The lockdown and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the sudden drop in the price of powerful PC graphics cards this year, have led to an unexpected resurgence in PC gaming.
The argument against PC gaming often boils down to this: it’s cheaper and easier to deal with a gaming console than it is to install a powerful gaming rig. But many console gamers paying full price for new games may not be aware of a simple fact about PC games: you can get a lot of the best PC games of recent years for free, no strings attached, and lower the cost of your system.
While the Xbox and PlayStation Stores offer free games to subscribers on a monthly basis, you must pay to access and save them. As for PC, you can regularly access and store free games from outfits, including Epic Games Store, GOG.com, Steam and even Amazonif you have a Prime subscription.
Building a library of PC games requires patience and perseverance. For example, Epic offers two or three free games per week, but only for a limited time. After this time, the games are no longer free, but if you purchased them while they are available, they will remain with you forever. (Or something that is considered “eternal” in the era of digital licensing.) You just have to remember to come back to grab the games you want during that period, set up a free account, and install their game launcher app.
It follows that games given away for free must be the dregs of the industry. But this does not apply to games on some of these services. In my Epic Games library alone, I have accumulated 160 titles, most of which are free. Among them: Control, Alien: Isolation, Bioshock Infinite: Complete Edition, Borderlands 3, Insurrection Tomb Raider: 20th Anniversary Celebration, NBA 2K21, Inside, Star Wars: Squadrons, Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, VERY HOT, Just reason 4and XCOM 2.
It’s enough for high quality games to keep me busy for years to come; and yes, I know that I will probably never have time to play them all.
GOG.com gifts are usually published for a limited time on their homepage and added to your library. You don’t need to download and install an app launcher to get them. Some of the free games that GOG offers include Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition, Memory, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curseand Harlan Ellison’s classic game I have no mouth and I must scream.
Similarly, Amazon Prime Gaming this year allowed Prime subscribers to receive and save games such as Football Manager 2022, Starcraft: updated, maniac mansion, Far Cry 4and Madden NFL 22. Some of these giveaways contain a code that you must redeem on gaming services such as EA App or Ubisoft Storewhere these games may also be offered for free for a limited time. Amazon is also offering Prime subscribers some games to play for free on its Luna streaming servicesuch as the Twilight and Runnersas well as codes to unlock skins and other content for Apex Legends, Noose of death, Robloxand other popular games.