Top 10 Free Online Brawlers | Free Online Action Games 2017

Top 10 Free Online Action Games 2017

Sometimes you’re so stressed out that you just want to punch something or someone, right? One of the best ways to do so without going directly to jail is by playing videogames.

You obviously know the Street Fighters and Tekkens of this world, but when it comes to free online games, the choice isn’t that diverse. So, where should you go for your daily prescription of butt-kicking? Look no further than our new Top 10 Free Online Brawlers, where you can choose some games to vent out the daily life frustrations. This top 10 is obviously based on our personal taste, not on age or playerbase, and you won’t find your typical quest-based MMORPGs such as TERA or Blade & Soul here, just action-focused games.

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Elsword Online is an oldie but goodie. Everyone on earth probably knows about this game already, so there isn’t much that we can add to it. It’s a competent side-scrolling brawler with anime graphics, a ton of content thanks to many years running, and a huge time sink that many players say is designed to take away all your money. If you prefer PvP, then this is usually true, but in PvE there’s a lot to do without the need to spend a dime. Anyway, Elsword isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed anymore, but it remains a good game, one that is used to see many new brawlers come and go. Give it a try if you like the classics or if you’ve played most of the other games from this list.


If there’s one game in this list that deserves classic status, that game is Dungeon Fighter Online. Originally released in 2005 in Korea, this game is probably older than some of you. It was a huge success due to 2D fighting games such as Double Dragon, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage never going out of style, and it is fun to play. Dungeon Fighter has dozens of classes to choose from, each and every one featuring a distinct playstyle that makes further playthroughs worthwhile. Add the countless skills and daily quests and you can easily get hundreds, even thousands of hours from this game. Unless you devote your life to playing this game and this game only, the fatigue system is far from a hindrance. It can become a bit of a grind for sure, but most of the time you’re having fun, so it’s not a deal breaker, and the gameplay rewards skilled players, so it’s not just down to stats and luck. Since Nexon dropped the English version and developer Neople took charge, Dungeon Fighter Online is only getting better, but it’s up to you to love or hate its old-school look and feel.


Kritika Online head start

Kritika Online is a new game but only to us, western players. It’s been around for a few years already in Korea and we had to wait until 2017 for the English release. Despite some rough edges, particularly in the graphics department, it still manages to hit the spot due to a lack of proper brawlers in this day and age. It’s heavily instanced and we would appreciate if the maps were larger and less linear, but it’s a lot of fun when you’re playing with some buddies and combining strategies to defeat the toughest bosses. Each advancement class changes the way that you play, so you have to be careful with your choice. More classes are expected in the not so distant future, with Éclair from the Psion class dropping in October. Monk, Nobleria and Sky Dancer will arrive during 2018.


For several years, Dragon Nest was considered the best example of free action RPGs, alongside Vindictus. You could either love the cute anime style or struggle with it, but it was refreshing to actually feel in control of our character during combat. Many years later, it remains a solid entry in the genre and one that rarely was improved on. In 2016, publisher Nexon transferred the Dragon Nest rights to its original developer and support seems to be improving. There are many classes to choose from and tons of class advancements, and you’ll find some huge bosses along the way. This game truly deserved a proper sequel for quite some time now, not the mobile Dragon Nest 2: Legend stuff that we got. Luckily, there’s the recently announced World of Dragon Nest coming soon – an open world MMORPG that sadly seems to be hampered by its cross-platform nature, as you can play on PC or mobile. A full, triple-A PC release is what we were hoping for, but that isn’t happening.


Vindictus character Miri

Vindictus is a tough one to properly judge. For a game that was released in 2010 it still looks better than, let’s say, Kritika Online, and the combat system remains as one of the best in this kind of action RPGs. It even includes this armor breaking mechanic that very few games have dared to do. Vindictus has been through some rough times with constant player complaints of pay-to-win and server issues, but on the other hand, many players are quick to defend it from these claims. The playerbase isn’t that huge right now, but considering that it’s already been seven years and Vindictus just received the Rise: Revolution update that improves the game in many departments, you can’t complain from lack of support and content. Also, if you’re only starting in this game, you have a vast, diverse and quite frankly stunning roster of characters to choose from. While Vindictus is often described as an MMORPG, it’s more of a co-op action RPG and a very good one at that.


Monster Hunter Online is the only game in this top 10 that isn’t – yet – coming to the west. But let’s be honest here: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever get to play an official English version. It’s a shame, really, because this is a good game and deserved a worldwide release, not just a China exclusive launch. It has all the ingredients that make the Monster Hunter series popular, and also looks quite good in its CryEngine 3 glory. You can always wait for Monster Hunter World, but that’s not really an MMO and it’s definitely not free.


And now for something completely different: an actual fighting game. Now that we think of it, why aren’t there more free multiplayer fighting games such as Brawlhalla? Preferably four-player and with the option for local multiplayer? You can play this game casually or with a competitive mindset and enjoy it both ways, and the eight-player mode is complete chaos. Skilled, blissful, easy to learn, hard to master chaos.

Oh, wait, now we remembered why there aren’t many free 2D platform fighters such as Brawlhalla. There’s a game called Icons: Combat Arena coming and it is getting so much negative comments that developers probably shy away from these games. Masterful balancing, cool and original fighters and impressive combos probably aren’t that easy to make, but Brawlhalla manages all that.


Dauntless gameplay footage

Dauntless is clearly inspired by the Monster Hunter series, but it takes a more arcade approach to things. It’s easier to pick up and play, definitely more colourful and light, and offers a streamlined experience. The action combat is fun, fighting alongside a few buddies is awesome, and the few creatures are quite impressive and demand diversified approaches to combat. Dauntless could rank higher in our top, but it’s a new game and still has a long way to go. It needs more content, more behemoths and more depth overall, something that is in the works according to a publicly released roadmap. In about a year or so, this game will certainly be a lot better than it already is.


closers online sylvi

Finally! En Masse, TERA and Kritika Online’s publisher is working on the English version of Closers Online, and we couldn’t be happier. Developed by a bunch of talented guys who worked on Elsword Online, Closers is a side-scrolling action RPG with an emphasis on style and furious punching, kicking and using all kinds of weapons and magic. It’s heavily anime-inspired, featuring some of the nicest 3D models seen in a free-to-play online game, and there’s a nice attention to the story bits through cutscenes and voiced dialogue. Currently sitting at a nice 10 characters in the Korean version, the western version will launch with five, but between Ranger, Striker, Caster and more, you’ll find your match for sure. Oh, and before we forget to mention it, Misteltein is a trap. Consider yourselves warned.


Soulworker Online Lily Bloommerchen

Why there aren’t more games like Soulworker, we have no clue. In a time where most studios are steering clear from MMORPGs, with their long development cycles and high maintenance costs, an action brawler sounds like a more doable kind of game. If you know what players want, you’ll have a huge player base waiting for your game – the demand is clearly there, as aging games such as Dragon Nest and Vindictus show. Soulworker goes for the always desirable anime style, with great graphics and clichéd but immediately recognizable characters – and a bit of fan service as well, it always helps. It took an eternity to see a western publisher purchasing the rights to Soulworker, but the game hasn’t aged a bit. With the open beta planned for late 2017, we’re counting the days for the… erm… day.

So there you have it, a nice mix of classics and new releases to keep your punching alive. We wish there was more to choose from, but late 2017 will bring you some really interesting action games, especially if you love anime. If there’s any other game you think should have made this top 10, let us hear about it in the comments. Have fun and happy virtual brawls.

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