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Best free web browser games: 10 games you have to play

best free browser games
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best free browser games aren’t throwaway experiences only worth playing if there’s nothing else to do. Much like the best free games and some of the best PC games, these online games are just as fun and as entertaining – without costing you a dime.

The beauty of the best free browser games, however, is that you don’t need to install anything. Since they all work within your web browser, you don’t need a PC that’s particularly powerful or clear some space in your crammed hard drive. As long as their PCs meet the minimum requirements – which usually isn’t much with games like these – anyone can play.

Whether you need to unwind on your coffee break or you simply want a fun distraction, the best free browser games are worth checking out. Note: you may need to enable Flash in your browser for some of these to work as they're rather old but still super enjoyable. 

1. Doom

(Image credit: id Software)

Can your browser run Doom? Of course it can! 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 more than 20 years ago, Doom’s gratifying gameplay still holds up today, making the hell-raising hit from 1993 an instant recommendation. 

Play here: Doom

2. QWOP

(Image credit: Foddy.net)

QWOP isn’t your typical sports game. You control the calves and thighs (yes, you read that right) of a hapless track runner. The goal is to move forward without falling over, but it’s almost impossible to do so. 

With all the grace of Bambi on ice, QWOP is a purposefully difficult game that will leave you utterly exasperated at one man’s inability to run. You’ll (quite literally) fall head over heels for this one. 

Play here: QWOP

3. Threes! 

(Image credit: Polygon)

Threes! is an incredibly addictive 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. 

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. Threes-y peasy. 

Play here: Threes!

4. Spelunky

(Image credit: Softonic)

Widely regarded as one of gaming’s greats, Spelunky is just as engrossing as ever when played in a web browser. Discover the treasures buried beneath the surface as you battle menacing monsters, cross numerous pitfalls and hoard precious loot. 

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

5. Catan Universe

(Image credit: Exozet Game)

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 and it does so in the form of 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

6. Slither.io

(Image credit: slither.io)

Don’t let its cutesy appearance fool you – slither.io is a hardcore game which isn’t for the faint-hearted… Only joking! 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.

Play here: slither.io

7. A Dark Room 

(Image credit: Doublespeak Games)

A Dark Room is an intriguing minimalist text adventure. You begin in a cold, dark room, tending a fire. As you stoke the fire, more options become available and the story slowly begins to unravel.

The game draws inspiration from classic text-based computer games, popularized in the 1970s. The difference is that you can’t just rush through the game right away; each action takes time, so you’re best left leaving the game open in another tab, and checking in every so often.

Play here: A Dark Room

8. Wonderputt

Wonderputt

(Image credit: Damp Gnat)

Another fantastic flash game, Wonderputt brings mini-golf to your browser in a delightful and inventive way. Watch in amazement as levels beautifully transform into creative courses that will put your short game to the test. 

Unlike it’s 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. The perfect time sink when you’re sipping a cup of coffee, Wonderputt is a truly great mini-golf game. 

Play here: Wonderputt

9. Linerider

(Image credit: Emergent Studios)

If you’ve ever wanted to see a small man on a sled ride around a loop the loop, then Linerider might be the game you’re looking for. The premise is wonderfully straightforward: draw a crazy track for your rider to slide around, make as many edits or additions as you like, then watch the action unfold.

You can create all sorts of marvelous routes in Linerider – the only limits are your imagination, and a convincing physics engine that keeps things 'realistic'. Ready… set, draw!

Play here: Linerider

10. Chrome Dino game

(Image credit: Google Chrome)

Thanks to Google, 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. 

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 highscore before the next train stop?