Many people consider gaming to be a very expensive hobby. You can easily end up paying more than $1,000 for a good gaming rig, while new-gen consoles will cost you hundreds of dollars. On top of that, you also have to buy your games, adding even more pressure on your wallet. But what if you don’t have to pay for games anymore?
With the amount of free online games available today, this “expensive hobby” turns into one of the most affordable out there, because of the “one time” investment. Once you have your rig all set up, you can choose from a wide variety of free online games, from Action-Adventures and Puzzle-Platformers, to RPGs and Shooters. You don’t even have to download some of these game, because they can be played directly in your browser.
These are some of the best games that you can play online with your friends.
1. Planetside 2
This is one of the best and biggest free online first-person shooter. There are three factions from which you can choose, each one with its own tech and firepower. You need to control bases and resources for your faction, in order to generate income and get more and bigger tanks and planes.
Just like most free-to-play games, you can purchase weapons and gadgets with real-life money, but you don’t have to do that. Simply by playing the game, you will level up and you will gain access to mostly everything you need.
Planetside 2 can be a little confusing at first, especially when you furs spawn in and you have no idea where your team-mates are. Once you manage to get into a squad, that is lead by a more experienced player, then the game is at its best. Going for strategic points, capturing them in the middle of the night and providing your faction with a much needed advantage in this never-ending war, makes Planetside 2 one of the best open world experience.
The scale of the battles in Planetside 2 is really impressive. You will feel like you are actually part of the war. At one point, me and a few of my teammates from the Terran Republic, were charged by our squad leader with defending a key position for out next offensive. While most of our troops were away on another assignment, we were under attack by a massive Vanu Sovereignty force. There was only 20 of us and more than 80 of them.
They also had tanks and air support. For about an hour we held our position, but finally they managed to break through. When everything seem to be lost, 10 Terran aircrafts arrived to reinforce our position, fighters and also bombers. On the hill side, 20 of our tanks rolled in, supported by more than 100 infantry men. The Vanu was crushed in no time, and the Terran Republic was victorious once more. I must admit, that I no other game gave me such an emotional trill. I felt part of the world, port of an army and part of an incredible community.
As I said before, you can also play the game on your own, absolutely nobody is forcing you to do anything. If you want, then you can just roam around the world fighting where you please, but the game truly shines when you join a unit. The game is also very friendly to new players. When you first log into the game, there are a lot of tutorial videos, that will teach you everything you need to know about the game.
Planetside 2, developed by Sony Online Entertainment, is the most competitive, nonstop, war experience, and, at the same time, one of the best online shooters ever made. The fact that this is also a free to play game, I see absolutely no reason why you should not try it out, at least once.
You can get it from PlanetSide2 and it is available for PC ,or for the PS4.
2. Tribes: Ascend
This is yet another free to play, online, first-person shooter. It was developed by Hi-Rez Studios, the same studio responsible for Smite, a great third-person, free-to-play MOBA.
Tribes: Ascend is a fast-paced action shooter, that will put your long-ranger skills to the test. The weapons feel very powerful, but they also require a lot of time and practice to master. Hitting your target in Tribes: Ascend is one of the most satisfying experience that you can get in any game. You can use jet-packs and travel at 80 miles per hour, while shooting your gun.
There are a lot of things that you can buy with real money at the in-game shop, from cosmetic upgrades, to weapons and grenades, but you will do just fine with the standard gear. Of course, if you enjoy wasting your cash, then you can do so without remorse, because the prices are very fair.
While you play, you will unlock new classes, perks and weapons. You will have loads of fun with this game, even if you are not a hardcore gamer.
You can get it from HiRezStudios
3. Tera Online
Tera is without a doubt one of the most important MMOs ever created. The combat system is one of the best ever made. Here, you have to dodge, aim and time you attacks in a intense but extremely fulfilling tactical combat. You also have a lot of classes to choose from ,and each class has its own weapons, abilities and role.
The graphics are absolutely amazing, with rich environments and well defined vegetation, while the open world is big, and every new area is different from the previous one, very similar to WoW.
The leveling-up in this game is a lot of fun, mainly because of the combat system, but the quests are also very fun. Once you reach the max level, the game provides you with a lot of things to do, from great dungeons to fun raids, it has it all.
The PvP is also very good, but it does rely on team play. No matter how good of a player you are, if you don’t go for objectives, and if you don’t listen to your raid-leader, then most likely you will lose. There are also guild versus guild battles, where you get to fight with the members of a rival guild. Once your guildmaster has declared war on another guild, the GvG battle will last for 24 hours, or until one of the leaders forfeits. This is the closest thing that you’ll have to factions in Tera.
The free-to-play model is very fair, reminding me of Neverwinter Online. Everything that you can buy for real-life money, you can also get by playing the game, or buy at the auction house for in-game currency.
You can download the game from Tera Official
4. Path of Exile
This is a Diablo-style, free online third person RPG, that will keep you occupied for hours to come. Here, you have an overwhelming skill tree (the largest ever made), so you can customize your character any way you want to. It also has a PvP element, where you get to bash real-life people and a PvE element, where you group up with your friends in order to take on the most difficult of foes.
You are able to choose from seven different classes, the Marauder, the Ranger, the Witch, the Duelist, the Templar, the Shadow and the Scion, and there a lot of different build available online for each class, or you can just build your own, depending on your play-style.
Characters, monsters and items can also be aligned with multiple attributes at once. For example, a staff weapon is generally about 70% strength and 30% intelligence, while a maul can be 100% strength. The staff is better at scoring critical hits, but it doesn’t strike for as much raw physical damage.
Path of Exile is a slow burner free online game, that you will fall in love with in no time at all.
You can download Path of Exile from PathofExile, or install it via Steam.
5. The Battle for Wesnoth
This game is available on both Android and iOS, but you can also get it for free for your PC or Mac. It is an old-school turn-based battle game (similar to Heroes).
The graphics are not impressive at all, but there’s a lot more beef to this epic strategy battle game. The hex-based universe and the fantasy setting are reminescent of the best turn-based game: Heroes of Might and Magic. Initially, there were six factions that you could choose from, but now, thanks to the content generated by users, there are many completely new eras which make the game extremely interesting and vast.
You can download it for free from Wesnoth
6. World of Tanks
World of Tanks is a different type of MMO. Here, you will emerge yourself into a huge team-based, massively multiplayer action game, with a wider range of different war machines that you can drive into battle.
You can personalize your tank and go fight other players on more than 45 different maps. Try to always stay close to your team mates, for if you get caught out of position you will most certainly die. This game is all about team work and clever positioning. Remember that even the most powerful tank can be destroyed if caught alone.
The game is free to play, but there are also a few very nice tanks that cost real-life money. I recommend that you try the game out, and if you like it, and if you are going to spend many hours playing it, then purchasing a tank is not a bad idea.
The game can be downloaded from WorldofTanks
If you ever imagined you could control your own galaxy, then this is the game for you.
It’s a free indie title inspired by the classic space strategy series, called Master of Orion.” – TechRadar
…which were adored back in the 90s.
Although this game is still very much in development, I wanted to mention it because of its potential. It is not exactly user-friendly yet, but if you have some experience with this genre, then I see no reason why you won’t be able to enjoy it.
If you are interested and you want to contribute to the development of this game, then you can download it from SourceForge
8. Might & Magic: Duel of Champions
This is a battle arena card game, similar to Hearthstone, where you have to build your own decks in order to defeat your opponents.
The game is fun enough and you can sink a lot of time into it, playing with your friends. There is also a application for your smartphone, called Duel of Champions, which is a fan app dedicated to the online card game Might and Magic: Duel of Champions. It is very fun and easy to get into.