Video games may be better than ever, but all of that fancy new technology comes at a hefty price. With the barrier to video games being higher than ever, it’s hard to justify throwing down most of your monthly salary down on a game that still has the gall to charge you extra when you boot it up and slap some microtransaction right in your face.
So what’s a fella to do? Fortunately, there’s a whole genre out there of freemium titles that are just waiting to be played. Sure, plenty of them are bad and will fleece you dry without so much as a second thought, but there are those games which somehow manage to be both free and entertaining, to a point where you’d happily shell out some cash for a few extras.
Here’s our pick then, for ten of the best free to play games on the market today.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite may not have started the Battle Royale craze, but it certainly did perfect it for a mainstream audience. Slick, polished and easy to pick up, Fortnite’s originality when it comes to its visuals and its novel approach to providing more premium content to more dedicated players, makes it a game that works wonderfully well as either a daily hobby or a casual foray into mad last man standing action.
Plus, it’s the only game where you can shoot someone and they instantly transform into an eight story house.
If Fortnite is battle royale one right for lone wolves, then Apex Legends is the superior choice for anyone looking to step up their game as part of a team. While there’s plenty to love about Respawn Entertainment’s brand new foray into the most popular genre in the market today, from the chunky guns to the overall stability of Apex Legends, it’s the quality of life improvements that come from its beautiful teamwork systems that makes this game well worth picking up.
There’s very little room for error when it comes to free to play games, and even those which are successful don’t happen to have much of a shelf life. Warframe may just be one of a kind then, because this masterpiece of design is still going strong several years after launch. Always improving, always listening to the fans and always offering something new to experience, Warframe is still pure fun in an action-packed package of intense adventure.
If you ever wondered what would happen if Terry Gilliam directed a movie based on Destiny, then Warframe would be the answer.
Fighting games usually cost a pretty penny, and you’ll be hard pressed to find any titles in the genre that will offer a playable demo before allowing you to engage in some good old fashioned violence. Microsoft’s Killer Instinct is the exception to that rule, as some of Microsoft’s heaviest hitters pooled their resources to create the fighter’s fighting game.
Blisteringly quick, unforgiving and gorgeous to gawk at, there’s no other fighting game on the market that can offer a combo-breaker like what Killer Instinct can.
Path of Exile
While the odds of Blizzard slapping a free to play sticker on Diablo are about as unlikely as seeing winning your numbers pop up in a powerball draw, the next best thing might just be Path of Exile. An action-RPG that hits all the right checkpoints on a list of what a game that genre should be, Path of Exile steps up its offerings by going above and beyond when it comes to character customisation.
Boasting a degree of character-building that can only be labelled as utterly absurd thanks to an absolutely massive skill tree that makes ever choice matter, Path of Exile isn’t just a great game to play on your own. It’s also brilliant when you rope in your friends to join you as well.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars Galaxies may be about as dead as the Jedi Order and the license may have slowly been beaten into the most predatory microtransactions this side of the Kessel Run since Electronic Arts took over, but there’s still some hope left for the franchise and you won’t even have to visit a galaxy that’s far, far away to find it.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic weaves that magic of some of the best Star Wars games ever made, combining the rich narrative history of the classic Knights of the Old Republic games from Bioware and adding heaps of MMO flavour to it in the process. It’s a massive game, rich in lore and your choices actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Talk about a game that’s strong in the Force, am I right?
If you’ve ever wanted to play god and do so while controlling the daily routines of dozens of civilians locked up in an underground bunker while the world outside goes to hell in a nuclear apocalypse, Fallout Shelter might be just the game you’ve been looking for. Available on a wide range of systems, the adorable visuals hide a deep game of micro-management and strategy, tasking you with ensuring that your vault dwellers remain productive enough to outlast the radioactive hellscape outside while also dealing with invasions and the odd catastrophe.
It’s a game of compromise and survival, where not everyone is guaranteed a chance at survival. Still, do your job rigt, and you might just have the happiest nuclear-proof vault around.
Command and Conquer Rivals
Looking for some classic real-time strategy in the vein of some of the classic masterpieces of a bygone era? Then Command and Conquer Rivals might just fit that bill for you. It may not be a proper revival of the series that Westwood games made famous, but Rivals still rbings plenty of charm to the table with an addictive formula of map control and precise unit deployment.
Even more amazing, is the fact that this EA game happens to be incredibly generous, regularly handing out loot and gear that benefits you the player, without asking anything in return. That’s…that’s kind of unbelievable actually.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Anyone up for a game of cards? After several years, Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft is still a phenomenal piece of design that combines everything that made trading card gams like Pokemon and Magic the Gathering so successful, and updates the formula with dazzling visuals and an entire library of cards to collect.
Easy to pick up and challenging to master, Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft isn’t just fun, it’s an addictive grind that has the potential to consume your life.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Imagine every single Final Fantasy game ever made, decades worth of RPG mechanics simplified and the end result being a massive love letter to one of the most popular RPGs of all time, and you’d have Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. More than just the grandest of adventure games that you can play on your phone right now, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a constantly rewarding series of events, challenges and nostalgic goodness.
And in an industry that happens to charge plenty for even the tiniest extra, that’s a breath of fresh air.
Last Updated: March 12, 2019