Once upon a time, ?free-to-play? was a term that was next to incorrigible in gaming. There was a time when games were exploited, using this guise as a reason to get you to buy. Yeah, it?s free-to-play, but in that form, it was horrible as hell. Then they tell you you?d be better off buying the full version of the game, something that happens quite frequently today. You do get the drift.
However, there are moments when in the gaming world, your faith in humanity gets restored. It happens occasionally, but when it happens, it?s nothing short of a miracle. Every now and then a free-to-play game comes out of the woodwork that actually plays the way it was intended, and we get treated to a treat, like early Christmas in July, or something like that.
In this list are games that are so good, you?d think you should?ve paid for it just to play it. Or you could have paid the developer, even if the game was definitely free, and you?re playing it because it?s free. These are free-to-play games that are actually real good games.
What started out as a modded map for WarCraft 3 has turned out to become such a big game, it can stand-alone. And stand-alone it did, with a 2nd version spawning one of the biggest e-tournaments in recent history. To think that the competition had a prize pool of 10 million dollars speaks of the enormity of this game.
In this game, you pick a hero which will fight it out against another hero. You are a member of a five-man team, and you?re competing to bring down the opposing enemy base by using tactics and skills to defeat your enemy and their minions.
A collectible card game based on the WarCraft universe, Hearthstone plays very much like Magic: The Gathering and Pok?mon. You start out with a standard deck, and you have to build it up to become an effective deck that can duke it out with others. While it does have a system for purchasing cards, some of the in-game reward cards are effective enough that you don?t really have to pay a lot just to build a really good deck.
It?s a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter. However, it can also be summed up as a virtual battlefield, because you?re all trying to conquer an entire planet and only one gets to control it all at one time, or at least, large portions of it.
The game lets you choose one of three factions at the start. You can either be an authoritarian Terran, a freedom-loving New Conglomerate trooper, or a Vanu Sovereignty warrior. You are given the task of taking over territory along with hundreds upon hundreds of teammates. It does sound like a triple AAA game, the only difference being it?s free-to-play.
This is a game that?s set in the unforgiving times of World War II. It?s a flight sim where you play and battle against dozens of other players in the same map. It?s got a real steep learning curve, though, slapping new players with wait times and resource limits. However, if you get past this, you can easily play through it without even paying for anything. A recent addition placed tanks for you to control, and you?ve got air and ground warfare going on at all time. Did we mention it also has support for the Oculus Rift headset?
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Here?s a head-on spoiler: this particular Star Wars title is not the same Star Wars: The Old Republic you may have already played. And it?s also got a restriction on free-to-play accounts, such as not being able to sprint for the first ten levels. Now that that?s out of the way, despite this absurdity, the semi-single player campaigns are actually real good. And then, there are the Force powers. You can never go wrong with the Force.