save your money up for the console of your choice, be it a PS4, Xbox 720, or Nintendo’s effort. Whichever
you go for it will damage your bank account, which isn’t exactly good news in a recession stricken world.
There is one way around this, as luckily there’s a huge selection of free online games you can lay your hands
on. So, for your game playing pleasure, here are fifteen of the very best online gaming experiences. All you
need is your PC or laptop and a working internet connection.
(Click the game’s title for a link to the game. Click screenshots to zoom in.)
To get things started we have a game set in what could probably be called the golden age of tanks (circa
the 1940s and World War II), World of Tanks sees you trundling around the realistic environments picking
If you get hooked, you can pay real money for upgrades, but even at entry level it’s hugely
playable. It also looks stunning, which is always a bonus when matched with great, stealthy gameplay.
During the 1990s first person shooters got a big kick in a new direction by gems such as Quake, Goldeneye,
and Half Life. Halo, Metroid Prime, and Call of Duty have since pushed things even further, but the name
Black Mesa will ring bells for Half Life lovers as this free online version is a modernised take on the classic,
rebuilt for online play.
Being Java-based, Runescape remains fully playable in a browser with no download required, meaning you can log in and play it
wherever you are. It’s also free, and pretty good fun, too!
Another browser-based game, Travian is as much a test of staying power as skill as a single game can last 9
months, or 3 months on faster servers, all running 24/7. You can play Romans, Gauls or Teutons (each with
individual strengths and weaknesses), and you join alliances, gather resources, build armies and raid enemies’
villages. You don’t see any action; all battles are basically mathematical calculations, but don’t let that put
you off. It’s part wargame, part poker, and has 5 million players on hundreds of servers. Just don’t ever go to sleep.
Immerse your elf in Middle Earth and take part in this epic game of quests, magic and conflict.
already know the story on which it’s based, and this alone has guaranteed the online game a loyal and
committed following, but the popularity is down to much more than that. Although the kernel of the game is
free, buying extra adventures enhances the enjoyment – and helps pay for its upkeep, of course.
6. Planetside 2
Planetside 2 lets you take control of vehicles, form battle groups and launch attacks on enemy bases, all in unbelievable detail. Stick your headset on and enjoy this one as it’s arguably the best game on this list.
It’s free to start playing, but benefiting from paid upgrades, there’s a real
buzz about the game as players become immersed in the experience.
Some people like their racing games technical, with wing angles, ride heights and tyre pressures eking out millisecond advantages. Other like to race thousands of identically-specced cars on crazy, user-created tracks over jumps and round loops and walls, driven by fun-loving players from around the world.
If you’re in the latter category this racer is for you as it’s quite daft, but great fun.
Another game with a ready-made army of fanatics to boost its player count, BGO is based on the popular sci-
fi TV series of the 70s and beyond. It owes a lot to the classic Elite and its spawn Eve Online, but the name
Battlestar Galactica will seal with deal for many.
And it’s actually rather good.
Course around the environment gathering resources, fighting enemies and creating structures, all for reasons best known to and understood by you. Physics aside, it’s practically law-free, and perhaps this is why it has proved such an incredibly popular cross-platform smash hit.
13. Marathon Trilogy
Retro isn’t always contrived. Marathon Trilogy is a genuinely elderly game that plays like a dream today.
You might have heard of its developers, Bungie – they were involved in a little-known game called Halo after they were poached by Microsoft. This free shooter reminds us of why they were so enthusiastically kidnapped.
14. Tribes: Ascend
Tribes: Ascend is also, of course, free, so there’s no need to not give this a go.
Pick up your story and follow it through a lifetime of battles in a wealth
of solar systems against desperate foe.
It’s a completely free standalone title from the Wing Commander stable, so don your helmet and make your way to your nearest launch pad today.
About The Author :
Alex Morris is a writer for an ink and toner cartridges firm in
Manchester, England, where he keeps an eye on HP supplies.
He’s been playing games for 20 years, beginning with the NES back in the late ‘80s. He’s somewhat loyal to
Nintendo’s hardware, and encourages innovation and creativity in the industry.