Best free games to download & play on your new PS5, Xbox or Nintendo Switch - Dexerto
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Best free games to download & play on your new PS5, Xbox or Nintendo Switch

Published: 24/Dec/2021 11:07

by Lloyd Coombes

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Unwrapping a new console this holiday season? Here are the best free games you can play.

Christmas is here, and if you’ve just unwrapped a brand new PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S|X or Nintendo Switch, you’re likely looking for games to play. While the PS5 has Astro’s Playground pre-installed (a game you really must try), the other two don’t offer any packed-in games unless you were lucky enough to receive a bundle.

The good news is that some of the most popular games in the world are entirely free-to-play, meaning you can jump onto your new console’s storefront and get those downloads queued.

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All offer additional purchases if you find yourself enjoying them, but for now, here are the best free games to download for your new console.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends Seer Caustic
Respawn Entertainment
Apex Legends is in the middle of its eleventh season.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

EA may have sent Titanfall 2 to die back in 2016 up against Battlefield and Call of Duty, but the best thing to come from it was Apex Legends. A spin-off of sorts that in many ways has eclipsed the original, Apex Legends is a battle royale with unique characters called Legends.

Each has their own set of abilities, which combine with fluid movement and shooting mechanics to create a squad-based battle royale that feels unique from others in the genre.

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Call of Duty: Warzone

airfield POI in warzone pacific
Activision
Caldera is Warzone’s new map, and it’s much brighter than Verdansk.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC

Another battle royale, Warzone recently got a huge overhaul with the Pacific update. While there have been some glitches, the new map offers a bright new map with new POIs, weapons from Call of Duty: Vanguard, and additions like fighter planes.

It also leans on Call of Duty’s satisfying gunplay, while the Gulag means you’ll often get a second chance to fight.

Destiny 2

Hunter using melee in Destiny 2.
Bungie
Destiny 2 is all about making your character more powerful with great loot.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC

Working as a bizarre hybrid of a first-person shooter and an MMO, Destiny 2 may have launched in 2017 but it’s really hit its stride in the last 18-months or so. That’s largely thanks to its story focusing on more personal moments, as well as the combat being some of the most satisfying in gaming today.

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While the free-to-play version has been cut down considerably, if you’re jumping in now you’ll have access to Forsaken (the game’s best campaign), which offers a lengthy tale of revenge. It’ll be removed from the game when the Witch Queen expansion arrives, but until then, there’s plenty of content to get through.

Genshin Impact

Jean in a Genshin Impact dungeon
miHoYo
Genshin Impact is gorgeous to look at and packed with content.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

While many laughed off Genshin Impact as a Zelda clone back at its unveiling, the game has become nothing short of a phenomenon. Sure, there are plenty of visual similarities, but the game also offers its own unique identity.

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Using a Gacha system, players will undoubtedly need to grind to earn Genshin Impact’s best characters and loot, but it’s well worth the time.

Fortnite

A statue of The Foundation looking over the Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1 Island
Epic Games
Fortnite’s map has completely changed again with Chapter 3.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

No list of the best free games would be complete without arguably the biggest game in the world right now, and Fortnite’s Chapter 3 update has flipped the game on its head — literally. The game’s now-iconic map is upside down, meaning there are new areas to explore and challenges to complete.

Then there are the dozens of crossovers to look forward to, with anything from Marvel, DC, anime, Star Wars, and even real-world sports stars being fair game as character skins to purchase.

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Halo Infinite

halo infinite spartan
343 Industries
There’s nothing quite like Halo multiplayer.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PC

While Halo Infinite’s campaign is very good, it’s multiplayer that’s likely to keep players logging in over the coming months. Capturing the magic of Halo 3, this free-to-play suite offers plenty of maps and modes, as well as a battle pass to earn unlocks for free.

While Halo’s unique pace will take some getting used to, Halo Infinite rewards skilled players while also making newcomers feel at home with a lengthy tutorial and a bot-based playlist.

Rocket League

Rocket League Season 1 Tournament Challenges
Psyonix
Rocket League is tense and technical.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rocket League is perhaps one of gaming’s simplest concepts to explain, even to non-gamers — it’s football (or soccer), but with cars. Don’t expect anything as basic from the gameplay, though, as Rocket League has one of gaming’s most notoriously high skill ceilings.

While it’ll take time to find your feet (or should that be wheels?), you’ll soon be flying through the air to score a stunning, tournament-winning goal in one of the best free games you’ll find today.

Rogue Company

Rogue company screenshot
Hi-Rez Studios
Rogue Company is worth a look for tactical shooter fans

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

Looking for a tactical, objective-based shooter? Rogue Company might be just what you need. This third-person shooter has some great map design, fun characters to play as, and solid shooting mechanics.

It also rewards teamwork, so be sure to work together with your fellow players to secure victory.

Smite

Smite key art

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

MOBAs are rare in the console space but Smite makes good use of using a controller as an input device by essentially swapping the top-down viewpoint to a third-person one. This may not sound a big deal, but it essentially turns the game into an action-brawler of sorts.

With players stepping into the boots, robes, and armor of various deities, Smite keeps growing more and more popular.

Warframe

Warframe Promo Codes
Digital Extremes
Warframe has been around since 2013.

Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Nintendo Switch, PC

Ninjas are cool, there’s no questioning that, but space ninjas? They’re even cooler. Warframe smartly wraps this understanding into every facet of its ever-expanding universe. Not only does Warframe offer diverse character classes, but it also keeps growing. What began as a corridor shooter now has open-world segments, huge ship-to-ship battles, and multiple single-player storylines that weave a universe’s worth of lore throughout.

The New War content just dropped, too, so there’s never been a better time to jump into Warframe’s satisfying combat.


Those are the best free games you can play right now, but there are plenty more lists at Dexerto. Be sure to check out the following.

Best games on Xbox Game Pass | Best games of 2021 | The best and worst video game remasters | The best Nintendo Switch games | The best PlayStation 5 games