15 Live Service Games Worth Playing

The gaming industry has seen a pivot towards live service titles that continue to add content over time. These games often generate revenue from skins, battle passes, and sometimes even gameplay features. We’re looking at you, Destiny!

Most games in this genre focus on adding half-baked content over quality. Fortunately, a few live service titles like these prioritize excellent gameplay and quality control.

1. Fortnite (2017)

Fortnite (2017)
Image Credit: Epic Games.

Developer Epic Games never anticipated Fortnite’s monumental hype and influence over the gaming world. Fortnite began as a simple free battle-royale title in early access and became a leader in its genre. At present, Fortnite has a battle royale mode, amongst many others, which are created entirely by a dedicated community. Fortnite receives both quarterly and yearly content updates in the form of Chapters and Seasons.

2. Warframe (2013)

Warframe (2013)
Image Credit: Digital Extremes.

Responsive movement and solid shooter mechanics make Warframe a blast to play. Many consider this game underrated for its awesome character customization and rich lore. Unlike other multiplayer titles, Warframe has a friendly online community that helps each other. Warframe receives regular content updates while making it easy for players to tackle new features at their own pace.

3. Deep Rock Galactic (2020)

Deep Rock Galactic (2018)
Image Credit: Coffee Stain Publishing.

Deep Rock Galactic has one of the best online gaming communities. This game is part cave mining, part alien bug battling. A simple premise but one offering hours of replayability while still being fun. The game can be played with friends, but queueing with random people works just as well. There are a bunch of optional cosmetic purchases players can choose to purchase if they desire.

4. Sea of Thieves (2018)

Sea of Thieves (2018)
Image Credit: Xbox Game Studios.

Sea of Thieves is best enjoyed with a group of friends. Players sail the seas as pirates, battling each other and sea creatures. The artistic visual design and fast-paced gameplay make it refreshing to play. Surprisingly, the game gets competitive when entire crews compete against each other. Thankfully, different modes are also available for those wanting a shallower yet easier experience.

5. The Elder Scrolls Online (2014)

The Elder Scrolls® Online
Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks.

The Elder Scrolls Online somehow captures Skyrim’s detailed lore-rich atmosphere in a multiplayer arena. This game has multiple well-made quest lines and several hundred hours of gameplay. New players could have trouble fighting already experienced warriors and may need help. While some content is locked behind a paywall, the community agrees that the number of features on offer is well worth it.

6. Apex Legends (2019)

Apex Legends
Image Credit: Electronic Arts.

Developer Respawn’s Apex Legends takes the fluid movement from Titanfall and ships it in a unique battle royale. Players choose from a set of legends, each with different abilities, and battle with three others. The game rotates between different maps and frequently adds new Legends and weapons. The gameplay loop is incredibly addictive; most optional purchases are cosmetic only.

7. Valorant (2020)

Valorant (2020)
Image Credit: Riot Games.

Valorant is one of the few games giving industry giants like Counter-Strike a tough time. The game implements a similar tactical shooter-based approach, albeit with some changes. Players choose from characters with different abilities that may turn the tide of battle. This means players need to account for abilities alongside precise aim. Valorant is free to play and only has weapon cosmetics as optional purchases.

8. Dead by Daylight (2016)

Dead by Daylight (2016)
Image Credit: Behaviour Interactive Inc.

Dead by Daylight may seem like a fun horror escape with friends, but it is actually quite competitive. Players can spend hours letting loose with friends, chasing after each other as famous monsters. The core gameplay mechanics have seen minimal changes, but new content is added frequently.

9. Rocket League (2015)

Rocket League (2015)
Image Credit: Psyonix.

Rocket League initially started as a paid title but evolved into a free-to-play game. The basic premise of the game is to play soccer with cars. If that sounds fun, it’s because it is! The gameplay is easy to learn but challenging to master. Many players opt to play Rocket League competitively. The developers sometimes add new vehicles from established franchises like The Fast and the Furious or Disney’s Cars.

10. No Man’s Sky (2016)

Image Credit: Hello Games.

No Man’s Sky may be the best value-to-money title players can currently get. Developer Hello Games was under heavy fire for releasing the game as a barebones space exploration title. Since then, the game has seen a lot of love and has been updated significantly. At present, No Man’s Sky is a never-ending space exploration game with multiplayer and virtual reality aspects. Content updates are entirely free, and players only need to buy the game, which is usually discounted.

11. Genshin Impact (2020)

Genshin Impact (2020)
Image Credit: HoYoverse.

Cute characters, robust animation, and a highly explorable world make Genshin Impact a joy to play. Many compare Genshin Impact to having a gameplay style and atmosphere similar to the critically acclaimed Breath of the Wild. The game is free but has purchases to speed up progress and make battles easier. It is possible to reach the endgame without spending a dime, but not without several hours of gameplay.

12. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (2015)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (2015)
Image Credit: Ubisoft.

Rainbow Six Siege’s award-winning formulaic tactical shooter gameplay has entertained players for several years. In this game, players defend an arena as terror combatants or infiltrate as special forces. The unique characters make the gameplay exciting and add to the activeness of each match. Winning not only means having better aim but also outsmarting the enemy.

13. Path of Exile (2013)

Path of Exile (2013)
Image Credit Grinding Gear Games.

Path of Exile is a fantasy-based multiplayer role-playing action live-service game. This game is wrongly assumed to be difficult for casual players as it is user-friendly. Despite being several years old, several players compliment the gameplay systems for being balanced and approachable. The fun begins from the beginning of the game and isn’t locked behind any paywall.

14. Counter-Strike 2 (2023)

Counter-Strike 2 (2023)
Image Credit: Valve.

Counter-Strike 2 improves upon Global Offensive by being built on Valve’s new Source 2 engine. The game implements dense smoke effects and uplifts several community-loved maps. The general gameplay loop remains the same, with some minor tweaks here and there. Counter-Strike 2 has a thriving community that partakes in weapon skin trading.

15. Brawl Stars (2018)

Brawl Stars (2017)
Image Credit: Supercell.

Brawl Stars is a mobile live service game with battle pass elements and a top-down visual style. The game has players battle it in teams of three in various modes in diverse arenas. Players choose from a list of characters with different weapons, speeds, and abilities. The gameplay loop is addictive, and the game can get highly competitive.

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