Each year The Game Awards acknowledge and celebrate some of the greatest achievements in video gaming. One category that has always been of interest to me, personally, has been Best Ongoing Game – which has previously been known as best Online Game and started life as Best MMORPG. Now that online games are so much more that just MMORPG’s that category has been expanded along with its candidates to include games that are online and receive ongoing updates. So games that came out years ago appear on this list. Let’s take a look at the nominees!
Apex Legends – Apex Legends is the newest game in the category of Best Ongoing Game having released in February of 2019. Capitalizing on the popularity of Battle Royale games like Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds and Fortnite, Apex Legends has cemented itself as a solid option for team based Battle Royale action. While not a popular as Fortnite, Apex has been able to build a pretty solid user base and competitive scene in its first year. Let’s see if they try to go the PUBG route and try to start a league for Apex Legends.
Final Fantasy XIV – Now to the oldest game on this list: Final Fantasy XIV. This may shock some people but Final Fantasy XIV was originally released in September of 2010. Most people remember Final Fantasy XIV from its re-release 3 years later in 2013 dubbed “A Realm Reborn” that fixed many of the fundamental problems of the game. Since it’s re-release in 2013 Final Fantasy XIV has been lauded as a very good MMO and most of the expansion packs have been mostly very well recieved. However, the latest expansion, Shadowbringers, has been called by fans of the game “the best expansion so far” which is high praise.
Fortnite – The mega-popular smash-hit blockbuster game that delights children and annoys parents all over the globe! Fortnite’s premise is simple – you and 99 other players are dropped on to an island and you have to find weapons and supplies to survive and the last player alive wins a ‘victory royale’. Nothing in that description quite captures what makes Fortnite great though. The dances, the jokes, the Durr-Burger and SoFDeeZ ince cream shop. It’s the personality that the world of Fortnite has been imbued with is what makes it special.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – Despite releasing in 2015 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has developed a very dedicated user community as well as one of the most interesting esports scenes around. While it may not have the same number of people playing as a Fortnite or Apex Legends – Rainbow Six Siege definitely should be in the running for an award like this. Continued updates have only improved the game since its release. Rainbow Six Siege’s most interesting mechanic is the destructible environment and bullet penetration. A game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive relys heavily on things like angles and corners. Well, if you can destroy that corner…what now?
Destiny 2 – Destiny 2 is Bungie’s entry into the “Looter Shooter” genre of game. D2 borrows a lot from traditional MMO concepts like public events, dungeons and raids. But the mechanics of the game, rather than being a RPG, are fundamentally a shooter. It has more, mechanically, in common with a game like Borderlands 3 then it does with a game like World of Warcraft. After Bungie split from Microsoft and left their smash-hit Halo behind, it was time for the developers to start a new IP. Hence: Destiny. The sequal tried to fix most of the big problems presented by Destiny while keeping intact that environment and atmosphere loved.
Who should win? This is a tough question for me to answer. The fact that Final Fantasy XIV is on this list is remarkable and should be rewarded for keeping their MMO relevant for 9 years running. It’s a feat that should be celebrated, for sure. I played Final Fantasy XIV for 8 of those 9 years and I can attest that it’s a solid game. But it’s not without its flaws and drawbacks which is why I quit playing Final Fantasy XIV last year. So I think, despite its flaws, it would be nice to see Final Fantasy XIV get some recognition for some of the incredible feats that the game pulled of in its lifetime.
Who will win? It’s so hard to argue against Fortnite getting this award. Fortnite has had some of the most successful viral activations that I’ve ever seen. The digital concert that Marshmello held in Fortnite is just one of the many incidents I can think of where Fortnite transcended just being a game where people shoot each other. That a feat few games, regardless of who they are, are brave enough to try. Fortnite will, most likely, walk away the winner here.