Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Best Non-MMO Multiplayer RPGs for PC

It's clear, gamers crave linear coop RPGs, yet very little good titles exist.  With the list of Non-MMO Multiplayer RPGs from 2009 popularity, I decided to post a "best of" Non-MMO coop RPGs (best multiplayer rpg pc),  for those that enjoy linear RPG stories that have an actual ending to them.  In many ways, the original list has become saturated with action-RPG that all have too much of the same feel.  I'll continue maintaining both lists.

The Traditional:

Baldur's Gate Series - 6 player
The grand daddy of non-MMO multiplay coop RPGs.  This is what D&D fans pined for.  The fact the series gave us 6 player support in 1998 was a sign of the future.  Little did we know, a tsunami of MMO would soon gobble up the genera.  In 2012, an enhanced edition has been released, which includes a new mission and characters.

Neverwinter Nights Series - 4 player
Though it was a rough start for this series; frequent patches, community support and later official expansions & sequel, Neverwinter proved it could eventually hold its own, in the post Baldurs era.  Building from the successes of Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter introduced community tools to build their own adventure.  That very move, may have doomed the traditional RPG format for Bioware, as there was no place for them to expand and capitalize with such open architecture.

The Action RPG:

Diablo Series - 4, 8, 4 player
The game that put the action in RPG.  With rich storytelling, and playing off the human instinct to grab loot, Diablo set the foundations for the onslaught of "Diablo clones" ARPGs we see today.  

Magicka - 4 player
Although Magicka rides the fence on being a full out action game, given it has no character progression, nor deep inventory.  It gives a completely new take on action RPG.  Relying on one-time selction of robes to define the characters class, while only allowing one item in each hand at any given time.  Apparently real mages don't carry backpacks.  This game puts the focus on typing skills, communication, and cooperation, as friendly fire is in full effect.

The Shooter RPG:

Borderlands - 4 player
A multiplayer shooter RPG hybrid that manages to keep things exciting.  Although the overall story is forgettable, diverse characters and cell shaded environment make up for its downfall.  Overall, it probably didn't matter how you distributed your skill points.  Borderlands was far from perfect, but the sequel may help improve its stature.  


Guild Wars - 8 player
GW is unique, as it rode the fence between MMO and stand alone multiplay.  While the town centers were open to any player to mingle (aka MMO).  However, upon the creation of each campaign, GW would create a separate sandbox for a group of friends to experience, isolated from the rest of the GW player base.  Along with no monthly charge, this allowed the game to have a feel of a non-MMO RPG.  Unfortunately, the sequel did not keep to its roots of isolation.

The Free-2-Play RPG:

Err, Lets just hold off on this one for now.

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