Let’s face it, playing games has become such an expensive hobby to have. Does anyone remember when you could pick up a good game for a couple of dollars, shove it into the disc drive of the family PC and play for hours on end? Or at least until someone else needed to use the only means of accessing the internet in the house.
We can’t give you a time machine and make franchises like The Sims and Grand Theft Auto more affordable to play again, but we can take you back to that simpler time with our list of the 10 best PC games you can play for free right now for the holidays!
Raid: Shadow Legends
Raid: Shadow Legends is one of the best mobile RPGs in the genre’s history, and now, you can play it for free on PC. You’ll need to demonstrate some strategic thinking to claim mastery over Raid’s turn-based squad management and combat mechanics, But once you do, you can take your fight online and team up with other players.
Here, you can engage in co-op-style raids and defeat rival squads to claim incredible rewards. Raid features in excess of 300 unique heroes that you can collect, and each has its own abilities and stats that you can tweak and change to get the best out of your squad and your individual character’s strengths.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is a free multiplayer game for Windows in which players are thrown headfirst into massive tank battles. Choose your tank and battle it out against players and tank enthusiasts from all over the internet. This game, developed by Wargames.net, features high-end graphics and streamlined controls that’ll keep you entertained for hours.
Choose from a plethora of realistic and historically accurate tanks to use as you locate and destroy enemy forces. You can even customize your tanks to your liking to set them apart from those of your enemies. Even though the game is free, it does contain some premium features that you can purchase using the in-game currency.
Smilegate Entertainment brings you Lost Ark, a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game – MMORPG – set in a stunning fantasy-themed world. Roam the 7 vast continents of this fantasy world and experience various cultures, themes, and adversaries to fight along the way.
Even though this game can feel a little like a full-blown grinder at times, it has so much content for you to immerse yourself in as you take on the multitudes of missions Lost Ark has to offer. Choose between various classes and characters with which to explore the world around you. Unlike many other MMORPGs, each class in Lost Ark features distinct gameplay mechanics that set it apart from other classes.
Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering Arena is a free game for PC and mobile that brings the excitement of the card game of the same name to your digital devices. For anyone not familiar with the popular card game, this game requires you to battle your opponents from a choice of 15 unique card decks. The game has an easy-to-follow tutorial mode that will teach you all you need to win your first match against AI players.
Thereafter, you can head online and battle players from all over the world. The game has a lot of customization options and you can customize everything from your avatar to your card sleeves, and even your in-game pet. Even though the game is free to download, it does have some premium content that you can access with in-game rewards or real-world currency.
If you’re looking for an MMO that looks eerily like Minecraft, look no further than Trove. Trove is a free massively multiplayer online game that features numerous classes of characters inspired by classics within the sword and sorcery spheres. Similar to the great classic MMOs from which it takes inspiration, Trove centers around grinding for more and better gear and taking on other players in various PvP modes.
The game receives regular updates that add new game modes and dungeons, and everything in-between. Because of the increased emphasis on grinding out gear and resources, Trove is excellent for the casual gaming hobbyist, and the perfect game to take on during these holidays.
Apex Legends has risen through the ranks to become one of the best battle royale games on the market. This free game by the developers of Titanfall is a classic interpretation of the battle royale format injected with an exciting cast of diverse characters and gameplay options. Select from different classes of Legends to create the perfect squad composition.
Then, swoosh down zip lines, skid down slopes, and clamber through buildings as you take on rival squads in a race to be the last squad standing. Apex Legends feels intuitive and well-formulated and the fact that this incredible game is free should be all the encouragement you need to try it out for yourself.
Path of Exile
Path of Exile is a Diablo-esque role-playing game and dungeon crawler. There are so many RPGs that are like Diablo at this point, but this is definitely one of the most solid and best-executed games in this niche category. Path of Exile is the perfect way to spend a quiet holiday, adventuring through the dark fantasy world with a friend or two.
You’ll be confronted with a dizzying amount of areas to explore, each with a wide variety of monsters to vanquish. Even though Path of Exile features a microtransaction system, it’s not overly obtrusive and you’ll have more than enough free content in the form of free expansions that drop every month.
League of Legends
League of Legends is a 5v5 base attack staple inspired by Dota. While this game takes its primary mechanics and formulation from Dota, it introduces a completely unique lineup of playable characters. Furthermore, this lineup is expanded upon often which keeps League of Legends feeling fresh. Take note though that this game features one of the most challenging-to-reach skill ceilings in any game of its kind, with many players calling the game easier than Dota, but far more nuanced.
Simply put, if you become one of League of Legends’ best players, you’ll be considered a tactical genius. Given that the game has more than 100 million players each month, you’ll find competitors easily and it’s thus one of the best games if you’re looking for camaraderie and a healthy dose of friendly competition.
High fantasy of this caliber is not often found for free. D&D Beyond is a free digital format of the classic Dungeons and Dragons experience. If you would jump at the chance to experience some of the most famous, or infamous, fantasy realms that have ever existed, you might want to check out D&D Beyond.
In this game, you can check out the land of Eberron or the Forgotten Realms and don the finery of a legendary spellcaster or the well-worn boots of a fiendish thief. Take on dragons and demons and explore incredible dungeons as you relive one of the greatest board games ever created.
We end our list of top 10 free games to enjoy this holiday with one we can hardly believe is still free. Spelunky Classic is one of the best platformers we’ve ever seen and it takes an 8-bit adventure to a whole new level. Enjoy gameplay inspired by classics like Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros.
In this procedurally generated slice of 8-bit heaven. Avoid obstacles like snakes, ice caves, boulders, and bats as you make your way through this visually appealing world hunting various treasures.