There are a number of games series that are renowned worldwide for their followers and general excellence. These are the main pillars of retail gaming, and often show the stark contrast in quality (or rather, budget) with free computer games.
Surprisingly, these same game studios have been probing the freeware market as well, and have released a good number of games for free as a nice surprise for the freeware gamer.
Below are four such games, stemming from popular games series and available free of charge.
In a few decades of racing games, Need for Speed has, time and time again, set the gaming standard for street races, across all platforms. Need for Speed is not just a PC-exclusive installment, it’s the first ever MMORG (Massive Multiplayer Online Racing Game) in the series and available for free.
In the past, “free“ meant a free trial and level cap. Those restrictions are removed now. The game is extended through a system of micro-transactions to unlock extra cars and features. Those who have previously bought the game have received a pleasant number of credits.
Need for Speed World is a decent installment in the series – you either love it or you hate it. Expect unrealistically dumb cops and easy physics, allowing you to work up some additional speed and adrenaline.
Company of Heroes Online is based on the original Company of Heroes; an epic real-time strategy installment that was voted Game Of The Year 2006 by PC Gamer, Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, GameSpot, IGN, and received an impressive array of other awards and nominations.
The game has been in closed beta until earlier this month, and is now open for all.
The online installment received a remarkably good welcome online and by early critics worldwide, and contains all the features you can expect from an online World War II strategy game, with excellent graphics and fluency of use.
Everquest II Extended (Beta)
Everquest is a popular MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that’s been around since 1999. Everquest II was to be set in a parallel universe, or an alternate future of the game’s setting. Not too long ago, Everquest II Extended went in public beta, as a free to play version of Everquest II.
This version offers a micro-transaction system, and runs parallel to (read: uses separate servers from) the ‘original’ second installment, up to EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey.
Gameplay still focuses around adventuring (completing quests and fighting monsters) and socializing with other players. The various races, weapons classes and the vast world of Norrath will keep you entertained for quite some time. Interestingly, the Everquest II Extended download comes with some nifty semi-streaming functionality, so you can get into the game faster than ever.
Battlefield, most recently known from the realistic first person shooter Bad Company 2, went on a profoundly different tour with Heroes, a joyous, almost comical experience.
We covered Battlefield Heroes back when it was still in closed beta. The game is still the same, a fun cartoon World War II MMO shooter, with a number of fun extensions along the way. Join the Royal or National army, and go at it on foot or in one of the many vehicles. Capture enough nodes and keep them from enemy hands to win.
What do you think is the best free computer game? Let us know in the comments section below!