Top 5 MMO-alternatives

Typically, when somebody thinks of the coined term MMO it is usually associated with the suffix RPG. It’s really not a huge surprise as the MMO genre is swamped with MMORPGs in a more generalized sense. Just this last year we have had over a dozen MMORPGs get released including Lord of the Rings Online, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Tabula Rasa. But what about the other games?

Believe it or not, MMO does not always have to end with RPG. Over the years, and coming within the next couple, are games that are striking beyond the traditional and are reaching for something else. Something that ends with strategy, or RTS, or FPS. Today, I bring you the top 5 MMO-alternatives list. Some of these were made years ago, and others have yet to be made. So, without further ado:

  • 1. Planetside (SOE/MMOFPS)

Planetside was originally released in May of 2003 as an MMOFPS. Upon releasing the game was a graphical phenomenon, and most people’s computers ground to an abrubt halt. It suffered much of the same symptoms that Vanguard suffered which was unfortunate because, despite needing a beefy computer to play it, it was actually one of the funnest games I have ever played. Imagine being sent into a persistent world, with 3 factions, a dozen vehicles, and even more weapon/armor combinations. Now imagine that with 200 of your friends going up agianst 300 of the opposing faction and another 100 of the third faction. Sound fun? It was. The game was set in the future on an unknown world. Due to some “discrepencies” with the former government (Earth) the planet was quickly broken up into three factions. You chose one of these factions and fought in a never ending war with the other two. The battles were fast, large, and very explosive. Sometimes it would take upwards of 10 hours to take a single base. The game still exists today, but it has nowhere near the population of when it first launched. Still, if you are curious about this type of gameplay feel free to check it out HERE.

  • Shattered Galaxy (KRU Interactive/MMORTS)

Shattered Galaxy may not have been the first MMORTS to appear on the market, but it is definitely the one that has gathered enough steam to make it into the big leagues. It doesn’t hurt that it also happens to be one of the best MMORTS games out there (IGN and GameSpot reviewed it with an 80). In anycase, Shattered Galaxy, as you can imagine, is a scifi RTS game that allows you to wage war with different players or a mysterious alien entity. You start the game out as a character of your choice (choose a nation) and are able to up to own 48 units. You then use these units to pound the smack out of anybody who wants to oppose you. The game stresses tactics above all else and, although there is a resource model to the gameplay, it doesn’t appear to be to strenuous. Anybody looking for an MMORTS should definitely check this one out HERE.

  • Huxley (Webzen/MMOFPS)

Being developed by Webzen comes Huxley, the supposed next generation of MMOFPS gaming. There isn’t too much to go off for this game, yet, except for the fact that the world is persistent, will run off the Unreal Engine 3, and will support at least 100-man battles. Sounds kind of neat, but it comes nowhere near the expectations that Planetside has already set. According to the website, the game takes place in a post-apocolyptic future where humans have mutated into two opposing races: the Sapiens, and Alternatives. The game sounds very promising though and is something you’ll probably want to keep track of if fast, furious MMOFPS gaming is your thing. Check it out HERE.

  • All Points Bulletin (Realtime Worlds/MMO-GTAish)

So what does the guy who created both the GTA franchise and the hilariously fun Crackdown develop next? An MMO version of the two combined. That’s right, Realtime Worlds is in development of an open world MMOGTA-style game called All Points Bulletin. There isn’t much known about the game yet except that it will grace the Xbox 360. In addition to that, the game is promising awesome cops vs robbers styled gameplay where the player can choose to be a part of either one of those organizations. Can anybody else imagine the awesome car chases? The game is promised to be released next year so if this sort of thing interests you head on over to the website. Check it out HERE.

  • Heroes of Might and Magic Kingdoms (Ubisoft/Strategy)

Just announced today, Ubisoft has promised that it’s next foray into the Might and Magic universe will be a bit of a departure from their usual action, and singleplayer strategy games. Coming next year, the company will launch a browser based MMO-strategy Heroes of Might and Magic. Now, anybody who has ever played any of these games will tell you what you can expect: multiple kingdoms (classes), wide variety of troops, and city building. All in all the games were a heck of a lot of fun, and it more than peeks my interest that the next iteration is promised to be an MMO. Not much else is known, but check out the article HERE.

So concludes our list of MMO alternatives. A lot of people may wonder: well what about this game, or that game. Well let us know about em! I assure you if we left out a game then it is either because we didn’t like it as much as the above, or we simply did not know about it. It’s a big big MMO world out there. Thanks for reading.


  1. I dont think your list is large enough :) Our genre is represented by one of the oldest for sure but others deserve a mention like Mankind, Boundless Planet, And Time of Defiance. Also I should mention that these games are more alternative for being small scale developers and having 2-5 year betas, typically for free. This is not the usual model for MMORPG and it needs mentioning.

    And MMOFPS is starting to really break with Hellgate: London and other titles coming forth.

    There really is a lot of alternatives to bland MMORPG :)

    MMORPG =Mostly Men Online Role Playing Girls

  2. I loved Shattered Galaxy back in the day – great game! Would’ve liked to see a mention of Mankind (oldest MMORTS?) and 10SIX on (first and only MMOFPS/RTS/RPG) as well. Then again, 10SIX is only a tiny mmo under a new name now (Project Visitor) and Mankind doesn’t quite have the subscriber base of a Shattered Galaxy.

    10SIX, EVE Online and Shattered Galaxy would be my list of all-time favorite MMOs. The traditional mmorpg’s just don’t compare.

  3. Never even heard of Mankind (Face of Mankind? Thats an MMOFPS/RPG) or 10SIX. I’ll be sure to check em out though.

    I thought long and hard about including EVE Online in my list. There are many things that would attribute it to being an MMO-alternative. However, in the end, I concluded while its not “technically” an MMORPG, it is fairly closer and I really wanted to give the spotlight to come lesser known games.

  4. Check out our site for Mankind links and its a MMORTS – Massively Multiplyer Online Real Time Strategy game NOT MMORPG lol.

    For current MMORTS you have Beyond Protocol, Ballerium, Dreamlords, Boundless Planet, Mankind, Saga , and Time of Defiance. All vary with degrees of persistence and subscriber base.

    But you say you didn’t include Eve because if isnt a MMORPG but this list was for MMO – alternatives… alternatives to what then? I would have thought MMORPG was the sadly dominant MMO and thus shouldn’t be included?

    And many of the so called MMOFPS genre are in fact MM not MMO (my issue with Shattered Galaxy – more a RTS with online ranking imo)

  5. I didn’t include EVE Online because it was too much like an MMORPG, despite having some noticeable differences. In addition, I wanted to give some other game’s the spotlight. EVE is CONSTANTLY in the news and media.

    And yes, I know SG is an MMORTS, that is why I labeled it as such. ;) I’ll be sure to check out your long list of MMORTS games though. Should make for an excellent read looking through them all. :)

  6. No problem – I haven’t added the hundreds of browser based and turn based strategy games yet – still deciding if they belong in MMORTS. If not I have so may set that up. I count mostly 3D client based games as MMORTS – same as the difference betweeen WoW and a text based MUD – still RPG but the perception of MMO is mostly client run games.

    Think i see most browser based games as jazzed up websites tbh.

  7. There are SO many alternatives to WoW, aside from the 5 listed here. I’d recommend RF Online. The game looks and feels like a pay to play MMORPG, but it’s free.

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