Looking for the best free PC game? Whether you're broke or just frugal, free is a price point that appeals to everybody's purse. We've collated the top free PC games guaranteed to deliver a near endless stream of complementary entertainment. All you need to spend is your time.
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From military games to to sci-fi to fantasy and back, MMOs to block builders to card battlers, it turns out that zero can buy you quite a lot in the F2P game world.
Chronicle: Runescape Legends
If you want to have a crack at conquering the ever-growing Collectable Card Game genre, you'd best do something different, something special in order to make your mark. Chronicle: Runescape Legends’ USP is that it features a book. A big, open, colourful, animated book, laid out on the table in front of you, acting as the playground where you and your opponent do battle. It’s an approach that leads to a seriously beautiful card battler, and one that also benefits from featuring characters lifted from Jagex’s MMO Runescape, instantly opening the game up to an established fanbase. Not bad for a first attempt at a CCG, eh?
PLAY CHRONICLE: RUNESCAPE LEGENDS FOR FREE
Everything’s better in space, as Warframe proves with its Ninjas in space theme. It’s a co-op third-person game where teams of ninjas suited up in powerful ‘Warframe’ armours head out to slice up bad guys, or just hang out at the dojo. It blends some MMO elements with the sensibilities of a more straight-forward action game, creating something slick, exciting, and very sociable.
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Rift was a phenomenal subscription based fantasy MMO - World of Warcraft in new trousers, essentially. It made its name by updating and improving itself at a ferocious pace: with new raids, new zones, new world events appearing on a monthly basis. Now, it's entirely free-to-play: you can play it without spending a penny. It's a brilliant option: you can sink hours into it. Highly recommended.
World of Tanks
One of mightiest PC free-to-play games there has ever been, World of Tanks is an accessible and exciting tank simulator that hides some complex game mechanics. It pits two sets of tankers against each other in team deathmatch. There are hundreds of vehicles to unlock across ten different tiers, from speedy scouts to hulking heavies. You’ll never believe so many tanks existed.
PLAY WORLD OF TANKS FOR FREE
World of Warships
This isn’t a sim, and it isn’t an arcade game. World of Warships is something in-between - a pastiche, but a loving one. The controls are simple and welcoming, but allow for interesting tactics. It's more fun than Total War’s pondering naval engagements, definitely more approachable than Silent Hunter, and far-far deeper than the Pirates games. Surprising depth, if you'll excuse the submariner humour.
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You don’t have to find a group of like-minded aviation enthusiasts on a message board and join their virtual squadron to enjoy War Thunder. You don’t have to choose between realism or accessibility. You just download it, and then you’re flying - or driving. This massively-multiplayer WW2 combat game effortlessly encompasses all of the explosions and excitement that planes and tanks are capable of generating.
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A plush, colourfully-paletted space sim that takes the genre massively multiplayer, Star Conflict drops you right in the middle of an interplanetary skirmish that encompasses both PvE and PvP. Its void is as roomy as any other sector of space you might name, while its busy, man-made surface environments recall the twisty tunnels of the Descent series.
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Star Trek Online
Who wouldn’t want to take control of a starship, explore the fringes of the galaxy, battle dangerous aliens and train an elite crew of pangalactic professionals? This is your chance to show the internet that you’d make a much better Picard than Picard. Or, at least, than they do.
Archeage is closest thing we’ve got to a proper pirate MMO. You can try and master the endless sea as a notorious pirate or choose to be a humble peddler of crafted goods. Its labour system - how it gates content - may take time to get used to, but nevertheless it’s a really solid free-to-play experience. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t give this a try.
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Hex: Shards of Fate
At its heart, Hex is a two player card game. Hex’s rules are a little more complex than Hearthstone’s but we found it to be a more rewarding game. Both players have 20 health and draw cards from their decks to summon creatures and cast spells against each other. The spells and creatures can weave their abilities together to make powerful combinations. Hex is in free open beta right now, and with hundreds of different cards available, players are still finding new ways to combine them.
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Lord of the Rings Online
Turbine’s free to play MMO is the third most popular in the world, depending on who you ask, and it’s all because they ditched the subscription model and went full throttle towards a cash-free future. The LOTRO Store is where premium players can drop pennies, but otherwise frugal adventurers can lose themselves in Middle-earth just as easily.
TRY LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE FOR FREE
Lots of people like and play golf, and golf games. MMOs are designed for lots of people. Therefore… And the good news is that this has all the trappings you’d expect from that genre, wrapped around a perfectly serviceable set of thwack-the-ball-into-the-hole mechanics. There are plenty of upgrades to be had, wardrobe items, and all kinds of friendly and competitive play options. Plus a man with a really nice voice gently encourages you throughout - something which, frankly, more games should have. Winning Putt is new to our list and one to try for sure.
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Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is one of the best MMOs available. Even better, you can play a huge chunk of it for free. It works because it bucks the trend of so many games by scrapping ‘the trinity’ of players required to play: no longer do you need a tank, DPS, and healer character working together to be effective. Now, every class can contribute damage and keep themselves healthy. There’s a lot to do, from traditional questing for NPCs to zone events where everyone can suddenly get involved and work as a massive team to bring down a boss, or help a burning village.
You’ll need to pay to get into the Heart of Thorns expansion, but the base game is huge enough as it is, and the backlog of Living World stories now available to play means there’s plenty to see, explore, and get involved with.
League of Legends
Inspired by the original Dota, this takes the same concept but introduces a different roster of playable characters that is constantly being expanded. Many players find League of Legends is both easier and more accessible than Dota, but it’s still extremely nuanced. 12 million players play it every day. You won’t struggle to find a game.
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Path of Exile
An action RPG in the mould of Diablo, Path of Exile is one of the most polished, well-executed games on this list. Adventure with a friend or two through hundreds of areas in a dark fantasy world that provides a dizzying collection of monsters to repeatedly click on until they squish. Path of Exile does feature a microtransaction system but it’s admirably unobtrusive and ethical.
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Now, turn to Page 2 to find more games that won't weigh on your wallet - and please do share your own recommendations in the comments.