2016 is solidly cruising along (its May already somehow?) but there's still little over a month left before the summer hits and all those huge game sales through services like Steam and GOG arrive.
If you are looking for a new gaming obsession but don't fancy dropping $50 - $60 for the latest AAA release, there's a whole lot of quality titles in nearly every genre worth trying out that won't cost you a penny.
We'll skip the super obvious ones this time around: you all know you can sink hundreds of hours into countless matches of MOBAs like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Heroes Of The Storm, and you don't need me to remind you.
Instead, we're going to dive into a diverse range of games from action RPGs to tower defense, MMOs, collectible card games, retro classics now online for free, and even some really offbeat indie excursions that deserve to be played by a wider audience.
Endless deadly dungeon corridors await! Love ARPGs like Diablo 2, Torchlight, or my current obsession Grim Dawn? Then Path Of Exile is an excellent option for the frantic clickfest fanatic, offering up that classic action RPG feel with skill tree builds, progressive loot, hordes of enemies, spikes shooting up from dungeon floors, etc. Best of all, its F2P!
While there are some negatives to be found and obviously a few gameplay elements that could be tweaked, pay attention to how many hours the negative reviewers typically have sunk into this game. When many of the “not recommended” reviews have hundreds to thousands of hours spent playing, you are obviously doing something right.
This is an incredibly simple game based around one tiny idea: a nuclear reactor is about to explode, and the guy who knows how to turn it off is nowhere to be found (for some reason Homer Simpson comes to mind). You've got to stop the reactor from blowing, but the problem is you don't have any clue how the console works.
Even that description is over complicating things. This game is all about finding which two buttons on your keyboard will turn off the reactor when held down. Problem is, they reset every time you play, and you've only got six seconds to figure it out!
Obviously you won't be putting hundreds of hours into this one, but there's an undeniable rush to trying to figure out which buttons to hold down before that explosion sound hits, and it actually gets sort of addicting if you mess up several times in a row. A strange obsession hits as you realize you have to master this diabolical little indie game!
A newer MMORPG entry, this one clearly has some bugs to work out still, but that art style is pure nostalgia greatness. Picture some of the classic Mana titles in a sandbox MMO world, and you're pretty much at Tree Of Savior.
There's a ton of class options to play through and at the moment also a thriving player base. If you don't want to put down the money to get into a traditional subscription-based MMORPG or have gotten tired of Guilds Wars 2, definitely give this one a try.
OK, I'm sort of breaking my promise of skipping the super obvious ones, and Hearthstone is certainly not a new game, but there are big changes coming with the Whispers Of The Old Gods expansion. This new Cthulhu-themed add-on is not only bringing in more cards, but also major tweaks to some of the staples that were in need of re-balancing.
A few of the changes aren't making long-time players happy (as the go-to cards like Ironbeak Owl, Leper Gnome, and Big Game Hunter are undergoing revamps to make them less powerful or more costly) but I'm looking forward to jumping back in now that the standard strategies are out the window and players have to come up with new ones.
If you love Warcraft lore and dig CCGs like Magic: The Gathering or Might And Magic: Duels of the Champions, now is a great time to jump into the completely free Hearthstone.
For you team-based multiplayer junkies, Orcs Must Die! Unchained is now in open beta, giving a new option for fans of fantasy titles like Dungeon Defenders.
Pick your hero, place a horde of deadly traps, and mow down orcs and trolls by the hundreds as you fight through endless waves!
It looks like Minecraft and its a multiplayer zombie apocalypse survival simulator. What more do you want?
If you love DayZ or blocky Lego graphics, there's no reason not to download this Early Access Steam title and try your luck at surviving the zombie hordes.
Another cutesy, blocky game, the graphics in Trove are like a hi-rez version of Minecraft, but with significantly more dragons and explosions.
Made by Trion Worlds (developer of Rift and Defiance), this is equal parts MMO and craft-focused block game that's exactly what you'd expect based on the visual style.
Looking for something super retro? This old school Apogee Software game from the early '90s is now free through GOG.
Gun down monstrous beasts, grab power ups, and avoid flaming traps as commando Snake Logan in this platformer blast from the past!
Even without cracking open your wallet or logging into your Paypal account, there are a ton of game worlds ready and waiting to be explored.
Which of these eight games are you planning on trying out, and what free to play titles would you recommend we give a shot this month?
Let us know what we missed or what's coming out soon we should be paying attention to and we'll be sure to include it next month's look at available free PC games!