Four Free To Play Games You Could (And Should) Be Playing

Free to play Games. I know, I know, the very term might cause a drying sensation in your mouth and a sudden burst of anger in your chest. But hear me out: there are actually some that aren’t total money-grabbing products that reek of greed and sweat. In fact, there are some that are genuinely good and more than warrant a download. Here’s four recent ones that won’t leave you feeling dirty after playing.

The Banner Saga: Factions (PC)

There’s something inherently awesome about a game that tempts a “just one more match” response from me time and time again, and The Banner Saga: Factions is definitely one of them.

The multiplayer element of the upcoming strategy RPG The Banner Saga, Factions pits players against each other in a small-scale fight where individual fighters are directed around a battlefield. In many ways, it reminds me of chess; characters can only move a set number of spaces, certain fighters have unique attributes and attacks, and there’s an amazing amount of strategy and depth to Factions that will see you coming back for more, no matter how badly you might have lost in the first round.

It’s a game that tends to eat up hours of my day if I let it. And on top of that, I’ve had nothing but pleasant interactions with the player community online. Which is a great breath of fresh air, since I’m a primarily console gamer and have grown to accept hate-ridden vitriol as the norm in online interactions.

While it does get a bit grindy for those who aren’t willing to shell out a bit of cash, The Banner Saga: Factions is a brilliant free-to-play experience I recommend whole-heartedly. But I do warn against starting it on a day when you have other things to attend to. Once you start it on a Saturday morning, that garage is never going to get cleaned.

Path of Exile (PC)

Path of Exile is a Diablo clone currently in open beta that is both free-to-play and a great game. Our own Ron Hoffecker loved it, and the game itself is very generous with in-game items, never forcing players to engage with microtransactions if they don’t want to. Rather, the model built into the system is so free that you can comfortably play the game without parting from a dime.

It’s been said that Path of Exile is what disgruntled Diablo fans really wanted out of Diablo III. Sure, the fact that it’s currently in open beta means you’ll encounter a few bugs and hiccups, but gameplay itself makes up for it in a big, big way.

Furthermore, it’s an ever-growing experience that developers are constantly adding on to, making it a great prospect for those who never want the content to end. If you like a good clickfest, look no further than Path of Exile on PC.

The Silent Age (iOS)

With the exception of the wildly acclaimed The Walking Dead series from Telltale Games, we’re living in an age where the adventure game has all but fallen from prominence in the gaming sphere.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, as the adventure game has soldiered on over the years in the hands of talented independent development teams who keep the adventure game formula alive and kicking with brilliant titles on the more indie-friendly platforms of both PC and iOS.

One such developer is House on Fire, the development studio behind The Silent Age. With their recent release in Episode One, House on Fire has created a great adventure game centered around time travel that is both engaging and compelling in all the right ways. It tells a great story, has neat visuals, and uses classic adventure game conventions alongside a great time travel mechanic. Best of all, there are zero microtransactions to be found in Episode One of The Silent Age, making it free to play with absolutely no strings attached. They’ve released it free in order to gain support for the still-in-the-works Episode Two. If it’s anything like the first episode, I can tell you I’m lined up for it already.

Warframe (PC)

Science fiction goodness abounds in Warframe, the latest free to play shooter from developer Digital Extremes. In the cooperative player vs. enemy shooter, you play as the Tenno, a warrior who specializes in a mastery of the Warframe armor. Borrowing elements of both cyborgs and ninjas, you’re essentially a badass charged with saving the galaxy from the evil Grineer.

While it’s not necessarily the most polished or perfect of games, Warframe is still a neat experience to be had in the free to play space. It’s an interesting shooter and offers a lot by way of experimenting and customization options for your character. On top of that, combat is fun, and there’s even a fair amount of loot to be shared between you and your squad mates.

For more on Warframe, check out our video preview here:

Have any other recommendations for great free to play games available now? Share them in the comments below!

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