If this year of MMO releases can be categorized by any one thing, it might be that the existing MMOs in the landscape had great years, while we wait for the next big thing to come along. Meanwhile, the single player RPG had an absolutely stellar time, with some truly amazing games and expansions released throughout the calendar year. We’ve polled our staff, and these are the games we loved the most in 2015, and the ones we’re looking forward to the most in 2016. Next week we’ll turn the voting over to you, but for now take a look at our picks!
Best Mobile MMO or RPG – Transistor / Runner Up – Star Wars Uprising
There was an absolute smorgasbord of mobile RPGs released to phones, tablets, and the 3DS and Vita this year. The problem is that not too many of them really stood out from the throng. That is, of course, except Supergiant Games’ incredible follow-up to Bastion: Transistor. The noire story-telling, intensely satisfying strategic combat, and stunning sound and visual design make this a must play on all of the devices for which it’s available. If you haven’t played it yet, fix that situation.
Best MOBA or Battle Game – Heroes of the Storm / Runner Up – Smite
Heroes of the Storm, as one of our writers put it, did what many of us thought not possible: it made the deep meta of games like League of Legends and DOTA much more accessible and fun for players from all walks of life. With great action, a phenomenal cast of characters, and truly unique match types, HotS proves yet again that Blizzard is still best at refining game genres down to their most fun ingredients.
Most Anticipated MMO for 2016 – Crowfall / Runner Up – Camelot Unchained
There are a lot of games coming up in 2016, and if we’re lucky many of them will wind up actually releasing before 2017 arrives. There’s one game all of our staff seems to agree on as their most anticipated: Crowfall from ArtCraft Entertainment. The ideas put forth on paper, combined with the progress shown by their Pre-Alpha combat demos, have us all eagerly awaiting the throne war simulator.
Most Anticipated RPG for 2016 – Mass Effect Andromeda / Runner Up – Cyberpunk 2077
Commander Shepard may be gone, but that doesn’t mean Mass Effect is going to end. No, we’re all pretty sure that EA will continue to milk this ripe universe with tent pole games for years to come. If we’re lucky, one day we’ll get that MMO in the Mass Effect galaxy, but for now we’re just eager to see how BioWare follows up the less than stellar ending to Mass Effect 3. We simply cannot wait.
Most Anticipated MOBA for 2016 – Paladins / Runner Up – Overwatch
Paladins: Champions of the Realm came out of nowhere this year into closed beta, and instantly won us over. We’re enthralled with the mix of card deck building, shooter gameplay, and MOBA-esque map mechanics. Though there is a shortage of characters to play early in beta, if SMITE has proven anything about Hi-Rez it’s that they know how to keep the heroes and game types coming. Here’s hoping Paladins is as good next year at launch as it has been this year in closed beta.
Head to page 2 to see which games won for Best RPG and Best MMO.