We have come a long way since the pioneers that developed software in the 1970s created the first text-based PC games. Nowadays, the best free online games can rival the budgets of hollywood films, all in the hope of delivering the best possible experience.
As more and more people play video games and the value of the gaming market grows steadily, a rising number of stellar gaming titles that captivate the player are released annually. The best online games attract millions of fans and huge audiences tune in to eSports and platforms like Twitch to watch their favorite gamers stream their gameplay. With so much diversity on offer, how can you discover the best games available?
The best games are always the ones that suit your particular interests and personality. Some gamers like to be challenged and gravitate to the best online games that revolve around strategy. Some prefer complex plot lines while others just want an adrenaline rush. This explains why battle royale games have surged in popularity with some of the best free online games falling in this category.
But at the end of the day, every title that wants to rightfully earn its place among the best games has to showcase something special. It needs to take the defining features of its genre to the next level. It needs to stand out from the competition, especially when it comes to the best free games, either by bringing something new to the concept or by striking the perfect balance between its core features. Most importantly, the best online games must be extremely captivating to take their place at the front of any gamer’s existing library.
There are so many gaming genres out there that you can easily get lost trying to figure out which one suits you. Some genres, though, have proven to be evergreen when it comes to popularity and producing the best games. So, let’s start there!
Shooters are among the most popular. Their main element is a focus on combat using weapons – and they as a rule let you unlock different weapons as well as attack and defense items as you level up, including armor and hand grenades. These are the best games for people looking for something to challenge their reflexes without having to follow a complicated plot.
The popularity of these games grew with the introduction of multiplayer, and in recent years has exploded with the creation of the Battle Royale sub-genre. They are among the most thrilling multiplayer games due to how hard they are to master, the frantic gameplay, the huge population of players who are skilled in this genre, and the subtle differences between titles.
This sub-genre defined the 1980s and 1990s. The best games to play in the late 80s revolutionized the genre through the introduction of special moves and combo moves which added another layer of skill as players had to remember and then execute these perfectly to get the desired outcome. In the early 90s, the introduction of “fatality” finishing moves was immensely popular due to the level of detail and the ability to turn a match on its head.
However, recent titles have shifted back to being more simplistic through one-button special moves while prioritising online play and eSports as they seek to become more accessible. Since different characters usually have different abilities and fighting styles, the best games to play in this sub-genre are the ones that offer a variety of playable characters. That way you have the chance to discover different combo attacks and switch between different fighting approaches to spice things up.
Platform games reached the peak of their popularity in the 1990s and the 2000s, when the genre consistently produced some of the best games ever. Initially, the titles were side-scrollers, but they ultimately evolved to become 3D titles that took advantage of the tech development of consoles as they moved away from the 16-bit era.
While their demand declined after the mid-2000s, the rise of mobile games provided another avenue for this genre as some of the best games to play made use of a simplistic endless-running format that became popular due to the competition among users for the top score.
With so much variety, fans rank several platform games among the best free games. But what makes a great platform game? You typically use your character’s abilities to run, jump and climb your way through different levels. The titles that feature interesting settings, innovative mechanics, and fun ways to achieve your goals are the best games in the genre.
The best online games in this genre are the ones that fuse strategy, teamwork, and action into an immersive experience. RPG games typically focused on narration and storytelling in the earlier offerings, but developers realised that it wasn’t necessarily the plot that was drawing users to those games even though the deep lore was much-celebrated by gamers. Instead, character collection and upgrading are often among the main reasons why players are so invested in these titles.
The best games in recent times have innovated further by introducing passive gameplay mechanics like autoplay. This allows the player’s characters to achieve game goals while they are away so they always have something new to come back to. It also speeds up character upgrading and hooks players further into the game.
MOBAs were one of the dominant genres over the last decade as they spiked in popularity thanks to numerous titles that realized the potential of multiplayer gameplay to become the best free online games.
This genre really highlighted the power and potential of eSports as it had the necessary level of strategy and entertainment for spectators to enjoy. The best games in this genre innovated by focussing on the meta-game and live ops events to keep players excited. The spectator friendly gameplay also gave these games a lot of free marketing through twitch streamers and YouTubers helping them build strong gaming communities.
Once upon a time, you had to own a console if you wanted to have access to the best games, as PC games lagged behind in some respects. But luckily for avid gamers worldwide, that is no longer the case, especially when it comes to the best online games. As a rule, every major title that gets released on consoles is also released as a PC game, and PC gamers make up the bulk of those playing online MOBA and MMORPG games.
As smartphone usage is continuing to rise, so is mobile gaming. The best online games are now available to play on mobile devices including tablets like Apple’s signature iPad. You will find several of the best free games in mobile-friendly format, both on Android and iOS. The best games in this category are the ones that take advantage of this new medium, incorporating innovative elements and adapting the gameplay, instead of just copying the best practices from PC and console games.
The proliferation of devices means that games are now more accessible than ever, so what are you waiting for? Dive in and join the fun!