Update: We added the ‘educational’ Asteroids typing game: Ztype.
Though owning one of the is undoubtedly an enjoyable way to play many great games on the platform, these days it’s not entirely necessary. Whether you’re on Windows, macOS, Linux, or something else completely, you can still enjoy some wonderful online gaming experiences straight from your browser.
Without requiring downloads or purchase, these games are a comfortable and affordable way to pass a few minutes.
From simple text-based adventures to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) that boast stunning 3D graphics, there’s an astonishingly wide assortment to choose from.
The only thing that might cause you some issues (other than the lack of an internet connection) is potential compatibility issues. For example, Chrome doesn’t support the 3D game engine Unity while Firefox, Opera and Safari do.
That said, more often than not the same game that requires Unity compatibility will still be available as a separate app in the Chrome Web Store. So, if you’re not willing to break your Chrome commitment, you can still get your game on.
Gabe Carey also contributed to this article
- Playing on a Mac? Also check out the best Mac games
Not everybody is a fan of golf as a real-life sport, but we think we can safely say there’s a place in everyone’s heart for golf of the crazy variety.
Wonderputt is a game that’ll give you access to the kind of mini golf courses you have only dreamt about with tiny ski slopes, UFOs, lily pads and herds of sheep that mow the grass to reveal a new green for you to play on.
The game has a kind of puzzle box design so, although you can see the entire course from the start of the game, after you play each hole it morphs and shifts to become slightly different and reveal new sections. It instills a sense of wonder, taking something that’s already fun in real life and adding an inventive twist you’ll only find in a game world.
If Frank Zappa made video games, he would’ve made Frog Factions. Created by Berkeley developer Jim Crawford, this game recalls the surrealist humor of Jeff Minter and Ron Gilbert.
We don’t want to get too far into what Frog Fractions actually involves because it’s at its best when you go in with no idea of what’s about to happen. Suffice it to say that, on the surface level, it appears to be a silly and forgettable game. But, when you dive deeper, it has so much more to offer in the most silly and hilarious ways possible.
Make sure you have the sound cranked to get the whole story.
Frog Fractions actually ended up being so popular that a sequel was created and released (though, for a cost) on Steam. It’s called Glittermitten Grove and you can find it here.
Kanye West has caught a lot of heat over the years for his ridiculous antics and ostensibly skyrocketing confidence. While you may even be familiar with his sometimes incomprehensible stream of tweets, you probably haven’t seen The Stanley Parable developer Galactic Café’s take on the famed hip-hop artist’s social media presence.
Life in the West, though barely a game, will have you grinning from ear to ear upon realizing that not only are your keyboarding skills effectively useless, but typing out tweets as, well, undeniably Kanye as “Man… whatever happened to my antique fish tank?” results in Final Fantasy combat music that’ll leave you reaching for a controller.
Bomberman on the original PlayStation was one of the best crafted and most addictive multiplayer games ever to be created. Game of Bombs seeks to emulate this virtual drug. And, as an added bonus, to get the multiplayer experience you’ll no longer need to fish around a drawer of knotted cables for a MultiTap – just go to the website and play a gigantic version of Bomberman online with players from around the globe. Oh, the joys of the digital world!
This text-based online multiplayer zombie game is filled with little in-jokes. Upon starting the game you’re greeted with the cheerful message “Be positive! You’re going to die. Every time.”
In the top right is actual server time and, when that hits 23:00, the zombies will come out to play. During the daylight hours, you and the other players must work together to build defenses for the following night reminiscent of Fortnite. This game is surprisingly involving and you’ll constantly have to remind yourself that it’s not really impacting your life but you’ll definitely become invested in the online community.
If you haven’t played any of Czech developer Amanita Design’s games, then you are missing out on some of the quirkiest, funny and elaborate point-and-click puzzlers of recent memory.
The third game in this space-aged series is was released back on March 24 on Steam, but you can play the one that started it all back in 2003 for completely free. Chapter One of Samorost 2 is also online. And, be sure to check out their other games, Machinarium, Shy Dwarf and Botanicula.
Get ready to invest a lot of time into this one.This isn’t your average top-down tower defence game; this is more like if you took Zelda and crossed it with Crash Bandicoot. Collect supplies, build bases and explore dungeons, you get the idea. It can be installed as an app from the Chrome Web Store or played online in any browser using HTML5.
Described by the developers as ‘The Ultimate Tribute To The NES’ most of the jokes will probably only ring true if you are above a certain age. But, that’s not to say that younger people won’t find something to love here – if you appreciate a good toilet joke, you have a place here.
Written by the team behind the comedy website I-Mockery, it stars Abobo who is actually a standard recurring mid-boss in classic ‘80s beat-em-up Double Dragon. His son is kidnapped and he must battle his way through various NES-themed levels to rescue him. It’s all done with warm affection to Mario, Zelda, Contra and Mega Man.
Like tanks? Like deathmatches? Then Tanki might well be the browser game for you. Graphically it’s like an upgraded Quake, with several Deathmatch arenas, some snowy, others full of luscious green plants. The aim, in all however is the same: blow up as many tanks as you can. There are tons of turret upgrades, leave enemies cold with the freeze gun or pummel them repeatedly with the dual shot and rail gun.
Controlling the tank is a little fiddly but ultimately rewarding. The turret moves separately from the base so it’s possible to move one way while shooting in a completely different direction like an actual tank can. There are several games modes including Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag. Graphically it’s impressive and looks close to a high resolution version of a PS2 or Dreamcast game.
A lot of popular Steam games and console titles owe their popularity to sites like Miniclip and Newgrounds, hosts to countless free-to-play titles from small studios with marginal publishing budgets.
Few of these success stories ring as true as Superhot, a first-person shooter developed in Unity where time comes to a standstill when you do, giving you plenty of time to form coherent strategies. In a sense, Superhot blends elements of both popular FPS games with turn-based strategy mechanics for a genuinely unique and fun browser-based experience.
Browsing the web isn’t the only thing that’s improved with the intervention of Google Chrome; web-based games have gotten better as well. Whether you’re on a Mac, a PC or even a Chromebook, Unity-based Rad Soldiers will run smoothly in a normal browser window.
The turn-based shooter game starts off as expected. You choose a character avatar who is then accompanied by a soldier with a whimsical unsoldier-like name, such as Hipster Dave. Once you’ve gotten enough practice, you can even play online with friends. Rad Soldiers will then pit you up against your buddy in a shooter that may be unusually slow, but it’s also incredibly smart.
Like Superhot, Spelunky has humble beginnings. Originally developed by Derek Yu as freeware and remade for the Xbox 360 in July 2012, the game was ported to HTML 5 by Darius Kazemi (and made available as a Chrome app) shortly after. Because it was created in GameMaker, Spelunky may not be visually impressive, but its randomly generated environments and brutal permadeath system qualify it as a modern classic.
The goal of the 2D platformer is to collect as much loot as possible in a series of underground tunnels. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Populated by obstacles like traps and enemies of various species, Spelunky’s world is as challenging as it is addictive.
Luckily, by default, you’re equipped with a whip and your own two feet with which you can besiege enemies. And, if that’s not enough, you can always be resourceful and use surrounding objects as weapons. Good luck.
A free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Runescape might not look like much, but it’s actually a huge deal. Documented by the Guinness World Records, Runescape is considered the world’s most popular free MMORPG, with over 200 million registered players, as well as the most frequently updated game.
Like many MMOs, the latest version of Runescape – namely Runescape 3 – takes place in a medieval setting, complete with dragons, queens, goblins and even chickens. It’s not exactly an example of fine art in terms of its visuals, but for a game that’s been around for over 15 years why would it be?
As long as you’re equipped with some recent edition of Java, you should be set to start fighting, trading and even playing mini-games with other players in the world of Gielinor. Be careful, though, as Runescape is widely known for being highly addictive.
If you recently played the new Doom game and are wondering where developer id Software got its start, look no further than Wolfenstein 3D. Though it wasn’t the first title to come from superstar duo John Carmack and John Romero, Wolfenstein 3D played an important role in heavily inspiring the first-person shooter genre.
In fact, although it’s a far cry from, well, Far Cry, Wolfenstein 3D is often considered the first true FPS by purists. Kill Nazis and see how gaming has improved since 1994 in this important snippet of history. Experience Wolfenstein 3D for yourself completely free of charge, courtesy of the Internet Archive.
There are few games as close to their source material as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Created by the writer of the original novel, Douglas Adams, in conjunction with Infocom’s Steve Meretsky, the game is more of a historical relic than a piece of software which stands the test of time.
A text-based adventure, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was originally released in 1984 for Apple II, MS-DOS and Commodore 64, among other platforms. Since it’s only vaguely based on parts of the book, you’re sure to have a unique experience that Douglas Adams so lovingly tailored to us so many years ago.
On the surface, Spaceplan is yet another repetitive clicking game designed as a means to distract you from the tasks at large. But dust off that geometrical cover and you’ll realize there’s something really special about this game.
If you’re not one for games that take themselves too seriously, Spaceplan is for you. In fact, you spend most of your time fixing a ship using an interface called the “Thing Maker,” which, as the name suggests, lets you build things to repair your ship and navigate through space. Once you get a few “things” up and running, the core game mechanic works on its own.
You’ll spend most of your time waiting as you do other stuff (like your job, for example) as you accumulate watts used to power your things. It’s the perfect game to keep open in another tab to poke at for a few seconds when your boss is looking the other way. The witty dialog is merely a bonus.
The mainline Dragon Age franchise has drawn in a lot of fans who just can’t get enough and this is a browser game that may appeal to them. There are many things to love about the series but the dialogue, characters and lore are up high on the list of most and this game takes the story even further.
Created by Failbetter Games in partnership with Bioware, The Last Court is a tesxt-based Dragon Age adventure that fills the gap between Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
The game revolves around a disgraced Orlesian town, its ruler, and their quest to get back into the good graces of the Orlesian royals.
You can choose what kind of person the ruler is (a hunter or scholar) and this choice will determine how you approach your play. You’ll have to raise your towns levels of Dignity, Freedom and Prosperity while fending off internal revolution and outside invaders.
Gameplay is card-based where cards instigate events and action points are collected and spent.
The game is free-to-play and although you can spend real money on action points, they refresh reasonably frequently and it never really feels necessary to purchase them. It’s a slow-building but enjoyable game and although it’s not essential to the Dragon Age universe, it works with it well.
Our Instagram feeds may be filled with unicorn bagels, unicorn ice cream, and unicorn hair but the only thing we care about is unicorn robots.
Robot Unicorn Attack is a simple endless-runner that will hold your attention for hours. It’s been popular online for a while and there’s good reason for that. It’s simultaneously stylish and silly but it’s utterly addictive. Something that’s helped by the inclusion of Erasure’s ‘Always’ endlessly looping in the background. It should be grating but somehow it only improves the game.
You’ll always want to be with it, and make believe with it, and live in harmony, harmony, and love.
You’ll find it free to play right here.
If you’re a fan of indie music, then you’ve probably heard of Japanese Breakfast. This rising star of the indie scene, in promotion of her sophomore album, released this retro-styled turn-based RPG.
Not only does Japanese Breakquest have great music, as you would expect from a game ostensibly made by a musician, but it also has a ton of cool indie references scattered around that will delight anyone who is a fan of that kind of music.
The game basically expands on the story for Japanese Breakfast’s “Machinist” music video, wherein she is stuck on a spaceship, where she tries to build a mechanical body for her AI lover. It’s a little bizarre, but it’s lighthearted and fun throughout, and even has midi versions of all of the songs off of her 2017 album “Soft Sounds From Another Planet”
While the game’s target audience might be indie fans, there’s still plenty of charm that will affect anybody who plays it.
What do you get when you take a classic arcade game and make it controllable entirely through keyboarding skills? That’s right, you get ZType.
This deceptively brilliant browser game takes the simplistic formula of Asteroids, and replaces the joystick with your keyboard, spitting ships down at you that you can only take out by quickly typing the words attached to them.
It might sound easy but as the waves get higher and higher, the game only gets more difficult. This means that you’ll need to type quickly (and accurately) in order to make it to the higher levels. Eventually you’ll start getting extremely long words that’ll fire one-letter missiles at you that you have to take out in order to proceed.
Plus, I mean, you can legitimately use the excuse “it’s educational”. What’s not to love?