We used to cringe when the industry labeled games “free-to-play.” Today, there are still horrible, dumb free-to-play games available, lots of them in fact.
But sometimes, we get something that totally blows our mind. Sometimes, we find a free-to-play game that doesn’t try to dupe gamers out of money or are not intentionally boring in order to make the unlocks you have to buy exciting.
In this article, you’ll find a list of games so awesome the professional IT services could’ve charged instead of choosing to be free-to-play. These aren’t just so-so good games; they’re awesome games, period.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas still rule the free-to-play scene. Not only do they have a humongous amount of users, but Dota 2 still holds the record for the largest e-sports prize on earth. The International 5 has a prize pool of more than $20 million in 2017. Just WOW!
If you’ve still never tried immersing in MOBA waters, it’s good to know that Dota 2 is the progeny to the WarCraft III game or Defense of the Ancients – the great godfather of the whole genre. Players choose a hero and fight it out versus the opposing team, fighting to beat the enemy base by defeating foes with skillful tactics. Or, if you’re like my friends, you choose a hero and do something stupid in 5 minutes in, and your entire posse gets mad because they know that you’re all beaten.
Heroes of the Storm
One of the MOBA big three is Blizzard’s own – Heroes of the Storm. It’s a bit more accessible than both Dota 2 and LOL because it comes at the cost of a lower skill bracket.
However, Blizzard seems more willing to check the waters too – like putting a two-headed monster that needs to be played by two different players at the same time. Call it cool. Call it dumb. It’s at least unique.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is a big-budget game that has transitioned from “something you need to buy” to “something that’s free.” Whatever made Valve decide to put Team Fortress 2 into a free-to-play shooter format, it surely worked! Being released a decade after its initial launch, it’s still one of the top 10 most-played games that still receives updates, and still blows gamers’ minds.
Path of Exile
This is what a free-to-play game done right looks like – it’s Path of Exile. To begin with, it’s one of the most epic action-RPGs in recent history. Its unique leveling system is the talk of the town, but the entire point-at-things-and-kill-it aspect has an awesome feel to it. The loot drops are amazing; and the world itself is mind-blowing.
But what really rattles my jimmies is that developer Grinding Gear still adds a huge amount of content to the game every year. It looks like the studio gets in touch with gamers about these expansions once or twice a year. The game’s newest expansion – “The Fall of Oriath” – is to be released this year, adding another arc to the game’s already awesome story.