Since the dawn of humanity, when we hunted wild Gaben across the savannah, people have pondered the greatest of questions: what are the best free Steam games? No more, friends!
Because we desperately care about the health of your bank account, and honestly worry about how much money you’re spending on your nasty gaming habit, we want to help. Below, you’ll find a bounty of free games, all waiting for you to play them right now.
You lucky devils.
The best free Steam game for boat lovers
Archeage, Trion’s free-to-play MMO might start off as a bit traditional, with its quests and crafting and slightly humdrum fantasy adventures, but that quickly makes way for high seas escapades as you and some chums set off on your very own boat, becoming wealthy traders or unfriendly pirates, preying on other players. Piracy, people. It’s the best thing you can do in the water.
The best free space ninja game on Steam
Warframe lets you play as a space ninja, and for a lot of you, that’s probably all that you need to know. Beyond that, it’s a third-person team-based affair that pits you against other space ninjas, all wearing fancy ‘Warframes’ that confer fancy abilities. It’s a slick action game with a hint of MMO about it in the way you collect resources and craft better gear. There’s a bit of grind, admittedly, but hey, space ninjas.
The best free MOBA for battering gods on Steam
Smite’s a new arrival one Steam, though it originally launched over a year ago. It’s a MOBA, but blessed with a twist: you control your divine heroes like you would in an action game, with the camera positioned behind them and many of their abilities being skill shots. It’s still got the familiar stuff, though, like lanes, creeps and items. Here are the best Smite gods for beginners, to get you started.
The best free Steam game for blowing up tanks and planes
War Thunder makes war a wee bit more palatable by removing people and making war all about sexy machines blowing other sexy machines up. It’s all World War 2 tanks and planes and, eventually ships, duking it out in massive maps. It’s all lovely and explosive and a bit grognardy, and I bet the designers even know how many rivets a Sherman has.
Marvel Heroes 2015
The best free Steam game for superhero team ups
Marvel Heroes started out as a pretty disappointing licensed online action-RPG and might have faded into obscurity, but Gazillion instead went back to the drawing board and reinvented the game. With an improved business model, a more involved community and frequent updates, it’s been improved dramatically. And hey, who wouldn’t want to punch villains in the face in a team made up of Winter Soldier, Deadpool (dressed as a pirate), The Hulk and Spidey. There are tonnes of characters that you can unlock, and a decent starting roster to boot.
Star Trek Online
The best free Steam game for boldly going where no man has gone before
Star Trek Online is an often overlooked but still wonderful MMO that gives you a ship, a crew and sends you off on sci-fi adventures that feel authentically Star Trek. Though it’s over five years old, it continues to get regular free updates that add new, elaborate episodic missions, new gear, seasonal events. The story also has a tangible impact on the evolving galaxy. While there is a cash shop and premium ships, the game continues to be extremely generous toward free players.
Path of Exile: Awakening
The best free action-RPG on Steam
Path of Exile was, for a while, a cure for those who were disappointed with Diablo III’s direction. Considerably more grim and gothic than the competition, Path of Exile is also blessed with one of the most compelling level up systems in any action-RPG, evocative of Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid, but infinitely larger and more liberating. A big expansion dropped a wee while ago, updating the game for everyone.
The best free Steam game for tabletop adventures
Card Hunter is part tabletop roleplaying game, part deck building romp, part strategy game, but most importantly it’s evocative of sitting around a table, munching pizza and rolling dice with your pals. The writing is lighthearted and sometimes funny, while the game itself has proved to be challenging and clever.
Team Fortress 2
The best free Steam game that’s mostly about hats
What can one say about Team Fortress 2, Valve’s mega-popular, constantly evolving shooter? It has many hats. It’s also extremely refined, always full of players despite launching in 2007, and gets frequent updates to fatten the game up with even more hats, modes and maps. But despite how much the game has grown in eight years since it launched, it remains easy to pick up, especially if you’ve got some chums to play with.
The best free Steam game for clicking addicts
Clicker Heroes is an evil game that feeds addiction. Adding it to this list makes us pushers, and we’re terribly sorry about that. Like Cookie Clicker, it’s as simple as it is addictive, tasking you with clicking on monsters to kill them until you can spend gold to hire new heroes and do even more damage in a constantly escalating cycle. It’s awful and extremely hard to give up. Why don’t you take it for a spin?
DC Universe Online
The best free game for beating up Lex Luthor on Steam
DC Universe Online tasks you with creating your own hero or villain and then battering enemies across Gotham and Metropolis and even further afield in action-based combat. Free players get lots of powers, loads of costume parts to unlock, raids and dungeons, all inspired by DC’s massive library of comics.
Marvel Puzzle Quest
The best free match three game on Steam
Marvel Puzzle Quest is one of those deceptively addictive match three games, but with teams of Marvel heroes and villains, each with unique powers represented by comic book covers, battling it out on gem-filled boards. Unfortunately, the game is cursed with a greedy cash shop and eventually becomes a bit of a grind unless you spend some money – it takes quite a while to get to that point, however, and up until then, it’s a great deal of fun and you don’t need to spend a dime.
The best free MOBA on Steam
Dota 2 is massive, second only to League of Legends in the realm of MOBAs, with millions of people seemingly playing it constantly, always coming back to check out new characters and new patches. With an eclectic roster of champions and a huge list of powerful items, you could spend days and days just thinking about the metagame.
The best free D&D MMO on Steam (sorry, DDO)
Neverwinter is more a D&D themed game than a real D&D MMO, taking the Forgotten Realms and the names of abilities, characters and all the nomenclature that you’d expect, and then chucking them in a surprisingly robust action MMO. While free players are more restricted than premium players, it receives frequent updates that add new quests and classes that are available to everyone.
The best free MMO shooter on Steam
PlanetSide 2’s scale is something to behold. Who continents are locked in constant conflict, with armies clashing over bases, vehicles speeding across the ground, aircraft lighting up the sky – it’s glorious, until you die thanks to a sniper sitting a mile away. You’ll want to play with friends for this one, as the chaos of battle only starts to make sense when you’re in a squad that communicates.
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