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5 Best Non-pay to Win Games 2024

#1
5 Best Non-pay to Win Games 2024


The modern state of gaming is by many accords the worst it has been in ages or since the days of the Atari ports. This might come as a surprise to many, as the gaming industry is breaking records left and right, in terms of cultural impact and revenue generation. Much of this is due to the over-monetization of games and the new trend of releasing unfinished games and promising to finish them at a later date. This is not only eroding the goodwill players had for franchises but it is also creating a bubble of sorts which will lead to the downfall of the industry. But not all hope is lost as there are still many indie and AAA developers working to keep the spirit of gaming alive via great non-pay-to-win games. Of which the following are the best of the best.


Table of Contents
  1. Eternal Return
  2. The Touhou Empires
  3. GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE-
  4. Maiden & Spell
  5. GENSOU Skydrift

Eternal Return


[Image: eternal_return-2.jpg]
Figure 1-1. Eternal Return Cover Art

Developed by the geniuses over at Nimble Neuron, Eternal Return is a name I am sure many of you have started to hear more often in recent times. As it has gained a foothold in not only South Korea but South East Asia in general. This by all accounts is warranted as the game is a perfect mix of team-based combat reminiscing a MOBA and a Battle Royale style game loop. These two very different concepts somehow work together in unison to give players a gameplay experience like none other. Combat is also varied thanks to the inclusion of a varied cast of characters each of which brings something new and unique to the match. While a majority of the roster is free to play and players are given a rotating set of new characters to play. Some players can also buy their favorite characters to play with if they are not in rotation. But this system is by no means an easy win, as many of the best characters according to the meta are the free ones. It is also helped by the fact that the game focuses on team composition and planning more than solo play. Leading to one of the best non-pay-to-win game loops in the market. So if you wish to join the rising tide of Eternal Return, get it now for free on Windows and GeForce Now.

[Image: eternal_return-gameplay-5.jpg]
Figure 1-2. Eternal Return Gameplay


The Touhou Empires


[Image: the_touhou_empires-2.jpg]
Figure 2-1. The Touhou Empires Cover Art

RTS is a genre that has seen a surprising resurgence in recent years due to the popularization of old classics like Age of Empire and the like. This would explain the new trend of modern games trying to recapture the feel of these old classics, a prime example of which is The Touhou Empires developed by Neetpia. As the game is not only inspired by the old classics, it sets out to modernize them with new quality-of-life features. And to top it all off the game is using the iconic bullet hell franchise Touhou to achieve this feat. Now while all of this might sound fantastical to many older Touhou fans, as the series does not have the greatest fan reception outside of niche circles. It is undeniably true that with the modern changing landscape players are in search of the next big thing and old franchises like Touhou seem to be their target. This is an act that just might be the salvation this industry needs as franchises like Touhou have always been against heavy monetization and do not support pay-to-win rhetoric. Something that is reflected in the trailers of the game, so If you wish to witness the classic RTS formula in a new world and setting then The Touhou Empires is the game for you. It also happens to be a Windows exclusive.

[Image: the_touhou_empires-gameplay-4.jpg]
Figure 2-2. The Touhou Empires Gameplay


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE-


[Image: guilty_gear_strive-4.jpg]
Figure 3-1. GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Cover Art

Upon this list, few games have ever climbed to the heights of fame as GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- has. It is not only one of the founding fighting games of the 90s, but it is also one of the most niche games in general for the genre. Or such was the case until the release of the Xrd series of games which paved the way for Guilty Gear Strive to rise and shine. Do not take such statements lightly as the game has single-handedly redefined the meaning of a well-polished game. Largely thanks to the developer's Arcs System Works, who made sure the game and its net code for online play were as optimized as possible for the launch. And it showed as the game was featured in EVO just a few months later. Aside from the gameplay, the narrative of the game also advances the franchise into a new age where the titular main character is no longer there to save the day. What is truly more astonishing than all of the mentioned above is the fact that the game is non-pay-to-win, because you can't buy the pure skill the game requires. So if you are in the mood for a truly refined fighting game then Guilty Gear Strive is the one for you, as it is also available on all major platforms, such as the PlayStation, Xbox, and Windows.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-gameplay-6.jpg]
Figure 3-2. GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Gameplay


Maiden & Spell


[Image: maiden_spell-1.jpg]
Figure 4-1. Maiden & Spell Cover Art

Next on the list, we have quite a unique game, as it is in part inspired by older Touhou games and to some extent fighting games. It is called Maiden And Spell, developed by Mino_Dev LLC for Windows and Switch. At first glance, the game will seem to be quite strange as it uses the control scheme of bullet hell shooters, but in a PvP-style format. But once you start playing you will be lost in the immaculately woven gameplay which teaches the players with visual cues and art direction alone. Speaking of art style the game perfectly blends the old fairy tale aesthetics with modern grim dark fantasy to give players a unique experience like nothing else. It also features multiplayer, with dedicated PvP matches that rely on the different characters to give players a variety of different scenarios. All of which is non-pay-to-win, so if you wish to be lost in a weird and mystical little world then Maiden & Spell is the game for you.

Figure 4-2. Maiden & Spell Gameplay


GENSOU Skydrift


[Image: gensou_skydrift-2.jpg]
Figure 5-1. GENSOU Skydrift Cover Art

Last on the list we have a game that will teleport you to your childhood, to a point when life was simple and fun. It is none other than GENSOU Skydrift, a perfect blend of casual racing with go-karts. It comprises multiple different maps and racetracks for the player to race upon, and alongside that, it also offers players a variety of different racers to choose from each of which brings something new and original to the table. Skydrift also features a vibrant art style that somehow manages to stay modern while also invoking feelings of nostalgia in players. While the game features a single-player mode, the true fun of the game is held in multiplayer where players can compete in PvP-style races to determine who is the best racer of them all. All of this is included in the base game, and you can not buy any sort of booster or power-up for the game making it a great non-pay-to-win racing game on the market. So if you also wish to soar through the sky in go-karts with your friends then GENSOU Skydrift is the game for you.

[Image: gensou_skydrift-gameplay-3.jpg]
Figure 5-2. GENSOU Skydrift Gameplay


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