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PC gamers have never had it better. Not a day goes by without a new game hitting the market. It sounds expensive, right? But not to worry, as there are some amazing free PC games available.
There are so many free games to play, it’s difficult figuring out where to spend your time. Here are the best free PC games in 2020. And the “Genre Alternatives” are all free too.
Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale took the world by storm in 2017. It hasn’t let up, attracting more players, more viewers, and launching on more video game platforms since the initial launch.
The free-to-play battle royale space is hotly contested. No matter what other development teams bring to the table, Fortnite’s combination of hectic cartoon-style action and ease of access beats the opposition out.
Also, Epic Games keeps Fortnite fresh. There is a constant stream of new content arriving in the game, luring players to find better skins for their in-game character, the weapons, and, of course, Fortnite’s trademark winning dances.
Not only that, but Epic Games is constantly evolving the Fortnite world, pushing forward the narrative of the game through changes to the map.
For example, part of the way through one season, an enormous meteor appeared in the sky above the game map. The meteor gradually approached, before crashing into an area of the map known as Dusty Depot, changing the area into Dusty Divot, and sprinkling the rest of the map with smaller craters.
Since that time, the Fortnite storyline has continued to evolve, with Epic Games receiving a constant stream of praise for its innovative storytelling techniques.
If you’re intrigued and want to get started with Fortnite, check out our Fortnite essentials cheat sheet The Fortnite Essentials Cheat Sheet: Controls and Tips to Know to Learn essential Fortnite controls for PC, PS4, and Xbox with this cheat sheet. Read More. You could become a pro-streamer in no time!
Download: Fortnite for Windows or macOS (Free on Epic Games Launcher)
Genre Alternatives: H1Z1 Battle Royale | Darwin Project | Apex Legends
2. Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress is probably the most intriguing, enchanting, and infuriating game ever made. Developers, Bay 12 Games, continues to update Dwarf Fortress for free. So, what is it?
You can play Dwarf Fortress as a roguelike, a management sim, an exploration tale, and more. That’s because the possibilities are endless as you attempt to keep your colony of dwarves alive, happy, fed, and working.
The original graphics set is off-putting. There’s no beating about the bush. It makes the extensive (and sometimes fiddly) controls challenging to get to grips with. However, numerous wonderful community tilesets turn the original Dwarf Fortress into a colorful, more accessible proposition.
Download: Dwarf Fortress for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)
Genre Alternatives: Brogue | Nethack
3. Path of Exile
Path of Exile is one for fans of Diablo and other dungeon-crawling RPGs. Originally released back in 2013, Path of Exile continues to receive regular updates and is now a top-ranking free-to-play game.
The storyline isn’t fantastic, hitting those classic RPG tropes: washed up, lost, clothed in rags, fight to become the ultimate beast slayer. However, the Path of Exile does create a unique identity with its extensive skill trees, an incredible range of loot, and the new bosses, game systems, and play styles regularly arriving.
Download: Path of Exile for Windows (Free on Steam)
Genre Alternatives: Path of Diablo | Neverwinter
4. Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering Arena is free to play a digital collectible card game that brings Magic: The Gathering (MTG) to your PC.
MTG Arena is far from the first digital iteration of the phenomenally popular tabletop battle card game. It is, however, the first digital version of MTG that follows the meta of the tabletop version, allowing players to create decks that match the expansions of the physical game.
In that, MTG Arena closely resembles a physical game of MTG, too. You still play land cards to build mana, build a personal deck, and open packs to find new and rare booster cards.
While MTG Arena is free-to-play, it uses a freemium model that allows microtransactions and booster pack purchases. You might encounter someone with a premium deck now and then, but there are huge amounts of MTA Arena players sticking to free decks, booster packs, and so on.
Furthermore, although the game closely resembles the physical game, you don’t need any experience to start playing. The game includes plenty of tutorials that explain how the various game systems work, along with some basic strategies.
One other MTG Arena feature we like is the animations. For years, MTG was a static tabletop game. Now, MTG Arena brings your cards to life with awesome explosions and swirling summons.
Download: Magic: The Gathering Arena for Windows or macOS (Free)
Genre Alternatives: Hearthstone | Gwent | The Elder Scrolls: Legends | Legends of Runeterra
5. Destiny 2
Destiny 2 went free-to-play in 2019, opening Bungie’s online-only first-person shooter up to the masses. At the same time, developers Bungie reworked weapons, armor classes, content drops, and the power level cap to encourage players old and new to plow into the new content. As well as this, new Destiny 2 game modes appeared, as well as new interplanetary locations to explore.
The result is an expansive space-shooter, taking on three different factions, all vying to control the Destiny 2 universe. If it’s all new to you, check out our beginner’s guide to Destiny 2 10 Essential Destiny 2 Beginner Tips for New Guardians Destiny 2 is here, and it brings some huge improvements over the first game. If you’re a new player confused by what’s going on, these top beginner tips will get you started. Read More.
Even if you don’t dive deep into Destiny 2, it is worth exploring for the often mind-boggling landscapes and extraordinary dungeons you wind through. Oh, and the Sparrows are awesome to whizz around on, too.
Download: Destiny 2 (Free on Steam)
Genre Alternatives: Planetside 2
6. StarCraft II
In 2017, Blizzard released StarCraft II for free. This means one of the best real-time strategy (RTS) games of all time is now free-to-play. The free-to-play offering covers the original StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, but not the follow-ups, Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, or Nova Covert Ops.
The free version of StarCraft II also allows you to access the ranked multiplayer league tables. We’re not sure why you would subject yourself to such a torturous ordeal, but each to their own.
Download: StarCraft II for Windows | macOS (Free on Battle.net)
Genre Alternatives: StarCraft | Total War Battles: Kingdom | OpenRA | Twisted Insurrection
7. Heroes of the Storm
From Blizzard’s all-conquering RTS to the game Blizzard doesn’t classify as a MOBA. If it isn’t a MOBA, Heroes of the Storm sure has all of the core characteristics of one: five-on-five, lanes, a massive array of heroes (taken from other Blizzard titles), and a focus on four specific roles.
Heroes of the Storm is much easier to get into than its more esteemed (or notorious) competitors, League of Legends and Dota 2. The fanbase is seemingly more open, the roles are more comfortable to learn, and the game modes bring variance to each battle to keep it fresh.
Download: Heroes of the Storm for Windows | macOS (Free on Battle.net)
Genre Alternatives: Dota 2 | League of Legends | Smite | Magic Duels
8. Planetside 2
Planetside 2 is an MMOFPS, where you battle to secure different areas across continental maps. With up to 2,000 concurrent players taking part in the battle, Planetside 2 knows a thing or two about the epic scale. You can take part in a single fight for hours, log off for a few hours, then log back in to find the same battle waging.
The biggest difference players coming from Battlefield or Call of Duty will find is the time it takes to master and level up weapons and skills. It certainly takes longer to increase those specific skills. However, it isn’t a grind as the battles ebb and flow, and you are not restricted to approaching the battle from a single direction (or vehicle, for that matter).
Download: Planetside 2 (Free on Steam)
Genre Alternatives: None. Nothing touches the scale of Planetside 2 without a price tag.
9. Forza Motorsport 6: Apex
To coincide with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update back in 2016, Microsoft brought the sublime cars, circuits, and environments of Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to Windows 10. Forza Motorsport 6 was the first time Forza appeared on desktop PCs. Previously, Forza was an Xbox exclusive.
The Forza series has a strong reputation for sweeping circuit designs and fantastic car models, and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex doesn’t disappoint. There are 63 cars in total to race, across 12 different events.
Download: Forza Motorsport 6: Apex for Windows (Free on Microsoft Store)
Genre Alternatives: Track Mania: Nations Forever
For a free game, Warframe packs in a substantial amount of content. Not least the hoverboard skating mode. But in terms of running and gunning (as compared to Path of Exile’s hacking and slashing), the incredible range of weapons, loadouts, and play styles, there is a lot to take in.
There are massive open-world areas to explore, an extensive storyline, and the game receives regular content updates. The volume of content can become a little overwhelming, at least to begin with. Learning the numerous game systems takes some time, and figuring out crafting and blueprinting can also feel a bit confusing.
Thankfully, the Warframe community is one of the friendliest around, so don’t be afraid to ask a question. Someone is bound to have asked it before.
Download: Warframe for Windows (Free on Steam)
Genre Alternatives: Double Action: Boogaloo | Brink | Dirty Bomb | Team Fortress 2
Head back to one of the oldest MMOs around to build your characters through 110 levels, over 500 zones, and countless questlines. Yes, EverQuest is still going strong 20+ years on.
As a testament to the game, The Burning Lands expansion was the 25th content expansion, introducing new zones, raids, quests, and spells. It hit the market in 2018—19 years after the original game.
The graphics may look a little dated, but EverQuest holds up in so many other areas. You and a group of friends have thousands of hours of questing across Norrath ahead.
Download: EverQuest for Windows (Free on Steam)
Genre Alternatives: EverQuest II | Rift | Guild Wars 2 | Runescape | Maplestory 2
Are These the Best Free PC Games?
This is a substantial list of the best free PC games available to play in 2020. It covers a vast range of genres, and, with the alternatives offered, you have almost 50 games to consider.
We believe these are the best free PC games money can’t buy, but perhaps you want to play something a little older? If so, check out the old PC games still worth playing to this day 10 Old PC Games Still Worth Playing Today Playing old PC games can fill you with nostalgia. Here’s our list of the best old PC games you should still play today. Read More. You might also enjoy the PC games you can play for five minutes at a time.