The lights are on
A few weeks back we took a look at some of the best free games currently available. We heard some of your favorites in the comments, and now we are back with another list of stellar free-to-play titles worthy of your attention. Whether you’re looking for a fast-paced shooter, an MMO, or a side-scrolling adventure, you can find almost any genre you’re looking for without a box cost attached. As free-to-play or just plain free titles, the games below offer quality gameplay without taxing your wallet.
More of these games continue to make their way to consoles, allowing for even more gamers to partake in what has traditionally only been available to PC and mobile players. Check out the list below, and feel free to chime in on the comments as to what other free or free-to-play titles you think are worthy of attention.
Titanfall may be the talk of the town, but there are mech alternatives. Those itching for some fast-paced, mech-on-mech action can’t go wrong with Hawken. A wide assortment of customizable mechs, ranging from light and fast scouts to heavily armored walking tanks are at players’ disposals, as are several game modes. Experience points from matches are spent to unlock upgrades for your mech, and like many other free-to-play titles, cosmetic customization options are reserved for those who choose to spend money on premium currency. Hawken recently released on Steam with new content and a number of improvements, making it the perfect time to take the game for a spin.
Imagine a game like League of Legends or Dota 2 but with a twist – instead of playing from a top down, RTS perspective, what if you were closer to the action? The result is Smite, a MOBA played from an over-the-shoulder perspective more akin to a third-person shooter. Action in Smite is fast-paced, but still requires the precision and teamwork seen in other MOBAs to truly succeed. The game features a host of mythological gods from a variety of pantheons ranging from Norse to Egyptian. Like League of Legends, there is a weekly rotation of gods to choose from, and starting players begin with five gods as well, with more gods able to be unlocked by playing the game or through microtransactions. Spending $30 nets you every current god available and all the gods yet to be released. The game is currently in open beta with a full release slated for March 25.
Cave Story (PC)
This Metroid inspired side-scroller has been free on the net since 2004, but recent popularity led to new versions of the game being created, like Cave Story+ and Cave Story 3D, and sold on Steam and Nintendo eShops. While the newer versions of the game are great and come with various improvements, the original version is still available for free and features the same top notch gameplay and story that made the game so popular in the first place.
Blacklight: Retribution (PC, PS4)
Blacklight: Retribution is about as close to a free-to-play Call of Duty as you are going to get. A near-future military shooter, Blacklight emphasizes use of the game’s Hyper Reality Visor to see enemies and objectives through walls at the cost of defensive capabilities. An in-game store allows for the purchase of new weapons, gear, xp boosts, and cosmetic options through premium currency, but most gear can be unlocked with good old-fashioned play time. Blacklight’s tight, quick-paced combat partnered with deep weapon-customization options make the game a gem for FPS fans.
Like many MMOs, Rift was once a subscription game that made a transition to the free-to-play model. Players can still subscribe and obtain benefits – discounts, in-game currency boosts, special mounts – but the majority of Rift’s content is open for any and all to enjoy at no cost. All this free fun does come with one major drawback. Unless you spend real world money, the ability to put items up on the game’s auction house is closed to you. Any MMO player knows how much of a handicap this can be. With that in mind, Rift is still one of the best free-to-play MMOs on the market.
Click on to page two for more free games including the re-imagining of a PC classic and a mobile favorite.
Email the author Cameron Koch, or follow on Game Informer.