We’re not quite at a point in time when you can get some of the year’s best video games without spending a dime, but we’re not far off. Every year brings more and more incredible titles that can be experienced without spending a penny.
From browser games that are worth a long look to fully-fledged titles that offer hundreds of hours of gameplay in exchange for no money, 2017 featured plenty of games that are perfect for penny pinchers, cheapskates, and those of us who like great games at any price.
Here are the best free games of 2017:
While Battlerite debuted in 2016, it didn’t go free-to-play until 2017. That change in pricing turned Battlerite from an interesting game to an essential one.
Battlerite is a team arena brawler that combines elements of League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Power Stone. It’s easy enough to jump into if you’re looking to enjoy battles with friends or random online opponents, but it packs a level of depth that most games can only hope to achieve. You feel like you’re getting better every time that you play Battlerite, but it’s not a game that requires you to get better if you’re going to enjoy it.
Best of all, Battlerite‘s in-game transactions are unobtrusive and non-essential. This is a brilliant free game for anyone looking for a deep experience.
Fortnite Battle Royal
Yes, Fortnite Battley Royal is a shameless knockoff of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. No, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
Fortnite Battle Royal may lack PUBG‘s player base, semi-realistic mechanics, and fantastic map design, but it makes up for some of that with its lighthearted style and crafting system. It’s a joy to hop into this cartoon world and do battle with nearly a hundred opponents while exploring the game’s various quirky mechanics.
It’s not a PUBG substitute, but Fortnite is fun, bountiful, and free.
Doki Doki Literature Club!
This is quite possibly the most shocking game of 2017. Yes, we’re serious.
Get past its “way too anime” style and almost non-existent gameplay mechanics, and you’ll find that Doki Doki offers one of the most bizarre and surprising video game stories in recent memory. Without diving too far into the plot details and ruining the game’s magic, let’s just say that Doki Doki is designed to make you look like a fool for believing you thought you knew what it was going to be.
Just give this game a chance.
The Visible City
There’s a revolution in Paris, and it’s your job to help the people by…keeping the lights on?
The Visible City tasks you with overseeing an old-world map of Paris. As revolutionaries take over the city, you must movie police and maintenance workers around the city in order to ensure that the metropolis doesn’t succumb to a literal darkness. The catch is that you can only really survive for so long.
While The Visible City isn’t a particularly deep title, it is one of the most entertaining strategy games of the year.
In the spirit of Cookie Clicker comes City Clickers; a city management game where you earn resources by clicking as fast as possible.
There’s always been something oddly rewarding about clicking for your dinner, but City Clickers is more than just a casual distraction. There are a variety of structures and improvements you can add to your city over time, and placing them requires the same basic thought process as a game like Sim City.
City Clickers isn’t going to provide years worth of entertainment like Battlerite will, but it is very much worth playing.