South Africa plummeted into stage 6 load shedding on Thursday leaving most parts of the country with prolonged outages and cold breakfasts. Stage 6…
We live in a glorious age, where big developers are now making free games. For those who can’t afford to purchase a new AAA title each month, fear not, there are plenty of great games available for you to play across multiple platforms for no more than the electricity to boot that machine.
PC gamers, rejoice.
Yes, not only are you the master race of gamers, but your selection of free games is the largest, however free-to-play games can now also be found on consoles. And if that isn’t all, Android and iOS also get some love, so the free gaming phenomenon is here for everyone on all platforms.
When it comes to free games though, there is a lot of riff-raff, but below are our top 15 recommendations for the experienced gamer and the beginner alike.
The big daddy.
Not only is this game huge to download, but the maps are massive and the online multiplayer element is equally as big. It is however a fairly complicated shooter and best played with friends to discover every element of the game. Or do yourself a favour and watch a few YouTube videos before you jump in, so you know what’s what.
As with most free-to-play games, progression through the Planetside 2 ranks takes some time, unless your have a few spare dollars lying around.
I recommend playing a few hours with the decent weaponry the developers give you at the start, and if you really enjoy this futuristic shooter, drop some cash and spoil yourself by upgrading your arsenal.
Platforms: PlayStation 4 & PC
Superheroes have been the flavour of the month for years now, so a Marvel superhero game was bound to surface at some point. Marvel Heroes is a MMO action role-playing game, with Diablo II gameplay. You can play as your favourite hero, personally I like the Hulk because he’s the Hulk, and you get to smash stuff.
You can unlock multiple heroes throughout the game, so you can play as all your favourites and embrace what it is like to be a hero.
It is an easy game to play even if you are new to the MMO genre. You don’t need to spend anything to access the full game, but the developers welcome support via in game micro transactions.
Mech combat… shall I continue?
We all love giant machines that crush things, and blow stuff up right? Well, I do. Developed by Adhesive Games, this game focuses on creating an intense battle experience. You get to pilot a Mech, granted it is not as cool as Titanfall’s Mech’s but it is still awesome.
It is fast paced and action packed, which is graphically stunning considering it is an indie title. Sadly its freemium, so the more you pay, the more chances you have of winning, but if you like big monster fighting machines, then give this game a try, then go and buy Titanfall, because that game is the best Mech combat shooter of all time. Boom.
Need For Speed World
So much content. If you are a racer you will enjoy this one. Everyone loved the original NFS: Most Wanted, and parts of that game can be found in this version. With over 1-million players online, it’s a well-polished racer that won’t disappoint, developed by EA Games naturally.
You can race with friends online, with a large selection of cars available, which you can customize till your heart is content. It is by far the best free-to-play racing game available.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
For all the Star Wars fans that enjoy an intergalactic adventure game, this role playing MMO from BioWare and EA Games delivers.
You need to spend a little cash to get the cooler abilities, but it is still fun to play. The only downside in my book is all the dialogue, but if that is your cup of tea, become a Jedi and take on the Empire, one mission at a time.
Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft
See, even Blizzard Entertainment has joined the free-to-play games market, with this digital freemium collectible card game. It has been available for about two years now, and it is gaining a lot of momentum in the gaming community worldwide.
Popular with gamers who grew up playing Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon alike, this game is easy to get into, and it is really fun to play with friends online. Perhaps the best part of this game is its portability, as it is also available on mobile devices.
Platforms: Android, iOS, PC & Mac
Tribes: Ascend is a multiplayer-only first person shooter, with jetpacks — which is the best part of this game. Oh, there are also skies and vehicles to choose from, but jetpacks are what it’s all about.
There are nine classes to choose from, each with their own unique weapon load outs and abilities, so you are somewhat spoiled for choice. The games intensity escalates with each match that you play due to the credits awarded at the end of each game, which you can then use to upgrade your base, access vehicles or use tactical strikes.
Free-to-play is all about MOBA games, this time featuring Gods from around the world.
Smite is developed by Hi-Rez Studios, who also brought us Tribes: Ascend (above). The developers managed to deliver a less serious, more casual, fun, and slow-paced battle arena game compared to the likes of Dota 2 and League of Legends.
With the camera being behind your character, it gives the player a different perspective when battling other Gods. It takes a bit of get used to, and if you don’t like it, there are plenty more free MOBA games out there for you to play.
Platforms: Xbox One & PC
Jump into Warframe’s futuristic world and you may be lost for hours. This game is highly addictive and immersive, even more so when you team up with friends in co-op mode and play as a group.
Classified as a third-person shooter, it takes place in an ever evolving sci-fi world that is very beautiful. The game does feature micro-transactions, however the amount of upgrades available are simply staggering. Pack with action, you can wage war against the alien scourge, slicing and dicing, shooting and tearing apart enemies with every push of a button.
Unleash your inner space ninja, with lots of missions and quests.
Platforms :PlayStation 4, Xbox One & PC
Team Fortress 2
Valve offers this amazing free-to-play shooter that continues to evolve, thanks to the community and developer support. A class-based shooter, bringing a slight twist on your normal shooter game, yet very easy to play and boat loads of fun.
Of course it has micro transactions, but these are all cosmetic so you can experience the full potential of this game without spending a cent, but offers gamers the opportunity to actually make money by contributing to the in-game items if you are the creative type.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC & Mac
Relive the early days of fragging your mates, a golden oldie. Quake Live has been around for some time, but that doesn’t mean it is not awesome, which is why I rank this game as a great way to spend your free time.
Lots of gamers are online, so you won’t struggle to find a game, and if you are running low on storage capacity, this game is small so installs fast and allows for quick fun.
Platforms: PC & Mac
Path of Exile
If hack ‘n slash is the name of your game, then this dungeon crawler that’s 100% free is going to blow your mind. It’s an absolute masterpiece for a free-to-play game. If you like customization mechanics, this game has that and more, allowing you to create and build up any kind of character you desire.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms
This new tactical shooter is such a great game; it deserves a spot in my top five. Classified as a multiplayer third person shooter, it is part of the Ghost Recon series of games. You can pick from 3 different classes, Assault, Recon or support.
It is team based, so working together is crucial. You get to use cutting-edge weapons and technology to ensure your squad succeed and dominate on the battlefield. 16-player fire fights don’t disappoint, making for lots of action and intense gameplay.
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U & PC
Everyone has played Dota at some point right? No?
Dota 2 is Valve’s first stab at the MOBA genre, and it nailed it.
The game is huge; it has a massive player base and servers in just about every country in the world, even here in South Africa. Despite only having one map to play, it has over 130 heroes to choose from, which can be kitted out with lots of custom items which you can but through the community market in Steam, or you can get luck and receive the items via drops at the end of each game, even if you lose.
It is a strategy game and due to the amount of heroes being available, it creates thousands of possible team combinations, so no two games are every the same. The success of any team lies in the items, the better the items your heroes gets, the fatter you get, allowing you to unless brutal attack combinations on the enemy team.
Beware: you may fall down the rabbit hole in this game. It is high addictive.
Platform: PC & Mac
League Of Legends
Most of you will know Riot’s monster award winning game, which has an astonishing 67-million players playing the game every month, which seems to just continue to grow. It is arguable the most popular game in the world at the moment.
ts classified as a multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA), meaning a bunch of players meet up online and battle it out on a map to decide who the victorious team will be, then rinse and repeat, mixing up the champions of course and the size of the map depending on your mood. The champion pool is growing just like the player base, offering a large selection of well detailed characters to choose from, to suit every kind of gamer.
This game is very competitive and takes some time to get to grips with if you have never played a MOBA before, so my tip would be to play some BOT games first, before you tackle online games.
Platforms: PC & Mac
Have we left any out? Let us know in the comments section below.