Top F2P Games of 2013
Another year brought another slew of hits to the free-to-play game market, and we here at MMOBomb want to showcase the best of the best! The games on this list are the editors' picks for the most successful F2P games of 2013, whether measured in players, profits, or just overall buzz and excitement. If your favorite didn't make the list, well, cry moar noob!
To qualify for this list, a free-to-play game must have been made available to the general public in 2013. That counts not only brand-new releases, but games that had a widely available beta or pay-to-play MMOs that converted to a F2P model. So you'll have to wait until next year to see EverQuest Next Landmark. We think it's got a pretty strong shot of making the list.
MOBA fans looking for a top-flight alternative to League of Legends finally got their wish when Valve formally launched Dota 2 in July after a two-year beta testing period. Touted as a more mature and hardcore title than LoL, Dota 2 is the most-played game on Steam by a wide margin, with half a million-plus players during peak hours, compared to around 70,000 for the #2 title.
In the “Year of the MOBA,” Dota 2's clearly got the edge over the rest of 2013's new releases. Not only has Valve been consistently adding new content for hardcore players, they've focused on assisting new ones too. An intuitive new player map helps new players grasp core mechanics, while Valve has added extensive collectable customization options for returning players. Valve has even made it super easy for veteran players to coach newbies in-game without having to play alongside them. Can Dota 2 carry that momentum into 2014 and beyond – and perhaps challenge Riot's dominance in the e-sports field? Only time will tell.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
As if conquering the MMO, RTS, and RPG categories wasn't enough, Blizzard took aim at the collectible card game market this year, announcing Hearthstone and making the game available through a wide-open beta test. Early returns are positive, and the game seems to offer a solid experience comparable to Magic: The Gathering. In 2014, look for Blizzard to expand the gameplay with more and bigger tournaments as they strive to make Hearthstone a major player in the online CCG space.
Dota 2 wasn't the only big new player in MOBAs in 2013. Turbine unleashed Infinite Crisis in beta form this year, melding the MOBA formula with the heroes and villains of the DC Universe to create a compelling, action-packed new game. Competitive play and cash tournaments are already underway, and Twitch integration will help spread the game to the masses even more rapidly.
While lacking the depth of its more mature counterparts, Marvel Heroes continues to chug along nicely since its June launch. Gazillion addresses balance issues and provides new content and new heroes on a regular basis. The tedium typically associated with an ARPG is perhaps exacerbated a bit, considering the game's relative simplicity, but Gazillion isn't really aiming for Diablo fans. It's a solid, casual game made more for superhero fans than for the hardcore clicking crowd.
While it may not have done anything revolutionary, Perfect World Entertainment's Neverwinter hit all the right notes with Dungeons & Dragons fans starved for adventure in the fabled Forgotten Realms. A few early mishaps notwithstanding, the MMORPG looks to have a long shelf life, as fans have flocked to the Foundry content creator, crafting their own adventures to supplement the dev team's storyline.
Path of Exile
No “out of nowhere” success story of 2013 would be complete without a mention of Grinding Gear Games' Path of Exile. The ARPG won a legion of fans during beta and launched properly in October. It was considered by many the true successor to the most iconic title in the genre, rather than the underwhelming Diablo III.
Seven classes, different gameplay modes, and a gargantuan skill tree, reminiscent of Final Fantasy X's Sphere Grid, makes sure that players will always find new ways to play. As if the game itself wasn't good enough, the game is unabashedly free-to-play, offering very little to pry dollars from gamers' wallets – a general boon to players, but mildly perplexing to players wanting to support the game.
Rift isn't a new title, but Trion Worlds saw new life injected into the two-year-old MMO when it converted the game to free-to-play in May. While it does offer all-but-top-tier gear for sale – a sticking point for some – most of the game is offered for free, instantly placing Rift near the top of the Free MMORPG food chain. Couple that with regular updates (including an upcoming water expansion) and you've got yourselves a Free MMO winner.
If you thought only one company could make a good WWII-era air-combat game, think again. Gaijin Entertainment surprised everyone with War Thunder, and, while the game could use a little more polish, it's well on its way to establishing itself as a top-flight (heh) destination for novice aviators and double aces alike, both on PC and PS4. If Gaijin can pull off its ground and naval battle systems with similar aplomb, it could be huge.
Who could have guessed that people would be drawn to cybernetic space ninjas? Besides everyone, that is? Developer Digital Extremes took the not-too-chancy chance and crafted a game that's long on action if a tad grindy. Fans aren't complaining, though; the hack-and-slash shooter has garnered a legion of dedicated fans. Our favorite comment? The guy who said he's “just getting into the game” after 500 hours.
About the Author
Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009.
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MMOBOMB, this was just and advise and next time give a really criteria of a real list, not for fan or last part of year in games really played since the year started in 1st January 2013 or anything else for call people attention. Cheers and keep doing your good job as always expect here lol.
Warframe. Jesus the grinding in that game, monotonous enemies, only a few tile sets. The art team is the *Only* thing people are playing for, at this point. That and mindlessly killing everything with their ultimate which they can spam 24/7.
Rift and Neverwinter are extremely P2W, I remember Neverwinter takes about 30 ingame days of straight grind for a bag. A BAG!
Can't say much about Warthunder, but I'd rather say that World Of Tanks is definitely more popular then this.
The only game worth noting here is Path of Exile. Good devs, amazing customization, good gameplay, not P2W, it's everything Diablo 3 should have been, with the addition it's free!
RIFT went F2P in 2013 because its been dead since 6 months after launch. It's just a last, sad attempt to get back up. How it made the list just shows either how weak the list is, or how weak 2013 was in general.
Infinite Crisis only has any popularity because it uses superheroes. It has no real gameplay to hold it up. It's a horribly imbalanced mess of a game, with no real outstanding features.
Random generated stats
Random legendary drops (meaning you couldn't farm a specific boss for an item like D2)
Lag and errors(this also happened a lot with PoE's launch)
Not to mention even though I got frustrated I was never "too worried" because D2 sucked until LoD also. Anyone who was around remembers the forums before LoD, it was absolutely insane, even worse then D3's launch. Heck they even shut the dang forums down for a week to stop a guy spam botting it 24/7.
they are all pretty decent.
warframe was awesome at first till I felt that it got a bit unnecessarily monster hunterish(love mh series) with the excessive grinding for orokin cores that barely spawned.
Dota2, pretty great I dropped it because my friends play league more.
path of exile, another great game(that skill tree is frigging massive I think that how you subclass)
rift, felt like defiance mashed up with a dash of WoW. Multitude of classes though, which is a plus.
marvel heroes, great Diablo inspired game (still recommend path of exile unless you want to play a diablo-style game with marvel characters) my time with deadpool and rocket raccoon were great.
I would go thru all of them but my tab is gonna die.
these games are great idek which is the best koff*neverwinter*koff
bout I dont play any of them anymore, I play pso2jp and blade and soul China.
I was eager for those games THIS YEAR but Sega b.s' ncsoft is busy with Wildstar(which will bring me back to American mmos)
hey Spunkify,when can we see a list of best expected f2p games in 2014? :)
its a great game and i play it (but LOL is the best :D) but just for now till Heroes of Storm comes in and change the tides.
and thank you for the list mmobomb
Let us expect good tidings out of 2014 ^^)v
I drink to that.
I guess in 2013 the only game i really liked was Path of Exile, a truly f2p quality game like that is second to none. I hope others will follow poe's example of f2p model as well.
I follow several gaming websites, and i can say that is i have never heard or do positive notes for some of these games described.
WAR THUNDER>What?It is a game that at no time of the year was "expected", said as popular, or did success. (Never saw the game between the tops twitch tv / stream) so...
Neverwinter and Rift>
Had good launch as F2P, now both are "dead" and described as P2W games. (Very few viewers in stream / twitch) Numerous critics in forum / facebook
Path Exile >Diablo 3 (frustrated) fanboys, have a decent playerbase.
Warframe>Indie. Sci-fi Fanboys, not at all "popular".
The only games I see as really popular and successful in 2013, although I do not play both and not like:
Dota 2 and Hearthstone who excel in amount of players, spectators on Twitch TV and good reviews on websites, forums etc. youtube.
Several other titles of 2013 were forgotten, but I believe it will not only beyond the view of the site, if not the business ($ $ $)
I'm not denying interest and all in dota and i'm not against anyone interest , just i like facts to be facts and this seem like lies to me , or they overestimate dota or underestimate lol . Or mayeb its a single LoL server and there is not only one , idk . Dota 2 might grow and is or get bigger then LoL , but doubting it at this stage and these numbers seem rediculous compared to reality.