HP TECH TAKES
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Best Free PC Games Available Now
August 5, 2018
Looking for something new to play without spending a fortune? Learn more about the best free PC games to see why everyone is playing these top triple-A (AAA) titles.
Whoever said gaming is too expensive of a hobby to get into must be painfully unaware of the incredible selection of online games that can be played free of charge. Why blow hundreds of dollars on expensive AAA titles when you can enjoy plenty of great video games that won’t cost you a dime?
Read on to hear about some of the top free games for PCs.
1. StarCraft by Blizzard Entertainment
The real-time strategy (RTS) classic that took the world by storm over 20 years ago is completely free. StarCraft is one of the most popular games in the world, especially when it comes to eSports.
Despite its age, the masterpiece from Blizzard® has withstood the test of time, and it’s still a complete blast to play for gamers young and old. Best of all, it can be downloaded directly from the Blizzard store online so you won’t have to go through a third party retailer and their pricey markups.
The StarCraft bundle also comes with the Brood War expansions which adds multiplayer fun. You can craft co-op campaigns and explore epic maps with your friends. The online servers for the original StarCraft are still up. Challenge your friends to a One vs One battle or a team match to enjoy StarCraft to the fullest.
2. Civilization by The Freeciv Project
Civilization has more than proved its salt throughout the years. Now on its 6th iteration, this game reveals itself as a timeless classic.
Whether you want to learn the roots of this legendary series or jump right into the latest release, you can play for free at freeciv.org.
Choose your favorite historical leader and progress through the ages. Conquer the globe, race your way to outer space, and be the most successful civilization when the timer runs out. Play to your civilization’s unique strengths and lead your people to a golden age of prosperity in one of the best free war games online.
3. Fortnite Battle Royale by Epic Games
While other versions of Fortnite require payment, the Fortnite Battle Royale version is a completely free PC game download. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this wildly popular game.
Fortnite is an exciting game to play either solo or with a team, and it’s cross-platform compatible. While you play Fortnite on your PC, one of your friends on Xbox One or PS4 can easily join in.
Everyone starts on an equal playing field to duke it out, but this game only gets better and better with each patch and addition. Players drop onto the battleground with an equal chance of success, but sustained skill and knowledge are what make an elite player.
Other games might reward adept players with perks early on, but with Fortnite, you’re in it for the long run.
4. Unturned by Smartly Dressed Games
Drop into the post-apocalyptic world of Unturned and resist the virus that has turned everyone into a zombie. Form alliances and gather supplies while you fight back hordes of zombies in this massively sprawling world.
While the graphics may be a bit lackluster, this free computer game on Steam is an absolute blast. Gear up with your squad and explore the vast landscapes by foot or vehicle. Battle with rival factions and claim a place at the top for you and your team.
5. High Octane Drift by Cruderocks
This game is a highly-entertaining race down the track. Burn rubber as you drift your way to the finish line in your custom whip.
Deck your car out in decals and show off your unique style while you crush the competition. High Octane Drift is multiplayer, so you can race against your friends or play competitively online.
Hone each drift and master your handling skills as you tear up the road in this thrilling, free racing game.
6. Double Action: Boogaloo by Double Action Factory
This is one of the best free online computer games ever made. Despite borrowing from the first two Matrix movies, Double Action: Boogaloo is a masterpiece of its own.
With a 9/10 rating on Steam and extremely positive user reviews, this game won’t disappoint. Dodge and disperse flurries of bullets and gunfire as you blast your way through this high-intensity first person shooter (FPS) game.
Compete against fellow suited gunslingers in epic rooftop combat or duke it out in a subway station. This game has a variety of maps and locations to skirmish, ensuring you’ll never get bored.
7. Runes of Magic by Runewaker Entertainment
Runes of Magic is a fantasy-based, massive multiplayer online (MMO) game that certainly has qualities inspired by games like World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. Launch yourself into an epic dungeon-crawling campaign and take down colossal, magical bosses with the help of your friends and allies.
As far as free online computer games in the MMO category are concerned, this is definitely one of the best. Choose your race and class, then level your character up to legendary recognition. Complete daily quests and gather rare item drops or rise to the top of the leaderboards in the PVP arena.
True to traditional MMOs, Runes of Magic is a familiar gaming format with a few twists on the classic elements.
8. Scorch by Ellie’s Lunchbox
Thirty years ago, a sinister arsonist killed an entire family. Now, after all this time a similar event has occurred and it’s your job to investigate in Scorch.
This narrative-based exploration game is spooky and intriguing. Roam around a vast landscape as you gather clues and evidence to lead you towards the person behind the crime. Could it be the same arsonist from all those years ago? Or is it someone completely new? You’ll have to put the pieces together yourself as you make your way through this eerie and intriguing game.
If you love playing narrative-based indie games, this one should definitely be on your radar. Over 90% of reviewers on Steam gave it a positive rating.
9. pla-Toon by SoundAndFuryGames
Sometimes the most simplistic of games are the best, and pla-Toon certainly falls in this category. What’s great about this free war game is that it can be played both as first person or third person shooter, giving you the ability to decide your gaming style.
Drop into a primitive 3D battlefield and take on other characters in a fight to the death. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for para-drops of gear for you and your teammates to use to secure a competitive edge.
84% of the 230 reviewers on Steam left a very positive review. This may not sound impressive, but when you consider how much hype this game gathered the first three weeks after its release date, you should be blown away.
pla-Toon is a great way to unwind at the end of a long day with some semi-mindless lighthearted fun in this shoot em’ up arena.
10. Return by PsychoFLux Entertainment
Great for both children and adults, this homage to 8-bit platform hoppers is a joy. With a simple, yet whimsical design, Return feels like a cotton candy version of Super Mario Bros.
Bounce around from level to level on a dream-like adventure as you do your best to make your way home. The ability to hop onto any space without restriction is a gameplay feature that makes this one of the top free games for PC.
Better yet, you can navigate your terrain with much more control and creativity when compared to similar games.
11. Blood Ancestors - Open Alpha by Snowpeak Studio
This team-based, first-person medieval combat game is a seriously good time. It has relatively simplistic graphics, but considering that the game is completely free, they will more than do.
Choose between 18 characters, assemble your team, and take on your enemies in five vs five team skirmishes. Find your faction and band together in glorious combat. Will you fight for darkness, light, or blood? Get up close and personal with a melee class or snipe your enemies from afar with a ranged unit.
Blood Ancestors - Open Alpha is sure to take you by storm as soon as you pick it up. Gather up some of your closest gaming buddies and start crushing the other teams in the arena.
12. Giraffes Volleyball Championship 2016 by sandwich puissant
With quite possibly one of the goofiest names of any free PC game online, Giraffes Volleyball Championship 2016 is a mind-numbing good time.
The premise of the game is quite simple: two giraffes play a game of volleyball, only they both have the ability to extend and shrink their legs as they move back and forth. This game is incredibly basic in terms of both gameplay and graphics, but it’s super fun (and borderline addicting) nonetheless.
If you’re bored in an airport and need a way to kill time with one of your pals, you can easily bring your laptop and do so with this free online PC game.
13. VRChat by VRChat, Inc.
Virtual reality has been the major buzz in the gaming community for the last few years and with good reason. It’s likely that all gaming will eventually go in the direction of virtual reality. At the moment, new titles are still in the beginning stages and just scratching the surface of capability.
VRChat has given us a glimpse into the future of what kind of ridiculous shenanigans the internet will have to offer. While this game hasn’t been officially released, its early access on Steam has shown just how much fun it’s predicted to be.
You’ll create a 3D avatar using models of existing popular characters from video games, anime, or other animated digital media. Player models can actually track and display lip syncing, your range of motion, and blinking. Eventually, players will be able to fully immerse themselves in this digital world as technology progresses.
14. Russian Fishing 4 by Russian Fishing
It might sound silly to spend your time going virtual fishing in Russia, but this game is surprisingly entertaining.
Capturing the free-to-roam feel of open world role-playing games (RPG), Russian Fishing 4 provides a solid storyline as you explore a landscape that encapsulates the perfect balance between nature and civilization.
You might laugh, but this is one of the top free games to play on Steam and it’s extremely well reviewed. The graphics are rather impressive, and with the right gaming setup, you might feel like you're actually out in the wild experiencing the beauty for yourself.
15. Plague Inc. by Ndemic Creations
Interested in spreading death and disease across the globe? Now you can.
Plague Inc. is a single player game that allows you to devastate massive populations with your infectious disease or deadly virus. Thwart the feeble efforts of disease control as your deadly virus sweeps the globe. Although difficult, this game is shockingly addictive.
The longer you play, the more creative you become in your efforts to decimate the world's population. This is another top game that’s free to play online or downloadable on most major app stores.
With this list of the top free games for PC, you won’t have a problem setting yourself up for hours of fun. Grab some of your favorite online gaming buddies and have a blast.
About the Author: Sean Whaley is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Sean is a content creation specialist with a literature degree from SDSU. He has a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to computer hardware and programming.