Michael is a fan of video games and is here to share his favorite free games with his readers.
Why These Games Stand Above the Rest
While getting something for free is typically considered a good thing, many free video games these days have become somewhat of a trap. They lure you in with enticing gameplay but then force you to pay fees or microtransactions in order to actually experience any of the fun gameplay that they advertise.
The games on this list are picked specifically because they play perfectly fine without spending any money, and because they stand above their peers in terms of quality and quantity of content.
1. Guild Wars 2
As far as free-to-play MMORPGs go, Guild Wars 2 is just about as good as it gets. The content of the entire base game is completely free, making it a great experience for either a solo player or someone who wants to rack up some playtime with all of their friends.
While it does take many elements from games like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2 is a fairly non-traditional MMO. The game makes frequent use of level scaling so that players can always have fun with one another regardless of level. Additionally, the combat system is a breath of fresh air compared to other games in the genre, taking some elements from action RPGs.
Cash shop elements are extremely non-intrusive compared to other free-to-play games. Typically, the only purchases a player might be tempted to make for Guild Wars 2 are the Heart of Thorns and Heart of Fire expansions, which add a wealth of new content on top of the base game. Fortunately, these expansions are also quite cheap by MMO standards, coming in at $30.00 each.
2. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
While mobile games typically tend to be the worst offenders in terms of "freemium" content, Final Fantasy Brave Exvius stands apart by having a wealth of content that is available without ever spending anything. The primary reason for this is that the game includes many free and easy ways to obtain its premium currency, thus putting all players on a mostly equal footing.
Brave Exvius plays like a traditional Final Fantasy game in many ways, although it does borrow some elements from typical Japanese mobile Gacha games. It is quite story-heavy and contains characters from almost every single Final Fantasy title, including many of the spin-off games. Combat plays out like a typical JRPG, although the user interface is optimized for mobile devices.
Fans of Final Fantasy or fans of RPGs in general will find a lot to love here. Brave Exvius contains hours of story content, as well as frequent (usually weekly or bi-weekly) events that draw from various Final Fantasy games and sometimes even cross over with other titles. New content is added at a rapid pace, ensuring that players will rarely be left with nothing to do.
3. Let It Die
Platform: Playstation 4
Genre: Action RPG
Let It Die is notable as being one of the few worthwhile free-to-play games available on a current major console. The game does have microtransactions available but is completely playable and significantly more enjoyable without them.
The combat system in Let It Die borrows quite a few elements from the Dark Souls series, making it quite attractive for any fans of From Software. Another similarity can be found in its often-brutal difficulty. As the title implies, players are frequently expected to die, and the primary gameplay loop revolves around this. The game consists of trying to make your way up a multi-tiered tower filled with difficult enemies, and, when you die, you must make your way to and defeat your reanimated corpse in order to re-obtain your character.
There are also a number of asynchronous online feature which allow players to pit their characters against one another. All in all, this is an incredibly fully featured game considering its free price point and is absolutely worth a download for PS4 owners.
Platform: PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Warframe is a free loot-based shooter available on both major consoles as well as PC. Like most other games on this list, it contains microtransactions but does not require them. Everything that can be bought with real money is obtainable by other means in the game, including the premium currency.
The game is made unique by its lightning-fast and incredibly satisfying movement system, as well as its well-tuned combat. Warframe is mainly a co-op title, allowing up to four players to challenge themselves against an immense variety of potential challenges. You can also choose to go it alone, traversing the galaxy in your ship and attempting each new level at your own pace.
Warframe already contains a massive wealth of content for new players, in addition to updating regularly to add even more free gameplay. For gamers who like other loot-based shooters such as Destiny or the Borderlands series, Warframe is easily worth your time.
5. Team Fortress 2
Platform: PC (Also available on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3)
Genre: Class-Based First Person Shooter
Team Fortress 2 remains an immensely popular game even after its release in 2007, and it is not hard to see why. This game is largely responsible for kicking off the fad of class-based FPS games, and it is completely free with the only potential microtransactions being cosmetic items.
The gameplay in Team Fortress 2 revolves around two competing teams of players attempting to complete objectives. Players have 9 classes of characters to choose from, with each class being completely unique from the others. You might choose to take the stealthy approach with the Spy, or take out foes from afar with the Sniper, or stay back and heal your allies with the Medic. There is a huge amount of gameplay variety here, and this variety continues to keep players entertained even 10 years after release.
I would recommend Team Fortress 2 for any fan of competitive shooters, but especially for fans of newer games like Overwatch or Paladins who want to see where their favorite games got their roots.