The holidays are officially here, and that means lots of gift buying and giving is going around. It also means lots of great games and gadgets are on the market. Do you buy a new game yourself, or wait it out to see if you get it as a present? What’s a gamer to do?
One thing to look into is, of course, free-to-play games. The biggest draw is that they are (mostly) free-to-play, while one of the biggest drawbacks is that games that are free usually don’t have a huge budget to deal with, so they usually lack in one area or another.
Here are the top free-to-play games to play this holiday season, in no particular order. You don’t have to pay a dime, and you can afford to buy somebody else something. Some are highly popular already, some are newer, and some just don’t quite have enough advertisement to get followers yet. Read on to find out about these great games.
Crystal Saga – Aeria Games
Crystal Saga is a F2P MMORPG hosted by Aeria Games. It’s typical in that you choose your character, gender, class, and move forward through the story line. What has to be said about this game, though, is the atmosphere. The people who play are generally really helpful and friendly, even to new players. Though it is obviously a very social game, you can also fly solo with no problems. There are two major drawbacks with this title, however. One being the “Crystal” monetary system. Yes, this game is free, but if you want to progress at a higher rate without grinding forever (which is a known drawback with most of Aeria’s titles), you have to buy these little purple crystals… a lot of them. While one can play without buying anything in reality, it does become a huge grind fest. Which is actually the second drawback. The makers of this game knew it was going to be a grind fest, so they actually implemented an in-game afk system, so that you can grind for quests while afk.
If you’re one of those gamers who doesn’t mind grinding quests out, then Crystal Saga should be no issue. The artwork is nice, the story line (while not especially “deep”) does flow smoothly and gets its point across, the music is serene and fits with the rest of the environment, and the other players are actually fun to play with. Give it a shot if you don’t mind killing things… lots of them.
Moon Breakers – Imba Entertainment
While the title for this game is a little weak, and lacking in attention-getting flair, this game is great if you love space, spaceships, and shooting other spaceships. Moon Breakers is a F2P third-person space shooter game. There’s little in the way of tutorial, so when you load the game up, you’re pretty much tossed into the fray. Which is actually okay, since the controls are really easy to get used to. You may be confused for a second or two, but then you’ll be flying around, shooting down ships left and right. There’s a few different game play modes, including “destroy the base” and “capture the flag”. Choose a basic ship (fighter or bomber), and as you progress you can upgrade those ships, or buy new ones. You can always, of course, also pay real money to do the same thing at a quicker pace.
Beautiful 3D graphics, awesome sound, and very easy to control shooter. It’s actually a wonder this is a free game, but thank heavens it is.
League of Legends – Riot Games
At this point in time, there really isn’t a list of popular games, let alone F2P games, that League of Legends isn’t on. One of the most popular games in the world at the moment, League is a free MOBA game. The best part about this particular title is that you never have to pay money to enjoy this game. Ever. The only things in this game that you pay money for have no correlation to actual game play, those being new characters, skins for the different characters you can choose to play, and rune pages with real money. The in-game monetary “IP” system is seriously enough to keep you playing. It’s a beautiful example of how a real F2P system should be. On the downside, because League is so popular, there are tons of people in the community who like to troll. This can make playing, especially in the lower levels, extremely frustrating.
If you haven’t played League yet, at least give it a try. It’s better if you know how to not feed the trolls.
Angry Birds – Rovio (Chrome Version)
Yet another pop-culture phenomenon, Angry Birds is a very simple game of aim/shoot. It’s a physics based puzzle game, where you shoot birds at pigs that have stolen your eggs. The Chrome version has nearly all of the AB chapters up to play. You can pay to have ads removed, or to get the birds’ secret weapon, but other than that it’s totally free.
Free browser game that’s very simple to use and pretty addictive. Absolutely free if you can stand all the ads.
MechWarrior Online – Piranha Games
If you love mechs (and you know you do) then this is your game. MechWarrior is a first person shooter with a team-based battle map. Each team has eight people, and you do battle on different maps. The in-game interface is surprisingly life-like. Its intricacies are hard to get used to, but once you get five to ten games under your belt, you should be pretty well on your way to kicking some serious butt. You can choose different roles and weight classes of the mechs that you control. If you want to buy a mech faster, you can pay real money, but you probably won’t have to.
Another game with amazing graphics and game play. This new game is pretty fun, but if you’re not used to using more than four keys on your keyboard, it will take some time to get used to. Find some videos online to help you out, or get your friends to play along with you, and you’ll be having a blast.
Remember, this is not an all inclusive list by any means. There are literally hundreds of great free games out there, you just have to search for them. Do you know of any great F2P games? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to include a link if you can, so that others might try them out, too!