The best free games will give you a whole lot of action, strategy, and straight-up fun all without spending a dime. It used to be that "free games" typically meant demos - playing the same levels over and over again while you wondered what the full thing was like. That's not the case any more.
The best free games are loaded with things to do, whether you want a complete narrative experience, tons of challenges to overcome, or endless loot to collect. The only issue is making sure you've found the right one. That's where we come in.
We've ranked the best free games that give you more to play without ever needing to drop a single cent on microtransactions. We'll start the list with the great at 10 and roll all the way down to our current pick for the best free game at No. 1, all with info on their supported platforms and overall genres. So come with us and get ready to have some free fun for top 10 to top 5 for Part 1 of this article now.
10) Counter-Strike: GO
Genre: First-person shooter
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been around for years, but it only went free-to-play within the last few. The same update that stripped the game of a price tag also added Danger Zone, a battle-royale inspired mode that sets up to 18 players against each other on an open map full of cash to grab and supply drops to schedule. Even if you're not on board for more battle royale, you still get free access to all of the core competitive shooting action for which Counter-Strike is famous. Throw flashbangs, run around with knives, jump on crates in de_dust2 - it's all there, and now it's all free... as long as you can avoid the temptation to drop tons of cash on weapon skins.
9) Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Genre: Collectible card video game
Platform: PC, iOS, Android
If you grew up playing collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, then Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is all the fun without the bookshelves full of card binders. Hearthstone takes a familiar mana mechanic, used for everything from summoning creatures to casting spells, then simplifies it by granting each player an additional unit each turn. This makes jumping into Hearthstone that much easier, as you can now focus on the core strategies of your deck without worrying about taking up precious deck space with land. It's one of those "one more game turns into an all-nighter" deals, for sure.
8) Path of Exile
Genre: Action RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Few action RPGs ever transcend the status of "well, this is good to play if you're tired of Diablo," but Path of Exile is one of them. Even if it wasn't free-to-play it would still be a remarkable game, refining several of the genre's sticking points while allowing for a dizzying degree of customization through a huge talent tree/cloud and skill-altering gems. Naturally, it's great to play with friends too - and much easier to convince them to join you with no upfront cost! Don't feel bad about looking up guides, since all the customization options can be a bit overwhelming.
Genre: Platform fighting game
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Like playing Super Smash Bros.? You'll like playing Brawlhalla, too. It may not have the recognizable roster of Nintendo's beloved fighting game, but it has a similar streamlined approach to competitive action - friendly for both casual players as well as more hardcore competitive types. It has a pretty generous business model, too: all players receive access to a rotating selection of six characters for free, and you can buy more with microtransactions or earned-in-game currency.
Genre: Co-op monster hunting
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Even if you've never played other co-op monster hunting games like the Monster Hunter series, Dauntless is easily the best way to get started. It uses the same core loop of taking down giant monsters then using their parts to make gear for taking down even giant-er monsters, but it makes it all much more approachable with systems that are easy to grasp and an effortless online multiplayer experience. Mastering each different weapon style feels like playing a different game, each with their own unique quirks to master - a hammer that doubles as a jetpack (complete with an active reload mechanic) is a particular favorite. Best of all, seamless cross-play means you can hunt with your friends no matter the platform.
5) Call of Duty Warzone
Genre: Battle royale
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Call of Duty Warzone isn't the series' first bite at the battle royale apple, but it is its best. Though intrinsically tied to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Warzone is playable entirely for free on its own across all supported platforms. Two supported modes - Battle Royale and Plunder - let you drop onto a map built from memorable Call of Duty set pieces, searching for loot and fighting alongside your friends. Loadout Drops even let you bring over your favorite gear from Modern Warfare's standard multiplayer mode, and the Gulag gives you a chance to fight your way back into matches even after you're taken out. It's a smart, polished take on both Call of Duty and battle royales, though you don't need to be a fan of either to enjoy it.
Do stay tuned to Top 5 games on next Friday again. In the meanwhile, enjoy gaming at home for now :)
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