We all find ourselves in a situation where we have a little time to kill. Not enough to invest in a full game or TV show, but enough time where it would be too boring to sit around and do nothing. Other times we do have plenty of free time, but just want something we can quickly jump into on the computer without dealing with downloads or spending cash. While Flash may be dead, there are still plenty of games, new and old, that can be played for free in your browser right now.
Browser games are among the most accessible games out there. The amount of developers who put out high-quality games for anyone and everyone to play for free with no commitment is staggering. At the same time, as with anything given away for free, there are a ton of bad games out there, too. Whether you’re looking for a quick distraction from work or school, something fun to play with friends, a calm game to relax with, or even a more demanding experience, we’ve rounded up the best browser games you can check out right now.
Everyone knows the game 20 Questions, so the concept of Akinator should be immediately recognizable. All you do is think of any person or character, real or fictional, and answer Akinator’s questions honestly. By the time he hits 20 questions, or before if he can, he will guess who you’re thinking of. That may sound simple and not all that entertaining, but its almost scary how good he is at guessing the exact character you’re thinking of. The game has been around since 2007 and is a constantly evolving AI that has only gotten more efficient at determining who you were thinking of. Seriously, this is one you will want to share with friends and try to come up with the most obscure person to try and stump the great Akinator.
If you enjoy a strong gothic tale, the narrative text adventure Fallen London has earned fantastic reviews and positive word of mouth for how well-written it is. You play as a newcomer to the undergrounds of Victorian London looking to improve your lot in life through various means. What you do, who you interact with, and what you discover is all based on your choices. The game has been running ever since 2009, even getting a massive update as recently as 2018. The game is played using cards via actions, as well as your character’s stats, that dictate how your individual story will progress. There’s no wrong way to play, and the game can theoretically be played endlessly. If this world sucks you in, then you’re set for as long as you continue to enjoy playing.
You may have already heard of Threes!, or the game that “borrowed” the concept 2048, a few years ago when it made a splash on mobile platforms, but this simple puzzler is just as fun and addicting on your browser as it is on your phone. Even if you already played 2048, it is still well worth your time to play the much better, at least in most people’s eye, original. If you missed out on both, the concept is simple. You move numbered tiles around a grid to combine them into multiples of three. You would, as an example, move a two and one tile together to make a three, which you could then combine with another three to make a six and so on. More tiles are added as you make moves and the game only ends if the grid is full of tiles and you can’t make any moves that combine them. Go for a high score and challenge your friends!
It’s been memed to death at this point, but you really can run Doom on anything at this point. That includes your browser. Relive the glory days, or perhaps gory would be a better term, of the early 1990s with the classic FPS that inspired an entire genre. Play through the entire original campaign with all its pixelated demons, secret walls, satisfying weapons, and legendary soundtrack. Doom is one of those essential games everyone should play at some point in their life, so if you somehow dodged it, or weren’t around when it was relevant, you no longer have an excuse not to have given it a shot. Load it up, head to Mars, kill some demons, and see what the big deal with Doom is all about.
Browser games can be more than just tests of your skill and puzzle-solving ability. Games like GeoGuessr also can help you learn about the world around you. In this game you are placed in a random location on the globe using Google street view or Mapillary and, just through observing what you can see around you, have to guess where in the world you were placed. Looking for vegetation, road signs, and landmarks are key to determining where you are. When you think you have it, you select that location on a map as close to where you think you are as possible, and once you place that marker the game will reveal where you actually were. Depending on how far away your guess was from the real location, you are given a score and move on to the second of five rounds. You can play in one of five modes: Standard, Explorer, Country Streak, Battle Royale, and The Daily Challenge.
Way back in the early 2000s, RuneScape showed the world how we could not only play a complete MMO on our browser, but also that they could be just as good as the rest of them. Unfortunately, RuneScape now requires a dedicated download to play, but it passed on its lessons to plenty of new browser MMOs to take up the mantel. One of which is the fantasy action MMO Drakensang Online. This title thrusts you into the world of Anderworld, where you can explore the nine main regions as either a spellweaver, dragonkight, or ranger. The 3D graphics are fantastic for a game running on your browser, bringing the world to life. Join up with other players to do all the traditional MMO activities like questing, leveling up, buying and trading gear, and wondering where the last couple hours went. This is the perfect way to get that MMO fix without plunking down a heavy subscription.
Sunset Bike Racer
If you ever played the original Trials game back when it was a browser game way back in the year 2000, or any of the console and PC sequels, then playing Sunset Bike Racer will be just like riding a bike. That is to say a tough-as-nails, physics-based obstacle course across dozens of tracks. This game sets itself apart from its inspiration with a striking artstyle, where your character and the foreground track are in shadow contrasting against the yellow, orange, and red lit backgrounds. Perform stunts to build boost, compete for time on the leaderboards, and go for a three-star rating on all the courses in this easy to start but hard to master motocross sim.
AI Dungeon 2
Thanks to modern technology, we have games that can spawn infinite levels, worlds, and even galaxies. However, there are very few that use that technology to generate an infinite number of stories. AI Dungeon 2 may just be a text adventure, but that allows it to be a truly endless and unique experience every time, right in your browser. As the name implies, this game uses OpenAI to tailor-make fresh adventures that can adapt to anything you can think to do or say. Unlike classic text adventures, AI Dungeon 2 lets you do just about anything you type in and the AI will react and change the game appropriately. If you miss the days of getting a group together for a classic D&D campaign, or just want to see how impressive AI storytelling can be, this game can eat up a lot of your time.
No one ever really outgrows mini-golf, but at a certain point the courses do lose some of their magic. That’s not the case in games like Wonderputt, where courses often are actually magical. Putting games have followed the same formula for years, and Wonderputt doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. You play this game with just your mouse, aiming your putt and determining the strength of the hit just like any other mini-golf game. What makes this game great is the combination of creative and fun levels to master, and the smooth music that really puts you in a relaxed state. There are 18 holes to putt through, making this a very low commitment game.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more intense than golf, perhaps a top-down multiplayer shooter filled with zombies, then Nightpoint fits that oddly specific craving. After entering your name, picking a skin, and either free-for-all or teams, you are dropped into a map overrun with zombies. Pick up guns to take on the hoards, as well as enemy players simultaneously, to build up your score. As you get closer to the center of the map, the zombies only get more deadly, but also worth more points that you need to exchange for new upgrades to survive longer and stand a better chance at taking down the real threat of the game: other players.
A Dark Room
Idle games are a strange experiment. The entire point of them is to get to the point of having to play them less, and yet they’re still quite addicting. They also lend themselves well to little distractions while at work or school since you don’t have to give them full attention and can just check in on them every now and then and still make progress. A Dark Room is very unique for an idle-type game in the sense that it is also a text-based narrative adventure. You start out, as you might expect, in a dark room with the only initial option of starting a fire, but as you go on dozens of more options open up as new resources and characters are introduced. It has all the hooks of a good mystery and idle game to keep on in the background for a few hours.
We all love Pokémon for different reasons. Some love the world, some the satisfaction of completing a collection, and others love the RPG battle system. If you fall in the latter category, then Pokémon Showdown is going to blow you away. While we’ve been able to battle our Pokémon online for a while now, the official online services often fall short of what we expect from online games. This browser game lets you build a team of any Pokémon you want, set their levels and moves, even which sprites you want, and battle them against other people in a stable online game. Make your dream team, rise up the ranks, and become a true Pokémon master.
Tough Love Arena
Fighting games are somewhat of a rarity for browser games. There are some here and there, but they usually have limited rosters, clunky and stiff controls, and no online play. Basically, most of them have been bad. Tough Love Arena may still be in beta, but is doing what even some major fighting games still haven’t managed to in making a great fighting with great online play. If you’re a fan of fighting games then the term rollback netcode will probably be enough to catch your eye, but if not then all you need to know is this game will play great online regardless of how far you are from your opponent. The convenience of hopping onto a site for a few quick, quality fighting game matches has never been realized until now. As long as the old Flash art doesn’t dissuade you, the gameplay is solid and has plenty of depth to it.
Does anything need to be said to sell you on playing Tetris? The most popular, best-selling, and addictive game ever made is available on just about everything, including your browser. I doubt that will come to a surprise to anyone, but sometimes we can forget the simple pleasure of loading up a game of Tetris and stacking the falling blocks into neat rows. Games can last a few minutes to dozens depending on your skill and how long you want to go for. It is the perfect comfort game — familiar and not too demanding if you don’t want it to be. If nothing else on this list caught your eye, then hey, you always have Tetris to fall back on.
- The best Android games currently available (April 2021)
- The best free-to-play games for 2021
- The best iPhone games currently available (April 2021)
- The best online multiplayer games for Android and iOS
- 11 great location-based games that aren’t Pokémon Go