Want to play great games without paying a dime? Then you have two options. You can take the illegal route, or you can stay within the law and accept free-to-play games.
This sounds like a huge compromise, but it really isn’t. There are lots of amazing free games out there, and there are enough of them that you will never run out of games to play. Some premium ZZZ games from 5-10 years ago are also available for free now.
Can you legally download major games like Civilization V, Grand Theft Auto V, or Destiny 2 for free? Probably not. But I guarantee you will find at least one legal free game that you will enjoy using the site below.
Steam is the go-to destination for digital games. Even though Valve’s customer support is often poor and you’re counting on Steam that will be around for years to come, many users feel that Steam’s massive video game selection is worth the risk.
For free games, follow the Steam to Free section. You can filter by genre, by category, by features, and by operating system. You can also view by New Releases, Most Popular and Coming Soon. Or you can narrow it down with a search term.
The Free to Play section on Steam recently had less than 3,200 games. Even if you give each game only an hour of your time, that still means 133 days of entertainment and many of these games are fantastic, including Dota 2, Paladin, Brawlhalla, Duelyst, Path of Exile, and Warframe.
You can also check the section Demo on Steam, which currently has over 2,400 demo games that you can try out to see if the full game is worth it.
Until the rise of indie games in the late 2000s, indie games had a bad reputation for being buggy, ugly, and boring. They’re great as game fillers to play when you need to pass some time between “real” games, and that’s about it.
Right now, indie games are some of the best games around. Think of Undertale, Path of Exile, Braid, Spelunky, and The Binding of Isaac all games made by a single developer or small development team.
And we’re starting to see more and more high-quality indie games on the market, and that’s why itch.io is such a great platform. It specializes in indie games, both paid and free, and has grown quite a bit since its debut in 2013.
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There are many reasons why you might not want to buy a game on Steam, but the biggest reason is that Steam games have DRM. If Steam is ever shut down or your account banned for any reason, you will lose access to all the games you have purchased.
That is why many gamers prefer to use GOG over Steam whenever the situation permits. GOG is a game distribution platform like Steam, but all of its games are DRM-free. Your games are not linked to your GOG account, so even if GOG is turned off, you will still have access to the games you download. Most of the games on GOG can also be played on Linux, which is a nice bonus if you like that stuff.
The downside is that the size of the GOG library doesn’t even come close to what Steam has to offer. The total size of the GOG library is just over 2,700 games, and Free section on GOG contains only about 70 games as of this writing. GOG is better if you have cash to spare because parts under $5 have more games.
Twitch Prime is one of the many great benefits of an Amazon Prime membership. Of course, Amazon Prime itself is not free but if you have subscribed for some other reason, then Twitch Prime is basically a free benefit that you can take advantage of.
In this case, the benefit of Twitch Prime is that commercial games are made free to download every month.
This is always a limited time offer, so you should check in often and claim free games as they become available. Previously available games include Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Psychonauts, SteamWorld Dig 2, Shadow Tactics, Superhot, and more.
More Free and Legal Options for Games
Maybe you are not satisfied with the platform above, and that’s fine. There are other ways to find high quality games that won’t cost you anything to download and play they won’t be that easy to get.
Other important platforms include IndieDB (indie game database under development) and ModDB (database of in-development game mods and indie games).
And lastly, if you’re okay with almost free but not enough, then you should check out the Humble Store, which has lots of discount games, and Humble Bundle, which is whatever monthly payment you want a premium game bundle. Both provide DRM-free games!
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