Gaming is an expensive hobby. It’ll typically cost you $300 for a console, plus another $15-60 for a game. Steam makes this process cheaper if you already have a computer.
However, there are free games out there to play. Unlike on mobile platforms, free-to-play isn’t that bad on desktop PCs. In fact, there are quite a few that have thrived for the past decade. Many have large user bases to this day and are a ton of fun to play.
Here are the top 10 free-to-play games on PC in 2018.
10. Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online was released in 2010 and is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac. It’s an MMO that’s deeply ingrained in the Trek universe, and there’s a constant flow of great content constantly released for it. Of course, it’s more freemium than free, as you’ll definitely have to overcome a paywall in order to access the best gear, ships, and content. Still, if you’re looking for a fun way to kill a few thousand hours, there are far worse places to look.
Like Mass Effect 3, Warframe is a four-player coop game. It’s one of the more interesting first-person shooters that actually deviates from the typical format. There’s not much story behind it, but it’s visually appealing with fun weapons to shoot your way through waves of enemies.
Although Riot didn’t invent the Moba genre, it definitely rose up to become the most popular one. In fact, it’s one of the most-played video games in history. At its core is a three-lane 5v5 combat mode, where you rank up your hero’s skills by destroying minions, fighting opponents, and destroying towers. There are other game modes available as well, and each hero has unique skills and play styles.
Card games reminiscent of Magic the Gathering are a dime a dozen these days. Hearthstone is a major reason why. Based on Blizzard’s popular Warcraft universe, it’s a deep game with constantly changing strategies. If you’ve ever dueled someone in World of Warcraft, you’ll have no problem picking up the gameplay and get started.
Adding a new dimension to the MMO, World of Tanks puts you in the seat of a plethora of tanks from the WWII era. Choose from over 150 tanks based on those used by the Americans, Germans, Soviet Union, and more. Then join your team in epic battles across large fields with epic strategies.
Whereas most MMOs focus on battle, Lord of the Rings rewards exploration of its expansive landscapes. Of course, it still retains the basics of MMOs (quests, dungeons, and monster slaying), and there’s a ton of content you can enjoy without needing to spend any cash.
4. Starcraft II
Starcraft 2 only recently became free-to-play in late 2017. Now that it is, it’s easily the most in-depth and expansive free game on the market. You’ll still need to pay for the expansions, but you can play multiplayer, coop, and single-player campaigns and duels. Build a civilization and military and put it up against others. You’ll find yourself playing for hours on end.
3. Dota 2
Defense of the Ancients spawned as a battle arena mod from Warcraft III. In that, it created the Moba genre, before passing the torch on to League of Legends. Its sequel, Dota 2, was developed by Valve Corporation and IceFrog as one of the most polished Mobas on the market. And its community is much less toxic than LoL.
Smite brought a new perspective to the Moba by moving the camera behind the player instead of giving a bird’s eye view. Characters are based on gods from a variety of historical pantheons, like Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Hindu, and more. Harness your god’s powers, gear him up, and destroy the other team in a variety of game modes.
Team Fortress 2 was released in 2007 as part of Valve’s Orange Box. Underneath its cartoony graphics lies a deep game that’s managed to remain popular for over a decade. Choose your favorite class and compete in Capture the Flag, Control Point, Arena, King of the Hill, and other great modes in quick, fast-paced matches. Team Fortress 2 is epic, and if you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the last 10 years, there’s no better time than now to jump in and start playing.