What are the best free Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games? The free-to-play genre really is expanding at a ferocious pace right now and, with Microsoft recently removing its Xbox Live Gold subscription requirement from all free-to-play titles, there’s a wealth of amazing games to get stuck into on the platform absolutely free of charge!
Below we’ve put together a list of our own personal favourite free-to-play games to help guide you to some of the highlights of what’s currently available on the Xbox ecosystem and, although many of these titles have optional microtransactions, trinkets and cosmetics to buy with real-world money, you’ll find all of the games below provide tons of enjoyment without requiring you to spend a dime.
Let’s jump in!
Best Free Xbox Games In 2022
Developed by Respawn Entertainment, 2019’s Apex Legends felt like it came out of nowhere to take the free-to-play shooter genre by storm. A slick, stylish and vibrant squad-based offering, it introduced a fantastic ping system that makes proper strategic teamwork a breeze without the need to use a headset.
Apex Legends has continued to grow and evolve since release and its fast-paced matches still have us completely hooked on its madcap, character-driven brand of action. This is a game that’s all about mobility, hardly a surprise coming from the makers of Titanfall, and the improvements it brings to the genre in this regard help to elevate a core gameplay loop that’s certainly become a little tired at this point into something that still feels 100% fresh and addictive.
With a total of seventeen excellent legends to get to grips with at the last count, each with their own backstory, unique skills and abilities – all of whom can be unlocked purely through playing the game – there’s a ton of gloriously strategic, fast-paced shooter action to sink your teeth into here.
Blue Mammoth Games’ 2D platformer fighting game arrived on consoles back in October of 2017, bringing Smash Bros-esque hijinks to the masses in a surprisingly solid free-to-play effort.
With several game modes to choose from including online and local multiplayer, 53 playable characters, tons of cosmetics and full crossplay across all available platforms, there’s lots to get stuck into here for brawler fans who want to get busy blasting foes into oblivion - and all for the princely sum of zero earth pounds.
No list of free-to-play games would be truly complete without Activision’s Battle Royale behemoth. Warzone is one of the slickest shooters out there right now, an immense amount of fun in either solo or squad-based combat, it blends the best elements of the BR genre with the tight gunplay of the Call of Duty franchise to incredible effect.
There’s a dizzying amount of trinkets, bits and bobs available to purchase with real world money when you boot this one up but, the most important thing here is that none of it is required to just jump in and have a great time.
With up to 150 players on its ever-evolving map at any given time and all manner of special events and content drops happening on a regular basis, Warzone remains one of our absolute favourite shooter experiences some seventeen months on from its initial launch.
They may be getting a little long in the tooth at this stage but there’s absolutely no doubting that both Crackdown 2 and its predecessor are more than worth taking a gamble on, especially when the cost of buying in is nothing.
Xbox Game Studios' series gives players huge third-person sandboxes to tool around in within a GTA- inspired world where the chaos and destruction have been turned up to 11. Yes, the story might not be the greatest and the music isn’t a patch on its most obvious inspirations, but bounding around Pacific City as a super-powered law enforcer is still hugely enjoyable throwaway fun that’s perfect for a couple of hours of mindless, action-packed entertainment.
Fans of Capcom’s Monster Hunter series, or anyone who just loves to pummel great big beasts with massive weapons, should absolutely give Phoenix Labs’ free-to-play action-RPG a blast.
Dauntless takes the core gameplay elements of Monster Hunter and strips them right down to their basics, throwing players into huge scraps against screen-shaking behemoths whilst doing away with a lot of the fussiness of Capcom’s famous franchise.
Yes, it lacks the depth of its most obvious inspiration, it doesn’t have a story to fall back on or the same level of world-building, but what Dauntless does do it does well, offering plenty of progression, customisation and big beast battling.
With plenty of well-designed brutes to face off against, three different biomes to explore and cross-platform multiplayer, there’s hours of slick monster huntin’ to get stuck to with this one.
Superheroes! Everybody loves them, right? Well, given the constant barrage of movies based on various Marvel and DC franchises it would certainly seem that way.
Originally released way back in 2011 when the superhero movie craze was perhaps at its absolute peak, DC Universe Online’s MMO action allows players to create their very own original character using all manner of powers and templates borrowed from DC’s expansive collection of heroes, who they can then bound into the game’s huge world with.
There’s an accumulated wealth of content here at this stage in the game’s life, an absolute ton of add-ons, DLC, improvements and refinements all coming together to provide an entire universe’s worth of superhero hijinks that’s all centred around some surprisingly dynamic combat action.
If you’re a DC fan, or a superhero fan in general, there’s a whole world waiting for you to immerse yourself in here!
Bungie’s epic looter shooter sequel may not have got off to the greatest of starts but, in the years since, Destiny 2 has slowly been shaped into the game it perhaps should have been at launch.
Nowadays, as far as looter shooters go, this one really is up there with the absolute best. With an astonishingly well-realised sci-fi setting, absolutely tons of lore and content to dig into, some of the best loot in the biz, intense multiplayer raids and Bungie’s signature top-notch gameplay mechanics underpinning it all, this is a shooter that you pretty much need to check out.
The free-to-play New Light variant of Destiny 2 gives you a ton of campaign story to get stuck into, awesome PvP in the form of the excellent Crucible mode, strikes, all in-game destinations, patrols, public events and more.
Yes, you’ll eventually reach a point where you need to dig into your pockets if you want to continue the narrative and see everything the world of Destiny 2 now has to offer, but there’s potentially hundreds of hours of slick shooter action to get stuck into here before you reach that crossroads. It’s time to suit up Guardian!
Team Ninja’s flashy fighter is a massively expensive proposition if you’re thinking about going all-in and spending real world money on its endless array of characters, skimpy outfits and unlockable modes and features.
However, stick to the base game here, forget all the fluff and just get stuck into what’s on offer for free, and you’ve got yourself some super solid, slick and surprisingly strategic fighting action that employs a rock, scissors, paper style "triangle system" to great effect, giving its bouts a super interesting slant. Just try not to develop a skimpy costume pack addiction.
If you’ve ever wanted to micro-manage your very own post-apocalyptic underground vault, Fallout Shelter could well be right up your irradiated street.
In this Fallout spin-off you’ll need to make sure to balance myriad factors in order to guarantee the survival of your vault-dwellers, building power-plants, treatment facilities, cafes, living quarters and so on whilst defending your expanding home against raiders and invaders.
It may not have the most satisfying of endgames, and there are all manner of boosters and trinkets to end up spending actual real world money on, but if you’re looking for a fun little management sim based in a pretty rad (pun intended) universe, Fallout Shelter brings plenty of fun for zero pennies.
Probably the biggest game on the planet right now, Epic’s free-to-play behemoth is a clever combo of your typical looter shooter action mixed with a highly inventive on-the-fly building mechanic.
There are three distinct game modes here, with co-op tower defence, creative mode and – our personal favourite – Battle Royale all in the mix. Fortnite’s main strength lies in its fast-moving tactical gameplay, combined with an ever-changing world that’s constantly playing host to all-manner of star-studded spectacular events.
This is a super slick, super accessible shooter whose colourful world, larger than life characters and constant procession of big-ticket special events have kept us fully hooked into its world since 2017. Yes, there are a hundred different ways to spend a ton of money in Fortnite but, if you’re planning on keeping your purse-strings tightly drawn, you’ll find a game that guarantees you a good time without the need to spend a penny.