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Best Free Games on Xbox

Xbox Experiences at No Cost to You

by Tess Smith

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It is often said that the best things in life are free.  That said, there’s plenty of good ones when it comes to free games on Xbox. Whether you are looking for something to keep you busy between big Xbox releases or simply trying to game on a budget, free-to-play games have a lot to offer players. It is no exaggeration to say that you could get your money’s worth for your console by only playing titles available to you for free. Below is a list of the best free games on Xbox you can play right now.

Fortnite

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No list of free games on any platform would be complete without Fortnite. Fortnite, for those of you who are somehow still uninitiated, is a battle royale game in which players collect resources and weapons while fighting to make themselves or their squad the only survivors left on the map. While there are many popular battle-royale games on the market, especially since Fortnite brought the genre to a wider audience, its building mechanics remain unique and its cartoonish approach to the genre, along with frequent updates, keep the third-person shooter feeling just as fresh today as it did when it launched.

Apex Legends

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Apex Legends, brought to us by Respawn Entertainment, is another battle royale game. Apex Legends features a fast and fluid movement system and the same snappy and responsive feel as the team’s previous endeavor, Titanfall 2. Apex Legends is a first-person hero shooter where players take control of a legend of their choosing, each with their own unique set of abilities. Unlike many other entries in the genre, Apex Legends requires players to squad up and emphasizes teamwork and communication.

Call of Duty: Warzone

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Call of Duty: Warzone brings the fast and fluid combat players have come to love in Call of Duty to the battle royale genre. Unlike Apex Legends and Fortnite above, Warzone captures a more realistic feel to its combat and map design. The game features weapons from Modern Warfare and Black Ops: Cold War and will connect to the rest of your Call of Duty experience, though neither of those games are required to play. For a modern military spin on the battle royale genre, check out Call of Duty: Warzone.

War Thunder

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War Thunder is a vehicular combat game where players face off in large player vs. player battles whilst piloting various war machines. Every vehicle you can imagine on a battlefield is here and yours to take for a spin. The game has been around since the early 2010s and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. War Thunder features over 2,000 faithfully recreated vehicles from 1900s warfare such as tanks and planes and cross-platform multiplayer, meaning that no matter where your friends play, you can join them on your Xbox.

Enlisted

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Similar to War Thunder, Enlisted is a military MMO. Rather than focusing on vehicles, however, Enlisted places emphasis on combining traditional first-person shooter gameplay with squad management. Each player controls one squad of 12 specialists, electing to play as one and command the rest. You can switch freely between the different specialists as long as at least one is still alive. With the squad management abilities and larger maps, the game emphasizes tactical gameplay more than other entries on this list. Enlisted has just been released recently, so those who give it a try can rest assured that its developers will likely support it for a long time.

Rocket League

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Rocket League is easy to grasp and endlessly fun. The premise is simple: soccer but with cars. While the game is easy to get into, it hasn’t stopped the title from developing a fierce competitive scene built around the game’s immense mechanical and strategic depth. Whether you want to play the game casually or strive to be the best, Rocket Leauge is available for free on the Xbox platform and will provide countless hours of fun to you at no cost.

Phantasy Star Online 2

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Phantasy Star Online 2 is the long-running free-to-play online Japanese RPG from Sega. While the game went live in 2012, it just came to the west in 2020, meaning that players outside of Japan have over 8 years of content to catch up on. The game features a rich character creator and leveling system and is perfect for playing with friends. Even more impressively, the title is receiving a massive overhaul in the form of a reimagining known as New Genesis that will also be free to all players of the game upon its release.

Tera

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Tera is a MMORPG that came out in 2011 on PC before moving to consoles years later alongside a switch to a free-to-play model. The game is a popular alternative to World of Warcraft and is totally free to play through. With hours worth of leveling to do and content to see, Tera is a fantastic choice for players looking to build a character that they can grow attached to and take on various adventures packed with dragons and other fantastical beasts. The game features a combat system that is more action-oriented than many other MMORPG games.

Destiny 2

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Destiny 2 is the free-to-play looter shooter from Bungie, who introduced Halo: Combat Evolved to the world on the original Xbox. Now operating independently, the team works to update Destiny 2 with new content routinely. The game features responsive first-person gunplay set against a sci-fi aesthetic. It allows its players to participate in cooperative missions, horde modes, raids, and take each other on PVP style in the crucible. Destiny 2 provides dozens of hours of shooter gameplay to Xbox players at no cost.

Warframe

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Warframe is a third-person space shooter about ninjas. If that and the fact it’s free isn’t enough of a sales pitch, the game is routinely updated with additional content for players. The game features 3 full open worlds, a variety of modes, and a unique parkour movement system to navigate all of it with. If you haven’t already, Warframe is worth diving into for plenty of hours of free fun.

Path of Exile

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Path of Exile is a free-to-play action RPG in the vein of Blizzard’s Diablo series. The player creates a character and travels around the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast, hunting down better gear, interacting with NPC’s, and embarking on quests through dungeons, the wilds, and more. For fans of dark fantasy, top-down action looters, labyrinthine skill trees, and roleplaying opportunities, Path of Exile is the game for you.

Dauntless

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Dauntless is a 3rd person monster-hunting action RPG. The game tasks players either by themselves or in a group of up to 4 players with hunting down large monsters in their native habitats. Shamelessly inspired by Monster Hunter, the game brings that experience to a more casual audience for free. The game is more accessible than that which inspired it and, like many games on this list, receives routine updates. With a drip-feed of new monsters and other content, Dauntless is the perfect game for any group of friends who want to work together to take down large boss-like monsters and grind out better armor and equipment to take on the next one with.

Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters

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Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters allows gamers to play Dead or Alive 6 online against other players and access certain offline modes. Unlike the full game, players cannot access the full character roster or play the story mode, but the Core Fighters version still provides an endless well of content by allowing access to online play. If you are looking for an action-packed 3D fighter filled with gorgeous visuals and plenty of fanservice, Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters is a great way to get it for free.

Brawlhalla

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Where Dead or Alive is a mechanically precise 3D fighting game, Brawlhalla seeks to bring the fighting fun to a wider audience. Brawlhalla brings the 2D platform fighter style of Smash Bros to Xbox with its own array of colorful and creative characters. The game supports up to 4 players and provides ranked and unranked online options giving players a wide variety of content to play. This is all enhanced by the game’s frequent events and the game’s bustling esports scene.

Roblox

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Roblox is a user-driven content creation and consumption platform. Put simply: players can make custom levels and games and play those created by others. The massively popular game has more content than you could ever hope to see, let alone complete! If you want to explore other players’ creations and try to find the next breakout experience and interact with a massive community, Roblox could be for you.

Spellbreak

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Spellbreak takes a more magical approach to the battle royale genre. In place of guns, combatants use magic spells to attack one another. Players also can hover off the ground and select a rune that grants them another magical ability. Spellbreak gives players plenty of magical shooter goodness to dive into, offering both battle royale and team-based modes.

Smite

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For fans of mythology and MOBAs, there is no game better than Smite. The game places players in control of gods from various historical pantheons spanning a multitude of civilizations as they battle to reach the other teams’ base and destroy it. The game has received many updates over its 7 years since release and remains fresh today with the addition of new gods and a wealth of events.

Super Bomberman R Online

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Super Bomberman R Online is another free-to-play battle royale title, though unlike most of the competition, it is about strategic bomb placement rather than resource collection and shooting. The game places 64 people against one another to determine who will be the last Bomberman standing. For fans of the classic franchise or those who want to play something more strategic, Super Bomberman R Online is a game you should check out.

Super Animal Royale

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Super Animal Royale is the cuddliest battle royale on the block. The 2D top-down battle royale game places players in the shoes of an anthropomorphized animal tasked with clearing the map of other animals. While the game is still in a preview phase and not officially out, it still features over 300 different species to play and can be enjoyed with no major issues hampering the experience. For fans of battle royale games that want to take on the genre from a different perspective, Super Animal Royale is available for free on Xbox.

World of Tanks

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Rounding out our list of the best free Xbox games you can play today is World of Tanks. The game places players in control of massive tanks from 20th-century warfare. The game has been around for more than a decade and features a massive amount of content while still receiving frequent updates. The title lets players unlock a plethora of tanks via research trees and features a massive amount of customization. This is all tied together by a robust selection of modes to choose from. For players who want some of the best vehicular combat the Xbox offers, World of Tanks is a strong choice.

Download the Best Free Games on Xbox

The Xbox family of systems offers a wealth of free titles for players to dive into and explore. Given that the platform recently changed to enable players to play free-to-play games without Xbox Live Gold, most of these titles require no additional investment besides acquiring the console you want to play on. You can check out all of the best free games for Xbox on Microsoft’s site for the Xbox Store or from the comfort of your couch on your console.

- This article was updated on:June 8th, 2021

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