Best free games 2019: the top free games to download on PC

If you’re searching for the best free games to help you escape after a long day’s work, then you’re in the right place. Everyone loves free stuff, especially when it comes to the best PC games. After all, there are a ton of fun, entertaining free games available right now on PC, and, unlike Xbox and PlayStation, which periodically give out free games on Xbox Games With Gold and PlayStation Plus, respectively, things work much differently with gaming PCs. The top free games are a genre all their own.

Because of the huge popularity of free-to-play titles, you should grab the best free games from Steam, GOG and even (brace yourself) EA’s Origin client. You can even download the Epic Games Store app, and score some premium indie games for free every couple weeks.

From Battle Royale free-to-play games, like Fortnite, to online CCGs, like Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, the best free games cover a large range of genres and styles. We tested the most popular titles, and picked out the best free games you should download today.

 Linux, Windows or Mac – which one is best for you? Watch our guide video below:

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

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This sweeping, immersive multiplayer role-playing game from South Korea has been one of the most anticipated games to (hopefully) be released in the West. Lost Ask boasts stunning graphics, an action-centric MMORPG game set in a beautiful, extremely detailed world where you can explore, go on quests and even meet other players.

Unfortunately, it’s not officially available in the Western market yet, but the CEO of Smilegate did express interest in bringing it to the US, Canada and Europe. And, rumor has it that the South Korean developer might do so in 2019, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Things are looking up, however, as the beta is now available in Russia.

Release date: Hopefully sometime in 2019

1. Fortnite Battle Royale 

The Battle Royale is huge at the moment, and Epic Games has refined it to perfection with Fortnite Battle Royale. Initially developed as a sort of add-on for Fortnite, Battle Royale blew up in a way that nobody predicted, fast becoming one of the most played games of 2018.

One of the best free games right now, Fortnite Battle Royale is entirely based around a simple scenario: you’re dumped in a map with 99 other players in a free-for-all melee, and the last one left standing at the end is the winner. Because of its meteoric success, Epic Games is hard at work adding new game modes and features all the time. Take Playground mode, for instance – it dumps you in the map and lets you build up structures for a set amount of time before the floodgates open and the carnage begins.

What’s especially cool is that Fortnite you can play with your friends, regardless of the platform they’re on. Whether you’re on PC, Xbox One, iOS, Android or PS4, you’ll be able to match up against millions of other players from all these different platforms.

Dota 2

Image Credit: Valve

2. Dota 2 

The Dota universe may have come to life from a WarCraft 3 mod, but Dota 2 is very much its own entity, and holds its own as one of the best free games.

This top-down arena battler is incredibly active, attracting multimillion-dollar prize funds for serious tournament players. However, it’s not just for the most hardcore.

A brief tutorial now shows you the ropes, with the Steam Community providing guides to the original MOBA. Don't expect a warm welcome or easy learning curve from its complex gameplay mechanics, but bring a few friends and Dota 2 will have you hooked on one of the biggest crazes in PC history.

 3. Planetside 2 

Two years before Destiny dropped into orbit, we had Planetside 2, an epic, all-out first-person battle that’s so amazing, you might just have to pinch yourself every time you load just to remind yourself that a game this amazing is completely free. There are in-game purchases, of course, but you can still dive into the biggest battlefield in gaming and still have an awesome time with the default equipment.

There's simply nothing as exhilarating as taking part in a massed assault on an enemy base and coming out on top, or living in a world where an enemy convoy could appear on the horizon at any second. Planetside 2 is proof that 'free' doesn't mean prosaic.

Paths of Exile

Image Credit: Grinding Gear Games

4. Path of Exile

Path of Exile is a free dungeon crawler reminiscent of Diablo III, and it’s a tad different than most of the best free games out there. It’s not just about fragging real-life people until they scream at you in shrill pubescent tones through their Skype headsets.

Path of Exile takes its time more than your typical multiplayer game, but give it a chance, and you might just find yourself hooked. There are hidden mechanics and features to uncover after playing for hours, as well as a huge skill tree to slowly progress through. It really is the best free game for former Diablo addicts.

Even basic loot can be useful because there's always an opportunity to enhance even the simplest weapon with magic. If you’re bored with the grind of Diablo III, it's a good one to check out.

5. League of Legends

Pick a champion and head into battle in this seminal free-to-play game from the creators of the Warcraft III mod, Dota. League of Legends’ automated matchmaking, diverse cast of characters and pristine maps have made it a multiplayer behemoth over these last few years, and one of the best free games on this list that will definitely stand the test of time.

It’s an aggressive gameplay experience for sure, but one that rewards good teamwork and careful tactics. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll be having fun shortly after you hit that ‘play’ button.

Like Dota 2, League of Legends attracts many high-end players, and the top tournaments offer prize pools of over $ 1 million. The weird world of esports, eh?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Image Credit: Activision-Blizzard

6. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Ever played the card game Magic the Gathering? Hearthstone is Blizzard’s attempt at making an online version of it, for free.

As a typical Blizzard endeavor, it’s impressive. It’s immediately inviting, lacking the terrifying learning curve you would expect from an online fantasy card game. Hearthstone plays quickly, boasts a very casual visual approach and benefits from a basic rule set, all of which add up to a very approachable card battler which offers you plenty of fun – especially if you’re a World of WarCraft fan.

Not that it's not challenging as well, especially if you're up against an opponent that plays their cards right, which is why its gets our vote for one of the best free games to date.

Not that it's not challenging as well, especially if you're up against an opponent that plays their cards right, which is why its gets our vote for one of the best free games to date.

7. Star Wars: The Old Republic

Taking over the Star Wars MMORPG mantle after Star Wars Galaxies went away (may it rest in peace), Star Wars: The Old Republic was not free at release. However, it has since, like so many MMORPGs before it, turned to the free to play model. If you want to indulge your inner Sith, this is the best way to get them for free.

Subscriptions are on hand for more in-game potential and end-game content, but in true best free games fashion, all the story missions are still available for free – it just might take a bit longer now.

It’s worth your time just to see the Star Wars universe from different sets of eyes, like the hyper-professional Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter. If you want to go with the dull option and just have a generic Jedi Knight, though – you can totally do that.

Forza Motorsport 6 Apex

Image Credit: Microsoft

8. Forza Motorsport 6 Apex

Forza Motorsport 6 Apex in particular brings a complete Forza Motorsport game to PC gamers for the first time – before Forza Horizon 3 came out in 2016. It’s not quite the full-fledged experience you can expect from full entries to the series. However, Forza Motorsport 6 Apex is the best free game that we could have asked for from Microsoft’s long-standing racing series.

When Xbox head Phil Spencer said he was going to bring the console's best franchises to the PC, he wasn't kidding. Among these notable games is Forza Motorsport.

Shunned by petrol-heads and embraced by gamers, Forza Motorsport may seem like an arcadey offshoot of its biggest rival on PlayStation, but it consistently looks and feels outstanding nonetheless.

9. Dauntless

Dauntless has become essentially a household name at this point, becoming an overnight success on PC, thanks to Monster Hunter World. However, what if we told you that you could get a very similar experience for free, with a game that’s also easier on your PC? Enter Dauntless.

Straying away from the clear environmentalist focus of Monster Hunter: World, where you’re trying to preserve the habitats, Dauntless simplifies things a bit, just tasking you with slaying behemoths to protect a human colony.

The gameplay itself is much simpler as well, free of some of the more obtuse gameplay systems that you either love or hate in the Monster Hunter series. The core DNA of the series, however, is there – hunt monsters, craft gear, hunt more monsters, making it one of the best free games to have right now.

World of Tanks

Image Credit: Wargaming

10. World of Tanks

World of Tanks is a different kind of MMO, as you might have already guessed from the title. Team-based, massively multiplayer action with a huge range of war machines to drive into battle awaits, with new players able to jump into the fray right away.

The upgrade system lets you personalize, while being surrounded by an entire army at all times to remind you that loners won’t make it on the battlefield. Get sucked in, and you may find yourself spending a chunk of your wages on great big chunks of virtual metal.

Some premium tanks cost just a few dollars, while others require a bit more coin. You can see where maker Wargaming is earning some cash from World of Tanks enthusiasts. Still, this doesn’t stop it from being one of the best free games right now.

11. Heroes of the Storm

It was only a matter of time before Blizzard entered the ring in the MoBA phenomenon, and with Heroes of the Storm, we’re left asking: what took it so long? It’s an incredibly accessible esports title, sitting somewhere between League of Legends and DOTA 2 in terms of complexity, with the added bonus of playing characters you know and love.

That’s right: the roster is comprised entirely of Blizzard characters from across its library of classic games. If you’ve ever wondered who would win in a fight between Thrall and Kerrigan, Heroes of the Storm can show you how that fight plays out on the battlefield.

Blizzard knocked it out of the park here, making one of the best free games that keeps getting better by the day.


Image Credit: Daybreak

12. Everquest

Its future was briefly uncertain after the sale of Sony's online entertainment division in February 2015, but Everquest is back with a vengeance, featuring new expansion packs and continued support by Daybreak Game Company. And, that’s one of the many reasons why it’s made our best free games list.

The first of its kind to commercially succeed with a 3D game engine, Everquest was released in 1999 as an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) and has since been documented as one of the most important games in the medium's history.

Featuring consistently released expansion packs (quite massive in scale, at least early on) with vast new areas, races and classes, Everquest brings to the table just about everything you could want from an MMO. Plus, it's notably better at handling co-op than its alternatives.

13. Rift

Originally hailed as the game that would finally dethrone World of Warcraft, Rift had its moment – and is still going strong depending on who you’re talking to. It brought innovation to a genre that was changing very slowly, letting you change your class whenever the urge compelled you.

The whole game is focused on separating giant boss battles and events that occupy entire zones. It’s ambitious, exciting, and massive with dozens of interdimensional rifts that keeps things exciting and unique from other MMOs. And, even after Rift went free to play, Trion has stayed on top of things, rolling out regular expansions for everyone to enjoy.

Plus, you can ride a landshark.


Image Credit: Jagex

14. Runescape

Runescape is one of the biggest free-to-play MMOs out there, and now would be a good time to take a look. In 2013, it entered its third reboot – this is actually 'Runescape 3', although just jumping in now, you might not even realize that it has been around in one form or another for more than 10 years.

Despite the revamp, it's definitely not the sparkliest MMO in the world, but hanging onto this many players shows it's doing something right. The big change introduced in Runescape 3 that made it appear a lot more modern was the ability to see much further. In Runescape 2, the horizon quickly gave way to fog… not so now.

You can download the game for free or run it in your browser using Java, making it much more convenient than most other online role-players of this epic scale.

15. Maplestory

If you’re sick of the dark fantasy aesthetic of most MMORPGs, you’ll love Maplestory’s imaginative and inspired style. Described by Nexon as the original 2D side-scrolling MMO, Maplestory takes the classic Dungeons and Dragons-inspired genre, and makes it kawaii.

The lighter tone and customization of Maplestory makes it feel more like Harvest Moon than World of Warcraft or Rift. And, it has more emphasis on improving cosmetics than many other MMOs, allowing players a lot more personalization over how their characters look.

Maplestory even has in-game weddings and dinosaurs that play guitar. Really, the only thing missing from Maplestory is an Oasis-inspired soundtrack.


Image Credit: Digital Extremes

16. Warframe

If you're into third-person co-operative shooters, Warframe may be one of the best free games out there. Players take control of members of the Tenno, an ancient race warring against enemies such as the Grineer, the Corpus, the Infested and the Sentients. Your Tenno soldier uses the Crysis-style Warframe armor equipped with guns or melee weapons to fight back.

Better looking than your average free-to-play shooter, there’s quite a bit of fun to be had in Warframe's player-vs-enemy raids – so much so that some gamers see it as, "The Destiny that never was.” High praise all around.

17. Smite

Gods from every pantheon come together in Smite to battle it out in a free Dota/MOBA inspired clash. Even though Smite is pretty obvious with its influences – it comes from the same developer that made the FPS smash Tribes Ascend, it’s still a completely different beast.

The camera is behind the characters this time, giving you a more direct connection to the action than simply guiding your lord around with a mouse. However, the premise will be either familiar if you've played its inspirations, or a way to get a feel for the style, if you haven't. Gods include Zeus, Thor, Kali, Artemis and… Cupid? Well, at least he has his own bow…

Lord of the Rings Online

Image Credit: Turbine

18. Lord of the Rings Online

There are so many MMOs that have been released or rereleased as free-to-play games, but Lord of the Rings Online is one of those titles that most warrants another look. It’s already an excellent game in its own right, but it’s also one of the more mature MMOs on the market.

You’ll probably have to pay eventually to unlock adventure packs. However, there’s no subscription fee and no cost up front, making it one of the best free games to immerse in right now. If you missed it at launch, or even if you quit playing since then, it’s time to give it a go.

 19. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit 

Life is Strange and its sequel are among the best modern adventure games on PC in 2018. Lucky for us, there’s now a free way to experience this amazing series. Unveiled back at E3 2018, the Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit places you in the shoes of 9-year-old Chris as he, and his alter ego, Captain Spirit, go on an epic adventure.

It’s a free-to-play single player adventure game without any kind of malicious microtransactions or predatory monetization – simply a nice prelude into Life is Strange 2. Just don’t go in expecting the longest gameplay experience in the world, as you’ll likely finish it in just a couple of hours. That still doesn’t stop it from being one of the best free games, however.

Eve Online

Image Credit: CCP Games

20. Eve Online

In 2003, Icelandic developer CCP Games unleashed Eve Online, an immersive and in-depth “sci-fi experience” that would ultimately grab the attention of well over 500,000 players. Eve Online is unlike any game in its category, thanks to the vast range of activities to take part in as well as its (appropriately) out of this world in-game economy.

Unfortunately, the Eve Online player base has been getting smaller since 2013. It shouldn’t be surprising that as time goes on, fewer and fewer gamers are interested in paying a subscription fee for a glorified space sim with a steep learning curve. However, since the Ascension Update, released back in November 2016, Eve Online has gone free to play – at least to an extent.

The new ‘alpha clones’ system featured in Eve Online is like the “unlimited free trial” featured in World of Warcraft. You can still engage with other players in piracy, manufacturing, trading, mining, exploration and combat, but there are limitations such as certain skills that are off limits. If you don’t want to limit your access to some of the game’s most lumbering ships, you can always opt for the Omega subscription – otherwise, the game won’t cost a cent, which is why it makes for one of the best free games to grace the gaming world.

21.  Apex Legends 

To say that Battle Royale games are popular in 2019 would be a massive understatement, but the level of success that Apex Legends has enjoyed so quickly after launch speaks volumes. It’s definitely earned its spot on this list as one of the best free games. Not only is the game itself fantastic, bringing unique mechanics from the awesome Titanfall games to a Battle Royale, but the game itself has reached over an astonishing 25 million players after a week.

Apex Legends places 60 players in the middle of a gigantic map, armed with a bunch of unique abilities that make both combat and traversal extremely addicting. It’s not quite the chaos of 100 player battle royale titles like Fortnite or PUBG, but it feels balanced. If somehow you haven’t joined the Apex Legends bandwagon yet, you’re sorely missing out.


Image Credit: 505 Games

22. Hawken

Hawken is a game about mechs. But, not just any mechs – fast mechs. These aren’t your average slow, lurching tanks of MechWarrior Online. These are more in line with the Exoskeletons of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Of course, being a free-to-play game, expect to pay for upgrades to your starter mech. However, economical players can still get a taste for Hawken without spending a dime. Plus, attach an Oculus Rift, and you can see first-hand what VR games have in store for you. Admit it, you've wanted to know what it feels like to power a mech for yourself since Pacific Rim came out.

23. Evolve Stage 2

Hey, remember Evolve? Don’t worry if you don’t – it quickly fell off the face of the Earth after release, until it was eventually removed from Steam. But Turtle Rock re-released it back into beta a year and a half after its initial release, and it was then that Evolve was unleashed as a free-to-play experience. It was even given a new moniker: Evolve Stage 2, and now it’s one of the best free games we’ve ever played.

Despite going free-to-play, the game's core structure stays the same. It's a game of humans vs. zombies… err, monsters, a new twist on a beloved pastime. A team of four players, called hunters, is pitted up against a single monster, with each hunter assigned their own class. Of course, with four players taking on one, there is a unique catch – hence the game's title. Monsters start out at a basic level then evolve over time by killing and consuming wildlife in nearby areas.

Evolve cost $ 40 before, so rest assured you'll get access to a game with a triple-A quality, even if much of the content is locked behind a paywall. Nevertheless, you can give it a shot for yourself for the nominal cost of $ 0 on Steam.

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks

24. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

While we sit, anxiously awaiting news on The Elder Scrolls VI, you should take the time to give the classic The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall a try. This 1990s RPG is a precursor to those iconic RPGs, and is a bit of a classic in its own right.

Its game world is many times the size of any of its sequels – indeed it’s the size of a continent, and is absolutely packed with atmosphere. It might look a little rough around the edges by today’s standards, but it’s worth exploring if you’re an Elder Scrolls fan.

It's available direct from Bethesda. The publisher started offering it for free to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the game. As if we didn't feel old enough already.

25. Starcraft II

One of the biggest games to ever hit the PC/Mac landscape is Starcraft II, a competitive real-time strategy game whose Wings of Liberty installment is just one of three parts of the campaign. At one time, it was massive in South Korea, but the scene fizzled out a bit when MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota 2 hit the scene. Maybe that’s why Blizzard decided to convert Starcraft II to the free-to-play business model.

As a result of its gripping strategy game mechanics, combined with creatively designed environments and an engrossing narrative that can only a video game can tell, Starcraft II is one of the most widely enjoyed eSports in the entire world, not to mention one of the best free games.

Of course, being a Blizzard game, you’ll need a account to enjoy it. Other than that, both the campaign and the multiplayer are free to enjoy. Only certain characters require your prized coin.

Wolfenstein 3D

Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks

26. Wolfenstein 3D

Interested in knowing what Wolfenstein was before The New Order? Wolfenstein 3D is now free, and will transport you to the year 1992 when celebrity game developers John Carmack and John Romero teamed up to make a shareware game like nothing before it.

Wolfenstein 3D took concepts from Muse Software's Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein to create a three-dimensional first-person shooter that would later inspire the development of Doom.

Keep in mind while playing that while Wolfenstein 3D was impressive for its time, it's probably not what you would expect from a first-person shooter of today's standards. Nonetheless, it's an easy and free way to experience game history in an old-school World War II game rich with narrative about, well, shooting Nazis in the face. Don't expect to be blown away by the story in the same way as the Wolfenstein franchise's more recent entries, however.

27. Team Fortress 2

It may be an old vet in gaming terms, but nothing offers such crazy fun as Team Fortress 2. Unlike most shooters of its age, players in this game are still there to have a good time instead of hurling insults at newcomers, and there's no shortage of cool toys to have fun with. Endlessly silly and incredibly fresh, it's still one of the shooter genre's kings, free-to-play or not. Of course, it only makes sense for it to be on our best free games list.

As you might guess, there are some micro-transactions involved. You can buy additional items, often used to customize your character. You can even create your own. It's fun, and gets you even more involved in TF2. Those cheeky devils at Valve obviously know what they're doing.

Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links

Image Credit: Konami

28. Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links

If you grew up in the ‘90s, you have plenty of memories of playing Yu-Gi-Oh, and maybe even watching the anime. Well, what if we told you that an injection of nostalgia is waiting in Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, and it’s free to boot?

In Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, you won’t just be able to play the titular card game competitively online.  You’ll also get to play against AI opponents voiced by actors from the anime. There are plenty of microtransactions here – you can buy new cards – but it’s a CCG in 2019, so there’s no real way around that. Be prepared to spend some cash.

29. Magic Duels

Magic: The Gathering is fun, but what if you could play it from the comfort of your PC? It’s definitely possible, thanks to Magic Duels. Whether this is your first time or a 20-year vet, Duels will let you do everything the card game does and more. While over 300 new cards are advertised as being accessible throughout the game, there’s also a unique story mode where you can experience Magic like never before.

If narrative in your card games isn't your cup of tea, there's also a Battle Mode in which you can challenge your friends, a four-player Two-Headed Giant battle and even an offline solo mode you can use to practice against AI.

DC Universe Online

Image Credit: Daybreak Game Company

30. DC Universe Online 

Though it's yet another free-to-play MMO on this list, DC Universe Online takes characters like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and more into a massive (and shared) public world.

Choose whether you want to be a member of the Hero or Villain faction, then personalize your character. Soon, you'll be sent out into the world of DC Universe Online at the hands of Daybreak Game Company.

After some initial training, the game assigns you a position as either a member of the Justice League or The Society, depending on your choice of hero or villain. Unlike other MMOs on this list and outside it, DC Universe Online is meant to be much more interactive while also retaining traditional MMORPG elements such as leveling, raiding, inventories and post-game progression. It's also not hard to avoid using real-world currency too, which is why it has our best free games vote.

31. Paladins

It’s not hard to see why Paladins catches a lot of flack for its similarities to Overwatch. At the same time, the team-based shooter is also distinctly different from that of Blizzard’s. Abilities are upgraded based on a collectible card system, and can completely change the way each character plays.

What’s more, unlike Overwatch, Paladins is completely free-to-play. While cosmetic items are available to buy using real-world currency, everything else can be unlocked simply by playing the game. For instance, you’ll start Paladins with a single deck of basic cards, and from there, unlock more dramatically impactful decks.

Regardless of how you choose to play Paladins, you’ll get XP as you play. As long as you’re completing the daily quests and achievements featured in the game, you’ll be compensated with Radiant Chests and Gold. These can be used to purchase more cards, costumes and weapon skins to make your characters more unique and skillful on the battlefield.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 Lite

Image Credit: Konami

32. Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 Lite

You might be familiar with Fifa already, but Pro Evolution Soccer – or PES – is one of the best-selling video game franchises of all-time, not to mention one of the best free games. It doesn’t have all the flair (or licensing) of its EA Sports rival, but some would argue that it’s the better soccer game series, not to mention one of the better sports series overall.

PES 2018, in particular, is only a slight improvement over its predecessor, but it does introduce better dribbling and makes an effort to perfect the fan-favorite Master League mode. The ‘Lite’ version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 gives you access to the Online myClub and PES League Mode in addition to the Offline Exhibition Match and Training Mode, entirely for free.

There are in-app purchases along the way, and you can always upgrade to the full version later should this one not satisfy.

33. Spelunky

You can now get Spelunky on a plethora of platforms – it's pretty high-profile for an indie title. However, it started its life PC-exclusive, and its original 'non HD' Classic version is still available for free today.

The catch is that every time you play, the entire game is randomized to keep things exciting. In one game, you'll stumble through screen after screen of spiked horrors and swarming monsters; in the next, the software will bend over backwards to give you gold and help you on your way.

You learn how each randomized world ticks and which piece of equipment will give you a fighting chance. And then you'll die some more. And scream. And restart. Again. Is this one of the best free games that has graced our screens, or what?


Image Credit: Perfect World

34. Neverwinter

As a free MMO, Neverwinter sets the bar high for itself as it's based on perhaps the most iconic role-playing game of all-time, Dungeons & Dragons. Like everything else in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, the game takes place in the Forgotten Realms, specifically, as the name suggests, in Neverwinter.

Featuring eight character classes with groups of up to five players supported, Neverwinter is based on the fourth-edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons. However, the rules are slightly different, letting players heal their allies in addition to allowing for the use of special abilities in combat after racking up enough action points.

35. Doki Doki Literature Club

An ostensibly charming visual novel on the surface, Doki Doki Literature Club is a game that’s best experienced blindly. It comes from Dan Salvato, a game developer best known for his work in the Super Smash Bros. Melee modding community, who says he developed Doki Doki Literature Club because of his indifference towards anime.

Ironic considering the main character in Doki Doki Literature Club is obsessed with anime and manga, and has minimal experience with the writings of more prestigious authors. As engrossing as the trio of female supporting characters appear to be in Doki Doki Literature Club, we would advise against getting too attached to them.

Without spoiling the story, the first thing you see when you boot up Doki Doki Literature Club is a content warning, suggesting that those with severe anxiety refrain from playing altogether. It’s not entirely unwarranted, as you’re bound to learn the hard way that Doki Doki Literature Club is more horror than generic fan service.

Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas

Image Credit: Grey Havens

36. Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas

For nearly 15 years now, Puzzle Pirates has been a household name for kids with unrestricted access to the computer labs at school. It’s a massive, totally free-to-play multiplayer online role-playing game – among the best free games, in fact – originally created by the Sega-owned Three Rings Design. The goal is to join a crew and ideally become a captain, by completing puzzles alongside other players.

Puzzle Pirates: Dark Seas, on the other hand, is the Steam-exclusive version of Puzzle Pirates that brings in an entirely new ocean known as Obsidian. Dark Seas introduces factions and player-versus-player (PvP) combat in a way new to the Steam release of Puzzle Pirates. It also comes from a different developer, a nonprofit called Grey Havens, which was founded by several former members of Three Rings Design.

Before the advent of Dark Seas, you could only get the multiplayer portion of Puzzle Pirates on Steam. Now, the single-player mode can be downloaded and installed from Valve’s client as well.

37. Phantom Dust

Its development cycle was a disaster, but in the end, the Phantom Dust remaster still prevailed. A new IP in the form of a Japanese budget card game for the original Xbox, it seemed too good to be true when Microsoft revealed back at E3 2014 that a complete remake was in the works… and, as it turns out, it was.

The remake was canned in 2016, but Microsoft still wanted to revive the cult classic one-off. As it turns out, the company did so with a remaster, not a remake. Luckily, the new version of Phantom Dust for Windows 10 (and Xbox One, for console-goers) is free to play unless you opt to purchase some of the in-game “multiplayer cards”.

Dwarf Fortress

Image Credit: Bay 12 Games

38. Dwarf Fortress

Inspiring the creation of Minecraft was no small feat for 2D sandbox game Dwarf Fortress. Dubbed a construction and management simulator, Dwarf Fortress takes simple text-based graphics into a relatively more modern, 2006 piece of software. It’s often considered a cult classic because of its open-ended nature, and serves as one of the most iconic examples of a procedurally generated roguelike.

This means Dwarf Fortress both randomizes its environments and makes the game's permadeath system a much more difficult problem to avoid. This led to the unofficial slogan for the game "Losing is fun," which was either ironic or an accurate description of what happens in the game. Tough to say either way.

One thing's for sure. If you want to experience an important part of games history, Dwarf Fortress is a solid start. It was even exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City back in 2013. Can't say that for a lot of free-to-play games, making this one of the best free games on offer in 2019.

39. Fable Fortune

After a troubled development cycle, Fable Fortune is the collectible card game that you probably thought would never see the light of day. Either that, or you’ve never even heard of it. We can’t blame you. The team behind the Fable franchise – the illustrious group of individuals at Lionhead Studios –closed their doors two years ago.

In the time following Lionhead’s closure, its parent company, Microsoft, licensed off Fable Fortune to a group of former Lionhead developers at a new company called Flaming Fowl Studios. It was there that Fable Fortune found private funding despite a failed Kickstarter campaign. The end result is a fairly competitive card game that’s completely free to play.

Skeptics will be quick to compare Fable Fortune to Hearthstone. But other than the fact that they both make our best free games list, the two games differ drastically due to Fable Fortune’s more complex set of hero powers, less randomness and a morality system that rewards a grasp of its ‘good’ and ‘evil’ points.

Fallout Shelter

Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks

40. Fallout Shelter

If you prefer the property management systems of Fallout 4 rather than the overwhelming majority of the role-playing game's content, Fallout Shelter is a great place to start. Up until recently, the simulation game was limited to mobile platforms Android and iOS. However, with the introduction of Quests in version 1.6 of Fallout Shelter, Bethesda Softworks also decided to port the game to PC by way of the client.

All in all, Fallout Shelter doesn't feel much different on PC, and that's undoubtedly a good thing. Mouse controls work well in lieu of a touchscreen, graphics look good even for low-end hardware and with windowed mode enabled by default, it's easy to find yourself caring after your vault residents during your downtime at work. With an indisputably manageable price point (free), albeit with micro-purchases on hand, Fallout Shelter could very well become the next Solitaire in your office or at school.

41. Brawlhalla

Have you been missing out on the action, just watching all your friends play Super Smash Bros Ultimate because you don’t have a Nintendo Switch? Well, with this game, you’re in luck. Brawlhalla is a 2-8 player 2D brawler that draws very heavy inspiration from Nintendo’s classic franchise.

And, it pulls it off. It’s an extraordinarily fun way to pass a few hours. With an esports league, you can rest assured you’ll always have people to test your skills against. It’s may not quite be the same as playing some Smash on a friend’s couch, but it’s close enough to be worth your time. And that’s why Brawlhalla makes it to our list of best free games.


Image Credit: 2K Games

42. Battleborn

CEO and president of Gearbox Software Randy Pitchford will tell you differently, but Battleborn is free-to-play. Officially classified as a “free trial” on Steam, there isn’t much to differentiate this hero shooter from other free-to-play games on the market. You can play for as long as you want using six of the game’s 30 characters, rotated weekly to shake things up.

Battleborn originally hit the market in May 2016, the same month as Overwatch. The main difference is that Battleborn is influenced by MOBA games. Overwatch, on the other hand, is a more traditional PvP shooter with an eccentric cast of characters. Battleborn also has a single-player campaign, which can be unlocked using real-world currency.

43. The Elder Scrolls: Legends

There looks to be a never-ending arms race developers are in right now to put out the next Hearthstone. That is, a wildly popular collectible card game (CCG) that’s “easy to learn but challenging to master.” Those are the words, verbatim, publisher Bethesda Softworks is using to describe The Elder Scrolls: Legends.

A CCG that draws inspiration from the lore of the company’s beloved RPG franchise, The Elder Scrolls: Legends separates itself from the likes of competing virtual card games such as Hearthstone and The Witcher 3’s Gwent by enacting a two-lane system that keeps players on their toes when it comes to devising strategies.

And, if you’re simply craving more Skyrim, you’ll be happy to know that the Heroes of Skyrim expansion for The Elder Scrolls: Legends packs in 150 additional cards, some of which are familiar faces like Aela the Huntress, J’Zargo and Delphine. It’s no doubt this one’s earned its spot on our best free games list.


Image Credit: Freejam

44. Robocraft

Whether you loved or hated World of Tanks, you’ll be pleased to know that Robocraft, a worthy addition to our list of best free games, is what you get when you take conventional vehicle combat and twist it into something completely new. From independent developer and publisher Freejam, Robocraft lets you commandeer jet cars (not jets and cars, but jet cars), tanks, flying warships, helicopters and drones.

In doing so, you’ll spend most of your time engaging in combat with other players online. Like a vehicle-based Fortnite, you’ll also experiment with different combinations of 250 preset blocks using a simple crafting interface, allowing you to equip the vehicle of your choosing with the weapons of your choosing as well.

Likewise, Robocraft lets you create or join clans with up to 50 members. Within those clans, you can invite friends to ‘parties’ and play cooperatively in an effort to take down other teams. Once everything is said and done, and you’re satisfied with your creations, you can showcase them at the virtualized Community Robot Factory in exchange for likes and shares.

45. Total War Battles: Kingdom

Real-time Strategy (RTS) games don't come much grander than those in the Total War series, and the latest entrant, Battles KINGDOM, is free-to-play. Available to play on iOS and Android, as well as PC, you can pick up where you left off when you're away from your main battle station. Total War Battles: Kingdom is set at the turn of the 10th Century and integrates army management with kingdom building to deliver a bite-sized RTS game you can dive into and play anywhere, anytime.

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