The 25 best free games to play right now

Put your wallet away

You don't have to have money coming out of your ears to afford a respectable game library. There are plenty of console and mobile games available to play for the low, low price of free. While most do give you an opportunity to spend your hard-earned cash into them, many give you hours or entertainment without having to pay a thing unless you want a fancy hat or additional fighting characters. We've rounded up the 25 best free games available on consoles right now which amount to a hefty list of got shooters, fighting games, driving games, 2D platformers, and, yes, a handful MMORPGs (but you'd be better off checking out our complete list of best free MMORPGs).

25. Battle Islands

Battle Islands is probably the cutest depiction of WWII-era Pacific Theater warfare you'll ever see. The RTS puts you in command of US forces as you attempt to build your military might and conquer as many islands as possible. It plays like most classic RTS titles, requiring you to gather rare resources, build strategic bases, and amass an army of tanks, troops, and aircraft. With a challenging single-player campaign and online multiplayer matches, Battle Islands has everything you'd want in a strategy game - all wrapped up in an adorable, cartoony package.

24. Tekken Revolution

We never thought we'd see the day fighting games became free-to-play, but Tekken Revolution on the PS3 has broken down the doors on that concept. On the outset its basically a Tekken arcade mode: pick a character, fight either A.I. or online opponents, rinse and repeat. However, the coin system only allows for a certain amount of plays at a time, regenerating after a period of time, and characters can be upgraded by collecting skill points, which can then boost stats like power (strength), endurance (defense), and Vigor (affects critical hit percentages). Its limited Tekken, but its still Tekken, and its free Tekken to boot. This is the perfect way to get a small taste of Tekken if that's all you're looking for.

23. APB Reloaded

The cops vs. criminals shooter APB Reloaded has gone slightly mad since launch. You show up for the shooting, which is competent and competitive, but stay for the lunacy of watching characters dressed up in all kinds of crazy outfits charging around the city. The way combat works is fantastic--you choose to be either cop or criminal and gain notoriety based on your actions within the MMO-sized city. Become well-known, and more opposing players will try to attack you because theyll get a larger reward for taking you down.

22. AirMech Arena

AirMech Arena blends real-time strategy elements with the competitive MOBA framework. You take control of your Transformers-esque, aircraft-to-mech hero unit with the goal of constructing a base, building an army with a multitude of tanks and foot soldiers, then sending them off to destroy your enemy's fortifications. Whether you're taking on AI opponents or online players, winning a match becomes a balancing act between building up your units and reinforcements or just wading into the battle yourself with your almighty AirMech.

21. Blacklight: Retribution

Take the highly popular Call of Duty multiplayer model, chop it out, and turn it into its own game, and you have Blacklight: Retribution in a nutshell. All of the main game modes are here, including Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Domination, and more. Thats not to say that this game does nothing original; the HRV mechanic that shows a player everything from weak points in a wall to the location of the enemy is interesting--but you can't shoot while it's in use, making it very dangerous. Also, in-game weapons depots allow for mid-match upgrading, so a bad loadout choice wont always be a death sentence. Best of all, it costs nothing to jump in, so shooter fans on PC or PS4 should give it a whirl.

20. War Thunder

World of Warplanes isn't the only game to feature some serious dogfighting. War Thunder also controls the skies with its massive open-air battles and dozens of selectable planes. Along with the multiplayer options, War Thunder offers a few things for the individual player to enjoy, like solo missions and dynamic campaigns. Best of all, future updates boast that War Thunder will allow us to fight by land and sea in addition to the air we already know. Wargaming took two games (and a third on the way) to give us these options; War Thunder hopes to do it in one stop. The World of Tanks and Warplanes have some real competition here.

19. Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters

The Core Fighters version of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round is a free taste of the 3D fighter that's available on the PS4 and Xbox One. In Core Fighters, you only get access to four characters, but just about every game mode is open to let you train up. Downloading the free version is an easy way to test out the game, and if you end up getting hooked, you can expand your options as you like by purchasing additional characters and extra features.

18. Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct made its triumphant return to the gaming world when the Xbox One launched, but it eschewed the normal fighting game format in favor of something entirely new. You can download KI right now and play to your hearts content, though you'll only have one character available to you. That may sound like a drag, but it doesn't stop you from getting a taste of what the new KI is all about--and once you see the wicked combos and crazy fighting action the game is capable of, we think that's all you'll need. Plus, Jago is pretty awesome, so its not like you're getting stuck with a bad character, either.

17. Robot Unicorn Attack

Do not underestimate Robot Unicorn Attack. The ingredients are all wrong--colorful, sugar-rush worlds, a looping electro soundtrack, and the limited appeal of an endless running game--and yet this is one of the best games you'll find on Android or iOS. After just one go, you'll be enraptured by its catchy presentation and moreish gameplay for hours. It'll get its hooks in you. And the best part is that there are loads of different variants, including a Heavy Metal version.

16. Hustle Kings

This exclusive PS3 title just recently made its way over to the PS4 for the price of free. In Hustle Kings, you play a straightforward game of pool, without any of video-gamey frills like powershots or special trick moves. Think of it as a pool simulator with realistic ball and shot physics that real pool sharks should enjoy. The free version of the game allows you to take on other players online in a standard game of 8-ball, but if you want to play any couch co-op or dig into additional game types, you'll have to buy in to the Exhibition packs.

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