PC gamers look to Steam for all their gaming needs. With such an abundance of games to download via Valve's PC gaming storefront, it can get a bit overwhelming to pick out the best picks from the obvious shovelware. It gets even harder to select your next gaming time sink when you're on the search for something free to play. For those of you who just want to hop into something you've never touched before and not have to worry about putting up some digital money before you hit the start button, this list should do right by you. Here are 26 of the best games on Steam that are either free-to-play or an entirely free experience.
The 26 Best Free Games on Steam
Best Free Games on Steam
1. ‘Apex Legends’
So which game has the scene on lock when anyone thinks about first-person, battle royale shooters? It's none other than Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends, the team-based competitive multiplayer experience that pits teams of three "Legends" against each other and has them duke it out on a massive playspace that continues to expand over time. Each Legend comes with its own special abilities that can be used in conjunction with all the different firearms that players can dominate each enemy encounter with. Apex Legends is free-to-play, offers regular content updates, steadily improves its gameplay mechanics, and features welcome character balance adjustments to remain at its best.
2. ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive'
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, better known as CS:GO, still has one of the healthiest communities in all of gaming. This tactical first-person shooter caters to the most hardcore fans of the genre - players have to be as careful as possible and coordinate with their four teammates to dominate the competition across nine modes of play. Those modes include Competitive, Casual, Deathmatch, Arms Race, Demolition, Wingman, Flying Scoutsman, Retakes, and Danger Zone. Once you learn the ins and outs of this hardcore FPS, you'll find your next competitive multiplayer shooter addiction.
3. ‘Destiny 2’
Destiny 2 is packed to the brim with tons of content and is set to get even more over time. If you're ready to invest hundreds of hours into a quality first-person shooter and MMORPG mashup, then you'll get the best of both worlds in Bungie's highly lauded space epic. There's a ton of fun to be had as you build up your "Guardian" and delve into missions that involve taking down extraterrestrial foes on several neighboring planets. Linking up with other Guardians for super tough raids and engaging in thrilling multiplayer skirmishes will certainly keep incoming players busy. Destiny 2 and its many expansions/updates will throw first-timers into a vortex full of worthwhile content.
4. ‘Team Fortress 2’
It's so crazy how this iconic multiplayer staple started its life as the 1996 Team Fortress mod for Quake and its 1999 remake Team Fortress Classic. And it's also wild how this game has led to the creation of numerous fan-made comedy vids that even non-players have laid eyes on. Hopping into Team Fortress 2 to actually see what all the hype is about is still worth doing these days if you ask us. The name of the game here is "teamwork" - run with either the RED or BLU side, pick your favorite character class, and attempt to push your squad to victory across King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, Control Point, etc.
When hero shooters were all the rage at the height of Overwatch's popularity, a bunch of games of its ilk came out. While that sub-genre of first-person shooters may not be as popular as they once were, there are still huge communities of players dedicating their time to the best examples of those games. Paladins, which features powerful fantasy-themed "Champions of the Realm" to choose from, is one of those games. As you dive deep into Paladins' signature modes, which include Team Deathmatch, Siege, Onslaught, and Ranked, you'll quickly discover why it's placed on damn near everybody's lineup of the best free games on Steam.
6. ‘Dota 2’
MOBA's aka "multiplayer online battle arena" games like League of Legends are still thriving in this day and age. An equally beloved title from that PC-focused style of gameplay is Dota 2, which is an acronym for the epic moniker Defense of the Ancients. Once you dive into this one, you may just turn into one of those people that makes it their primary game for life and possibly pursue an esports career from it. With 123 "heroes" to choose from, you'll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to selecting a main and additional favorites during each hotly contested match. Learn everything there is to know about fighting on either the "Radiant" or "Dire" side so you can pull off clutch victories for your team and fight to the top of the leaderboards.
7. ‘Gwent: The Witcher Card Game’
Chances are you've spent dozens of hours playing through The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. And we're betting you've put a few of those hours into becoming the most formidable "Gwent" player of all time. GWENT: The Witcher Card Game is a whole game centered around the very same activity Geralt of Rivia indulges in during his off-hours. You'll need to build out your own powerful faction-themed deck comprised of 25 cards and achieve ultimate victory by winning two out of three games against your opponent. This game actually has some worthwhile single-player campaigns worth playing on top of multiplayer matchups, which makes it one of the best free games on Steam worth mastering.
Old School RuneScape is a whole vibe for gamers that were around during its rise to fame in 2001. But for fans of that MMORPG that prefers more modern takes on medieval fantasy action, then the version of RuneScape that arrived in 2020 is a sure bet. The epic adventure you'll embark on takes place within the "Sixth Age of Gielinor" - master your character class as you encounter dragons, clash with golems, sail the high seas, and more. We're pretty sure you're gonna spend entire days trying to master a couple of the 28 skills available to your RuneScape avatar.
The Super Smash Bros. platform fighter formula has been thrown into other franchise crossovers to varying degrees of success. MultiVersus has hit the scene and has convinced everyone of just how much of a win its take on the formula is. What makes this game stand out from Nintendo's smash-hit multiplayer fighter is MultiVersus' emphasis on 2v2 clashes. Free-for-all and 1v1 brawls can also be chosen, so you have plenty of ways to bring the fight to your local/online foes. With a roster that includes Arya Stark, Harley Quinn, and Steven Universe, this chaotic fighter is worth spending some time with.
Blue Mammoth Games' signature platform fighter has been supplying its healthy player base with meaningful content since 2014. This solid take on the Super Smash Bros. style of platform fighting not only focuses on original brawlers but also includes a wealth of guest stars in the form of selectable skins. Wanna throw hands with WWE's Xavier Woods, Street Fighter's M. Bison, and The Walking Dead's Rick? Then you might wanna pat attention to Brawlhalla. The hype that erupts as you score those ring-outs during hard-fought brawls is simply euphoric.
The many things that make up the legacy elements featured in Dungeons & Dragons have been incorporated into the Neverwinter series of action RPG games. Speaking of that series, it actually has a quality MMORPG experience that employs fast-paced battles, unforgettable campaigns, and the sorts of fantastical worlds that you're used to seeing on the cover of D&D rulebooks. If all of that sounds good to you, then be sure to dive into Neverwinter's vast offering of battle classes, adventure zones, and battle pass campaigns.
12. ‘Lost Ark’
Lost Ark is another fan-favorite MMORPG pick on our list of the best free games on Steam that has a lot going for it. Flashy and hard-hitting action RPG combat consistently erupts in this one, plus your eyes will always be greeted by wondrous landscapes that can be explored across land and sea. You can engage with Lost Ark via PvE and PvP modes of play, so you'll get the most out of battling alongside your co-op party members and choosing to go head-to-head with Lost Ark's equally powerful human player population. The stupendous world of Arkesia awaits you...
13. ‘Tower of Fantasy’
The anime stylings of Tower of Fantasy will suck you in, then the action RPG mechanics contained within it will keep you. This "shared world" RPG is upheld by a strong hack & slash combat structure and a sci-fi theme that envelopes its bright & bubbly futuristic expanse. The broad planet of Aida gives players so much to see, do, and battle with/against. And you'll have plenty of time to mingle with other players and take on some truly exciting challenges as a conquering party. Tower of Fantasy deserves its spot here among its MMORPG brethren on this list of the best free games on Steam.
14. ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’
Let's head off to a galaxy far, far away for our next MMORPG selection on this list of the best free games on Steam. Star Wars: The Old Republic comes from the geniuses behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age at BioWare. The Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic are at war once again, which means your character will surely get caught in the middle of it all. You'll get the choice to choose from among eight different character classes, align yourself with the light or dark side, and live out your dream scenario as a deciding factor in the constant conflict within the Star Wars universe.
15. ‘Star Trek Online’
"Live long...and prosper." That iconic quotable always gets everyone excited since it brings up memories of the adventures Captain Kirk and Spock have embarked on. If you've been dying to become a captain of your very own starship and surf among the stars, Star Trek Online will provide you with everything you desire. Set 30 years after the events of the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, this MMORPG throws you into the captain's chair and tasks you with managing your crew, leaving that same chair to engage in on-foot laser battles, and making sure all of your ship's systems are running well.
16. ‘PlanetSide 2’
Those cinematic space wars you've seen erupt during some of your favorite films can actually be replicated in the massively multiplayer online first-person shooter PlanetSide 2. Your jaw will drop when you get loaded onto a map filled with thousands of geared-up soldiers armed to the teeth and ready to put on a planetary war for the ages. Just imagine Battlefield, but with all the futuristic weapons and vehicles you'd expect to see in Halo and Titanfall.
17. ‘Marvel SNAP’
So many digital collectible card games adopt the biggest IPs attached to other game franchises, anime, and more. MARVEL Snap taps into the multiverse to offer a quality card battler that features a massive roster of that comic book giant's very best. The single-player format pits you against sometimes daunting AI opponents, while the multiplayer mode lets you test your signature deck's strength against live rivals. Here's a tip for you guys making your way into MARVEL Snap for the first time - make sure Angela, Storm, and Killmonger are a part of your deck ASAP!
18. ‘Eve Online’
We want to showcase another MMORPG that caters to exploring beyond the stars. EVE Online stands out as the premiere planet-hopping game within that genre that is incredibly complex and wholly replayable. Once you select your character race and hop into your trusty spaceship, you'll get caught up in some monumental space dogfighting involving PvE and PvP elements. And on top of all that, you can dive deep into mining, trading, and even piracy during your travels through the vast expanses of space.
19. ‘War Thunder’
War Thunder is the ultimate game of combined forces that includes air, land, and sea vehicles that engage in explosive battles. The real-world inspirations will appeal to history buffs and the gameplay itself will most likely keep those same fans glued to their screens during all the militaristic skirmishes. With three different feels of play (Arcade, Realistic, and Simulator), you'll be able to experience the globe-spanning battles of War Thunder in a manner that feels the most gratifying.
20. ‘World of Tanks’
Now in the case of World of Tanks, the main focus here is team-based battles erupting with the usage of real-world armored vehicles. Pre-World War II right up until Cold War-era tanks are at your disposal here, so you'll have plenty of options to choose from when the time comes for you to blast your opponents to Kingdom Come. This invigorating team-based multiplayer shooter lets you go crazy via 15v15 battles, which should convince you to participate in one of the most popular best free games on Steam.
21. ‘World of Warships’
Astonishing naval warfare battles break out in World of Warships, which features game modes that cater to fans of both competitive and co-op play. If you're willing to embrace the slower and more tactical pace of warring naval ships, then you'll enjoy your time spent with this dedicated war game. You can hop into this one to get involved in some grand Standard battles, Domination mode, Arms Race mode, and Epicenter mode (which plays out like an even more epic version of Domination).
22. ‘Path of Exile’
Have you poured an ungodly amount of time into the Diablo games? Then we bet our entire life savings that you'll drop an equal amount of playtime hours into Path of Exile. What's being presented with this game is your classic top-down action RPG full of immense character customization, dark & moody themes, tons of loot to collect, and an unrelenting onslaught of demons to destroy. The downtrodden realm of Wraeclast awaits you...
It's so nuts how Warframe has been going strong since launching in 2013. Today's version of the third-person shooter/melee game looks so different from its initial state. Choosing to hop in now means you'll be treated to the very best version of a game that pushes forth slick and incredibly fast traversal across vast battlefields. You'll grow to love your mega-powerful and graceful "Warframe" battle class as you hunt down the opposition and hit extremely high speeds atop your trusty hoverboard.
24. ‘Crusader Kings II’
Attaining as much prestige as you can through your dynasty rule leads to victory in Crusader Kings II. You'll have to carefully navigate the political, religious, and warring strife that comes with trying to rule over your own kingdom within Medieval Europe. We highly recommend this grand strategy game to history buffs that want to see how they'd fare during one of the most tumultuous periods in real-world history, the Middle Ages.
25. ‘Doki Doki Literature Club!’
Whatever you do, don't look up any info on this visual novel masterpiece. We know you just took one look at this game and were like "this isn't anything but a cute and cuddly anime game, right?" It's way more than that! The elements of psychological horror are contained within this one and they'll completely catch you off guard when they come up. We say all that to say this - Doki Doki Literature Club! will leave you with mental scars! This shocking title is definitely for the adult crowd on the lookout for the best free games on Steam.
26. 'Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel'
"YOU'VE ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD!" That statement always gets a rise out of us anytime a match takes place on an episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. There have been so many games created with the sole purpose of letting two duelists go head to head on a digital battleground within the manga/anime's universe. One of the more recent and highly addictive releases is Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. You know the deal here, folks - buy some card packs, build up your deck, and play a whole bunch of matches against the AI & online foes in a bid to become the greatest duelist of all time.