At a time the crypto-market is undergoing a global expansion, the sector of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is also receiving lots of attention. NFTs are built on blockchain technology and indicate virtual representations of real life items like video games, songs, paintings, etc. NFTs are to hold real monetary values and can be purchased using cryptocurrencies. Non-Fungible-Tokens are making their way into the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry, leading to the creation of play-to-earn NFT games, some of which actually reward players with valuable crypto-assets.
According to CryptoMinati Capital “The biggest reason behind the popularity of NFT games is the low entry price and the magnitude of benefits later on”. These games include tokenized in-game assets which allow players to collect them as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in form of characters, weapons, vehicles and other related items. NFT games allows players to accumulate and trade in-game assets as NFTs to make money in form of cryptocurrencies. Each game may allow the players either sell their NFTs for profits, or accumulate them until they yield crypto rewards from the game without having to let go of their assets.
Types of NFT Games
1. Play to Earn NFT Games
NFT games seem to take video games to a higher level. Play-to-earn is one of the NFT game types where players focus on earning. Players earn different items which are scarce and belong to them purely. The concept opens up the multiverse idea that allows gamers to use their items in multiple games.
The play-to-earn model of the best NFT games shares its unique features. What makes it different from traditional games is the built-in incentives. These incentives take power from the game publishers and shift it towards skilled players.
2. Games for Players (Reward: In-game Coins & Transaction)
The second type of NFT game provides players to proceed by collecting in-game assets, specifically, those in-game assets that hold some absolute monetary value. The best NFT games in this category include tokenized in-game assets, which allows players to collect them as NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Such games let players collect and trade weapons, characters, vehicles, and other in-game assets that are playable in many ways. However, trading is done merely in the form of NFTs. The rules for each such game vary, and, as the result, players come up with two choices; they can either gather their NFTs until they pay back crypto rewards or sell their NFTs for profits.
3. Free to Play Games (User Experience & Players-Teenagers-Coders)
Gamified learning has always been a part of the world of the best NFT games. It indeed offers a educational content that facilitates knowledge attainment with the help of a game-like user interface. In fact, free-to-play is a type of NFT game with no need to any upfront cost.
The best example of free-to-play games are Gods Unchained and Splinterlands, which allow players to earn without any investment. It is worth noting that some free top NFT games heavily depend on RNG mechanics, while other games may take advantages of pay-to-win mechanics where the best in-game assets are hidden behind the paywalls.
Here, we aim to introduce some of the best NFT Games introduced in 2021. We compile a list of free-to-play NFT Games, play-to-earn NFT Games, and many other blockchain games which has attracted NFT gamers.
Top 15 Play to Earn NFT Games
A new virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain is Decentraland. It gives the opportunity to users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications. LAND in Decentraland is permanently owned by the community which provides them the full control over their creations or assets. A blockchain-based ledger of parcels is used to allow users claim their ownership of their virtual lands. Landowners fully control all the content published to their portion of land, which is identified by a set of cartesian coordinates (x,y). Contents may include all ranges of static 3D scenes, interactive experiences such as games, and so on.
2. Sandbox 3D
The Sandbox 3D is a famous voxel-based game well-known for being one of the top NFT gaming platforms for creating and trading various virtual assets. Players are free not only to customize but also to make profits from voxel objects they earn while playing Sandbox 3D. This game could be defined as a blockchain-based version of Roblox or Minecraft.
As an open-world physical sandbox, Sandbox 3D allows the players to experience gaming with other friends and manipulate various objects provided in the game. The platform provides a variety of tools for creating and customizing objects. Besides, this NFT game offers another cool feature: players can sell the objects on multiple markets; this platform even makes it possible to the players to develop and play their own games.
Sandbox 3D makes use of SAND, an ERC-20 coin, as the metaverse’s native. This token could be used to buy a wide variety of in-game products with Sandbox 3D. All the stunning products are available on the marketplace of the platform. Players can also earn LAND tokens, another Sandbox’s NFT token, which are among the highest valuable assets in this game.
3. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is one of the best early Pokémon-style games. This play-to-earn game was developed on the Ethereum blockchain. Axie Infinity emerged as a powerful competitor in 2021. Axie Infinity gets its credit from its outstanding improvements and its growing number of players.
Axie Infinity recently made use of a prominent scalability solution called Ronin. Since there are no fees to transactions, this seems to be the most reliable solution. While the primary goal of gamers is combating others, players also breed and collect Axies, which are NFT-based digital creatures. Gamers gain their profit from trading their axis on any one of the popular Ethereum NFT marketplaces. Axie traits and its rarity causes different prices.
Notice that gamers must have their hands on at least three Axies before you start playing this game. Meanwhile there is another native ERC20 token, Axis Infinity Shard (AXS), developed in the game that serves as the government token of the platform and is the foundation for the staking service of Axie Infinity, required to breed a new Axie.
4. Battle Infinity
The developers of the P2E game Battle Infinity combine gaming and the virtual world to design a platform that offers players numerous benefits. Players have access to six platforms, including IBAT Premier League which offers a fantasy sports game integrated with the Metaverse.
Players first buy IBAT, the platforms native token, and then purchase an NFT pass to enter matches and leagues. They may use the Battle Swap, a platform designed for trading NFT passes and converting rewards into other assets, to buy the required coins. Battle Staking enables players to battle out for the highest rewards, and Battle Market puts a value on assets and characters, which usually don’t have value in the traditional gaming industry.
Battle Arena enables players to have their own unique avatar and they can upgrade the avatar in the Battle Market by changing their clothing or hairstyles. Battle Games platform enables players to access multiple NFT games and earn. Players can sell their winning NFTs for other currencies.
Players can stay up to date with the latest updates via Battle Infinity’s Telegram group. Investors looking for projects with growth potential should consider Battle Infinity, which has now sold out its presale early but will be listed on crypto exchanges such as PancakeSwap.
Sorare is another top 5 NFT games currently running. It is a title based around fantasy football. Like any fantasy football, gamers put together a team based on their favorite players and get rewarded based on how they perform in real-life games. However, the difference is that the team is represented by NFTs rather than just picking them out which makes the game of the best on NFT with a bit of a different feel.
The same as Axie Infinity, this game has an element of collection at work. Gamers only need to collect and seek out the cards for players they choose. Sorare has recreated the experience of collecting football cards, which makes it a unique game.
Silks is not only a game leveraging blockchain technology, but also an entire Metaverse itself. This play-to-earn game serves as a bridge between reality and the virtual Metaverse meaning that Silks has constructed its own virtual world, a game that bring horse racing experience to life. The platform combines training history, race records, breeds, bloodlines, and other data to create one-of-a-kind digital horses.
Players can take ownership of virtual NFT horses that are linked to real-world thoroughbred racehorses. Every time a real-life horse wins a race, the owner receives $STT, Silks’ native crypto token, as reward.
Since horses are in NFT shape, they can be traded in a secondary market. You can use $STT tokens on property and more in the Silks ecosystem. Breeding new generation of horses also allows players to make more gains.
Finally, the Silks roadmap outlines intentions for a public sale of avatars in the second quarter of 2022. There will be a public auction of Silks horses, followed by land and stables for sale in the third quarter.
Launched in 2018, MegaCryptoPolis is a play-to-earn multiplayer blockchain game that requires its users to build cities. Players can own different game assets such as land plots, buildings, citizens, pets, and any other asset an individual can have in the physical world. They can own all these assets and develop them into a city to earn influence points, which defines a player’s effectiveness and success.
The gameplay provides many choices to players; they can produce NFT materials like bricks, wood and stones as well as resources (electricity, water, etc.) for other players. Players can build buildings on their lands and rent them to others. All actions in the game include some tax that the player has to pay. Players can also make a generation of citizens and govern them and their properties.
Land plots are the core assets of the game. Therefore, everything built on land is precious. All the NFT materials and resources produced from land and its building can be traded and earn the owner cryptocurrencies. The game categorizes buildings into ten classes: residential, office, commercial, municipal, industrial, production, energy, points of interest, public transport, and high-level buildings. Each type of building has a certain role in the production cycle. Thus, the number of buildings a player owns directly influences her in-game income.
MegaCryptoPolis uses its native MEGA cryptocurrency to run all in-game transactions. MEGA tokens can be earned by depositing materials and NFTs produced, including wood, metal, stone, etc., into the vault. Players earn MEGA tokens by playing the game and exchanging resources. All the taxes in the game are also paid using MEGA tokens.
8. GODS UNCHAINED
Gods Unchained is a fun entry to NFT games made by some developers with a history of making popular games. This title comes from some former directors of the Magic the Gathering series. There are many different cards you can collect that are NFTs, in a similar way to MtGs. Its background and growth potential definitely makes it one of the top 5 NFT games. It also has the potential as an e-sport.
9. StarLink (STARL)
The STARL Metaverse project seems to introduce an interactive 3D universe based on space. The game provides adventure in cosmos to discover space stations, meet people and trade NFTs, create a spaceship and, in fact, be entertained. However, many describe the game mostly as a hub for virtual social interaction. Wyrmbite Studios developed the game with the first Wrap Nexus which is a space exploration and play-to-earn space MMO. Therefore, there will be no limitation for what players may do in the Metaverse alone or with others, including racing game on moons and other planets, spaceship battles in solar system and even farther. STARL may also be used for educational and training purposes.
STARL provides players with lots of valuable rewards as they complete the battles or quests. Players can use their assets and rewards to progress in their missions or sell them on STARL Market. $STARL is the token used all over the Metaverse to trade NFTs or pay for progress. When the Metaverse launches, there will be more to learn about this AAA game.
10. Thetan Arena
Thetan Arena was created by studio WolfFun and fully released in November 2021. It is a blockchain based multiplayer Arena game which is available on PC, Android and iOS devices. This play-to-earn game allows its players to either play for free without the NFT aspect or play to earn NFT rewards such as skins and weapons.
Thetan Arena is an e-sport game and requires the players to gather friends, form a team and battle with others to earn tokens. There are several game modes such as MOBA & Battle Royale with monthly updates which makes the game unique. The game modes aim to combine player’s personal skills and teamwork to gain the highest rewards. In fact, Thetan Arena looks for a true Decentralized organization where players decide about future movements of the game.
The game uses Thetan Coin (THC) to run its economy. THC is used to buy Thetan box or source of heroes, upgrade the heroes to Premium ones, and more interestingly bet on matches in the stream. There are several ways to earn THC including battle, quest, battle pass, get ranking rewards, etc. The game also rewards gems (THG) which provides a decentralized exchange among players. Players may earn THG in special events, tournaments or in marketplaces. HTG is used to upgrade Premium Heroes to Thetan heroes, or vote on future features on Thetan Arena.
MetaWars is designed as a futuristic sci-fi game following a multiplayer strategy. This roleplaying game is all about space, and the gamers are free to immerse themselves in one of the most realistic space explorations. Furthermore, players make advantages and earn with the war economy of the game with the help of a vast MetaWars galaxy, which constantly shifts and evolves with participant collective actions.
Players are allowed to cooperate with others to discover a variety of galaxies in this game. In a team work, players complete a series of missions in order to revolutionize those galaxies. Players can also collect limited edition robots while earning NFTs, which they may get from multiple auctions.
Furthermore, MetaWars requires players stake and complete challenges and, in turn, reward them with $WARS tokens (the governance and in-game token). Using stunning and unique optimization options, gamers expand their armies. They further mix and match devices, modules, weapons, and much more to strengthen to their gaming character level, o that they can earn unique rewards.
CryptoBlades is an RPG play-to-earn NFT game. Players can earn tokens which they can later sell on NFT marketplaces or put to other uses.
The game is a war game where users fight and defeat enemies to earn skill tokens as prizes. Players start at a plaza where they get to mint their character. While the game is play-to-earn, players need to buy a character to start the game. The elements of the characters are assigned at random and with a beginner’s weapon. But each beginner character has 200 stamina which is enough to see them through their first five battles.
Players also get to generate weapons and other in-game assets. CryptoBlades has a dedicated NFT marketplace where players can trade weapons and characters.
Illuvium is a decentralized NFT collection and one of the best play to earn NFT games is a battle game on Ethereum blockchain. It was first launched in January 2022 by Illuvium DAO. Players are required to collect creatures called Illuvials, which come in five classes and affinities with their strengths and weaknesses. Players can empower their Illuvials through winning battles and completing quests.
Illuvium also has its own ecosystem including ERC-20 tokens ILV, sILV and NFTs. As a play-to-earn game, players must complete challenges, quests and battles to earn ILV. ILV holders can use their coins to mine, take part in governing and earn in-game rewards. sILV is spend in-game for taking care of Illuvials and restore their health. The rare Illuvials include Shiny, Gold and Holographic.
14. Alien Worlds
Alien is a play-to-earn NFT game built on the WAX blockchain. where players use aliens to mine for resources. The game is a sci-fi adventure game set on futuristic planets. There are 500 land plots contained in six worlds within a universe. Each land plot is represented by an NFT.
Players within the game can mine planets, buy or rent lands, go on missions or participate in the politics of the planets. While doing this, players get to earn NFTs and Trillium, the game’s native token. Players can also stake their Trillium in a planet to strengthen it and increase their status in the governance of the planet.
The NFTs and in-game currency earned can be traded as NFTs between players. In turn, players earn revenue from it. Players can also earn a passive income from owning land or staking their trillium on Binance Smart Chance. As of writing, a single TLM token trades at $0.01637, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Splinterlands is one of the most popular tradable free-to-play card games. It is on the list of play-to-earn top NFT games and, similar to Gods unchained, you can earn Moola as you play. In the case you win card matchups, you can earn various rewards. If you wish to start playing this awesome NFT game, you must first purchase a starter pack of cards. You are also required to register a Steam account that permits you to unveil the cards you bought on Splinterlands.
In your first card purchase, you may be fortunate enough to own some of the rare cards. Another possibility is that you may get several cards of the same type. So, you can simply combine all similar cards to give them a tremendous boost in power. Or even you can sell one of the identical cards for cryptocurrency. Each round of Splinterlands takes just a few minutes with a chance to gain some cryptos in a rapid battle!
A final word to the players
The perfect combination of blockchain technology and NFTs makes the future of blockchain gaming promising; it revolves around the value-adding aspect for creators, consumers, and players which are heavily dependent on NFTs. The safety and security provided by the blockchain adds a comfort layer for both gamers and creators.
In the future, blockchain NFT gaming makes players an essential part of the game in interaction with the virtual world. The top gamers will gather unique in-game assets which brigns both credit and profit for them. Further, the audiences get opportunities to invest in their favorite players to earn better digital assets and purchase more NFTs.
All said above makes it possible to create an interactive and fully-functional gaming world where the gamers will be able to create a network to celebrate or display their gaming achievements and play head-to-head against anyone across the globe. In short, NFTs will entirely change how the gamers plays, interacts, and consumes content.