As caught up as the game industry currently is in selling a billion copies of the next big “indie” game at $10 or $15 and selling a million or two of the next big $60 game we should not forget that the economy still isn’t real spectacular and people don’t have a ton of money to throw around. So with that in mind I’m going to present my top 3 free to play games on the net today. Keep in mind while they are free if you wanted to you could spend money on these and I don’t make any promises that they will remain free forever.
#1 – Runescape! This free to play MMORPG has been out there doing it’s thing for years now. They were one of the first games to do the play free or pay for a premium account thing. It seems to have worked well for them and the game has aged rather gracefully thanks to constant updates and probably the only truly successful implementation of a Java based game on the internet. It’s a typical fantasy world game with tons of items, spells, quests and the like to keep you busy for hours. All implemented in your browser for easy portability.
#2 – Battlefield Heroes! I might be partial since Battlefield has been one of my favorites since Battlefield 1942 ruined my life back in 2002. Ah, to be young again. Now I own the latest installment on every platform it’s available on. But I digress. Battlefield Heroes isn’t just one of my favorites because it’s got the Battlefield name attached to it. It’s a far cry from any of the other games with the same name. Player movement speed is drastically slow, initially, and the game is far far far less serious than any of the other Battlefield games. That is part of it’s charm and appeal. It’s pacing is different, it’s premise is different and it stands out as a unique experience. They go with a micro payment scheme meaning if you are broke you can enjoy the fun and if you aren’t you can enhance the game in sooo many different ways.
#3 – Alien Swarm! By far the newest of the bunch Alien Swarm is available through the Valve Steam game system for free. It is a free to play four player co-op top down shooter. Supporting four player co-op through a fairly short campaign the replay value seems short. The key is that we should be seeing mods and add-ons cropping up soon since this comes bundled with the Source game engine SDK. The key here is that each play through with new friends plays out differently so you should get a ton of game play out of a fairly short game. Keep an eye on this one as it holds a lot of promise!
Regardless of your financial situation if you have a PC you should be able to play at least one of these games and if you have even a moderate graphics card you will be in good shape to play all three. Play on gamers!