In terms of video game releases, 2020 was an action packed year. We saw highly anticipated titles from Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman 3 to DOOM Eternal and Call of Duty: Cold War. Now we are looking towards 2021 to meet our gaming needs and expectations.

4 months into 2021, many exciting games have already been released or marked on the roadmap to the anticipation of millions of gamers worldwide. As far as commercial titles go, this year we’ll have plenty of games to keep us glued to our monitors. Resident Evil Village is slated to horrify players in May, while Deathloop, a time-control challenge, is planned to drop in September. Not to mention, Amazon's foray into MMO games with New World, the shooter epic Halo Infinite, and Ruined King, a role-playing game from the makers of League of Legends.

As exciting as these titles are, today we are talking about the 5 best upcoming free-to-play games that will hit the virtual shelves this year.

5 Lesser-known Free-to-play Games

5 Lesser-known Free-to-play Games It is important to note here that we could just list Fortnite, CS:GO, Call of Duty: Warzone, League of Legends, and Rocket League and say they are still in active development. But that would be boring, wouldn’t it? Our goal is therefore to present 5 games that might not be on your radar, but are absolutely worth knowing.

1. League of Legends Wild Rift - Battle Arena

Earlier, we said we wouldn’t list games such as League of Legends here - but we decided to add this one since it is a spinoff. Nevertheless, a definite contender for one of the most popular upcoming games this year, Wild Rift is a Battle Arena game, set in the League of Legends’ world that features the endless struggle between Noxus and Runeterra.

Open beta is already playable in some regions - check it out here.

2. Magic: Legends

Based on the cult board game with probably one of the most die-hard communities (that also spawned its fair share of memes), Magic: Legends will transform the Magic: The Gathering multiverse from playing cards into an online action RPG. Announced back in 2017 and in active development ever since, the Open Beta has been playable on PC since March.

Become a Planeswalker and start playing the Early Access and get on the ground floor of what is sure to become another magical success here.

3. Caliber

From the creators of two incredible titles, World of Tanks and World of Warships, comes a multiplayer online game, Caliber. Set in the stunning Unity engine, it is still to be determined if the game will adopt the recently omnipresent Battle Royale game mode or if it will follow the traditional team dynamic of Call of Duty or Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Maybe it will go in another direction entirely.

What we can be sure of is the tactical nature of this PC-exclusive release, which will focus on gameplay to model modern special forces operations that require teamwork, coordinated movements, and more.

If you’re ready to step into the shoes of a military tactician, be sure to check out their site here and try out the public beta. The full game is set to be released in 2021.

4. Scavengers

Scavengers is a game we’re really excited for, as they approach the issue of boring battle royale gameplay - which consists of hunkering down and waiting it out for the entire midgame - and give it a completely new spin. “Co-opetition” is the name of their PvEvP game mode, where every match presents players with multiple strategies to choose from.

Teams must pursue two objectives - capture more data points than rival teams and, of course, stay alive. How you choose to do that is left completely open. Squads can battle it out against other teams at key points, include AI elements (wildlife, etc.) in their strategy, sneakily stake out opponents, or go at it Mad-Max style with guns blazing.

While still in Closed Beta, you can sign up and try to play this incredible take on a multiplayer game here.

5. Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis (PSO2: NGS)

A bit different from the other listed games, PSO2: NGS has clear visual roots in anime and is a massive expansion for Phantasy Star Online 2. For those that haven’t played it, PSO2 a free-to-play online action role-playing game with a virtual world that has been around since 2012. Fans of the series can expect a revamped graphics engine, enabling players to create even better characters in a new and larger world together with an upgraded battle system.

The game has just entered a slot-limited closed beta, so if you want to enter the beautiful world of PSO2, click here to apply.