Xbox One is the home to plenty of free to play games. This method of video games is beneficial for gamers because hours of fun can be had without spending a dime. On the Xbox One, the free to play games offered consist of a variety of genres. All of them are multiplayer and can be played both cooperatively or competitively.
Since there are so many free to play games on the Xbox One, we thought it prudent to have a compiled list of games and described why or why not these games should be played. Note that while many of these games are free to play, nearly all have some form of micro-transaction. While not needed to play, “the full experience” may not likely be had without a few of the paid options available.
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Should You Play The Game: Simply put, yes.
Killer Instinct is a fun fighting game that brings a lot of depth to the genre. With Double Helix at the helm during season 1, Killer Instinct was fun, fast paced, and vicious. When the developer released Fulgore, the character played differently and had new gameplay mechanics that were non existent with the other fighters. The developer left after being acquired by Amazon and Iron Galaxy took over control for Season 2.
In addition to changing many of the fighting mechanics and tweaking existing character move sets, the new developer has given Season 2 its own feel. EVERY character in this season had their own unique gameplay twist that brought a new challenge to the playing field. With these changes, even the best fighting game players out there must be on their toes during matches.
Fans of the genre will find much to love about Killer Instinct. While it costs money to own all of the characters, Iron Galaxy allows players who don’t want to pay try out a new character out each week.
Magic Duels: Origins
Developer: Stainless Games
Should You Play The Game: Yes
Magic Duels: Origins is a rewarding title for fans of the popular card game. People who are interested in playing Magic: The Gathering will find that the game hits all of the right beats in terms of tutorials and the basics of MTG. People who don’t want to spend money to play the physical card game will appreciate Magic Duels: Origins, since the title is free. Players can purchase new decks of cards in the game, but most players will earn new cards for their decks by just winning matches. Each victory nets the player a new booster back. Between 5 origin stories highlighting a Plainswalker and an online mode, Magic Duels: Origins has a lot of longevity especially since the game will be updated with new cards each year.
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Genre: Multiplayer/Tower Defense
Should You Play The Game: With Friends
Happy Wars isn’t a bad game. There is a single player mode, but it’s mainly to familiarize yourself with the game and the maps that are included in the title. Happy Wars is a tower defense styled game that’s pretty fun, but the problem is that there is not a huge community to play the game with. Multiplayer matches don’t start until there are enough players and if enough opponents (or allies) quit during a match, everybody is sent to the lobby and it’s like the game never happened. Players who are interested in Happy Wars will be spending countless minutes in a waiting room. This unfortunately happens more times than it should. It’s a shame because Toylogic made a really visually appealing, laid back game that deserves a better audience. If you have enough friends on your friends list to play, I would suggest organizing a meet up and having a fun time with Happy Wars.
World of Tanks
Genre: Military, Vehicle Combat
Should You Play The Game: Yes
World of Tanks is a multiplayer, tank based combat game. The audience for this title is huge and while the game isn’t as fast paced as many multiplayer games on the market, what makes World of Tanks so much fun is that it requires some strategy. Between hiding from enemy tanks, engaging in intense firefights and working as a team to achieve victory, World of Tanks is just a blast to play. While I would suggest playing with friends since many people don’t seem to use microphones, players will find a lot of fun with the title even when playing with random teammates.
Developer: Digital Extremes
Should You Play This Game: Yes, Best With Friends
Warframe is a game that is meant for cooperative play. Much of the content is best spent when experienced with others. While single player isn’t necessarily bad, the game is just not that fun when you played on your own. The shooting and melee mechanics are solid. Digital Extremes created a visual appealing, multiplayer action game that nearly any group of friends can have fun with on a Friday night. Not perfect by any means, there is plenty fun to be had for the willing. The story in Warframe is rather bland, though with a game like this it doesn’t really matter. All that’s important in a game like Warframe is collecting loot, customization and destroying enemies. There is enough depth in Warframe that many full retail games fail to have. For a free game, the quality and scale of the game is pretty impressive.
Developer: Cryptic Studios
Should You Play This Game: YES!
Neverwinter is the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game on the Xbox One. Another free MMORPG called Onigirl will be launching later this year, but for now, Neverwinter is the game to play. There is so much depth to this game. Players first pick their class and race and then embark on a quest. The story is confusing because the Neverwinter lore has been around for years, but the game is rich in story elements that will please fans of the fantasy genre. There are plenty of quests and raids to take part in and there is also a competitive multiplayer mode for players that love to battle other players.
Neverwinter provides hours and hours of fun that consists of quests, community events (such as slaying dragons), and dungeons. While it is more fun to play with friends, there are many players that will randomly ask you to join a party. The community is really friendly and that is definitely a positive. Reaching level 60 will take time, but it never feels like a grind. With a new expansion that has just been released, Neverwinter is one of the most fun RPGs on the Xbox One and it’s an added bonus that it is free.
Developer: Hi-Rez Games
Should You Play The Game: Yes
Smite brings the MOBA genre over to the Xbox One for the first time. There is a steep learning curve in Smite, but the game is thrilling. There are multiple game types that will appeal to different players. Smite players looking to destroy opponents will have fun with the Arena gametype. Players who crave strategy will find much to love in every other gametype featured in Smite. There are 69 different gods available in the game that each bring their own set of powers to challenges to the table.
Mastering the game is no easy task, but learning is fun. Many players don’t seem to talk during Smite matches which is unfortunate since games require a lot of strategy and coordination. Playing with friends may provide for a better experience, but there are plenty of players in the game’s online community. Finding a match will not be a problem. Smite sets the bar high for MOBAs on consoles. Now that it has finally left beta, the game is better than ever.
Retail and digital (paid) games are awesome, but sometimes a lot of fun can happen without spending a dime. While these games are fun, there are more free to play games to look forward to in the future. Motiga’s Xbox One/Windows 10 MOBA, Gigantic will be free to play and Lionhead Studios will be releasing Fable Legends later this year. Each of these games will be free and will provide a unique multiplayer experience. The Xbox One’s free to play market is slowly growing, but the final products are usually worth the wait. The success of the current free to play games only makes me more excited for the future.
Which games from this list do you play? Are you willing to try any of these games if you haven’t tried them yet? Leave a comment below.