For many millennials — and even some younger members of Gen X — the 1990s were a blur of PC-based games and Nintendo cartridges. The rise of first-person shooters like Quake and Doom and the introduction of the first Pokemon games — Red and Blue — for Nintendo gave this generation plenty of diversity in their game play.
Final Fantasy provided immersive worlds and awe-inspiring graphics. And when it was time to step away from the screen, there were always virtual Tamagotchi pets to tend to.
While today, this generation spends more time battling student loan debt than monsters, it’s still nice to escape in a good game once in a while. And NFT gaming can satisfy that urge. Best of all, many of these games can allow you to earn NFTs or game coins, which can then be traded on a crypto exchange for U.S. dollars or cryptocurrency investments.
What Does NFT Mean in Gaming?
In NFT gaming, you can buy, sell, trade and earn NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. These exist on any one of many blockchains. They use the same technology as cryptocurrency, but the two should not be confused. NFTs are different from cryptocurrency because each NFT is unique.
NFTs have value within the gaming universe. In some cases, they can help you to play more effectively and level up. They can also be sold for actual dollars or cryptocurrency on a crypto exchange. Because of this, NFT gaming can be profitable.
This list of some of today’s best — and upcoming — NFT games was not chosen for their inherent profitability, since this varies widely. NFTs, like cryptocurrency, are speculative investments. You can win or lose when you play. But, unlike playing other games with no “play-to-earn” element, at least you do have a chance to win money.
Here are some of the most fun NFT games that will bring you back to your childhood.
If you remember your beloved Tamagotchi, the open-source game Aavegotchi will win your heart. Played in the Gotchiverse and easily accessed through your PC web browser, the role-playing game allows players to craft installations and battle characters to guide your Aavegotchi to victory.
Even the primitive graphics will bring you back to earlier versions of Super Mario Brothers and the Tamagotchi with its blocky, 32X16 pixel screen. Aavagotchi is not free to play, but the more you play, the more you can earn.
- Easy to play
- Earning money is simple
- GHST coin is appreciating in value recently
- Graphics are primitive
- Value of Aavegotchis can go down
If you like raising virtual pets but prefer somewhat cuter — read: modern — versions, the popular CryptoKitties might strike your fancy. Breed these collectible NFTs and then play games to win game currencies that you can use to buy more kitties or accessories for your cat.
CryptoKitties is played on the Ethereum blockchain and was one of the first NFT games introduced for fun and profit. You can start playing for free by taking the tutorial to learn how to breed your first Kitties.
- Free to get started
- Cats are adorable
- CryptoKitties have sold for six figures
- Potential to be highly profitable
- The value of Kitties may go down
If you were a Quake or Doom fan back in the day, the Metalands first-person shooter game will take you right back to LAN parties in your best friend’s basement. Metalands combines team deathmatch and battle royale game play, with intricately detailed characters and aesthetically complex scenery for an immersive experience.
This play-to-earn game is completely free to get started and allows you to earn in-game currency and also convert in-game coins into crypto or US dollars through a crypto exchange.
- Free to get started
- Excellent graphics
- May require teamwork to excel
My DeFi Pet
’90s’ kids loved their virtual pets, and the wealth of NFT games based on breeding, raising and loving virtual animals shows that these feelings still dominate their leisure activities. My DeFi Pet runs on the Binance Smart Chain and KardiaChain and is available for PC, with iOS and Android versions coming soon. You’ll need a BSC wallet and an investment in Bitcoin or Ethereum to get started.
You can earn money in My DeFi Pet by completing in-game missions and breeding and selling NFTs in the form of pets. Right now, the game allows you to earn money passively, by letting your pets evolve. But the game continues to add more features, such as the ability to battle your pets.
- Easy to play
- Pets may rise in value, making this game profitable
- New features being added
- Pets can decrease in value
- Requires an investment in BTC or ETH to start
- Not many in-game activities beyond breeding and raising pets yet
- Some features still in development
Axie Infinity operates on the Ethereum blockchain and, similar to Pokémon, combines breeding and raising “Axies” with battling their Axies against other players. Axie Infinity has roughly 1.48 million daily players.
With only 30% of the total supply of AXS, the coin of the game, in circulation as of June 27, 2022, there is a lot of potential to continue earning money with this play-to-earn game.
- The more you play, the more you can earn
- Axies may increase in value
- AXS token considered one of the fastest rising cryptocurrencies for 2022
- Axies may decrease in value
The Sandbox is not just a single NFT game, but a mobile gaming platform on the Ethereum blockchain with multiple play-to-earn challenges and various gaming environments.
You can build 3D items, including buildings, vehicles, costumes or creatures and then add them to the blockchain as NFTs in The Sandbox neighborhood of the metaverse. You can sell them in The Sandbox’s crypto marketplace with no coding experience.
If you spent a large part of your college years playing Minecraft, The Sandbox will satisfy your urge to create — and perhaps help you earn some extra cash.
- Ability to build and sell your own creations
- Explore other players’ creations
- Partnerships with major brands like Adidas and Atari give it a good chance at long-term success
- Not yet fully developed
- Potential to go unnoticed among big brands
Were you more of a role-playing game card collector in the ’90s than a video game enthusiast? Gods Unchained brings the spirit of Magic: The Gathering to your web browser. With enticing graphics and an immersive world, Gods Unchained brings together the best of on-screen roleplaying with top trading card games.
And, you can earn money doing so. To date, more than $52 million worth of Gods Unchained cards have been exchanged, according to the game website. Best of all, it’s free to get started.
- Free to get started
- Own trading cards and sell for money
- Excellent graphics
- Cards may go down in value
Splinterlands is also a collectible card game, where you battle your characters Pokémon style to win and level up. You can sell your cards for cryptocurrency — which you can then sell for real-world dollars. You can also lease or rent your cards to other players, earning income while you help other players reach their gaming goals.
In addition to earning money by selling your NFTs on various compatible marketplaces, you also have the chance to win tournament prizes. So far, Splinterlands has awarded more than $6 million in prizes according to the game’s official website.
- Leasing cards gives additional income opportunities
- Chance to win tournament prizes
- Collectible cards may go down in value
If you remember horse racing games in the arcades of your youth, you’ll want to gallop to download Zed Run now. Now in beta version, the game has already given away more than $2 million USD in cryptocurrency.
You can start for free by creating a horse stable, but you’ll need an Ethereum digital wallet like MetaMask to purchase your first horse and enter a race. Each horse has different attributes of speed, agility, and gene purity, so there is a bit more than just luck involved in winning a race.
If you’re looking for an exciting game without a ton of strategy and no role-playing, Zed Run can fit the bill. Coincu.com recently called Zed Run “one of the most incredibly interesting investment opportunities available right now.”
- Tons of prize money available
- Must buy a horse to begin
- You could lose money selling horses
These NFT games can be profitable if you take the time to play, improve your characters and build up your earnings. They are also a fun diversion to everyday life that can take you back to the simpler days of your Nintendo 64. Best of all, you won’t have to blow into the cartridge to start these games — although you will have to connect your digital wallet.
- Are there any free NFT games?
- Some NFT games are free and still allow you an opportunity to earn NFTs and money. CryptoKitties allows you an opportunity to breed your first two Kitties free as a training. Metalands is a completely free NFT game.
- Is NFT gaming profitable?
- NFT gaming can be incredibly profitable as long as you understand how to play and invest enough time in each game to make a difference. Players have won millions of dollars playing Zed Run. CryptoKitties' cats have sold for as much as six figures.
- Of course, as with any investment, you could also lose money playing the games or your NFTs may not sell on the market for as much as you'd expect.
- What are the upcoming NFT games?
- Some of the most exciting upcoming NFT games, currently in beta version, include Pirates of the Arrland, a 3D pirate-themed game that will take you right back to the classic theme park ride of your youth, and Cantina Royale, a Star-Wars-inspired player vs. player shooting game.