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Today, it seems that every game franchise under the sun needs to create a specific time of multiplayer mode, the Battle Royale mode. However, there was a time when simply having multiplayer of some kind was viewed as a necessity. This led to major game franchises, that had previously been single player only affairs, to try and figure out a way of including multiplayer that made sense.
I'm not saying any of these attempts were necessarily bad, in many cases, they were actually pretty good, but they often still felt oddly tacked on to a game that was clearly still designed for a narrative single-player story. Even if it was done well, it was still done to chase a fad. Here are five games that really didn't need multiplayer, but had it anyway.
Mass Effect had such a deep and involved story to tell that it took three games to tell it. However, along with the final chapter of the trilogy came the addition of a co-op multiplayer mode called Galaxy at War. Bioware tried to incorporate the multiplayer into the main game by including it in your overall "Readiness Rating" for the main campaign. The multiplayer was brought back for Mass Effect: Andromeda, but it was essentially the exact same multiplayer without significant updates. To be fair, multiplayer wasn't the reason Andromeda didn't work. If anything, the mode was a safe haven from the rest of the mess.
Batman: Arkham Series
The Batman: Arkham series is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite of recent years. If we ever get the rumored sequel, or the Rocksteady produced Superman game that has also been talked about, I will be there. I love the franchise so much that I even love Batman: Arkham Origins, the forgotten child of the franchise. It was created by WB Montreal rather than Rocksteady, and while it's basically a repainted version of Arkham City it did do one thing new, it added multiplayer. It wasn't bad, but due to the fact that you spent most of your time playing a thug when you wanted to be Batman, it was frequently frustrating.
Competitive multiplayer started in the third Assassin's Creed game, Brotherhood, and ran through fan-favorite Black Flag. It had a number of different multiplayer modes and they were certainly unique. While most multiplayer matches are fast-paced affairs, Assassin's Creed encouraged you to take your time and use stealth and cunning to sneak up on your target. Since this is what the single-player game is all about, the tone was at least right on. In Assassin's Creed Unity the game made a shift to a cooperative multiplayer, which, like Mass Effect Andromeda, was bad for so many other reasons.
Bioshock 2 is a weird ass Bioshock game. While Bioshock Infinite is the game with the drastically different setting, Bioshock 2 still feels like the outlier, due to the fact that you actually control a Big Daddy, and the fact that the title is really just a big escort mission. The other thing that sets the game apart is that it has a multiplayer component. The fact that Infinite didn't bring this idea back is probably all that needs to be said about it. The mode did try to have a story component to it, which did help it feel more like something that belonged in a Bioshock game, but ultimately, it just didn't work.
Metal Gear Solid
The Metal Gear Solid series has always been about Snake, in whichever incarnation, sneaking into an enemy encampment of some kind and using stealth to move about and achieve his objectives. This makes the most recent version of Metal Gear Online, included as part of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, feel a lot less Metal Gear, as the majority of game modes are the standard Team Deathmatch and Control Point gameplay modes you get in most first and third person shooters. It's not bad, it just feels odd. Earlier versions of Metal Gear Online tried other game modes that had more variety, some of which even allowed you to play as Snake if you were lucky or good.