Whilst I’m perfectly happy to pay a subscription to Xbox Live and buy full-priced titles, it’s difficult to resist a decent freebie. EA, amongst others, have cottoned on to this and provided a whole range of high quality titles for free.
One thing I’ll say about free-to-play games is that they are just that – free to play, and often require payment for additional features, courses, maps, equipment and so on. Still, at least you get a decent free option and can pay for the rest as you see fit. There are a couple of fairly well-known franchises amongst this lot, and the range of titles will hopefully suit everyone.
EA stopped making golf games for the PC a few years ago, until recently that is, with the release of the new title Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. According to one review, this “new” game shares a lot in common with the free-to-play version already provided by EA – and it won’t cost you $40 either.
Using the popular Unity 3D engine which works on both Windows and Mac PCs, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online dishes out $10,000 and some basic equipment for you to whack a ball around a field. The game is graphically very pleasing for something that runs in your browser, and all recorded stats and scores make up a fantastic database of online content to boot.
There aren’t quite as many courses as the latest release, and the graphics aren’t quite as polished – but it’s not far off, and you can play it right now for free!
Available solely for Windows, Need For Speed World is EA’s free online attempt at a racing title. The game uses a massively multiplayer model, whereby players drive around a city, looking for races and events.
It too has its own currency system, called Speedboost, which is used to rent and purchase licensed cars, power-ups and extras for use in the game. You don’t get an awful lot to start off with, though you’ll at least be able to see how the game handles and make an informed decision.
This EA online game does not run in your browser, so isn’t quite as easy to pick up as some of the other titles here but should perform well and look pretty good. The website still appears to be fairly regularly updated too, suggesting that the game’s community is very much alive.
If you ever played Battlefield 2 then you’ll instantly find Battlefield Play4Free familiar. Play4Free is essentially a reboot of Battlefield 2, except it runs in your browser and looks slightly better. It’s no Bad Company 2, and the trademark Battlefield destructible objects are missing but the key Battlefield feel is there.
Vehicles can (naturally) be taken onto the battlefield and these include planes, tanks and personnel carriers. As you play XP is earned which can be spent on perks and upgrades for your soldier. Each soldier on your account (your first is free) is locked to the role you choose (e.g. medic, engineer) and in order to play other classes you’ll need to purchase another soldier slot.
Still, there’s plenty to unlock and enjoy here without spending anything. If you play and encounter the “blurry graphics” bug, try switching to the medium detail setting.
I know what you’re thinking – two Battlefield titles in succession? Ah, but this one’s a bit different! Taking on the cartoon-style we’ve seen in the likes of Team Fortess 2, Battlefield Heroes also provides a third-person camera angle to shake the formula up a bit.
Whilst a little flat, especially compared to other BF titles, the graphics are pretty good and the quirky player and vehicle models look great. Typical capture-the-flag gameplay is present with a revised Conquest mode that awards each team only 50 respawns.
The result is a frantic and slightly different Battlefield title that should please younger and older audiences alike.
There are a couple of other decent and popular EA titles worth checking out if you like free stuff, and they are:
Don’t let the old-school graphics put you off, Lord of Ultima is a free empire building massively multiplayer game that is free to play. Choose from 30 buildings and 18 unit types in this strategic browser game.
We’ve covered BattleForge before, so all I’m going to say is it’s a free to play RTS card game. Sound good? Check out our article!
A free RPG using the Dragon Age license that uses Facebook. There are opportunities to unlock items in the full version of Dragon Age 2 by playing too.
Both the NFL and MLB World Series get the Facebook treatment here in these online management games. World Series Superstars puts you in the manager’s seat, collecting players and deciding on tactics whereas Madden Superstars gives you the opportunity to build your own franchise from scratch.
Hopefully there’s an EA online game that tickles your fancy, I’m personally quite fond of the old-school feel of Battlefield Play4Free myself! If you love free games, don’t forget to check out our other articles. We’ve covered shooters, turn-based strategy games, MMOs and lots more.
Any favourites in this list? Anything else you’re playing at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.