So you've finished stellar games like 'Bioshock', 'Mass Effect' and 'Far Cry 2' umpteen times but thanks to your temperamental bank account you've got nothing to play... or do you?
Clearly the only way to sort this out is to get games for free. But, apart from going the piracy route, how do you do that (legally)?
Fortunately, there are some free games available on the net ? and cool ones to boot! By definition these games will be quite old (why else would a company make it available for free?) but I think you'll be surprised at some of the gems available.
Whatever your tastes, there's sure to be something on this list worth checking out. If nothing else, it'll be a great retro/nostalgic experience.
So, herewith our guide to cool, free games.
1) Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2
Yes, this is how the original GTAs looked. But don't be fooled as the games still hold up incredibly well to this day, despite the original first being released in 1997. Can you say Rampage? Note that registration is required to download the games.
2) Full Spectrum Warrior
Ever wanted to play as one of Uncle Sam's soldiers? I thought not, but 'Full Spectrum Warrior' is still a good, albeit strategy-heavy squad shooter endorsed by the US military. The game is seen by many as a blatant recruitment tool but that doesn't mean it's not fun.
Download (1.62 GB)
3) The Suffering
A survival horror previously available on PS2 and Xbox, 'The Suffering' was well-received by gamers and critics alike for its moral choices and creepy atmosphere. Supported by in-game advertisements, 'The Suffering' is now available to download for free.
Download (1.26 GB)
4) Tribes 2
Released for free to publicise the arrival of 'Tribes Vengeance', this cult favourite FPS was first launched in 1999. But don't let the age deter you as the game still holds up pretty well, thanks to its multiplayer focus.
Download (539 MB)
5) Championship Manager '01/'02
Yeah yeah, all you do is sit and watch your team perform. But for the couch potato screaming orders during a real football match, this game is nirvana. The only drawback is that this is the '01/'02 edition but there is a vibrant community working on updates as the seasons pass by.
Download (277 MB)
6) Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
This game needs no introduction for fans of multiplayer games, but for the rest, 'Enemy Territory' is simply the multiplayer version to 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein'. Originally slated to launch as a commercial expansion but later released as freeware, 'Enemy Territory' still enjoys a lot of support from fans and modders alike.
Download (258 MB)
Nope, it's not a game designed to cash in on the Swine Flu madness, but it does feature pigs. Released way back in 2001, and made available for free download by its developer in 2005, S.W.I.N.E. is a real-time-strategy pitting pigs vs. rabbits... yes, an interesting combination...
Download (716 MB)
8) Far Cry
2004 was a crowded year for fans of first person shooters, with 'Doom 3', 'Half-Life 2' and 'Halo 2' all vying for gamers' dollars. But it would be a title from little-known developer Crytek that made a huge splash. Set in a lush tropical jungle in Micronesia, 'Far Cry's' groundbreaking graphics set a new benchmark in gaming at the time. Now, an ad-supported version is available for free.
Download (2.7 GB)
9) Trackmania Nations
A highly customisable, moddable and fun series of games, 'Trackmania' is all about zooming around on crazy tracks in fast cars. The real meat and potatoes of the game lie in the sheer amount of user-created content to download. With thousands of tracks and cars to choose from, you can always download a few if you feel the game is getting a bit old hat.
Download (503 MB)
10) Hidden and Dangerous
Along with the 'Rainbow Six' series of games, 'Hidden and Dangerous' set the tone for realistic and stealthy shooters. This was another case of a game being released for free to promote its sequel.
Download (264.1 MB)11) Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War
Published by troubled gaming studio Midway and made by former 'Age of Empires' developers, 'Rise and Fall' is another genre-bending game. A real-time strategy with a smattering of first and third-person combat, 'Rise and Fall' is now ad-supported by the US Air Force.
Download (2.44 GB)
12) Command and Conquer
The game that popularised the real-time strategy genre is back, this time as freeware. First released in 1995 for the PC, N64 and Playstation; the series has spawned many sequels and spin-offs.
Download (1.11 GB)