Great and Free!?
Steam is a seemingly never-ending platform. It is the go-to PC storefront, towering well over the likes of GOG and the Epic Games Store. It has a much-storied development, incredible sales, and frequent free weekends.
Yet, most people will associate free games with the EGS, due to its constant giveaways of free-to-keep titles.
Steam does not match Epic in that department, but it isn’t lacking at all when it comes to free-to-play games. Here’s our top five list of the best free games on Steam.
The list is in no specific order, but all these games are worth a try. And well, they’re free, so why not?
Best free MOBA: Dota 2
League of Legends is now the uncontested king of mobas. It is the most played and most watched moba in the world. Before LoL was a thing, though, Dota had already been around for a long time.
Fair warning, as is the case with any MOBA, it is not easy to get into Dota 2.
The game has 123 heroes with complex abilities and kits. Matchups need to be tried in order to be understood and you will have to play for a long time before getting a basic grasp of things. But when you do, it is damn worth it.
Dota is a great alternative to League of Legends and an arguably easier game to get into for someone new to MOBAs. Heroes are released much slower than in LoL and most designs are easy to comprehend just visually. The game also has an incredibly good build-guide system already baked into the shop.
If you’re looking to try a MOBA for the first time or just simply done with League, Dota 2 will always be a great choice!
Best free BR: PUBG
Maintaining the “OG of the genre” theme, we move on to PUBG. The original propeller of the Battle Royale craze is still alive and kicking, and is now free!
You won’t find familiar territory if you come from Warzone, Apex Legends, or Fortnite, but you will notice the blueprint behind all those titles. This is the Battle Royale to play if you are looking for the most grounded and “realistic” experience.
The game has now evolved into a much more beginner-friendly version of itself too. Matches for lower-level people contain a mix of bots and players to help people learn the ropes. The ranked system works well too, with an in-built voice chat and quick matchmaking.
If you are a battle royale fan looking for the most shooting-focused game in the genre, this is the one for you.
Best free fighting game: MultiVersus
By far the newest title on this list, Multiversus soared to success before even being released. It stands head and shoulders above any other game in the fighting genre on Steam, and with good reason.
It’s extremely accessible, has a focus on 2v2 fights, and features a cast of recognizable characters from Warner Brothers and third-party IPs. Customization is great, progression is decently paced and a lot of new characters have already been announced.
The game has a gigantic player base already and this is the perfect time for you to try it out for yourself and see what you think. If you have a Super Smash Bros itch but don’t have a Switch, MultiVersus is your answer.
Best free FPS: CS:GO
Counter-Strike is still the king of the competitive FPS genre. Now 10 years old, the latest iteration of the Counter-Strike franchise is still the undisputed best free game on Steam for the FPS genre.
It has now more direct competition than ever in RIOT’s Valorant, but its status has not been diminished. CS:GO is an incredibly deep game that is unexpectedly simple to understand for anyone who tries it.
There are no fancy abilities or gadgets. No one is flying away, teleporting, or disappearing. There are only common humans dressed as Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists shooting each other in different locations.
Yet, you’ll have a game to play for years and years to come. Weapons have specific spray patterns which take hundreds of hours to learn. The maps have lineups for the best utility usage (Explosive grenades, Molotovs, Smoke Grenades, and Flashbangs) and the source movement system is a marvel to master.
It has been free since late 2018 now, so you can just test it out for yourself and see if you like it!
Best free RPG on Steam: Path of Exile
Last but not least, is GGG’s Path of Exile. Maintaining our intention of spreading things out through as many genres as possible, we’ve arrived at the Action RPG department. PoE has been frequently described as Diablo’s 2 spiritual successor.
It’s another seemingly infinite game that is actually fairly easy to get into. Yes, you will lose all hope when you open the skill “tree” for the first time, but a simple guide will get you on your way and you’ll see that it is not that complicated.
The game still looks great, despite being free and now almost 9 years old, and offers infinite content. If you’ve never played it before, just getting through the main story and a bit of the end game will take dozens of hours.
If you want to play it for much more than that, the developers release three to four leagues per year. These are essentially seasons that considerably alter the entire game by adding new mechanics and systems.
The game would be a bargain it if was paid, so imagine how much of a gem it is as a free-to-play title.
Bonus best free game on Steam
We decided not to include this game on the list because it isn’t on Steam yet. It is our sixth and final genre, the MMORPG. Guild Wars 2 is releasing on Valve’s storefront on the 23rd of August and the base game is entirely free to play.
Yes, the expansions are paid and there are already three of them. Yet, if you are a new player, the base game will take you dozens of hours to get through. This isn’t your usual “rush to the end game” MMO.
Much like FFXIV, Guild Wars 2 is a game to be experienced from beginning to end. Everything is well voice acted, the cutscenes are gorgeous, and every area is a marvel to look at. It’s built to be experienced solo or in a group and works great both ways.
Everything is scaled down to a map level, so even if you are joining an over-leveled friend, they will be just as strong as you. Often, they’ll also have something to gain for completing tasks even in lower-level areas.
This game is a gem and it is great that it is finally free from the shackles of the ArenaNet launcher. Do try it out when it is live on Steam!