Best Free Games

written by by James McKinley

Gaming is an expensive past time. Between games and hardware, gamers can quickly find themselves short for cash when their catalog of games has long become stale. What can be done for entertainment when this happens? Before you start selling unnecessary body parts and bodily fluids, perhaps you should try the vast, untamed world of free gaming. While there are some stinkers out there, there is also many great games you may have overlooked simply because of the stigma of free gaming. While this list cannot possibility hope to even scratch the surface of quality free to play games that are out there, I do hope to be able to highlight many of the high points in this area of gaming.

America’s Army

Genre: On-Line First Person Shooter

http://www.americasarmy.com/


Part recruiting poster and part FPS, America’s Army is one of the two realistic shooters to make this list. Designed to be used as a recruiting tool for the US Military, this game can be enjoyed by fans of on-line shooters from any country. The only shortcoming of this game is that it requires you to go though boot camp before enjoying the game. But, if you can tough it out, then you are in for a real treat of a free shooter.

Anarchy Online

Genre: MMORPG

http://www.anarchy-online.com


Not only does Anarchy Online offer a free to play option, supported by ads, it is also one of the longest running MMOs that is not set in the fantasy genre. As a long time MMORPG player, I can attest to just how happy I am to see a game that isn’t swords and sorcery survive for this long. If you are looking for a different MMO and you are willing to take on the steeper difficulty curve, you will be pleasantly surprised by Anarchy Online.

Battlefield Heroes

Genre: On-Line First Person Shooter

http://www.battlefieldheroes.com/


One of the hottest new online games last year didn’t cost players one penny to play, that game was Battlefield Heroes. Taking a page from Team Fortress 2, Battlefield Heroes steps away from the ultra-realistic styling of most shooters to go for a more stylized, cartoon like feel. With over three million registered users blasting away at one another, you will be able to find someone to fill full of lead anytime of the day or night.

Crane Wars

Genre: Browser Game

http://blurst.com/crane-wars/


While not quite a flash game, Crane Wars offers a great, quick distraction. You play as a crane operator tasked with constructing prefab buildings. But, the crane operator in the construction site next to yours is insistent on causing you nothing but trouble. Will you build your buildings in peace or throw cars knocking over the opponent’s buildings?

Crimecraft

Genre: MMORPG

http://www.crimecraft.com/


Much like Anarchy Online, Crimecraft is an MMO that has turned free to play with an option to pay. It also bucks the trend and plays outside the realm of fantasy. While it does invoke the name of a certain hugely popular game of its genre, Crimecraft has nothing to do with that game in play-style or substance.

Death Rally

Genre: Racing

Death Rally


A re-release of the DOS classic, Death Rally is all about fast cars and big explosions. While it will not set the world on fire graphically now a days, it is still an immensely fun racer.

Effing Hail

Genre: Browser Game

http://flash-games.pogo.com/arcade/game.do?site=pogop&query=1020&site=pogop


Effing Hail is one of those games that is just incredibly hard to describe. It is a game in which you control wind currents to create hail in order to destroy buildings, planes, and satiates. For something completely different from most of the games on the web, just try Effing Hail.

FlightGear

Genre: Simulation

FlightGear Flight Sim v3.2


While they make up an often forgotten part of the gaming landscape, flight simulators have a fanatical following. While someone may be curious about them, it is a big risk to try a flight simulator for the first time. That is where FlightGear steps in. It has many of the functions of commercial flight simulators but without the price tag. If you have ever wanted to see what it is like to fly a realistic flight sim, now is your chance.

Flood the Chamber

Genre: Platformer

http://gamejolt.com/freeware/games/platformer/flood-the-chamber/1419/


For older gamers like myself, the graphics and music of Flood the Chamber brings back quite a bit of memories. But, it isn’t just the retro factor that makes Flood the Chamber so much fun. It is that it also presents quite the challenge as well. If you are able to beat Super Mario Brothers in under ten minutes then you may wish to try this game to bring back some challenge to the genre.

FreeAllegiance

Genre: MMO

http://www.freeallegiance.org/


Often called the best game that no one played, FreeAllegiance is an MMO focused on space combat and teamwork. But, it isn’t just a combat game. FreeAllegiance combines real time strategy genre with a shooter. One player plays the game as an RTS, placing bases and other traditional pieces from the genre. Meanwhile, other players play the game as a normal space shooter, gathering resources and working as a team to take on the other team and their commander. With it celebrating its ten anniversary and still going strong, now is the perfect time to join in.

Freeciv

Genre: Strategy

http://freeciv.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page


Freeciv follows in the footsteps of the Civilization franchise. The set roughly in the CivII or III era, Freeciv allows gamers to experience this award winning franchise without spending a cent.

Frets on Fire

Genre: Rhythm/Music

http://fretsonfire.sourceforge.net/


Many of gaming’s hottest trends are beyond the grasp of those who only play on the PC. The music genre of games is one of these, namely the Guitar Hero series. While it has only have had a couple of the entries appear on PC, for the most part PC gamers are forced to seek out consoles in order to play this hot franchise. That was until now. Frets on Fire is an open source Guitar Hero clone. It offers a huge track listing and the ability to create your own tracks. The game is able to be played with the keyboard, it also supports the Guitar Hero controller. It is a must try for fans of the music genre.

Gemcraft

Genre: Browser Game

http://armorgames.com/play/1716/gemcraft


The tower defense genre is one that has seen a boom in recent years. One that stands above the others is GemCraft. Offering more depth than the standard defense game, Gemcraft allows for a combining of different towers as well as putting points into different skills which greatly affects how the game is played.

Greyscale

Genre: Puzzle

http://www.komix-games.com/game.php?game=Grayscale


In its simple elegance, Greyscale is something special. It isn’t over the top, nor is it overly simple. Spanning twenty levels of gear turning madness, Greyscale is just what is needed for a quick brain teaser.

Gunbound

Genre: On-line Side Shooter

http://gunbound.net/


Playing much like Worms, Gunbound is an on-line shooter in which you try to blow up the competition with various tanks and weaponry. While it does remind me of Worms, it has gameplay elements that makes it more than just a rip off of a classic game.

League of Legends

Genre: Strategy

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/


League of Legends is a bit of an oddity for this list. While it is sold as a retail game, the boxed version isn’t required to play it. All the box does is gives a bit of a head start to those who wish to play. Playing like the old Defense of the Ancients maps for Warcraft 3, League of Legends expands on that idea with multitudes of characters to play, customizable runes, and various items to use which all impacts gameplay. No match ever plays the same as the last.

MLB Dugout Heroes

Genre: Sports

http://mlbdugoutheroes.gamescampus.com/


I admit it, I am not a fan of baseball. I personally find the sport incredibly boring. But, Dugout Heroes was able to not only pique my interest, but made baseball fun for me once again.

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Pangya

Genre: Sports MMO

http://pangya.ntreev.net/


While golf may not be most gamers’ first idea of fun, Pangya is able to transcend the normal boredom of golf with style. Allowing players to use various power-ups, this anime golf game offers far more strategy options than which club to use.

Portal-Flash Version

Genre: Puzzle

http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/


To anyone that has read some of my past articles, I have not hidden my love for Portal. Yet, there are many out there that haven’t experienced this game. Perhaps it is a distrust of Steam or an unsureness about the game itself. To those who want to get the most basic, rawest sense of what Portal is like, I suggest you try out the flash version of Portal. While it still lacks cake, it has all the fun of Portal.

Quake Live

Genre: On-Line First Person Shooter

http://www.quakelive.com


For fans of first person shooters, the Quake series is one that brings many fast paced memories. In 2009, Quake Live launched which is a free to play, on-line version of the game supported by Id Software. For fans of the genre, what are you waiting for?

Sam & Max Episode 4: Abe Lincoln Must Die!

Genre: Adventure

http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax/lincolnmustdie


I nearly didn’t list this since it could be considered a demo for the new line of Sam and Max games. But, it is also self contained enough to be understandable for those who never heard of Sam or Max. Made in the form of the old point and click adventures, it updates the genre and has a great deal of humor.

TrackMania: Nations

Genre: Racing

http://www.trackmania.com/


Trackmania isn’t your typical racing game. Going headlong through loops, flips, and various other maneuvers, Trackmania’s fast paced, twisting tracks puts normal racing on its head. This game is perfect for a weary racing fan looking for something different.

War Rock

Genre: On-line First Person Shooter

http://www.gamersfirst.com/warrock/


Our final game is one last shooter. War Rock is a realistic class based shooter which has seen considerable growth in scope and popularity since it first came on-line a couple years ago. Offering a bit slower paced than the normal shooter, it is perfect for a more tactical feel while not going as realistic as America’s Army.


Honorable Mentions

These are micro transaction games, you can play free… but you might be tempted to buy something.

Evony – http://evony.com/

Runes of Magic – http://runesofmagic.com

Dungeons and Dragons Online – http://www.ddo.com/

Master Evony

One Response to Best Free Games

  1. TomRiddle says:

    I had found a massive post of HUNDREDS of free games, apps, and utilities compiled by lpfan3013 and stuck it at: http://jaq.guildlaunch.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=892612&gid=16828 but it was found in 2008 so links might not all work

    for games going to:

    http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm
    http://www.globalmmo.com/mmorpg-list
    http://www.gameogre.com/mmorpgs.htm

    lets you see every mmorpg and it’s status ie; live alpha, beta etc; and if it is free or not

    each lets you list by many different parameters

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