10 Brilliant FREE Online Games You Should Be Playing

As anyone who has followed the games industry over the years will know, online gaming’s boomed in popularity over the last few years. Back in my day it used to be a dodgy internet connection and Diablo II, the Dreamcast, or four mates and a Nintendo 64 with Goldeneye. Mindless reminiscing to one side, it’s 2013 and the games industry is stunningly popular and all about the online experience. However, gaming’s still a very expensive hobby to follow, and in a recession struck world this makes new consoles and games a distant possibility for some.

The excellent news is there are plenty of great online games available to download or play on the internet free of charge. Over the last few months I have had a look online and have put together the ten games I would consider to be the best of the lot (I purposely left out Minecraft, incidentally). And they’re all free! Here’s what you can catch up on.

1. Steam

1. Steam

This isn’t a game, but you’ll want to download it if you’re going to get some of the games listed here. Valve Corporation’s creation is an internet portal providing access to nearly 2,000 online games, many of which are available to download and play for free. They cover pretty much every genre; first-person shooters such as Tribes Ascend, Alien Swarm, Alliance of Valiant Arms and PlanetSide 2, massively multi-player online games such as Age of Conan: Unchained, racing simulators such as RaceRoom Experience, role-playing games such as The Banner Saga: Factions, strategy games such as Stronghold Kingdoms, and many more.

2. PlanetSide 2

2. PlanetSide 2

It’s absurd this game is actually free! It’s an epic sci-fi MMOFPS where players are plunged into combat with thousands of comrades and enemies. The ultimate aim of the game is to win territory as three factions battle it out for dominance on the planet of Auraxis. The game features the option for various combat classes and specializations and a wide array of weapons and vehicles, game modes, missions, skills and captivating futuristic action.

The graphics are great, the action full-on, and it’s brilliant fun.

3. Alien Swarm

3. Alien Swarm

Although it’s basic in setup this main action (which involves blowing up swarming aliens, funnily enough) is surprisingly intense and is a nostalgic hark back to the games of yesteryear. The Arcade styled gameplay, and moody setting, makes for fun bursts of play and an immersive experience. And it’s free, of course, so no complaints!

4. League of Legends

4. League of Legends

One of the most popular free online games currently available is League of legends (LoL), a fantasy-themed multiplayer battle arena with a choice of 110 different champions to select and pitch in battle. Players start each battle at the side of a map and must defeat their enemies; everyone forms into two even teams of champions and aim to destroy their enemies’ Nexus.

LoL is an addictive, and very aggressive, combat platform with a firm emphasis on a group effort – players must keep in contact with their online friends, coordinate their tactics and communicate effectively during, and between, battles. It’s proved popular, too, and now has a big cult following.

5. Super House of Dead Ninjas

5. Super House of Dead Ninjas

A Flash game on Steam, this game is a traditional 2D action romp of randomly generated adventures through speedy landscapes and violent enemies. It’s full on and you’ll need a quick brain to deal with it all, so only the most daring should take it on.

There is a cheap, extended version you can get, but the free edition is excellent as it is.

6. Tribes Ascend

6. Tibes Ascend

Tribes Ascend is a critically-acclaimed and immensely popular MMOFPS set in a distant future battle environment. Gameplay involves a choice of three armour and weapon classes and players earning credits for killing enemies, fixing structures and achieving mission objectives; credits can then be spent on purchasing supplies to allow progress through the game. Survival often requires mastering the use of skis and jetpacks to negotiate the battlefield.

The game is spectacular and has a rich backstory of intriguing galactic-wide action. One to own!

7. Sluggish Morss

7. Sluggish Morss

As innovative as games come, this is a freak-out episode of sci-fi psychedelia. Set in a far-out far-future, the story follows the exploits of a pink pothead alien as he collects gold coins to pay his dealer – along the way he encounters a series of bizarre puzzles and unusual characters. A weird one, for sure, but it’s good fun.

8. Simian.interface

8. Simian.interface

Vested Interest present the simian.interface, a simple yet deep interface to test the aesthetic and special skills of simians, including humans.

Players must experiment with moving shapes around a colourful screen in each level to find the correct alignment. Gameplay starts easily in the early stages as shapes must be placed in the right place but the puzzles become progressively more complex and testing for the simian player’s reasoning skills. Addictive stuff.

9. Hunt’ Em

9. Hunt 'Em

The stunning artwork featured in Hunt ’Em disguises the rather more dark themes, namely an evolutionary arms race as your character flees from bloodthirsty wolves across a prehistoric styled landscape, gains power-ups from fountains of light and – having evolved into a bigger and stronger creature – becomes a hunter and pursues the wolves.

The wolves also evolve to become more powerful creating a continuously fraught gaming world, but despite this bleak outlook Hunt ’Em is a wonderfully crafted, and enjoyable, experience.

10. Army Rage

10. Army Rage

Army Rage is a fast-paced and realistic 3D MMOFPS set on the battlefields of the Second World War. Presented by Chinese publisher Yacuba Games, this first-person shooter aims to capture the frantic conflict of the divisive war; players can choose to fight on either Allies or Axis side and there are four different soldier classes to select from: Assault, Scout, Support or Engineer.

Players team up into up to six groups of four soldiers, so as many as 24 people can be fighting in one room, with the action taking place across a variety of maps, missions and game modes. Good old fashioned violent fun!

I’m a writer for Cartridge Save in Manchester, where we sell ink cartridges. I’ve been playing games for 20+ years and I’m a very keen retro gamer. My most eagerly anticipated modern game? Rayman Legends. Oh yes.

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Posted in: Online
  • http://www.technotipsblog.com Josh

    Another Internet Gaming servicing – Gameranger and i’d like to see some strategy games such as Age of Empires – Conquerors or some other!!
    Josh recently posted..Get the Cooking done with Google RecipesMy Profile

    • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex Morris

      Thanks Josh – actually I think Command and Conquer has a new edition coming out this year and it will be a free-to-play game. That’s one to look out for.

  • http://minecraftbestseeds.com/ Thiessen

    Hey alix morris, how are you? I enjoy very much “Army Rage” thanks for your sharing. I am waiting for free to play game and i hope you will post an article about it.

  • http://www.free-riot-points.com/ Amy Aftroth

    At first I was like, “Steam as number one?” you’re kidding yourself. But then I actually looked at the number of free-to-play games that Steam has these days and I was impressed. Having used the platform since its early days I’m impressed to see it branch into free games.

    I can’t fight League of Legends as my favourite from the list though, also had my hands in that game since beta and I just can’t get enough of playing it and even just watching it.

    • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex Morris

      Hi Amy, again sorry the list isn’t in any real order. It’s just 10 I consider to be fine examples of free games, as there are quite a lot of naff ones out there.

      League of Legends had an overhaul of late to remove the rampant elitism which was plaguing it! Hopefully new players will now find it more accessible.

  • http://fullyfullversiongames.blogspot.com/ zulqarnain

    Sir Please Upload The Links To Download The Game
    zulqarnain recently posted..Download StrongHold Crusader 2 Full Pc GameMy Profile

  • Dyrus

    I found it interesting that you didn’t have Leagues at the top. Not only is it the most popular free online game, but it is the most popular game out there. As for the others, I have seen/heard a couple of them. Very interesting list. Thanks for the article!

    • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex Morris

      Hi Dyrus, the list order isn’t supposed to represent which is best. They are just 10 games (and the Steam platform) for anyone uninitiated with them. Thanks for reading!

  • http://shynerd.com Ahmad

    Nice collection, Alex. Loved all the games but don’t you think minecraft should be in this collection? Ditto Skyrim is also a good game. Keep up the good work =)
    Ahmad recently posted..Flappy Bird Online | Flappy Bird Game for PCMy Profile

    • http://www.cartridgesave.co.uk Alex

      Hi Ahmad – You’re right, Minecraft should have been in there. Due to its popularity I left it out as most people are aware of it. Still, it should be in there as it is good fun and very addictive.