The best free games on Steam are pretty easy to find. All you have to do is open Steam, find the Categories menu, and click on Free to Play. This will give you a complete list of free Steam titles – and even if you only consider the most popular games, there are still over 400 options.
We researched the best free Steam games based on their popularity, depth of gameplay and our personal experiences with them. The games listed below are perfectly playable, even if you never spend a dime, with rich experiences for both paying and non-paying players. In addition, we have tried to explore a wide variety of genres.
Read on to discover the best free Steam games of 2023.
The Best Free Steam Games of 2023
Hero shooter games are all the rage these days, and Apex Legends is one of the best. In this competitive multiplayer title, you will take control of a futuristic warrior, armed with a variety of weapons and special powers, and battle an opposing team for control of a diverse set of battlefields. While you can spend money on the many character and weapon skins in Apex Legends, you can also earn many rewards for skillful play. Electronic Arts is also constantly adding new content to the game, from maps to characters, which means you’ll have to stay on your toes to stay on top.
Free-to-play fighting games are not that common, and those that take on the spirit of Super Smash Bros. are even less so. Brawlhalla is a platform game in which up to eight players can compete for supremacy, using a variety of original and licensed characters. Free characters change weekly, and nothing you buy gives you a competitive advantage; real-world money will only get you cosmetic items. An interesting feature of Brawlhalla is that it hosts a variety of characters from other multimedia franchises, from Rayman to Tomb Raider to The Walking Dead to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is what you get after a mod for the original Half-Life game gathered so many followers that it became not only its own game, but also a form of its own genre. Counter-Strike is a team-based first-person shooter with objectives that pit terrorists and counter-terrorists against each other. Victory can come from achieving an objective, such as planting or defusing a bomb, or simply eliminating the other team. With fast-paced action and a wide range of weapons to choose from, this game can be both challenging and fun.
Crusader Kings II
« Grand strategy » and « free-to-play » don’t often go hand in hand, but Paradox Interactive’s Crusader Kings II shows that this combination can be successful. Crusader Kings II began life as an ordinary pay-to-play game, in which you take control of a Christian king in medieval Europe. The goal is not only to wage war on neighboring countries, but also to establish diplomatic ties, secure your family’s legacy, and see how you can reshape the history of the continent. If you want to get the game’s DLC and expansions, you will have to pay, but you can play for a while without paying any money.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Here is an unusual game. Doki Doki Literature Club begins as a Japanese-style visual novel about a high school student who courts various pretty girls. However, as you play this short game, you get the feeling that something is wrong – and when you start your second game, events become even stranger. To say more would be to spoil what makes Doki Doki Literature Club such a journey, but if you’re in the mood for a story that completely flips, this is a good game. Just know that it is not for the faint of heart.
Dota 2 is one of Valve’s most popular games. One of the big players in the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) space, Dota 2 started out as a mod for Warcraft III, and eventually took on a life of its own. If you’ve played League of Legends or similar games, you know the premise: Choose a hero, team up with a few other players and lead an army of AI-controlled soldiers to conquer an enemy base. Dota 2 is a colorful and fast-paced game that tests your tactical and strategic thinking. Communication with your teammates is essential. But if you get good, you can earn many in-game rewards – or buy them with real-world money.
You can’t play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for free – but you can probably play the best part of this game without paying any money. Gwent is a trading card game that served as a secondary activity in The Witcher 3. It was so successful with fans that developer CD Projekt Red made Gwent its own free-to-play game. Naturally, you can spend real-world money to buy booster packs to improve your game, or you can earn in-game currency by honing your skills and defeating enemies. Gwent offers great tactical depth, both in the construction of your deck and in the way you play.
Path of Exile
Imagine that Blizzard’s Diablo series is free-to-play and that it has an extremely long scripted campaign: that’s Path of Exile in a nutshell. In this isometric hack-and-slash RPG, you’ll take control of an adventurer, then carve a path of bloody destruction through thousands of monsters in your quest for revenge. If you have ever played a game of this type, you know the principle. Each class has a variety of skills to master, and you can collect tons of weapons and armor, each with different benefits, as you progress. Paid transactions allow you to get extra storage space or cosmetics, but nothing that radically changes the gameplay.
Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online, one of my favorite games on this list, is the best thing about watching a new Star Trek TV series. This free-to-play MMORPG combines field missions and capital ship battles, giving you plenty of opportunities to fight Klingons, Romulans, Borg and other deadly threats. You can also command your own ship and explore the far reaches of the galaxy, upgrading your skills and gathering new crew members as you go. The most interesting part of the game, however, is that it is heavily story-driven, with each mission structured like an episode of Star Trek and contributing to a larger « seasonal » arc.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
We can’t talk about the Star Trek MMO without mentioning its Star Wars counterpart. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, you’ll create your own Jedi Knight, Sith Warrior, soldier or smuggler in a story that takes place thousands of years before Luke, Han and Leia teamed up. As a BioWare game, The Old Republic has a fantastic narrative, full of twists and turns and moral dilemmas. The gameplay is also good, encouraging you to hone your skills and equipment while fighting a variety of sci-fi enemies in real time. You’ll have to pay to get high-level narrative content, but the base game is free.
Gundam is a brand new free first person shooter that looks absolutely amazing. In this game, you take control of mobile units from the Gundam universe and fight enemies. Battles heavily inspired by shooter games like Overwatch.
The units of the Gundam universe present in the game all have their own abilities, sports functions and power levels.
Cool weapons, easy to execute goal-oriented gameplay but with impressive graphics and polish from a veteran studio like Bandai Namco, Gundam evolution will definitely make your day.
This is a fast-paced close combat game that prides itself on being easy to pick up and play. From first impressions, it looks like this is the next generation of S4 League of Guns as it focuses on skill-based duels.
In this game, you will be able to customize your fighting style with unique weapons so that you can show off your skills. Another great detail of this game is the large group of heroes at your disposal and in conjunction with the wide range of melee and ranged weapons.
You can be in groups of three in a battle of 20 teams, so up to 60 players per game.
Engine Evolution is a multiplayer racing game that uses similar principles to World of Tanks. In each race, you will compete against 11 other players and earn experience and credits that you can use to purchase various upgrades for your vehicle or unlock newer vehicles.
Designed by a single developer during college, this game is easy to pick up but with a good element of depth. However, the huge attraction to this game is the large amount of content:
- 90 vehicles,
- 7 nations
- 25 real and personalized tours
- Thousands of vehicle configurations and much more
- To top it off, the system specs are incredibly low, as all you’ll need is a 2.2 processor, 2 Gigahertz, 2 gigs of ram and a GTX 660.
A hack and slash action RPG that has gamers excited with its fluid combat and wide range of customization options. Right from the start, you will notice that it looks like Path of Exile with the isometric camera.
The camera angle is very forward with impeccable fluidity and depth. Also, the designers have emphasized the rune system that generates an almost infinite number of skill combinations, thus tons of content.
The detail that will really bring Undecember to the forefront is that the game will be a fully cross-platform title: available not only on PC but also on Android and iOS.
Compared to Path of Exile, which is only available on PC and consoles, having this mobile element will really give it a huge advantage.
Alien Removal Division
Another free shooting game made by students from Cape Breton University. It’s super exciting when a game is focused on raw fun. This fast-paced shooter has parkour front and center. You can use your skills to run on the walls and around a research center
Military. All of this combined with gory combat, a large amount of alien enemies and a wide range of weapons, means that whatever you do in this game, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it.
The Cycle Frontier
The cycle was originally part of the environment of another game. Then, after a huge success of the latter because of the Cycle, the developers decided to completely reverse the concept of the game and move towards an idea of « Escape from Tarkov ».
The basic concepts are the same: you will have to capture resources, fulfill contracts and extract yourself before the planet self-destructs. However, it has become much more intense as you will have to bring your own weapons and equipment which you will automatically lose if you die.
The cycle Frontier is easy to take, which is not the case with Escape from Tarkov. The graphics of this game are great and allow you to make fantastic combinations.
One of the strangest games on today’s list, Banana shooter is a first-person shooter that features just incredible graphics, gameplay and character models.
The developers of Banana Shooter have put more emphasis on shooting mechanics, weapons and animations. This makes it one of the most exciting games on our list.
Free action game, Spine is a team game where you take control of heroes who can increase their reflexes beyond the limits with the help of implant technology. There is a wide range of unique heroes to choose from; this works perfectly with the team game theme.
From the official trailer which is all we have for now, it seems that this game is really focused on fast paced and parkour with lots of martial arts battles, but also firearms and melee.
This concept is pretty impressive but since we don’t have any real gameplay to look at it’s going to be really hard to know exactly what it takes.
However, this game is a combination of breathtaking scenes with a great emphasis on unique camera work that you won’t find anywhere else in other multiplayer games.
The next game in our selection is a third-person strategic action game developed and published by Nixon.
From first impressions, this game looks like a more realistic rogue company with many tactical shooter and battle royale elements.
The purchase system will be turn-based and you can buy weapons, upgrades and tactical items.
Third person shooting moves including rolling, jumping, climbing and hanging, all of which can be incorporated while shooting. All this for dynamic fights.
A new factor in the equation seen is a dynamically changing battlefield as throughout the game you may encounter unexpected sandstorms, sea mists, destroyed buildings, collapsing bridges, etc…
A third-person League of Legends-type game that had a fan base, Overprime was stopped, however. But, fortunately, Epic Games decided to take it over and Overprime was reborn from its ashes.
Overprime is a completely free team game, based on third person action team. Choose one of the many powerful heroes with unique skills and work with your teammates to conquer new territories.
By far, one of the most anticipated games on this list, Disney Speedstorm is a racing game based on the hero.
With high-speed tracks inspired by the worlds of Disney and Pixar and an incredibly obvious attempt to rival Mario kart, Speedstorm has a huge cast of characters including Pixar and an incredibly obvious attempt to rival Mario kart, Speedstorm has a huge cast of characters including Captain Jack Sparrow, Milan, mickey mouse, Sully and many more.
Each of these heroes has unique skills that can greatly influence the race and you are also able to upgrade them; which is great for progression. Focusing on driving, it looks absolutely beautiful with high quality drifting mechanisms and advanced driving mechanics. All of this fits perfectly with the fantastic graphics that you can see not only with the characters, but also on the Disney and Pixar inspired tracks.
This game is available on all current and next generation consoles as well as on PC, with the possibility of playing in parallel. That’s a lot to compete with Nintendo.
There you have it, you now know the best free Steam games of 2023. All you have to do is enjoy them in your spare time!