So, maybe you’ve dropped a boatload of cash on a new rig and realized you don’t have enough cash left over for some new first-person-shooters to add to your collection — or perhaps, you need some free-to-play distractions from your favorites. Either way, these five games are sure to get your blood pumping and your wrists carpal tunneling…all completely free of charge.
Starting off the countdown is Loadout; a game so gory and violent that if it wasn’t portrayed in such a loveable, cartoony atmosphere, it would most likely be banned in the US. Loadout features a fast paced, shooter gameplay element that doesn’t rely too heavily on strategy, and is one of the only games where watching your character die in a variety of gruesome deaths, is actually fun.
The game also features in-depth weapon customization that allows you hand-pick almost every detail of your own personal killing machine. Loadout’s cash shop is very balanced and offers mainly cosmetic purchases — thus, avoiding the dreaded “pay-to-win” title many so called free-to-play shooters seem to embody these days.
4. Tribes: Ascend
Number four is an oldie, but definitely a goody, it’s Tribes: Ascend. Tribes is your standard sci-fi shooter complete with full class customization, but with a unique twist: skiing. The ski mechanic in the game sounds kitschy at first, however, it not only makes Tribes: Ascend one one of the most reflex-oriented shooters available, but leads to some pretty impressive ways to kill your foes.
Purchase options offer XP boosts and early weapon unlocks, but their presence is not at all game breaking. You could also drop a flat fee of forty bucks to unlock every class and combination available all at once.
The third game on the list just happens to be one of the most beautiful free-to-play shooters in existence, and that game is Hawken. Hawken is not only pretty to look at, but is an amazing shooter — and if you’re a true mech fan, it should be your GO-TO GAME! With tons of game modes and intricate customizations, Hawken makes other recently released mech-shooters look like Fisher Price games for toddlers.
Like all of the shooters on this list, the cash-shop keeps the game skill-based, limiting purchases to cosmetics, emotes, and early unlocks. Warning: this free-to-play shooter is best enjoyed with a high-end PC only.
2. Planetside 2
Planetside 2 takes the silver medal in this countdown. Sony’s free-to-play massively multiplayer first-person-shooter or, F.2.P.M.M.O.F.P.S (for all of you abbreviation enthusiasts), is one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences on the free-to-play market.
Pick one of three factions at war and battle it out over massive continents, with hundreds of players on each side. Are you tired of running and gunning? Well, you can take to skies like a futuristic maverick, or hop in one of many vehicles to change up your gameplay.
If you’re a casual player, you won’t even bother with the cash shop. However, if you plan to take this game seriously, you might have to invest in some early unlocks — but it is well worth it. Fear not console kids, Planetside 2 is heading to the Ps4 this year.
1. Team Fortress 2
I almost didn’t include the number one game on this list, as it is a no-brainer to all PC free-to-play shooter fans. However, in the end, it just didn’t seem right not to have Team Fortress 2 at the top spot; despite the obvious.
If you own a PC, love shooters, and aren’t playing TF2 then stop, just stop. You’re doing it wrong. Seriously, go sell your computer and return to that rock you’ve been living under all of these years. Valve’s iconic shooter is a staple in almost every PC gamer’s library, and after six strong years, TF2 continues to provide so much entertainment value. Not only that, but it’s paved the way for what the best free-to-play shooters should truly be.
It’s a mainstay, a tradition, a god-damned legacy. And there are hats… ALL OF THE HATS.
That’s it for this countdown, don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to the Gameskinny YouTube channel. As always you can find me on Twitter — and hey — let me know what you think of this video, I’ll be putting out a new one every week, so if there is anything you’d like to see, let me know below.
Thanks for watching, now get out there and go shoot something… for free!