5 of the Best Free Xbox One Games You Should Play

You’ve already spent a decent chunk of change on a new Xbox One, especially if you opted for the 4K ready Xbox One X. If so, there’s a good chance you don’t have a lot of cash left to buy games. Fortunately, there are a slew of good games ready to download for the bargain price of free. Many gamers roll their eyes when they hear the words “free-to-play” and rightfully so. However the popularity of Fortnite has proven that not all “free” games are a waste of time. Here are five other free-to-play games on the Xbox One that you should check out.

Killer Instinct was a quarter muncher in its heyday, known for brutal combos that left lesser players eager to cash in their bills for coins. Fortunately, the modern Killer Instinct has been rebuilt from the ground up. Initially appearing as a free-to-play launch title on the Xbox One, Killer Instinct has revamped fighting mechanics that make for a much more enjoyable experience.

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Regrettably, Killer Instinct has a number of limitations which remind you that you’ve paid nothing. Limited game modes and characters are the most glaring, and the temptation to shell out cash to unlock the full game will be there. That being said, Killer Instinct is a fluid fighting game that will provide hours of fun, regardless of whether you open your wallet or not.

Phantom Dust is a unique game that is definitely off the beaten path. Originally appearing on the OG Xbox, Phantom Dust has gotten an upgrade as a free-to-play game. At its core, Phantom Dust is a cross between deck-building games and third-person shooters. Players acquire cards that have different abilities or skills, which are then equipped when engaging in battle.

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The battles take place in a 3D arena where the goal is to deplete your opponent’s life gauge. Instead of simply blasting them with a gun, you use the skills you’ve obtained. Of course, using your skills requires you to keep an eye on your aura. This makes Phantom Dust a thinking man’s shooter, requiring players to think and strategize under pressure.

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) are a rare breed for console gamers. Traditionally, these complex games simply don’t fare well with a clunky controller. Neverwinter, however, bucks this trend. Based on the rich fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons, Neverwinter is standard MMORPG fare. Players pick a class and go questing.

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Neverwinter is fairly generous for a free-to-play game. If you don’t mind doing a bit of grinding in order to level up, then it’s possible you won’t spend a dime. Of course, those who are impatient have the option to pay for experience boosters, which can get things rolling. Ultimately, Neverwinter offers a good balance for players who like the idea of MMORPGs but are hesitant about investing the time.

Combining base building and tower defense, Airmech Arena sees players taking control of giant Transformer-like robots and shooting each other into submission. The game requires a fair amount of strategy and management, which can become hectic when other mechs are shooting at you. How you choose to play will be dependent on whether you like to play offense or defense. Prefer to build automated turrets to mow down an enemy advancing on your base? Or maybe spearheading an assault on your enemies in a giant mech is more your speed. Fortunately, gameplay is fun either way.

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Airmech Arena is first and foremost an online game; however, there is a single-player element. That being said, playing against other humans makes for a more satisfying experience. The single-player game lacks some of the tension, as the AI-controlled bots are a bit more predictable.

Gigantic bills itself as a “strategic hero shooter.” Basically, this boils down to an Overwatch clone crossed with a more traditional MOBA. Players take control of cartoonish warriors with unique fighting capabilities. The objective is your standard shooter fair – get your enemy in your sights and pull the trigger. However, Gigantic introduces one rather large difference into the tried and true formula. Each team has a huge creature sitting on opposite sides of the map waiting to jump into the fray.

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Players must gather energy in order to power up their massive ally before it can lay the smackdown. This gives the opposing team the opportunity to slay your friendly monster before it can jump into the battle. This unique mechanic makes Gigantic worth your time, even if you’re a bit burnt out on the “hero shooter” genre.

Did we forget your favorite free-to-play game on the Xbox One? Let us know in the comments!

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