As I work through my reivew on Bless Unleashed, I'm finding myself playing more and more MMOs on console these days. Even before starting Bless I was playing Black Desert on Xbox One X, checking out the cross-play functionality with friends on PlayStation 4, and before that logging into ESO occassionaly to keep tabs on my Imperial Templar collecting dust.
For the longest time, console gamers really haven't had too many MMO options. That changed with this most recent generation of console hardware, with more and more games making the jump to Sony and Microsoft's platforms. Sure, games like Final Fantasy XI existed, and games like Phantasy Star Online on SEGA's Dreamcast, as well as EverQuest Online Adventures came to PlayStation 2, console MMORPGs really didn't start to become more prominent until the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 came onto the scene.
With games like Black Desert, The Elder Scrolls Online and Final Fantasy XIV proving that both action and tab targeting MMOs can work - and thrive - on these platforms, it begs the question: Why haven't more MMOs, especiallly older games, made the leap over to the platforms? While it could be a combination of developing for a new platform and the cost associated with that, it's fun to speculate how this could even work. Here are five MMORPGs I'd love see make the jump to consoles.
Star Was: The Old Republic
SWTOR is one of those games I could see making the jump purely because of its age. It's not the most visually flashy MMORPG on the market, and the combat could easily be suited for gamepad. Given the Old Republic history with console players, SWTOR being seen on console could see a renaissance of new players jumping into the MMO to experience more story telling in that Star Wars universe.
However, this may never come to be, as the MMORPG would need to be ported over to the platforms from PC - taking resources away from other efforts BioWare and EA are otherwise using (to either fix Anthem or iterate on Star Wars: The Old Republic on PC). Additionally, EA likely isn't going to invest more in Star Wars unless it's to continue the timeline and games that currently are capturing critical acclaim - such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a game I've long felt would do well in the console space. It's take on the skill system in an MMO would lend itself well to the platform (and console makers have enabled mouse and keyboard on their machines, so it's not like that can't be factored into things), and many fans already enjoy the game using a controller.
Me, personally, would love to explore the world of Guild Wars 2 on my console with a few friends of my who have expressed interest in playing, but prefer to stay on console. With such a vast world and tons of hours of content to go through, including all of the Living World updates, there would be plenty of keep new players busy for a while as well.
Look, EVE Online is a hard game to play anywhere, let alone with a controller on a TV multiple feet from your face. But imagine for a moment how awesome it would be to see the type of emergent and player-created stories pouring onto the internet not from just PC players, but Xbox and PS4 - and even Nintendo Switch if they get on board as well - users, thrusting New Eden into absolute chaos? A single shared shard MMO across multiple platforms would be awesome, and I fully believe EVE Online is the only game where that would have any semblance of working.
It's not like the full EVE experience hasn't been ported before, either. EVE Echoes brings the vast majority of the systems and gameplay offerred by the full PC version onto phones. I would love to see what types of players emerge from consoles, as well as the types of alliances and corporations we see prop themselves up in Nullsec with an influx of new players eager to test out the sandbox they've heard about on PC.
Besides, CCP has console experience as well, with EVE: Dust 514, so anything is possible.
World of Warcraft
Hear me out.
World of Warcraft is a phenomenon. The modern MMO lilkely wouldn't exist in the state it does without the lessons and example Blizzard's Magnus Opus gave many studios working on their own titles. Every MMO in the 2000s seemingly wanted to be WoW, but could never quite do it as well as the venerable MMO. Even today, a decade and a half later, World of Warcraft still commands industry and consumer respect. Why wouldn't we want more people to enjoy this eperience?
Blizzard could release our imaginary World of Warcraft: Console Edition as one fell swoop, all the DLCs to that point and give console players years and years of content to catch up with. Or, with World of Warcraft Classic being as popular as it has been, why not give console players the chance to start from the beginning and progress through WoW as PC players had to do?
The Lord of the Rings Online
This is actually the game that spurred this discussion in my mind earlier this week. Middle-earth isn't really realized on console. Sure you've got the LEGO Lord of the Rings games, and the Middle-earth series by Monolith, but there really isn't a way to turn on your PlayStation, sit down and just romp around in the Shire, or check out what Elrond is up to in Rivendell. The Lord of the Rings Online on console could let you and your friends journey Middle-earth together in a way that hadn't been available to you before.
Like many MMOs on this list, LotRO is older, meaning there is a ton of content that could be made available to console players on day one. Free to play MMOs also tend to do well on console, with games like Bless Unleashed, Neverwinter and more seeing reltatively good player counts. With Standing Stone Games in charge of their own destiny after going independent a few years back, making the move to bring LotRO to a larger audience could help keep the MMO going for years and years to come - especially when Amazon's Lord of the Rings MMORPG starts to materialize and take shape in the near future.
Did we miss any you'd add to this list? Let us know what games you'd love to see make the jump to console in the comments below!
Featured image via Gadet Art Play Channel (YouTube)