Let’s be honest, the best free Xbox One games are some of the biggest experiences in the entire industry. Whether it’s battle royales like Fortnite and PUBG, arena shooters like Halo Infinite, fighting games like Dead of Alive 5 and Killer Instinct, or creation tools like Roblox – there’s a massive selection of free Xbox One games available to download and play right now.
While you’re want to be wary of microtransactions in all of these titles, we’ve tried to fill our list with the best free Xbox One games out there – which is to say, games you can play and enjoy without needing to spend any money. There’s something for everyone in here, so make sure you’ve got some space on your hard-drive and dive on in to our breakdown of the best Xbox One free games available now.
Halo Infinite is a new beginning for the famous Xbox franchise. 343 Industries has focused its efforts on delivering a platform for future expansion, with Halo Infinite launching as a free-to-play multiplayer experience that’s designed to grow and evolve over time. It’s a tightly-designed, and chaotically tense, arena shooter at its heart. With support for cross-play across PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One, Halo Infinite is a must-play multiplayer experience.
PUBG: Battlegrounds took the world by storm in 2017 and now the battle royale that helped to kickstart a global phenomenon is free-to-play. It’s all the better because of it too, given the huge array of available content, different maps, and tactical combat for you to dive into. PUBG is slower and more punishing than the games it inspired – Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Warzone – but it may be more rewarding as a result. PUBG: Battlegrounds is a truly excellent third-person shooter and absolutely deserving of your time and attention.
Call of Duty Warzone
Call of Duty Warzone is a GamesRadar team obsession, and with good reason. Take part in epic battles of up to 150 players, collect loot, and complete contracts, all delivered with the sweet shooter satisfaction the Call of Duty series is known for. Activision keeps the game fresh with regular content drops, and the maps are dense and perfect for playing around with strategy. One of the most attractive things about the game is that it keeps loadouts, inventory, and finding the right loot simple, so you can focus on the important things like taking out the enemy and showing off your sniper skills to your friends.
Destiny 2: New Light
Bungie’s shooter now has a free-to-play flavor thanks to Destiny 2: New Light, a special version of the full game that focuses on content released before Destiny 2: Shadowkeep. Jump in and you’ll find a specially made intro mission set in the Cosmodrome from the original Destiny, as well as every planet and hub in Destiny 2, including DLC areas. There’s also campaigns, the PvP Crucible, Strikes, Gambit and in-game events. There’s plenty to enjoy without spending a dime, but if you want to unlock later content, you’ll need to stump up for Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, at $40.
Imagine if arcade racing and soccer had a baby, and you’ve got some idea of what makes Rocket League such a blast to play. It’s fine minutes of chaos as you race to bash the ball into your opponent’s goal in one-on-one, or up to four-on-four matches. There are boosts to give you more power as you tackle your rivals, you can smash up enemy cars, and nothing quite compares to scoring a goal from mid-air. Other modes like Dropshot keep things spicy, and developer Psyonix is a big fan of tie-ins with pop culture like WWE, Back to the Future, and The Witcher, and special events to coincide with stuff like the Super Bowl.
Fortnite is a true behemoth in the video game industry, and you can get in on the action for free! While Epic Games’ battle royale once drew a lot of inspiration from PUBG, it now operates in a world of its own. It’s home to live events, a mass of playable pop-culture icons, and some pretty excellent third-person shooting mechanics too. Fortnite continues to implement massive changes to its maps, systems, and structure, so it’s well worth taking another dip into the battle royale if you’ve been away for a while. And if you’re preparing to play for the first time – you’re in for a real treat!
EA’s free-to-play shooter came from nowhere to challenge Fortnite’s dominance of the free-to-play battle royale genre in early February 2019, reaching over 50 million players by the end of its first month. In 2021 Apex Legends is home to a vibrant community, thanks to a responsive, squad-based shooter with amiable characters, and clearly-defined skill classes. It’s developed by Respawn Entertainment, of mech-shooter Titanfall fame, who also made Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (opens in new tab).
You might not be familiar with Roblox, but ask any kid and they’ll give you all the latest on the game and game creation platform that sees around 20 million games a year added to its world. Some of the biggest games on the platform are Adopt Me! – an MMO-style game where the main draw is adopting and caring for pets – the fantasy RPG school-themed Royale High, episodic horror game Piggy, and The Sims style Welcome to Bloxburg. Those who are done with playing can spend their time building their own games or items, and there are special events like an annual Easter egg hunt.
Fallout Shelter (opens in new tab)‘s wasteland meets The Sims shouldn’t be so addictive but, somehow, running your own vault can eat up time like nobody’s business. It starts with the basics: building the facilities you need to keep people alive – power, food water etc – and then assigning settlers to run it all. Before long though you’re sending people out on missions, fighting off raiders, dressing up pets, and more. It’s all free to play but it can be quite hard to resist spending some money on Lunch Boxes – the in-game loot that gives you stat-boosting settlers, outfits, and more.
Think ‘free Overwatch’ and you’re basically there. It’s a team-based objective focused shooter full of strange and colorful characters. The classes are built around clear roles. with the Front Line class made to control objectives and provide support. The Damage class is obviously all about hurting enemies, while Support is about offensive and defensive back up, and Flank fight from a distance. Just working through the 30 plus characters currently included will give you plenty to do. Especially with the card-based system used to tweak and adjust their load outs. But, chances are, once you’ve done that you’ll have a good grasp of the gameplay and want more. Match involves objectives, like taking zones and escorting payloads so this is very much about characters working together.
Thanks to regular updates, Warframe has attracted a hardcore community, and the game’s blend of gravity defying melee attacks and boisterous sci-fi blasting are unlike anything else out there. Best of all, despite being free-to-play, even the most frugal firefight fans can enjoy breakneck multiplayer without ever prying open their change purses. If you’re feeling flush you can buy some Platinum on the Xbox Store, but you don’t spend all your pennies on sci-fi bling to enjoy Warframe – the pleasure of zipping about with its somersaulting stars is gratifying enough as is. Whether diving into quest-driven PVE action or dabbling in competitive deathmatches, Warframe always feels like its own unique entity. The maps are also brilliantly varied, including Pluto, the Moon, the dwarf planets of Ceres and Sedna. With so many different types of Warframe armor and weapons to pick from, plus numerous ways to slice and dice foes, there are hundreds of hours of entertainment here for the grand price of absolutely nothing.
If you’ve played The Witcher 3 (opens in new tab) then you know Gwent. If not then it’s a deceptively simple card game that uses skill and luck to place enemies, attacks, and effects on a board to defeat your opponent. It originally started as a little extra thing to do in the main game but got so popular that… well, here we are. Its additive draw comes from what initially seems like luck-based play – you place cards for enemies or abilities in rows that affect their impact. However, while so much seems to be left to chance it’s not long before you start to see how combinations and plays can pull the odds in your favor. It’s currently in open beta so expect it to change (and hopefully improve even more) with time.
You may already think you’re a god at highly competitive multiplayer games – but what kind of god? Greek? Egyptian? Norse? These are but a few of the mythologies represented by the gigantic roster in Smite, a MOBA played from a behind-the-back third-person perspective that puts you at ground level for all that sweet minion-slaying, kill-spreeing action. The primary mode is the classic 5v5 on a three-lane map, but there are a wealth of additional modes and maps to try out.
Like any MOBA, Smite comes with a cycling rotation of free-to-try heroes, and earning your favorites for keeps is simply a matter of some moderate time invested. Smite’s cartoony visual style and often flashy, sometimes goofy animations are certainly appealing, and the sheer variety of its deity selections ensures that you’ll find a god of your own to master and/or worship. If you do feel like plunking money down, there’s even an option to buy every god, now and forever, that has been and ever will be added to the game.
Dead or Alive 5
Dead or Alive 5 is a bummer conceptually speaking. When you look at the in-game store and realize it would take well over $1000 to purchase a complete version of the game with every costume, character, and feature unlocked, it can feel like the absolute nadir of free-to-play game making. Play just the free version of the game, though, and you’ll realize that Dead or Alive 5 doesn’t need to be a complete game to actually be a good one. The simple but deep rock-paper-scissor structure of DOA’s fights, where blocks counter strikes and throws counter blocks, creates a delicious base for the pyrotechnics layered on top of them. All of DOA’s base characters are fun to swing around an arena on their own, no ridiculous and overpriced downloadable Christmas bikinis necessary.
The revival of the classic fighting franchise Killer Instinct was a pleasant surprise when it was revealed by Microsoft prior to the Xbox One launch. The fact it also happens to be a rock-solid fighting game that manages to stand apart from its competition thanks to its unique handling of c-c-c-c-combos is nothing short of astounding. Throughout the years, Killer Instinct has continued to evolve and be refined, with balance tweaks and an influx of new fighters making it feel like a living experience where you can always find something worth checking out. And while the full experience will cost you some dough, you can still enjoy unlimited bouts with a selection of free fighters, who are rotated in and out on a regular basis.