Looking for the best free PC game? Whether you’re broke or just frugal, free is a price point that appeals to everybody’s purse. We’ve collated the top free games on PC guaranteed to deliver a near endless stream of complementary entertainment. All you need to spend is your time.
From military to sci-fi to fantasy, from MMOs to block-builders to card battlers, it turns out that zero can buy you quite a lot in the F2P game world – and that some classics are available at the steepest possible discount. From cultural phenomenons like Fortnite, to all-time classics like Team Fortress 2, there are good games for free that suit literally every type of PC player.
To get started in your journey to playing the top free PC games for 2020, you need just look at this very extensive list we’ve put together. Finding these free download PC games reminded us just how far the world has come; you really can get triple-A quality games without spending a penny. Dauntless can hold a flame to Monster Hunter: World, Paladins is as stylish as Overwatch, and League of Legends is the only MOBA you need to care about. So without further ado, here are the best free games on PC.
The Best Free PC games are:
WORLD OF TANKS
One of the mightiest PC tank games there has ever been, World of Tanks 1.0 is an accessible and exciting tank simulator that is built on a foundation of complex game mechanics. It pits two teams of tankers against each other in a classic deathmatch scenario. There are hundreds of vehicles to unlock across ten different tiers, from speedy scouts to hulking heavies. You will be surprised at how many tanks Wargaming have managed to cram in.
Want to try World of Tanks? PCGamesN has teamed up with Wargaming to give a free US tank – the M22 Locust and 600 gold to any new players who sign up using this link.
Play World of Tanks for free
MAGIC: THE GATHERING ARENA
Thanks to CCG titan Hearthstone, there are lot more card gaming experts around than there used to be. Recent card gaming converts can move onto games like Gwent or The Elder Scrolls: Legends for themed twists that boast a few new mechanics, but if you want a real challenge then you can’t beat Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Wizards of the Coast’s latest digital port of the revered paper card game is certainly not for the faint-hearted – it’s based on the trading card game that’s been going since 1993, so you can only imagine how many cards and keywords are at play. Magic: The Gathering Arena does an excellent job of shedding some of that historic baggage while retaining most of the complexity that makes Magic so special, and it comes complete with all of the board animations and sensory delights that we’ve come to expect of modern CCGs.
Play Magic: The Gathering for free
WORLD OF WARSHIPS
If you like the idea of World of Tanks but the battlefields just are not wet enough, then you need World of Warships. Introducing the navy to the concept of deathmatch, the controls are simple and welcoming, but allow for interesting tactics. World of Warships is more fun than Total War’s pondering naval engagements, definitely more approachable than Silent Hunter, and far, far deeper than the Pirates games. Surprisingly deep, if you’ll excuse the submariner humour. The World of Warships esports scene is also far more exciting than it has any right to be.
Play World of Warships for free
You don’t have to find a group of like-minded aviation enthusiasts on a message board and join their virtual squadron to enjoy War Thunder. You don’t have to choose between realism or accessibility, either. You just download it, and then you’re flying – or driving, or shooting, or even both at the same time. This massively-multiplayer WW2 combat game effortlessly encompasses all of the explosions and excitement that planes and tanks are capable of generating. Not sure where to start? Our War Thunder tips will help point your tank’s cannon in the right direction. If you’re looking for war games that put you in the thick of it then War Thunder is for you.
Play War Thunder for free
Rift was once a subscription-based fantasy MMO – like World of Warcraft in new trousers, essentially. It made its name by updating and improving itself at a ferocious pace, with new raids, new zones, new world events appearing on a monthly basis. Now it is entirely free-to-play: you can explore its colourful, exciting world without spending a penny. And when you consider how many hours you can sink into Rift, that’s not a bad deal at all.
Play Rift for free
BLADE & SOUL
Blade & Soul’s story is of a journey to the West: well-regarded enough in Asia to prompt a 10,000 signature petition for wider release, this martial arts MMO has since blown up under NCSoft West’s stewardship. The keys to its success? High-wire swordplay pulled straight from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and a propulsive revenge plot akin to that of Kill Bill. It is a highlights package of the best of Wushu. If you’re a little wary of starting out in a new MMO then check out our Blade & Soul beginner’s guide.
Play Blade & Soul for free
ArcheAge is the closest thing we’ve got to a proper pirate MMO. You can try to master the endless sea as a notorious pirate or choose to be a humble peddler of crafted goods. The labour system – how ArcheAge gates its content – may take time to get used to, but nevertheless it is a really solid free-to-play experience.
Even if you’re not after one of the best pirate games, there’s plenty of classic fantasy MMO elements to keep you happy. Yes, magical swords and fancy armour are still a huge part of ArcheAge. Some of that armour is on the backs of dragon mounts – majestic killers raised by players who want to tame the skies as well as the seas. ArcheAge: Unchained, a version of ArcheAge that requires a one-time purchase, was released in 2019 – but the original is still one of the best free MMOs around.
Play ArcheAge for free
Crossout is a vehicular combat MMO in which you craft outlandish cars and then drive them into battle alongside other players. Set to a Mad-Max-stye backdrop of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, there’s an emphasis on deep customisation as well as skilful driving and aiming. Crossout contains a variety of co-op and competitive game modes, as well as a marketplace full of tradable goods. The sheer number of Crossout factions, different body types, guns, cannons, and armour ensures that there are many different ways to play… although they are all pretty deadly.
Play Crossout for free
Trove may look a lot like Minecraft, but in reality it’s a thoroughbred MMO replete with classes inspired by sword and sorcery classics. Just like those MMO great, Trove is also all about grinding for more and more gear, making it a great hobby game especially as it regularly receives hefty updates that add everything from new dungeons to PvP game modes for you to try out.
Play Trove for free
GUILD WARS 2
Guild Wars 2 is one of the best MMOs available. Even better: you can play a huge chunk of it for free. There’s a lot to do, from traditional questing for NPCs to zone events where everyone can suddenly get involved and work as a massive team to bring down a boss, or help a burning village. The free-to-play base game is huge, and if you choose to purchase the Path of Fire expansion, they’ll throw in the Heart of Thorns expansion for free.
Play Guild Wars 2 for free
So many great things have started out as jokes: bacon flavoured cola, sincere Spinal Tap fans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now Cuisine Royale. This free-to-play battle royale game where you strap pots and pans to yourself in place of plate armour started out as a spinoff for squad-based MMO shooter Enlisted, but quickly garnered its own player base. And it’s easy to see why as the freedom of being a ‘joke’ game has allowed developer Darkflow Software to experiment with mechanics PUBG wouldn’t dare consider, like demonic powers, Champions, and even jetpacks.
Play Cuisine Royale for free
A shiny, colourful space sim that places you in a massively multiplayer universe, Star Conflict drops you right in the middle of an interplanetary skirmish that encompasses both PvE and PvP. Its void is as roomy as any other sector of space you might name, while its busy, man-made surface environments recall the twisty tunnels of the Descent series.
Play Star Conflict for free
Albion Online’s class-less sandbox MMO is a refreshing journey into a medieval world where you’re not bound to a certain playstyle. Albion is less about character builds and more about strategy and tactics in a PvP driven environment that focuses on building a guild with fellow players.
It’s a high-stakes venture and creates battles that quickly turn on their head. Although Albion Online’s environment leaves much to be imagined, the player-controlled economy and unforgiving loot system make for hours lost battling foes, delving into dungeons, and riding through lush green fields on your loyal steed.
Play Albion Online for free
STAR TREK ONLINE
Who wouldn’t want to take control of a starship, explore the fringes of the galaxy, battle dangerous aliens and train an elite crew of pangalactic professionals? Star Trek Online is your chance to show the internet that you’d make a much better Picard than Picard. Or, at least, than they do. Each quest in this MMO is like an episode of the show, and each mission series is an arc, complete with the occasional filler episode. Packed full of the best pieces from Roddenberry’s universe, this is the only MMO for a true Trekkie.
HEROES & GENERALS
Do you want to shoot all the guns and make all the decisions? War isn’t all about what happens on the front line, but nor is it about the decisions made back at headquarters, so Heroes & Generals is the perfect game for players who want to try a bit of both. The game has been tailored for a variety of Heroes & Generals players, so there’s something for all different skill levels. Plus, it’s still getting massive updates on the regular, which have added new game modes, seasonal events, and control overhauls. The game also now gives you the first soldier for free when you unlock a new class, meaning it’s even easier for new players to find their favourite.
It says something about how special PC gaming is that one of the best platformers we’ve ever seen is still free. Spelunky is inspired by 8-bit old games, but it procedurally generates its levels so that you have something new to explore every time you play. It also has snakes, boulders, ice caves, and more bats than you can shake your shotgun at. If you can find one in the darkness.
A top-down, team-based action game where each of you takes the role of an engineer, medic, gunner, and so forth. Alien Swarm takes its inspiration from a certain very famous sci-fi film and throws hordes of horrific extraterrestrials at you across a series of ever more difficult levels.
Race against the clock and coordinate with your team to get to the shuttle or to put up your sentry guns before time runs out.
SUPER CRATE BOX
Super Crate Box is a super-fast, super-dangerous platformer where enemies constantly drop from the top of the screen. Score points not by killing them, but by collecting crates, each of which has a new weapon for you, though some are much better than others. Let any of the monsters past you and into the fire below and they respawn more powerful than before. Repeat this formula and enjoy ad infinitum.
There you have it, our complete list of the best free PC games. As you can see there are loads of experiences you can enjoy for nothing, and the top free games will keep you hooked for hundreds of hours. For more free PC games goodness, check out our definitive list of the best free Steam games and the free MMOs you should try. And, if you’re in the market for dropping some cash, find out about the best PC games around – you don’t want that hard-earned money to go to waste, after all.