When most people think about Google Chrome, the search engine itself, or useful apps like Gmail and Google Docs, are typically the first things to come to mind. Google Chrome’s extensive list of free in-browser games is not well-known.
Google Chrome, in fact, has a vast array of apps and games from different genres that users can play on their mobile devices or laptop. With standouts like 2048 or Tabagotchi, among many others, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.
Yes, the name sounds a lot like another infamous virtual pet, and that’s on purpose. Half game and half productivity tool, the Tabagotchi is an extension that gives you a little creature to take care of by keeping your tabs to a minimum.
As you surf the web and open more tabs, your pet will get sick, but closing them will result in a happier pet. After several hours of browsing with five or fewer tabs, the Tabagotchi will even evolve into something more impressive.
The ridiculously popular number-matching game is also available as a Chrome extension. In 2048, you must combine identical numbers in order to add them together and eventually collect the coveted 2048 tile, all while attempting to keep your board from getting overcrowded and ending your game prematurely. It’s simple, but it’s a whole lot of fun, and figuring out where each tile is going to move as you slide the board left, right, up, and down is tricky and addictive.
Robbers in Town
Auto-running platformers are the bread and butter of the free-to-play browser game scene, but these games can be turned into something more interesting with just one simple tweak.
In Robbers in Town, you play as two separate criminals trying to escape from a local bank with their stash of cash in tow. One directional arrow controls the first robber, while another controls the second, and they must both be used to avoid obstacles and get more cash.
Nords: Heroes of the North
The wintery realm of Shingard is under assault by the evil Ice Queen. In Nords: Heroes of the North, you can take command of various Nordic strongholds spread throughout the land and strike up alliances or rivalries with neighboring clans of orcs and elves.
Diplomacy and strategy become key tools as you work to build up your army to defend your strongholds from the Ice Queen’s undead hordes.
Free Rider HD
Free Rider HD is the best ragdoll-based racer on the Chrome store. With 80 unique levels, multiple vehicle types, and tons of achievements to unlock, the game provides plenty of challenges to overcome. However, the game’s best feature is its robust user community.
Free Rider HD also gives players the ability to create their own detailed, 2D-racing levels. Players have crafted more than 50,000 custom levels at this point, which you can use to challenge your friends or the worldwide leaderboards.
With Treasure Arena, up to four friends can battle one another in a retro-style grudge match that mimics the old-school arcade games of yesteryear. Each level is littered with enemy monsters that you and your friends must eradicate together, while simultaneously competing to gather the most coins. As you take down enemies, you can loot treasure chests to gain better weapons and gear, all of which give you a competitive edge over your friends.
Happy Friday follows an orange monster creature as it escapes red monster creatures and eats donuts. It is a free, fast-paced game but the controls are easy so people of any age can play.
Though there isn’t much to this game in the way of strategy, you do have to avoid obstacles and figure out how to use the environment around you to get through levels and fight the red monsters. You can turn into a ball to go faster and get through tubes and pipes or stay standing up to be able to jump.
The cult-favorite Spelunky HTML5 is like an 8-bit Indiana Jones adventure complete with bullwhips, snakes, and more. Essentially, you help a cave diver, Spelunky, search for gold and his lost girlfriend while avoiding booby traps and deadly animals. Controls are incredibly easy.
If you die in the game, you aren’t sent back to the beginning again. Instead, the game generates a new set of random levels so you don’t feel like you’re backtracking.
No game store would be complete without your stereotypical, mythical tower defense game. The premise is rather simple: Build a multitude of towers to fend off the never-ending barrage of evil forces who want ransack your beloved kingdom.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers showcases a wide variety of tower types and enemies, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The gameplay is also polished, which will likely appeal to newbies and veterans of the genre alike. Plus, it looks pretty darn cute.
Chrome’s version of Little Alchemy isn’t much different than the mobile version — aside from the full-screen and offline game modes. Players begin the game with four main base elements (fire, water, earth, and air) and concoct an assortment of more complex elements as the game goes on.
For instance, combine earth and fire to create lava, then lava and air to create stone, stone, and air to create sand, and so on. There isn’t much to it, but you can easily spend hours trying to unlock the hundreds of available combos without the cheat guide.
King of Thieves
The goal of King of Thieves is simple: Ssteal stuff. Players take control of their own tiny thief, guiding them through more than 100 single-player platforming levels, as well as a near-endless amount of user-created levels.
Players can also team up to create guilds, rack up treasure, and design complex levels filled with monsters, traps, and secret locks that are designed to keep enemy thieves at bay. Plus, the more treasure you nab, the more customizable outfits you can unlock, adding a touch of personality to the game.
Gopherwood Studios’ Entanglement was once one of the default games added to Chrome upon installation. In an attempt to create the longest path possible, players rotate and place etched tiles into a hexagonal grid or other formation without running into a wall.
The game features both single-player and multiplayer game modes, online and offline functionality, and zen-like music that makes you feel like you should be drinking a cup of tea or sitting in a Japanese garden. It’s simple and straightforward, but the level variation adds enough depth to make you stick around.
Cut the Rope
Cuddly little Om Nom has a hankering for some candy, and you’re going to Cut the Rope to give it to him. The smash-hit physics game has been around the mobile block for a while and is now available on Chrome.
Each level and puzzle gets progressively more complicated as new elements and hazards are continually introduced to the gameplay. Don’t be fooled by the cute (yet good-looking) graphics, the game can be brutally challenging and frustrating as you snag stars and follow frog-like Om Nom further down the virtual rabbit hole.
Mahjong Solitaire is much like the traditional solitaire, only using mahjong tiles instead of cards. Although the solo puzzle game is a bit more fine-tuned than it was when it was first developed for the computer in the early 1980s, it’s still essentially the same game.
Players must click matching sets of tiles to eliminate them from the stack and complete the puzzle. The Chrome version mixes it up with multiple stacking layouts, tile variations, and some relaxing music that will likely put you to sleep. It’s not too tough, but going against the clock makes adds to the challenge.
There are plenty of MMOs, but Dark Orbit is one of the few games Chrome offers that isn’t fantasy-related. Instead of a knight, mage, or archer, players take on the role of a space pilot drifting in DarkOrbit. The game allows you to explore a massive expanse of space as you scour the universe in search of raw materials to upgrade and customize your spaceship.
Should you choose to play nice, you can team up with other players to complete quests and objectives. Otherwise, you can engage in interstellar battles with your newfound enemies in a unique player-versus-player system full of endless firepower and far too much strafing. Be forewarned though: Space can get a bit lonely from time to time.
Chess, as we know it, has been played for more than six centuries, but the origins go back nearly 1,500 years. It’s a game of wits, intellect, and patience — and now browser-based convenience thanks to Chrome’s rendition of the classic game.
SparkChess 9 features quick, fluid animations as well as built-in A.I. and a multiplayer mode for those hoping to go head-to-head against another player. It even features Facebook integration and a nice batch of hints for those of you new to the game.
One of the most popular mobile games around is also available to play in your Chrome browser. Of course, it plays a bit differently without touch controls, but it’s still a polished title that is great to kill some time. Fruit Ninja is incredibly easy to play, but surprisingly difficult to master.
Simply slice the fruit as it appears on the screen, while avoiding bombs that are thrown in periodically. Not only is mindless fun, but it’s also a good way to improve your mouse-maneuvering skills for other PC games such as Counter-Strike or Apex Legends.
Featuring beautiful voxel graphics, Crossy Road is one of the better-looking Chrome games on the market. If you’ve ever played Frogger, you’ll immediately be familiar with the gameplay of Crossy Road.
The goal of the game is to cross an endless series of roads and earn as high a score as possible. Along the way, you can pick up coins for bonus points, but don’t dawdle for too long or you’ll be snatched up by a bald eagle, ending your game immediately. As you play, you’ll unlock new characters and levels to keep things fresh.
Easily one of the best auto-runners available in Chrome, Boxel Rebound was updated this month to make the last few levels even more punishing. For a Chrome game, Boxel Rebound features an impressive amount of content. Not only does it include 50 levels and eight different player skins, but it also comes with a full-blown level editor.
Players can download levels created around the globe and share their masterpieces online with others — think of it as Super Mario Maker Lite. Most of the levels are ridiculously difficult, so don’t smash your keyboard as you lose for the 100th time.
- The best indie games for the PS4
- The best SNES games of all time
- The best multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch (July 2020)
- The best Nintendo Switch exclusives (July 2020)
- The best Mac games (July 2020)