The best free web browser games are somewhat of a well-kept secret. The internet is full of free things, so it’s not much of a secret that we get to enjoy free web browser games – the real treat however, is how good many of them are.
Among admittedly more simplistic clicker games (which can also be a lot of fun) await early prototypes of successful commercial games, high-quality games designed to be played in a short break from work and puzzles that keep your brain fit. There’s something for everyone. We Flash was disabled, browser game fans lost a lot of good titles, but many of them also made the jump over to HTML5 – and don’t forget about new browser gaming sensations like Wordle, either.
Graphically, these games are going to be simpler than the best PC games, of course, so that everyone can play them without installation, with nothing but a basic office laptop. On the other hand they are also free and easy to pick up and put down.
Our list has the games everyone has been talking, about, so let’s discover some free-to-play fun with the best free web browser games.
Best free web browser games
Step into the boots of the Doom Slayer and mow down countless deadly demons in one of the most influential first-person shooters of all time. Make your way through rooms full of snarling enemies, find explosive new weapons to even the odds, and restore order to the space station on Mars.
Released several decades ago, Doom’s gratifying gameplay still holds up today, making the hell-raising hit from 1993 an instant recommendation.
Play here: Doom (opens in new tab)
You may already know the simple and relaxing builder Townscaper, as it released in 2021 for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and phones. What most people seem to have missed is that developer Oskar Stålberg also made the game available on his own website. a nice gesture that catapults one of the best citybuilders of 2021 straight into our list of the best free web browser games.
This version calls itself a demo, but functionally it works like the full game. In Townscaper, you build a whole town on the water with nothing but a few clicks. You start with a single building and draw pathways and more building onto the water as if by magic. Depending on how high you move the cursor and what direction you move it in, building and sideways will stretch to fit the layout you have in mind. Townscaper is relaxing fun that makes you feel accomplished within minutes, as it's nearly impossible to build something that doesn't look good. And if you decide to support the full game, it is quite affordable on all platforms, too.
Play here: Townscaper
Threes! is a numerical puzzle game that’s easy to grasp yet difficult to master. You can either move left, right, up or down, and the goal is to get adjacent and identically-numbered cards to stack on top of one another. The concept has the staying power of the likes of Tetris, unless you hate numbers. It took people years until someone finally beat Threes, and to this days a lot of people are hunting for the highscore.
New tiles are introduced with every turn, so you need to keep stacking tiles or risk running out of room. If the board fills up, it’s game over and you’ll be presented with a final score.
Play here: Threes! (opens in new tab)
Widely regarded as one of gaming’s greats, Spelunky is just as engrossing as ever when played in a web browser, and thus on our list of best free web browser games. Discover the treasures buried beneath the surface as you battle menacing monsters, cross numerous pitfalls and hoard precious loot.
This version is exactly right if you want to see what Spelunky is all about before paying for the published version, or if you simply want to fill some time spelunking
Levels are randomized, promising a new experience with each playthrough, making it ideal for speedrunners and those who love beating their highscores alike. A bona fide classic, you definitely need to deep dive into Spelunky.
Play here: Spelunky HTML5
Settlers of Catan has established itself as a classic board game ever since its release in 1995. And like most classic board games, it’s made its way to the digital realm. The digital version of Settlers of Catan is called Catan Universe. This free-to-play game sticks close to the original game, letting you expand your settlements and collect resources to win.
It’s cross-platform so you can jump in on different devices and you can play against other players, even if they’re on a different platform than you. While there are in-game purchases available for expansions and the like, this is a great way to scratch that board game itch, even if you only have your phone available.
Play here: Catan Universe
- Check out the best board games for more tabletop fun
We love Slither.io so much that its fun concept that it's not only one of the best free web browser games, it even made it onto our list of the best battle royale games. Slither.io is a fun and relaxing game that harkens back to the classic mobile game, Snake.
You collect colorful dots in the quest to become the longest worm, but the introduction of other players brings a more competitive, multiplayer experience to the classic formula.
If you collide with another player, you’ll lose your ever-growing companion and will have to start the process of consuming dots all over again. Other players will gobble up the dots you leave behind, increasing in size and becoming an even greater threat than before.
Much like Spelunky, Celeste also had its beginnings as a small prototype developed in several days before it became the game many of us know and love today.
Celeste Classic, which you can find on the full game's official website, gives you a short run that ramps up in difficulty quite dramatically, to play again and again until your break is over or you give up, basically a bite-sized, arcade-y version of Celeste's full journey.
For Celeste's third anniversary, the ideas behind Celeste Classic were also expanded upon in Celeste 2: Lani's Track, which was made in a similarly short timespan but comes with a new hero and offers all-new mechanics.
Play here: Celeste Classic
Wonderputt, a game originally devised as a flash game in 2011, has survived the great flash exodus and is still one of the best free web browser games going. Crucially, the web version is preferable to the app versions of the game, which unfortunately handle terribly.
Unlike its real-life counterpart, Wonderputt is super-easy to play. Just position your cursor to determine the angle and power of your shot, and that’s all there is to it. Wonderputt is the perfect time sink when you’re sipping a cup of coffee and a truly great mini-golf game.
When Wordle first arrived, it took the world by storm. Every player posted their number of attempts for the daily word puzzle on their social media feed, and the word guessing game reached astounding heights of popularity.
Wordle's premise is easy, but it's deceptively difficult to play. You get a board that fits 6 5-letter words. You start by typing a 5-letter word of your choice. Wordle will then tell you if the letters in your word are anywhere in the word of the day, and if they are, whether or not you got their position wrong. The fewer attempts you need to guess the target word, the better you are at the game.
Players would make a science out of guessing the best Wordle starting words, lists of past words were kept meticulously. Ever since The New York Times bought the game and put it on their website, the fervour has cooled somewhat, although the game is still free and, crucially, available without a registration.
By now, music streaming service Spotify has also devised a Wordle-like alternative called Heardle, which plays you a short clip from a song in its library, then makes you guess. sice Wordle isn't only fun but can actually teach you something, putting in a few minutes every day to guess a word isn't only fun, but also a good brain workout, a combination fit for our list of the best free web browser games.
Play here: Wordle
You can still have fun using Google Chrome even when you’re offline. The Chrome Dino game (as it tends to be called) is a surprisingly charming endless runner, which tasks you with jumping over cacti and dodging low-flying pterodactyls by tapping on the screen. You can play it both on- and offline, simply by typing chrome://dino into Chrome's URL bar.
It’s roaring good fun, and one of the few web browser games that works without an Internet connection. Oh, and it also switches between light and dark mode the further you progress, which is a cool little effect. Can you beat your high score before the next train stop?