Don’t have the budget to drop on the lastest AAA game? Check out these 14 highly satifsying free-to-play games on Steam instead!
Steam’s astronomically extensive library is full of free games. In 2022, it’s a challenge to wrap your head around which of them are worth your preciously limited time. The good news is that free-to-play games more varied than ever, with offerings in just about every genre you can think of.
We’ve dug through the muck to present to you the fourteen best free Steam games you can play right now.
List of Tomb Raider Games in Order
7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
8. Dota 2
10. Planetside 2
13. Eve Online
14. Emily is Away
Hack, slash and shoot your way as a high-flying acrobatic space ninja. Warframe is a free-to-play third-person looter shooter that takes every other game in its class to school. Aside from having exhilarating combat mechanics, Warframe pumps out new content all the time without ever asking for a single dime. You’ll embark on missions to save the galaxy from a host of factions that threaten it, all the while collecting the titular space suits, each with its own unique abilities and skills.
If you’re looking for a free shooter game on Steam that has light MMO elements and plenty of replayability, look no further.
2. Crusader Kings 2
Rule the Middle Ages with an irons fist in one of the greatest Grand Strategy games on Steam. Crusader Kings 2 may only have its base game available for free, but it boasts hundreds of hours’ worth of playtime. Released in early 2012, it may be an old title, but it holds up incredibly well while serving as a perfect introduction to 4X gaming. In Crusader Kings 2, you will develop and expand your kingdom during one of the most defining periods of human history. One of the most defining features of CK2 is its political systems that make every new save an entirely different experience.
If you’ve ever wanted to dive into Grand Strategy games but weren’t sure if they were for you, Crusader Kings 2 is a must-play.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to play Overwatch but didn’t want to put down the cash because you weren’t sure it was for you. Or, perhaps, you’re put off by the recent Blizzard press. Regardless of your disposition, Paladins is a free-to-play alternative to the popular hero shooter that plays just as well and, in some areas, improves on it. While the game doesn’t offer all its Champions for free, it does place them on a free weekly rotation, so you always have a chance to try before you buy. On top of each Champion having their own abilities, there’s also a robust talent and card system that allows you to make them your own.
Give Paladins a try if you’re looking to get into team-based competitive hero shooters.
Smash may be the granddaddy of platformer fighters, but this free-to-play Steam offering is a close second. Brawlhalla features gameplay similar to the massively popular Nintendo title. You select a character and duke it out with up to three other players in a platform-based 2D arena using jumps and attacks to knock them into the void. Like with most competitive free games, fighters are placed in a rotation, but you can also opt to purchase them all in one single bundle.
If you’re looking for a free fighting game on Steam with a considerable competitive following, Brawlhalla shouldn’t be overlooked.
5. Doki Doki Literature Club
We’ve got something for the visual novel crowd, and it’s a wild one. Not only is Doki Doki Literature Club a free-to-play Steam game, but also it’s one of the most subversive ones. It starts off innocently enough. You’re a standard run-of-the-mill male anime protagonist that’s hanging out with some female classmates. Soon, though, things begin to get weird and disturbing. We won’t say any more to avoid spoilers.
Suffice to say, if you want to play a free visual novel game, then DDLC is for you.
6. Path of Exile
The usurper to the throne of ARPGs. Path of Exile has been eating Diablo’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past few years, and for good reason. For one, it builds on what made the Blizzard franchise great before D3 came into the fold. Furthermore, it’s incredibly challenging and rewarding with tons of content to get through. Some may even call it the “Dark Souls” of ARPGs.
If you’re sick of all the top-down RPGs that hold your hand, Path of Exile will be your brutal cure.
7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
One of the biggest first-person shooters in existence. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is currently a top dog in the esports arena and a leader in concurrent players. Compared to other FPSs, it puts tactics and teamwork at the forefront while challenging you to master its weapons and their true-to-life behavior. It’s a challenging game to get good at, especially with a playerbase that’s been at it for many years.
If you’re looking for a solid free FPS on steam to sink your teeth into, it doesn’t get any better than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
8. Dota 2
The first of two big players in the MOBA space. Dota 2 is the follow-up to the Warcraft 3 mod that laid the groundwork for what would become a massive esports genre. What makes this game stand out from the rest is that its entire roster of heroes is available for the low price of free. Its map is also incredibly sizeable, allowing for varied and unique strategies that don’t divulge into a tight metagame. It’s a challenging game to get into, but once it clicks, you’ll be hooked.
For MOBA fans who are tired of freemium models and want a real test of their skills, Dota 2 is a perfect choice.
Card games being free isn’t anything unique or new. However, Shadowverse on Steam is one of the most underrated of the bunch. It’s got gorgeous anime-based art and a robust story-driven campaign that opens up a ton of cards to get you started. Each of its classes also has fun and varied mechanics that blend the simplicity of Hearthstone with more nuanced strategies. It’s also one of the most generous card games on the market, offering incredible value for free.
Give Shadowverse a go if you’re itching to build decks and compete against others.
10. Planetside 2
Become a part of a massive intergalactic war. Planetside 2 is a free-to-play sci-fi FPS that delivers the thrill of battle at a scale that no other game has achieved. You’ll battle with and against thousands of players across multiple planets using guns and vehicles, both on the ground and in the air. The playerbase is still going strong with plenty of Discords and in-game groups teaching newbies the ropes.
If you’d like to experience all-out mass war, then Planetside 2 has the goods.
As classic as it gets with MMORPGs. Runescape is a true honest-to-god free massively multiplayer game that’ll take your breath away. It’s a simple game to get into that’s incredibly fun, thanks to its class upgrade system. You’ll spend tons of hours doing quests and acquiring loot to craft your ultimate character. One of the most defining features of Runescape is crossplay between Steam and mobile, meaning you can continue playing even on the go.
If an old-school MMORPG is what you crave, then Runescape beckons.
12. Heavy Metal Machines
The hellspawn cousin of Micro Machines. Heavy Metal Machines takes the fun top-down driving action of the old-school franchise and mixes in brutal vehicular combat. In this free-to-play arena game on Steam, you’ll choose from an expansive roster of cars, each with its own set of weapons and skills, and compete against other players in a Twisted Metal-style destruction fest. Heavy Metal Machines is a fun-filled and unique free game experience with fast-paced combat and an easy-to-learn ethos.
If you enjoy wacky car races and some mayhem, definitely give this game a go.
13. Eve Online
Space opera incarnate. Eve Online is one of the greatest MMO sci-fi games of all time. Ever since it went free-to-play, it’s become a much more accessible experience than its heyday. Even now, though, it’s a challenging game to get into that offers countless hours of engaging space trade and combat. The playerbase is still going strong, with mass in-game wars still making the news every once in a while. Despite its size and age, the community in the game is extremely helpful and welcoming to new players.
If you’ve ever wanted to live your space opera dream and sail among the stars, then jump into Eve Online.
14. Emily is Away
A text-based narrative experience. What makes this game incredibly unique is that it all takes place in chat apps from the old internet age. By chatting with the eponymous Emily, you’ll craft a story of friendship, love, and betrayal, with every choice you make shaping how the narrative moves forward. There are currently three installments in the series, all of which are excellent games to get into.
If you’re looking for a truly unique free Steam game, then look no further than Emily is Away.
If you’re a PC gamer on a budget and you don’t want to commit to dropping ~$50-$60 on a new title that you might not even like, you’d probably be better off checking out one of the free-to-play games on Steam that are listed above. A lot of the game listed above have large player bases and can be just as addictive—if not more so—than some of today’s AAA titles.
Whether you’re looking for a MOBA-style game, a first-person shooter, or a battle royale game, there is likely a free-to-play option on Steam that should suit your needs.
4 thoughts on “14 of the Best FREE Steam Games [UPDATED 2022]”
Where is Destiny 2 ?????
it sucks so it wasn’t featured. on top of that in order to get any decent play out of it you would need to purchase the expansions which… to say the least are underwhelming
I highly recommend Dirty Bomb on Steam. I’ve played it for years and it’s still great. Player pop is way down, but that’s not due to lack of quality and fun, just management and advertising decisions.
Currently, there are more than enough full servers during off hours to have fun, and plenty more during prime hours.
DB is an f2p FPS game by Splash Damage in the style of previous games like Wolfenstein ET and Quake Wars (ETQW). It is objective based with each map having either 2 or 3 objectives that must be achieved to win. It is unique in that it has around 20 Mercs to choose from, and different loadout and ability cards to apply to them.
The game offers both FF and FF-off servers, ranked and non ranked, MM plus server browser. Make sure you know if it’s on before you start shooting teammates!