Top 50 Free-To-Play Games Of All Time: #1-#10
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.
This is it! The end of a month-long journey, where we reveal to you what we think is the best of the best in free-to-play gaming! Some of these games are huge financial successes, while some are critically acclaimed – and a few are both. We hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as we have and while we don't expect you to agree completely with our rankings, we hope you can understand how we arived at the spots we did for each game.
10. PlanetSide 2
Big battles raging nonstop over four huge continents – what's not to like? Well, admittedly, PS2 hasn't done a whole lot new since its launch three years ago, so it can get a little repetitive, but what it does do it does well and it's an experience unlike just about anything else out there.
9. World of Tanks
Wargaming's flagship – er, flagtank? – title has over 80 million players, an international presence, and a strong e-sports scene. Those sheer numbers alone make it a top title, but its reliance on older tech and the arguably pay-to-win (and since removed) “gold rounds” have cost it in the realm of public opinion.
8. Dota 2
While it's not the biggest MOBA out there, Dota 2 is possibly the most loved by its fans, and having Valve's Steam platform to promote it heavily doesn't hurt. It's got a steeper learning curve that most MOBAs, which will probably prevent it from achieving the heights that others have reached, but it's got one of the most dedicated fan bases you'll ever see.
Players can't get enough of Warframe's hack-and-slash-and-shoot action, and Digital Extremes delivers meaty updates, with new content and new Warframes on a regular basis. It's a grind, but it's a fun grind, nailing that visceral feel of being an awesomely overpowered space ninja fighting against incredible odds.
Rift was a good game when it launched as a pay-to-play game, and, unlike many other titles, it hasn't hurt its image by dropping the box and subscription fee. Trion Worlds continually refines the gameplay, making it a top-tier MMO, and its cash shop practices are some of the most friendly in the business.
SMITE is proof that a smaller studio can grab a significant chunk of the MOBA pie, which helps serve as an inspiration for developers everywhere. With all the MOBAs we've seen recently, maybe that's not a good thing... Still, people love SMITE for its different take on MOBA action, and hey – who doesn't want to be a god?
4. Path of Exile
Path of Exile is maybe the best lesser-known RPG in existence. It's got multiple game modes and difficulty levels to please a wide range of fans, and it's cash shop is so generous that it's led us at MMOBomb to wonder how it makes money. Still, it keeps on keeping on, and that's good enough for us!
3. League of Legends
What more is there to say about League of Legends? It's got a big audience, big money, a big budget – and, to many people, a big problem with its perception of toxicity. That's not undeserved, and it's something that Riot will have to work harder to address going forward if it wants it to truly be accepted in the mainstream. It's got a chance to do that and change what kind of entertainment people view in the 21st century.
2. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
When Hearthstone came onto the scene, there were just a few online CCGs, and very few that were free-to-play. Now, thanks to Blizzard's wild success, everyone's making a CCG and nearly all of them are trying to emulate Hearthstone's payment model. The random nature of its gameplay makes Hearthstone annoying to some, but you can't deny the incredible effect it's had on gaming, shepherding in a new wave of titles.
1. Guild Wars 2
The only game, along with World of Warships, that all four of us picked in the same slot, Guild Wars 2 is a lush and vibrant MMO that is probably the most inviting title in the business. With its emphasis on “jump-in, jump-out” group content encouraging a friendly atmosphere, it's the perfect home for millions of players. Its free-to-play move in August wasn't transcendental, but it's opened Tyria up for everyone to experience, and it's hard not to get hooked.
💣 Feature | The MMOBomb Forum Community's Best of 2015
To celebrate the end of 2015 -- and ring in a whole new year or gaming -- MMOBomb decided to ask its community to weigh in with their thoughts on what they believe to be the more succuessful free-to-play games of the year. To k...By QuintLyn Bowers - 7 years ago
You May Enjoy
Action MMO Drakensang Online Is Now Available On Steam
From your browser to Steam.By Troy Blackburn - 1 week ago
Conqueror's Blade Announces New PvE Mode: Mastery Commander
Bring your own units and fight to increase your Unit Mastery.By QuintLyn Bowers - 6 days ago
Meet Dr. Rubilia, Tower Of Fantasy’s Latest Simulacrum
The former head of the Listener Project takes on the role of an Abyssant.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
War Thunder Analyzes 15 Thousand Entries Of Feedback From Latest Questionnaire
That's a lot of data.By Troy Blackburn - 2 days ago
Sega Will Share The Future Of Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis On May 30
Tune in to the episode of "Headline" to find out current operations, future content, upcoming campaigns, and other information.By Matthew D'Onofrio - 6 days ago
Early Access And Stress Test Weekend Announced For New MMO Cinderstone Online
The game is available on Steam this week.By QuintLyn Bowers - 1 week ago
Smite should really be higher up. It is a amazing moba game, with short matches, skillbased and it is f2p but you get in to it then you really want the full god pack. But yeah, all f2p game have some sort of addition.
I miss TF2, since that is a game that is still going after 10 years and are totally f2p.
I believe RIFT should not be on this top 10 list. I played and hardcore raided for many years, but after it went f2p Trion made the game about their chash shop. It is all about ripping your money off you, their pvp is shit, and the servers are empty and the new content is even empty. It is a good game to try and to have fun in for a while, but the game really is dead with a very small core group left were it is hard to get good people to their raids. The grind is just insane so Trion killed the game. Replace rift with tera.
Dota should probably be higher up, i don't play it my self, only tried it, but talking and reading about it give me the impression it should be higher.
As some already said gw2 has lots of features and pretty much starts at lvl80 and is not like most other games. I've been playing since beta and still am.
They did add a f2p part yes but you should see it more as a permanent trail. It has limitations but they never force you to anything. If you really like this game you should just buy it instead.
And i will keep helping with payments not as beeing forced but because i like this game to grow even further and that i can keep playing it. As so far every penny spend has been worth my wonderful time in this game and brought me more then just playtime.
I rather spend a 100euro on a game i play for years instead of for example 60euro on CoD and stop playing after a few days.
If you did not know, mmos are supposed to have atleast 5'000 hours fun content the first 3 years!!!
League of Flamers No.3?
Planetside 2 No.10?
Dota 2 No.8 and League of Trollers No.3?
FU** NO. HOW MUCH DID THEY PAY YOU?!?!?
MMObomb = 2nd IGN for me now...
Such a disappointment.. I literally can't trust you anymore.. Are you serious?
Stash tabs by the looks of it, they sold "well over" a million of them...assuming that is the bundled ones and just taking the straight million, the lowest they would make 1.85 million the highest 2.5 million (the lowest being with a 26% discount special sale) not to mention the extra they have from the supporters packs and extra cosmetics.
1. Heroes of the Storm
10. Planetside - yea its ok although the game is not that popular anymore.
9.World of tanks - fine
8. Dota 2 - this game deserves atleast in top 5.
7. Warframe should be 8,9 or 10.But definitely in top 10.
6.Rift should not be in top 10.Why? Classes are "Premium" and of-course behind paywall and most of its servers are dead.so it must between in #10-20.To even put WoT or Dota 2 lower rank than Rift is absolute dumbness...
Compare it to wildstar f2p model and you will find at start wildstar's model is bad but becomes way better than rift later on.
5.Smite Definitely rank 5 or less.Very skillful game.Interesting heroes(Gods!).All it needs is more marketing.
4.Path of Exile - This game deserves to be in top atleast.The game is symbol of pure free to play game.
3.League of Legends - Definitely in top 3. Its not a surprise if its #2 or even #1.
2.Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - I play a lot of Hearthstone and I can surely say that it does not deserves top 5 lest be #2.It is a card game which depends a lot on RNG(Luck),skills come inferior to rng and quality of cards many times.Also, at its current state, the game is very bad experience for new players as old players thrash them hard due to not having some popular cards(Dr.BOOM).
1. Guild Wars 2: Putting a dying game at rank 1 which is not having active million players and that too,who is not even a good example of free to play(Restrictions) is very biased of you.If you people are paid for this then shame on you people for comprising the integrity of this website's experience.
To even think - "all four of us picked in the same slot" is so much laughable.Either you people are dumb(which I think you are not) or this is clearly a marketing strategy.
Yet again please do compare this fake f2p(which is actually a b2p) to f2p models of rift,tera,skyforge or wildstar and everyone can see why I said that.
Everyone I know that started playing quit within a month because there were only cosmetics to grind. I came back 4 or so different times throughout its development and nothing was added for progression except for legendaries, which aren't boss drops or anything, just grind drops.
Yes, GW2 is a great leveling experience, but a LOT of other games are simply better in longevity, endgame, combat, and aesthetic.
I posted a long rant about how gear treadmills and grinds are REQUIRED in MMORPGs for them to have longevity on here a while ago and it got a lot of thumbs up, I think gamers are starting to realize that grind = effort, and without effort there is no reward.
It's the same reason why Dark Souls is so successful, you must put in EFFORT. In MOBAs you have to put in EFFORT to be good, there's a HUGE learning curve. In GW2 where is the effort? It's like nu-rap or pop music, it's fun for a while then everyone forgets about it because there wasn't enough effort put in to make it memorable.
ragnarok, Lineage 2, PWI, Runescape and Maplestory were not only on the back of the list, but behind defiance, you can even argue that ragnarok and Lineage 2 were not f2p at first, but the rest are iconic games, the ones that made f2p what they are, they should never be behind an unknown and good-but-nothing-special defiance... even now, a game like Maplestory or Runescape might be more popular or active or whatever this list is judging
Hearthstone and GW2 beating the most successful f2p of all times? ok, GW2 is kinda fun, but not that good, even active players didn't seem excited with the game and the expansion... the game is bland, it has a questionable f2p model (so questionable that the publishers didn't call it f2p), it still uses its original hype to sell the game, it is not even near what League of Legends represents
also, a game that is still controversial like SWTOR in front of Tera and TF2, that are 2 of the best f2p games and best f2p model we have
I don't know, this list seems more like what you guys enjoyed playing the most, which is fine
(sorry for the english)
I agree with most of the top 10, even though it is sad to see Dota 2 always behind LoL, but that's the reality and I must face it.