Like the plague victim in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, free-to-play’s not dead yet – not by a long shot. The past year saw a number of new free-to-play games enter the market, as well as a few conversions of paid games to free, and we’ve compiled a list of what we think were the best of the bunch.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. We’re also interested to hear what you guys think were free-to-play’s best new entrants, so we’ve set up a poll at the end of this article where you can let us know what game you thought rose above the rest. Our list is just ordered alphabetically, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide what you think were free-to-play’s best new entrants for the year!

As a reminder, we consider a free-to-play game “new” or “launched” when it goes what we call “fully free-to-play.” That means it’s totally free to download and play and anyone can do it, any time. That excludes paid early access periods (not free) and games in a closed beta (not available to everyone).

Now that we’ve got the rules out of the way, it’s on to the juicy, juicy list!

Battleborn

After months of speculation, and outright denial, Battleborn finally made its long-expected conversion to a F2P game. Actually, Gearbox Entertainment called it a “free trial,” even though it seemed in line with other F2P games. Oh, and then it ceased development altogether. So … not the best of years, but also not the worst.

Battlerite

Stunlock Studios’ highly anticipated follow-up to Bloodline Champions finally launched out of early access in November and immediately shot up the list of most-played games on Steam. In addition to making a great game, the dev team also gets an A+ for communication, producing an extensive roadmap to keep players in the know about what’s coming next. It’s an all-around great effort, well-deserving of the kudos it receives.

Crossout

Targem Games and Gaijin Entertainment’s customizable car-combat zoomed out of the garage in May. It’s a bit grindy and could still use more variety in its battles, but if you can get past that, it offers a wealth of options for making your personalized death machine.

Dreadnought 11

Dreadnought

Grey Box and Studio Yager’s big spaceship shooter made it out of drydock on PC and PlayStation 4 this year. It’s got 8v8 PvP action, a kind of PvE “horde mode,” and Twitch drops to let you win cool stuff just for watching streams of the game. If you’re looking for a “World of Spaceships”-type game similar to Wargaming’s titles, check it out.

Fortnite: Battle Royale

With the basic Fortnite game still in paid early access, free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale has taken the internet by storm and started a war with the “other” popular Battle Royale game, the previously unassailable PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. FN:BR’s popularity hasn’t slowed PUBG down, though, so the two should continue to vie for players’ attentions throughout the year – and, given the genre’s explosive growth, it wouldn’t surprise us if another battle royale game got headlines in 2018.

Gigantic

Motiga’s beleaguered hero battler finally launched in 2017 – and, just a few months later, Motiga shut down and the game went 100% into Perfect World Entertainment’s hands. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, seeing as how many issues Motiga had. PWE provides stability, at least, and hasn’t done anything yet to make players regret the move.

Gwent

Gwent went into open beta in May and captured the hearts of CCG and Witcher fans alike. CD Projekt Red is tossing lots of money at tournaments but is generally trying to build up its esports scene organically. Going into 2018, it’s going to need to show that same dedication to development in general, producing new cards at a pace similar to games like Hearthstone if it wants to remain relevant in the long run.

Hand of the Gods

The former “Smite Tactics” hasn’t quite won the hearts of players like Hi-Rez Studios’ other offerings, netting only a 65% positive rating so far on Steam. With as huge as Smite and Paladins are, HotG can sit in their shadows for a while, as it works out its kinks through early access – which, being a Hi-Rez game, should take about three years.

Revelation Online

In a tale that’s as old as time itself, people were really jazzed up for the latest gorgeous Asian MMO – until it came out and was mostly forgotten. In this case, the game was Chinese in origin instead of Korean, but the results were mostly the same. Still, RO got enough attention throughout the year to make the list and still has a dedicated fan base, even if it’s not quite as large as My.com would like.

Secret World Legends

Funcom made the not-too-surprising move to take its mythology-and-conspiracy MMO free-to-play in 2017. What was surprising was the decision to require veteran players to “start over” – which actually went down better than expected and might be something other developers could look into to reinvigorate a flagging game’s fortunes.

All right MMOBombers, now it’s up to you: Which one of those was the best new free-to-play game of 2017? You can choose up to three games from the list below, and we’ll revisit the results early next year.


the author

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.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. zatchaaron on December 17, 2017

    Battlerite by far is one of the best F2P games of the year. No paywalls, a very affordable hero pack, and plenty of vanity items. I’m a founder of the game and have been enjoying it for awhile and I’m stoked that now that it is F2P it’s getting the attention it deserves. My only complaint is instead of a lootbox system I wish it had a store for me to buy specific vanity items from.

    • Ivan Bayum on December 21, 2017

      But you can but what you want for the runes you get from quests and boxes, some for gold.

    • Ravors on December 23, 2017

      Battle rite is crap. Its a 3 man moba revamped from bloodline champions 7 years ago. literary the exact same game. — MOBA games offer zEEEEro progression. Huge waste of time and 0 amount of acheivement. no character progression.

  2. Mortam on December 16, 2017

    Nothing.

    • Ravors on December 23, 2017

      Agreed. none. they are all trash tier.

  3. Ivan Bayum on December 15, 2017

    >free-to-play’s not dead yet
    >Battleborn
    Is that a joke?
    Also garbage like crossout and revelation should be excluded for sure because there are better games that fall into good f2p 2017 category. Maybe gwent too but this has to much personal preference influence (i cracking hate CCG market, worse then MOBA). Aren’t this things obvious? People that make this topics suppose to understand what is good and what is not or you just google best f2p games 2017 and make a poll? Good content (no)!

    • Fox on December 16, 2017

      The Community’s doesn’t know what right from wrong anymore since they lost there common senses in today generation history.

  4. ID on December 15, 2017

    Sad to see only 2 RPG on this list.

  5. Rea on December 14, 2017

    What a horrendous year for MMORPGs in west

  6. Rion Requiel on December 14, 2017

    I can personally say… Revelation Online should NOT be on this list. Does it have great Gameplay? In my personal opinion… Yes.

    Is it worthy to be on this list? Not by a long shot. My.Com has properly taken a game with a lot of promise and utterly slaughtered it. No extra Game Security, anyone can find some way to easily hack your account and delete all your FOUNDER’S ITEMS which went up to $100+, and Support will not do anything about it.

    Revelation needs to be replaced by something such as Guild Wars 2 (Yes, Again. Because GW2 is actually much better.)

    There is no real reason Revelation Online should be on here. I would know, I wrote a huge review at the beginning of this game’s life when it first opened, advocating how it should be “One of the Greats” and after many experiences… I can assure you, that My.Com has ruined all hopes of this game being what it truly could be.

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