Someone wearing headphones playing an online game.

From Star Wars to League of Legends, Here Are the Best Free Online Games

Free Online Games to Play With Friends

Given the COVID-19 outbreak, people all over the world are not able to go out and have a good time as much. However, for us gamers, social distancing is not stopping us from having a good time with our buddies. We could all use a good time right now, so even if you are not much of a gamer, there is no better time to start than now. A good place to start is free online games to play with friends.

Triple AAA titles are not getting any cheaper and seeing as how people’s economical situations are a bit shaky at the moment, it is understandable that you would not want to spend $60 for a 20-hour campaign video game. Everyone can afford a free gaming experience though, right?

What Are Free Online Games?

As it turns out, there are multiple meanings to the word “free” when it comes to gaming. Some games are completely free, with no strings attached. Many of these games, are browser games which exist in immeasurable numbers and vary in terms of quality. We are not going to make you sift through all of those, but if that is something you want to do, you probably have all the time in the world to do so. The King’s Island, Bubble Trouble, and The Fairly Odd Parents: Power Surge were some of my favorites growing up.

There are also many yesteryear games that have since been made available to the public for free. Classics from past video game generations, like StarCraft, Wolfenstein 3D, and The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall can be freely enjoyed by anyone on their own time.

Finally, there are free-to-play/freemium video games. These games either follow the model of the base content being completely free, with premium content being paywalled by subscriptions or Battle Passes. Other freemium games do not have any paywalled content, but offer players benefit or get incentives to get people to spend money on the game.

Why Play Free Online Games With Friends?

Free games are always a plus, right? And even though you are not in the same room together, it is still a way to have a good time with friends and build memories with one another.

Another underappreciated benefit of online gaming is the improvements that it can have on a person’s confidence in talking with people. I have known more than a few people who are all but wallflowers in public, but when the headset goes on, their +5 Amulet of Strong Charisma activates, and their personality comes to light. Even under normal circumstances, online gaming offers up valuable person-to-person social interaction. Especially useful during a time when a lot of people are starting to develop cabin fever.

Some of the Top Free Online Games

By now, I hope to have convinced you to give online gaming a whirl, so I suppose it is time I offer up some recommendations. There were a lot of games to consider, but I have narrowed it down to a list of 10 picks. Their genres vary, but I would say that all of them are worth a try to see if they are your cup of tea.

Magic: The Gathering Arena

Magic: The Gathering Arena is the online version of the original Magic: The Gathering card game, and a great online card game at that. MTG can easily overwhelm you if you are new to card games in general, or even if you are a veteran of another card game, but I’ve found the community to be very welcoming and helpful. There are plenty of guides spread around the internet that will help get you on your feet and into the arena.

League of Legends

League of Legends is very F2P friendly, and plenty of people gain access to all the champions that are released without ever spending a dime. You can use real money to get the champions faster and to purchase things like skins, but money is of very little value here. Your skill level is what matters most in League of Legends, and money cannot buy that.

League of Legends is extremely competitive, so this is not a game that I would recommend for casual players. MOBAs have a reputation for having toxic communities and if you do not play your role right, toxicity from one of your random teammates is definitely a possibility. If you are not ready for the big leagues, then maybe give this one a pass for a while.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

An updated and upgraded version of the original Counter-Strike, Global Offensive takes it up to 11 and offers a ton of new maps and weapons for you to play with. Like League of Legends, CS is very skill-based. Sometimes you will get killed before you even see the person who shot you. But once you get the hang of things, it is very satisfying and very addicting. There is a reason why Counter-Strike has thrived for so long. There are microtransactions here, but they are easily ignorable.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Originally, The Old Republic was not a free to play game but was fortunately made so years after release. Players can join up with either the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. And, there are numerous classes that you can select depending on which faction you side with. Sith Empire players can take on classes like Bounty Hunter of Sith Inquisitor and Galactic Republic players can take on roles like Smuggler or Jedi Knight. Similarly, there are a number of races that are exclusive to one side but not the other.

Apex Legends

Brought to you by the developers of the Titanfall games, Apex Legends is a love child between hero shooters and Battle Royales. You’ve got your multitude of characters with their own skillsets and playstyles and a whole heap of weapons to choose from. Apex Legends is a lot more fast-paced than Fortnite, so if running and gunning are what you like, than definitely give this one a try.

Call of Duty: Warzone

As is standard in most Battle Royale games, you fight in a continuously shrinking circle until you are the last person or squad remaining. You have your basic weapon loadout at the start of a match and can upgrade your loadout by killing and looting other players, getting items from buyout stations with cash, or finding items scattered around the map.

If you know Call of Duty, then there is not much here that you won’t already be used to. People love to hate on the Call of Duty franchise, but the core gameplay loop has worked for decades, and it continues to do so now.


For me, Fortnite is fun, which is why I will gladly recommend that you try playing it. The cartoony graphics are appealing and humorous. It’s a nice change in pace from games like Apex Legends and Counter-Strike, and building does add some high skill-based gameplay to it.

Oldschool Runescape

Oldschool Runescape is a recreation of 2007 Runescape, which is often considered to be the glory days of the old-timer MMORPG. The good part about OSRS is that it took what was great about the good old days and is actively making it better. And yes, it is an absolute blast.

There are no new skills yet, but there is plenty of new content, and with it, new weapons, and items. Best of all, there is a robust OSRS on YouTube with content creators for every aspect of the game like flipping in the Grand Exchange, skilling, questing, bossing and PVP. Whatever you are having trouble with, there is a content creator out there who can help you.