Do you ever just want to play a game with a decent story but not have to spend $60 on the latest triple-A title? Well, you are in luck because hidden within Steam’s never-ending catalog of games are a few hidden gems with some good stories..and the best part is that all of these games on this list are completely free!
Because these games are free you won’t be getting triple-A game quality and many of these can be beaten in about an hour or two, but regardless there are some really good stories and experiences here.
As always, we here at Cubold do some intense research to help you find games that you may have never heard about before but there will always be some that we miss. So, let’s get into it, here are the top 10 best free story games that you can play right now on Steam!
10. The Savior From Above
Starting out this list strong, The Savior From Above is a super charming side-scrolling platforming game with unique puzzles, a really cool atmosphere, and a pretty intriguing narrative.
The thing I like most about this game is the fact that it reminds me a lot of Little Nightmares, which is one of my favorite series of all time. This game has a bit of a different vibe to it though, more science fiction and space-focused.
The story follows a little astronaut who crash-landed on an alien planet. Everything seems pretty straightforward at first but of course, there is more to uncover as you get further into the game.
It’s a pretty short game, only takes about 15 – 30 minutes to beat but it’s definitely a cool little game that we highly recommend.
9. Marie’s Room
Next up is definitely a more relaxed and slow-paced “Game”, if you can even call it that, it’s more of a visual novel.
Even though it’s pretty uneventful gameplay-wise, the story here is definitely worth it. The game follows the story of Kelsey and Marie, two friends slash classmates. You play as Kelsey, remembering her past and thinking back on what happened to Marie.
The music, atmosphere, and overall feel that the game emits are very relaxing. It’s one of those games that I can imagine sitting down with a cup of coffee just experiencing. It’s got a good flow and it’s pretty short and sweet. The art style is also really unique.
Not something you’ll get hours of gameplay out of but very much worth playing.
Summerland is one of the more intriguing stories on this list and something really cool about this game is that it was developed by a high school student, so that just makes it all the more impressive.
Now, the gameplay can be a bit janky and laggy but luckily the star of this game isn’t the gameplay but the story. Basically, you play as a detective who relives his memories. The game touches on themes of mortality and what comes after death.
Pretty cool stuff and it’s impressive that all this narrative came from a high school student. As for run time, the game takes about an hour to beat. The gameplay itself is pretty standard, It’s a first-person story game that has some interactive elements to it but nothing special. I think one of the more impressive things about the game is the story telling and the voice acting.
It’s a unique game with a lot of interesting themes intertwined throughout the story.
7. The Unluckiest Man
The Unluckiest Man is a game that I feel could have actually cost some money if it were a bit longer. It’s a decently polished game but it’s definitely on the shorter side of things, like an hour short or maybe even less than that.
I don’t wanna get too much into the story because it’s pretty weird and I think it’s best to experience it for yourself but basically, it follows a man named Dragomir after his wife just died. The overall theme is pretty Halloween-ish, so it’s a great game to play in October. Something else that is cool is you get to explore the small town and talk with the NPCs. It’s also not in English but you can put subtitles on, so not ideal but it didn’t bother me all that much.
It’s got a lot of polish for a free game and the story is good too so I think this game is worth considering.
6. Burning Daylight
Burning Daylight reminds me a lot of Inside. It’s got that dark and morbid storytelling through the environment around you and is kind of borderline a walking simulator, but it works really well here and I like this game a lot.
There isn’t a lot of narrative that is just handed to you in the game, it’s more artistic in the way it describes the story. The setting is a dystopian world and your goal is to explore this world in the hopes of finding out where you came from.
I don’t know, I am a sucker for these types of games so I am really into this one. I love Inside, Little Nightmares, all those types of games, and Burning Daylight definitely feels inspired by those types of games, I also got a little bit of a Stray vibe from it too. The quality and storytelling are at a level where I would comfortably pay money for this, it could honestly be up there with Inside and similar games if it were longer.
It’s a great morbid story and a good game to have in your library.
5. What Never Was
Similar to Marie’s Room, What Never Was is a short story-driven game that involves a pretty reserved gameplay style, mostly walking around, picking things up, and solving some puzzles.
I think the puzzles are definitely a big focus point aside from the story, they aren’t difficult but have just enough challenge to make them enjoyable. The game is also short and should take you about an hour to beat.
The story follows Sarah as she explores her grandfather’s attic, which seems straightforward but eventually things get a bit more interesting. I actually really enjoyed the story and you can really see the developer’s passion for the project.
Really solid game and a good short story that is worth playing.
4. Escape The Game
Probably one of the most unique games on this list is Escape The Game. It’s a 2D platforming game that consistently breaks the 4th wall, has lots of funny moments, and surprisingly has a great short story that pairs well with the gameplay.
It’s very charming is how I would summarize it, the gameplay feels really good and the overall quality just feels premium. The story is told through dialog bubbles, so if that bothers you, I guess that’s something to consider. I didn’t mind it all that much and I thought it fit the game very well.
The title pretty much summarizes the narrative of the game. You play as Kevin in his journey to escape the game.
It’s fun, unique, and very much worth checking out.
3. TRY AGAIN
TRY AGAIN is a platformer game that not only has a really unique premise but also great gameplay. I really like this game, it reminds me of inside and games similar to that.
To summarize, you play Benny, a test character who is stuck in an unfinished game and you need to escape the game developer. It’s definitely a story that I’ve never seen before. Basically, you are navigating an unfinished game and racing against the time crunch that the publishers are putting on the devs.
The game is just awesome, I mean I like this game so much, I only wish it was longer. Like if this was a full 4-8 hours game, I would happily pay $30 for it. I mean, it’s free so the game only takes about an hour to beat.
Unique, fun, and a really good story. TRY AGAIN is definitely worth playing.
2. Dagon: by H. P. Lovecraft
Dagon: by H.P. Lovecraft is a game that has such a high degree of polish and such a good and interesting story that if you plan on just playing one of the games from this list, this one has got to be one.
The game is so good, it’s basically like watching a short movie. It’s creepy, very very Lovecraftian, and the game actually looks good too. I’m a huge fan of anything Lovecraft so I may be a bit biased.
The gameplay is pretty vanilla but the story and vibe really carry the game. I mean, it’s also sitting with an overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam, so I’m not the only one who thinks the game is great.
I don’t wanna spoil too much or go too deep into what you should expect, just get the game and play it, We highly recommend it.
1. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is an excellent end to this list. It follows a story that revolves around Chris, a 9-year-old who has a big imagination and a superhero alter ego.
The game has heavy ties to Life is Strange 2 but it can definitely be played alone, I mean I never played Life is Strange 2 or the first game and I still enjoyed this, just for those who have played or are planning to play the Life is Strange series, this game fits into that universe.
It’s got the quality of a paid game, good mechanics, amazing voice acting, and a great story. I mean the story in particular is heartwarming but also pretty tragic and grounded and has a lot of emotional tones and themes. It’s a good story, I mean what can you expect from the Don’tNod devs?
The game also offers more content than probably any other game on this list, You’ll get a decent 2-4 hours of gameplay here. Not much else to say, the game is worth playing and definitely deserves a spot on this list.