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The List: 5 Singleplayer Games That Could Be MMOs

Column By David Jagneaux on July 07, 2014

As has become customary here at MMORPG, this week’s list is the reverse of last week’s! Previously, we covered five MMOs that we think could be turned into great singleplayer games. Now, we want to look at five singleplayer games that could be turned into great MMOs. With the extreme level variety the genre we know and love experiences in today’s industry, there is plenty of room for new concepts. In fact, several of the games on this list already have MMO-esque counterparts on the market in the form of different IPs.

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Plenty of people have singleplayer games that the absolutely adore, but then the thought of experiencing a larger and more robust world with friends makes those games sound even better. Recent examples from franchises like The Elder Scrolls Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic are great proof that a series can make that transition, albeit with unique struggles. Creating an MMO out of an established IP is one thing, but it’s something else entirely when that IP is a popular singleplayer game franchise. Let’s dive right in and go over some games that would make for great MMOs.


5) Fallout

Bethesda already created an MMO out of their wildly popular and vast Elder Scrolls franchise with The Elder Scrolls Online and rumors about a forthcoming Fallout MMO have been swirling for years. Games like Fallen Earth have already shown proof of concept, that people would actually play a well-made post-apocalyptic survival MMO, now it’s just a matter of branding. So many currently available games of the genre lack the character and personality of the Fallout series, something that’s iconic with the brand itself.

The opening scenes of Fallout 3 are a great testament to just how immersive and engaging a game’s world can be. From birth, you design and tweak your character, slowly becoming the type of person you want to be in the Wasteland. While it would take some from the atmosphere of loneliness if you had thousands of people running around, that could easily be explained in the lore. Furthermore, if the world was large enough, there wouldn’t even be an issue. I would love to see how they implement the V.A.T.S. concept into a real-time MMO, so consider me very interested.

4) Halo

Hear me out here. I know that Halo is a singleplayer game with some competitive multiplayer modes; I get that, but think about it. Not only did the game’s creators go off to make their own studio that is in the process of making their own MMO shooter. Destiny really amounts to be essentially, a Halo MMO, but the Halo lore is so much more rich and deep. In fact, this franchise has been around for three full console generations with tons of main-series games and spin-offs to its name.

It isn’t often that you get a pre-established franchise with so much background already established to pull from. A Halo MMO would be a fantastic exclusive for the Xbox One at some point the future, the likes of which Sony would have trouble competing with on the PlayStation, except for Planetside 2, that is. By taking many of the concepts explored in the more recent titles and creating a persistent world around it would be absolutely breathtaking. Imagine the scale on display and, most importantly, the great story that could follow. Thousands of Spartans banding together once again – that’s truly legendary.

3) inFAMOUS

This one might seem a bit odd at first as well, but it actually makes sense if you think about it. One of the best and most popular MMOs of all-time was City of Heroes/Villains. Other superhero MMOs have risen up in its wake, such as Champions Online and DC Universe Online, but none have reached the heights of CoH. The inFAMOUS franchise is great not only because they are fantastic open world superhero games with unique powers, but they have dual storylines.

The “good” ending of inFAMOUS 2 is canon and paved the way for inFAMOUS: Second Son, but wouldn’t it be awesome to see what happened after the “evil” ending? If you played the game (spoilers ahead if you haven’t) then you know that Cole McGrath basically becomes Magento and washed the globe over with his power to create Conduits and virtually exterminate the humans. While that’s a bit dark, it would be a perfect setting for a superhero MMO. You could start the game as a new conduit exploring your powers, align as good or evil, and leave the rest up to the developers. Having thousands of Conduits running around would just be incredible.

2) Pokémon

This is one that people have been asking about for years. Nintendo has yet to make a truly great and full-featured console Pokémon game, but maybe it isn’t too far off to consider. While a singleplayer game on the Wii U would be great in it’s own right, a large-scale MMO would be even better. Fans have been hard at work making their own projects that aim to capture the spirit, but a fan made Pokémon MMO is just not the same as if it were made by the Big N directly.

The opportunities are quite obvious – start out as a new trainer in one of the many regions, catch Pokémon and make a name for yourself, enter into tournaments and join different factions, and just enjoy life in the world of Pokémon. There would be a ton of room for customization and personalization, something MMO fans love, all with that unique Pokémon charm. The Wii U is already getting a Dragon Quest MMO – if they truly want to save the console, they’d make a Pokémon MMO next.

1) Mass Effect

Here we go – this is the one that I would personally love to see. Not since Star Wars and Star Trek has there been a sci-fi universe as rich and detailed. Mass Effect is one of the most intricately crafted and deep video game universe of all-time and it would be absolutely perfect for an MMO. There are tons of different races, classes to be and planets to explore. The galaxy could be an endless sea of things to do.

The only point of concern is deciding where the story should go. Would Bioware want to take the franchise forward, into a post-Reaper society where the civilizations of the galaxy struggle to rebuild the Mass Relays? Or would they take things into the past and have it work as a prequel story, much like The Old Republic, their current MMO. Regardless, after Mass Effect 4, I would love to explore the world of Mass Effect in the form of an MMO.

Conclusion

This is just the tip of the iceberg here. Realistically, most popular singleplayer franchises could have MMO counterparts with some smart game design and creative ideas. Not every good game deserves to be an MMO though, but it could work for some. Do you have any other ideas for singleplayer games you would love to see turned into an MMO?

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