Love games with a deep narrative running through them? If so, our list of the best free story games will certainly do the trick. These titles are all completely free to dive into, with compelling stories based on some of the biggest franchises in popular culture.
In this list, we'll run through our picks of the best story games that you can play for absolutely free. It's rare that a free game comes with an engaging narrative to boot, but the entries below all have a journey to take you on.
If you want a break from the narrative at any point, our list of the best free FPS games will give you an action-packed break. We've also got the best free horror games if it's a scare you're after, as well as the best free strategy games for a daily brain-teaser.
Here are the best free story games
First on our list is Genshin Impact, a hit gacha game that puts a huge focus on its vast open world of Teyvat. There's a deep story behind it though, as you play as a nameless traveller who has lost their twin while mysteriously teleporting to Teyvat at the start of the game. Aided by a young sprite called Paimon, your job is to explore all seven realms within Teyvat, finding clues about your twin's whereabouts.
Each realm in Teyvat is accompanied by its own subplot, as you travel to a region and generally come to the assistance of its ruler. Whether uncovering the death of Rex Lapis in Liyue or vying for the throne in Inazuma, there's a different story to experience in each distinct area. Even better, the narrative is nowhere near done, expanding in updates over the next few years. As such, Genshin Impact is brimming with great storytelling.
Next is Neverwinter, a deep fantasy MMORPG that also doubles up as a spin-off to the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. The game takes place in the eponymous region as the player investigates a newfound cult called the Sect Crown, who appear to have something to do with a spate of skeletons showing up.
You'll explore sunken ships, speak to wizards, and do battle with hordes of the undead, all to discover what the Sect Crown wants and who is leading them. The good news is that the story is all wrapped up, with the final expansion having landed back in 2019. Therefore, if you can get a team of warriors together, you can blast through the deep fantasy story of Neverwinter at your pleasure.
Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming
Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming is a very different style of story game, functioning as a spin-off to the hugely popular show of the same name. It's something of an alternate reality compared to the show, set straight after the events of the first season, after a major character's death. All seven regions of Westeros are up for the taking, so you'll pick which house to lead and ultimately embark on a mission to grow its power and influence.
In terms of the plot, you'll go through a lot of the same activities in this MMORTS as seen in the series. Most notable is the ability to stumble across dragon eggs, which become a huge plot point as they ultimately hatch and provide you with a fire-breathing behemoth to use in battle. It may not be quite as deep as the books or show, but Game of Thrones: Winter Is Coming successfully uses its story to emulate its source material.
Star Trek Online
Another MMORPG based on a huge franchise is Star Trek Online, which similarly uses existing plot points within the series to piggyback off its own narrative. This game is set thirty years after the Star Trek: Nemesis film, and it sees you play as your own starship commander within the vague multiverse established by the 2009 film reboot.
Mini-campaigns are then sprinkled throughout, with narrative threads based on the Romulan invasion, as well as an expansion tying into J.J. Abrams' reboots. There isn't a definitive start or end to the story in Star Trek Online, but rather various separate narratives that all pay homage to a specific sub-series within the universe.
DC Universe Online
Last on our list for now is DC Universe Online, which uses its story in a very similar way to Star Trek Online. The plot initially centres in on the fall of the Justice League at the hands of Braniac, who had villains such as Lex Luthor and Deathstroke under mind control. Flash forward several years, and you play as a brand-new hero or villain, working with future variants of iconic characters to restore order to this ravaged world.
Since its launch there have been a whopping 43 story expansions, with roughly three launching every year. The most recent one, Dark Knights, released in April 2022. It focuses on the climax of a multiversal war, with iconic faces like Batman and Wonder Woman appearing. For DC fans, there aren't many better story games than DC Universe Online.
That's it for our look at the best free story games! From all of these titles, you're bound to find a new narrative to immerse yourself into, with plenty of memories to make along the way. If you want other equally deep recommendations, check out our list of the best free RPG games available right now!