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The List: The Top 5 MMOs That Could Be Singleplayer Games

By David Jagneaux on June 30, 2014 | Columns | Comments

The Top 5 MMOs That Could Be Singleplayer Games

2) Neverwinter

Once again, this one makes pretty clear sense on this list as well. Neverwinter is an MMO with a long lineage and roots in not just existing single player (with some online options) RPGs, but it’s based on an established Dungeons & Dragons universe. The Forgotten Realms is incredibly rich for storytelling and it would be quite easy to make lore-friendly justifications for a new single player Neverwinter game.


When you consider the fact that the game sports an almost entirely solo friendly main storyline, tons of side content, NPC companions, and a strong storyline, it’s a wonder the game wasn’t a single player affair to begin with. It’s fun to adventure in a party, just like any true D&D game should be, but it’s also fun to roleplay on your own as well. The existing mechanics would translate to a single player game incredibly well and also serve as a key medium to further expand The Forgotten Realms’ deep lore.

1) World of Warcraft

This is the big one I wanted to highlight. It might seem odd to a lot of players, but Azeroth is a lot more than just the setting for the most popular MMORPG in the world. Before World of Warcraft, we had a trilogy of real-time strategy games that went by the name Warcraft – all of which had long and engaging singleplayer experiences. Combine this with the expansive lore found in the now dominant MMO, novels, card games, and everything else, and it’s a certifiably grand and diverse IP.

The upcoming Warcraft movie, like it or not, is well on its way to release, and will follow a specific storyline within the lore of Azeroth. This presents a prime opportunity to develop a companion game to release alongside of or near the movie, as a way of further establishing the lore. While it should definitely not be a standard movie-tie-in cash-and-grab pile of crap like most, it could really turn into something special. Blizzard is extremely talented at creating addictive and immersive games, so it would be something special to return to their beloved Warcraft in a way that didn’t involve cycling through your macros.

Conclusion

There’s vive MMOs with five stories worth telling on a more intimate level. It’s true that games like Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic are proving you can tell a compelling, engaging, and interactive narrative within the MMO space, but it’s still not enough. The level of direct control, immersion, and customization afforded in games like Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, The Elder Scrolls, and so many others is truly unmatched when compared to nearly all MMOs on the market. It probably wouldn’t work for all MMOs of course, but game on this list has a story worth telling.

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David Jagneaux / David is a freelance writer and full-time nerd. He loves to play, write about, talk about and think about all things gaming. You can find his work all across the interwebs. It's dangerous to go alone, so follow him on Twitter!