But, I voted for Destiny 2, closely followed by PoE.

Destiny 2 escaped Activision, relaunched on Steam and has made changes to the game making it more accessible to casual players, while maintaining challenges for long-time and advanced players.

PoE continues to forge ahead with its ultimate plan of getting there before D4. Not only does this game not rest on its laurels, it continues to challenge its player base to innovate by knocking away crutches long in use by many and putting forth different ways to play with old skills.

All in all, it was a pretty good year for Not-So-Massively gamers.

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rafael12104

D2 is greatly improved. It is my most underrated game now. I’m loving the changes and the refocus on players.

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PanagiotisLial1

Elite Dangerous or Mechwarriors Online for me and you got none of the above so voted that

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Crowe

I chose “something else” since “none of the above” wasn’t an option and I couldn’t think of anything else worth playing.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Without a doubt Path of Exile

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3dom

On more: World War Z is missing in the list. The game sold 2 million copies in a month with practically zero advertisement. Because it’s very fun. Second best multiplayer game released this year in my list + it’s about to get horde mode update next week.

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Hikari Kenzaki

No Man’s Sky is still a thing? Who knew?

I hate pretty much any Diablo-like game, so PoE is a nope.

Warframe just can’t hold my interest.

That you put Hearthstone on here but not MtG Arena is just tragic. It blows Hearthstone away and isn’t Blizzard.

Conan Exiles gets my vote, but The Division 2 is a close runner up.