Of all the new trends from the modern era of gaming, there’s perhaps none more groan-inducing than “Games as a Service,” aka live-service video games. While there are a handful of titles that utilize the live-service model effectively, for the most part, these titles are viewed disparagingly.


12 Best Live-Service Games

With constant updates, new content, and ever-lasting support from the devs, these are the best live-service games to dive into.

The idea behind a live-service game is that it’s constantly evolving. Through consistent patches and the diligent work of the developers, these releases should, in theory, steadily improve. Yet, for every long-running healthy live-service game, many fail to make an impact, leaving the studios no choice but to pull the plug.

10 Knockout City

May 21, 2021 – June 6, 2023

As financially fruitful as the live-service model can be, it can also prove harmful should a game fail to meet the minimum bar for reliability, stability and success. While plenty of live-service games weren’t or won’t be mourned when the servers die, others should be remembered.

Velan Studios’ Knockout City was a multiplayer team-based game akin to dodgeball. Upon release, the game garnered praise from critics, but unfortunately, its dependence on a consistently high player count proved too daunting a mountain.

9 Lawbreakers

August 8, 2017 – September 14, 2018

Another grievous aspect of modern gaming is how developers eagerly jump on favored trends. During the mid to late 2010s, advance-movement surged in popularity, with Titanfall, Call of Duty, and Halo leading the charge. As such, other newer IPs tried to compete in this hyper-competitive market.

Lawbreakers, developed by Boss Key Productions, tried to offer a unique twist on FPS advance-movement gunplay but ultimately failed to stand out among industry giants. While generally well-received, the game was unsuccessful in attracting an ample player base.

8 The Culling

October 5, 2017 – May 15, 2019

Even when video games employ shady practices and tactics, at least the individuals behind them sometimes try to hide what they’re doing, so it’s not so obvious. That doesn’t apply to Xaviant’s The Culling, a lesson in greed in gaming.


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Amidst the surging popularity of Fortnite, Xaviant ceased all development on the Culling to make a battle royale-centric “sequel.” The result was a colossal failure, and while Xaviant took Culling II from stores after only eight days, the base game never truly recuperated.

7 CrossfireX

February 10, 2022 – May 18, 2023

What’s great about video games, much like any entertainment industry, is their vast variety worldwide. While most Western audiences know Call of Duty or Halo as the primer FPS series, in China and South Korea, the king of the FPS is Smilegate Entertainment’s Crossfire.

To reach a broader audience, Smilegate teamed with Xbox Game Studios and Remedy for CrossfireX. Sadly for all involved, Crossfire’s allure didn’t translate across the sea, the game was poorly reviewed by critics, and even its free-to-play model couldn’t save it.

6 Babylon’s Fall

March 3, 2022 – February 27, 2023

The rise of the “Games as a Service” business model prompted many developers to try their hand at making a live-service title. Regardless of what games they were previously known for, studios like Bethesda and Bioware jumped headfirst without thinking twice about the risks.

That is the pitfall that developer PlatinumGames tumbled into with Babylon’s Fall. Despite being known for games like Nier: Automata and Vanquish, they decided to test the live-service waters. Tragically, Babylon’s Fall fell hard both commercially and critically.

5 Paragon

March 18, 2016 – March 19, 2018

The triumph of Fortnite had many long-lasting effects on the game industry, both favorable and adverse. Regarding Fortnite’s negative impact, Epic Games’ third-person battle arena title, Paragon, was Fortnite’s most unlucky victim.


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Given the green light to do whatever they wanted, Paragon’s development team had a lot of ambitious ideas. Lamentably, when Fortnite’s battle royale was released in late 2017, Epic moved most of its developers over to Fortnite. The result was Paragon being left in the dust and never capitalizing on its vast potential.

4 Marvel’s Avengers

September 4, 2020 – March 31, 2023

Following the colossal success of 2018’s Spider-Man, many Marvel fans eagerly awaited the next high-quality video game. At E3 2019, it seemed like Marvel’s Avengers would be the next big hit from the superhero entertainment powerhouse. Unfortunately, this was false hope.

Alongside the gameplay reveal trailer, Crystal Dynamics also announced that Marvel’s Avengers would follow the live-service model rather than being a story-focused game. The result was hefty criticism for its buggy initial release, heavy emphasis on monetization, and tedious gameplay loop.

3 Evolve

February 10, 2015 – September 3, 2018

Few co-op games impacted the gaming industry quite like Left 4 Dead did. While Valve had no intention of going past two titles, fans were hopeful that Turtle Rock Studios, made of individuals who worked on Left 4 Dead, would produce a true spiritual successor to the beloved zombie series.

Enter Evolve, a co-op first-person shooter which pits four players against one monster. Despite a lot of promise and talent behind it, Evolve was plagued by outrageous microtransactions and an over-dependence on updates to fix its glaring problems.

2 Radical Heights

April 10, 2018​​​​​​​ – May 14, 2018

Suffice it to say the battle royale genre took the gaming world by storm. Starting with PUBG and Fortnite, the trend quickly increased in popularity, transcending the gaming sphere and across mass media. Expectedly, there were many developers keen to capitalize on the wave.


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One of those titles was Radical Heights, released by Boss Key Productions, who previously produced Lawbreakers. Radical Heights was a gigantic flop. After only one month in early access, active development ceased, and Boss Key Productions closed its doors for good.

1 Anthem

February 22, 2019 – February 24, 2021

At one point, Bioware was considered one of the sovereigns of the gaming industry. Even with how controversial Mass Effect 3’s ending was, the lauded trilogy had brought the studio so much goodwill. While Mass Effect: Andromeda might’ve teased the start of Bioware’s downfall, its shortcomings pale in comparison to Anthem.

Rather than developing a narrative-centric RPG, the genre they once revolutionized. Bioware decided to make 2019’s Anthem a live-service looter-shooter. If Anthem accomplished anything, it showed Bioware that the live-service world isn’t for them.


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 These live-service games were gone before they even got started. Do you remember any of them?  Read More