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The Best Free to Play MOBA Games of 2015

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The Best Free to Play MOBA Games of 2015

Do you enjoy the competitiveness and fast paced action of team multiplayer but wish some of them also included elements from the RPG genre so you could build and truly care about the character you play?  If so, the MOBA could be the game for you.  These games offer fast paced gameplay with elements of both strategy, fighting and RPG games all mixed into one to create a truly challenging and unique gameplay experience where you must work with your team if you hope to be victorious.

There are many of these types of games out there today, some of them great and some that are completely forgettable.  Of course, who wants to wade through them all alone?  Some of these games are free and some are not.  So today, I have created a list of some of the best free to play MOBA games that can be found today so you can narrow down your search for the next big MOBA game that you will dedicate hours upon hours of your free time to creating the perfect character and helping your team destroy your enemies on your new gaming laptop.

What is an MOBA?

Before we take a look at some of the best free to play MOBA games, I want to make sure everyone knows what an MOBA actually is.  MOBA, or Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, is a sub-genre of the Real Time Strategy genre.  In this type of game, a player controls one hero and is placed into a team with other players.  The ultimate goal is for that team to destroy the opposing team’s base or accomplish other goals against the team in the time that is allowed.

During gameplay, which is usually presented in a more top down perspective, players will encounter both enemy players as well as what have been dubbed creeps, or enemy NPC’s.  In most cases, elements of the RPG genre have made it into the system allowing players to level up their characters gaining access to better stats and more powerful abilities.  In some of the most recent games to make it into this genre, elements of traditional fighting games have also made it into the game creating a unique fast paced gameplay that keeps players coming back for more.

Are MOBA Games Right for Me?

Every gamer is different, and that is just fine.  But because of this, before you decide to dedicate yourself to these games, you need to decide if they ae right for you.  If you prefer slower, turn based play or a game that is more of a roleplaying game versus action, then MOBA games aren’t for you.  If you prefer to go it alone, you should look elsewhere as well.

But, if you enjoy fast placed competitive gameplay where you team up with others for a common goal that still has a few RPG elements built in, then a MOBA game may be just the game for you.  These games have set goals and each game has a clearly defined beginning and end making it the perfect game for people who don’t have hours to devote to a game but still want to enjoy all it has to offer at the same time.

In the end, it is really up to you.  Feel free to try out one of these games and see if it fits with your playstyle.  Remember, the ones on this list are available for free so you lose nothing but a little bit of time if you decide they aren’t right for you.

On to the Games

Now that we know and understand what a MOBA actually is and you have decided it is right for you, it is time to take a look at some of the best free to play MOBA games that are available as of today.  This genre is rapidly changing and evolving with new games being released all the time.  So what is great today, may just be a thing of the past in the not so distant future.  Still, all of these games offer something unique and provide impressive gameplay making them a fun ride for anyone who decides to join.

League of Legends

League of Legends – Cinematic Trailer: A New Dawn
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  Riot Games
  • Publisher:  Riot Games

League of Legends (LoL) was inspired by the classic Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients.  The free MOBA game offers elements of both an MMO and fighting styles.  Gameplay is easily accessible providing almost limitless replayability as every match is different.  Currently considered one of the true leaders in the genre, LoL continues to bring in new players and hold onto them as they build their characters and battle it out in a true style reminiscent of the old days.

Smite

Smite Trailer – Gamescom 2014
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  Hi-Rez Studios
  • Publisher:  Hi-Rez Studios

Smite is a third person MOBA published by MOBA expert Hi-Rez Studios.  It places the player in control of a god in a third person perspective mode.  Players must use the mouse to aim their abilities and auto attacks.  The gameplay is fast and furious and can require some skill to get used to since you must manually aim.  Players enter a battle with a god and must defeat the enemy team’s Minotaur and other minions in order to be victorious.  These enemies drop gold that players can use to buy new skills and items to become even stronger.

Dota 2

DotA 2 Trailer 2
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  Valve
  • Publisher:  Valve

Dota 2 is produced by Valve and is the official remake of the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III.  Each game places 5 players in head to head PVP action.  Players are able to play matches against AI controlled characters, play against friends, or create a clan and match themselves against other teams.  Players choose a hero to enter the batter.  During the battle, players can level up by defeating enemies and bases.  These enemies will drop gold which players can then use to purchase more powerful gear.

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm™ Cinematic Trailer
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  Blizzard Entertainment
  • Publisher:  Blizzard Entertainment

If you want to play something inspired by Blizzard, why not play a Blizzard game itself.  Heroes of the Storm is a fast-paced MOBA created by Blizzard that pits its heroes and villains from all its franchises together in several different maps.  Unlike other games, HoTS has abandoned traditional ability progression in favor of passive augmentations that players receive at set level intervals.  Before each game, players will select a hero and the game will then attempt to match teams of players based on the type of hero they selected.  Each map has its own set of rules and victory requirements in order for you team to achieve success.

Sins of a Dark Age

Sins of a Dark Age Early Access Trailer
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  Ironclad Games
  • Publisher:  Ironclad Games/Steam

Another interesting take on the genre, Sins of a Dark Age is a MOBA game that includes heavy RPG elements including a unique quest system that can alter the outcome of the games themselves.  Players choose a hero and customize their attributes for their personal play style.  During gameplay, players can earn rewards from quests, experience and even gold and loot that can then be used to enhance their characters abilities and make them even more powerful.  Unfortunately, while the game is still active, further development has ceased.  But if you want to give it a try, you are only a few clicks away.

Chaos Heroes Online

Chaos Heroes Online Launch Trailer
  • Status:  Open Beta
  • Developer:  Neoact
  • Publisher:  Aeria Games

Another MOBA based on the ever popular DoTa mod, the game features maps that will feel familiar to players of DoTa, but includes new mechanics to make the game more fast-paced and filled with action.  Players must face an army of minions as well as other players on their quest for victory and must destroy the opposing teams towers and other structures leaving their Guardian open to attack.  Players can earn gold and experience to make their characters more powerful and customize how they look.

Heroes of Newerth

Heroes of Newerth – Official CG Trailer
  • Status:  Released
  • Developer:  S2 Games
  • Publisher:  S2 Games

Heroes of Newerth (HoN) is a free to play team based arena style action RPG very similar to DotA.  Each player controls a hero unit and is teamed with 4 other players.  The ultimate goal of the game is to destroy the other team’s base with the help of other members of your team as well as with the help of AI-controlled armies.  As you play, you can earn experience and gold that you can use to upgrade your skills and purchase items to make you more powerful.  The team oriented design of HoN make it one of the most deep and tactical experiences on this list.

Conclusion

All of the games in this list offer gamers a unique experience and take on the MOBA genre.  They all provide gorgeous graphics with interesting looking characters that have a wide range of skills and abilities to make the gameplay both challenging and fun.  The team games with their organized goals may be overwhelming to new players at first, but in the end provide a unique competitive experience that keeps many gamers coming back for more over and over again.

Do you have what it takes to lead your team to victory?  Give one of our best MOBA games a try and see if you do.  You could find yourself coming back and battling time and time again as you work to create the perfect character and help your team achieve victory.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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