There’s a surprisingly decent selection of free-to-play games on Xbox, including indie and AAA games alike. Many of these titles are free because they rely on in-app purchases, which is essentially unavoidable for some obligatory staples. However, some games do justify their value in other ways and aren’t necessarily pay-to-win.
There are also quite a few free trials that limit gameplay access within a larger title, so those will be omitted. Instead, this list will focus on the best range of Xbox’s free games, avoiding as much genre overlap as possible.
9. Disney Speedstorm
This new kart game features your childhood Disney favorites. It also has superior controls and physics compared to some notable cash-grabs. The abilities distinguish each character enough, the pick-ups are decent, and the tracks play smoothly. The graphics also happen to be pretty dazzling among free-to-play games.
However, Disney Speedstorm only recently left Early Access, and still has aggravating drawbacks. Online co-op and Racer Unlocks are a pain, and there’s a severe lack of content. So, despite some nostalgic and energetic racing, the basic quality of life and a limited roster hamper this title for now.
8. Island Saver
This collect-a-thon adventure proudly flaunts the influence of Slime Rancher. It borrows many of the same mechanics but with a few thematic twists. Island Saver is partly educational, regarding both the environment and finances. The latter is unexpected, and neither of these reduces the amount of fun.
It caters to younger players and has largely gone overlooked, which is unfortunate. Island Saver has solid controls, a vibrant world that is innately cheerful, and a casual tone that will genuinely please indie fans.
This brisk alternative to Mario Strikers: Battle League offers short and sweet gameplay with a slick anime art design. Omega Strikers has only been out for about a year and already boasts many regular updates that tidied up some more problematic bugs and added interesting content.
The heroes are more distinct than expected, so it’s genuinely fun to experiment with new comps. The gameplay is more forgiving and casual than comparable games, and also more accessible for newcomers to the genre.
6. Rocket League
This classic sports twist on racing games has a great premise, solid physics, and plenty of cartoonish fun. There are creative modes and a decent range of customization options. It’s a family-friendly game that supports co-op.
Rocket League also isn’t pay-to-win, which is a relief among free-to-play games, and it isn’t exclusive to Xbox. Hardcore fans can even enjoy the eSports scene. But the most desirable cosmetics have a rugged paywall, servers are struggling, and it has lost its novelty over time.
This recent installment of the series continues to reward the fanbase by emphasizing player creativity. Although regular updates have been fine enough, the community itself has given Trackmania unexpected legs. The gameplay is focused on building and sharing wild new tracks.
Fortunately, constructing a track is very intuitive and flexible. Last week’s announcements about limiting campaign access and merging Standard with Club were somewhat divisive. But there’s still plenty of content to explore, with racing and construction that plays smoothly. And although Trackmania has been a free-to-play game for years, the Xbox port is relatively new.
4. Fall Guys
Mediatonic’s runaway hit has evolved into a superior free experience thanks to the addition of Creative Mode. Although there are quite a few technical and matchmaking hiccups, it is tremendously fun to build your own courses with easygoing tools.
Fall Guys hides the large majority of its cosmetics behind paywalls. But there are shorter seasons with the new Fame Pass and some really neat franchise collaborations. This is also one of Xbox’s few free-to-play party games, a nice break from competitive gameplay.
Though unsurprising, Warzone earns its place here for the sheer scale of its Battle Royale combat and its solid visuals. It has limited gameplay content compared to its competitors, but it’s still a fine example of the genre that fans of the series can enjoy.
There’s a lot of interesting terrain, allowing rotation to play a larger role, and RNG isn’t as punishing as it could be. Also, the volume of the lobbies is still entertaining to behold. While it may not have the visceral tension and pacing of the core series, it does have neat tactics and crisp gunplay.
2. Apex Legends
This hero shooter has some of the cleanest movements in the genre, and all of the lore is charming and compelling. These highlights are holdovers from Titanfall, as a direct spin-off. You can’t pay to win, and there are many inclusive Legends, as well as a great variety of weapons.
Apex Legends has some of the most aggressive cosmetic prices of any free-to-play game, and battle passes are rarely worthwhile. However, the introduction of Mixtape finally added sorely needed content, and Apex would rank much lower without it. Now the roster selection, game modes, and different maps offer enough content to offset its weaknesses.
This is an absolute juggernaut that blends many of the elements that make other free Xbox games successful. Fortnite can be equally casual and competitive, offers different types of gameplay, and adds frequent updates to retain interest.
These updates may often include major IP crossovers, from the biggest franchises like Star Wars to the celebrity Icon Series skins. The world of Fortnite is playful, massive, and features some extensive mythology.
The selection of free games on Xbox is a bit limited, and perhaps somewhat dated. However, many of these titles have changed very much over the years, and there are a few newer additions to consider. My Hero Ultra Rumble is fresh, but still figuring itself out. Let us know what your favorite free to play title is on Xbox!