Over the past few years, the free-to-play subset of games has seen massive growth and Steam is home to some of the best games of this lot. While the free-to-play space was primarily occupied by lower-budget indie titles, major publishers and developers have now adopted the free-to-play model – giving way to major innovation and competition in the space.
While many of these games on this list will contain microtransactions or paid expansions, the base game is listed for free on Steam. Games such as Destiny 2 offer the base game for free, but expansions such as the new “The Witch Queen” will require an additional purchase to play the new content.
The likes of Ubisoft, EA, and Activision have dipped their toe in the free-to-play pool and some have thrived in a major way. However, there are plenty of great indie titles you also can play for free through Steam.
List of Best Free Games on Steam
War Thunder is quite possibly one of the most well-crafted and authentic military MMO games currently available and it is easily one of the most fun games you can play today. The game is available for free and gives players a chance to get behind several massive military machines such as jets, armoured vehicles, naval crafts, and much more.
Players can take to the sea, air, or land to fight massive battles against players, and for those with VR Headsets, War Thunder is a must-have. Getting into a dogfight and duking it out with other players at high speeds never quite fails to entertain and War Thunder is a game you’re going to be coming back to quite frequently.
What makes War Thunder really special is the fact that the basic mechanics of the game are quite easy to adjust to, but mastering them will take a whole lot of effort and practice.
There was a lot of scepticism around Destiny when the first game came out in 2014, seeing as many players did not quite understand the live-service element of the game, but over the years, the franchise has evolved into one of the most beloved ones in history. The sequel, Destiny 2, is available for free – giving players access to the base game, and players can choose to purchase more expansions if they want to.
Destiny 2 is one of the most well-polished shooters around and it constantly impresses players with its depth of progression, story, and RPG elements. The game presents players with a decently cool story that players can choose to experience by themselves or join up with other players to tackle more challenging missions.
Raids make up the majority of the reason why players continue to play Destiny 2 and they are some of the most fun experiences in gaming you can have today. Destiny 2 is one of the most fun multiplayer games currently available and the base game is available for free.
Despite its age, Warframe doesn’t only survive in a murderer’s row of quality free-to-play games, it thrives on its unique identity and unconventional gameplay. Warframe is one of the most resilient multiplayer games around and despite its multiplayer stylings, the game has a pretty decent story that is fun to play through.
This multiplayer game packs a ton of content and is best enjoyed when playing with or against friends. The game will test the player’s skills when it comes to shooting and melee – but also gives them enough options to tailor and craft their character to better suit their own skillsets.
The game, because of its age, isn’t very taxing on your PC and should run comfortably on low to medium-end PCs. Warframe is a fast-paced shooter/slasher that allows players to craft and customize their characters quite extensively. It is available for download for free on Steam.
Apex Legends, now also available on mobile, is easily one of the most exciting battle royale games currently available. The game has breathed new life into a genre that had grown quite stale and has successfully become one of the most popular BR games worldwide.
Apex Legends gives players an option to pick from 10 different “Legends”, characters with unique powers, skillset, and personalities – and pits them against 20 other squads of 3 players each. The goal, like most battle royale games, is to come out on top as the last squad standing but Apex Legends really shines when it comes to individual matchups and teamwork.
The goal might be to survive, but that doesn’t mean you cannot kill with style. Apex Legends allows players to execute flashy moves and interesting tactics to trap and kill enemy squads, adding just that extra bit of flair.
Halo Infinite Multiplayer
Despite not being the series’ most popular entry to date, Halo Infinite Multiplayer does a great job being a solid Halo experience that fans of the franchise can get behind. The Multiplayer component to the game is free-to-play and you can download the game through Steam or the Xbox Game Pass app.
The Multiplayer experience feels familiar as it shares its DNA with some of the most influential games in the history of the medium. However, it adds a bunch of new toys to the mix and creates a cool blend of new stuff mixed with elements of good ol’ Halo Multiplayer fun.
If you are a fan of the series, you are most likely going to enjoy Halo Infinite Multiplayer but it also serves as a great entry point for those still new to the franchise.
EVE Online is perhaps one of the most impressive feats in modern gaming and stands in a class of its own as one of the most expansive MMO experiences in gaming, period. The game puts players in control of a spacefaring individual and is free to forge their own destiny and choose their path by forming alliances, exploring, and mining.
The core gameplay of EVE Online revolves around exploring different planets and engaging with the community on a level deeper than most other MMOs. The game has seen tremendous growth and its history of development spans over two decades – providing players with a vast world for them to explore to their hearts content.
Corporate espionage, social engineering and sabotage are core tenets of EVE Online and players can engage in all sorts of PvP and PvE experiences during their time in the game.
PUBG is born anew as a free-to-play title with all sorts of new content, the least of which is a new map that is scheduled to arrive soon. The game that kicked off a Battle Royale revolution, PUBG remains as fun as it ever was, but with all sorts of new glitz and toys for players to play around with.
PUBG: Battlegrounds is a fun BR experience for those who like large-scale shooters with a hint of survival mechanics. The game continues to evolve and its new, free-to-play model allows new players to try the game without a barrier of entry – giving way for a new audience to discover the game.
The game is available to purchase and download for free through Steam although microtransactions are still present in the game.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt is a uniquely singular experience that puts players in control of supernatural vampires. The game is a battle royale experience set in a war-torn Prague as a result of the warring vampire functions.
Guns, bows, and vampire powers make for an interesting combination as players are free to explore their abilities and unleash all sorts of vampire destruction on their enemies. The large-scale feel of the game perfectly compliments each individual player’s abilities and makes for a uniquely fun battle royale game.
The game came out only in April 2022 and has quickly amassed a solid player base that tunes into the game regularly. Dropping into Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt right now is a good call as the game will continue to receive more quality updates and it’ll be easier to find players of similar level.
Splitgate was an indie sensation that took the shooter community by storm in 2020 and continues to be an impressive experience 3 years after launch. The game has been likened to a mix between Halo and Portal as players can deploy all sorts of space-bending portals within the arena to create interesting combat opportunities.
The arena shooter is a solid PvP experience that can provide players with countless hours of fun. The game, developed by 1047 Games, continues to receive content updates and improve over time.
STAR WARS: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is an iconic MMORPG title that is free-to-play on Steam. The game allows players to choose any one of the iconic Star Wars classes, including Jedi, Sith, Bounty Hunter, and more. The game is a story-driven MMORPG that provides players with countless questlines and interesting PvP opportunities.
The game is set 3000 years before the Empire, so chances are, this is fairly new territory for Star Wars fans and an interesting insight into the world before the Empire. Developed by BioWare, the game contains signature BioWare elements such as interesting storytelling, branching paths, and, most importantly – dramatic space battles.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, despite its age, is one of the more polished and rewarding MMORPGs you can play today.
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