Raid: Shadow Legends offers a more strategic, management-focused take on the genre, as its gameplay largely revolves around collecting heroes and optimising your squad. The turn-based combat encourages clever and calculated play, which will test the skills of both newcomers and more experienced players.
Planes, tanks, and ships battling it out for ever and ever and ever. That is the ultimate goal of War Thunder. It is a F2P title that specialises in vehicular warfare, with three similar but largely separate games under its title: Ground Forces, Aviation, and Naval Battles.
As varied as it is satisfying, Crossout is a post-apocalyptic MMO action game that gives you the chance to scavenge and craft the materials to build more fearsome vehicles of battle beyond the imagination of any ten-year-old. What more could you possibly want from your online multiplayer games?
In what is essentially a free-to-play Mad Max: The Game, you customise a unique and wide range of vehicles with dozens of bespoke parts and use them to destroy your enemies in high-octane, action-packed skirmishes. You can play in both PvE and PvP modes, even fighting against player-created bosses.
Storm the beaches of Normandy and battle across Europe in this free-to-play WWII shooter. Enlisted offers players the chance to fight and strategise as they take on a number of key campaigns from the conflict, where each new location offers unique weapons, vehicles, and aircraft to aid you in your battle.
There are over 800 tanks in World of Tanks, and if you revisit this page in the next hour that number will likely have grown. Essentially, if you are a fan of military hardware, you are a fan of World of Tanks. Unlike War Thunder however, World of Tanks does not ask you to pour hours of research into learning the armour ratings and layout of every vehicle in the game; instead, World of Tanks takes a more arcade approach.
The change of pace makes for action that is more calculated and nerve-wracking. It can take a long time for shots to meet their targets, which means that every moment is spent trying to avoid incoming fire or anticipating where your foe will have moved to. World of Warships is also more cinematic than its on-tracks sibling thanks to the sheer scale its warfare is conducted on. Oh, and it has got some lovely sunsets too, if that is what you want from a free-to-play war game.
Questing and progressing in Star Trek Online plays out like episodes from the TV series: one moment you are wandering through space, the next you are having to do deals with, or shoot lasers at, one of the many franchise belligerents. Be it in spaceship battles or on the ground where gameplay takes the form of a third-person shooter, Star Trek Online does a brilliant job of bringing the storylines and tone of the TV shows into an F2P MMO. It even gets updated regularly like a TV show, with expansions like Victory is Life adding the crew from Deep Space Nine to the game.
These days, you can find tons of free MMOs online, but Wizard101 is one that originated back in 2008 and has remained popular over the years since then. In it, you play as a student of the Ravenwood School for Magical Arts and have to decide whether you want to enrol in the school of Fire, Ice, Storm, Myth, Life, Death, or Balance. Each school sets your character on a different path that will see them developing different sets of magical abilities, all of which will have an effect on how you battle enemies.
Making an MMO out of the beloved Final Fantasy series was never going to be easy. As if to prove that point, Square Enix made a royal mess of Final Fantasy XIV the first time around and had to take another swing at it, eventually turning one of their worst games into one of the best MMOs on PC.
Following in the footsteps of Genshin Impact, this anime style open-world action MMORPG is taking the internet by storm. This is one of those free games where you can see the developer really pushed the boat out, and exploring the world of Aida soon gets very addictive.
Not many games boast battles so costly and sprawling that books have been written about them. Eve Online is a free MMO and galactic conquest simulator like nothing else in games, where corporations made up of thousands of players duke it out across an entire solar system. You can start your own venture in this hostile galaxy, but the main draw is petitioning a corporation to hire you and throwing yourself into the life of a space age peon.
The player-driven economy and risky nature of losing all your loot in a poorly calculated move against your opponents or from an unprecedented enemy ambush is the main draw in Albion, a game that pushes tactics and decision making to the forefront of the genre.
Since 2004, I've penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including the late, great 1UP; Laptop; Parenting; Sync; Wise Bread; and WWE. I now apply that knowledge and skillset as the Managing Editor of PCMag's Apps & Gaming team.
Free-to-play games have become increasingly popular over the years, and it's easy to understand why. They're excellent time sinks, and are now so robust that you never feel handcuffed for not plunking down real cash.
We've got some obvious picks in our list, like the massively popular battle royale game Fortnite, which combines third-person shooting, resource gathering, and building to create a highly addicting multiplayer experience. Of course, no free-to-play PC list would be complete without Riot Games' highly popular MOBA League of Legends. That said, there are numerous other free-to-play games on PC, many of which may have flown under your gaming radar.
Some of these free titles you can find on Steam, others are on Epic Games Store, and still others can only be downloaded from a game's official website. All are well worth playing, so grab a keyboard, mouse, fight stick, or gamepad and let the good times begin.
If dungeon crawling isn't your thing, Blade & Soul's arena offers excellent PVP action to slake your competitive bloodthirst. Leveling is fairly easy, too, so it doesn't take very long to get to max level, where the game's content really opens up.
Brawlhalla maybe inspired by Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, but the game features a few, cool twists that give it unique flavor. This fighting game lets you knuckle up in four-player competitive matches, with the object of knocking your opponent off the platform to score points.
Like Samurai Shodown, Brawlhalla is a weapons-based affair, so each of the 40 fighters has a designated set of weapons they can use during a match. These weapons randomly rain onto stages and complement your move set. Brawlhalla has a weekly rotation of playable characters, but you can purchase you favorites using in-game currency. Even better, Brawlhalla has cross-platform play between PC and consoles, so you'll always find a match.
Monster Hunter World has made a massive critical and commercial impact, so it's no shock to see games that are inspired by Capcom's series. Dauntless is one such title. Dauntless pits you against vicious behemoths in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting. It can be played in single player or multiplayer modes, with up to four people hacking at a beast's shins. Multiple combat classes keep the fighting interesting.
In Destiny 2, you and your crew play as Guardians, immortal warriors who travel the solar system taking down interplanetary threats. This sci-fi shooter has seen many changes since its 2017 launch, such as moving to a free-to-play model, adding the Destiny Content Vault, and increasing the planet count. Destiny 2 is one of the most action-heavy MMOs that you'll find on PC, so it could be your bag if you dig Call of Duty.
This free-to-play MOBA game tasks you with selecting one of more than 100 playable Heroes to take to the battlefield (with am option to buy them), utilizing the character's unique abilities, play style, and attributes to help your team achieve victory.
Like Nidhogg, Eggnog+ sees you clash with an opponent in sword duels as you race to the opposite side of the map. You can use your weapon as a projectile, as well as a melee tool. In addition, Eggnog+ features retro style visuals that give the game plenty of old school charm as you parry and thrust.
Truthfully, Eve Online is more of a social experiment than a game, as it forces you to engage with a vast universe of potentially cutthroat existing users merely to survive. If you decide to give it a go, you'll discover that Eve Online is one of the most rewarding and unique games ever made.
Fornite, the incredibly popular battle royale game, pits 100 players against one another in an increasingly shrinking map, until a single player or squad is left standing. Fortnite incorporates resource gathering and building, in addition to the gunplay, so you must run around the field with your handy pickax to collect fort-worthy materials.
There are plenty of excellent card-based games on the market, and Hearthstone is definitely high on that list. Hearthstone draws its cards from Warcraft lore, and features relics and characters from the series.
League uses a freemium transaction model; free champions rotate weekly, unless you decide to pay cash to permanently keep a character. You can also play regularly to earn in-game currency, which can be used to purchase champions.
Lost Ark is a free-to-play action-RPG that recently made it's highly anticipated U.S. debut after thrilling overseas audiences for some time now. The Smilegate RPG-developed game (published stateside by Amazon Games) features thrilling ranged and melee combatants that are spread across 15 character classes.
It's a beautiful title that features strong singleplayer and multiplayer action, especially in its robust endgame. Sure, Lost Ark could use better controller support, but the MMO is a terrific time sink.
MultiVersus, Warner Bros. Games' fun-filled platform-fighter, lets you mix it up with other players using characters from DC Comics, Game of Thrones, Looney Tunes, and other properties. The free-to-play game has enough familiar faces (including Bugs Bunny, Garnet, Wonder Woman, and Space Jam: A New Legacy's own LeBron James) and tight, solo or team-based fisticuffs to keep your hooked for hours. The game is frequently updated, too. We can't wait to see how the gameplay evolves, and the new characters added from the deep WB pool. 2b1af7f3a8