You already spent a good chunk of change on your Xbox One, especially if you splurged on a 4K-ready Xbox One X. Why spend any more just to play great games?
The Xbox Store is loaded with excellent free-to-play titles, whether you're in the mood for instant multiplayer mayhem or you want to get lost in a massive fantasy world. From fast-paced fighters and shooters to engrossing online role-playing experiences, here are our favorite free games for Xbox One.
Credit: Digital Extremes
Killer Instinct builds on the frenetic fighting and patented Combo Breaker system of the 1994 original, resulting in one of the flashiest and most strategically rich brawlers you can find on any platform. The free version of Killer Instinct gives you access to a single character, with the individual changing weekly. You can also purchase fighters or fighter packs a la carte. But even if you don't drop a dime, you'll be able to enjoy the bevy of modes and features that have been added to Microsoft's flagship fighter since launch, including online play and 4K enhancements for Xbox One X.
If you're curious about PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds but don't feel like dropping $30 on it, Fortnite Battle Royale delivers similar survival thrills for zero dollars. Like Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale has 100 players drop onto an island to scavenge resources and fight for survival until there's only one player or team left standing. But there's a twist: You can also build fortifications just like in the core Fortnite game, which gives you a ton of extra strategic options in terms of both offense and defense. Fortnite Battle Royale is also unique due to its zany, vibrant art style, which you can enjoy in 4K on the Xbox One X.
Credit: Epic Games
A revival of the 2004 cult Xbox classic, Phantom Dust is a unique action/strategy hybrid that blends real-time combat with the depth of a collectible card game. This title lets you battle in huge, highly destructible arenas, where you can mix and match hundreds of unique skills that let you summon everything from flaming swords to walls of ice as you try to outsmart your opponent. You can play through the game's entire 15-hour story and unlock a ton of cards for absolutely free, though you can also spend money to beef up your collection.
Neverwinter brings Dungeons & Dragons to life in video game form, taking some of the most iconic characters and worlds of the classic pen-and-paper role-playing game and distilling them into an addictive, epic online experience. This free RPG offers rich character customization, awe-inspiring worlds and action-based combat that's fully optimized for a controller. If you're looking for something in the vein of World of Warcraft on your Xbox or simply want a fun fantasy adventure to get lost in with your friends, Neverwinter is well worth a look.
Credit: Perfect World Entertainment
If the name didn't already give it away, World of Tanks is a massive tank-combat simulator that allows you to engage in epic 15-on-15 battles with some of history's most iconic armored vehicles. This intense vehicular shooter features over 450 real-world tanks to control across more than 80 maps, each of which sports its own unique weather and terrain effects. World of Tanks still enjoys a steady stream of major content updates, and it offers full 4K support for Xbox One X owners.
Gigantic is a refreshing, accessible take on the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre, offering up intense third-person action instead of excessive clicking and complicated menus. As the name suggests, this vibrant team shooter pits teams of five against the other side's Guardian, a towering, mythical being that can turn the tide of a match with its powerful attacks. You can compete online without spending a penny and can unlock the game's heroes through in-game currency, though you can pay up for cosmetics and instant access to characters.
Fallout Shelter took mobile gamers by storm when it launched in 2015, and now, you can experience it from your couch. This life simulator lets you build the ultimate nuclear vault in Bethesda's charming postapocalyptic universe, where you'll customize your dwellers, forge relationships, and even fend off the occasional attack from monsters and looters. Fallout Shelter supports cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, allowing you to enjoy your vault-management addiction wherever you go.