10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

While Steam gets a lot of hype for discounted prices, you don’t actually have to spend any money to enjoy some of the best games the service has to offer. Over the years, Steam has accumulated a number of great games that are free-to-play, and I’m here to tell you which ones you should check out.

Some of these recommendations will be obvious, as some of Steam’s biggest games are free-to-play — so why wouldn’t I suggest them? But, I also want to make sure to tell you about the smaller free games you might otherwise not hear about, especially when it comes to games that try something new. With that in mind, here are our top free Steam games that everyone should try.

Dota 2

10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

If you’re looking for a game to really sink your teeth into, Dota 2 is probably your best bet — I spent dozens of hours trying to master Valve’s MOBA, and barely scratched the surface. While your goal is straightforward — lead your creeps and team to the enemy base, so you can destroy a large structure known as the ancient — the depth and intensity that Dota 2 offers is staggering. It’s a great game for people with a competitive streak, provided you can keep your cool under pressure.

Super Crate Box

You might know Vlambeer thanks to games like Ridiculous Fishing, and Nuclear Throne. One of their earliest games is also on Steam, and not only is it free, it’s also damned good. Super Crate Box is an arcade-style game where you try try to rack up a high score. The twist? Your weapons are constantly randomised, which keeps you on your toes. Super Crate Box is a good choice for people looking for a simple, addictive, no-frills game that is a joy to play.

Velvet Sundown

One of the weirdest games on Steam, Velvet Sundown is a multiplayer game where you’re put on a yacht with a few other players. You’re given a character with a goal, and so is everyone else. Maybe you have to tase someone. Maybe you have to poison someone. Maybe you have to make everyone sign your ‘save the whales’ petition. How you go about completing your goal is up to you — but it will probably involve strange conversations, lots of drama, and hijinks. Think of it like the talking portions of a Bioware game, only involving actual human beings — which means that things can go completely off the rails.

How Do You Do It?

A game that puts you in the shoes of an 11 year old girl who doesn’t know how sex works, How Do You Do It? is short, sweet, and refreshingly honest.

Team Fortress 2

10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

It may not get as much press as it used to, but Team Fortress 2 is still a popular team-based shooter with way too many hats. Even if you’ve played it before, it’s always nice to jump in every once in a while — the game might be nearly a decade old, but it holds up pretty well. There’s a reason it’s so influential!

Path of Exile

An action RPG that mixes some of the best that games like Diablo and Final Fantasy VII has to offer, Path of Exile is a great game that many people would probably fork over $US40 bucks for. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

Depression Quest

10 Free Steam Games Worth Playing

Depression is not a subject that people speak openly about — but Depression Quest doesn’t pull any punches with it. Created in the style of choose-your-own-adventure games, Depression Quest is a take on what it’s like to live with depression, and the many difficulties that come with it. As you can imagine, it’s a very bleak game — but also a necessary one. Disclosure: I am friendly with the developers behind the game.


A free-to-play shooter where you basically play a space ninja. Really, do I need to say anything else?


Forget Titanfall. Hawken is a fast-paced game that revolves entirely around mech combat. Not only is the shooting great, but you can customise your mech too. Perfect.

The Cat and the Coup

I’ll let the developer’s description of the game do all the talking: “a documentary game in which you play the cat of Dr Mohammed Mossadegh, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran. During the summer of 1953, the CIA engineered a coup to bring about his downfall.”

There are a lot of other free-to-play games on Steam, which you can check out here. But do make sure to let us know some of your personal favourites below too!


        • The most recent sales have been looking even more like free to play games, complete with dual currencies in the form of “dollars” and “trading cards”.

          If you play enough (playing games, voting in the players choice, etc), you’ll gain trading cards that you might be able to exchange for a few games. But if that is too slow you can always put in some real money to speed the process along a bit.

  • I want to recommend tribes for being the most rewarding fps game of all time, and for doing f2p pretty well, but the community has unfortunately evaporated.

    I’m sad for the.death of high skill ceilings.

    • I second this, still play fairly regularly myself but would be great if more people played again.

    • I remember playing Tribes probably a decade ago during school lunchtimes on the local LAN. It was amazing

      • The recent one available on steam is by far the most approachable version, but you still spend the first several hours unable to even get a kill as you learn the weapon timing and inheritance (but you should be contributing to your team’s defence as you learn!).

        But the first time you hear the cha-ching of a mid air is THE most satisfying moment in all of FPSdom. Then you learn to do it at will, and you earn your black belt in frisbeeing speeding objects.

        But you’re still never as good as Mupp:


        Did I mention that it’s also the best spectator fps? Yeah, it’s a fair bit more exciting than trickshots in cod…

    • I’m really sad Tribes: Ascend died off as well. To be honest I think HiRez themselves killed it unintentionally with a bunch of additions that didn’t fit the spirit of the game, and then when they stopped supporting it to work on Smite… Yeah…

      On the plus side, high skill ceilings might not be dead. The new UT is shaping up nicely and Reflex is promising if extremely barebones at the moment. Neither of these games have the big maps and jetpacks/skiing that make Tribes unique, but they do offer fast-paced, extremely high-skill gameplay with lots of explosions, so it’s something I guess.

      I would love to have a proper arena shooter become a big deal again. CS:GO is okay I guess in that it’s not an absolute joke like every other modern shooter, but it’s just not the same. SC2 is stale to me, and the popularity of MOBAs (as well as their cred as high-skill, competitive games) is so completely baffling to me that I don’t know where to start.

      I’m hoping that the UT devs decide to basically clone CS:GO’s business model and competitive matchmaking system. Not disruptive to the gameplay and proven very effective at keeping people wanting to play every night.

      • UT might be fun, I’m keeping an eye on It, but it’s a very vanilla arena fps (we need those, but we need more variety and novelty too).

        It’s strange, but splatoon is creeping onto my radar. It ties movement, ammo, and health together in much the same way as tribes, and as such leaves the door open for technique to develop.

        It’s a bit crap that there’s no voice system, or even a useful VCS as in tribes, but the team’s might be small enough to manage without.

        Edit: I’m also cautiously optimistic about the new raven shield.

  • I got quite into March of war when I was home sick for two weeks last year. Its sort of a massively multiplayer turn based strategy game……..with a sort of player driven story.
    Its a little pay to win unless your home sick with nothing else to but play the game………..
    GO Latin Junta \o/

  • War Thunder is one that I really sunk my teeth into. It’s been through some changes with levelling and unlocks, but a pretty good title if you’re looking to get into some decent dogfighting

  • No I got to rebuttal against Depression Quest, And its not because it started all the controversy.

    I don’t think it fully utilize what can be used in a game, And maybe its there aim to make it boringly awful on purpose because the subject of depression is not gonna be a fun one, But at least make it engaging.

    A giant wall of text does not keep a player engaged and any serious discussion you try and present gets lost because people don’t want to read that much in a game.

    Actual Sunlight (though not free) is a much better example of the exploration of Depression In my opinion. Use of actually game mechanics to convey depression and What I would recommend for someone that doesn’t understand and would like to.

    • It’s also an incredibly shallow look at the problem of depression and just perpetuates the stereotypes of living with depression. It’s more whiney than actual depression.

      It just smacks of ignorance, and the critical praise of the game is – I think – a reflection of how our culture simply accepts what is put in front of them.

      It’s also poorly written and lacks a sense of style.

    • Expecting gameplay in your games? Pretty narrow minded if you ask me… We’re seeing the creation of a whole new medium where a person reads text or looks at moving pictures to experience a story or idea rather than interacting with it in any meaningful or rewarding way, and you want to keep us in the dark ages of gameplay? How pedestrian.

      • To be fair gamers are all mysoginists and so expecting gameplay in games is literally violence against women.

  • Marvel puzzle quest scratch the right match 3 and collecting itches for me
    Enjoying The mighty quest for epic load
    Sunrider is a good free visual novel, turn based combat game
    War Thunder is good and spent many an hour in that
    Much prefer planetside 2 to tf2 for my online shooter
    LOTR online is my pick of the MMORPG that are on steam
    I’m interested in checking out Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok

    and my wife would kill me if I didn’t mention her favourite Puzzle Pirates

    • I could not believe Sunrider was free. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop… but all I got was a fun visual novel/hex-grid strategy for free.

  • Play a bit of Dota 2, but most of my time on steam right now (not that much any more) is spent on Warframe helping friends out with their part farming and getting arcane parts for myself.

    • Either you mean prime parts, or arcane helms 😉

      It’s a good game – regret a little holding off on the founder stuff (only due to being a completionist and now having a few holes in my rapidly expanding collection), but having an absolute blast with the gameplay.

  • Warframe player that started in late Jan with 230 hours of game time logged.

    It’s rather swell.

  • “How Do You Do It?”, “Depression Quest” and “The Cat and the Coup” are fucking dreadful games, Kotaku should be ashamed of yourself…

  • I’ve sunk around 1000 hours into Dota 2… and several thousand into Dota before that.


  • i have sunk untold hours on “how do you do it” i still don’t get it and I need an FAQ, i think the puzzle difficulty is too high for casual players

  • Depression Quest a good game? A bit late for April Fools, don’t you think?

  • star trek online is a good free to play game on steam, few years old now but still quite a few people playing

  • Can we have one single post on kotaku where a bunch of crybabies don’t shriek about how women and minorities are victimising them?

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