Let’s get real for a second: not everyone can afford the Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch console or 2020’s most anticipated games, sometimes we just want something that’s free to play. I mean, who doesn’t love free things? Games, that cost virtually zero cents to boot up and give me some serotonin, in this economy? As you can see from our list below, it’s more likely than you think.
From the internet’s favourite games right now to some all-time classics and throwbacks, these are the best free to play games you can spend virtually zero dollary-doos on and still have a good time with.
If you’ve been around the anime and gaming online communities in the last three months, you’d no doubt seen something about this exciting open world RPG. Developed by Chinese studio miHoYo, Genshin Impact is an anime-looking Breath of the Wild-inspired open world game with colourful characters, gorgeous art design and engaging combat. You explore a vast open world of continents as a series of loveable and unique characters—with varying fighting styles—that you can unlock through a gacha system, but you can just as easily play the game without spending a cent.
Genshin Impact is free to play on PS4, PC, iOS, Android and, soon, Nintendo Switch.
Another internet breaking hit, Among Us is Alien and The Thing meets Mafia. It’s a multiplayer whodunnit where you and a bunch of other players are on a spaceship and one of you is an alien imposing as one of your crew and slowly trying to hunt you down one by one—as you try to find out whomst of you is an “imposter,” and yeet them out into space. FYI, it’s AOC’s favourite game right now.
Among Us is free to play on iOS and Android, $6.25 on Nintendo Switch, and $7.49 on PC via Steam.
Dauntless is a free to play game heavily inspired by the massively popular Monster Hunter franchise. In it, you team up with up to three other Slayers to hunt powerful creatures called Behemoths, and are rewarded with resources from your hunt you can use to craft new gear—sound familiar?
Dauntless is free to play on PS4, PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Android.
Apex Legends is a free to play first-person shooter battle royale by Respawn Entertainment, the folks who made one of the best games of 2016 and perhaps the best single player FPS from the previous generation, Titanfall 2. It’s a classic battle royale with gritty sci-fi realistic graphics, and every character is available for you to play for free.
Apex Legends is free to play on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Okay look, we can’t talk about the best free to play games and not mention Fortnite. The third person battle royale by Epic Games has effectively taken over the world at this point, becoming the debut platform for digital concerts by Travis Scott, Diplo and Marshmello, exclusive Disney trailers and more.
Fortnite is free to play on iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac and iOS, Android.
Team Fortress 2
The zany cartoon OG hero-based shooter Team Fortress 2 is free to play. TF2 first went FTP in 2011 and to this day still has a thriving community.
Team Fortress 2 is free to play on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.
Since the release of its latest expansion, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep, Bungie has released a fully functional free to play version of the popular sci-fi action MMO, Destiny 2: New Light. While you’ll have to pay for the expansions, you have free access to the base game, including every planet and hub—including the ones in the DLCs—Crucibles, Aka PvP content, and Destiny 2’s answer to MMO dungeons, Strikes, among a number of raids and extra content from the game’s first two years.
Destiny 2: New Light is free to play on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC.
Final Fantasy XIV
Like Destiny 2, Final Fantasy XIV’s base game is now available to play for free. In June 2020, following the release of its latest expansion, Shadowbringers, Square Enix has upped the free to play trial on FFXIV, letting you play all of its base content and the first expansion, Heavensward, as well as boosting the level cap from 20 to 60. Joining guilds—called Free Companies—forming parties and using the in-game auction house are all limited to subscribed players, but if you’re itching for an online game with an engaging story and immaculate, accessible and seamlessly changeable class system, this one’s for you.
A free to play version of Final Fantasy XIV is available on PS3, PS4, Xbox One and PC and Mac via Steam.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a staple amongst the free to play gaming community. According to Republic World, the competitive MOBA is played by roughly 115 million users around the world and constantly updated with new heroes, events and competitive modes. Just, uh, be prepared to potentially sour some friendships if you play with your pals—speaking from experience here as a fake gamer boy.
League of Legends is free to play on PC and Mac.
On the same side of the coin, Valve’s MOBA, Dota 2, is free to play, too. Compared to its more anime-adjacent competitor, Dota 2 grounds itself on western fantasy and magic, characters, lore and worlds ripped from the Warcraft series. And, it’s also just as competitive.
Dota 2 is free to play on PC and Mac via Steam.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Fun fact: the cult classic visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club is free to play! There’s not much I can say about this game without spoiling it for you, but know it’s a lot more than what it looks on the surface—it’s classified as a psychological horror.
Doki Doki Literature Club is free to play on PC via Steam.
Hearthstone is a fast-paced strategy card game from Blizzard, based on the lore, characters, races and classes of the World of Warcraft series. With Quibi gone, it really is the best app to play on the loo.
Hearthstone is free to play on PC, Mac, iPad, iOS and Android.
Remember Runescape, that game you used to play on your primary school computers after school? Well, not only is it still free to play but it’s had a total upgrade. Kinda miss the old graphics and banging soundtrack, ngl.
Runescape is free to play on PC via Steam.
Deltarune is the next game in Toby Fox’s Undertale series—Aka the iconic love letter to the Earthbound era of RPGs and a game so unique that someone once gifted it to the Pope. While only the first chapter of the game has been released, it is completely free!
Deltarune: Chapter 1 is free to play on PC, Mac, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.