15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2022 Update)

best pay to win games

With the growing technology, some pretty addictive pay-to-win games are being released. We’ve all been there and we all got hooked at one point in time. But the worst thing about any pay-to-win game is that the player has to pay some extra money to get the real experience of the game which unlocks many upgraded features, great tools, and a lot of other significant gameplay elements.

This is a big injustice to all the dedicated players who can’t buy the premium features and so, the wealthy players always get that advantage to win over the real competitors because they can pay. But you can’t stop developers from making money, and you can’t stop gamers from spending it, taking that into account we bring you a list of the best pay-to-win games.

15. APB: Reloaded (2011)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

APB (or known as All Points Bulletin) Reloaded is a next-level online video game, aesthetically designed by David Jones and currently available for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and Play Station 4. GTA-inspired APB Reloaded is an action-adventure third-person shooter MMO-based video game specially designed into two fractions of cops and robbers. APB is the worst because it hardly lets a freemium player advance to the late game and so a player can’t get access to the upgraded weapons, gear skins, and vehicles without paying.

14. Dungeon Keeper (2014)

Dungeon Keeper is a strategy developed by Mythic Entertainment and is available for both Android and iOS. Here are a few reasons why the game isn’t exactly on top of the list of best pay-to-win games. Dungeon Keeper has a pathetic gameplay pace. The plot seems lifeless and unstimulating which offers a mind-numbing atmosphere. Dungeon Keeper is a free version, yet it has many microtransactions every couple of levels to unlock something interesting or unique.

13. Final Fantasy: All The Bravest (2013)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

Final Fantasy: All The Bravest is an action-based video game that is ranked “The 44th worst game ever made” by GamesRadar. IGN remarked that the developer BitGroove has maliciously created some insulting in-app purchases to bankrupt its fans. This cost Square Enix’s Franchise a couple of reputation points on the market. Each character costs $1 and the player must buy all the 35 characters to advance through the game. If any character lost his health it takes him 3 minutes to regain it. So what if your entire team got demolished? It would take no less than 2 hours to play the game again.

Luckily, you can always buy some time, literally. The Android version is better as it offers a few cost-free hourglasses (which are highly-priced in an iOS version of the game)

12. Candy Crush Saga (2012)

Is there a more notorious pay-to-win game than Candy Crush? Candy Crush Saga is notable among different age groups. This sweet and addictive game with infinite levels was developed back in 2012 and it’s still going strong. It’s available on both android and iOS. Candy Crush Saga is a single-player puzzle video game it was awarded the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Mobile Game in 2016.

If you suck at this type of game, prepare your wallet. If you by any chance lose a round, it will take 30 minutes to regain a single life. You can always by life and the game itself can be upgraded with paid features in the form of power-ups and instant health regeneration.

11. Angry Birds Go! (2013)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

Rovio Entertainment has come up with this very intriguing, fun, and adventurous game of a few colorful characters (bad piggies). Designed by Nic Cusworth and directed by Jon Gibson. Angry Birds Go racing game is for both Android and iOS users and supports multiplayer and single-player mods. How did it end up on our list of best pay-to-win games?

Although the game offers some real car racing experience, however, certain drawbacks manage to ruin the excitement over time. Initially, the gameplay is limited to five running tracks for players. You have to wait for a long time for upgrades to complete. The upgraded carts are over-priced (the most expensive one goes for 1500 gems) which can only be purchased with the in-game currency, which can, in turn, be purchased only with real money and can’t be farmed in-game.

10. FIFA Series Ultimate Team (2010)

FIFA Franchise is one of the most popular and so far the best-selling sports simulations of all time. Developed under the label of EA Sports, the FIFA Franchise has introduced a series of classic football video games. So why does this game warrants the spot on this list of best pay-to-win games?

For starters, Christiano Ronaldo costs too much, and the in-game currency cannot be farmed it has to be bought. FIFA Soccer Ultimate team offers interactive squad challenges which cost real coins.

9. Farmville Series (2009)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

The Farmville series was released under the label of Zynga in 2009 and it managed to be one of the most addictive Facebook online games and had won the award for “The Best New Social/Online Game” at the Game Developers Conference. Farmville is based on farming simulation if you haven’t figured it out going by the name alone.

Farmville managed to get on our list of pay-to-win games for several reasons. First, the plots of land are seriously limited if you don’t pay money for them. Upgrades take too long if you don’t “boost them” with real money. It has a lot of content locked behind paywalls. Farmville is also really addicting so if you have a history of spending a bunch of money on a few pixels and polygons, this is the game for you.

8. Real Racing 3 (2013)

Firemonkey’s Studios launched a car-racing video game called Real Racing 3 back in 2013. However, the predecessor Real Racing 2 appeals more to gamers than its successor. Real Racing 3 is average in the list of pay-to-win games. Real Racing 3 has exceptional graphics and running tracks. However, the game controls and steering are not up to the mark which is a big disappointment!

7. Cooking Fever (2014)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

Cooking Fever was developed by Nordcurrent back in 2014. The game is based on cooking simulation and it revolves around the concept of time management. Many Cooking Fever fans are likely to pay for the upgraded restaurant levels however, others might give up. It’s really hard to run this restaurant if you have no money, so in that aspect, it’s very realistic too.

At first, you will be able to progress through the game at a normal pace, but as you advance through the levels you will notice the abundance of kitchen appliances available to you that you can’t afford for some reason. The money you’ve earned clearing the last level won’t be enough. Weird. You will also suck at the game since you need those fancy appliances. There’s always a solution, you can buy in-game coins with real money.

6. Dr. Mario World (2019)

I’m going to restrain myself from making healthcare and pay-to-win-related jokes. However, there’s a reason why this game popped up on our list of pay-to-win games. At every level, Mario unlocks certain helpful objects like diamonds, coins, and different characters. However, soon the amount of unlocked extra features is not enough and you either need to be really skilled or just buy the things with real money.

5. Destiny 2 (2017)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

Destiny Franchise was developed as an online multiplayer action-based FPS game, and some time ago it went free to play. Many players are complaining that it’s not actually a pay-to-win game, it’s a pay-to-play game. Most of the complaints are coming due to the fact that some items and features are locked behind a season pass. I would say that’s fair. Destiny is not like most of the games on this list, it’s a legitimate game developed primarily to be good, and second, to turn a profit.

RELATED: Is Destiny 2 Crossplay? PC, PlayStation & Xbox Guide

4. Warframe (2013)

Digital Extremes developed Warframe back in 2013. The game was a near instant success and built an amazing community filled with devoted fans. Warframe is a classic grindfest, and it’s free at the same time. You know what that means – it’s pay to win. Their pay-to-win model works better than most of the games on this list, that’s why Warframe made it to the top 5 of our list of best pay-to-win games.

3. Clash of Clans (2012)

15 Best Pay-To-Win Games (2021 Updated)

Clash of Clans is the 2nd most popular online freemium game of the genre strategy. It has been released for iOS and Android. This game is all about building villages and training troops however, the pay-to-win model is clever. The player needs to win more gems to build faster and train more troops faster.

You’ve probably seen Clash of Clans ads all over the internet, now you know why it’s so popular. It’s an overall entertaining game with a pay-to-win system, it’s worth a try if you’re into mobile strategies.

2. MapleStory (2003)

MapleStory is an MMORPG freemium-based 2D game available for both iOS and Android developed by Wizards. The plot has no specific objective however, it still keeps you hooked. You can create and customize multiple characters and it has an in-game cash shop where players can buy unique gameplay enhancements and cosmetics like pets and skins. Since the pay-to-win model is not so aggressive at all times, MapleStory managed to rank high in second place on our list of best pay-to-win games.

RELATED: 50 Best Free Mobile Games

1. Diablo Immortal

We’ve reached the top of our pay-to-win games list and of course, in the top spot is Diablo Immortal. Even though it generated quite the backlash on release, it turned out to be a solid game. Diablo Immortal was a mobile MMORPG but was ultimately decided that it was going to be released for PC too. Set in the Diablo universe, it simply couldn’t fail. And it didn’t, even though it’s a pay-to-win game. There’s nothing you can’t buy in Diablo Immortal, from items, cosmetics, in-game currency, and XP boosters. You can play the game totally free but it’s going to be hard and eventually, the paying players will outrank you and you will be stuck in a neverending grindfest just to come close to them.

It’s impossible to advance through the endgame without paying, and someone did the math and it would take approximately anywhere between $40,000-$100,000 to “buy” the game’s final build. That incredible amount of money is why Diablo Immortal ranked first on this list of pay-to-win games.

That would be all. We’re at the end of our list of best pay-to-win games, and hopefully, you will find something great to play. I hope you won’t go broke in the process though.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.