As 2013 comes to an end we take a look at the games that made the headlines this year. 2013 was an amazing year for browser based games. The scene exploded with the introduction of new games of all types while old favorites got renewed attention. We’ll take a look at the new, the old, the yet to come, and even an honorable mention for a well deserving MMO that doesn’t quite fit the genre.
5. City of Steam
We start off the list with last year’s most anticipated browser game according to just about every gaming website out there. City of Steam was set up to be the golden boy of the browser MMO genre. It grabbed the attention of gamers all over the world with it’s graphics and complexity and made them take notice of the blossoming genre. Originally created by indie studio Mechanist, it changed hands to R2 Games who only kept it a short time before officially shutting it down. But it didn’t stay down forever and soon Mechanist took it back and re-launched City of Steam, calling it City of Steam: Arkadia. The future of this game seems to be somewhat uncertain though. There have been some less than popular choices made in the re-launch and the MMO seems to be going from one problem to another. Fans are being patient in the hopes that City of Steam can recover. Though it’s still finding its feet again after transferring hands back and forth and months of being offline City of Steam was still one of the top browser games of 2013.
4. Moshi Monsters
It’s been around since 2007 but this year Moshi Monsters got something that even the big hitters of the MMO world haven’t had yet, a full length feature film. It’s aimed for children ages 6-14 and has over 80 million users worldwide. And on December 20th the Moshi Monsters movie launched into theaters in the UK, Ireland, and the United States with mixed reviews. It is a British made animated film staring both seasoned and newcomer voice actors. So far the box office results on it’s first week aren’t known but with a £1.5 million budget it is hoped to do well. If it performs well this could very well help form the foundation of a new trend in the MMO and film industries. But even if the film is a box office disaster it marks the launch of something new. And for that simple reason it makes the number four place on the top five browser based MMOs of 2013.
3. Evil Genius Online
Though it only entered open beta earlier in December Evil Genius is one of the bright stars shining in the social game sky. It breaks out of the farm based rut social games are in to bring something completely new and exciting. The single player Evil Genius games have been a huge success. But, becoming an evil mastermind isn’t an easy task, especially when your so called friends are spying on you and ruining your plans. Taking it online has given Evil Genius an all new life. Unfortunately it is currently only accessible via Facebook which may drive off a lot of potential fans. But hopefully for Evil Genius Online this can be looked past by fans and 2014 will be even better for the social game. It may still be only in the early stages of its life but 2013 was good for Evil Genius Online and their creators, Rebellion. It makes the Top 5 list for being a unique idea, and continuing an already popular game series in the social world. This will be one to keep your eyes on in 2014.
2013 was a tough year for Warface. It began the year flying under the Trion banner, seemingly stuck in beta limbo when there was a sudden announcement from Crytek. Development on Warface was still ongoing. But there was no mention of Trion. Trion was no longer part of Warface’s development. Though there was never any official word on why Crytek and Trion went their own ways there has been plenty of speculation throughout the year that Trion’s poor financial situation had something to do with it. Thankfully for Crytek Warface was able to bounce back from limbo and become an awesome FPS Browser game. Warface is one of the most graphically amazing browser based games in the industry, made even more amazing by the fact that it is a first person shooter. For overcoming hardships, thriving despite the odds and being so beautiful we give Warface the number two spot on our countdown.
1. Runescape 3
2013 may as well be called the year of Runescape. In July Runescape received a massive update which brought it up to Runescape 3, the first large scale update of its kind for the game in 10 years. In April Jagex expanded the list of supported languages by adding Latin American Spanish to the list. But perhaps most popular of all was the old school server which turns back the clock to Runescape in 2007. But that wasn’t all. Every month in 2013 Jagex was announcing something new for Runescape. The MMO may be 12 years old but it is recognized as an industry leader. Jagex may have their hand’s full with development on Transformer’s Universe but they certainly aren’t using it as an excuse to drag down Runescape. For all of these reasons there really is no denying that 2013 was the year of Jagex and Runescape.
Honourable Mention: Neverwinter
There is one client based MMO we feel deserves an honorable mention for it’s venture into browser based gameplay support. We’re giving an honorable mention to Cryptic for the amazing utility of their browser based Neverwinter tool, Gateway. With Gateway you can continue to level your crafting skills and train your pets in minigames while you’re supposed to be listening to that college lecture or working on that project for your boss. Though not the basis of Neverwinter it is possible to level your characters without ever actually logging in to the game. Gateway can’t make it onto the list because it isn’t a full game and you need the client for Neverwinter to really get the most out of it. But this tool makes Neverwinter one of the best client based/brower based combinations ever. And with Gateway constantly being upgraded and new things being added to it there may actually come a time when Gateway doesn’t just supplement Neverwinter but becomes a game of its own.
Most Anticipated for 2014: Lego Minifigures Online
Lego based games have a long and successful history. But the first MMO based in the Lego world didn’t do so well, despite being voiced by everyone’s favourite captain, Sir Patrick Stewart. Earlier this year saw the launch of Lego: Legends of Chima Online which seems to be doing well for itself. But it is next year’s Lego Minifigures Online that has grabbed the attention of Lego fans all over the world. It is being made by Age of Conan and The Secret World creators Funcom. The MMO will tie in to the already very popular Lego Minifigures line. Buying a Lego Minifigure blind bag in the real world will give players special codes to unlock that minifig in game. The MMO will feature classic Lego gameplay and is set to be a classic RPG style game which can be played anywhere by anyone. The website launched earlier this month and beta registration is taking place now. With a mid 2014 launch date Lego Minifigures Online will be the browser based MMO to watch in the new year and is the one most anticipated by children young and old.
And with that we conclude our look at the top browser 5 based MMOs for 2013. We had feature length films, updates to Don’t agree with our list? Did we overlook a game you think deserves to be on the list but isn’t? Let us know in the forums! What was your top browser game of 2013?