MMOBomb's 2018 in Review: Top 5 Best New F2P Games of the Year

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor December 20, 2018

Welcome to the first of our 2018 Year In Review articles! Today, we'll be examining the best new free-to-play games of 2018. Did you play that hot new free-to-play game this year? The one everyone is talking about? You know what I'm talking about, right?

Well, maybe you don't.

We'll get into a “top F2P games to look forward to in 2019” list later on – and it might have a few entries that are legitimately exciting – but looking back on 2018, things were … less than spectacular? Or at least less-populated.

We considered making this a top 10 list originally, but thought we might be scraping up against the barrel to include some titles that received little fanfare throughout the year. What's the saying? Quality over quantity? If so, than this is an extremely high-quality list!

5. Bless Online

Bless Online didn't launch as free-to-play, but once it was, it still had enough hype and momentum to draw in a lot of curious eyeballs and keep enough people playing to land it on the edge of our truncated list. It's not perfect, and given how it's performed in other regions, is in constant danger of shutting down, but a few people are calling it their new MMORPG home – at least until next year's offerings arrive.

4. Dauntless

In a world where there are relatively few monster-hunting games (see what I did there?), Dauntless stands out as a title that's different from just about anything out there. Phoenix Labs has done a great job of communicating to its player base throughout the year, will expand to new platforms in 2019, and has the resources to continue improving the game for the foreseeable future.

3. Ring of Elysium

Tencent's take on the serious – i.e., more like PUBG and less like Fortnite – battle royale genre hasn't received the same fanfare that its competition has, but the numbers don't lie. Ring of Elysium is consistently a top 20 game on Steam, owing to its tight controls, snowy setting (complete with extreme sports!), and surprisingly good polish for an early access/open beta game. It's got a ways to go to compete with the two heavies in the BR scene, but it's a solid choice if you're looking for something new.

2. MapleStory 2

Is MapleStory 2 way too cutesy for its own good? Yes. Is it also a good game? Also yes. Nexon's long-awaited sequel opened its gates to the masses in October and is still rocking with regular new content updates. With quests, dungeons, raids, mini-games, housing, and more there's something for everyone, whether you're a casual player or hardcore grinder. And if it's not your cup of sugary-sweet tea, you can always go back to Bless.

1. Magic: The Gathering Arena

Magic players are showing MTG Arena much more love than they did the previous free-to-play attempt at the world's first CCG, Magic Duels. That game never quite seemed to get a handle on how to present itself, something the Arena devs understood and improved upon, to great success. We could still quibble about how it took so long for friends challenges to make it into the game; that issue aside, Arena's doing so well that it might give Hearthstone its first real competition in the F2P digital CCG space.

What game stood out to you as the top new entry in 2018?

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (24)

scott grass 2 years ago
really bless...could have picked something better

Squeeezy 2 years ago
Bless Online? Seriously? Just pick a random mobile game and it can take 5th place from Bless.

yobaz 2 years ago
bless creators give money for rating. bless give loot of money but cant stop die. i am devoted f2p person even me dont like this game. talking to much for this does not deserve.

Weilan 2 years ago
Bless and MapleStory 2?!?!!??! ARE YOU JOKING?!?!?!

Those are the biggest failures in the F2P MMORPG world in 2018.

Bless is 4-5 time failure all over the world with non-existent optimization that runs with 10 FPS on lowest. And they never learn or care to fix the game, just keep ignoring players that complain. Went down from 36,000 players to 500 players.

MapleStory 2 is a scam that's a fashion simulator just like Team Fortress 2 is a hat simualtor. I was in the CBT in May this year and I noticed the poor controls with mouse and keyboard and told them to fix it, they ignored it. I played the game again in October, the controls were still garbage, now the game is losing players, went from 40,000 players to 5,000 and it will keep going down until it stops at around 700-800.

Hellsworth 2 years ago
I have to say this because one has to give credit where credit is due, and since i'm not a fan of FPS, unfortunatly for the industry there's this "small" IP that it went F2P and that everyone kind of missed on this so get rid of that Bless thing and reluctantly add the lil'word CS:GO to #1.

View 1 reply
Ainmaima 2 years ago
How bad was this year if Bless is in a "best of" top?

View 3 replies
Antarian 2 years ago
This is strange. Despite the fact that you guys have done reviews on a ton of games throughout the year you still picked these as the best? Were you not paying attention? I thought this was "best f2p games of the year" not "the most controversial and rubbish". Seriously, these are garbage. I am ashamed to see these on the list. I would even go as far as to say embarrassed. Talk about click-bait email.

turcomere 2 years ago
bless really? wat a fools

View 1 reply
Mortam 2 years ago

Luke 2 years ago
Bless? LOL.

PuddingBear 2 years ago
ummm, these are all crap.

Curst 2 years ago
We had precious few big new games in general, not just in the F2P corner. It almost looks like the era of hype and "waiting for the next big thing" is coming to an end. Thanks a lot, crowdfunding, eternal early access, yearly rehashed releases, and questionable design / marketing decisions.

LOL 2 years ago
Bless, funny :)))

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