Gaming culture as we know it has exploded since “online” has become the norm, resulting in just about every genre boasting some form of online multiplayer, be it competitive, cooperative, or both. We’re here to share details on some of the best online games with high-fidelity 3D graphics that you can play free!
With the baseline capability of even the most barebones PC now being strong enough to process 3D graphics, browser-based and app games have taken internet culture by storm. It’s an unrelenting trend that’s unlikely to slow down or change, and it brings new people into the gaming fold every single day. Shooters, RPGs, racing game, puzzle games, and more all feature online play, and hundreds of titles can be enjoyed quickly, for free.
We won’t be looking at the simpler fare that’s popular across social media. Candy Crush and its ilk are fantastic, genuine games–don’t get me wrong–but what we’re interested in this list of recommendations is a 3D experience, featuring interactive environments that you can enjoy and navigate on virtually any contemporary computer setup. We’ll make it a diverse list, too; no matter what type of game that you enjoy most, you’ll find an apt suggestion somewhere on this list.
And if it hasn’t already been made clear enough, all of our recommendations are going to be free titles. Not a cent owed for all of the enjoyment you’ll be having!
This is an odd little title that has actually moved on to a full-fledged, paid game, but you can still play the SuperHot prototype for free, online. You’ll need a browser that supports the Unity Web Player plugin (Firefox, Safari, or Opera are good choices), but barring that single exception, it’s a game that you can enjoy in your web browser!
SuperHot is technically a shooter, but it’s one unlike anything else you’ve seen. The gameplay is hooked on a unique, 3D movement-based mechanic. You’ll be dodging bullets and other weapons, but the trick is that they only move when you move. Whereas most first-person shooters are based on lightning-quick reflexes and speed, SuperHot actually requires a more tactical approach to movement. Give this game a try whether you’re new to online shooters, or you’re looking for something that’s aiming to shake up the genre. SuperHot is an award winner.
Once again, you’re going to need a web browser that supports the Unity Web Player plugin, but it’s worth it for a unique title like Silhouette. It’s a multiplayer title intended for two people that capitalizes on cinematic horror tropes. One player is a victim, trapped alone in a house while the other player is the killer, whose objective is to hunt down the victim.
The game features duotone and grayscale 3D graphics that help to add a surprising amount of tension and ambient terror to what’s otherwise a very aesthetically simple game. If you have a friend ready to play with you, give Silhouette a try for some truly impressive and fun jump scares.
Flow is…weird. Weird in concept, weird in execution, and weirdly addiction. It’s also difficult to wrangle as a typical “3D” game, but it’s so close that I felt compelled to include it on the list. The online multiplayer aspect of it is also remarkably simple while also remaining fascinating.
In Flow, you play a complex organism that’s simply trying to navigate through a bubbly, amorphous biosphere. If you choose the “online play” option, you’ll encounter other organisms controlled by other players. You can eat them, or they’ll eat you. Either way, your objective remains simple: continue growing and continue existing as you work your way deeper and deeper into “the abyss.” You only need a mouse to control the motion of your organism, but even the simple control scheme can prove challenging when you’re chasing down things for your organism to eat. Follow the link above to give this unique little game a try!
This is another odd title that’s free-to-play and remains strangely addicting. As an homage to old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) titles, Skrillex Quest is somewhat akin to older Zelda titles. It’s a 3D adventure game with hacking, slashing, and puzzle-solving.
The premise of Skrillex Quest is as follows: you’re a pixelated adventurer within an old video game cartridge, where a single speck of dust has begun corrupting the world with “ugliness.” Set to a fantastic electronic soundtrack, you’ll explore the world inside of the cartridge and vanquish “glitches.” Since this is a Flash-based game, it can be run in practically any web browser.
Continuing the apparent tradition of oddball online games, Night Rider Turbo 3D is one part driving game, one part demolition derby, and two parts bizarre. Your objective is to drive as far as possible with careful clicks inside of the cockpit of your car.
What makes this a complicated task is that you can very easily break every single thing in the car. Steering too hard will pull the steering wheel right off. Grab the shift knob too quickly and…yep! That’s gone, too. It’s an odd experience that breaks from tradition, and like many titles on this list will run on practically anything.
Enough with these new titles. I’m dragging us kicking and screaming back to the old-school and mainstream by recommending one, single title: Doom. Follow the link above to get access to the entire first episode of this classic game. It’s completely free and was provided in Flash-based format by id Software, the original creators of the now famous Doom franchise.
The premise and execution of this old shooter are simple. Navigate your way through maze-like environments riddled with hazards, explosives, puzzles, and demons galore. Collect ammunition, health powerups, and new weapons to better survive this toxic landscape. I should probably warn you that the game is violent, much like SuperHot, above. Additionally, you’ll have to find a different venue to play the game if you want more than the first episode; it’s the only portion that’s been re-coded for the Flash web player.
I’ve saved this doozy for last since your computer is likely going to require a significant amount of muscle to be able to run it. Featuring current-generation 3D graphics comparable to other titles that will cost you upwards of $40, Warframe remains a free-to-download game that comes packed with hundreds of hours of enjoyment.
Set in a distant future, this sci-fi shooter places you in control of a “warframe,” a cyborg ninja packing a variable arsenal that you’ll use to combat all manner of threats across dozens of planets, all while unraveling an interstellar mystery. The multiplayer arenas are utterly fantastic, and the customizable nature of the warframes will keep you coming back to this title for months. There are paid options to this game, but all that they amount to are upgrade perks that you can access without any cost if you invest enough time into the game.
While the other titles on this list will mostly run in your computer’s web-browser, Warframe is a different beast. It’s going to take up several gigabytes of room on your hard-drive, and will almost certainly require a dedicated graphics chipset. Provided your computer has the muscle to run it, Warframe is one of the best free gaming experiences that you’ll find online, and also one of the most robust.
You’ll notice that I’m saving my heavy-hitters with high hardware demands for the end of the list, but they’re the best of the best. World of Tanks is a team-based massively multiplayer online game that puts an armored arsenal at your disposal. You can compete for rewards solo or with a team as you complete tactical objectives across a multitude of engaging, beautifully designed environments.
The level of complexity in World of Tanks is part of its appeal, and it will be clear upon loading it up that a great deal of love has been poured into recreating each of these hulking machines of war to be as respectfully accurate to their real-world equivalents as possible. If you’re looking for a team-based shooter that’s more about machine arsenals than guns and people, head over to Wargaming.net and give World of Tanks a try.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a rock-solid MMORPG, and Skyforge fits the bill. It’s been a free-to-play game from the start, which gives it a certain amount of credibility when stacked against competition that fell from the subscription era graces into a forced free-to-play billing.
Featuring a robust character creation system and a huge game world to explore, the multiplayer aspects of Skyforge come to fruition in its Player vs. Environment (PvE) and Player vs. Player (PvP) gameplay. The story serves as a backdrop to your interaction with other players’ characters, in which your own customized character is striving towards achieving godhood. Part sci-fi, part fantasy, and all-around an excellently developed MMORPG, Skyforge is one of those few free-to-play titles that won’t try to milk every cent out of you by limiting vast swaths of gameplay behind pay gates.
That wraps up our list of recommended free, online 3D titles, and the provided recommendations should give you a healthy sampling of all that’s available on the web. Whether you’re looking for a complex game with deep mechanics to figure out, or a more simple type of title that you can pick up and play with ease, there’s something out there for everyone!