From wizards to ninjas, starships to battleships, there’s a free-to-play game for just about everyone out there. Some are better than others, though, whether it’s due to gameplay, the cash shop, or just that special “something” you can’t quite quantify.
But quantify we will do over the next few weeks, as the staff of MMOBomb takes a crack at ranking the top 50 free-to-play games in existence as of the end of 2015!
To qualify for the list, a game had to be “effectively launched” in North America. That did count games in beta, as long as they were fully free and didn’t require any selection process (like a typical closed beta) to get in. That’s why you’ll see Brawlhalla on the list, which is in open beta and anyone can play right now, but not H1Z1, which requires payment at this time, or Total War: Arena, which requires a beta key to play.
The four of us – Mike, Jason, Zach, and Quintlyn – rated our top 50 choices to create this list, which we’ll reveal to you, 10 games at a time, every Monday for five weeks. Our selections were averaged out and tweaked slightly if one person was way far off from everyone else’s choices to develop the final rankings.
Enough talk – on with the games!
Here comes a new challenger! Brawlhalla’s fast-paced, free-to-play fun lands it on our list. It’s just starting out, but as the word gets out and the competitive scene heats up, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it become one of the most loved F2P titles around.
Another fairly new entry, Duelyst combines CCG mechanics with tactical board-game-like movement and combat. It’s already drawing in players of all flavors and should only get better as its open beta continues.
A not-so-new title, Vindictus offers superb action combat and still looks quite good for its age. Nexon keeps pumping out new characters and content, releasing its tenth character, Sylas, this week, and keeping the game alive for its devoted hack-and-slash-loving fans.
Loaded with potential, Firefall was plagued throughout its development by, shall we say, less than stellar leadership. It seemed to have righted its ship, only to have endured a recent round of layoffs. It still boasts plenty of great shooter action, but player fatigue over its multiple issues seems to be a real factor.
46. Blacklight: Retribution
Speaking of shooting, Blacklight: Retribution is a stylish choice if you’re looking for something that feels modern but with a sci-fi aesthetic. The action can be a little generic at times, but it’s a solid game, especially considering the price tag.
45. Magic Duels
After a rocky start, Magic Duels is starting to round into shape. It’s a little ironic that the king of CCGs is an also-ran in the digital space, but, unlike other titles, Magic was designed for the physical space first, and true computerized adaptations are always going to seem a little clunky.
44. Tribes: Ascend
Hi-Rez Studios may not be doing much work on Tribes: Ascend these days, but dedicated fans help keep it alive. A small team still works on the game, but it won’t ever reach the heights of previous titles in the franchise’s storied history.
When you think of MOBAs, AirMech doesn’t usually come up on your list, but maybe it should. Carbon Games’ mecha-inspired title requires more lengthy engagement and keeps players on their toes throughout a match, as they have to swap between their mech’s two forms and manage an army of smaller units.
42. Armored Warfare
It’s a long way to the top, and Armored Warfare is taking on the 800-lb. gorilla that is World of Tanks, head-on. It’s got a good core and a team that’s dedicated to making it better, but it will be an uphill struggle all the way.
41. Runes of Magic
Runes of Magic is still chugging along, though it’s been a bit quiet as of late. The last new chapter for the game was released in 2012(!), but there’s still a lot going on, and it definitely conveys that “old-school” feeling a lot of MMO players yearn for.
Join us next week as we reveal games #40 to #31!