Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break from work and do something a little more enjoyable — like play games! Of course your employer probably won’t allow you to install a desktop game on your computer but fret not, there are plenty of browser-based games to keep you entertained.
We’ve pulled together ten great browser-based games you should definitely check out.
Many of these games attempt to duplicate (to a lesser degree) desktop games, which require significantly higher computer hardware capabilities. The specifics on minimum requirements for hardware can be difficult to say (especially for browser-based games), so in general you’ll need a relatively capable computer and updated browser. Of course, another common requirement will be broadband internet. I’ve tried to list the main requirements for each game but your system may vary.
If you’ve played any of the desktop versions of Quake, you’ll already be familiar with the browser-based version as it’s quite similar. Quake is a fast paced first-person shooter, focused on multiplayer. The game is currently in beta but having played it a bit, it seems to work really well and is tons of fun.
- Requirements: IE 7 or higher, FireFox 2.0 or higher (I played in Safari without issues)
- Developer: Id Software LLC.
RuneScape is Java powered and offers a certain level of 3D rendering. It is a fantasy MMORPG that allows players to travel through different kingdoms, cities, etc. using magic, spells and other fantasy themed gameplay activities.
- Requirements: Java
- Developer: Jagex Ltd
Fallen Empire: Legions is a first-person shooter where players can fly around using a jetpack, dodging enemy fire and shooting enemies in deathmatch mode. You’ll be able to play with up to 32 players, live. The game has some pretty good 3D graphics, especially for a browser-based game.
- Requirements: IE6+, Firefox or Safari
- Developer: InstantAction
Power Soccer gives players live control of a soccer team in real-time 3D. You’ll be able to challenge other teams, play thousands of other players, get involved in online leagues, connect with other soccer fans and much more.
- Requirements: Flash 9.0+, Browser supporting Java 1.1+
- Developer: Power Challenge
ORANGEfps is a first-person shooter with decent 3D graphics for a browser-based game that allows players to play in multi or single player modes. The system requirements are a little unclear and it looks like it only supports Windows right now, but from what I can tell — it looks like a lot of fun.
- Requirements: Windows XP, Vista or 7
- Developer: ORANGEfps
Earth Eternal is a cartoonish-themed MMO where players have access to 22 character types, ranging from bear-like creatures to rabbit-like creatures. Characters can be customized and players are able to roam through lots of different 3D landscape types while combating other players.
- Requirements: Not listed
- Developer: Sparkplay Media
Phosphor is a first-person shooter currently in its second beta. It runs on Shockwave and the 3D graphics aren’t anything you’ll gawk over but it can be a pretty fun online multiplayer game.
- Requirements: Adobe Shockwave 11.5.1
- Developer: Rasterwerks
Battlefield Heros is another cartoonish-themed 3D shooter, which is being developed by EA (a pretty big name in the gaming industry). The graphics look pretty great and players are able to customize their characters while ranking up as they play.
- Requirements: Windows XP or Vista
- Developer: EA Digital Illusions CE AB
Gilfor’s Tales is another fantasy-themed game with some pretty decent 2D/2.5D graphics and 3D characters, although Flash rendered. The characters are supposedly rendered in real-time, giving it a more immersive experience. Players create a team, explores and battles through the different landscapes, creatures and characters.
- Requirements: Flash 9
- Developer: Sodigital
Imperion is a space-themed game based in the year 2137 where three species fight to dominate the universe. Players develop new technologies, space ships, buildings, etc. It seems to have some pretty good graphics and fun gameplay but was released in mid-2009, so it’s still a very new game.
- Requirements: Not listed
- Developer: Travian Games GmbH
Reader Submitted Games
A few of our readers have submitted a couple browser-based games that would be great additions to the list, so we’ve added them below. We’ll keep adding game submissions from readers for awhile so keep’em comin!
InstantAction is a video game network sporting quite a few multiplayer titles, no downloads required. From what I hear, it’s workplace productivity poison so beware! (And have fun!) A few of the games include Fallen Empire: Legions, Marble Blast, Galcon, Rokkitball, Ace of Aces, Lore: Aftermath and more.
Submitted by John. Thanks!
Inix Game is offering Kal Online (reader submitted) and Project Shinru, both fantasy-themed games sporting pretty good graphics (although I haven’t played either yet). From what I could find, both games offer real-time 3D graphics but may be Windows only.
Submitted by Klaus. Thanks!
- Requirements: Flash?, Not listed
- Developer: INix Soft
Games are a perfect example of how quickly web applications have advanced over the last few years and are increasingly advancing with time. There are tons of fun browser-based games available though so if you have a favorite, please share it with us in the comments below!