It's that time of the year again, when you've spent all your sweet, sweet Christmas cash on New Years sales and new gadgets. Or, if you're reading this later, it's just that time of the year when you're poor. Either way you're probably looking for some awesome games that won't drain your wallet. We got you.
The Best Free To Play Games In 2017
There's a lot of free to play games on the market these days, but not too many great ones. I've gone dumpster diving behind the video games warehouse, sifting through a sea of banana peels, #ClashOfClans clones and identical MMOs full of big-breasted elves to find the best free to play games that really deliver something original to the world of #VideoGames.
- Developer: Trion Worlds
- Publisher: Trion Worlds
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Mix one part #Minecraft and one part World of Warcraft and you've got #Trove (also, a surplus of craft). Trove combines the aesthetics, crafting and exploration of the former with high-end raids, classes and RPG mechanics of the latter, plus some extra features that are unique to Trove. The first of these is that any item unlocked can be accessed and equipped by any character on your account, which removes a ton of the tedium from starting a new character.
The visuals are what really set Trove apart from other free to play games. The bright, cartoony voxel graphics are a welcome change from the endless legions of generic fantasy Korean MMOs, and allow the game to run on low-end systems with ease.
Try this if... You like the sound of a class called 'dino tamer'.
2. 'War Thunder'
- Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
- Publisher: Gaijin Entertainment
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
If swords and sorcery isn't your speed, you might like to give #WarThunder a try. War Thunder puts you in the cockpit of a fighter plane and sets you against your fellow pilots in a variety of gameplay modes that range from arcade action to realistic simulation.
The selection of planes you can choose from is massive, ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the Korean War. What's even better is that almost everything in the game can be accessed for free with enough patience and skill, which means there's no pay to win mechanics to be found.
Try this if... You want a game where you can switch between realistic flight physics simulation and a game mode where you have to take out a giant Godzilla-sized snail with laser eyes.
3. 'Let It Die'
- Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
- Publisher: GungHo Online Entertainment Inc
- Platform: PlayStation 4
Let it Die is the brutally hard new game by Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio behind titles like No More Heroes and Killer 7. This insane splatterpunk beat-em-up pits you against the denizens of a forty floor tower of death, filled with biomechanical monstrosities, traps and the revived and angry corpses of fellow players.
#LetItDie combines old school arcade punishment that will have you reaching for a guide with an insane punk attitude that's sure to charm many. Along your journey up the tower, you're aided by Uncle Death, a skateboarding grim reaper with an impressive collection of sunglasses, who doles out advice, fetches new fighters and occasionally helps you retrieve the dead body of your characters.
Try this if... You want to melt a dude's face off with a clothing iron.
4. 'Team Fortress 2'
- Developer: Valve Corporation
- Publishers: Valve Corporation, Electronic Arts, Buka Entertainment
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
#Overwatch may be taking over the world of the Multiplayer FPS, but if you're strapped for cash, the classic that inspired it is still free to play and very popular. Team Fortress 2 is a class-based, multiplayer FPS with a large variety of game modes and some of the silliest mod maps ever created for a game.
The biggest positive of #TeamFortress2 is the sheer charm of the game. In a market that was saturated with brown and grey frowning simulators, the cartoony graphics and lighthearted style of Team Fortress 2 changed the game for shooters.
You can access almost everything in the free version, with only a few alternate weapons and a selection of silly hats and other cosmetic changes gated behind the premium version of the game.
Try this if... You want to hack your friends apart with a bonesaw... but in a fun way!
5. 'Realm Of The Mad God'
- Developers: Wild Shadow Studios, Spry Fox
- Publisher: Wild Shadow Studios
- Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Somewhere between a perma-death roguelike and a bullet hell shooter lies the Realm of the Mad God. You play as an unwilling sacrifice transported to the realm of the titular god to be used as food for his minions. Should you fail and succumb to the Mad God's realm, there is no return and no revival.
The brutally punishing nature of the bullet hell gameplay and permanent death in Realm of the Mad God is alleviated somewhat by how fast-paced and easy to restart the game is. All players in a group get full XP for every kill and anyone can teleport rapidly to almost any area, which means if you die, your friends can help you get back up to speed as quickly as possible.
Try this if... You like the sound of dodging hundreds of projectiles shot from a giant flying brain with your friends.
6. 'Dungeon Fighter Online'
- Developer: Neople
- Publisher: Neople
- Platform: Microsoft Windows
Like all the games on this list, Dungeon Fighter Online has a unique gameplay approach that sets it apart from standard free to play RPGs. In this case, MMORPG mechanics are mixed with sweet side-scrolling beat-em-up gameplay inspired by arcade classics like Captain Commando and Final Fight.
The over-the-top anime stylings of the graphics might not be to everyone's tastes, but the gameplay is rock solid fun that'll remind you of your childhood wasted in the arcade. If you're not an old person like me, an arcade was a terrible dark room you went into to play games with other people before they invented online multiplayer.
Try this if... You loved games like Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and want the same awesome experience only without a man trying to sell you weed while you play.
7. 'Path of Exile'
- Developer: Grinding Gear Games
- Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
- Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Were you somewhat disappointed by Diablo 3? Want something that'll give you all the isometric ARPG joy you felt back when Diablo 2 came out, but with a ton of awesome new ideas and totally free? Well lucky you, someone looked deep into your desires and made a game out of your dreams and wishes.
One of the best additions Path of Exile added to the Diablo formula is the Skill Gem system, which allows you to modify and swap out skills on the fly, without having to invest tons of time and effort into them first. Want to see what your lightning bolt skill is like when it splits into five smaller tracking bolts instead of one straight one? You can do that no problem. It's an elegant solution to a common problem.
8. 'Dota 2'
- Developer: Valve Corporation
- Publisher: Valve Corporation
- Platform: Microsoft Windows
How do you feel about your free time? I hope you don't like it very much, because Dota 2 will steal every last bit from you if you let it. This free to play MOBA is the sequel to the game that started it all, and is still one of the top titles around.
There's a ton of characters to mess around with, and if you're not devoted to following the ladders of the competitive scene or pimping out your character's appearance, then you won't have to spend a cent on the game.
- Developer: Digital Extremes
- Publisher: Digital Extremes
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
If you want something where the action's a bit more involved and fast-paced, then look no further than third-person shooter Warframe. Despite having released in 2013, this title still looks gorgeous and plays incredibly well.
The action in Warframe is highly mobile and feels super smooth to play, with every different warframe boasting its own unique abilities that make each one feel different to play. Plus, none of the unlocks are gated behind real cash, which means you can unlock everything you need to just by playing through the game.
What are your favorite free to play games? Is there a game you think deserves to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.