The Xbox Series X/S is home to a litany of great games, from the biggest triple-A experiences to smaller indie projects. However, not every Xbox owner out there might be willing or able to cough up the dough to get all the best titles. Thankfully, the console also offers quite a number of brilliant free-to-play games.
Most of these are supported through in-game economies, urging players to spend money on microtransactions or implementing gacha mechanics that reward players with things like new characters or skins. But many can still be enjoyed for countless hours without spending a single dime, which is never a bad thing in the eyes of the frugal gamers among us. So with such titles in mind, here are a few of the very best free games on the Xbox Series X/S.
Updated May 29, 2023 By Ben Jessey: Gaming can be very expensive, considering the price of the average game and console. But there is a collection of games on the Xbox Series X|S that can lessen the financial burden of being a gamer because they're completely free to play.
Admittedly, free games can vary heavily in quality. Yet, there are a bunch of really good ones on Xbox's latest console. And we put the best on this list when we originally wrote it. But more have been released since then. So, here's an updated version of the collection.
22 Omega Strikers
Omega Strikers is an online multiplayer game where two teams of three take each other on in a futuristic sport. The sport resembles hockey in a way because both teams are trying to get a puck in the other team's goal. Yet, there's no ice, and the players attack each other a lot more often than they do in the typical game of hockey.
Plus, the players in Omega Strikers are very different from the average athlete you see in the NHL. For example, Juno is a green alien that fires strange blobs onto the playing field to alter the game. Every other player has their own unique look and abilities, too.
21 Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 is a famous - and sometimes controversial - hero shooter. In it, two teams face off against one another in classic PvP multiplayer. It differs from plenty of other first-person online shooters because of its roster of selectable characters.
They're a bunch of wild and wonderful individuals. Each one has a distinct look, weapon, and abilities. Plus, they each are assigned to one of three classes: Tank, Damage, and Support. The best teams can blend these classes together to make one solid unit.
In Inops, you play as a blob, which shares the same name as the game. As this strange creature, you move around different dark levels, avoiding the many traps in your way.
Sometimes you're tasked with solving clever puzzles to advance. This occasionally necessitates transforming from a single blob into multiple, which you have the power to do when you want. Your overall goal is to find other Inops and get as many of them out of a level alive as possible. It makes for a fun 2D side-scroller.
19 Kartrider: Drift
When it comes to kart racing in video games, everyone thinks of Mario Kart. The developers of Kartrider: Drift are probably the same, as this game was clearly heavily inspired by the iconic racer.
After all, you ride around colorful tracks as cute characters, using special items. Those items are even contained within question mark boxes, like the ones in Mario Kart. However, the title differs from the karting title in that it's on Xbox, costs nothing, and allows cross-platform play.
Dauntless is a free-to-play online role-playing game all about hunting monsters. Each hunt sees you and a few teammates engage a giant behemoth in battle.
To take it out, you need to use your chosen weapon to widdle down its health while making sure the brute doesn't wipe you out first. In-between hunts, you can manage, craft, and upgrade your gear. Naturally, the better equipment you have, the more powerful monster you can take down.
Roblox is among the most famous free-to-play games on the Xbox Series X|S. It's very untraditional, as it's not really a game. Instead, it's a platform that allows users to build their own games for others to play.
The community comes up with some really creative stuff, too, as there are a lot of options when it comes to building. So, there are always experiences to try. Plus, the many creative options also mean that if you're creative enough, you can make what you want.
Warframe is an action-heavy RPG with fast third-person combat. You can make use of everything from guns to swords to special abilities to eliminate the enemy. And each mission typically has plenty of them that you have to wade through.
But you don't have to do all of that alone. This game is a multiplayer title, after all. So, you can team up with a few buddies to take on a variety of missions. There is also an open world, spaceship battles, and plenty of customization in the game. So, it provides a lot for a free-to-play title.
Smite has been around for a while now, but it still remains one of the best MOBAs around, especially on consoles. One of the reasons why Smite has always stood out is the fact that the playable characters are gods and mythic creatures from different religions and mythologies. For example, you can control the likes of Ares, Bacchus, Cupid, Cthulhu, Loki, Medusa, and more.
Each one has their own abilities that will help them and their team on the battlefield. This is useful, considering much of the game revolves around fighting in PvP team-based battles. The exact objective depends on the game mode, as they're a few of them. Each one involves battles of gods, though.
14 Super Animal Royale
There are plenty of battle royale games out there. Yet, not many entries in the genre are as adorable as Super Animal Royale. This is because, in this one, you play as a cute anthropomorphic animal. You can even customize the little fellow by combining different breeds and species together, as well as equipping them with cosmetic items.
Yet, the sweetness ends when the games begin, as this is a battle royale, after all. Thus, you need to use a variety of weapons to kill all the other critters and be the last one standing. The 2D top-down perspective of this game makes it stand out among others in the genre.
Splitgate is one of the more underrated multiplayer shooters in recent memory. While battle royals and tactical squad-based titles are all the rage these days, this game stands out by attempting to bring back the fast-paced arena shooter.
The game is somewhat reminiscent of classic Halo and Unreal Tournament. But it isn't just a copy of what came before. The game feels original, primarily due to the inclusion of portals in an action-packed setting. They work pretty much as they do in Portal, and it adds a bit of variety to battles.
12 Call Of Duty: Warzone 2.0
For several years, Call Of Duty, alongside Halo and Battlefield, dominated the multiplayer shooter world. This was before the likes of Fortnite and Apex Legends came along.
Yet, the series has managed to stay relevant due to Warzone and its successor, Warzone 2.0. For these free-to-play games, the developers took the classic Call of Duty shooting mechanics and combined them with the battle royal genre. It makes for an interesting and enjoyable mix that is a credit to the world of battle royales.
Crackdown is not exactly a game designed for the Xbox Series X/S. In fact, the title came out 13 years before the console did. However, you can still play it on the system for free. And it remains a very fun game.
It's one that doesn't take itself too seriously. You can jump to superhuman heights, drive wacky cars, and just generally cause chaos. All of these actions can help you wipe out the city's main gangs. Besides the sequels, there's not really been a game quite like Crackdown.
10 Fall Guys
Not all free-to-play games start that way. For instance, you used to have to spend your hard-earned cash to experience this colorful title. Now Fall Guys is free, and it's just as great as ever. If you've never played it before, it's a unique type of online battle royale.
Instead of your combat skills, it's your platforming abilities that are put to the test. How exactly they're tested depends on the round. You may have to race, play soccer, leap over spinning obstacles, grab tales, or do whatever else the game asks. The ultimate goal is to survive every round and win the crown.
When it comes to platform fighters, Super Smash Bros. has generally been the star of the genre. However, MultiVersus gives it a run for its money. After all, this is a fast-paced and enjoyable title that has a bit of strategy due to the ability to assign perks before fights.
The most eye-catching aspect of the game, though, is the roster. The game includes classic characters from various Warner Bros. properties, such as Wonder Woman, Bugs Bunny, and Arya Stark. And the said roster is continually being updated to include more recognizable faces.
8 PUBG: Battlegrounds
PUBG is often credited with helping popularize battle royals, as it's one of the genre's best. Its basic premise is simple: up to 100 players are airdropped onto a remote island where they must scavenge for weapons and resources while fighting each other until there is only one left standing. And if any of that sounds familiar, you'll have no problem seeing the breadth of its influence.
The fact that the game continues to support a sizable player base five years after first making its debut on Steam early access and Xbox Game Preview speaks to its longevity. It only just recently transitioned to being a free-to-play title on consoles as well, making it a good time for new players to jump in and take part in some of its mayhem.
7 Apex Legends
Apex Legends is another free-to-play game that players can sink many hours into on their Xbox Series X|S. Set within the Titanfall universe, the game mixes battle royale and hero shooter concepts. Unlike the free-for-all nature of other battle royales, though, players are divided into teams of up to three squad members and must work together in order to take out other teams.
Each player also gets to choose from a pool of 20 playable characters, with each one having unique special abilities that cater to different playstyles. The game famously shadow dropped in 2019 with very little fanfare before quickly growing to a player base of more than 25 million players within the span of its first week alone.
6 The Sims 4
For many years, The Sims series has provided some of the best life simulation games ever. And you can get one of the best entries for nothing, as The Sims 4 is now free-to-play.
If you've played a Sims game before, you know what to expect. You create a family, buy or build them a house, and control their lives. This means tending to their careers and relationships, as well as catering to their needs. The Sims 4 comes with plenty of content to make that process as enjoyable as ever.
5 Killer Instinct
Despite being free, Killer Instinct has always managed to rival the best fighting games on the planet from a pure gameplay standpoint. This is because the title provides very slick and well-polished fighting mechanics. Another feather in the title's cap is its visuals, as both the stages and the fighters look amazing.
The only thing holding the game back from true greatness is a lack of content. This isn't a surprise, considering the game costs nothing. What is there, though, is a lot of fun.
Brawlhalla is another game that attempts to dislodge the monopoly that the Super Smash Bros. series has over the platform fighter genre. And it does a good job of matching the genre leader, as the game provides fluid and frantic fun.
As with most games of this type, the goal is to weaken your opponents and knock them off the map. Or at least that's the objective in the standard mode. There are several other game modes that mix things up a bit. Whatever you're doing in the game, you'll always get the chance to admire Brawlhalla's adorable character models.
3 Rocket League
The only thing better than soccer (or football as it is called in the rest of the world) is soccer played with rocket-powered vehicles. At least that is the presiding logic in Rocket League, a popular sports game by Psyonix. It has players using their cars to knock an oversized ball into their opponent's goalposts, which sounds easy enough until you factor in its physics-based gameplay.
The game has since grown to support its own esport, with a casual player base of over 40 million. And much like PUBG, Rocket League didn't begin its life as a free-to-play title. But now that it is free to download for anyone with an Xbox Series X or S, there is no harm in doing so and trying it out for yourself.