The 15 Best Free Games on Steam

Tuck your wallet somewhere safe and give one of these free Steam games a shot.

January 23, 2023

Everybody knows gaming is getting more expensive. The $60 price tag synonymous with triple AAA games buys you less than it did 5 or 10 years ago, especially if there’s DLCs included.

Because of this, consumers are becoming more and more interested in ‘Free to Play’ and alternatives to the pay model. Luckily, Steam has plenty of free games that can provide hundreds of hours of fun. 

The F2P scene in 2019 has grown especially recently and some game developers are more open to the idea of releasing free games on Steam because of the sheer volume of players they could attract and then sell cosmetics and costumes to recover costs or make a profit.

And, as it turns out, despite a number of competitors crawling out of the woodwork over the last few years, Steam is still the preferred outlet for a majority of game developers. As a result, there’s a plethora of great free to play games on offer. Inevitabely, not every free game is a good and a significantly large amount of them include “pay to win” features or limited access without you having to pay.

We believe these should be avoided altogether. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 15 best free games on Steam for you to try, which includes a diverse selection of genres, so there’s bound to be a game that catches your eye. There is nothing to lose. Put that wallet down!

15 Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop

Initial Release Date: 20 Apr, 2017
Developer: Reactive Drop Team
Publisher: : Reactive Drop Team
alien swarm reactive drop free to play games

Alien Swarm Reactive Drop, Image Source: Reactive Drop Team

Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop is a rather brilliant top-down shooter offering a unique blend of co-operative play and real-time tactics.

Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop can be both fun and brutally challenging at times but once you get the hang of it you and your team will fit together like puzzle pieces, with gunners focusing appropriate targets, officers providing extra fire, your engineers will be welding doors and hacking panels under the protection of the team, and the medics will be keeping everyone alive.

All your decisions will be made under the pressure of fast-paced combat, and it will be tough. But once you make it to the end of that level, you’re going to feel proud of yourself and your fellow team members for holding out through the struggle. You can play solo, with friends or with strangers, just be aware that even with a 4-player squad on normal difficulty it can be pretty tricky.

14 Battlerite

Initial Release Date: 8 Nov, 2017
Developer: Stunlock Studios
Publisher: : Stunlock Studios
battlerite best free to play games

Battlerite, Image Source: Stunlock Studios

BATTLERITE is an action-packed team arena brawler. An interesting mix of top-down shooter and fast-paced fighting game.

In Battlerite, players must engage in quick battles of reaction using one of the many Champions seeking glory by fighting intense 2v2 and 3v3 battles inside of a giant arena. Combat requires good reactions and timing as you aim skill-shots and dodge enemy projectiles.

There are two main options for combat styles: melee and ranged. The ranged heroes shoot magic, bullets, or arrows. The melee champions are slightly more varied in their attacks but suffer from slower movement and have status effects that can slow or freeze their opponent.

On top of that, you have various upgrades and skills to customize your playstyle. Even for new players, it’s incredibly easy to enjoy due to its speedy nature. You never have to queue for long and each battle being only 10 minutes long feels perfect. It plays smooth, looks refreshing and most importantly, it feels great when you win.

13 Quake Champions

Initial Release Date: TBA
Developer: id Software
Publisher: : Bethesda Softworks
Quake Champions best free to play games

Quake Champions, Image Source: id Software

Quake Champions is a fast-paced Arena shooter, a genre established by the original Quake 20 years ago. Mixing the dark mythos of Quake with the innovative multiplayer of Quake III Arena, the game adds a modern twist.

Quake Champions is one of the best first-person multiplayer shooter games on Steam. It offers an impressively smooth performance as you tear through its many maps filled with jump pads and teleporters. It’s old school and pick-ups like guns, health, armor are dotted around like the original Quake.

Instead of joining a match as a basic grunt character, you choose a Champion which has their own cooldown-based single use abilities, most of which offer a mix of defence and damage, such as a shield that can be changed into a badass energy weapon, or a temporary increase in speed that restricts you to melee.

Players choosing to play Quake Champions for free gain access to standard matchmaking tools and a single Champion with Additional Champions being able to be purchased with real-world currency.

12 Blockpost

Initial Release Date: 25 Apr, 2019
Developer: Skullcap Studios
Publisher: : Skullcap Studios
Blockpost best free to play games

Blockpost, Image Source: Skullcap Studios

Procedural cubic 3D-shooter in the best traditions of the genre. The game is a rich cocktail consisting of the most popular and functional gaming solutions. Customization of characters, opening cases and improving the existing arsenal.

Put simply, BLOCKPOST is a first-person shooter with a rather unusual mix of Minecraft and Call of Duty. Which wouldn’t usually be enough to write about, but the gun-play and mechanics are surprisingly solid, with each individual weapon having its own stats and skins but there’s even a decent rank and item unlock progression.

There’s just something cool about being able to place blocks to create cover and structures to shoot from or using a shovel to dig under enemies like some kind of moleman made of meaty cubes is hilarious. It can even sometimes give your team the edge and get you the win, it doesn’t feel like a pointless mechanic just thrown in.

It’s super easy to run and the file size is ridiculously small. Even the most basic of PC can expect great performance, making it one of the most accessible games in this list.

11 SCP: Secret Laboratory

Initial Release Date: 29 Dec, 2017
Developer: Northwood Studios
Publisher: : Northwood Studios
SCP Secret Laboratory best free to play games

SCP: Secret Laboratory, Image Source: Northwood Studios

Deep within the SCP Foundation during a containment breach, many of the anomalies have bypassed security and escaped from their chambers – without peaceful intentions. Become site personnel, a re-containment agent, or an anomalous entity and fight to take control of or escape the facility!

SCP: Secret Laboratory is a completely free multiplayer horror game adapted from the SCP Foundation creepypasta series from 2012. Players will find themselves in a Facility that protects the world from any entity, object or phenomenon which exceeds the all-known idea of normal. known as an SCP.

As it turns out, the underground facility suffers from multiple breaches from various SCP objects which escaped their containment chambers, and players are assigned various roles or play as an SCP and cause complete mayhem. The first team to finish all objectives wins.

The randomly generated facility and role division make every session you play unique and full of surprises – that’s what makes SCP: Secret Laboratory fun. You never know what awaits you behind the next door, no matter what role you are playing. It’s got a lot of replayability, and you’re likely to find some hilarious characters along the way.

10 Brawlhalla

Initial Release Date: 17 Oct, 2017
Developer: Blue Mammoth Games
Publisher: : Ubisoft
Brawlhalla best free to play games

Brawlhalla, Image Source: Blue Mammoth Games

Number 10 on our list of best free steam games is Brawlhalla. Brawlhalla is an epic platform fighter for up to 8 players online or locally. And it’s free! Join casual free-for-alls, queue for ranked matches, or make a custom room with your friends. Millions of players. Frequent updates. Over forty unique legends. Come fight for glory in the halls of Valhalla!

Brawlhalla is an addictive platform fighting game with a diverse range of characters and game modes with a beautiful art style which has managed to thrive and cultivate its own community and large player base thanks to its free to play accessibility.

Even if you are unfamiliar with the genre, you’ll find Brawlhalla to be surprisingly newbie friendly. Getting good is simply just a matter of putting time into it and there’s even a nicely designed training mode that lets you experiment with any character and any cosmetic in the game. Dropping into a match is always straight forward since the player base is large enough to avoid long waiting times.

All in all, Brawllhalla is well worth your attention. At the very worst, you’ll find a Smash bros clone with characters you don’t care for very much. At its best, you’ll find a new favourite game to play when you have friends staying over.

9 Doki Doki Literature Club

Initial Release Date: 22 Sep, 2017
Developer: Team Salvato
Publisher: : Team Salvato
Doki Doki Literature Club best free to play games

Doki Doki Literature Club, Image Source: Team Salvato

Welcome to the Literature Club!

Doki Doki Literature Club may look like a cutesy Dating Sim, but when you peel back its pastel-colored packaging and Visual Novel gameplay, you’ll find a hard-hitting horror game that uses the dating simulator formula to trick you and lead you into uncomfortable situations and psychological scares layered with dark humor and plot evidence throughout.

It’s safe to say that the best horror moves of all time take their sweet time establishing tension in a scene and DDLC is no different. After about an hour and a half of pretending to be a dating simulator, you’ll encounter twists and turns and moments that will have you wondering if you made the right decisions.

DDLC is a whole new kind of horror you should experience for yourself. It’s possibly the darkest dating sim ever imagined.

8 Team Fortress 2

Initial Release Date: 10 Oct, 2007
Developer: Valve
Publisher: : Valve
Team Fortress 2 best free to play games

Team Fortress 2, Image Source: Valve

Nine distinct classes provide a broad range of tactical abilities and personalities. Constantly updated with new game modes, maps, equipment and, most importantly, hats!

Team Fortress 2 is an absolutely timeless team-based shooter with fun visuals and gameplay, despite being over a decade old, Team Fortress 2 still proves itself as one of the timeless and well-loved games on the planet.

It’s the classic Red vs Blue experience with the simple objective modes you’d expect such as Team Deathmatch, King Hill, each team is made up from the nine playable classes and each have their defined roles and playstyle. The game is very fast-paced and calls for quick reflexes to fend off the enemy. rounds are often frantic clashes which shift within seconds, even with its goofy characters and cartoon aesthetic the matches themselves can be quite tense.

With its powerful artistic style and blazingly quick, yet accessible gameplay, it’s just one of those games you have try purely of respect. this game was a meme before memes were even a thing.

7 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Initial Release Date: 21 Aug, 2012
Developer: Valve, Hidden Path Entertainment
Publisher: : Valve
Counter-Strike Global Offensive best free to play games

Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Image Source: Valve

CS: GO expands upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched 19 years ago and features new maps, characters, weapons, and game modes.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a multiplayer First Person Shooter that went free to play earlier this year. It’s one of the more hardcore FPS games of its genre and prides itself as being purely skill-based thanks to its weapon balancing and realistic recoil with extremely well-paced gameplay and balanced weapons.

In each game, there are two groups, the Counter-Terrorists and the Terrorists, and there are two game modes – Defusal and Hostage Rescue. In defusal, the Terrorists place a bomb in one of the two bomb spots, and the Counter-Terrorists have to defuse it in a set amount of time.

Besides these modes, there are also user-made modes, like Gun Game, Deathrun, and even Surfing. So, if you’re into shooters in the slightest, you owe it to yourself to try out CSGO.

6 Spiral Knights

Initial Release Date: 14 Jun, 2011
Developer: Grey Havens, LLC
Publisher: : Grey Havens, LLC
Spiral Knights best free to play games

Spiral Knights, Image Source: Grey Havens, LLC

Join the ranks of the Spiral Knights. Stranded on an alien world, you must explore the ever-changing Clockworks beneath its surface.

Spiral Knights is a free-to-play Hack-and-slash RPG with elements from the Legend of Zelda series. offering a perfect experience for the casual gamer.

In Spiral Knights Players control their own knight as they explore the planet Cradle and its series of dungeons underneath its surface known as The Clockworks.

Dungeoning is the gameplay focus as you battle your way through you’ll find puzzles, boss battles and a great variety of enemies in all sorts of shapes with their own move sets to learn.

The graphics and music are charming and you can customize your character in a million ways. Helmet, armour, and the choice of up to two different helmet accessories are all available from preset designs for players to choose from. and it is possible to join guilds, and play with your friends down in the Clockworks.

Unlike traditional games, though, you won’t be earning experience for your efforts because Spiral Knights focuses on how you upgrade your equipment rather than your character.

5 Ring of Elysium

Initial Release Date: 19 Sep, 2018
Developer: Aurora Studio
Publisher: : TCH Scarlet Limited
Ring of Elysium best free to play games

Ring of Elysium, Image Source: Aurora Studio

Number five on our list of best free games is Ring of Elysium, a battle royale shooter. 

Ring of Elysium is a free-to-play battle royale game with a few tricks under its sleeve to make it stand out from the genre and offer a fresh experience, even to the average PUBG player.

In Ring of Elysium, you get to pick between three mobility classes that will significantly alter your gameplay experience and how you traverse the map. On the snowy peaks of Mt. Dione, you get to choose between a paraglider, snowboard or climbing gear. Whereas on the newest map ‘Europa’ you get the choice between the paraglider, the BMX bike, or a grappling hook, each class provides you with unique advantages that help you move around the huge maps.

Even if you ignore this mechanic, Ring of Elysium is graphically impressive and runs incredibly well for a game still in its early stages. Both maps in the game currently are big enough to accommodate the players without loot being too hard to find, and there’s a great selection of weapons and vehicles to keep you entertained.

All and all, I would also recommend it over a game like PUBG as its free-to-play nature makes it a great introduction to the BR genre.

4 Unturned

Initial Release Date: 7 Jul, 2017/td>
Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
Publisher: : Smartly Dressed Games
Unturned best free to play games

Unturned, Image Source: Smartly Dressed Games

You’re a survivor in the zombie-infested ruins of society and must work with your friends and forge alliances to remain among the living.

Unturned is a post-apocalyptic game which, rather than focusing on being a realistic simulation experience like DayZ or H1Z1, it provides players with easy to understand systems and crafting with a detailed level up system and a cartoony visual style.

You must try to survive the zombie infestation with friends or solo and attempt to live off the land by finding gear that fits your needs, building fortifications and negotiating with other people adventuring in the huge map.

In a typical adventure, groups will face impossible odds as they work at fortifying locations, scavenging for supplies. It has basic gunplay, basic building elements, and basic features but it all comes together when playing. It is a lot of fun when you get past its wacky exterior. It also runs seemingly really well on entry PC’s making it easy to recommend to others.

3 Warframe

Initial Release Date: 7 Jul, 2017/td>
Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: : Digital Extremes
Warframe best free games

Warframe, Image Source:
Digital Extremes

Warframe is a cooperative free-to-play third-person online action game set in an evolving sci-fi world.

Warframe is an extremely popular third-person online action game set in a beautiful alien universe with graphics on par with standard AAA games. No list of best free Steam games would be comlete without it.

It’s a game that’s had a lot of love put into it. As a result, jumping in as a new player you can expect a highly polished experience and find an overwhelming amount of abilities, weapons and customizable parts for your robot space pirate suit, most of which can often impact your playstyle and gameplay significantly.

The microtransactions in the game can be worked around by farming/grinding. EVERYTHING in the game is obtainable for absolutely free. no need to worry about insane difficulty spikes or paywalls. It’s just a matter of being aware of your level and searching for components to create stronger loadouts.

It’s still considered to be one of the best free to play models in the gaming industry. Pair that with a robotic spacesuit, great co-op multiplayer, and a unique sci-fi setting, and you get an amazing time-killer of a game.

2 Path of Exile

Initial Release Date: 23 Oct, 2013
Developer: Grinding Gear Games
Publisher: : Grinding Gear Games
Path of Exile best free to play games

Path of Exile, Image Source: Grinding Gear Games

You are an Exile, struggling to survive on the dark continent of Wraeclast, as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you.

Path of Exile is an Action MMORPG set in a dark, high fantasy universe and it’s immediately obvious that a big chunk of its time in development was put into the storytelling and world-building. The game offers gorgeous graphics, in line with some AAA games.

The quests are rewarding and genuinely interesting enough to hold your interest, and the game, in general, is often supported by character motives and high-quality voice acting. Its developer, GGG, also consistently updates the game with balances in order to keep things fresh.

The gameplay is relatively simple to understand. Click to move, click to attack, number keys to use abilities. However, you’ll quickly find the difficulty starts relatively high. The combat feels as you can easily get lulled into a sense of security and accomplishment only to be slaughtered a few minutes later.

It makes planning and strategy required and not optional. The bosses can easily kill you in a couple of hits if you mindlessly tank them without much thought. If you’ve ever played the Diablo games, it should all come naturally to you and most likely already know what to expect.

1 Deceit

Initial Release Date: 3 Mar, 2017
Developer: Automaton
Publisher: : Automaton
Path of Exile best free to play games

Deceit, Image Source: Automaton

You wake up in unknown surroundings to the sound of the Game Master’s unfamiliar voice, surrounded by five others.

Suprised that our number one free steam game isn’t DOTA 2 or something more well-known? We like to keep it fresh! Deceit is a 6-player game of trust and deception where one-third of your group is infected with a deadly virus that transforms them into horrific flesh-eating aliens. The infected must wipe out the humans, while the non-infected have to work together in order to escape.

But with no way of knowing which of you are aliens, you’ll quickly find that communication becomes the main focus of the game and where a lot of the fun comes from, namely the social aspect.

Not only do you have to trust the right people but you need to be wary of the right people too as you explore through the dark and unsettling environments you find yourself in. As we all know, some people are terrible liars, and some are scarily convincing.

The player base isn’t exactly large so I recommend browsing the servers available as opposed to the matchmaking feature or ideally invite some friends to play with. After all, there is nothing more satisfying than listening to your friends scream in sheer terror when you inevitably murder them in cold blood.

This concludes our list of the best free games on Steam. We tried to change things up a bit by including lesser-known games, but we do have a few honorable mentions that you should consider:

  • DOTA 2 & DOTA Underlords (the new auto-chess game inspired from Dota). 
  • EVE Online
  • Realm Royale
  • Smite
  • ArcheAge
  • Realm Royale
  • Duelyst

For more hidden gems or awesome free games on Steam, check out the official store page




As a borderline obsessive dark souls fan Jammho spends most of his time trying to explain why Dark Souls 2 was the best and how cleric faith players are degenerates. The rest of his day is spent on twitter trying to get nintendos attention and put Solaire into Smash brothers. Seriously, he's probably spamming #SolaireInSmash on it right now.

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