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Gamer Geek on a Budget

Gamer Geek on a Budget

February 2, 2021

If you didn’t get the game of your dreams for the holidays and don’t have the cash to drop on it right now, there are tons of excellent and free or low-cost games out there to keep you entertained while you wait for a little extra spending money to manifest (or be saved).

Big Names, Tiny Price Tag:

  • Destiny 2 (PC/PS4-5/Xbox One-X-S/Stadia) – Create your guardian and explore the stars (and some familiar planets) by yourself or with a fireteam. Cross-play is available, and while it is free to play, there are some spaces for microtransactions.
  • Forza Motorsport 6: Apex (PC) – Fans of the popular racing games can get in on the fun for free!
  • Fallout Shelter (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Switch/Mobile) – Fans of the Fallout series from Bethesda can dive in and start creating and managing their own shelters!
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (Mobile/Amazon Fire) – This RPG is a spin-off of the popular Final Fantasy series of games.


Are you looking for a game similar to a popular game that you just don’t want to drop the money on right now? Here are a few that might interest you:

  • Genshin Impact (PC/Mobile/PS4) – This is an epic fantasy adventure game similar in play style and art style to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Though the game is fully free to play, there are certain upgrades that can be purchased via microtransactions.
  • Paladins (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Switch) – Paladins is an online shooter game similar to Overwatch. It also supports cross-play, so players from any device can join the fight.
  • Brawlhalla (PC/Mac/PS4/Xbox One/Switch/Mobile) – It’s 2D fighting game with a similar play style to Super Smash Bros. but with a cartoonish Viking spin. Cross-play is available!
  • Path of Exile (PC/Mac/Xbox One/PS4) – Get your action RPG fix with this Diablo-like game. The game is set in a dark fantasy world with a robust online item economy and competitive PvP.
  • Ninjala (Switch) – Get all the coolest tools and some ninja awesome power from your Ninja-Gum in this Splatoon play-alike.
  • Dauntless (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Switch/Android) – Chase down the “Behemoths,” collect loot, and save your people in this Monster Hunter play-alike.

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

  • Fortnite (PC/Mac/Xbox One/PS4/Switch/Mobile) – Choose your landing spot wisely, and outlast everyone in this massively popular, free-to-play, battle royale.
  • Spellbreak (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Switch) – Become the greatest “Battlemage” in the land in this action-filled online, multiplayer, spell-casting battle.
  • Apex Legends (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Switch) – If you’re looking for a first-person shooter combined with a battle royale, this is your game!
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Mobile/Stadia) – More commonly known as PUBG, outlast the competition in this intense online, multiplayer battle royale.

CCG and the Like

  • Hearthstone (PC/Mac/Mobile) – This free-to-play digital card trading game by Blizzard lets you build decks based on the lore of the existing Warcraft series.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links (PC/Mobile) – Play against some of your favorite duelists from the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe in the digital version of the card game.
  • Magic the Gathering: Arena (PC/Mac/Mobile) – Keep the play going even when you can’t be around your friends! Build your decks and defeat your opponents.
  • Gwent (PC/Xbox One/PS4/Mobile) – Fans of the Witcher series (largely the games but also the show) can dive into a card game based on the lore and plot.

Extras, Because I Can…

  • Among Us (Mobile) – The game that has taken the world by storm is free to play on mobile (or around $5 on PC and Switch). Join your friends or strangers to try and identify the imposter!
  • Pokémon Go (Mobile) – It started out in 2016, and Pokémon fans flocked to the app. Now it’s nearly five years old and still going strong.
  • Plague Inc. (Mobile) – Join the mad scientists of the world and see if your “plague” is strong enough to take out the world. While it’s been around for a few years, it has recently seen a resurgence in popularity (I wonder why?!).

Happy (free!) gaming to all my gamer friends out there. And if you’re just getting started, have fun! Video games can be a great way to interact with others, relax, and just have some fun. If you’d like to learn more about video games (their history and impact), check out some of the eBooks MCPL has on OverDrive or articles within the Library’s many online resources! You can even find some player guides in the physical collection!

Paige L.
Consumer Technology Specialist

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