Fun, Challenging and Totally Free!
PC is a thriving gaming platform with many brilliant new and upcoming titles, and there are even free PC games. The indie and free-to-play revolution has resulted in a boom in the number of high-quality games available for download or on your browser free-of-charge. More games than ever before are being released on a free-to-play basis.
Free-to-play games guarantee you will never spend time sitting on your couch, not having any fun because you are not able to buy a new game to play. Who says that free games can’t match the fun and thrill that paid games offer? Free-to-play PC games offer a fantastic way to try a product out, and support developers if you like it.
Here is a list of the best free PC games available.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CSGO for short) is a multiplayer first-person shooter developed and published by Valve in coordination with Hidden Path Entertainment. It was released on August 21, 2012 for the PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Linux.
Although this was originally a buy-to-play game, on December 6, 2018, CSGO became fully free to play.
Counter Strike is one of the best-known shooter franchises in the world. The earliest installments of the franchise revolutionized the genre when they first appeared. CSGO hasn’t strayed from that path.
Crisp gunplay, brilliant map-design and the team-oriented gameplay have always set Counter-Strike apart from the competition. CSGO offers players new weapons, a wide range of new maps, a battle royale game-mode, and hundreds of collectible cosmetic items and skins.
CSGO has managed to strike a delicate balance between the old and tried-and-tested, and the new and innovative. It is faithful to its roots but is also a step forward. The weapon balance is better than previous titles — more guns are viable choices, and allow for a variety of play styles. The addition of incendiary grenades has radically changed how map control functions.
This free-to-play PC game is a must-have for all fans of first-person shooters.
Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released on February 4, 2019 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Apex Legends is the newest hit battle royale game. Set in the Titanfall universe, it pits three-man squads against each other in a large and dynamic map. As per usual for games of the genre, players begin with no equipment and must scavenge, fight and outrun the ever-encroaching, damaging and shrinking ring.
Apex Legends became an overnight hit because of the sheer amount of interesting new features that it brought to the table. The ability to respawn killed teammates, and a truly brilliant and innovative ping system made Apex Legends an instant success.
The gunplay is slick and responsive, and fighting other teams can range from being frantic and rapid to being a slow, grueling siege. The huge number of attachments allows you to tailor your weapons to suit your needs.
Players can choose from nine unique heroes, all of whom have a unique passive, main ability and ultimate ability. The game is constantly being updated and patched to ensure balance. The Season 2 update introduced a ranked mode, new weapons and a new hero. A microtransaction system is in place, but only for cosmetic items.
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released on June 2, 2015 for Microsoft Windows and macOS.
HOTS has a lot in common with other MOBA games, but there are several distinct features that set it apart. The 15 unique maps all have different objectives that are crucial for victory — matches in HOTS are a much more diverse experience than in other games of the genre.
There are no items to purchase — instead, players choose new abilities or talents with each level they acquire. The talent and skill system is vast — each character can be played in a variety of ways, and players can choose their own builds and styles. Customizable mounts can be used to traverse the map more rapidly.
The experience that players gather is shared evenly across the team, meaning that teamwork is crucial, as all of your actions affect the whole team. There are currently 86 heroes to choose from, all of whom are famous and beloved characters from Blizzard’s franchises.
The huge number of skins and cosmetic items, the unique design choices, and the great importance of map objectives make HOTS a great, unique, free PC game that you should check out.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Riot Games. It was released on October 27, 2009 for Microsoft Windows and macOS.
League of Legends has already secured its place as a classic in the pantheon of modern video games. It revolutionized the genre with innovative design and is widely regarded as the first big free-to-play success story.
The well-known formula of leveling up, buying items and engaging in five-versus-five fights is executed perfectly. League is fluid and responsive; everything from the graphics to the controls is up to the genre’s highest standard.
This game has enjoyed a huge player-base and vibrant community for over 10 years, and for a good reason. It is still showing no signs of stopping — new heroes are still being introduced, as well as new skins and balance adjustments.
League of Legends is user-friendly, beginner-friendly and accessible. Even if you have no experience with this type of game, it’s a great starting point. League of Legends deserves its spot on this list — it was the first game to prove that free-to-play is a viable model. Microtransactions do exist, but only for cosmetic items. Put simply, it’s a game that everyone should try.
Warframe is a free-to-play action role-playing third-person shooter developed and published by Digital Extremes. It was released on March 25, 2013 and is available for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Warframe takes place in the far future and sees players take on the role of biomechanical warriors called Warframes. Each “frame” functions as a class with unique abilities and traits. There are currently 66 frames, and new ones are still being released.
Warframe utilizes a unique, fast-paced, parkour-style of movement. The combat, whether it’s with ranged weapons or melee, is rapid and exhilarating. An expansive main story line takes players across the solar system in a series of well-written, unique quests.
The progression system in Warframe is unique. Players do level up, albeit rather slowly, but most of your progression comes from gear. Leveling items up to an easily reachable threshold will allow you to stand toe-to-toe with any other player. And the items and gear are diverse and plentiful, with 287 unique items ranging from melee weapons, bows and guns to space-borne vehicles.
Warframe is a labor of love on the part of Digital Extremes. The development team is highly dedicated to releasing new content-filled updates — and it’s all completely free.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game developed and published by Valve. It was released on July 9, 2013 for PC, Linux and Mac.
Dota 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the game that started it all in terms of MOBA games. The original Dota, a custom modded map and game mode for Warcraft 3, created the genre as we know it today.
Dota 2 lives up to its predecessor. It’s masterfully crafted and carefully balanced. The old-school charm is still there — it’s a complex and difficult game with a steep learning curve, but that makes it very rewarding.
With 117 unique heroes, Dota offers a lot of variety. For an online game, that’s plenty of content. Mastering those characters, or at least learning how to fight against them, will take a lot of time. Dota is highly competitive — memorizing item builds, characters, lane control and last hitting is difficult — but you will enjoy it all the same, if not more, because of that factor.
Dota has a rich esports scene, and plenty of unique, time-limited events each year. It’s a great sequel — a blast from the past, brought up to modern standards, that you can enjoy free of charge.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Fortnite Battle Royale is a free-to-play battle royale online game developed and published by Epic Games. It was released on September 26, 2017.
Fortnite’s gameplay follows the standard format of the battle royale genre. Up to 100 players participate in a round. Players can queue on their own, with another player or in a three-man squad.
Fortnite made a name for itself as a high-quality game. At a time when battle royales were clunky and bug-ridden, Fortnite provided smooth, responsive, reliable gameplay. The classic battle royale formula — scavenging for gear, a large but shrinking playable area and a wide variety of weapons — is executed perfectly in Fortnite.
But Fortnite also introduced unique mechanics that distinguished it. The destructible environment allows players to harvest resources to use in construction. This building system allows for a lot of creativity and has a high skill ceiling. Building fortifications or using the construction system to escape a tough spot are crucial. Mastering building in Fortnite is what separates the good players from the bad.
But Fortnite hasn’t stagnated. It’s still a dynamic game, regularly updated to be on the cutting edge. A respawning feature was recently implemented, mirroring new trends in the genre.
Each season brings about something new and interesting along with plenty of rewards via the battle pass system. It’s easy to see why this game is so wildly popular — it’s incredibly fun, free and each season has a unique theme to go with the changes to the map.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is a free-to-play digital collectible card game developed by CD Projekt Red and published by CD Projekt. It was released on October 23, 2018 and is available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Gwent is a card game that first appeared as a mini-game in the highly acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Unexpectedly, the mini-game proved to be so popular that the developers turned it into a stand-alone title.
But Gwent isn’t a lazy port — the core mechanics are still the same, but a stand-alone game requires much more complexity. A whole host of new leader cards, entire new decks and a plethora of new special effects make this a different card game altogether.
Gwent rounds are short, but full of tension. Keen strategic decision-making and caution are what defines the gameplay. There is no other card game where you can sacrifice a round to win the entire match. Gwent rewards a restrained, calculated approach.
The reward tree system is divided by factions. This discourages players from simply sticking with one deck all the way through. Daily quests and a well-executed achievement system reward players with currency that is used to purchase card packs. Players who are satisfied with their decks can purchase cosmetic upgrades that make their cards animated.
Gwent has blossomed into an intricate and detailed game. Veteran fans of card games and novices alike will enjoy the collectible features, strategy elements and unique art-style.
Planetside 2 is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online first-person shooter developed and published by Sony Online Entertainment. It was released on November 12, 2012 and is available for the PC and PlayStation 4.
Planetside 2 is a sequel to one of the first MMO shooters. Utilizing new technologies, the development team has managed to create a huge, seamless world where hundreds of players do battle with weapons, land vehicles and aircraft.
Planetside 2 is truly massive — featuring four unique continents, each of which supports 2,000 players. No other game has so brilliantly captured the feeling of large-scale combat. Planetside 2 holds the world record for the biggest first-person shooter battle, which over 1,150 players took part in.
There are no NPCs, and such large engagements happen organically.
Planetside 2 features three factions with different play-styles, weapons and vehicles. The enormous continents are divided into grids, which have their own bases and objectives over which factions fight. The community in Planetside 2 is dedicated as guilds coordinate large operations that include thousands of players, making it is a visceral representation of war.
The sheer scale of the game, coupled with the many ways in which you can play it, make this a unique experience. There is no other came quite like it, and seeing as it’s free to play, there’s no excuse not to try it.