5. Fractured Space
Another rarity in the free-to-play space, Fractured Space blends high-level strategy and player cooperation with intense PvE or PvP action. Commanding massive space-borne capital ships, players battle their way across a multi-sector map, coordinating fire and shifting position to bring devastating waves of plasma and projectiles to bear against their foes. It feels a bit like a MOBA in space, but with thoughtful, tactical exchanges instead of the high energy, brief battles typical of the Dota or League. With a host of deep options for customizing your ship and nearly endlessly replayable action, Fractured Space is a fantastic way to spend a lot of time but none of your money.
4. Planetside 2
While simulating war on a massive scale has certainly been attempted in video games before, few games have managed a sprawling simulation on the scale of Planetside 2. An MMO shooter that pits huge numbers of players against each other in a three-sided war across huge continents, Planetside 2 offers a huge number of ways to contribute to the fight. From direct combat and capturing bases to healing your allies or slipping behind the lines to wreak havoc away from the front, Planetside 2 encourages a huge number of equally valid play styles. Planetside 2 takes futuristic infantry warfare and throws in vehicles, classes, and a persistent battleground to create an explosive cocktail of high octane fun.
3. Path of Exile
The house that Diablo built has never been in better shape, with a huge number of excellent successors and subpar pretenders vying for the action-RPG throne. But few games deliver a mix of fast-clicking, monster exploding action alongside deep systems the way Path of Exile does. At its core, PoE is a slick action game, slashing up packs of monsters and vile bandits by the hundreds, but underlying that shiny surface are some deep RPG mechanics and one of the largest and most complicated skill trees in the history of role-playing games. While it may seem intimidating at first, that massive web of skills allows for a huge amount of class and ability customization, meaning you’ll likely never be able to experience all of the ways to play through Path of Exiles huge world.
For anyone that’s fantasized about being a lithe, deadly ninja, or conquering the stars as a warrior bedecked in glorious power armor, Warframe is a dream come true. Wielding vicious melee weapons and an impressive suite of firearms, Warframe lets you maraud across the galaxy tearing apart your enemies and gathering precious resources to pad out your arsenal. With the huge open world expansion, Plains of Eidolon and a ton of upcoming features—like another huge open world environment and the introduction of space combat—Warframe continues to add to a game that's already one of the most vibrant and entertaining MMOs on the market.
1. Fortnite Battle Royale
What more is there to say about Fortnite, the most dominant game on the planet? Rising from the strange hybrid that was the original Save the World proposition, a game that labored in development for years and seemed at times troubled and uncertain, the battle royale mode that reached out to snatch the PUBG crown became one of the biggest phenomenons in the history of gaming. With the rapid iteration of new features and a forest fire of word-of-mouth promotion, Fortnite Battle Royale is pushing beyond gaming and becoming a ubiquitous cultural touchstone. It’s also, luckily enough, a lot of fun to play, and the kind of candy coated, accessible experience that in retrospect looks perfectly designed to appeal to a massive audience.
Want more? Here are the best Fortnite headsets you can buy to give you a competitive edge and snatch victory royale!