25 Best free PC games to play today

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

The best free PC games will keep you entertained for absolutely nothing in return. We get it: you paid a pretty penny for one of the best gaming laptops or fanciest PC rigs out there, and now you want to take advantage of some freebies. The good news is that while you might think that a quality gaming experience should cost at least something, that's not entirely true. From Apex Legends to Valorant and beyond, you'll find that some of the best battle royale games are actually free-to-play. The good news? There are loads more free PC games to choose from besides.

While there are plenty out there, gun-slinging hero shooters aren't the only free PC titles to choose from. From legendary life sims to indie horror gems, we're here to help you seek out a free PC game that suits your taste and your budget. You'll find a few crossovers to our list of the best free Steam games here, though without the same restrictions of Valve's games client to bind us, we've included a little more variety in terms of where and how you can play the games below. This list is bursting with intricate tactical shooters, anime-style visual novels, adorable indie hits, and everything in between. So put away your credit card, because here are 25 of the best free PC games to get you gaming on a dime. No, sorry, less than a dime.

Recent updates

Our list of the best free PC games was updated on March 19, making sure all the games listed below are still free-to-play on PC as we get stuck into 2024.

The best free PC games in 2024, starting with...

25. Paladins


(Image credit: Hi-Rez)

Developer: Hi-Rez Studios

Paladins is a strong alternative to Blizzard's hero shooter Overwatch 2, available at a much lower price point considering it's absolutely free. Blizzard fans will notice a few differences, most notably the mounts that help you get around the map, but Hi-Rez's offering sticks remarkably close to the established formula when it comes to game modes while switching things up a little more in its large (and growing) roster of playable characters. 

Play Paladins on Steam
Play Paladins on Epic Games

24. Dauntless


(Image credit: Phoenix Labs)

Developer: Phoenix Labs

As Paladins is to Overwatch, so might you draw a comparison between Monster Hunter: World (and its icy expansion) and Dauntless. While Capcom's smash-hit is a full-priced experience, Phoenix Labs' offering conjures a similar experience for absolutely nothing. It's not quite as broad as the long-running series that inspired it, but still offers hours of slaying, with multiple weapon types to master as you make your journey across its fractured, floating world with your party of up to six players.

Play Dauntless on Epic Games

23. Teamfight Tactics


(Image credit: League of Legends)

Developer: Riot Games

Plenty of companies tried to cash in on the 'Auto Chess' phenomenon, but Teamfight Tactics has easily been the most successful. Riot's free-to-play effort, which uses various League of Legends characters and their extra-dimensional alternatives as its units, seems to have gone the distance, with regular updates and even a narrative element that's weaving into LoL's ongoing (and somewhat nebulous) narrative arc. Seasonal changes can be dramatic, but a lot of attention is paid to balance, and major overhauls have kept TFT from going stale. The game mode resides within League of Legends' client, and a battle pass and cosmetics are both available for the game's premium currency. This is one free PC game to play in the Epic Games client, and it's still a winner.

Play Teamfight Tactics on Epic Games

22. Roblox


(Image credit: Roblox Corporation)

Developer: Roblox Corporation

Once upon a time, it might have been easy to write off Roblox as another blocky kids game just ripping off Minecraft. Not only have those days long since passed, that criticism is now entirely incorrect - as well as being a multibillion dollar title drawing in tens of millions of players every day, Roblox is slowly becoming an increasingly respected game development tool as well as a highly-popular free PC game. The most high-profile example is VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh's recent foray onto the platform, but a suite of creators has been using its tools (and making a decent income from them) for years. As the attention offered to it grows, Roblox's own development could be fascinating to be a part of.

Play Roblox now

21. Crusader Kings 2

Crusader Kings 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

Developer: Paradox Development Studios

Crusader Kings 3 might have replaced its older brother at the top of the Paradox pecking order, but if you're looking for grand strategy on a budget, this is easily the best place to start as well as being one of the best free PC games. The base game, which puts you in charge of your own portion of medieval Europe, is now entirely free. If you want to expand upon that already excellent experience, the game's huge number of DLC add-ons are now available via a subscription service that costs $4.99 a month, but even without all that extra content there's hundreds of hours worth of diplomacy, warfare, and subterfuge on offer. 

Play Crusader Kings 2 on Steam

20. War Thunder

War Thunder

(Image credit: Gaijin Entertainment)

Developer: Gaijin Entertainment

Another one of the best free PC games is War Thunder. It's a little more casual than the truly hardcore military sims out there, but if you're looking for some dogfights or tank skirmishes with some genuine depth, there's a huge degree of mastery on offer. Fans of ground, air, and naval combat are all catered to, with a wide roster of vehicles stretching back decades from some of the world's biggest military powers, and detailed customisation means you can pick a style to suit you and really dominate your opponents. Paid DLC does offer a way to unlock new vehicles faster, but they can also be earned with in-game currency. It's one of many reasons that War Thunder is among the best free PC games.

Play War Thunder now

19. Rocket League

Rocket League

(Image credit: Psyonix)

Developer: Psyonix

The blend of football and rocket-powered RC cars might once have seemed peculiar, but after Rocket League's arrival in 2015, any doubts were immediately assuaged. A premium release has since made way for a free-to-play model funded by cosmetics inspired by an increasing number of crossovers, from F1 to Jurassic Park. As well as pixel-perfect gameplay that makes Psyonix's offering one of the best racing games out there, a massive skill ceiling and plenty of interesting variant modes ensures that there's enough to keep you playing this free PC game on Epic Games for years.

Play Rocket League on Epic Games

18. Spelunky Classic


(Image credit: Mossmouth)

Developer: Derek Yu

If you've been itching to try out the indie phenomenon but don't fancy paying for the privilege of dying over and over (and over) again, the original Spelunky is a free, pixel-art predecessor to the 2012 smash hit and its recent sequel. Controlling a fedora and bullwhip-wielding spelunker, the aim is to make it past the dangers that await in a giant, procedurally-generated cave, collecting as much treasure as you can on your way down. Despite its adorable aesthetic, however, Spelunky is hiding a dark side, with enough ways to kill you that you'll still be learning its secrets dozens of hours in. 

Play Spelunky Classic at SpelunkyWorld

17. Brawlhalla


(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Blue Mammoth Games

Sadly, you won't be able to play Super Smash Bros on PC any time soon, but that's where Brawlhalla comes in clutch. Despite MultiVersus proving fair competition, Brawlhalla is arguably the leader of the pack when it comes to wacky arcade fighters. It still boasts regular season updates, a huge (and growing) roster of fighters, and plenty of weapons and gadgets to ensure that fights always feel fresh and that there's ample opportunity to master your favourite styles. Cosmetic items and new characters can be purchased with premium currency, but there's also an in-game currency to help you progress. It's a free PC game that will have you wondering what all the Multiversus fuss was about.

Play Brawlhalla on Steam
Play Brawlhalla on Epic Games
Play Brawlhalla on Ubisoft Connect

16. StarCraft II

StarCraft II

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

The game that arguably kickstarted the esports craze, StarCraft 2 maintains a thriving competitive scene more than a decade on from its original release, proving it a solid choice amid the best free PC games. Following on from the events of 1999's Brood War expansion of the original game, the sequel continues Blizzard's epic space opera, featuring the return of its three iconic factions. A classic narrative mixes with oceans-deep tactical gameplay to make one of the best examples of this iconic genre. The free version offers access to the entire Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, as well as the multiplayer modes, although the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void expansions are paid additions to the story.

Play StarCraft 2 on Battle.net

15.  Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress

(Image credit: Bay 12 Games)

Developer: Bay 12 Games

14 years in the making and with decades still to go, Dwarf Fortress is one of the deepest and most complex best classic PC games ever. The fact that it doubles as a great free game is just a bonus. The open-ended gameplay tasks players with establishing and running a colony of dwarves within an auto-generated world with its own unique history. The original text-based graphics can be hard to parse (although modded alternatives are available) and the punishing nature of the world can be a turn-off, but persevere and you'll be met with a hugely-immersive experience with a level of detail hard to match in any game that you don't play with a D20. 

Play Dwarf Fortress on Bay12Games

14. Valorant


(Image credit: Riot)

Developer: Riot Games

Not quite Overwatch, not quite Counter-Strike, Valorant is an intriguing blend of the tactical and hero shooter genres that manages to capture the best of both. Its diverse and growing roster of characters has helped it on its way to becoming one of the best free PC games to pick up today, letting you head into best-of-25 round-based contests. One team tries to plant and defend the explosive 'spike', while the other attempts to stop them, before the roles are reversed at half time. Characters are split into multiple classes based on their combat abilities, but everyone has access to the same guns, meaning that you'll need to master both the crisp gunplay as well as the map-changing abilities to succeed. It's definitely one of the best free PC games to grab if you're a lover of capture-the-flag antics.

Play Valorant on Epic Games

13. Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact

(Image credit: MiHoYo)

Developer: miHoYo

One of the biggest breakout hits of 2020, a reasonable elevator pitch for Genshin Impact might describe it as 'anime Breath of the Wild', but that's far from the entire picture. Its four-player combat lets you switch between characters on the fly, using their elemental magic to pull off crazy combos. During downtime, you can explore the massive open world of Teyvat, climbing, gliding, and swimming to unlock its many secrets. The Gacha-style approach to microtransactions won't be popular with everyone, but it doesn't stop Genshin from being one of the most ambitious free-to-play PC games on this list. 

Play Genshin Impact on Epic Games
Download Genshin Impact on HoYoVerse.com

12. Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Developer: 343 Industries

Halo's premium Xbox heritage might once have made Halo a strange choice for a free PC game, but with the release of Infinite, the game is changing. While the campaign will be a paid experience, Halo Infinite's multiplayer is entirely free, offering a crisp experience that's a little more arcade-style than something like Counter-Strike or Destiny. It's not only one of the best Halo games, but certainly one of the best free FPS games out there right now.

Play Halo Infinite on Steam
Play Halo Infinite on Xbox Game Pass for PC

11. Path of Exile

Path of Exile

(Image credit: Grinding Gear Games)

Developer: Grinding Gear Games

Diablo 4 is the isometric game-of-choice for many, but Path of Exile is likely to remain a significant rival for the dungeon-crawling throne. Path of Exile's huge skill tree and regular expansions have turned it into one of the most-played games on Steam, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Capturing the dark fantasy nature and endless loot cycles of classic ARPGs, there's enough here to keep fans of the genre entertained for hundreds of hours, and suck newcomers in without worrying about catching up on decades of lore.

Play Path of Exile on Steam

10. Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club

(Image credit: Team Salvato)

Developer: Team Salvato

It's hard to explain what makes Doki Doki Literature Club such an excellent visual novel without giving away what makes it so special. It starts out as a pretty standard dating sim set in the poetry club of a traditional high school, but evolves into something far more intriguing as time goes on, resulting in one of the most important and high-profile examples of its genre anywhere. And if you dip in for a second time, it'll push the limits of the genre even more, changing the entire game around you as you play. Trust us, this is one free PC game you need to play at least once.

Play Doki Doki Literature Club! on Steam

9. Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra

(Image credit: Riot)

Developer: Riot Games

Most collectible card games are initially available for free, but require a pretty significant spend for those hoping to stay at the top of the ladder month after month. Legends of Runeterra, from League of Legends developer Riot Games, aims to break that cycle, offering players generous rewards and the means to acquire cards they actually want without relying on random chance. Regular expansions add to the roster of available champions, allowing players to hone in on a playstyle that works for them, all while building on the fascinating world of Runeterra in one of the best free PC games around.

Play Legends of Runeterra on Epic Games

8. Runescape


(Image credit: Jagex)

Developer: Jagex

Not just a relic of the mid-noughties, Runescape is still thriving as one of the best MMORPGs, with both a modern-day version and an Old School alternative for those of you still hankering for the good old days of pre-2007. Both games offer tonnes of free content spread across their massive worlds, but you'll get access to a lot more via a paid subscription. Thankfully, Runescape makes its memberships available with in-game currency, so if you're prepared to sink some serious time into a new MMO, this is a great way to do so for free while mastering skills from prayer to fishing, and taking on foes from humble goblins to huge, world-ending monstrosities. 

Play Runescape on Steam
Play Runescape on Runscape.com

7. EVE Online

EVE Online

(Image credit: CCP)

Developer: CCP Games

Nearing its third decade, EVE Online might be one of the oldest games on this list, but it's also one of the deepest and most ambitious experiences you can have on a PC - if you're prepared to make a name for yourself. CCP's huge space sim is home to one of the most fascinating communities you'll find anywhere in the world, complete with its own economy, warring political factions, and pitched space battles that seem like they're straight out of a Star Wars film. A $14.99 subscription offers access to more ships and skills, but new recruits can find everything they need to make a start for free. 

Play EVE Online on Steam

6. Destiny 2: New Light

Destiny 2

(Image credit: Bungie)

Developer: Bungie

Destiny 2: New Light is the free-to-play base game, alongside two of its early expansions are available for free. Together they offer access to developer Bungie's exceptional gunplay and many of its competitive modes, as well access to a sprawling and ambitious storyline. Whether you're looking to outshine your opponents in PvP, smash hordes of enemies in PvE, or just make sure you've got the shiniest space armour out there, you'll find hundreds of hours of entertainment in Destiny 2. 

Play Destiny 2 on Epic Games
Play Destiny 2 on Steam

5. Counter-Strike 2

Counter-Strike 2

(Image credit: Valve)

Developer: Valve

Countless betas and one downright mystifying release window ever, it's finally here. The next era of Valve's tactical FPS has arrived in the form of Counter-Strike 2. It has all the things we loved about CS:GO and more, replacing it on steam as your one-shop stop for multiplayer shooters. With six game modes and a host of familiar maps you'll recall as a CS:GO vet, there's no time like the present to get stuck into one of the best free PC games ever. 

Play Counter-Strike 2 on Steam

4. Warzone 2

Warzone 2

(Image credit: Activision)

Developer: Infinity Ward

When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II landed, how were we to know that it wouldn't be the main event but the free-to-play battle royale spin-off that would impress us most? Warzone 2 is by far one of the best Call of Duty games, combining thrilling battle royale action with CoD's unique DNA to create a multiplayer arena shoot-out like no other. You'll need a sharp, considered tactical approach if you want to fight for survival and win, and the dedicated single-player DMZ mode gives you a break from the PvP action if you're in the mood for a narrative-based experience. It's definitely one of the best free PC games you can play today, as long as you have the disc space to download it.

Play Call of Duty: Warzone 2 on Steam
Play Call of Duty: Warzone 2 on Battle.net

3. Apex Legends

Apex Legends

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Ok, it might not be Titanfall 3, but Apex Legends is a worthy alternative. Set in the same world as Respawn's mech-based shooter, the Apex Games blend classic battle royale with the character-based skills of the hero shooter, for an end product that manages to be the best of both worlds. After a slight lull in the wake of its epic launch, Apex is currently in a great spot, with a hugely diverse roster and a rotating schedule of three brilliantly detailed arenas.  

Play Apex Legends on the EA app
Play Apex Legends on Steam

2. League of Legends

League of Legends

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Developer: Riot Games

From humble beginnings, League of Legends grew quickly into one of the biggest games in the world, and has stayed there for years. The aim of the 5v5 MOBA is simple - destroy your opponents' base, or Nexus, before they can destroy yours - but with more than 150 champions, there's a huge amount to learn. That learning curve is seriously steep, so if you're starting out, find a champion you like and master them first. Once you're over that initial hill, however, there's also a huge global esports scene, novels of lore, and a constantly-evolving competitive environment to get lost in. Premium currency can help you unlock new characters faster, but is mostly reserved for cosmetics. 

Play League of Legends on LeagueOfLegends.com
Play League of Legends on Epic Games

1. Fortnite

Fortnite Season 8 Chapter 2

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Developer: Epic Games

Fortnite might not be at the peak of its power anymore, but it's impossible to deny the phenomenal impact that Epic's battle royale has had. After a swift pivot away from the original Save the World, Fortnite became a family-friendly alternative to the rapidly-growing last-man-standing genre, complete with its iconic building mechanic. Since then, it's set a new benchmark for the pace of change for evolving games, with an ever-deepening narrative, ambitious crossover events, and in-game virtual concerts that draw in audiences in the millions. Premium currency 'V-bucks' is reserved solely for cosmetic purchases. 

Play Fortnite on Epic Games

Here are all the upcoming PC games for 2024 and beyond that we can't wait for.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.

With contributions from