There are tons of the best free games available right now, proving that you don't have to spend a bucket load of cash to have fun.
The price of AAA games seems to always be on the rise, so much so that getting in an excellent old free-to-play game every now and again is necessary just so you don't break the bank. Luckily, many of the best free games are multiplayer, which means you can have loads of fun with friends, and it makes it easier to convince people to play a game with you if it's free.
However, while these best free games are excellent fun to play, some have hidden costs in the form of in-game purchases, which you should be aware of, as these are usually pretty expensive.
The games in our list cover a variety of genres, too, so whether you're in the market for one of the best FPS games, one of the best RPGs, or one of the best multiplayer PC games, we've got a title to suit your needs.
Best free games 2023
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Rocket League is one of the best competitive games available to play right now. The skill and mechanics make this game uniquely entertaining.
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Rocket League presents a combination of arcade-style soccer and vehicular chaos in a bright, frantic battle to be the best team. Putting you in a 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 battles, you will need to learn how to master the simple controls and use each environment to your advantage to score goals before the timer runs out.
With regularly changing seasons, Rocket League offers in-game cosmetic items for your vehicle to unlock as you progress, alongside several game modes to work toward. For a casual player, there are plenty of opportunities to play matches either with your friends or online, but if you're looking for more competition, ranked game modes let you put your skills to the test.
Path of Exile
If you're a fan of epic RPGs then this is a game that you need to check out. The various skills and resources that you can access is varied and exciting.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Path of Exile is a fantastic action RPG set in a dark fantasy world. Within this title, you'll be challenged with playing as one of seven classes that you will need to master in order to fight your way through ancient Gods and evil forces.
As you battle your way through the game, you'll unlock new skills and collect randomly generated items to assist your journey through various dungeons, caves, and outdoor areas. Up to six players can play together, too, making it one of the best co-op games if you're looking for a multiplayer experience without breaking the bank.
Fortnite offers players an exciting and well built competitive shooter without having to shill out a ton of money. It's great fun to play with friends and the various gamemodes mean that it's always fun.
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4
For players looking for a tense battle royale, Fortnite ticks every box. Esteemed as one of the best shooters, you'll battle online against up to 100 players with a variety of weapons and gear at your disposal. As the storm closes in, you'll need to protect yourself from the environment while chipping away at your competitors in order to come out on top.
Constant updates also keep the in-game content exciting, and new weapons, locations, and events are hosted to keep you engaged. Whether you want to play solo or experience the title with a squad of up to four players, Fortnite is worth picking up if you haven't already.
If you're looking for a mix-up between Counter Strike 2 and Overwatch 2, then look no further. Apex Legends has all the joys of a hero-based shooter with the fast and skill-based fights of CS2.
Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
Apex Legends offers a tense, team-based experience if you want a more tactical shooter. Offering a variety of heroes to select from, all boasting different skills to utilize when facing your enemies, you'll need to navigate different maps and work efficiently as a team to get the most kills before the end of a round.
There are also various game modes that you can enjoy. Whether you love the chaotic violence of Battle Royale or just want an arena to show off your skills, there's Team Deathmatch, Control, and Gun Run.
Apex Legends is constantly being upgraded with quality-of-life improvements as well as various new heroes and expansions to the lore, so it's a great free-to-play game to jump into at any time.
Fall Guys is a ton of fun whether you're alone or with friends. The colorful and exciting maps provide adequate challenge without you having to break too much of a sweat.
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4
In this charming, brightly-colored platformer, you can up to 60 players go head-to-head in a variety of obstacle courses in a frantic competition to win the crown. Throwing in a mix of team-based mini-games, fast-paced puzzles, and a lot of platforming luck, Fall Guys is a slice of friendly competition worth playing if you need a pick-me-up you don't have to pay for.
There are a variety of game modes and events to take part in, alongside a standard 'show' which you can face either alone or in a squad of up to four players, meaning there's always fresh content to enjoy with your fellow beans.
Honkai: Star Rail
The vast world in Honkai: Star Rail is exciting and easy to explore. The various characters are also a bonus in this dungeon-crawling world.
Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Android, iOS
Honkai: Star Rail is a gacha space fantasy RPG, with a huge variety of eclectic characters to collect, and tense, turn-based combat. There's a huge world for you to explore, and elements of dungeon-crawling keep you and your in-game companions on your toes. You'll need to make sure the characters you've chosen to accompany your journey are as strong as possible to prevent your team from getting knocked down by the enemies you're bound to meet along the way.
If you're looking for one of the best RPGs to sink your time into which typically strays from the tense competition of free games like Fortnite and Valorant, Honkai: Star Rail might be worth trying out.
Marvel Snap is a brilliant game to have if you're always on the go. Getting to play it when you're at a lose end is refreshing and fun.
Platforms: PC, Mobile
If you're hunting for an exciting mobile game, Marvel Snap is the perfect addition to any card game lovers' library. This strategic card collector offers you a deck inspired by Marvel characters with different powers and abilities you'll need to harness to outsmart your opponent to come out on top. It takes minutes to learn, yet there are hours of fun embedded in its vibrant animations and exciting mechanics.
Each match lasts three minutes, so the game is incredibly pick up and play when it suits you. In addition, success is rewarded through new cards to help bulk out your roster with the best characters in the MCU. Marvel Snap is also available on PC if you wanted a slightly larger screen to play on.
League of Legends
The countless unique characters breath incredibly life into League of Legends. The lore and stories behind the game is also one to be admired.
League of Legends takes the cake as one of the best team-based games, putting two teams of five against each other in a desperate attempt to protect their side of the map. Although the premise is pretty simple, the excitement comes through its cast of over 150 unique champions with different playstyles and abilities which help you become the most powerful team on the field.
Because of how many champions there are to choose from, you'll be able to find a character to suit how you like to play, and in-game events alongside alternative game modes will keep things fresh no matter how many hours you pour into it. The bustling community of League of Legends players means there's always a team waiting for you, too.
The Sims 4
The skies the limit for The Sims 4. The customizing and ability to create whatever scenarios suit you best mean that you can have endless fun here.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
The Sims 4 is one of the best social simulation games, and as of October 2022, it's entirely free to play. Use your creativity to bring characters to life, build houses, develop relationships, and watch your virtual family thrive. Although the entire game is single-player, you'll quickly find yourself slipping into Willow Creek or Oasis Springs for hours on end. We'd even go as far as to say it's one of the best single-player games, depending on how many hours you are prepared to sacrifice for it.
Of course, if you're looking to take your experience one step further with expansion packs and DLC you'll need to start paying, but the base game still has hundreds of hours worth of content to keep you and your Sims family entertained.
Final Fantasy XIV
As one of the best JRPGs you can play right now Final Fantasy XIV is expertly crafted that boasts an incredible community.
Platforms: PC, PS5
Final Fantasy XIV is one of the best JRPGs, so it's well worth jumping into if you are a fan of the series and you're looking for the next slice of Final Fantasy content to jump into. As one of the best MMOs, Final Fantasy XIV boasts a buzzing community of over 27 million eager players. Consistent updates and events ensure there's more than enough content to get to grips with before you have to consider spending any money, too.
There are paid expansions, but the free-to-play model is incredibly generous offering 14 different jobs and a level cap at 60, and plenty to explore of course. Plus, with the recent announcement of Final Fantasy XIV coming to Xbox Series X|S, more players will be able to jump into the game for the first time.
Best free games: FAQs
What free games are coming out in 2023?
There are multiple free upcoming games that are worth keeping an eye on. To name a few, Palia offers a cozy MMO RPG sets to release on PC and Nintendo Switch by the end of the year, Wayfinder is set to deliver an action RPG across all major platforms, and XDefiant boasts another tense FPS to add to the mix.
What is the best free game?
Deciding on which free game is the best of the best is down to personal preference and which genre you're looking to pick up, really. Most free games have active communities due to offering a fantastic experience at no charge, which can be a fantastic way to tell how good a game is.
Many players would suggest that games with huge player bases like Final Fantasy XIV, Fortnite, and League of Legends are the best free games, but at the end of the day, it's down to what you like more than anything else.
How we made our best free games list
Our list of the best free games is designed to show the variety of free games across all platforms, and how there are multiple games you can enjoy without having to buy any additional content.
Our team of experts at TechRadar Gaming has spent hundreds of hours testing the best free games so we know which ones to recommend, whether that's going head-to-head for the crown in Fall Guys, or pouring thousands of hours into Final Fantasy XIV. We've ensured both experts and new players have been diving into different genres as well to see how the user experience is for players with all sorts of backgrounds.
Because of this, we've tried to include everything from tactical shooters to social simulators in our list of the best. In addition, we've included titles that can either be enjoyed solo or with a couple of friends for those game nights where you can't decide on what to play.
For more low-cost gaming, it's worth checking out the best single-player games on Game Pass, but we've got a wider list of the best games on Game Pass which come at no extra cost either once you're subscribed.
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Kara is an Evergreen writer at TechRadar Gaming. With a degree in Journalism and a passion for the weird and wonderful, she's spent the last few years as a freelance video game journalist, with bylines at NintendoLife, Attack of the Fanboy, Prima Games, and sister publication, GamesRadar+. Outside of gaming, you'll find her re-watching Gilmore Girls or trying to cram yet another collectible onto a shelf that desperately needs some organizing.