Five Free-to-Play Games You Should Care About

Free-to-play is moving beyond the cutesy, Korean-based MMORPGs into all sorts of genres and styles. We highlight five of our most anticipated games.

For some, thinking of a free-to-play game conjures up images of adorable, anime-inspired warriors running through the open fields of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or an endless wave of pay-to-win items that reward players with the fattest stacks. Well, take heart, because that's not all they can be. The free-to-play scene is primed to E-X-P-L-O-D-E. With free-to-play including everything from first-person shooters to massive online battle arenas to real-time strategy games, more and more developers are recognizing the potential of this market.

Over the past few months, we've seen a lot of interesting up-and-coming games. Five of our favorites that may have passed under your radar have been collected in this little feature. We'll be revealing a new one each day this week. This will happen at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. And, would you look at that, our first selection is already unveiled. Why not give it a click and check it out!

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

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207 comments
bababa12128
bababa12128

Planetside 2 is mysteriously absent from this list!

wexorian
wexorian

Vindictus, Riaderz is on the way also, rusty hearts, brawl busters They should be in List.

wexorian
wexorian

@Ballen04 I agree that's best Engine for free 2 play, But it won't work for every game. perfect world games got same currency system. why ppl say that this is false there are lot games wich ones are free 2 play and only exp buffs skins etc minnor things are cost real money.

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

@max_1111 that's what i call a wall of crap you think you know someone cause he hates something(probably knows all the eastern world ) and well in order to progress in many of this game you do have to spend "well earned cash" and wtf is your obsession with Korea is all about wasn't talking about them wasn't even slightly reminding of that hell hole. As i said and will always say you yanks are all about money. and i don't even like doughnuts!!! @dbz_nappa noting was parried, his argument is pointless while he knows there true as night and day and i never said it is about pay for win.....skill is the key to win in most games(and cheap tricks...) and i am not addressing this^^ specific games or developers..... and unlike you i speak of experience of working with people as such so do not tell me what i do know or do not....its just pathetic saying that there are company's aren't driving by your bloody coin although i don't play league of legends i know for exact there is the ability to purchase coin and trade it for buffs of such... and last @max_1111 i am insalted you think i go "BRAAWGRLLLFRRBBBRRBRLLLBRRLLL!!!"! i go "FRAAAAAABRAWWWWWWWWGLERRRRRRRRRRR" GET IT TO YOUR FREAKING GRID!

max_1111
max_1111

@dbz_nappa props dude, thanks. @DITHRICH When did i ever say that they're not out to make money? Of course they are!! How else are they supposed to recoup development costs and sustain themselves and their business? I guess, no, i don't get "your grid" (whatever that is)... Frankly all i see out of you is "DOWN WITH CAPITALISM!!!! RAAAGHH!!! I HAVE TEH MAD RAGE!!! I AM BLIND BENEATH MY WAIST AND CAN'T TASTE DOUGHNUTS WITH MY EYES!!! EFFF TEH SYSTEM!!! BRAAWGRLLLFRRBBBRRBRLLLBRRLLL!!!" These games are free... FREE... This means i do not pay one single red cent until i decide i want to, if at all. In a North American Free to Play game (so far) there is Anyway.. Said my piece... I'm the hell on up outta' this conversation... My head is starting to get all bashed up from banging it into a brick wall...

AzatiS
AzatiS

Sorry maxwell but the pinnacle of free to play games at the moment is League of Legends. A phenomenal , with more than 30++ million register users and more than 12million active users. And above all , a 100% free to play game made it to be the most POPULAR game in every PRO LEAGUE in 2011 and in 2012. Every live stream gets x3-x5 more viewers than major games like Counter strike and Starcraft 2. If LoL is not in your list , you did something wrong pal.

dbz_nappa
dbz_nappa

@DITRICH Why all the hate? Max_1111 beautifully parried your arguments, and you just laugh it off, offering nothing substantial to rebut. As for your last comment, show me one company that isn't driven by the dollar. Fortunately, not all games have gone the way of activision and EA. I still play League of Legends daily. I have over 700 wins, over 1200 games played, and you know what? I never spent a dime on it. In fact, I've been gifted an amount of the online currency just for not getting banned. It is yet another f2p game where money can only buy u cosmetic things, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to gain an edge over opponents just by spending money. I will give them money now because I choose to and because they have earned it. Not because they milk it out of me. If you ask me, you need to pull your head in and stop speaking generally when u don't know what you're talking about. @max_1111 +1 for every comment dude

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

End of Nations and blacklight i'm aware of. but the other three i've never heard about b4. and anyway i'm involved in enough free to play games as it is like Dungeon fighter online and DC universe online amoung a few others.

aepervius
aepervius

@hitomo funny things is , those F2P game even have a name for those addicts paying : "a whale". Basically they are aware only very few player pay up, less than 10% if i recall correctly, and there are a very small subset which pay a LOT and are called whales.

Brendy_Boy
Brendy_Boy

I find your lack of FireFall disturbing.

hitomo
hitomo

stop this viral-marketing ! F2P is always a scam, this has to stop! those commercials disguised as inrofmation is just to much gamers are only seen as addicts that can be fooled and milked if you want to make money dont resort to unethical mechanics

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

@max_1111 your pathetic assumptions amuse me. Yes i have played and apparently you don't get my grid.... The company's look for every single/simple way to milk money out of us.. Tell me i am wrong and you tell them to take your money. And all i have to say to you is "pfft".

rezatareza
rezatareza

i thing air mech it's awsome, transfpremer style. evry vihacle can change to robot.

Ballen04
Ballen04

Perfect example of a well thought out F2P game is League of Legends. While you can put money into it if you wish, doing so does not give you any gameplay advantage over the people that don't spend a cent. The only things that can be bought with real money are things like characters (which can also be purchased using the in-game monetary called IP which is earned through experience) and skins to make your characters look different. Any actual gameplay upgrades like armour etc that can give you an advantage over your opponents can only be purchased via the IP system which you have to earn rather than simply buy. This is why it's become so popular so fast, I just don't understand why more F2P games aren't like this.

Gruug
Gruug

There is not a one of these that even interest me. And, knock off the "free-to-play" hyping. It is not FREE to play only free to start. If you wish to really get into any of these game, you have to fork over real money....doing so make them PAY to play.

max_1111
max_1111

@DITHRICH Have you ever actually... y'know... TRIED a Free to Play game lately, or are you just one of those people who thinks that acting like a tightwad makes you look smart? I've my suspicions that you sit in the latter category. EDIT: And just to cut you off at the pass here; no i haven't payed a single dime for any Free to Play games. Currently i play Tribes: Ascend and have zero problems holding my own and getting upgrades that i want/need to play the game... If, however, i continue playing i do absolutely plan to spend a few bucks on it because i enjoy it and guess what? The devs need to be able to eat as well.

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

what about Crytek's F2P game? Warface! :D

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

The tittle design of Sins of a Dark Age is pretty bad.. lol

Vari3ty
Vari3ty

Sins of a Dark Age is going to be F2P? Hmm, might just have to check this out..

King9999
King9999

End of Nations is looking really good. Looks like the modern C&C game I wanted but never got.

ps2fatboy
ps2fatboy

i just downloaded blacklight ,and i must admit for a free game its pretty good alot of upgrades and stuff,and a few aussies like myself are playing it so it nice to see that ,

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

Should have listed planetside 2... but then... all of these would have looked bad.

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

Those all look pretty coo!!. On a personal note to Maxwell, please consider updating your pen name to something a little more creative/imaginative, have a good one. Peace.

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ShadowRun02
ShadowRun02

without Tribes: Ascend, Mech-warrior online and Ghost Recon Online this list is unworthy and incomplete....

SNor100
SNor100

parrot_of_adun lol yea ill give you that

NoX5
NoX5

ummmmm.......................... why the HELL isn't planetside 2 in this list? he neglects to put a AAA game in his list and expects me to take this list seriously? HAAH!!!

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

@max_1111 first of all your ignorance is acknowledged and by what your not much of a PC gamer and never probably had the ideal of an unfair advantage, and as it always will be the ones who pay to be on top rather its a better tools of combat or exp cards, f2p games are never free and my bubble is as big as the world and if its small it just means the world is smaller and don't get me wrong i am not saying that you shouldn't play f2p since these look amazing i am just saying the capitalism personalty of the world is looking for a new way to conquer the world of video games by making you feel bad in games of such when other players have "better " gear then your's making you rather pissed...so your ignorance is forgiven and have a nice day!

entereddanny
entereddanny

I used to play Sherwood Dungeon like mad. It was pretty cool.

Rimsa_Laded
Rimsa_Laded

which one of these games is the one with the 4 well-drawn chraracters in futuristic suits?

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Duuudee!! how about "Path Of Exile" its F2P, its influenced a lot by original Diablo.

Ombus
Ombus

FIREFALL !!! go, watch videos of gameplay and you will know !!! aaa game freeeeee no buy power !!!! on the 6 of april the dna is lifted and tons of info will be know ( i am in beta ).

max_1111
max_1111

@DITHRICH First, I think the word you were looking for was "living". Secondly, I don't know that you're allowed to beak off about people being ignorant when you're still clinging to the old adage of Free to Play automatically meaning "pay to win" or "failing game". How can you even say the latter would be remotely true when there are multitudes of games being released from day one for free (for the North American / European crowd)? Your ever so worldly bubble is lookin' a bit on the tiny side there.

Rikenem
Rikenem

if you want a good f2p dc universe is the one

GiantsFan2290
GiantsFan2290

these gamespot writers are gettin sassy...watch out

megakick
megakick

Those are some pretty crappy F2P games. Is GS trying to make F2P look bad?

jalen_222
jalen_222

Dear Santa, Let me get this straight: a bunch of people spent untold hours/days/years - and money - developing a game ... and we get to play it for free ... cough cough ... Dear Tooth Fairy ...

Llama345
Llama345

Me likey free to play. But I'm boo-whoing about having a mac=[[

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

As for everyone complaining that so-and-so game is up there, get a grip folks :) This is an ongoing feature. We feature free to play games in all sorts of ways, and if a game is not on this list right now, that isn't some declaration that it is somehow unworthy, or that we forgot about it. Had we left one of these games off, I am sure fans would have come swarming in to complain about that, too. Relax--it's just games, after all! Goodness gracious, pull it back a notch.