Free-to-play games have risen in prominence in recent years, flooding the market with titles that you can sink dozens if not hundreds of hours into without spending a thing. With so many games and so much variety, it can be daunting to sift through the catalogue and pick one to play. If you’re playing on PS5, we’ve collated some of the best choices for free-to-play games in 2023.
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Each of the PS5 games below are free to start playing, but some of the aspects of these games may cost money. Things that aren’t part of the base free game often include expansions and cosmetic upgrades.
An unsurprising entry for the list, Fortnite is a mega hit that continues to take the world by storm. This stylized battle royale game has a variety of game modes to participate in to test your skills, an ever evolving map to explore, live event spectacles, a robust creative community, and hundreds of original and licensed IP crossover cosmetics. There are plenty of other games like Fortnite worth playing, but the original is still worth diving into.
Another prevalent battle royale on the market, this FPS from Respawn continues to grow and evolve with frequent updates adding brand new characters (Legends) to play as, each with their own unique abilities and playstyles.
The action RPG from miHoYo provides hundreds of hours of content to play as you explore the fantasy world of Teyvat. Build up a party of varied Genshin Impact characters with unique abilities to defeat powerful enemies and solve challenging puzzles. Complete with a compelling single-player campaign, there’s something for everyone!
The legendary looter shooter from Bungie became free to play in 2019. With the base game available to everyone, it’s never been a better time to become a Guardian and begin combating the Darkness. With consistent updates and major expansions throughout each year, there is more than enough to keep you coming back time after time. Most recently, the Lightfall update brought additional paid content to the game.
A break from the live-service titles thus far, Astro’s Playroom from Team Asobi is pre-installed on every new PS5, meaning you’ll have instant access to this adorable but incredibly fun and competent platformer as soon as you boot up your console! As a loving homage to PlayStation’s history and making full use of all the new Dualsense controller features, this short but sweet title should be one of the first PS5 games you play on the console.
This third-person RPG from Digital Extremes has grown and evolved to the point of it being near unrecognisable to its more basic beginnings. With deep customization, build optimization, regularly released Warframe armors, and an insanely simple but compelling gameplay loop, Warframe is a title worth testing out for the dashing mechanic alone!
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0
Call of Duty’s prestige battle royale game, Warzone 2.0 has rotating Seasons bringing new Operators, weapons, maps, gameplay mechanics, and more to players who drop solo or in squads onto Al Mazrah or the newly released Ashika Island map.
Falls Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Developed by Mediatonic, Fall Guys was an instant smash-hit when it debuted in 2020. This platforming, mini-game based battle royale has an adorable art style, ingenious level design, and a fast frenetic gameplay loop as you compete against others to be the last bean standing.
The Sims 4
Another divergence from the battle royale standard, The Sims 4 became free-to-play towards the end of 2022. This installment in the iconic life-sim franchise provides the base game at no cost, with the innumerable expansions and DLC available for purchase should you wish to add to your gameplay experience.
Path of Exile
Set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast, this online action RPG offers a wide array of customization/build options and though the game is always online, it can easily be tackled solo for those players accustomed to dungeon-crawlers like Diablo.
A social and creative hub, Rec Room provides a number of social spaces and activities to partake in, games to play, and content is continually updated by the community who produce their own minigames and activities. This title is a joy to meet new people, chill with friends, and can even be enjoyed in PSVR should you own the headset!
A vehicular combat game that has a wide variety of modes for you to partake in, from arcade battles and more realistic warfare, to recreations of real historical conflicts, War Thunder lets you get behind the wheel and/or controls of numerous vehicles; boats, planes, tanks, and much more!
World of Tanks
Striving for a more arcade-style gameplay experience when compared to a game like War Thunder, this MMO gets you right into the action as two armies of tanks go to war on giant battlefields. Commandeer various tanks from wars past and secure victory!
This soccer game with a vehicular spin captured the worlds attention and continues to receive frequent updates with new game modes, maps, and vehicles. With frantic, fast-paced matches and a thriving community, you’ll find dozens of hours of entertainment as you burn rubber on the soccer fields of Rocket League.
This team-based hero shooter from Blizzard is a sequel and replacement for the 2016 original, introducing new co-op modes, restructured team sizes, map redesigns, and new heroes added through the newly implemented battle pass system. Decide your playstyle, choose your character with unique abilities from a roster of over 35 heroes and dive into the action.
Samuel Heaney is a freelance writer with expertise in gaming guides and all things Minecraft. You can follow him on Twitter.