While the term “free” can often be associated with “cheap” when it comes to quality, that’s not a hard and fast rule in the world of entertainment. Deals offered by retail stores and manufacturers alike can lead to super-low prices on some content that, in some cases, can even be completely free. The PlayStation faithful out there know about this firsthand, because a paid PS+ subscription brings with it killer free content on a monthly basis.
There’s also a plethora of gratis gaming to be had on the web through your smartphone, tablet, computer, or laptop. To be honest, there are really too many options to name here if we wanted to get comprehensive with this, so I wanted to focus on some of the options that are particularly intriguing considering what they offer, the variety they present, and some other factors.
To start, there’s an absolutely wild number of titles offered by the Internet Arcade. We’re talking over 900 classic games from arcade gaming’s glory days—think the ’80s through the mid-’90s—when Street Fighter II was the go-to fighting game (sorry Mortal Kombat) and the beyond-difficult Paperboy ate way too many of your quarters. For those of you fully steeped in Nintendo nostalgia now, you’ll be pleased to know that those two and many more are available to play for free on the Internet Arcade—all you need is a web browser (duh) and a computer/laptop capable of handling the graphics of yore.
If you’re searching for something with a potential edge to it, however, you may have to do more digging. That’s particularly true if you want to keep things completely free but have the option to pay and even make some money while you’re at it. Like the Internet Arcade, gaming hub InterCasino is home to a slew of titles that you can play for free—and that includes a slot-ified version of Street Fighter II that you need to try if you’re a fan of the franchise. Elsewhere you’ll find a handful of DC Comics-themed games in addition to some modeled after classic movies, such as Forrest Gump. It makes for an intriguing, fun, and (most importantly) free gaming experience that plays as a fine complement to the Internet Arcade.
But what about those of you who want a bigger, deeper gameing experience? Well, you’ll first need a computer that can handle the graphical intensity of what you’re after. Once that’s taken care of, look no further than the Elder Scrolls Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG, for short), that launched last year for PC and Mac users (and this June on PS4 and Xbox One). While it’s worth noting that the game isn’t necessarily “free” from the get-go—you still have to purchase a hard copy to play it—Just Push Start reports that you’ll no longer have to pay to play the game online starting halfway through this month (March 2015). If you’d rather avoid an upfront cost, you can always just opt to try out one of the games on this list.
So, what are you waiting for? Fire up one of these titles and enjoy some of the best experiences the world of free-to-play games has to offer. Your wallet will thank you.