The 25 best free games you can play right now (2024)

The 25 best free games you can play right now (1)

The best free games offer up experiences across many different genres that you try out without having to spend. Of course, many of the best free games can include microtransactions, but each game in our selection has a free-of-charge entry point from the off, meaning you can jump right in without opening up your wallet. Whether you spend any money on cosmetics or in-game currency is up to you, but it's not a requirement when it comes to our selection of the best free games you can play right now.

This list includes picks across all platforms, but if you're looking for something more specific, be sure to check out our roundup of the best free PS5 games, best free Switch games, best free Xbox Series X games, or best PC games for more recommendations on your platform of choice.

With everything from life sims to MMORPGs and much more besides, you're sure to find something here to suit you. So without further ado, read on below as we take you through the best free games around right now.

25. The Sims 4

The 25 best free games you can play right now (2)

Genre: Life Sim
Platform:
PC, Xbox One, PS4

If you've yet to experience the joys of shaping a Sims life and spending far too long putting together your dream home in a virtual setting, now's the perfect time to jump into the beloved life sim from Maxis. Along with official confirmation of The Sims 5, EA and Maxis also announced that base game of The Sims 4 is going free-to-play, meaning you can play the base experience without spending a long across all platforms. Of course, if you want to add to your simming adventures, you'll have to drop some coin to pick up expansions, but the base game is a great way to get stuck in if you want to give it a try - whether that be for the first time, or to test it out on console if you're a PC player.

24. Star Wars: The Old Republic

The 25 best free games you can play right now (3)

Genre: MMORPG
Platform:
PC

Still bummed that you never got Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3? Play Star Wars: The Old Republic. Yeah, it's an MMO, but if playing with others isn't your scene you can pretty safely ignore those parts of the game and just focus on exploring your character's story. Did I mention that every class has its own sprawling, fleshed out tale complete with classic KOTOR-style Light Side and Dark Side choices? If you have even the slightest bit of Star Wars fandom in your heart, SWTOR will keep you happy for a long time.

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23. Pinball FX3

The 25 best free games you can play right now (4)

Genre: Pinball simulator
Platform:
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

C'mon, it's pinball. Everybody loves pinball. And yes, the game is heavily monetized via microtransactions for additional tables that span everything from Harry Potter to Portal to Star Wars, but it does give you one table to play with for free as long as you like. And it's a pretty good table! Whether you're an old-school pinball wizard or just liked wasting time in the Space Cadet game that used to come with Windows, you're guaranteed to get at least a few hours of joy out of Pinball FX3.

22. Smite

The 25 best free games you can play right now (5)

Genre: MOBA
Platform:
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Perhaps you don't want to be an anonymous cog in the League of Legends machine. Perhaps Dota 2 scares you with its hardcore rep. And yet you still want to play a decent MOBA game. We recommend you try Smite, a third-person multiplayer battler that focuses on scraps between gods and mythological figures. The community is small enough to be inclusive, but large enough to guarantee full servers, and the game is constantly updated with fresh characters and maps. Yes, it's free, but a reasonable $30 payment gets you the Ultimate Gods Pack, which grants access to all the fighters and any subsequent updates for life.

21. Runescape

The 25 best free games you can play right now (6)

Genre: MMORPG
Platform:
PC

There's a reason this golden oldie is still immensely popular. One of the largest, and one of the best MMORPGs ever, is still constantly being updated, and offers a massive, ever-evolving world to explore. Depending on what you fancy doing, there's a plethora of challenges to choose from, along with fighting, competing, quests and mini-games to boot. Whatever you do, you'll have fun along the way and no doubt meet some like-minded folks too.

20. World of Tanks

The 25 best free games you can play right now (7)

Genre: Tank battle sim
Platform:
PC, PS4, Xbox One

If the idea of getting your face lasered to pieces by precocious teenagers in Call of Duty is your idea of hell, then World of Tanks might be for you. This game is all about strategy, out-smarting opponents, and customizing your tank with the right armaments to suit your style of play. Nine times out of ten, a well-prepared assault will smash a quick trigger finger, so it's ideal for seasoned players looking to wreak havoc at a more considered pace in this pick for the best free games.

19. Fallout Shelter

The 25 best free games you can play right now (8)

Genre: Vault management sim
Platform:
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, iOS, Android

Fallout Shelter could have easily been a disposable tie-in game, but Bethesda's done a fine job of keeping it relevant in the years since its surprise mid-E3 arrival. iOS and Android users can control their very own vault and toy with the lives of their poor unsuspecting vault dwellers. Send them out into the wastes. Make them lay down their lives to defend the vault from raiders. Delight in the warm feeling of productivity... or is that radiation?

18. Paladins

Genre: Multiplayer shooter
Platform:
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Colourful, cheerful, and crammed full of satisfying shooty noises and cartoony maps, Paladins is as if Overwatch was set in a medieval fantasy world. Except, you know, with some guns thrown in for good measure. All the maps are distinctly old-timey, from desert temples to glacier fortresses, plus gameplay is hectic but full of charm. Instead of sprinting around you get your very own warhorse to hop onto and race across maps so you feel like a proper paladin. From the start a selection of characters are unlocked for free so there's plenty of choice no matter what role you like to play in frantic matches.

17. Dota 2

The 25 best free games you can play right now (10)

Genre: MOBA
Platform:
PC

One of the most popular free-to-play PC games, like ever, Dota 2 is a top-down arena battler - aka a MOBA - that pays out serious cash to the best players. But it's not only for obsessives or professionals. Instead, dive into the Steam Community forms, read some guides, talk to some players, and then rope in a few friends to help you get hooked on the original MOBA, and one of the biggest PC games in history - you'll quickly see why it's a perennial pick for our list of the best free games.

16. EVE: Online

The 25 best free games you can play right now (11)

Genre: Space business and battle sim
Platform:
PC

CCP Games' immersive, and utterly humongous, space MMO has been free-to-play for a while now, thanks to its "alpha clones" system. It's akin to an unlimited free trial featured in the likes of World of Warcraft, which basically gives you access to all the mining, piracy, manufacturing, trading, exploring and combat, but keeps certain skills off-limits unless you pay a monthly fee. But with a ton of content very much still accessible in front of the paywall, it's an absolute joy and a bargain to boot.

15. Fall Guys

The 25 best free games you can play right now (12)

Genre: Battle Royale
Platform:
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Fall Guys hasn't always been free, so we're very happy to add it to our best free games list now that it is. Fall Guys Mediatonic's jellybean-like characters competing through a variety of rounds to see who's left to be crowned victorious. They're all silly, clumsy events that are strangely compelling, and it continues to evolve and change as its community grows.

14. Bombergrounds: Battle Royale

The 25 best free games you can play right now (13)

Genre: Bomberman battle royale
Platform:
PC, iOS, Android

Some game mash-ups just make too much sense, and putting the gameplay of Bomberman together with the trappings of the battle royale genre created an instant pick for our list of the best free games. That is Bombergrounds in a nutshell: you and 24 other players all appear on a gridded battlefield and compete to be the last one standing by dropping bombs, grabbing powerups, and smacking each other around. Just like oldschool Bomberman, half of your deaths will probably come from your own bombs - but it doesn't really matter when you can drop right into a new match and start playing again within seconds. Oh, and you get to play as cute bears, cats, rabbits, and red pandas, with a bunch of customization options to unlock if you play for long enough or feel like buying the battle pass.

13. Counter-Strike: GO

The 25 best free games you can play right now (14)

Genre: First-person shooter
Platform:
PC

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been around for years, but it only went free-to-play within the last few. The same update that stripped the game of a price tag also added Danger Zone, a battle-royale inspired mode that sets up to 18 players against each other on an open map full of cash to grab and supply drops to schedule. Even if you're not on board for more battle royale, you still get free access to all of the core competitive shooting action for which Counter-Strike is famous. Throw flashbangs, run around with knives, jump on crates in de_dust2 - it's all there, and now it's all free... as long as you can avoid the temptation to drop tons of cash on weapon skins.

12. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The 25 best free games you can play right now (15)

Genre: Collectible card video game
Platform:
PC, iOS, Android

If you grew up playing collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, then Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is all the fun without the bookshelves full of card binders. Hearthstone takes a familiar mana mechanic, used for everything from summoning creatures to casting spells, then simplifies it by granting each player an additional unit each turn. This makes jumping into Hearthstone that much easier, as you can now focus on the core strategies of your deck without worrying about taking up precious deck space with land. It's one of those "one more game turns into an all-nighter" deals, for sure.

11. Path of Exile

The 25 best free games you can play right now (16)

Genre: Action RPG
Platform:
PC, PS4, Xbox One

Few action RPGs ever transcend the status of "well, this is good to play if you're tired of Diablo," but Path of Exile is one of them. Even if it wasn't free-to-play it would still be a remarkable game, refining several of the genre's sticking points while allowing for a dizzying degree of customization through a huge talent tree/cloud and skill-altering gems. Naturally, it's great to play with friends too - and much easier to convince them to join you with no upfront cost! Don't feel bad about looking up guides, since all the customization options can be a bit overwhelming.

10. Destiny 2: New Light

The 25 best free games you can play right now (17)

Genre: Online loot shooter
Platforms:
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

You can't play all of Destiny 2 for free, but you can play a sizable sampling of the game's older content. Yeah, it's a little confusing ferreting out which parts of the game are available for all players in Destiny 2: New Light, and which parts you have to purchase extra passes to play. But don't let that stop you from trying it, because Destiny 2 is still some of the finest shooting action you can experience today, and New Light gives you a ton of it. You can play through missions in single player or co-op, you can do all the Crucible PvP activities, you can explore vast open-world Patrol sectors. You'll need to pay up to stay current with all the current endgame activities and gear, but by then you'll already have put dozens of hours into the game.

9. Brawlhalla

The 25 best free games you can play right now (18)

Genre: Platform fighting game
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Like playing Super Smash Bros.? You'll like playing Brawlhalla, too. It may not have the recognizable roster of Nintendo's beloved fighting game, but it has a similar streamlined approach to competitive action - friendly for both casual players as well as more hardcore competitive types. It has a pretty generous business model, too: all players receive access to a rotating selection of six characters for free, and you can buy more with microtransactions or earned-in-game currency.

8. Dauntless

The 25 best free games you can play right now (19)

Genre: Co-op monster hunting
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Even if you've never played other co-op monster hunting games like the Monster Hunter series, Dauntless is easily the best way to get started. It uses the same core loop of taking down giant monsters then using their parts to make gear for taking down even giant-er monsters, but it makes it all much more approachable with systems that are easy to grasp and an effortless online multiplayer experience. Mastering each different weapon style feels like playing a different game, each with their own unique quirks to master - a hammer that doubles as a jetpack (complete with an active reload mechanic) is a particular favorite. Best of all, seamless cross-play means you can hunt with your friends no matter the platform, making this an easy pick for the best free games.

7. Valorant

The 25 best free games you can play right now (20)

Genre: Tactical hero shooter
Platform: PC

This superpowered shooter from the creators of League of Legends infuses Overwatch-inspired heroes with big powers and even bigger personalities into Counter-Strike-inspired multiplayer. Watching your corners and knowing the map is just as important as picking the perfect moment to unleash superpowered hell on the enemy team. You'll have instant access to a selection of Valorant's heroes as soon as you start playing, and you can unlock more either by finishing their Contracts or by paying for one-time microtransactions. Then there are all the cosmetics, but you can always stick to basics and just enjoy the hardcore shooting action for free.

6. Final Fantasy 14

The 25 best free games you can play right now (21)

Genre: MMORPG
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5

Whether you're a fan of the Final Fantasy series, a former WoW-fiend looking for your next hobby, or just a appreciator of great storytelling and fascinating worlds, you owe it to yourself to check out Final Fantasy 14. The entire game isn't free-to-play, but Final Fantasy 14 offers both its original A Realm Reborn content and its first expansion together in one free trial with minimal restrictions. That includes no time limit or subscription requirements, so you can spend as long as you like savoring the story. Just don't blame us if you're scrambling for your credit card as soon as you finish the trial content - however many dozens of hours it may take you to get there.

5. Call of Duty Warzone

The 25 best free games you can play right now (22)

Genre: Battle royale
Platform:
PC, PS4, Xbox One

Call of Duty Warzone isn't the series' first bite at the battle royale apple, but it is its best - easily earning its spot on our list of the best free games. Though intrinsically tied first to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and then Black Ops: Cold War, Warzone is playable entirely for free on its own across all supported platforms. Its main modes let you drop onto a map built from memorable Call of Duty set pieces, searching for loot and fighting alongside your friends. Loadout Drops even let you bring over your favorite gear from the standard multiplayer mode, and the Gulag gives you a chance to fight your way back into matches even after you're taken out. It's a smart, polished take on both Call of Duty and battle royales, though you don't need to be a fan of either to enjoy it.

4. Apex Legends

The 25 best free games you can play right now (23)

Genre: Battle royale
Platform:
PC, PS4, Xbox One

Apex Legends is a smooth-as-butter battle royale from the team that brought you Titanfall 2. On top of Respawn Entertainment's shooter chops, Apex Legends is also designed to modernize the genre with reduced downtime between matches and a smart respawn system for bringing back fallen squadmates. All that and its lineup of heroes ("Legends" in the game's parlance) are some of the most colorful oddballs we've played in years, each with abilities that do enough to set them apart while keeping the focus on gunplay. You have a lot of options for battle royale games, but for fans of smooth shooting action, it doesn't get better than Apex.

3. Genshin Impact

The 25 best free games you can play right now (24)

Genre: Open-world adventure
Platforms:
PC, PS4, Android, iOS

A wide-open world full of beautiful vistas, tough enemies to overcome, and fun new characters to team up with have all helped instantly elevate Genshin Impact to near the top of this list. It takes the vast open spaces and elemental reactivity of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and fuses them with a smooth and satisfying combat system that's heavily inspired by anime action. Granted, the gacha elements will happily gobble up your disposable income if you have your heart set on unlocking certain characters or gear. Thankfully, you can safely ignore all that and still have hours upon hours of fun just playing through the story with your core team.

2. Warframe

The 25 best free games you can play right now (25)

Genre: Online action
Platform:
PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Online games lasting five or more years are hardly unheard of these days, but Warframe has one key difference among that venerable cadre: its days as one of the best free games still seem to be ahead of it. The game of weird space ninjas fighting even weirder enemies just keeps growing - first with more kinds of randomly generated corridors, then with all-new open worlds to explore, and now even full-on ship-to-ship battles featuring every kind of Warframe combat. Warframe remains some of the most fun you can have in any game today, free or not. Just don't let the rough post-tutorial part, where you're still figuring out what the heck to do, turn you off before you get into the real meat.

1. Fortnite

The 25 best free games you can play right now (26)

Genre: Build-and-battle royale
Platform:
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Android

If you haven't heard of Fortnite at this point, I'm actually kind of impressed. Epic Games' battle royale is free to play on just about everything - and it's become the start of a true cultural platform. Fortnite has become the unlikely social hub of musical performances, trailer debuts, and virtual hangouts for folks all over the world. There's also the free Creative mode, and the casual event-hosting Party Royale, but Battle Royale is the beating heart of the Fortnite behemoth. If you need some help getting started in the Battle Royale, we have some Fortnite tips with your name on them.

Looking for more? Here's our list of the best PC games to play right now.

The 25 best free games you can play right now (27)

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.

With contributions from

  • Rachel WeberManaging Editor, US
  • Heather WaldSenior staff writer
  • Joe DonnellyContributor
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The 25 best free games you can play right now (2024)

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