Gaming freedom: Free games to play on a college budget

by | Mar 9, 2023 | Opinion

Going to college costs a lot, but we still need something to destress with. So here are a handful of games that won’t cost you a cent.

Grim Quest

Grim Quest puts you in the shoes of an adventurer delving into dungeons in search of riches. It uses grid exploration and turn-based combat to create a simple but fun experience. The only monetization you’ll see comes in the form of banners at the bottom of the screen or paying to get a bit more gold. That said, you’ll find plenty of gold on your travels.

You can find Grim Quest for free on IOS and Android.

Doki Doki Literature Club

Many of you may remember Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) from a few years back. The game made waves with its deceptively cute appearance, which was immediately thrown off by a content warning. That content warning is there for a reason.

DDLC is best experienced with no prior knowledge. Because it’s fallen into obscurity, it’s now easier to experience it spoiler free. Just remember that DDLC is a psychological horror game. So if you can’t handle dark subject matter or violent content, you may want to give this one a pass.

You can find the free version of Doki Doki Literature Club on Steam. You can also pick up an extended “Plus!” edition on Steam, mobile devices and consoles for a small amount.


Brawlhalla is a 2D fighting game that features a variety of interesting characters. If you like competitive fighting games but are lacking in funds, this may be a good choice for you. The game plays a lot like Smash Bros. You have a certain amount of lives and it’s your goal to hit each other off the side of the map. The game even has crossplay on consoles and PC, making it easier to play with your friends.

You can find Brawlhalla on PC and Mac through Steam. You can also get it on all the major consoles and Android devices.

Pokemon GO

Developed by Niantic, Pokemon Go saw major success with its 2016 release. Even though it has a smaller player base now, Pokemon GO is still being actively updated. There are even a few Pokemon that are exclusive to Pokemon GO, like Melmetal and its evolution. On top of all the extra content, Pokemon GO will get you out and talking to people while searching for Pokemon in your neighbourhood.

You can get Pokemon GO on IOS and Android.

League of Legends

League of Legends is the longest lasting multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). In the past few years, the game had a boost in popularity because of Netflix’s Arcane. While League has garnered a bad reputation due to a few toxic players, those players are few and far between. The game does have a steep learning curve, but is insanely fun once you get over that hill. There’s even a mobile version called Wild Rift to play League of Legends on the go.

You can play League of Legends on PC and Mac by downloading it from Riot’s website or you can play it on IOS and Android.

Team Fortress 2

In 2007, Valve released this class-based first person shooter to critical acclaim. Since then, Team Fortress 2 (TF2) has seen a long shelf-life as its developers still actively support it. The game uses a marketplace to get some of the cooler weapons, but you don’t need those weapons to do well. Instead, you’ll be able to jump right in with each class’ starting items. This creates a fun experience for new and old players alike.

You can get Team Fortress 2 on PC and Mac through Steam.


Based on the Dungeons & Dragons locale of the same name, Neverwinter offers a rewarding MMORPG experience. If you’re a fan of the Forgotten Realms setting, then you’ll get a kick out of traversing it in a virtual space and interacting with iconic characters. Even if you’re not interested in D&D, the game is still fun and provides a rewarding experience.
You can play Neverwinter on PC and Mac through Steam and on all major consoles.

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