Top F2P Games of 2013

Michael Dunaway
By Michael Dunaway, News Editor December 23, 2013
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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.

Dota 2

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.

Infinite Crisis

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.

Marvel Heroes

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.

Neverwinter

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

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 F2P MMORPG food chain. Couple that with regular updates (including an upcoming water expansion) and you've got yourselves a F2P MMO winner.

War Thunder

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.

Warframe

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.

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About the Author

Michael Dunaway
Michael Dunaway, News Editor
Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009.

Discussion (85)

kaiper 7 years ago
In that list i just have to mention that that "Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft" was just a Blizzard fan that you are and "Infinite Crisis" i really don't think it has enough time to get in that list. If you are going to make a real list of criteria, just remove that "Blizzardly" fan game that are in beta, only in the last 3 or 4 months was really played and the other still beta moba game is the the same reason. A real sensible list would be the "Dota 2" that deserves the top 3 i would say. Maybe you should put the "TERA Rising" consider for many the best free MMORPG after and replace the other one for "Prime World" that was really a played moba differently from the normal that called the attention of people and even for some time there was a lot of streamings of this game.

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.

ThatRandomGuy 7 years ago
Marvel Heroes. Not P2W, but Pay 2 Enjoy.
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!

SomeGuy 7 years ago
Warframe is only a "tad" grindy? The whole purpose of the game is to grind.

Ziniix 7 years ago
Warframe definitely deserves its spot and it's a really good game and all, but the game always crashes for me :c

View 1 reply
Jellopy 7 years ago
What about Tera? I'm not really a fan but if Rift hit this list there's no way Tera should be excluded as it's drawn a pretty massive amount of dedicated fans. Not sure on the exact numbers but I never would have expected Rift to pass it up even though I prefer Rift my self.

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jake 7 years ago
i hear most bad Dota players uninstall it right away.. as they should.

jake 7 years ago
LoL Noobs...

Anon 7 years ago
Pretty awful list, but that's honestly to be expected.

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.

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riffraff 7 years ago
What about Hawken and Firefall? Those are both at least in Open Beta now, right? I suppose that Firefall is still undergoing some major changes, but that and Hawken are fairly original and enjoyable games for me.

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Nyro 7 years ago
I agree with this list for the most part. The one thing I disagree with is how good PoE is. I left D3 and played PoE for a while and returned to D3 later. I found Path of Exile to be a cheaply made and dated knockoff of what D2 LoD was. The graphics were only slightly better. The story is atrocious to non-existant and the playerbase is already overrun with idiots that all they do all day is talk about other games BESIDES PoE. Honestly, as disappointing as D3 was it is still 10x better then PoE. People forget some of the issues with PoE is the same thing they complained about in D3 such as:

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.

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??? 7 years ago
Do you smell whats cooking? Garbage games.

View 1 reply
Ice Soul 7 years ago
I think that can accept only half of these games as a top games of 2013 (Warframe, Hearthstone, Rift, Neverwinter and Dota 2), the others are in my opinion too much boring/lame/iritating for me.

mechrojay 7 years ago
I've played about all of these games, with the exception of warthunder.
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)

pooface 7 years ago
DOTA2 had a 50,000 dollar in game sale of a p2w pet that elivers the purchasers team resources at fast rates. I

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cacalips 7 years ago
Wait, wasnt RIFT an older launch as well ? Any ways, 2013 was hard year. Mot as much activity as others and titles are soso. Seemed more of a year of small updates, overhauls and deletions. I end this year with a hard drive containing: Defiance, warframe and thats it. I installed and played all f2p listed here andid to high lvl... All removed and replaced with a SNES and PS1 emulators and playing classic rpg Roms.... 2013-2014 is grass roots classics time. Sadly not even box purchase single player games for PC are shining this year.... Metacritic has games kike passport, a 16 bit looking, bore fest as top 5 PC game. Wbone and piss station take the game cake. Your move PC. The hardware out does the software and piss poor companies holding your gaming potential back

Thomas 7 years ago
Spunkify seem upset or just me?

:D 7 years ago
i just love it :3 no LOL here, and Dota 2 in the top <3

Seanny Chwan 7 years ago
haha .. ur probably had been reported and got low priority countless time cuz ur noob so thats y u re-install and at last you give up ... yeh good gaming life .... loser

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CaptainObvious 7 years ago
Wow! So many butt-hurt fanboys on the comment section! :D

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Hapetit 7 years ago
MMOBOMBS=MOBA Fighters group :D

TrypZi 7 years ago
warframe would be AMAZING if it didn't feel like you were playing the same exact map over and over and over and over and over and over again..

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Xevian 7 years ago
@Spunkify:

hey Spunkify,when can we see a list of best expected f2p games in 2014? :)

erfan 7 years ago
I my self hate that dota2 not because its a bad game but because it's stolen from blizzard.
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

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namelessguy 7 years ago
How much you guys got paid for this?

denja44 7 years ago
i mostlikly play prime world then dota2 lol

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huahuehuehuehue 7 years ago
LIST $HIT GAME, HUAHUEHUEHUE I REPORT U

Sabin 7 years ago
I'd have to go with Blade&Soul 2.0, i know the game is in chinese and all but it is easy to get into. Best of 2013 and when an NA or European version comes out in 2014 it will get the best 2014 game as well. I dont see any f2p mmorpgs out there right now that can compete with it.

Merkadis 7 years ago
Fair enough, good work spunk.
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.

rakanms 7 years ago
and lol ?

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Golgo28 7 years ago
How are you guys gonna put hearthstone as a best f2p game when it's still in closed beta.

View 2 replies
LOSKO 7 years ago
whats is the best free-to-play mmo (kinda low spec*) to i play in this winter? :D plz

View 1 reply
Hmmm 7 years ago
Not sure about this (paid post) top free game was...
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 ($ $ $)

View 5 replies
Razer 7 years ago
Nice to see a decent number of new F2P games distinguish themselves from the dungheap this year. Maybe those pecker-heads in suits at the publishing companies are starting to realize the Korean/Zynga P2W business models aren't the most ideal anymore.

Vndictor 7 years ago
how can you not put Dragon's Prophet. dota 2 is not even 2013 game.. it started way earlier..if you're gonna include a game which have been out for like more than 2 years now then why not include TERA. its quiet good, the only problem people would see really is it is boring to play because of its HUGE land and quest are far. but in reality, isnt it kind of real life like questing? gotta earn it XD

View 3 replies
Deadly 7 years ago
Will put it bluntly , if there were such diffrence as 500 000 to 70 000 for dota , the interested and streaming and viewing was going to be so much up for the matter . There might be boom on release week or something , but people need to be stupid to believe such things . Doubting the peak for LoL if we go for peak is 70 000 when you wait for 20 000 que to pass for minute/s on one of all servers .
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.

View 6 replies
fromhell 7 years ago
It's a pretty OK list, good or bad this games managed to get attention and stay relevant for most of the year.


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