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Five MMOs Worth Sinking Time Into This Holiday Season

Around this particularly festive time of year, it’s not uncommon for many gamers to find a great disparity between the amount of money they have to spend on games and the time they have to play them. Some shell out for all of the big holiday blockbusters only to be caught up in family gatherings while others find themselves at home with little to spent and all the time in the world.

For this latter group, there’s a simple solution – pick up an MMO. The genre has come a long way in recent years and there’s plenty of great holiday gaming destinations to pick from.

Azeroth

Given its predisposed-prominence, it should surprise nobody that World of Warcraft is one of the frontrunners for holiday time sinks.

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Whether you’re a returning player or a new one, Blizzard has the genre down to a science and you’ll likely have a good time whether you’re taking the plunge into the game’s raiding endgame or still leveling through four expansions-worth of content. For new players, there’s a lot of value here with Blizzard throwing in all but the game’s most recent expansion for all newcomers. On the other hand, the release of Warlords of Draenor is a great excuse for more-experience to return to Azeroth to try out new additions to the game like Garrisons and Followers.

Space!

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If you were a fan of Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic series but the prospects of the series transition to an MMORPG disappointed you, now may be the time to get over that prejudice and sink your teeth into The Old Republic. Since launch, Bioware have added reams of content and dropped the subscription fee – making the experience of playing it more like that of classic KOTOR than ever before. The game’s latest expansion, Shadow of Revan has even brought one of the series’ most infamous names back into the thick of things, providing experienced players with some fresh story content.

Middle-Earth

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Lord of the Rings Online was a game that got some attention when it launched back in 2007 but has fallen by the wayside in the face of recent MMO releases like Wildstar. In spite of this, developer Turbine have been hard at work expanding the game’s enormous main quest each year. At launch, the game’s story had yet to see players enter the Mines of Moria but is LOTRO players today can journey all the way to Helm’s Deep. It’s an impressive endeavor with a phenomenal appreciation for the source material (the books more-so than the films) and while the gameplay is a little cookie-cutter, it’s an easy holiday game to recommend for Tolkien fans.

More Space!

Space is big. So big, in fact, that I feel it should earn more than a single mention when it comes to the subject of holiday gaming. Behind World of Warcraft, I wouldn’t hesitate to call EVE Online the most impressive player in the field and if The Old Republic’s spacefaring segments failed to satisfy, it may be the game for you. Icelandic developer CCP has crafted an enormous simulation of space warfare and commerce and – while there’s a definitely a steep learning curve – the sense of place that inhabits EVE: Online is second to none.

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If you fancy something a little more unpredictable and emergent, EVE may be for you.

New Eden

Do you wish Borderlands was massively-multiplayer and had more jetpacks? Then Red 5 Studios Firefall may be just the holiday gaming timesink you need. Set on a futuristic Earth left unrecognizable by a cosmic anomaly known as The Melding, Firefall is a massively multiplayer first person shooter (MMOFPS).

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Like any MMO, it’s got its fair share of problems (which you can read about here) but if you’re tired of the cooldown-juggling associated with most MMOs, it may make for a fresh change of pace and a great holiday timesink.