Content delivery service Steam is a real money-spinner for Valve, prompting publishers like EA to shy away from it in pursuit of their own system. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of free gems in the service, and all you need is a Steam account in order to play.
The service is free to use and no credit card or other payment information is required for a bog-standard account. Those of you who already have Steam up and running can install any of the games below in a flash via the [Install] link which launches the Steam client.
If you don’t have Steam yet, you can click here to grab the auto installer and register a free account. Let the games begin!
War Inc. Battlezone [Install] [View on Steam]
Released in July this year, War Inc. Battlezone is a free-to-play online third person shooter that features both 8v8 and 16v16 shoot-outs. Of course, being free-to-play means there are additional perks to be earned from registering a paid special account (such as the ability to host your own games).
Still, the free option’s not bad either. With no time limits, a proper server browser, XP to earn and a nice big unlock tree to climb there’s enough here to keep your average shoot ‘em up fan interested. It’s not bad to look at either!
Note: If you’re having trouble downloading War Inc. Battlezone then this is probably due to regional restrictions enforced by Steam.
Global Agenda: Free Agent [Install] [View on Steam]
Ah, don’t you just love futuristic post-war dystopia? How about frantic MMO goodness? Jolly good, because that’s just what Global Agenda: Free Agent delivers.
What’s more the free-to-play model is very lenient indeed – all game content can be accessed without any payment whatsoever. If you do indeed decide to pay, your account is updated to Elite Agent status which accelerates your rate of progression (more XP, essentially) and provides access to an in-game auction and mail system.
The game is FPS by nature, with RPG elements like character upgrades drizzled in an online co-op sauce. Did I mention the jetpacks? Tribes and Team Fortress fans might want to check this one out!
The Cat And The Coup [Install] [View on Steam]
Here’s a game with a difference – a documentary game, following the assassination of Iran’s first democratically elected Prime Minister in which you play… a cat.
As a feline it is up to you to guide the PM through significant events in his life by doing typical cat things like knocking over objects and scratching your owner. I think this is one of those games that should be played rather than described.
CrimeCraft: Bleedout [Install] [View on Steam]
Taking the frantic FPS genre, applying RPG and MMO elements and sticking it all back together seems to be pretty trendy these days, and CrimeCraft: Bleedout is another of these offerings. Set in Sunrise City, a near-future metropolis recovering from the collapse of the global economy, Bleedout features online 20v20 player vs player multiplayer, a dearth of typical MMORPG elements (crafting, guilds, missions, trading etc…) and a single player campaign to boot.
You’ll need to pay in order to access the full campaign, but basic online multiplayer and the first episode of the single player story is available completely free – for as long as you like!
Champions Online: Free For All [Install] [View on Steam]
Ever fancied donning a lycra playsuit and prancing around like you own the place? Sounds like you’ll get on fairly well with Champions Online, a free comic-book themed MMORPG. Undoubtedly going head-to-head with the likes of DC Universe Online (another free-to-play title), Champions Online requires no subscription and allows you to progress up to level 40 for free.
Of course once you’ve hit the level cap you’ll need to cough up the cash, but there’s plenty of opportunity to decide if you like the game. Choose your superpowers, choose your costume and explore some distant realms in this huge MMORPG.
Freebies We’ve Mentioned Before
We’ve already mentioned a couple of the best free Steam games here at MakeUseOf, but I can’t resist highlighting these quality free titles for those who missed them first time round:
Alien Swarm [Install] [View on Steam]
Check out our full review of Alien Swarm, a free top-down shooter straight from Valve.
Moonbase Alpha [Install] [View on Steam]
NASA’s flagship online lunar experience invites you to team up and work efficiently to repair Moonbase Alpha. I reviewed this game last year, and it’s a blast.
Spiral Knights [Install] [View on Steam]
Reviewed earlier this year, Spiral Knights is a fast-paced co-op MMO experience that is totally free to play, with optional paid items for those who are happy to pay.
Team Fortress 2 [Install] [View on Steam]
What more can be said about TF2? The sequel to one of the greatest Half-Life mods of all time is now completely free. Capture the flag mayhem we can all enjoy!
TrackMania Nations Forever [Install] [View on Steam]
Fancy building your own tracks, sharing them with friends then gloating because you’re 10 seconds faster than your friends? I’m going to be bold and call TrackMania Nations Forever a classic. It’s Scalextric for the broadband generation!
Phew, that’s a lot of free games. Of course there are thousands of titles on the Steam platform, and 99% of them cost real money. On the upside there are always deals on a handful of Steam titles, check out the store for this week’s hottest special offers. If you’re looking for top rated games on the Steam platform (usually at pretty good prices) then check out this list too.
Any favourite free Steam games from this list? Any paid Steam games you’re passionate about? Let off steam in the comments!