Top 5 Franchises That Beg To Be MMOs

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies - NDS Screenshot - 840042

Turning beloved franchises into MMOs is nothing new, and is even a trend that has become quite standard recently, from Star Wars to Star Trek and even the newly released DC Universe. While we like seeing our favorite franchises adapted into these online juggernauts, there are certain ones that beg to enter the persistent online realm. Here is GameZone's top five picks of games that would be the perfect candidates.

5. Dragon Quest

An enormous, colorful and expansive world? Check. Tons of monsters, bosses and dungeons to conquer? Check. Massive amounts of loot, equipment and treasure to hunt for? Check. Beautiful art by Akira Toriyama ... well, that's just a bonus. The world of Dragon Quest lends itself as a perfect candidate for an MMO. This was even more apparent with Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which allows for character creation and customization, putting emphasis on the story and the player's effects on the world, a feat many current MMOs desperately strive for. With Final Fantasy turning out to be a complete letdown, maybe Square Enix should focus more on their other flagship RPG and make this dream happen.

4. Grand Theft Auto

I know what you're thinking. Still, APB was hardly the GTA experience that fans thought it would be, and the online modes in GTA IV were mediocre, even if they were on the right track. Rockstar has already created multiple cities from Liberty City to San Andreas, all of which could be even further expanded upon. Players could form gangs and alliances as well as ally themselves with a crime lord, dedicating their services to him. Hotwiring cars, making homemade explosives, and improving weapon or vehicle proficiency could be skills that would level up and give you the edge over other players. Obviously, the amount of chaos could make or break the game, but the ability to turn PVP on and off like in most other MMOs could easily fix this issue.

3. Pokemon

This is an absolute no-brainer. From the very beginning, Nintendo advertised Pokemon as a social game with the ability not only to battle other players through game linking, but also to trade Pokemon with one another—not to mention the appeal it has to players of all ages. What better place to "become the very best like no one ever was" than online with thousands of players from across the world? The games already have several regions that would look magnificent when realized in 3D. Even aspects like crafting of Pokeballs already exists on the DS and would work perfectly in an MMO. Defeating gym leaders would not only grant access to more exotic Pokemon, but actually have meaning in terms of your character's status rather than a plot device to further the story along. As far as end game content, there are more than enough Legendary Pokemon that would prove quite a challenge to even the most experienced trainers. If this ever happens, consider my subscription set for life.

2. Elder Scrolls

The notion of an Elder Scrolls MMO isn't as far-fetched as it would seem, as it has been a topic of discussion for years now but hasn't come to fruition ... yet. The games focus on letting the player choose his or her race and skill specialization, very much like an MMO. The world of Tamriel is massive, spanning multiple provinces, and littered with dungeons to explore and nasty beasties to kill. TES IV introduced Oblivion gates that transported players to a hellish, fiery plane with demons and Daedra, and though the gates have since been shut, a similar idea could be implemented into the MMO realm. I've always loved the leveling process in the series, which increases skills by how much they're used. This capability would open up amazing opportunities for players who want to create their own class by specializing in skills they like and for players who want to create hybrid classes such as mages, proficient in using two-handed swords, or master thieves, who also specialize in illusion magic. With Skyrim announced for release this year, Bethesda should no doubt start translating their open world beast of an RPG into an MMO.

1. Mass Effect

Mass Effect is an amazing story-driven experience that changes based on players' actions and decisions, so how on Earth would it work as an MMO? Just consider everything that's going on around Shepard at the same time he and his crew are scavenging the galaxy. With Mass Effect 3 seemingly making the transition to Earth and the conflict more dire than ever, what better way to join the fight than with your own custom character? In reality, though, the game could focus on the past instead of the present story (similar to what Star Wars is doing with the Old Republic) and help to fully shape the future based on your character's actions. With so many planets and galaxies to explore and the ability to fly around in your own ship, a Mass Effect MMO could very well be what Star Trek initially hoped but ultimately failed to become. If the Old Republic is as amazing as it claims to be, Bioware should definitely think about evolving more of their beloved franchises into MMOs—starting with Mass Effect.

Charmander
Mike Splechta GameZone's Editor-in-Chief, retro game enthusiast, savior of kittens. Follow me @Michael_GZ
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Games: Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies - NDS

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