Free Games for PC

A Brief Forward:

The goal of this guide is to provide an answer to my friends that have bought PCs and are left with an “and now what” reaction. Even if you can afford to start dropping stacks on games maybe you don’t want to. Maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe you don’t know what the hell you like. This guide is intended to help with at least some of that.

The PC is a bit different to consoles when it comes to what games are available for a couple reasons: the truly staggering backlog the PC has and the ability to use a mouse and keyboard. The mouse and keyboard difference is simply the mouse makes UIs more navigable and useful and then you can have a more complex game when you have tens of buttons at your disposal for hotkeying. PC games don't have to be complicated but they can be more complicated than their console counterparts if they need to be.

The backlog is a more interesting wrinkle to PC gaming. The console with the most games is probably the PlayStation 2 with 4,500 games give or take. Steam alone has released 11,627 games. And that was just in 2021. The scope and scale of the library of potential titles on PC just dwarfs any other platform. Which in turn creates a discoverability nightmare for games, especially for free ones. I’m hoping I can do just a small bit to help with that and as such I’m going to mostly be skipping well known free games such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Warframe and Path of Exile. Hell I’d only even recommend two of those.

Since this is a guide to free games you may or may not know about, each game is tagged and you can sort by the tag you’re interested in or you can just mainline the list like the pixy stix of goodness that it is. New entries will always be at the top of the list.

Have a game you think should be listed? Email me!
Super Animal Royale

SAR is a battle royale with a super cute graphical style and notably it is not nearly as sweaty as most royale games. Supports solo, duo, and three player squads. Free but you have to use Discord to team up with friends or support it for 12 bucks, which is perfectly reasonable, and get rid of that limitation. Very fun!


Have you heard of Worms? Turn based game where your little wormy dudes fire heavy weaponry at other wormy guys with absolutely ridiculous weapons and the last player standing wins? Imagine that but free and with hedgehogs. I don’t think it’s as good as Worms but it is free and hugely extensible.

Hedgewars Homepage

Do you like logistics games like Factorio? Do you like beating your head against a wall trying to make mail delivery profitable (it will never be profitable)? Do you like Simcity but thought it needed more accounting? That’s what Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe is: economic warfare and the constant struggle to make a buck. American as Hell. Will run on a literal toaster to boot.

OpenTTD Homepage
Realm of the Mad God

RotMG is a bullet hell MMO with permadeath and there is just a ton to unpack there. It is a bullet hell so you fire streams of bullets like you’re in a shmup/bullet hell game and so do all enemies. It is an MMO so you’re dealing with large player counts where each world can hold about 80 players at a time and multiple worlds are active at once. Permadeath is why people call it a roguelike sometimes but really all it means is when your character dies you start over. This is not nearly as punishing as it sounds and leveling to max level takes under an hour to a couple of hours depending on what you’re doing. Things going for this game are that it’s free, it’s a unique concept and there is a lot to do. This is a freemium game so be warned there is a cash shop but you can get tons of enjoyment out of this game without paying a cent and I think it’s not the worst game to support if you decide to throw a buck or five its way.

Super Crate Box

This game is an action platformer with a gun game style ruleset: every box you pick up changes your weapon. Survive as long as you can as the game gets tougher. Weapons are a good mix of solid shooter classics and more unique options like the disc gun (buzzsaw blades) or how dual pistols fire both in front and behind you. Not much to say about this beyond that it is a good arcade style game and tons of fun. And we Stan good arcade style games.

Super Crate Box Homepage
Gun Godz

Wolfenstein 3d style shooter with a “Venusian” gangsta rap soundtrack. Gameplay is rad because levels are short and sweet unlike Wolfenstein's labyrinths and all the guns feel great to use (which is like 90% about how they sound, 10% about how they act). Takes about thirty minutes to an hour to beat and is worth the time spent with the soundtrack.

Gun Godz

It’s Civilization but free. Contains rules variants to mimic Civ 1, 2, 3, and the ability to make hex style maps like 5 and 6. Worth checking out if you want a free civ and has several offshoots, the most interesting of which is an MMO “RTS” (their words not mine) take on civilization called Power of Planets - Earth. Both are worth checking out and putting some time into. As a bonus both should run on literal toasters.

FreeCiv Homepage
Alien Swarm Reactive Drop

4 player co-op top down twin stick shooter about killing aliens that are definitely totally legally distinct from xenomoprhs and warhammer 40k tyranids/starcraft zerg. It’s hard as balls and has five campaigns of varying difficulty and length. Lots to unlock, see and do in this one and it’s got a pretty sick deathmatch mode.

Area 51 2005

An FPS remake of sorts of the light gun arcade game we all remember from our youths, Area 51 was made free because development was sponsored by the US Air Force. Go to Lucas C’s Area 51 Patches Guide and follow the instructions to install. Fun romp, worth your time if you’re broke or just want something fun for free. Multiplayer is shockingly fun too.

Lucas C's patches and Guide (has the game download)
UFO: Alien Invasion

A game inspired by X-COM but is neither a remake or a sequel. Has the same core split gameplay loop of a base and strategy management section followed by turn based tactics battles. UFO:AI runs on a modified version of the Quake 2 engine and looks pretty decent, you’re not gonna get something that looks like Firaxis’ XCOM but it looks better and is friendlier than the 93 X-COM that it is inspired by. Supports Co-op and versus multiplayer and the co-op is pretty radical for anyone that has dabbled in Xcommanderless playthroughs of XCOM 2.

UFO:AI Homepage