Times have changed, and gone are the days when you had to run out to the store to buy that video game you’d been itching to play for months. Online video games are on the rise, and since the launch of Steam, platforms where you can buy them haven’t stopped popping up. Although physical games are still collectors’ items, nobody can deny that the online ones are far more convenient.
If you’re a fan of online games but have already grown bored of the Steam catalog, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we’re going to share a roundup of the top online gaming platforms out there. All are excellent alternatives to Steam, and they compensate for some of the shortcomings in Valve’s catalog. We hope you find it helpful!
GoG (Good Old Games)
Our first pick is GoG (Good Old Games), the online platform created by CD Projekt with the goal of resurrecting classic video games and making them compatible with today’s operating systems. In short, it’s a gamers’ paradise, a place for people who have loved video games for years and want to be able to play old, sadly forgotten titles again.
The GoG catalog is simply superb. You’ll find thousands of classics that have made history in the gaming sector. The graphic adventures from Lucasarts, the Ultima saga, all the Wing Commander editions, the 7th Guest, the multiple releases of Might and Magic, all of King’s Quest, etc… And you can play them all without needing to download emulators, make boot discs, or tinker with your operating system to simulate DOS.
If you’re not crazy about old video games, don’t worry. For the past few years, GoG has been adding new games to its catalog as well. Although its name may suggest that it only has old games, don’t be fooled! You’ll actually find titles as new as, for example, Baldur’s Gate 3 or The Outer Worlds, and the catalog will soon offer Horizon Zero Dawn: The Complete Edition and Cyberpunk:2077.
One feature that sets GoG apart from similar platforms like Steam is that its games lack DRM. So, once downloaded, you can save them forever and you won’t need an internet connection to play them. In addition, although GoG has its own client to download and play its titles (GoG Galaxy), you’re not required to use it, so it’s a much less invasive experience than Steam.
If you’re one of those people who loves connecting to other users on Steam, we have good news for you: GoG Galaxy is quite similar in this respect. This client lets you connect and chat with friends, play against them in multiplayer mode and unlock trophies for all the games in your library. In fact, the only difference versus the Steam client is that GoG Galaxy is completely optional. If you want to try GoG Galaxy, you can download it below.
In short, GoG is the perfect option for anyone who’s looking for a website to complement the Steam catalog with something totally different. Most of the games you’ll find on this site are not available anywhere else, and they’re all excellent. So, check it out today!
Origin is the online gaming platform from EA (Electronic Arts). It has been in the market for almost as many years as Steam and GoG, and its catalog is highly focused on the company’s games. So if you’re looking for a digital platform to play or find the best prices for franchises like The Sims, FIFA, or Battlefield, be sure to check out Origin.
As we mentioned, the Origin catalog is strongly centered on Electronic Arts games, which becomes obvious as soon as you visit the website. Many of the top picks and recommendations will take you to EA’s main franchises, but if you keep looking, you’ll find a pretty decent catalog of titles from other companies. So you can find the complete Batman series by Rocksteady, The Witcher trilogy, all the Assassin’s Creed titles, etc.
Compared to other online gaming stores, Origin stands out for the fact that it has embraced the online subscription model. So on the website, you can subscribe to the EA Play or EA Play Pro services, which allow unlimited use of a juicy catalog of EA games, early access to the company’s upcoming releases, discounts of up to 10% on the whole website, and rewards and exclusive content for members. You can check out its subscription system here.
To download and play games, Origin uses a client that’s quite similar to Steam. Unlike GoG, it’s necessary to play games on Origin, but it offers all of the basic features for connecting to friends and enjoying games with them in multiplayer mode. You can download the Origin client quickly and securely below.
Origin is an online video game store designed specifically for fans of the Electronic Arts franchises. It can be a great option because of its innovative subscription system, which you can use to access a large part of its catalog for one monthly payment.
Itch.io is an online video game platform designed for fans of indie games. You’ll find the most original titles, ones that are not overly commercial and that ooze with quality and imagination like no others. This makes it a truly interesting choice to complement Steam’s catalog of commercial games or GoG’s selection of classic titles.
As for its catalog, Itch.io features the cream of the crop from the indie universe. One of the platform’s strengths is that the vast majority of these titles are free, and you can communicate with the developers to help them improve their products until they can be sold. In fact, many of the indie games sold on platforms like Steam started out as free titles on Itch.io.
As for its client, Itch.io has a lightweight, useful app that you can use to organize and update all of your video games. What’s more, you can use the app to communicate with the rest of the Itch.io community and with the developers of the titles you are playing. You can download the Itch.io app quickly and conveniently below.
Itch.io is a great website to play all kinds of games that, while less widely known, are imaginative and high in quality. It’s a real must for any indie game devotee.
Formerly known as Uplay, Ubisoft Connect is Ubisoft’s online video game platform. It can be considered the most recent to hit the market, as it debuted just a few months ago with the launch of Watch Dogs Legion. However, it’s essentially just a facelift of Uplay, a platform that, while popular among fans of the company, never got off the ground.
The entire Ubisoft Connect catalog is centered exclusively on the company’s games. As such, its star games are the multiple releases from Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs and Far Cry. One thing to keep in mind: if you’re planning to play an Ubisoft title, you should always use its platform. Even if the title is also available on sites like Steam, you’ll be required to have Ubisoft Connect installed in order to play it.
Like Origin, Ubisoft Connect offers an interesting subscription service called Ubisoft+. You’ll have unlimited access to more than 100 games from the company, new releases, early access, expansions, etc., for a single monthly payment. To learn more details about Ubisoft+, we suggest visiting the website here.
As for its client, Ubisoft Connect uses a similar system to its competitors. From it, you can access your games, connect with friends and take advantage of multiplayer mode. As usual, you’ll need to have it installed and be connected to the internet to play games. You can download the Ubisoft Connect client below.
Ubisoft Connect is the ultimate online store if you want to play any of the company’s titles. It’s ideal for fans of Assassin’s Creed or The Division.
Epic Games Store
To wrap up our list, Epic Games Store is the digital platform from the company Epic Games. It’s known for being the latest company to enter the online video game market and for its constant squabbles with Steam enthusiasts. And if Epic Games Store is known for anything else, it would have to be for its large number of exclusive games.
Epic Games Store opened due to the extraordinary success of Fortnite, the company’s current flagship game. And if you’re a fan of this battle royale, you know perfectly well that you need to use its client, the Epic Launcher. It’s very simple but more than serves its purpose.
If we compare the Epic Games Store catalog with other platforms, it’s quite limited. After all, this store was recently created, and its greatest asset is precisely the exclusive agreements it has for certain games. However, the Epic Games Store has an extraordinary draw: it offers one free game every week. Yes, you heard that right, every week you can get a free title just by visiting its website. You can check the latest list of free games by clicking here.
Epic Games Store is a nice option whether you’re a Fortnite fan or you’re just looking for a good platform that, aside from offering exclusive games, has free titles you can enjoy every week.
We hope our roundup of alternatives to Steam has been helpful to you. What’s your favorite platform for downloading video games? Tell us about it in the comments section!