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5 Free-To-Play Video Games You Won't Believe Are Free

How can this stuff be free?!

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This weekend, we went to PAX Prime, the biggest gaming event in America, and played a bunch of free-to-play games to figure out which were the best bang for your (no) buck. Here are the best of what we played.

1. Fulfill your fighting spirit with Rising Thunder (PC)

Radiant Entertainment

Kind of like: Robo-Street Fighter II that’s been put through a food processor until the gameplay is super smooth.

Why you should download the alpha now: The game is easily playable with a keyboard (pretty surprising for a fighting game tbh). It's a child of the Street Fighter series, but the complicated special move motions have been simplified to a single, dedicated button for each.

Is it really free? It’s really free. Currently, the full game is not out, but designer Seth Killian told BuzzFeed it will “always be free-to-play.”

2. Bring the tabletop to life with Neverwinter (PC and XBox One)

Cryptic Studios

Kind of like: The most epic Dungeons & Dragons quest you’ve ever run, but with an infinite number of mates.

Why you should download it now: It’s a classic, social MMORPG. You'll get to slay demons and feel the burn of a long grind for a new armor set.

Is it really free?: YES! Unlike a lot of games, you won’t feel compelled to pay unless you want to speed things up or get some aesthetic improvements (like making your armor pink).

3. Launch into outer-space with Star Wars: Uprising (Android and iOS)

Kabam

Kind of like: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic miniaturized for mobile and mixed with X:Men Legends and Diablo.

Why you should download it when it drops in September : It's one of first games set in the new post-ROTJ Star Wars universe that is being kickstarted by the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. The dev team worked close with Lucasfilm to make sure it fits with the new canon, so you'll devour a bunch of juicy content that'll get you hype for the new film. And you can make a super handsome version of yourself, as you can see above.

Is it really free? As far as we can tell. The developers told us there would be absolutely no pay-to-win or paywalls, You can pay for better rolls and armor and the like, but you could also just play and grind it out.

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4. Get summa that e-sports glory with Vainglory (Android and iOS)

Super Evil Mega Corops

Kind of like: League of Legends ported to a tablet where you click furiously with two fingers. It's better than it sounds.

Why you should download it now: If you're like us, you might want to get into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena craze that's been taking over the world. But! You don't have a gaming PC. Maybe you live in a sweatbox known as an NYC apartment. What easier way to get into it than to download a free-to-play game like Vainglory on your tablet or phone?

Is it really free? It's like other MOBAs. Core experience is free as all get out and you won't pay to win or anything. But you'll pay to make things easier and open up a few special options.

5. Think big with a team of heroes in Gigantic (PC and XBox One)

Motiga

Kind of like: Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends mashed up with Pixar and Miyazaki. And it really is as awesome as that sounds.

Why you should sign up for the beta and pray you get in: Gigantic is a wildly new format where you play a team of 5 heroes trying to assist a giant guardian in killing another team of five's guardian. It plays like a dream on both XBox One and PC and the character design is ace.

Is it really free? Well, it's not out yet and developers declined to comment on the specific business models, but if it's anything like LoL and Dota, you'll pay not to win, but for specific heroes or equipment.

All games are free to download. You can choose to pay for items and upgrades in-game, but you should be able to have a very full game experience without paying a dime.