20 free PC games you must play

Lewis Denby at

1. The Lord of the Rings Online

Get it from the official site.

Why it's top of the list: The Lord of the Rings Online has always been an impressive MMO, complete with interesting quests, beautiful visuals and a sense of Tolkenian atmosphere that few other fantasy games have managed to conjure up. And now it’s operating on a micro-transaction basis, making it essentially free-to-play until you want to dip your toes into more of the content.

It’s at around level 20 when LotRO starts to become a little more skimpy with what it gives away for free, and that might irritate players who’ve really got stuck into the game by that point. But it’s a sensible business decision - one that those behind the game have confirmed has been extremely fruitful.

And until then, you’re getting hour upon hour of one of the best MMOs on the market, in a way that feels like the game just can’t resist giving you yet another freebie treat.

Wrote Tom Senior in PC Gamer’s review: “Every time I reached a new level, a mysterious gift package would appear in my inventory. Unwrapping the package revealed a cluster of free items. Oh look, a whistle that gives me a free mount for a day, and an experience scroll, And what’s this? A strange letter that starts a special quest when read. These gifts, along with Deeds, and the hundreds of quests already in the game, all feed into the sense of constant incremental success that papers over Lord of the Rings Online’s lack of innovation. It may be formulaic, but it’s one hell of an addictive formula.”

And that’s that, then. Do you agree? Disagree? Of course you disagree: it’s a list feature. Pipe up in the comments below, and tell us what you think are the best free PC games available.