Massively's end-of-the-year awards continue today with our award for the Best Pseudo-MMO of the year. This is always a difficult category since it forces us to define MMOs. This year, we opted to make eligible any online game that isn't a pure and traditional MMORPG, games we'd cover in Not So Massively: mobile MMOs, console MMOs, OARPGs, MOBAs, MMOFPS titles, MMORTS titles, and so on. And of course, the game must have launched in 2014. All of our writers were invited to cast a vote, but not all of them chose to do so for this category. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.
The Massively staff pick for Best Pseudo-MMO of 2014 is...
@nyphur: Elite: Dangerous. Even though there's no offline mode, the graphics and gameplay in Elite: Dangerous do look amazing, and it's impressive what they've managed to achieve on a fraction of the budget that Star Citizen has. It remains to be seen if the exploration factor of the game will live up to expectations and if the online gameplay is compelling in the long term, but I'm still cautiously optimistic about Elite: Dangerous going forward.
@nbrianna/blog: This year was actually slim-pickings for new pseudo-MMO launches; Destiny just sucked the air from the room, and the sub-genres, like MOBAs especially, are already pretty locked up by existing games without a whole lot of room for newcomers. I'd like to have voted for Marvel Heroes, but this year's "2015" rebrand didn't reeeeeaaaally make it a brand-new game. I'm not a TCGer, but I'll throw in for Hearthstone. It's shiny, it's tight, and it shows Blizzard hasn't forgotten how to make money by polishing the basics.
@jefreahard: Space Engineers. We don't really cover it, I guess, but I wish we did. Sure, it's space Minecraft, and what could possibly be better? Some of the best gaming moments of 2014 for me involved a couple of friends, a private SE server, and the endless creativity and addictive gameplay that SE constantly fosters. Oh and some Firefly-universe roleplay.
@Sypster/blog: Hearthstone. Drawing from both the World of Warcraft and Magic: The Gathering pools of inspiration, Hearthstone rofflestomped its way to domination. It's all the more amazing that Blizzard did this with a relatively small team and didn't shy away from using a free-to-play system that allowed players to earn in-game gold without spending money. Plus -- and this should have gone first -- it's a terrific game that's playable cross-platform.
@MikedotFoster/blog: Dark Souls II. I know Dark Souls isn't "online" in the way MMO players think of it, but From Software found some really amazing ways to integrate other players into what is otherwise a single-player experience. Invasions, co-op summons, and hilarious/helpful/totally misleading notes are what make Dark Souls feel like a one-of-a-kind title.
@MJ_Guthrie/blog: For the fun factor on top of the nostalgia, my vote goes to LEGO Minifigures Online! You get to build with LEGOs and destroy things too, so it's double the fun. And come on, LEGO minifigs! They are just adorable.
Let's have your vote!%Poll-90265%
Our awards so far...