If the idea of forking out £500+ for the upcoming/released Next Generation consoles (if you’re not in the know: the PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U), you can rest assured there are plenty of free online games. This is a great alternative as there are a lot of them and, surprisingly, a lot are of very good quality.
Why do developers make free games? Some are upcoming indie companies looking to get a break in the industry, others simply make an addictive game and then benefit from running adverts. However, many “free” games have a habit of demanding payments for upgrades, which can rob you of hard earned cash. Wading through these, supposedly, freeware titles is hard work, so here’s a list of entirely free games to spare you the hassle.
This piece of software is a great place to start. After you download and install Steam you must register, but it’s basically a hub for online gaming. It’s very popular and many new PC games are released through this (which you have to pay for), but there is a dedicated freeware section with some excellent titles.
Do note many of the freeware titles on here will ask for money eventually. However, titles such as Planetside 2 can still be enjoyed even if you don’t want to pay for add-ons.
League of Legends
Due to its immense popularity (70 million users worldwide), League of Legends has struggled with an incredibly obnoxious online community. This has been addressed recently and now you can play the game without fear of elitist insults. You should play it, too, as LoL (the unfortunate acronym) is a one of the best free games available.
Super Crate Box
Simplistic retro graphics aside, the very addictive Super Crate Box offers a real challenge to anyone who dares take it on. It’s prompted a real push for High Scores along the lines of classic arcade titles like Donkey Kong and Pacman. Playing revolves around reaching a crate in the arena which contains a solitary weapon. You use this to blast away continuously respawning enemies, building up your score as you go along. Fiendishly addictive and difficult, but all the better for it.
Team Fortress 2
A team-based first person shooter with a great sense of fun, this very amusing and quirky game sees you blasting everything in sight. Team Fortress 2 is a very well regarded game by critics, with an impressive 92% rating on Metacritic. It’s also a perfect example of how to make freeware games; the online community is great and the game itself is brilliant and free. Games developers take note!
TrackMania Nations Forever
To say this racing game is insanely entertaining is an extreme understatement. TrackMania makes absolutely no attempt to be serious with its in game physics, and instead focuses on intense and absurd timed racing action. You need incredible nerves to play as the speed and skill required to succeed are high. It’s also, simply put, fantastic.
A first person shooter, it’s also very free (unlike the brilliant, but eventually expensive, Planetside 2) so long as you’re willing to put some effort into it. Tribes Ascend is a lively first person shooter with screen hopping/flying action and violence. Standard gaming stuff that’s been done very well, looks great, and promotes endless entertainment.
Or Bombermine in this case. Anyone unfamiliar with this should know it was Hudson’s excellent bombing action/strategy game from the ‘90s. This title added a whole new dimension of fun to the SNES with the potential for four players to cause havoc. Here it is in 2013 with a big overhaul – there are potentially hundreds of players per screen and it’s chaotic fun. Simply sign up and start playing. You can buy add ons if you want, but there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying this entirely for free.
Cut The Rope
Google Chrome browser users can download this wonderful game for free in the apps section. Cut the Rope is a physics based title where, through a series of ropes, you must cut a piece of candy so it reaches a hungry lizard monster. Simple, addictive, and brilliant.
Already world famous, you can also play this Tetris for free on numerous platforms. The best bet is to head to the official website, sanctioned by game creator Alexey Pajitnov, to enjoy his masterpiece.
Final Fantasy VII
A few years ago Sqaure Enix brought the legendary Final Fantasy VII (originally released in 1997) back to the PC. It’s £10 to download, but to be able to play one of the best games ever is a real privilege. The first hour alone, where you assist eco terrorist group AVALANCHE with a raid on a Mako reactor, remains one of gaming’s finest moments.