Best_free_games_on_Steam_Apex_Legends
Image via Respawn Entertainment

18 best free games on Steam right now

There's plenty to play with zero to pay

If you want to experience free games on Steam, there’s, thankfully, a lot that the store has to offer. You can gallivant with your friends on hostile planets in PlanetSide 2 or message your love interest friend in a pseudo AOL Messenger in Emily is Away.

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The best free games on Steam offer a ton of content and have as few restrictions as possible. These 18 titles certainly do that in spades.

Apex Legends Free to play Steam
Image via EA

Apex Legends

One of the best battle royales in the market right now is Apex Legends. It provides the high-precision gunplay from Titanfall 2 and brings it into the competitive battle royale space. Sliding down hills and using each hero’s powers is satisfying to perform in the game. There will be many intense moments as you contend against opposing teams, and the game provides many opportunities to fail or succeed. The free-to-play model is a little on the expensive side if you want cosmetics and more characters, but playing from the base roster is also entertaining to start Apex Legends with.

Brawlhalla Free games on Steam
Image via Ubisoft

Brawlhalla

If you’re annoyed you can’t play Super Smash Bros. on PC, check out BrawlhallaIt features a smooth platform fighter experience that plays great online. It also has a vibrant cast of characters to choose from. Many will be locked behind payments or in-game progression, but there is a regularly updated free rotation of characters to choose from. One of the game’s unique strategic elements is switching two weapons available to each player. Each weapon’s moveset is radically different, and you’ll need to decide which option best suits the situation.

The Finals gameplay
Image via Destructoid

The Finals

Destructible environments, participating in a game show, and great gunplay all combine into The Finals, one of the latest multiplayer hits on Steam. You’re taking a cash prize and trying to transport it to a capture area. On the way, you’ll have to fend off two other teams of three. With an exciting vertical element to each map, The Finals manages to stand out among its FPS competition. Check this game out when you can! Oh, and it’s crossplay too! 

My Hero Ultra Rumble
Image via Destructoid

My Hero Ultra Rumble

Anime fans, rejoice! My Hero Ultra Rumble is a neat battle royale take on the beloved anime series. Each hero or villain has their own quirks that change the battle. Deku can pick up allies and run fast to get away from enemies. Meanwhile, Cementoss creates stone walls to protect his team and keep the enemy team distracted. If you don’t want to shoot down enemies in Call of Duty Warzone or Fortnite, My Hero Ultra Rumble offers a refreshing take on the genre. 

Emily is Away Best free games on Steam
Image via Kyle Seeley

Emily is Away

Emily is Away is a nostalgic journey back into the Windows XP era of communication. There was no Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. Instead, you used to chat on AOL Instant Messenger. This unique storytelling device isn’t just a gimmick, however. There’s a beautifully told narrative about two friends who have grown apart from each other since high school and are trying to reconnect. Despite there being no voice acting, all the emotional beats are there, as you await Emily’s response. Try this one-hour game out when you can. It’s one of the best free games on Steam.

Guild Wars 2 Steam
Image via NCSoft

Guild Wars 2

Can’t afford Final Fantasy XIV Online or don’t want to bother with the Battle.net client on PC for World of Warcraft? Guild Wars 2 is a good third option for an MMO. You can play the entirety of the engaging core campaign for free. However, there are restrictions you should keep in mind, like locked content until you reach a certain level. Despite that one fault, Guild Wars 2 offers a stunning world enriched with entertaining MMORPG gameplay.

Farlight 84
Image via Farlight Games

Farlight 84

Tired of Fortnite and want something new? Farlight 84 may be your antidote. It blends the art style of Epic Games’ battle royale and mixes it with the ability-based system of Apex Legends. The result is a solid shooter that impresses new fans of the game and isn’t even out of Early Access yet. The weapons feel heavy and powerful, and the overall environments look pleasing to the eye. Just turn off the voice acting; it’s pretty bad!

Disney Speedstorm lets you use a charged skill
Screenshot by Destructoid

Disney Speedstorm

Want a fun Mario Kart-like game without having to resort to emulation? Disney Speedstorm is a great free-to-play substitute. The tracks are immaculately designed and based on the films we know and love like Lilo & Stitch, Aladdin, and Pirates of the Caribbean. You’ll be avoiding pillars of fire within the Cave of Wonders and giant tentacles from sea monsters in Port Royal. While the items are disappointingly generic for a Disney game like this, there is a neat alternate use for most of them by holding down the button. For example, with a boost (mushroom), you can hold it to get three smaller bursts of speed rather than just one. Read my review for more information.

Marvel Snap free Steam games
Image via Nuverse

Marvel Snap

Everyone knows and loves the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so a card game based on the property could be a cheap cash-in. Fortunately, Marvel Snap is a cherished title for fans of card games, and it’s free to play. “At work and at home, I just can’t put it down,” said CJ Andriessen in his review. “With its structure and speed, it doesn’t feel as tactical as some of the other card games I’ve played, but it finds a way to be satisfying in its brevity.” Each match in Marvel Snap also only lasts for three or so minutes, as opposed to Hearthstone, making this quick and easy to play.

Path of Exile free games on Steam
Image via Grinding Gear Games

Path of Exile

Path of Exile, despite it being a free Steam game, is an excellent alternative to the Diablo series if you crave more ARPG goodness. It features a tonne of passives to unlock through the huge skill tree system. It also includes plenty of classes, including the Duelist, Marauder, Ranger, Scion, Shadow, Templar, and Witch. Path of Exile will offer hours upon hours of content for the low, low price of $0, and it also has PvP modes like tournaments and Capture The Flag.

Team Fortress 2 Engineer
Screenshot via Valve YouTube Channel

Team Fortress 2

A cherished multiplayer game for many Team Fortress 2 is an absolute classic. This team-based shooter has you playing different roles. One can be the Heavy, dealing a lot of damage with his mini-gun. Another player can send out Sentries and Teleporters throughout the map as the Engineer. There are many options available, so you can find the right playstyle. Despite the game being over a decade old, it still holds up visually with a cartoony art style. Give it a go if you haven’t already.

The Sims 4 Free games on Steam
Image via EA

The Sims 4

Living out your dreams as a Sim doesn’t necessarily sound fun, but The Sims 4 somehow sucks you in for many hours at a time. You’re building your own house, family, and wealth in the game which will feel rewarding. You also grow relationships with other sims by hanging out with them and performing a variety of activities in the community. All of this is now free to play on Steam, so go ahead and download The Sims 4, if you want a chill simulation game to play.

Warframe Free To Play Steam
Image via Digital Extremes

Warframe

It’s been a decade, but Warframe still pulls in players today. This game is extremely fast with powerful guns and delightful swordplay. It’s been supported thoroughly by developer Digital Extremes. The game added an open world, and there is spaceship warfare to be had. The art style is also unabashedly strange as it embellishes its sci-fi genre with pride.

Omega Strikers
Image via Odyssey Interactive

Omega Strikers

The precision of the MOBA gameplay of League mixed with the sport of soccer doesn’t sound like a great mix, but Omega Strikers certainly proved me wrong. Each character has their own skills to master while you’re trying to score a goal. You can even take out your foes with your abilities by striking them out of the arena. The graphics are gorgeous, the concept really comes through, and the head-bump-worthy music will keep your heart racing. Check this game out!

Splitgate gameplay
Image via Destructoid

Splitgate

If you thought Halo Infinite’s multiplayer was disappointing, give Splitgate a go. This arena shooter offers cool weapons to control and a unique mechanic that lets you use portals to shoot through or teleport with. In my opinion, the maps are far more interesting than their Xbox-published counterpart. There are many modes to choose from as well, and you can create Custom Lobbies with all manner of rules available, including Big-Head mode.

DC Universe Online is free to play
Image via Daybreak Game Company

DC Universe Online

We’ve all wanted to step into the shoes of Batman and Superman, and you can get that power fantasy by creating your own hero or villain in DC Universe Online. Behind it is over a decade of content with plenty of DC stories and experiences to encounter in this free-to-play MMO. Some of the quests are written by DC comic legends Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman. Unlike others of its genre, the combat’s fast and revolves around your choice of superpower. The game might be 13 years old, but it’s still getting Very Positive reviews on Steam to this day.

PlanetSide 2 is a great FPS for free.
Image via Daybreak Game Studio

PlanetSide 2

PlanetSide 2 is a massive FPS that spans across wide environments and many players against each other. It’s not just about capturing points on a map like the Battlefield series. Instead, Daybreak Game Studios says “The core gameplay of PlanetSide 2 is about holding crucial territories and controlling resources.” It also says you’ll have to work “strategically as a team to secure tactical positions has long-lasting effects that can shift the tide of battle.” There are six different classes to master as well as you go to war in PlanetSide 2.

Super Animal Royale is a 2D battle royale
Image via Maximum Entertainment

Super Animal Royale

Want a fresh spin on the battle royale genre? Well, you can play this cute take on it as you play as animals picking up weapons and trying to be the last remaining. Super Animal Royale features unique 2D bird’s eye view angle on the action. The action gets wild with bombs of different types, grenades, and dart guns, in addition to the regular guns you’d expect like a shotgun or SMG. You have a fun, slightly less intense night with Super Animal Royale than the likes of Apex Legends, which needs precision in a reflex-based first person-shooter.

Previous entries:

  • Multiversus (enough said)
  • Smite
  • Halo Infinite multiplayer
  • The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Goose Goose Duck
  • DOTA 2
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic

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Author
Chris Penwell
Chris is a writer for multiple outlets, including Destructoid! He loves narrative games like Kingdom Hearts, Life is Strange, and Beyond Good & Evil. However, he does enjoy Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from time to time.