Everyone loves free games. Steam has a hefty collection of them, but some places offer titles for only a limited amount of time. Epic Games gives away multiple games a week. Amazon’s Prime Gaming subscription service has new titles each month. But if you’re not paying attention, you’ll lose out on a PC game you could have kept forever.
In an effort to help gamers know what’s out there to claim, we’ll be tracking the best free games available in a given month. While some titles are free outright, others are included as part of a subscription service. Here’s everything you can grab this month.
Best Free Blizzard Battle.net Games
Blizzard Entertainment has a small collection of popular franchises, including Diablo, Overwatch, StarCraft, and World of Warcraft, which can all be played through the Battle.net gaming platform. Since most of these games are free-to-play, they can be downloaded from Blizzard at any time. However, if you scroll down to Classic Games, there are several titles that were previously paid but are now available for free.
Click the title you wish to download, and choose the appropriate operating system. The game will then automatically begin downloading. How complicated the setup is will be determined by the game you choose to play. Some require you to connect with Battle.net and set up an account with Blizzard, while others may simply download to your computer and play locally. Here are the classic Blizzard games you can now play for free:
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
The Lost Vikings
Rock N’ Roll Racing
Best Free Epic Games Store Games
Epic Games gives away free titles every week, and you don’t even need a subscription. Head over to the Epic Games Store website or open the launcher, scroll down to the Free Games section, and hit the blue Free Now banner on the title you want. Then, go through the process as if you were purchasing the game. You won’t be charged, and the game will appear in your games library on the Epic Games launcher.
Railway Empire (Until Sept. 17)
Railway Empire is a tycoon simulation game that lets players build a railroad, acquire new trains, hire personnel, and build up the cities you serve. Play in several different game modes, including campaign, scenario, free, and sandbox.
Where The Water Tastes Like Wine (Until Sept. 17)
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a narrative-driven adventure game with card-based gameplay, where you travel around Depression-era America collecting stories from travelers and sharing them with others. Sharing different stories with each character can change your relationship to them and help you progress through the game.
Sludge Life (Until May 28, 2021)
This third-person 3D platformer with retro CRT graphics is really just a vandalism simulator in disguise. Sludge Life is short and sweet, allowing you to explore the game’s surreal world, meet a cast of crass characters, and tag areas with graffiti. Devolver Digital has made the game free to keep for the next year.
Into the Breach (50% Off Until Sept. 24)
This one was free until Sept. 10, but if you missed your chance, it’s now 50 percent off. Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game with roguelike elements where you pilot a team of mechs in a fight against giant alien bugs. Make your way through each battle, upgrade your pilots, and unlock new mechs, but if you lose, it’s all over. One pilot is allowed to be sent back in time to the beginning of the campaign with all their experience and upgrades to give yourself better chance the next time around.
Best Free GOG Games
GOG doesn’t have regular giveaways like some other websites do, but there is a small collection of free games, which mainly comprises classic computer games. Titles like Shadow Warrior Classic Complete and Postal: Classic and Uncut, which you would have to pay for on Steam, are free on GOG. Other classics, like Ultima 4 (1985) and Akalabeth: World of Doom (1979), are not available anywhere else.
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
GOG allows you to score a free copy of the first Witcher game if you download the GOG Galaxy desktop client, then download and install the free-to-play Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. Now, if you subscribe to the GOG newsletter, you can get the game for free. Click Subscribe & Claim on the offer page, then add The Witcher: Enhanced Edition to your cart. The game should be reduced to $0.00, and all you have to do is check out. If the website doesn’t allow you to check out, reload the page a few times until the checkout button is clickable.
Best Free Itch.io Games
Tired of big blockbusters? Itch.io is a digital game store dedicated to indie titles you won’t find anywhere else. Check out the sales page for free titles. Other games will set you back a few bucks; pay up or fork over a little more if you’re feeling generous. You can then download the game or claim it to connect it with your Steam account.
From Orbit (Until Oct. 30)
A game that costs $9.99 on Steam can be yours for free until the end of October. From Orbit is a light real-time strategy game that has you help a stranded crew stay alive on an alien planet. Send out scouts, build defenses, find resources, and get back into space before you’re overrun.
Brute (Until Dec. 30)
Typically $6.99 on Steam, Brute is free on Itch.io until the end of the year. This arcade shooter combines a minimalist aesthetic with vibrant colors and design. Plan your attack, discover hidden levels, and enjoy the synthesizer soundtrack.
Best Free PlayStation Plus Games
PlayStation Plus is Sony’s online multiplayer and games subscription service that costs $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, or $59.99 for a full year. As part of the service, you can claim two new games to keep every month. They’ll be accessible as long as you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription.
There are two ways to claim these games from your console. Choose the PlayStation Plus icon from the PlayStation home screen to see the currently available games, plus previously claimed titles. Claimed games can be re-downloaded from this page. You can also go through the PlayStation Network Store and select PS Plus in the left-hand menu.
The other way allows you to add games to your console directly from the PlayStation Store as long as you have Automatic Downloads enabled. Once this is set up, you can choose the games you want from the web page and they will be remotely downloaded to your console.
Street Fighter V (Until Oct. 5)
Originally released in 2016, Street Fighter V was a controversial title that debuted with a small list of playable characters, server issues, and four seasons of DLC add-ons. The 2020 Championship Edition tweaked some mechanics and packaged all four seasons into one game, but it appears that only the base game will be available to keep. Despite its flaws, we still consider Street Fighter V to be one of the best fighting games in 2020.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Until Oct. 5)
PUBG follows the classic battle royale pattern of putting up to 100 players on an island and waiting for one player (or team) to emerge victorious. It may have been first on the scene, but PUBG has fallen behind Fortnite mainly because it isn’t free and doesn’t support cross-platform play. Still, in a head-to-head comparison, PUBG is the more technically accurate game, so if you find Fortnite to be too imprecise and colorful, this is the option for you.
Best Free Prime Gaming (Twitch Prime) Games
Prime Gaming (formerly known as Twitch Prime) is a subscription service that provides in-game loot, free games, and many other perks each month. The service costs $12.99 a month with a free 30-day trial, or comes included with your $119 Amazon Prime subscription. Find free games on the Prime Gaming page. Scroll down to the Games with Prime section and select the Claim button next to the titles you want.
Now what? In order to play games offered by Prime Gaming, you must download the Amazon Games launcher. Click the Download and Play link that appears next to the Claim button. In the pop-up window, click the link that says Download the Amazon Games Apps (Windows) to install the launcher. Once installed, Prime Gaming games can be claimed from the launcher itself.
Tempest: Pirate Action RPG (Until Sept. 18)
Tempest is an open-world pirate RPG that lets you explore the vast open sea, visit colonies and forts, complete quests, and fight enemy ships and mythical sea monsters. The game gives you the freedom to plunder ships or trade goods, and you can buy new vessels, then add upgrades and fully customize them.
Impulsion (Until Sept. 25)
Impulsion is a fast-paced first-person platformer that allows you to control your speed by manipulating physics with force field guns. The game also includes a multiplayer competitive mode and a speedrun mode to add extra challenges once you make it through the solo campaign.
Autonauts (Until Oct. 1)
In Autonauts, you gather resources, program workers, and automate life in your colony before introducing the colonists who rely on your efforts to survive.
Pumped BMX Pro (Until Oct. 1)
Pull off elaborate stunts on a bicycle while completing 60 levels and 200 different challenges. The game also features 15 characters, each with their own bike that you can customize.
Effie (Until Oct. 1)
Taking inspiration from several different genres, Effie is a 3D action-adventure game that includes combat, platforming, puzzles, and exploration. Defeat the witch who cursed you with premature old age and fight the black magic affecting the land.
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops (Until Oct. 1)
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is a twin-stick arcade shooter that puts you in command of a tiny team of soldiers who you can equip and load out. This title collects the original Tiny Troopers game and the sequel Tiny Troopers 2: Spec Ops.
Outcast: Second Contact (Until Oct. 1)
Outcast was a hit in 1999, but now it’s been completely remade into a modern-day open-world adventure. Explore an alien world filled with science and magic, complete quests, collect advanced weaponry, and interact with the world around you. Outcast: Second Contact allows you to choose the way you want to play—fight, use stealth, negotiate, or make peace.
Vostok Inc. (Until Oct. 2)
In this twin stick shooter, you are a greedy capitalist in space who must harvest planets and blow up other space ships in order to accumulate more wealth.
SNK Classics (Until March 31, 2021)
Separate from Prime Gaming’s monthly collection of games, Japanese developer SNK has released over two dozen classic titles for subscribers to claim until March 31. Old-school arcade enthusiasts will have an opportunity to claim several titles from the King of Fighters franchise. These games include:
Art of Fighting 2
Baseball Stars 2
Fatal Fury Special
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
The King of Fighters 97 Global Match
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2002
The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
King of the Monsters
The Last Blade 2
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 3
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown V Special
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (includes 24 titles)
Best Free Xbox Live Gold Games
Xbox Live Gold is the premium subscription tier of the Xbox Live online gaming service that costs $9.99 a month or $24.99 a quarter. Among the many perks you get with the service is free Xbox games every month. While Xbox 360 titles are yours to keep forever, Xbox One games can only be played as long as you have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.
To claim your free games with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, go to the Gold section on your Xbox One console or visit this page on a computer to queue up the game for download on your console. Games are added on the 1st and 16th of every month.
Override: Mech City Brawl (Until Sept. 15)
Billed as a 3D mech brawler, Override: Mech City Brawl puts you in control of giant fighting robots with unique moves and finishers. The game’s different modes include local and online versus, a single-player campaign, and four-player co-op—where you each control a part of the mech’s body!
de Blob 2 (Until Sept. 15)
Similar to the original game, de Blob 2 is a platform-puzzle title that asks you to add color back into the world in order to unlock new areas in the game.
Tom Clancy’s The Division (Until Sept. 30)
The Division is an online action RPG set in a future where New York City has been decimated by a plague. This game was released in 2016, but it’s extremely topical now. You play as a government agent tasked with supporting the agency, investigating the virus, and fighting the criminal elements of the city. The game is online only, and includes co-op and player versus player modes, making it a perfect Xbox Live game.
Armed and Dangerous (Sept. 16-30)
This third-person shooter from LucasArts was released in 2003 for the original Xbox. Armed and Dangerous adds some fun to the genre by parodying video games and movies, and includes a collection of offbeat weapons.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 (Sept. 16-Oct.15)
A point-and-click adventure game, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 see a gnome, elf, human, and alien team up to stop the mysterious magical transformations taking place in their world.
Best Free Nintendo Games
Jump Rope Challenge (Until Sept. 30)
Nintendo doesn’t usually give away games for free but the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. The company released a free title called Jump Rope Challenge that was developed while Japan was under lockdown. It’s a simple game that allows you to use the console’s Joy-Cons to skip rope alongside the on-screen character. There is a multiplayer mode, and updates have been introduced to add new moves and Nintendo-themed attire. The game will only be available in the eShop until the end of September.