The finest free games have progressed far beyond the classic loot-box cash grabs that plagued the market a few years ago. While problems remain, the market has grown in several fascinating ways.
There are lots of accessible options that provide an amazing gameplay experience without paying you a dime, whether it’s the best MOBAs or the best MMO games. There are even AAA-quality titles available that make little concessions in order to be free-to-play.
Besides, who wants to keep spending money on games after you’ve already spent a lot of money on the greatest gaming PC or gaming laptop you can afford? Let’s face it: your wallet could use a rest. A lot of free games are a wonderful way to try something out before spending money on upgrades or DLC for a game you’re not even sure you’ll like – and you may never be required to pay anything.
Thus, what types of high-quality games are available for the bargain price of nothing? We’ve compiled our top recommendations from the PC gaming world to help you find the perfect title for you.
2022’s best free games
Final Fantasy XIV is the best new free game in 2022
You’ve seen the meme, but now might be the moment to play one of the best PC games ever released.
The game itself isn’t quite ‘new,’ having been released several years ago, but it’s just acquired a rebirth of life thanks to a loyal community that avoids a lot of the toxicity found in other online games. Given today’s online environment, it’s no surprise that Final Fantasy XIV has amassed such a passionate fan base.
Unlike many other free-to-play MMORPGs, you can progress your character all the way up to level 60 (many times) and experience the game’s award-winning expansion Heavensward for free, with no time limits.
Whether you’re a meme or not, you can experience the best of Eorzea and beyond for free. So, hop aboard your Chocobo, progress through the game’s remarkable roster of professions, and discover what all the fuss is about.
1. Fortnite Battle Royale
The Battle Royale genre is popular right now, and Epic Games has perfected it with Fortnite Battle Royale. Originally intended as a kind of add-on for Fortnite, Battle Royale exploded in ways no one could have predicted, quickly becoming one of the best free games available.
Fortnite Battle Royale follows a simple formula: you’re put into a map with 99 other players in a free-for-all combat, and the last one standing at the end wins. Epic Games is working hard to incorporate new game modes and features as a result of its spectacular popularity. Take, for example, Playground mode, which dumps you into the map and allows you to construct structures for a limited length of time before the floodgates open and the devastation begins.
What’s particularly cool about Fortnite is that you can play with your pals regardless of the platform they’re on. Whether you’re playing on PC, Xbox One, Switch, Android, or PlayStation 4, you’ll be able to compete against millions of other gamers from these platforms.
The Dota universe may have grown from a WarCraft 3 mod, but Dota 2 stands on its own as one of the best very little games available right now.
This top-down arena battler is incredibly lively because of its very minimal system requirements, and it does not require the best gaming PC or the best gaming laptops to enjoy. While the game attracts multimillion-dollar prize pools for serious tournament players, Dota 2 is not only for the most dedicated gamers.
A quick tutorial demonstrates how to play, and the Steam Community provides tutorials to the original MOBA. Because of its complicated gameplay principles, don’t expect a warm welcome or a simple learning curve. Bring a few pals, though, and Dota 2 will have you hooked on one of the largest PC crazes in history.
3. League of Legends
Choose your champion and go into combat in this revolutionary free-to-play title from the makers of the Dota Warcraft III mod. League of Legends’ automatic matchmaking, the broad array of heroes, and excellent settings have contributed to the game’s recent growth as a multiplayer giant. It’s one of the year’s best free games, and it will definitely survive the test of time.
To be sure, it’s an aggressive gameplay experience, but one that rewards great teamwork and careful tactics. There is also a learning curve, but you’ll be taken on an exciting ride as soon as you press play.
League of Legends, like Dota 2, attracts a large number of high-level players, with top tournaments offering prize pools in excess of $1 million. Esports is a strange world, isn’t it?
4. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic, which took over the Star Wars MMORPG banner after Star Wars Galaxies concluded its run (may it rest in peace), was not intended to be free at launch. However, it has subsequently adopted the free-to-play model, as have so many of the best MMO games before it. If you want to fulfill your inner Sith, here is the greatest method to do it for free.
Subscriptions are available for more in-game potential and end-game material, but in true best-free-games tradition, all Story missions are still free to play; they simply take a little longer now.
It’s worth your time merely to see the Star Wars universe through various eyes, such as the hyper-professional Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter. However, if you want to go with the boring alternative and just have a generic Jedi Knight, you can do so as well.
5. World of Tanks
As the title suggests, World of Tanks is a unique type of MMO. There will be team-based, massively multiplayer action with a diverse array of war machines to drive into battle. New players can enter the fray right away.
The upgrading system enables you to customize your character while remaining constantly surrounded by a complete army, reminding you that loners will not survive on the battlefield. But be warned: if you get sucked in, you may end up spending a lot of money on virtual metal.
Some premium tanks cost only a few dollars, while others cost considerably more. You can see where maker Wargaming is making money from World of Tanks fans. Nonetheless, it remains one of the best free games available right now.
Runescape is one of the most popular online MMOs, and the time has come to investigate further. It entered its third reboot in 2013 – this is actually ‘Runescape 3’ – though if you jump in now, you might not realise it’s been around in some form or another for more than ten years.
Despite the revamp, it’s not the most flashy MMO in the world, but keeping this many players shows it’s doing something right. The ability to see much further was the big change introduced in Runescape 3 that made it appear much more updated. The horizon swiftly gave way to fog in Runescape 2, but not any longer.