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.

Guild Wars 2 best MMORPG


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  • LaValley Thomas

    Taryn said: Sure MMOs need some alone time. They sure do if something as anticipated as MasterXMaster is being canceled already.

    BB re: But why, given the huge Investment in time, talent, and money why do so many MMOs fall short of expectations? Now of course my opinion is just that, but I am both an experienced player 7years in GW1 and Gw2, as well as well some experience in Tera, BnS, and Just a bit of Vindi. Who has spent the last few weeks looking for a new MMO to replace Gw2 in my active list.

    I am also someone who can be best described as a Casual player, yep Im one of those which places me firmly in the Demographic that I’m told Developers are now pursuing, so maybe my observations might have some value to someone. So think of this post as an open letter to the Devs, I think thats the best way.

    1. Casual is not catatonic. Whether its the extreme auto-pathing we see in Revelation Online, where as a new player I felt more like I was clicking through an extended movie than playing a game, Or the ridiculous situation in Vindictus since the Rise patch where I literally took my hands off the key board for a full minute and the Gnolls gathered around me just stood there snarling, Waiting for me to slaughter them. This supposedly Lv30 content, but where challenge is there in slaughtering so many ugly but ugly cyber-cattle.

    You have much the same situation in Tera, The reason I left Tera for 2 years where in the open world or in the dungeons, most mobs just stand around like so many hideous lawn ornaments waiting to be killed. Sounds exciting no? So I lost interest and just stopped logging on. Its certainly not the Spencerian one is led to expect from the trailers where in the player is shown to be in a desperate fight in the open world. I recently returned for a few days, because I heard the Devs had dialed up the difficulty, maybe they have in the dungeons, but open world is still largely laughable.

    Industry wide Devs seem to have forgotten that a game requires a certain level of Participation (RO), and challenge (Vindi). Just because I don’t want to be smitten like a bug, for not having Max tier Gear, and hundreds of hours of pre-knowledge of each and every mobs attack sequence and tells; does not mean I want to be slaughtering so many cyber-cattle either. What ever happened to the concept of a fair fight? Is it to much to ask that the mobs I am facing should present me a reasonable level of Challenge if my level approximates theirs? If I am sloppy or inattentive I should fail, If I am on my game I should succeed.

    I still play Gw1, I’ve friends there, and even the lowliest Charr in Gw1 will always give killing me his best shot every time. I want and expect that, When I’m feather farming if im on my rotation I rule Jalya Bluffs like the wrath of god, but If I get sloppy or distracted my max level Elementalist is still going to the Shrine, despite the fact I’m on newbie Island. The game is not so constructed that even the lowest level mobs have no chance to kill me if I make no effort to defend myself. Back in the days of Tekken II I could dial up like 10 Levels of Difficulty for the AI from barely there, to flat out wicked; I generally worked my way up to an 8 or 9 of 10 in those games. Obviously you cant do that in an MMO, but the challenge of a given Level Zone, can and should accomplish much the same, but you all have lost track of that concept.

    2. Access to content/gear. One thing Gw2 ultimately got right was Armor; but it was seriously off on the day the game Launched. At that time, just about the only way to get exotics was to ride a zerge through a temple run, battling some pretty high level content. So there was literally no way for a casual player could get this armor by themselves. So you had to participate In these planned “Raids” on Orr, I was lucky in that members of my guild where plugged in enough to make me aware of and include me in a couple of these events. When you did ride the zerg you had to speak to 5 different npcs, who you never saw b4 as they only spawned during these events. Thus no prep or practice was possible. You had to get the pieces you needed without falling behind. If you did lose contact with the zerg it was certain death, you had no chance to survive in Orr on your own without top tier armor, So your night was over, and well maybe you might complete next week. It was just awful game design, IMHO.

    Today I can buy exotic armor from the Auction house, and the stats are only about 6% off the current top tier. The armor is perfectly fine for any open world, or dungeon content, only if one does fractals does a player absolutely need Ascended Armor due to buffs that can only applied to top tier armor for this end game arena, and aquiring Ascended accessories is much easier now so a player can get through the fractals door. The game is now much more casuals friendly, but in a way I think it is also much better in this instance.

    3. Limit the absurdities, Caudecus’s Manor, is the first dungeon a player should reach in Gw2, where in we find a puny little magical missile launcher that can only be passed if its destroyed. Now it can only be destroyed by taking an air gun, an air gun left conveniently close to hand and shooting the missiles in mid air sending them back to the launcher. Well its flimsy, cant my war just smash it with a hammer? nope. Surely my ele blast it with a fireball, nope. Air gun only huh, yep. So the owner of this place has this inexplicably invulnerable missile launcher to keep intruders out, but he leaves conveniently close to hand the one and only thing in the universe that can destroy it? … because he’s an Eeediot obviously!

    But but but its a dungeon says the Dev. Uhm No good fantasy authors can write in a fantasy setting, and in doing so create a world that is internally consistent. A world may have Magick, Dragons, and Orcs, it may have soul eating swords, but these things exist in a world were they make sense and are consistent with the fabric of that universe. Fantasy is not synonymous with, nor a license for absurdity. Honestly you underestimate, and insult, your players when you forget that point.

    Jumping Puzzles: One thing I personally loathed about Gw2 from day one was/is the jumping puzzle, having to spend 10, 20, 30 minutes trying to negotiate a pixel perfect path to reach some often necessary game objective, with certain death and a total restart waiting at the end of each small slip. While much beloved by many elites, I can tell you these are pretty well universally despised by more casual players. So please leave these, and other challenges requiring pixel perfect mouse control to the highest end dungeons where they belong. After all the Elites should have their, Domains of Anguish, zones of the fiercest difficulty improve a game IMHO, so long as they are not de rigeur.

    Open world PvP, I left Black Desert the moment I found out all Lv 50 players are thrown into open world PvP, I simply loath it, its a form of cyber-bullying, period. PvPers are invited to, even rewarded for “ganking” thats bulling, other players, Players well below their level, Gear quality or level of technique. Yet for all that PvPers will very often they gang up on their victims, because a coward can never have too many advantages in a fight.

    As a long time chess player, I fully embrace fair contest between equally rated opponents, but Open world pvp has nothing to do with any notion of a fair contest. I have been around gaming long enough now to have many times heard the wail of disappointed amazement of these same players when the player base dwindles, bemoaning their lack of victims, and blaming every possibility but themselves for the death of a game they have invested so much of their time and effort in,

    So here’s a clue to every self described elite, Every time you snear, “Just Get Gud” at a new player, every time you exclude someone for their gear, or build, You invite that person to leave your game for good. That’s fine, that’s your choice; but you forever after give up any and all right to ever bitch that your game is dying, because your doing your part to kill it! Ok if the game you are killing is dying, you don’t get to bitch about that! Man up and accept responsibility for your actions.

    I think a very real part of the of the problem lies in that the distinction between Elites and Casuals; its is a bad one, but a distinction that is unlikely to change. We filthy casuals, well we’re Doctors, and lawyers, technicians, we are not infants, we don’t need to be molly coddled; all we ask is a reasonable level of challenge.

    What we are not is full time gamers who having no other occupation, have substituted a game for an occupation or profession*in our lives. I’ll never have 40 hours a week to put into a game, just not enough hours in the day. But I do love game art, I do love my virtual travels through so many fantastic worlds.

    Give us something to engage us, to challenge us, to see, and we will reward you with our loyalties and our business. Games have been steadily dumbed down since I rolled my first toon in Gw1, and the Genre has been in a steady decline for most of that time. These two things are not unrelated to my mind. Its past time to change course, to embrace challenging your players again, If you strive to provide a better balance between the challenge of a level or zone, and the capabilities of an avatar at that level your players will reward you with their time, loyalty and money. Nuff said BB.

    *I would like to point out that over the last 7 years I have known several players, who housebound and battling some chronic illness have found some relief from their real life challenges in game. The time they invest often carries them to an elite level of skill, but the challenges of their lives tend to ground them, and I’ve never met one who drifted into being an elite of the more toxic variety.

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    • Wow, that was something. That was inspiring! And you nailed it in most ways, if not all.

      Mentioning the lack of challenge on level 30, for example – sadly, MMORPGs in ages are made as a looong and boring tutorial for endgame content, where things suddenly get challenging and you have to “man up” aka grind like hell or pay up to get anywhere. I hate having to sit through dozens of levels without it feeling exciting or interesting. Most MMORPGs are boring, period. That is one of the way they lose players almost instantly.

      I’m also not able to devote many hours to a single game. Work, family, life gets in the way and their brilliant idea was to design games in an unfair way and put the good stuff behind a paywall. That is the most stupid thing that could be invented. Why not design a good game and sell cosmetic stuff only? I know, some games do it somehow, but 99% of them claim the same and do otherwise. Nice way of killing your playerbase.

      MMORPGs are somewhat dying because most of the mechanics suck; they’rer old, stale, boring, designed to push you to the cash shop. Give me a good, challenging, fun MMORPG since the start and I won’t mind if 100 million players are better than me; I just want to have fun at my own pace.

      Oh, and open world PvP sucks. Cyber bullying, for sure.

      PS: You have some nice ideas. If you like writing about MMO stuff and want to get your texts published here, at your own pace and opinion, let me know. There’s no pay, but if you feel like it and know free-to-play MMORPGs and online games beyond what you’ve mentioned already, you have a channel here.

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      • LaValley Thomas

        TY. : ) Been a Writer pretty much since the day I was born, not an Author they get paid, but I have your email and I expect you’ll see a stocking stuffer from time to time. : ) Glad you like it. Tom

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        • Sounds great, Tom! I can always use some additional viewpoints as I (Alexkayl) do most of the stuff here and time doesn’t stretch, sadly.

          Make sure to identify yourself so I know where it came from (also, there’s the chance that it goes straight to spam for the first time, so let me know).

          Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you want to check with me if the topic is right (F2P games mostly, or at least an article having something connected to it – games that don’t have their business model set in stone, such as Lost Ark or Peria Chronicles, are also fine.


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      • LaValley Thomas

        MMO S:”Mentioning the lack of challenge on level 30, for example – sadly, MMORPGs in ages are made as a looong and boring tutorial for endgame content, where things suddenly get challenging”

        I totally agree, some of us like the process, the Journey from Lv1 through Max, and the story that goes with. I’m not so much a lore guy, but I am an cyber explorer; and appreciate when the zones scale up as my avatar does, though thats ever harder to find. From everything I’ve seen and been Told Tera is very much as you describe in that their is huge jump in difficulty at max level; one the “tutorial zone” has not really prepared players for at all.

        I’m glad you mentioned the pay wall; I could not see a way to working in the simple observation that any hint of Pay2Win will kill a game fast. I personally think the F2P format will have to evolve, I hope into some sort of Free to Try format, let a player get to 50, 60% of Max level; deep enough into the game to make an informed decision about continuing, and then when they reach the pay wall; have them make some small admission fee to move on. Something along the lines of 10 Bucks so most (western) players wont miss it at all.

        If every one is tossing their penny into the hat I think you make more in the end than soaking a few whales; and everyone is starting off from the same start line. Which is something I feel the player base simply demands.

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        • The f2p business model definitely needs a revamp. It’s not working anymore, except for the big names. Early Access and Founder’s Packs are new ways of milking players (especially early access, Steam has so much unfinished crap asking for money).

          I like your idea as long as: a) players are clearly informed that they will have to pay a small fee at that point; b) the game is designed to be fun and challenging from the start, not only after the paywall and not only for whales. That’s one idea.

          I like what SMITE, for example, does: the game is free, but pay a small fee and you get ALL gods, current and future. You’re pretty much buying the full game for a very reasonable price, and then it’s up to you to support them with further purchases or not. MMORPGs should come up with something as valuable like that, whatever it might be 🙂

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