While I prefer playing single player games, some online games have drawn me in. Some of these games are not overly popular while others have slowly built their popularity for years now. These are my top 3 online games, based on how many hours I’ve sinked in:
1. Star Trek Online (link) [Free to play/Microtransactions]
Straight off the bat, I am a huge ‘Trekkie’. When I heard that an online game based on the Star Trek universe is being developed, I knew I would spend many hours, unless it’s was going to be utter crap. It wasn’t. The story takes place 30 years after the events that transpire in Star Trek Nemesis. You can choose several races and nations from the Star Trek universe. There is the Federation (UFP), of course, the Klingon Empire and the Romulan Star Empire. When you choose a nation, you can also choose which race you want to be – a Klingon in UFP, perhaps? You start the game from the lowest rank that allows you to sit in the captain’s chair of a spaceship.
The missions in Star Trek Online are conceived as episodes, just like the TV-series. Being in love with the world since my childhood I get a massive kick from the game. Defending from an invading Borg Collective and at the same time studying a distant planet that has some unusual readings – it’s has very Trekkie feel to it. The gameplay is divided into two parts. The first part, where you will spend most of your time (because it’s better), is in space. You have your trusty spaceship and crew and you get to explore anomalies and fight enemies. The second part is from a third person view where you and your team transport and explore different planets and collect the data needed to complete your mission.
The game is free with microtransactions. I have to be honest, I haven’t payed for anything yet, and I don’t feel I’ve hit a paywall even in the endgame. That’s being said, you will be tempted and the endgame could be easier if you throw your wallet at it.
When people ask me why I like to play this game, I simply reply because it’s fun. I spent a lot of hours playing Star Trek Online and feel each mission is different. I just love this universe, meeting familiar faces like Worf, Tuvok, Quark, and, as a captain of a spaceship, explore distant stars and forgotten civilizations.
2. EVE Online (link) [Free to play/Subscription or pay for DLCs]
Another game – another space exploration theme. EVE Online is one of the most popular space simulations. As I hate subscription based model games, I only started playing EVE sometime after it became free for all players. EVE Online was released all the way in 2003 and is one of the pioneers of online gaming. For 16 years this game has had a stable gaming base. It has also been expanded and updated for the same amount of years – vital if it is to still be relevant today.
Like in most RPGs, you begin by choosing your origin and character details before starting the actual game. After a comprehensive tutorial introduces you to the interface, a variety of perspectives open up. You can dedicate to mining, manufacturing, scientific research, trade, exploration of the universe, or just fighting. But I can say that for me the pinnacle of the game is the PvP. Players join corporations and allied corporations conquer territory and build empires.
In order to successfully deal with certain crafts, the player must have a space ship, equipment and knowledge. Unlike other MMO games, experience is acquired as time flows by, and it flows even when the player is not online. Ships are sorted by classes; you have your frigates, cruisers, battle cruisers, battleships, industrial ships and finally capital ships.
I started to play this game relatively recently and what attracted me and kept me coming back are the graphics and the rich EVE Online world. The game asks you put a significant amount of time in it, but you soon understand the basic mechanics, start interacting with other players and immerse in the world.
3. World Of Tanks (link) [Free to play & Arguably Pay-to-win]
Do you know any history buff who doesn’t like tanks? I don’t! World of Tanks puts you in the role of a commander of these steel beasts. I heard about this game when it was still in beta phase and once out I tried it and I really liked it. It’s been around for a while, however the game only hit version 1.0 in March, 2018, 8 years after its release.
World of Tanks, is a free-to-play mass multiplayer shooter that functions through an optional microtransaction system. You start the game with another fifteen tenkists on your side, and fifteen on the other. You can choose a lightweight, medium and heavy tanks, tank hunters and self-propelled artillery. There are five classes in the game, five roles that permeate and complement the free-for-all team Deathmatch mission that brings you money and experience. With these gains you can invest in research and purchase of new equipment and new vehicles.
The game is very simple and more of an arcade than a simulation. The tanks have HP and attacks have damage. It’s a simple shooter where you control tank movement, turret rotation, opening fire and the choice of ammunition.
But that also makes it very pick-up-and-play kind of game. I can do a 15 minute gaming session during a break at work and have fun for at least 10 of them.
I recommend it to everyone who is time restricted, as it is very fast and allows you to make quick progress, up until about Tier 4 or 5 (at which point the grind to unlock higher levels can suck the fun out of the game). I would say new players are best off grinding up the Soviet heavy line with the KV-1 towards IS-7.
It’s worth noting that the publisher World of Tanks, Wargaming, has other similar games. World of Warplanes and World of Warships allows you to test your skills in the air and on the sea.
To see the games in action, check the video below and witness my incompetence: