Top 15 best free-to-play games [April 2023]

Are you in search of exciting, engaging games without breaking the bank? Worry not. There are the best free-to-play games that provide hours, days, or weeks of entertainment without reaching for your wallet.

These games are great ways to explore a new genre or developer without spending money. There’s sure to be something free-to-play for every type of gamer out there. From fast-paced action in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to trading Pokemon cards or experiencing massive online role-playing games such as RuneScape or Genshin Impact. Something fantastic awaits your discovery for free and glorious gaming.

At their core, these best free-to-play games are tailored for smooth performance on various gaming rigs and consoles alike. And a good number are even playable offline. While we can’t cover every fantastic free-to-play title out there, we have done our best to showcase a good selection of games you can try. Don’t forget to share any gaming gems that we missed!

INDEX

  1. CS:GO
  2. Apex Legends
  3. Spelunky
  4. Valorant
  5. Splitgate
  6. League of Legends
  7. Rocket League
  8. War Thunder
  9. Fall Guys
  10. Dota 2
  11. Team Fortress 2
  12. Path of Exile
  13. Runescape
  14. Guild Wars 2
  15. Genshin Impact

1. CS:GO

Release: 2012

Developer: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment

Platforms: PC

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), especially for PC gamers, offers an engaging team-based FPS experience. Two teams of five players play as either terrorists or counter-terrorists utilizing realistic weapons and tactics across various settings. It gives this FPS game its own flavor.

best free-to-play games

Although CS:GO was released nearly ten years ago, its continued popularity remains a testament to regular updates and its vibrant esports scene. Now free-to-play, now is an ideal opportunity to give it a go and give CS:GO a try for yourself.

Battle Royale enthusiasts may be pleased to know that CS:GO features Danger Zone mode. Offering more realistic shooting action in this popular format. PS4 or Xbox One user might consider Call of Duty: Warzone instead, while Counter-Strike 2 may soon make its debut, providing even more opportunities for FPS fans.

2. Apex Legends

Release: 2019

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS

Are you ready to jump into battles with a mix of heroes, each with unique abilities? All wrapped up in a fast-paced battle royale experience? Look no further. Apex Legends is here to satisfy your cravings for intense teamwork and strategy in both trio and duo formats. Test your mettle in the 3v3 Arenas.

best free-to-play games

Born from the brilliant minds behind Titanfall 2, Apex Legends is a fresh and innovative FPS that hit the scene in 2019. Since then, it’s been stealing hearts and expanding its player base. It is breathing new life into the battle royale genre.

The best part? You don’t need a gaming PC to join the fun! Apex Legends is available on multiple platforms. So whether you’re a console gamer or a mobile warrior, there’s a place for you in this action-packed world. Cross-play between consoles and PC is supported, making it even easier to team up with friends. Just note that mobile players have their own exclusive battlefield, keeping things fair and balanced.

3. Spelunky

Release: 2008

Developer: Mossmouth, LLC

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Switch

Get ready to dive into the retro world of Spelunky. It is a classic platformer that has stood the test of time and is still absolutely free 14 years later. If you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little more platform-oriented than your typical FPS, this gem is right up your alley.

best free-to-play games

In this delightful 8-bit-inspired game, you’ll take on the role of a fearless spelunker. It is venturing through a vast array of underground cave systems. Don your trusty hat and gear up for a thrilling journey filled with treasure hunting. It also has damsel rescuing, enemy battling, and trap outsmarting.

What sets Spelunky apart from the rest, even after all these years, is its fantastic procedurally generated cave systems. That’s right – every time you play, you’ll be greeted with an entirely new experience. This makes each run as fresh and exciting as the first. With a plethora of foes to encounter, including the notorious bats, ghosts, and the always-entertaining man-eating plants, you’ll never run out of challenges to conquer.

4. Valorant

Release: 2020

Developer: Riot Games

Platforms: PC

Introducing Valorant: the exhilarating love child of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Apex Legends. This game masterfully blends the strategic 5v5 format of CS:GO with the delightful hero-shooter elements and vibrant aesthetics of Apex Legends. If you’re craving a high-octane gaming experience that departs from the ultra-realism of CS:GO, then Valorant is your perfect match!

best free-to-play games

Feast your eyes on the mesmerizing artwork of Valorant’s map. PEARL – it’s a visual treat that’ll have you hooked from the get-go.

Step into the thrilling world of Valorant. Where you’ll be spoiled for choice with a roster of captivating heroes to play as. Pick your trusty agent and embark on a nail-biting mission to plant or defuse bombs. All while battling it out with the opposing team. Despite being just over two years old, Valorant has already amassed a bustling community, and a thriving esports scene, and shows no signs of slowing down.

But wait, there’s more! You can enjoy this fantastic game without breaking the bank. Just like CS:GO, resist the urge to splurge on weapon cosmetics, and you’ll be diving into the heart-pounding action of Valorant without spending a dime.

5. Splitgate

Release: 2019

Developer: 1047 Games

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Welcome to Splitgate, where the exhilarating worlds of Portal and Halo collide, creating a one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world FPS experience! Picture yourself diving headfirst into a futuristic arena, battling it out with other players, all while portals become your sneaky sidekicks.

best free-to-play games

The thrill of Splitgate lies in its mischief; strategically snipe your opponents, then gleefully hop through your portal to safety – a delightfully naughty way to play the game. With the addition of portal mechanics, you’ll be discovering endless possibilities to outsmart and outmaneuver your foes, resulting in an FPS that stands out from the rest.

But wait, there’s more! If the sci-fi combat isn’t quite your cup of tea, Splitgate also offers a rollicking race mode that might just steal your heart. In this captivating challenge, you’ll swap guns for speed as you use portals to navigate a map and gather disco balls at lightning-fast speeds. Trust us, the pursuit of those tantalizingly elusive world records will keep you hooked for hours on end.

So, whether you’re a battle-hardened FPS veteran or just looking for some light-hearted fun, Splitgate has something for everyone. Give it a try, and who knows? You might just discover your new gaming obsession.

6. League of Legends

Release: 2009

Developer: Riot Games

Platforms: PC

Behold! League of Legends, a fantastical realm born from the creative minds at Riot Games, who continue to forge a treasure trove of free-to-play multiplayer adventures. Drawing inspiration from the enchanted world of WarCraft 3, this MOBA title offers aspiring tacticians a thrilling experience that’s a tad more accessible than the enigmatic Dota 2 – which, fear not, also graces this list!

Embark on your journey by assembling your own legendary squad from a diverse roster of heroes. As you conquer the lands, unlock even more champions by wielding the power of cold hard cash or the mystical in-game currency known as IP. Each hero wields unique abilities, paving the way for endless strategic possibilities.

best free-to-play games

In this epic 5v5 showdown, League of Legends welcomes fresh-faced adventurers and MOBA connoisseurs alike. But be warned, ascending to the ranks of Grandmaster or Challenger is no easy feat! Prepare for countless hours of exhilarating MOBA action as you strive for greatness.

And remember, brave adventurer, the true spirit of League is best experienced alongside trusted allies, for the world is plagued by a dark curse of in-game toxicity. Fear not, however, as the noble guardians at Riot Games are hard at work to vanquish this evil through honor rewards and other valiant efforts.

7. Rocket League

Release: 2015

Developer: Psyonix

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Rocket League quickly captured gaming audiences when it went from paid title to a free-to-play title, offering a unique blend of football and racing that many found irresistibly entertaining.

Playing solo may not be everyone’s preferred style of gameplay, but joining forces with another player for some high-octane action is where the magic happens. There’s something immensely amusing about fumbling around on a field while attempting to score goals with your rocket-powered vehicle – especially when you’re hilariously terrible at it – before finally scoring for your opposing team (even if that meant scoring one against them!). And once that goal does eventually go in (even for them!), laughter ensues without end!

best free-to-play games

Rocket League matches are designed for convenient playability, making them an excellent way to fill those spare moments with enjoyment and challenge. Newcomers can dive right in for some lighthearted fun or step it up and take on more competitive opponents!

Overall, Rocket League is an exciting combination of football and racing that appeals to casual gamers as well as experienced veterans alike. So gather up some friends, buckle up, and experience the thrill of chasing that large ball across a field in your rocket-powered car!

8. War Thunder

Release: 2012

Developer: Gaijin Entertainment

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Welcome to War Thunder – the ultimate vehicular combat multiplayer game where you take control of a variety of wartime vehicles from pre-World War I seafaring vessels through Spanish Civil War tanks to cutting-edge fighter jets! It promises an action-packed and exhilarating ride!

Beginning as a simulation-focused game in the early 2010s, War Thunder has since evolved into an exhilarating, fast-paced experience for military enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. Offering over one thousand aircraft, land vehicles, and vessels for players to command in its dynamic multiplayer arena.

War Thunder is free-to-play and packed with content! Enjoy fast-paced arcade battles, realistic battles, and ultra-immersive simulator battles (which may even feel more realistic than realistic ones!). Additionally, take part in exciting events to stay entertained when not out conquering skies and land – get ready for an exhilarating journey in War Thunder!

9. Fall Guys

Release: 2020

Developer: Mediatonic

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Fall Guys recently leaped into the free-to-play realm, and boy, was it a fantastic move! Sure, there were some hiccups at the beginning due to the massive influx of players, but like a true bean hero, they bounced back and smoothed out all the wrinkles. Now, we can all revel in our adorably clumsy bean adventures.

Feast your eyes on Fall Guys’ Season 6 artwork, showcasing beans in snazzy new outfits, hilariously tripping and fumbling their way through a treacherous obstacle course. This delightful party game hurls you into a wickedly fun race where you must outmaneuver devious traps and chaos to reach the finish line. Whether you’re a solo bean or rolling with a squad, you’ll find yourself giggling and jostling your way to victory.

Searching for a vibrant, entertaining experience that any friend can hop into with ease? Thanks to cross-platform play, Fall Guys is the perfect game to dive into – and we mean that quite literally! So grab your pals, don your bean costumes, and prepare for some rollicking, tumbling fun!

10. Dota 2

Release: 2013

Developer: Valve

Platforms: PC

Welcome to the thunderdome of MOBAs, where two ferocious teams of five champions clash swords, slay monsters, and unleash magical mayhem to claim victory over their foes’ home turf. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Dota 2 proudly builds on the WarCraft 3 legacy, amping up the action for an adrenaline-fueled gaming experience.

As you venture forth in your quest to annihilate your enemies base, you’ll encounter relentless waves of monstrous minions that require the perfect blend of teamwork and strategy. Dota 2 might come across as a formidable beast to tame, especially if you’re new to MOBAs, but fear not, brave adventurer! The game welcomes newcomers with open arms, offering an opportunity to grow and learn.

As a titan among Steam games and an esports sensation, Dota 2’s popularity and dedicated community show no signs of waning. So, if you’re ready to embark on an epic journey in a game that will challenge your skills and capture your heart, prepare to pledge your allegiance to the thrilling world of Dota 2!

11. Team Fortress 2

Release: 2007

Developer: Valve

Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Team Fortress 2 stands tall as a legendary titan in the realm of multiplayer shooters, its roots tracing back to a humble 1996 mod for Quake that later evolved into Team Fortress Classic in 1999. Fast forward to today, and TF2 continues to reign supreme with its action-packed, class-based skirmishes.

Lauded for its near-perfect execution in every aspect (barring the pesky bot issues, which Valve is finally squashing), TF2 remains a must-try experience for gamers everywhere. As a wide-eyed rookie entering the PC shooter world, my first rendezvous with TF2 left an indelible impression – even if my aim still resembles a drunken pirate years later!

So, do your gaming headset and give TF2 a whirl, even if shooters aren’t usually your cup of tea. Who knows? You might just find yourself captivated by its irresistibly charming characters or succumb to the siren call of its delightful character customization options. Either way, TF2 promises a rollicking good time for all!

12. Path of Exile

Release: 2013

Developer: Grinding Gear Games

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Step inside Path of Exile, dark fantasy enthusiasts! Get ready for an action-packed RPG experience to rival Diablo himself. Now imagine all this but with an adventurous edge: like Diablo has gone off on an extraordinary quest and grown into its own charismatic spiritual successor!

Are you ready for an incredible journey? Choose one of seven captivating classes and step into the shoes of an exile banished to Wraeclast from Oriath. Your mission, should you accept it, will be to fight tooth and nail for your homeland while dodging ancient Gods, dangerous dungeons, caves, and outdoor arenas to reclaim Oriath! Be wary, however – many menacing obstacles stand between you and achieving success!

Path of Exile’s true hallmark lies in its free content: there’s something thrilling and heart-racing waiting for you in every corner of the game – without pay-to-win mechanics or sneaky in-game purchases to worry about! Plus, no paywalls exist here either!

13. Runescape

Release: 2001

Developer: Jagex

Platforms: PC, Mobile

Ah, RuneScape! The granddaddy of MMORPGs that just won’t quit. Born in 2001 as a humble browser game, it’s still kickin’ like a caffeinated squirrel, with a horde of die-hard fans and eager newbies joining the fray daily.

Feast your eyes on this Old School RuneScape screenshot!

In 2013, RuneScape got a major facelift and emerged from its cocoon as RuneScape 3, complete with snazzier combat and shinier graphics. But let’s be honest, plenty of players still dig the vintage vibes of the old-school version, where you can kick it old-school-style with simpler combat and an endless supply of idle tasks.

Sure, RS3 and Old School RuneScape might not be the prettiest belles at the MMO ball, especially when you’ve got stunners like Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV strutting their stuff. But don’t judge a game by its polygons! RuneScape packs a wallop of content that’ll keep you hooked like a cat on catnip, and it’s absolutely free! Plus, with a dedicated team behind it, you can bet your last gold piece that this game will be around and updated for many moons to come. So strap on your adventurer’s boots and dive in!

14. Guild Wars 2

Release: 2012

Developer: ArenaNet

Platforms: PC

Guild Wars 2, an epic MMORPG so large it has recently made the leap onto Steam, transports you to Tyria’s vibrant world. Here, Destiny’s Edge guild members need your help finding each other as you hunt down Elder Dragons that threaten Tyria as their personal playground.

Guild Wars 2 features two characters colliding in an epic battle for fantasy dominance. While technically free, there’s one small catch–you won’t simply be able to grab the standalone game without also purchasing either Path of Fire or Heart of Thorns DLCs as add-ons – an excellent value proposition indeed!

Wait! That’s not all! If you are still uncertain of your decision to play Final Fantasy XIV, remember there are other free MMORPGs waiting in the digital shadows to be discovered. Or take the plunge with Final Fantasy XIV by signing up for its 30-day trial and experiencing its magical world before gradually transitioning towards paying a monthly subscription.

15. Genshin Impact

Release: 2020

Developer: miHoYo

Platforms: PC, Mobile, PS4, PS5

Ahoy there, adventurer! Gather ’round and let me regale you with the tale of Genshin Impact, a game that’ll surely tickle your fancy (and your wallet, if you’re not careful). You’ve probably heard whispers of this magnificent gacha game and its microtransactions, but fear not! For you can embark on this grand journey without parting with a single shiny penny.

Strap in, brave traveler, as you’re about to dive into a mini-RPG wonderland filled to the brim with excitement and mystery. As you hustle through the magic lands, you’ll level up, recruit a merry band of heroes, and create a foursome to smite foes, conquer ruins, and complete quests!

But wait, there’s more! Each character comes with a story that’ll have you in stitches or shedding tears, while each region offers unique lore to explore. Whether you’re neck-deep in the main plot or wandering the vibrant world of Teyvat like a lost puppy, there’s always something to keep you entertained. And let’s not forget the wholesome experience of farming gems with your trusty companions by your side. So, put on your adventuring boots and get ready to go on an unforgettable, laughter-filled escapade in the world of Genshin Impact!

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