Nov 8th, 2016

Looking for something fun to play while we wait to see which talking head will lead the United States for four years? Look no further than our list, which is a peek at the best free-to-play PC games you can enjoy in 2016. The list is pretty comprehensive and there’s something for everyone no matter your genre.

Editor’s Note: We decided to leave MMOs off of this list because there are so many. We’ll have a separate list featuring those games you can check out.

DOTA 2

dota-2-alchemist

Valve breathed new life into an old Warcraft 3 mode with Defense of the Ancients 2, or DOTA 2 for short. While Blizzard has their own take on the now-known-as MOBA genre, DOTA 2 remains supreme in the eSports scene thanks to its huge International event every year.

While the competitive scene in DOTA 2 can be crazy, the game features the best pricing model compared to any of the other MOBAs on this list. The game is 100% completely free to play and you’ll only need to pay for something if you want to buy a Compendium during the International tournament every year, or you want to buy cosmetic items. All heroes are unlocked from the get go and you can select any one of them to master.

League of Legends

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League of Legends is a free to play MOBA that takes its inspiration from the original Warcraft 3 mod and while it and DOTA 2 are similar, League of Legends streamlines gameplay so you don’t have to worry about technical things like last hits in DOTA 2. It makes the game easier to pick up for those who aren’t familiar with the MOBA genre, but it also has more restrictions and more in your face micro-transactions.

The pool of free heroes each week rotates, so if you find a hero you like in the free rotation you’ll have to buy it in order to keep access to it after the free period ends. It’s not as free as a game like DOTA 2, but plenty of fun can still be had with the game.

Warframe

Warframe has the distinction of being available to both PC and console players. It’s a free to play third-person shooter and while it does feature some free-to-play grinding elements found in most games, the currency generation rate is actually pretty fair and the game is actually fun to play with friends.

Your first avatar is free, but if you want additional warframes, you’ll have to pay for slots to unlock them. Warframe is available on the PlayStation 4 and PC for free and you won’t need a PlayStation Plus membership in order to play it.

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2 is an old one but a good one for the first-person shooter crowd. The game first debuted in 2007 alongside Valve’s The Orange Box, but it was quickly made available on Steam as its own thing within a few years. The over-the-top characterization instantly grabbed plenty of gamers and while all the Meet the Team videos are now released for you to enjoy, Team Fortress 2 is still receiving updates.

Since TF2 is a Valve product, it has a better free to play model than most but there are still some modes that you can only enter by forking over cash. The Mann Up mode is most notably the costliest way to play if you want guaranteed drops after each mode.

Killer Instinct

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Killer Instinct was an Xbox One launch game that went free to play for both Xbox One and Windows 10 after Microsoft gave the project to Iron Galaxy. The game is one of the more restrictive free to play games as only one character at a time is free, but you can get entire seasons worth of content for a reasonable price. Plus, the game is cross-platform for Xbox One and Windows 10 so you don’t end up double dipping.