#5 Nintendo Universe Online
As MMOs aimed at children become more popular, the idea of a game set in the Nintendo Universe becomes more and more appealing. It wouldn't be the first time that Nintendo put their iconic characters together in a game, but this time it would allow gamers to create their own Nintendo alter egos, maybe styled after Mario Brothers, Zelda, or Metroid franchises.
Possible Premise: Join the Nintendo Universe characters as they hunt for the kidnapped Princess Toadstool who seems to be perpetually located in another castle.
#4 Neverwinter Nights Online
This already popular and well known RPG franchise would make a perfect MMO, its multi-player mode could be easily adapted to a more open, MMORPG format to allow players to experience perhaps the most iconic of Dungeons and Dragons game world: The Forgotten Realms.
This idea doesn't take anything away from Turbine's efforts with DDO. Their game takes place in Eberron, the franchise's newest property, while Neverwinter Nights takes place in The Forgotten Realms, one of the oldest and most iconic Dungeons and Dragons settings. It's strictly a setting thing.
"Rejected Selection" Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego
Now players of all ages can be frustrated as a group as the wily criminal known as Carmen Sandiego slips through their fingers despite leaving such tough riddles behind as, "She went to the country whose flag features a maple leaf."
#3 Left 4 Dead Online
The MMO genre is screaming (and running for their lives) for a zombie invasion style MMORPG, and Left 4 Dead might just be the franchise to do it. The existing game already incorporates a few MMO concepts like small group teamwork and PvP. The game also establishes the fact that cities are in ruin as the zombie plague spreads. Louis, Bill, Francis and Zoey are only a few of the immune survivors and there are undoubtedly more out there, just trying to keep from getting eaten or beaten to death by the undead masses.
Why stop at allowing players to create survivors? Why not make this game a true PvP game and give players access to zombie characters as well? One side tries to live while the other tries to feed.
#2 Grand Theft Auto Online
The Grand Theft Auto franchise is arguably the ultimate in sandbox, open world gaming. Many players have expressed an interest in playing a similar game that goes a bit deeper than even the current multiplayer allows. Questing, PvP, faction building... these are all aspects of the game as it exists. Throw in a persistent world and an interesting advancement system and you've got an MMO worth looking at.
While a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG would most certainly carry an "M" rating, potential loss of a younger audience would be undoubtedly be offset by the massive popularity of the franchise. With apologies to APB, having the actual license matters.
"Rejected Selection" - Leisure Suit Larry Online
Take the Grand Theft Auto Online concept, then remove all elements of the game where the character isn't in a strip club or trying to get laid, and you've got an MMO adaptation of Leisure Suit Larry. You don't get many clothing options (leisure suits only), and quests are often quite linear, but who's going to notice?
#1 Starcraft Online
This article began with Blizzard, and it will end with Blizzard. Starcraft, the studio's sci-fi real time strategy series is perhaps the game that MMO players want the most. The reasons are many and varied, but Blizzard's proven track record in moving from RTS to MMO, combined with the game's worldwide recognition and popularity make one wonder why this game has yet to be announced.
For some time now, the MMO community has known that Blizzard is working on a new MMO project. Speculation that the game is going to be an adaptation of the company's Diablo franchise is doubtful given that WoW already covers the fantasy genre. A Starcraft entry into the growing field of sci-fi MMOs though might be quite good for business. Or maybe they'll shock everyone and do something really off the wall. Time will tell.