It’s time once against for the prestigious Endgame Viable Awards for 2018.
I give out three awards for PC games only: Game of the Year, MMORPG of the Year, and MMORPG Expansion of the Year. In my warped worldview “Game of the Year” sort of implies Steam game of the year (because that’s the only place I buy PC games) and excludes traditional MMORPGs.
Note that I do not do the thing that most MMO sites do, which is include old games for consideration, in order to perpetuate the illusion that MMORPGs are a healthy, thriving genre. I only include new MMORPGs, and exclude “MMOs,” which affects the awards exactly in the way that you think it will.
My awards are chosen from among games that launched in 2018 which I have personally purchased and played in 2018. This includes free-to-play releases, even though technically I didn’t “purchase” them.
I do not consider Early Access purchases as eligible, to punish developers for releasing their games too early. A new rule for this year: I don’t consider “remastered” games to be “new” games, only the original edition of a game can be considered for an award.
Console games are entirely omitted from consideration, although I did buy a Playstation 4 this year. Maybe I’ll include consoles next year.
It’s not a perfect system, so don’t @ me.
Steam Purchases 2018
I highlighted eligible titles in italics.
- February 20 - ‘Kingdom Come: Deliverance’, 59.99
- March 13 - Project: Gorgon (Early Access), 29.99
- June 1 - Dark Souls Remastered, 19.99*
- June 25 - Fallout Classic Collection, 6.00
- June 30 - The Walking Dead: 400 Days, The Walking Dead: A New Dawn, 13.98
- September 5 - The Witcher 3 DLC, 12.49
- December 5 - RimWorld, 34.99
I can’t find any other games I’ve purchased this year outside of Steam (excluding those below). Yes, that list is so short because PC games have been pretty unappealing to me in 2018.
Note: Dark Souls Remastered might otherwise be eligible for an award, but I don’t consider “remastered” games to be “new” for the purposes of this post.
New MMORPGs Played in 2018
- March - Project: Gorgon (Early Access), 29.99
- July - Defiance 2050*, free.
- August - Black Desert Remastered*, free.
- October - MapleStory2, free-to-play launch.
- October - Bless Online, free-to-play launch.
Wild West Online technically launched on May 10, 2018, but I am avoiding it based on terrible reviews. Fallout 76 launched in November, but I haven’t purchased it (yet?) and it’s debatable whether it even counts as an MMORPG for me. Atlas launched into Early Access in December, but I’m not touching it.
Note: I do not consider either Defiance 2050 or Black Desert Remastered to be “new” MMORPGs. I am only listing them here because, technically, I did install and play them for the first time this year, if you consider less than an hour each to be “playing” them.
MMORPG Expansions Played in 2018
Dates below are my date of purchase, not necessarily the launch date.
- March - RIFT Prime, 15-day Patron pass purchased with gems. It is debatable that progression servers should count as *anything* for the purposes of this list, but I put it here just so it’s mentioned.
- August 13 - World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth, 49.99 + 14.99 for one month subscription.
Note: ESO’s Summerset “Chapter” came out in March, but Zenimax does not call them “expansions” and rightly so, based on my experience with the Morrowind Chapter. Therefore it’s unlikely ESO will ever appear in this list. Lord of the Rings Online also launched their progression “Legacy” server in November, which I mention here only for completeness. I did not play it.
UPDATE: Bhagpuss correctly noted down below that I completely omitted EverQuest’s and EverQuest II’s expansions this year, The Burning Lands and Chaos Descending, respectively. In fact I probably omitted them from previous year’s posts too. What happens in those games is often transparent to me, because Daybreak doesn’t really reach out to anyone who isn’t already a devoted player at the level cap. Also in my defense, I wrote and edited most of this post in the fall hehe. In any case, those expansions might well have been fantastic, but I didn’t play them.
And the winners are …
- Game of the Year 2018 - RimWorld. This was a *really* tough decision between the two eligible titles, Kingdom Come: Deliverance and RimWorld. The temptation is strong to award it to the one that is played more recently, which would be RimWorld, just because it’s fresh in the mind. But in this case I think RimWorld is more deserving largely because of the replayability factor. KCD was very ambitious and innovative, and I liked my first 20 hours or so a whole lot, but I have to say that my enjoyment soured a bit as I reached the end of it, and I’ve had no desire to go back to it. I’m enjoying game after game after game of RimWorld over 100 hours later and I’m still finding new and interesting gameplay weeks later. So RimWorld it is.
- MMORPG of the Year 2018 - No award. I didn’t play anything close to a good new MMORPG this year. It’s really difficult to be optimistic about the genre right now. Project: Gorgon is a decent start, but with at least one bug that makes it unplayable, it’s not ready for prime time yet and doesn’t yet deserve an award. One wonders if there will even *be* any more “MMORPGs” as the market collapses into the more simplistic “MMOs.”
- MMORPG Expansion of the Year 2018 - Battle for Azeroth. By default, really, since it was otherwise a completely dead year for MMORPG releases. (UPDATE: See note above about EQ and EQ2, which I completely overlooked.) In truth I liked Legion more than Battle for Azeroth, but I liked Battle for Azeroth better than nothing at all, so there you go.
P. S. Just for archival purposes I will mention here that I bought the following console games in 2018, I don’t have the exact numbers handy but they were all discounted to around $20 or less:
- Bloodborne - PS4
- Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4
- The Last Of Us Remastered - PS4
- Demon’s Souls - PS3