Five best free to play games in 2021

Although the free-to-play genre gets a bad rap, there are plenty of games that provide dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of free gameplay.

Despite the fact that Valorant is a relatively recent game (it was released in 2020), its prerequisites are quite low by today's standards. (Credits: Riot Games)

The best free games provide a lot of content to players without charging anything, with some ethical microtransactions for die-hard fans. We’ve compiled a list of the best free-to-play games that reflect this, including free FPS games and MMORPGs. There’s something for everyone, from genre-bending games like Frog Fractions to open-world JRPGs like Genshin Impact.

Although the free-to-play genre gets a bad rap, there are plenty of games that provide dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of gameplay for free. There are a few options on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but the majority of the games listed below are free PC games. Fortunately, many of them are from a few years ago, so you should be able to run them without needing a full gaming PC.


Halo Infinite

While the campaign of Halo Infinite requires either a Game Pass subscription or a retail copy of the game, the multiplayer component of the Microsoft-exclusive shooter is completely free to play on PC and all Xbox platforms. This latest Halo game from 343 Industries returns the game to the tactical, positioning, and skill-based multiplayer that made the older games so popular. Throwing in some more modern mechanics, such as sprint, as well as a slew of new tools, such as the incredibly fun grappling hook, this is the ideal way to relive the Halo experience.


Splitgate has gone from indie darling to mainstream mainstay in a matter of months. In fact, the game grew so quickly that the developer had difficulty getting enough servers online to handle the influx of players. In terms of gameplay, imagine the offspring of Portal and Halo — you’ll be close. Splitgate is unapologetically retro, with fans of the original Halo adoring its “retro” mentality. The ability to open portals and move around the map quickly is the most interesting aspect of the FPS. You can also use them to snipe players in completely different locations before closing your portal and fleeing to safety if you want to be sneaky.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is the poster child for the games-as-a-service model, but it’s not a bad game. Destiny 2 is a sprawling online shooter with ultra-tight gun mechanics and some of the most intense combat encounters in gaming. Although it was originally priced at $60, Destiny 2 is now one of the best free-to-play games available. Even better, Bungie overhauled the levelling system after the game’s price dropped, so you won’t have to spend hundreds of hours grinding.

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Team Fortress

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 was an instant success in the multiplayer shooter realm when it was first packaged inside The Orange Box in 2007. When it was first released, the class-based shooter with nine distinct classes included a slew of competitive game modes such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, and several other objective-based modes. Despite the fact that it is more than a decade old and has been overshadowed by a hero shooter called Overwatch, Valve has continued to support the PC version of the game in recent years. It became free to play in 2011 and now supports both ranked and casual matches. Team Fortress 2 is not only a great game today, but it also has a significant place in video game history. You can have the entire experience for free. You can, however, buy cosmetic items in-game if you so desire.


Valorant and Crucible are two newcomers to the free-to-play shooter genre this year. The latter didn’t even make it through a full launch. Thankfully, Valorant did. In a nutshell, Valorant is a competitive online shooter in which you compete in Counter-Strike-style matches. There are two groups: The one wants to plant the bomb (the “spike”), while the other wants to diffuse it. Valorant, on the other hand, adds a roster of MOBA-style heroes. Valorant incorporates so many elements from different genres that it creates something entirely new. Sure, the game plays similarly to CS:GO, but after a few rounds, it’s clear that Valorant is on a different level. It’s captivating, complex, and, best of all, it’s free to play. Unfortunately, it is only available for PC.

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