Free-to-play games often get a bad reputation due to the market of mobile games that flood into the app store every single day. It seems that for every inventive new experience, there are hundreds of microtransaction-focused games trying to suck away every dollar.
During the last five years, consoles have seen an influx of free-to-play games with a good number of them being a blast to play with friends or your significant other. Some of them may be frustrating in a good way, so play at your own risk. Let's look at the 10 best free games on the Xbox One for couples of all lengths and configurations.
10 Batman: Telltale Series: Episode 1
Although Telltale's The Walking Dead rightfully gets a lot of the attention as the developer's best release, their Batman series is impressive in its own right. It managed to deliver a unique take on Batman's storyline and villains that didn't feel forced or different for the sake of it being different.
It features great performances from proven actors in the industry and manages to unveil surprising twists the player will never see coming. It may only be the first episode, but it's enough to let you know if you're invested enough to purchase the full game.
9 Apex Legends
Apex Legends is Respawn Entertainment's take on the battle royale genre and takes their phenomenal shooting mechanics and movement/traversal from their Titanfall series and injects it into a game with cool and unique new characters.
This game may have you handing the controller back-and-forth as you compete with your significant other on who can finish higher, but that doesn't mean it won't be a blast. Having a good number of characters that represent all walks of life, each of you is bound to find your favorite, aka main.
8 3on3 Freestyle
In 3on3 Freestyle, players can enjoy a simple arcade basketball gameplay that's closer to NBA Jam or NBA Street than it is to NBA 2K or NBA Live. If you and your partner love basketball or sports, in general, this may be the free game for you.
Even if you're simply looking for a dose of 90s arcade sports game nostalgia it may be worth the download. The game also features a large and diverse cast of playable characters, so everyone has a chance to feel included and find a character that really speaks to them on and off the court.
7 Powerstar Golf
Powerstar Golf is an Xbox console exclusive golf game that was released in 2013, shortly after the launch of the Xbox One console. Its art style is very cartoony and despite a very lackluster reception from critics at release, it has since been considered an enjoyable experience at the free-to-play level.
Golf games offer a simple and understandable competitive multiplayer experience between friends, family, and even your significant other. Another neat way to play is to have couples faces one another as teams where the swings are controlled by alternating teammates. May the best couple reign supreme!
Monster Hunter is a series with strong multiplayer roots, that saw the introduction of a more friendly and inviting experience with the release of Monster Hunter: World. The series isn't for everyone so pulling the trigger on the purchase of the game may be off-putting.
Dauntless is often labeled as a free-to-play Monster Hunter game which means a couple could try it out and see if they enjoy the gameplay loop without making a financial commitment. The great thing is that if you both fall in love with it, there's plenty to do and customize along the way.
On top of being the biggest game on the planet, Fortnite also manages to be an inviting battle royale experience that your significant other might enjoy playing with you. The art style is playful and the shooting mechanics are simple enough that anyone can pick up and play with little resistance.
The best part is that it also supports local split-screen so there's no need to wheel in the television from the other room or talk to each other through headsets in the same apartment. Just be prepared for the possibility of both of you being dismantled by a 7-year-old with a sniper rifle.
4 Hitman 2's First Mission
IO Interactive is a newly independent developer who's really been committed to delivering Hitman experiences that are authentic to the franchise but also deliver it in new and experimental ways. Over the last couple of years, episodic games have trended towards allowing players to try the first episode of the game for free, and Hitman 2 is no different.
As a couple, you can control Agent 42 as he looks to take down his target and escape undetected. The stealth sandbox will have you arguing about which weapon and strategy will result in the best mission grade.
The Super Smash Bros. series is arguably in the hall of fame of games for couples. Nintendo's signature fighting game that houses a roster of their most beloved characters, unfortunately, isn't on Xbox One, but luckily there is a fun free-to-play game similar enough that may be worth checking out.
Brawlhalla, recently acquired by Ubisoft, is a Smash Bros. inspired 2D brawler that features some of Ubisoft's iconic characters including Rayman. It also recently saw the addition of Finn, Jake, and Princess Bubblegum from the Adventure Time series.
2 Fallout Shelter
Fallout Shelter will likely be the biggest head-turner on this list as a strategy management game may seem like an odd choice for a couple looking to play games together. The great thing about Fallout Shelter is that you're in control of how vault-goers interact, work, explore, and build.
This means that you and your significant other can work together on building the best vault the Wasteland has ever seen. It may also help build problem-solving and communication skills between you two that could strengthen the relationship tenfold.
1 Life Is Strange: Episode 1
Like the previously mentioned Batman: Telltale Series, the first episode of Life is Strange is free for people to download. Often times couples enjoy bonding through shared experiences which more often than not manifest as television shows or movies.
Life is Strange is considered one of the best narrative experiences in gaming and the decision-making nature could lead to some fun moments for couples. The best part about Life is Strange is that it's free to try out, and has both a prequel and sequel that have released since its completion.