Top 5 Free-To-Play Games That Are So Good They Should Cost Money

These games are an absolute treat to play despite being free of cost.

Story Highlights

  • These five free-to-play games are so enticing that it’s almost criminal that they’re free.
  • From exciting Dota 2 rounds to a fun round of Counter-Strike, there is much to explore.
  • Compared to many failed AAA titles nowadays, these F2P entries stand out as the opposite.

The video gaming industry is a diverse ecosystem where many games come and go after leaving their marks. Yet, a slew of free-to-play titles out there have established themselves with long-standing communities and lifespans over the years. These oddities challenge the norms and stand out among a sea of games. And frankly, I think they are so good that it’s criminal that they are not priced.

While there are many worthy paid AAA entries out there, it’s quite difficult to have the same fun experiences in most, despite them costing $70—since they still include microtransactions and heaps of other issues. The fact of the matter is that many priced games in the same genres are nowhere near as fun as the free-to-play ones.

These Five F2P Games Are So Good You Should Get To Pay For Them

Whether you fancy a tough round of 1v1 brawling or some space ninja shenanigans, these F2P titles are a joy to play. Although, these choices are my own personal opinion.

1. Warframe

Warframe feels as good as new despite being out for over a decade | Image Source: Steam
  • Genre: Looter Shooter, and Action RPG
  • Platforms: PC, iOS, Switch, current and last-gen consoles
  • Developer: Digital Extremes

The first entry on the list is a captivating third-person looter shooter that can deliver hours upon hours of savory content and moments without you having to pay a dime. Players control advanced exoskeleton suits—Warframes—with distinct abilities to slay enemies with style. It features procedurally generated levels and fun open-world areas that you can explore while upgrading and improving yourself with huge customization options.

Warframe concocts a fun blend of co-op, multiplayer, and single-player modes to let players parkour through a long-lasting and free story-filled experience. I recommend getting through the basic tutorial and early campaign moments with patience to reach the excellent parts of the game. This is one title that has continued to hold a loyal community, with a monetization model that is quite fair compared to many other paid releases.

2. Counter-Strike 2

Despite going through a major evolution last year, Counter-Strike still stands out as one of the best free-to-play FPS titles ever created | Image Source: Steam
Despite going through a major evolution last year, Counter-Strike still stands out as one of the best FPS titles ever created | Image Source: Steam
  • Genre: FPS
  • Platforms: Windows, and Linux
  • Developer: Valve

CS: GO—now Counter-Strike 2—often boasts the most daily active players on Steam, and for good reason. The free-to-play FPS has thrived in the eSports and non-competitive scenes over the years. A multitude of game modes, crisp objective-focused gameplay, and community workshop tools have allowed players to adopt it as the “go-to” FPS in the gaming industry. 

I have failed to find a similar F2P or a paid experience that comes anywhere close to CS2. The new upgrade features the largest technical leap ever seen in the franchise. And despite a fair share of issues early on, the community has finally started adapting to the new experience. The future of the entry also looks quite bright, as Valve is committed to ironing out all the issues and adding even more features and improvements.

3. Fortnite

Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale that has become a global phenomenon over the years | Image Source: IGDB
Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale that has become a global phenomenon over the years | Image Source: IGDB
  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • Platforms: Last-gen and current-gen consoles, macOS, and PC.
  • Developer: Epic Games

The thrilling battle royale gameplay of Fortnite comes at no initial cost. Despite being a behemoth in the gaming scene for many a year, the shooter had quite a humble beginning during its early days. However, everything changed with the release of free-to-play battle royale. Now, the third-person shooter is built upon a slew of game modes, daily events, collaborations, customizations, and one of the largest gaming communities.

The sheer magnitude of Fortnite has become unmatched in the gaming industry over the years. The addition of game modes, like Lego Fortnite and Rocket Racing, has made the overall experience as diverse as it could be. Now, the game has a bit of everything for everyone. It has ultimately turned into a hub of entertainment and levity that is barely seen in priced releases these days.

4. Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla is a free-to-play epic brawler that has stood the test of time and changing trends | Image Source: Steam
Brawlhalla is a free-to-play epic brawler that has stood the test of time and changing trends | Image Source: Steam
  • Genre: Brawler, and Fighting
  • Platforms: Current and last-gen consoles, PC, Switch, Android, iOS, macOS
  • Developer: Blue Mammoth Games

Brawlhalla, to me, is like that successful little brother of Super Smash Bros. who is barely brought up in conversations because of being outshined at times. The free 2D brawler features a huge roster of characters—some of which are from various entertainment media via collaborations. Each Legend boasts unique abilities and weapons, which allows players to enjoy varied playstyles in intense matches.

The platform-fighting serves as a fun break from the traditional formula in the genre. However, that doesn’t mean the game sacrifices any gameplay elements. I’ve found Brawlhalla easy to learn yet hard to master, so it has a huge skill ceiling. The cross-platform and optimized netcode will also let you enjoy a plethora of game modes.

5. Dota 2

Dota 2 has continued to shine and grow over the years as a popular F2P MOBA entry | Image Source: Steam
Dota 2 has continued to shine and grow as a popular F2P MOBA entry | Image Source: Steam
  • Genre: MOBA
  • Platforms: PC, Linux, and macOS
  • Developer: Valve

I think it’s fair to claim that Valve just knows how to nail down free-to-play releases. The MOBA Dota 2 has continued its insurgence for over a decade in the eSports and casual gaming scene. While it is not really my cup of tea, I’ve still grown to respect the giant that continues to hold a loyal community and a player-friendly monetization model. 

The game is full of rewarding gameplay, a huge learning curve, and a variety of game modes for you to enjoy.

While all of us may fail to agree on whether these games deserve to be priced, I think it’s fair to conclude that many free-to-play entries out there are just heaps better than the onslaught of the botched AAA releases that we have gotten used to seeing. It’s an unfortunate situation out there where a complimentary experience can be more long-lasting and memorable than something we’ve paid 70 bucks for.

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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