Free to play games are quickly taking over the gaming industry, as players realise they don't need to fork out to pay for premium entertainment. Fortnite, of course, superseded expectations and has become a global pop culture phenomenon like no other, working simply on a free-to-play basis with cosmetic items available through minimal subscription fees. But what other free games should you be looking at right now?
Apex Legends (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvhDB-N4eCA It would be ridiculous of me to not kick off this list with Apex Legends, which has absolutely stormed the charts and smashed all records. The new battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment has recently hit over 25 million players just one week after release and, with the Battle Pass releasing in March, players will want to get on this bus as early as possible as the "Fortnite killer" is only going up.
Brawlhalla (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baixpNzE9es Blue Mammoth Games' Brawlhalla is a fighting game similar to Super Smash Bros. with fun cartoon Legends available to play across both online and offline options, whether you're a casual or a competitive player. Each Legend has unique movesets, signatures abilities and weapon combinations to suit your personal playstyle and allow you to get an advantage over your opponent, and is a really fun little break for any fighting game fan.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDXqsYzltAo This isn't exactly a new one, but with CS:GO now being free to play, you really need to see what this game is all about if you haven't already. It is without doubt the biggest FPS in esports history, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans as well as millions of dollars in prize pools. Any game that pays out tens of millions of dollars each year is a game I can firmly get behind, and one that is worth downloading if you don't have to pay a penny.
Switchblade (PC, PS4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_iX3eZ9KKs Lucid Games' Switchblade is an arena-based vehicular 5v5 shooter/MOBA crossover. No, I can't fully wrap my head around it either, but that's roughly what the game markets itself as. You get to choose your vehicle and the role you'll play, with choices including artillery, scout and tank amongst others. Despite not fully understanding what the game is meant to be, I know that it is a lot of fun. The action doesn't stop and, with game directors vowing to support Switchblade as an esport, you might want to get on this ship early and become the best in the world before it's too late.
Path of Exile (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZD8HWCDV2U Although Path of Exile isn't exactly a new game, having been originally released in 2013, this may be an unknown entity to Xbox One players and especially to PS4 players, for whom the game is only out February 2019. Grinding Gear Games' action RPG has long been a fan-favourite and received favourable reviews throughout its lifespan. Players can choose from six available classes including Duelist, Templar and Witch which align with some of the core attributes in the game: Strength, Dexterity or Intelligence. Although this may be a bit of a rogue selection, given its lack of competitive multiplayer ability, it makes for a great break when Fortnite or League of Legends (also free, I might add) are just getting too much for you. Obviously, the glaring omission from this list is Fortnite. I'm simply labouring under the assumption that you have already played it or, if not, have no interest to. That said, the games in this list are all able to compete with the top titles in their own right, so download themand let us know what you think!