MassivelyOP’s 2023 Awards: Not-So-Massively Game of the Year


Welcome back to Massively Overpowered’s formal end-of-the-year awards!

Today’s award is for the Not-So-Massively Game of the Year, which was awarded jointly to MultiVersus and V Rising 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 titles that launched before this year, 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 2023 is…


Andrew Ross: Splatoon 3 for sure. I really thought Pokemon Violet would have kept me hooked, but Splatoon 3’s constant content combined with seasonal catalogs had me engaged for longer stretches of time, even if my groups aren’t bigger than four players. Plus, most of the Splatfest choices inspired great art.

Andy McAdams: Baldur’s gate 3. This was an instant no-brainer for me. I played BG2 for years, almost as much as NWN, and BG3 did not disappoint. We hadn’t had a game of this quality come out in years and it was a breath of fresh air. I could not be happier with that game.

Brianna Royce: Baldur’s Gate 3. This is not really my kind of RPG anymore, but the writers convinced me, and frankly it’s nice to see a studio like Larian scoring some wins, even on the periphery of our genre.

Carlo Lacsina: Honkai Star Rail. Allow me to have my hipster millenial moment here: I’ve been playing Mihoyo games before it was even cool. I spent hours in Honkai 3rd Impact, and probably dumped about $500 into the game, and that’s not counting the $300+ of premium currency I earned for free just by playing the game. Genshin Impact didn’t really stick out to me, but hoooboy did Honkai Star Rail did. It’s a turn-based gacha game oozing with style and the combat system is fun. It features a random dungeon mode to test your party building skills, and the story is not so bad. I personally skip the stories in favor of getting my favorite husbando/waifus, and they are all pretty top tier!

Chris Neal: Battlebit Remastered, Baldur’s Gate 3. Lots of people were celebrating Larian Studios as a game company that knows how to release a fully realized product enough that other larger studios and media outlets tried to call the behavior anomalous, and it’s hard to ignore why. Baldur’s Gate 3 might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with the right people and the right mindset, it’s an impossible to beat bit of co-op RPG gaming.

Colin Henry: Baldur’s Gate 3. Baldur’s Gate 3 has created an undeniable splash this year, far beyond what I think anyone expected, selling millions of copies and sweeping many gaming award show nominations. Even friends of mine who would be uninterested in playing an MMORPG or a tabletop RPG have picked this game up and formed adventuring parties together. It may not speak to me personally, but it is undeniable that Larian is doing something right here.

Eliot Lefebvre: BG3. I guess I didn’t really think of this as being in this category, but my gosh, it’s probably one of my favorite RPGs of the past several years. I really had fun with this one.

Justin Olivetti: Diablo IV. It was kind of amusing watching all these other studios and games scatter when Diablo IV arrived on the scene because absolutely nobody wanted to go toe-to-toe with this heavyweight. Maybe the game’s arrival was overhyped compared to what we got, but Diablo IV itself is a really solid online ARPG that’s on track for more content, seasons, and an expansion next year.

MJ Guthrie: I start to feel guilty when my favorite games are no longer MMORPGs. But when NSM games get so awesome, I can’t be blamed, right? Although I haven’t started Baldur’s Gate III yet, it’s only because I am waiting until I finish a couple projects before I start because I know I’ll be sucked in! A good launch, a good product, happy players (who warn you of it stealing weeks of your life) — what more can you want for a best of?

Tyler Edwards: I kinda want to say Overwatch 2? Maybe it’s just my inner troll, but even if the downscaling of PvE was disappointing, the content they did add was really fun, and it being free to play now makes it super easy to just dip in and out when interesting stuff gets added. I don’t think this has been a great year for NSM releases, so there isn’t a lot of competition.

Baldur’s Gate 3 took our award for Not-So-Massively Game of the Year. What’s your pick?

Reader poll: What was the best Not-So-Massively multiplayer game of 2023?

  • Baldur's Gate 3 (56%, 258 Votes)
  • Diablo IV (5%, 23 Votes)
  • Splatoon 3 (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Fae Farm (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Overwatch 2 (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Waven (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Path of Exile (5%, 22 Votes)
  • Palia (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Wayfinder (1%, 4 Votes)
  • The Finals (1%, 6 Votes)
  • ARK Ascended (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Valheim (3%, 13 Votes)
  • Fallout 76 (2%, 7 Votes)
  • No Man's Sky (3%, 16 Votes)
  • V Rising (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Multiversus (0%, 0 Votes)
  • MarvelSnap (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Destiny 2 (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Warframe (2%, 11 Votes)
  • Foxhole (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Battlebit Remastered (2%, 7 Votes)
  • War Thunder (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Honkai Star Rail (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Tower of Fantasy (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Genshin Impact (2%, 7 Votes)
  • Monster Hunter Now (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Hawked (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Undawn (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Party Animals (1%, 3 Votes)
  • The Crew Motorfest (0%, 1 Votes)
  • World of Warships (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Astroneer (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Conan Exiles (2%, 7 Votes)
  • Sea of Thieves (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Something else - tell us in the comments! (3%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 384

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How does MassivelyOP choose the winner?
Our team gathers together to nominate and discuss candidates and hopefully settle on a consensus winner. We don’t have a hard vote, but we do include commentary from writers so that you can see our thought process. 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. Reader poll options include all MMOs nominated plus a few others we thought should be included.
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