The 14 Best Free Steam Games of 2018

Fun games that don't need your wallet

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Steam

The best free games are those that have an active player base, continued developer support, and no sleazy pay-to-win tactics. With that in mind, here are 14 of the best free-to-play games on Steam. There's a little something for everyone.

01
of 14

Best Free Roguelike: Never Split the Party

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 Steam

Roguelikes have exploded in popularity, but "Never Split the Party" takes it one step farther by introducing a social element. Play with up to three other friends and fight your way through procedurally generated dungeons. Choose from four different classes, each with a dedicated role, and battle your way to victory.

What we like:

  • Team play
  • Different classes
  • Available on Windows and Mac

What we don't:

  • Lack of polish due to early development
02
of 14

Best Free Battle Royale Game: Ring of Elysium

Ring of Elysium Logo
GameWatcher

If the building mechanic in "Fortnite" drives you crazy and the military precision of PUBG isn't your flavor, try "Ring of Elysium." This title from Tencent Games breaks away from the shoot-everything-and-run style of Battle Royale gameplay and introduces a survival aspect; the cold is just as dangerous as other players.

To win, you must reach a rescue flight. Victory comes when you clamber aboard the helicopter, which allows you to win without firing a shot, if you find the right strategy to do so. There are also numerous mobility options available, letting players traverse the map in new and creative ways.

What we like:

  • A fresh take on the battle royale genre
  • Hang gliders

What we don't:

  • The game is Windows-only
03
of 14

Best Free Visual Novel: One Night, Hot Springs

One Night, Hot Springs Logo
Steam

"One Night, Hot Springs" stands out from the library of visual novels on Steam for two reasons. First, it's for all ages, so no need to worry about adult content showing up unexpectedly. Second, the main character is a transgender woman living in Japan. "One Night, Hot Springs" explores the difficulties faced by transgender people in their day-to-day lives, and more specifically, the struggles they face in Japan. The game itself is a short romp of about 30 minutes, but there are seven possible endings. If you play through to find them all, "One Night, Hot Springs" provides several hours of entertainment.

What we like:

  • The game handles serious issues but isn't heavy-handed
  • Available on Windows and Mac

What we don't:

  • The game isn't quite long enough
04
of 14

Best Free Flying Game: World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes Logo
Steam

If you miss the fast-paced battles of titles like "Crimson Skies," "World of Warplanes" is for you. If the name sounds familiar, it's because you've probably heard of or played the developer's other titles: "World of Tanks" and "World of Warships."

You can choose a plane from seven different nations, upgrade your aircraft with better weapons, engines, and more, and fly five different types of aircraft. Once you've gotten the hang of gameplay, join up with friends and take on another team in 12v12 battles.

What we like:

  • Tons of variety in aircraft
  • Numerous customization options for vehicles

What we don't:

  • The game is glitchy this early in development
  • Only available on Windows
05
of 14

Best Free Meta Game: Nick Beard: The Fedora of Destiny

Nick Beard Logo
Steam 

If the title didn't give it away, this is not a game that takes itself seriously. "Nick Beard: The Fedora of Destiny" is a self-aware game that thrives on the humor of the internet sometime around 2012.

It's not a long game at all. You'll get around 20 minutes of gameplay, but those 20 minutes will be full of laughs. The game is designed to appeal to a specific segment of the population. If you like Deadpool, you'll like this game.

What we like:

  • Irreverent humor

What we don't:

  • Too short to take advantage of potential
  • Only available on Windows
06
of 14

Best Free Comedy Game: So, uh...a spaceship crashed in my yard

A Spaceship Crashed in My Yard Logo
Steam

Nothing describes this title better than the synopsis: "A spaceship named Aria crashed in your front yard! Now it's up to you to help her find the parts she needs to escape Earth." The game is a quirky walking simulator with puzzle elements. There's only one ending, but it's a short, bite-sized adventure that will keep you entertained and make you laugh. There is a bit of strong language involved, so maybe it's not the best for kids, but adults will love it.

What we like:

  • Fun puzzles with surprisingly challenging achievements
  • Quirky humor

What we don't:

  • Too short
  • Only available on Windows
07
of 14

Best Free Puzzle Game: Riddles of the Owls Kingdom

Riddles of the Owls Kingdom Logo
Smallgames

"Riddles of the Owls Kingdom" is a puzzle game based around nonograms, or picross. These are picture logic puzzles, and this game is absolutely full of them. There are 200 puzzles to work through, each with a different level of difficulty.

This style of game isn't well-known in the United States, but a prominent example is "Minesweeper." If you enjoyed playing "Minesweeper," then you'll probably enjoy the color and the charm of "Riddles of the Owls Kingdom."

What we like:

  • 200 puzzles
  • Hints for when they get too hard
  • Available on both Windows and Mac

What we don't:

  • Sometimes punishing difficulty
  • Some puzzles require guessing
08
of 14

Best Free Casual Game: Fruit Pop

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Medium

"Fruit Pop" is a game combining elements of "Brick Breaker" with "Peggle," and the result is nothing short of glorious. A charming art style combined with spectacular music makes this the perfect game to sit down and relax to at the end of a long day. The free version includes fifteen levels, but the paid version of the game comes with 45 levels total. This game will encourage you to keep playing over and over to beat your high score as much as possible.

What we like:

  • Laid-back fun

What we don't:

  • Only available on Windows
09
of 14

Best Free Social Game: VRChat

VRChat Logo
Steam

"VRChat" is a social gaming experience designed for use with a virtual reality headset, but it can still be enjoyed on a desktop. It's full of small minigames like bowling and a game called "Battle Discs," but the draw is the user created worlds; wander around in a world you build yourself or visit others. Choose your own avatar and make your way through a vibrant community of dedicated players. It's a great way to make friends from the comfort of your gaming room.

What we like:

  • A new take on social interaction
  • Tons of minigames to play

What we don't:

  • Only available on Windows
  • Best experience requires expensive peripheral
10
of 14

Best Free MOBA: DOTA 2

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Steam Community

It'd be careless not to include "DOTA 2" on a list of free-to-play games. In a world consumed by the MOBA craze, "DOTA 2" stands at the top of the pack. Pick from one of dozens of heroes. Each one is different and opens up a different play style. While you can spend money on this game, it will be for cosmetic purchases only. On the battlefield, your skill and teamwork will determine whether you win or lose.

What we like:

  • Free heroes
  • No pay to win elements
  • Available on both Windows and Mac

What we don't:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Often toxic community
11
of 14

Best Free FPS: Team Fortress 2

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VG Box Art

"Team Fortress 2" has been around for years, and likely will continue to top the charts as one of the most popular F2P titles out there. If you're looking for zany first-person action, Team Fortress 2 has you covered. Choose from several of the classes and help push your team to victory. There can be a bit of a learning curve, especially if you've never played "Team Fortress 2" before, but once you learn its secrets you'll be hooked.

What we like:

  • A variety of different classes
  • Available on both Windows and Mac

What we don't:

  • Can be tough to learn for beginners
12
of 14

Best Free Dungeon Crawler: Path of Exile

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MyGeekReview

If you spent hours playing "Diablo II," you'll do the same with "Path of Exile." There are seven classes to choose from, and the depth of the skill tree is spectacular. You can go with a build you find online or make your own, and it's entirely possible to make unique skill combinations no one has seen. The search for better gear is a lot of fun, and constant updates keep the game fresh no matter how much you play.

What we like:

  • In-depth gameplay
  • Tons of equipment

What we don't:

  • Only available on Windows
13
of 14

Best Free MMO: Warframe

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Know Your Meme 

"Warframe" has been popular since its release, and subsequent updates have sent that popularity soaring even higher. You can take solo adventures through space, team up with friends to bring down powerful foes, or build up your base so you can relax when you aren't fighting; you basically play a space ninja with energy weapons. "Warframe" has all the elements MMO players love: a variety of weapons, great enemies, and plenty of grind.

What we like:

  • Great developer support
  • Strong player community

What we don't:

  • Only available on Windows
14
of 14

Best Free Strategy Game: AirMech Strike

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Youtube

"AirMech Strike" is a free, incredibly polished strategy game with both co-op and competitive modes. You control an AirMech and a variety of units to take control of the map, but the game's fast pace and shorter matches keep things interesting. You don't need to invest hours to win a match with this game. It can also be played with mouse and keyboard or an Xbox 360 gamepad, which is unique for strategy games.

What we like:

  • Fresh strategy gameplay
  • Great look

What we don't:

  • Only available on Windows