Epic's weekly free games are practically a routine at this point, but this week's giveaway is worth a little extra attention: It's Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, Bethesda's first first-person foray into the famed post-nuclear world.
Fallout 3 is 14 years old now, and it shows. We said in a 2015 retrospective that "technically, it hasn't aged well," and that was seven years ago. "The world is blighted by grubby low-res textures and the character models are hideous," we wrote, adding that they didn't even look all that great when they were new in 2008.
Even so, it gets a lot right—enough to make it my favorite post-Interplay Fallout game. For my money (and setting aside the 'find your dad' main quest nonsense), it captures the feeling of wandering through a devastated wasteland far better than the subsequent games. That 2015 look back at Fallout 3 very nicely captures why:
"The Capital Wasteland is still a wonderfully evocative place. The grey, overcast skies and shattered landscape make for a strangely beautiful post-apocalypse. There’s a lot of empty space—I mean, it is a wasteland after all—but Bethesda scattered enough interesting things around that it never feels barren."
The Game of the Year Edition, by the way, includes all five add-on packs released for Fallout 3: Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta. It's a whole lotta Fallout in one package.
Of course, you may feel differently about how the Fallout games should be ranked and that's fine, but you cannot argue against the price, because it is free for the taking until October 27. The giveaway coincides with the 25th anniversary of the original Fallout, which Bethesda has been marking in various ways, including by putting the pre-Bethesda games—Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics—on sale on the Epic Store for $2.50 each.
The Epic Game Store is celebrating #Fallout25: https://t.co/LJhDnGLPmeStarting on 10/20 be sure and snag:☑️ Fallout 3 GOTY edition for free until 10/27.☑️ Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics for 75% off until 11/1 pic.twitter.com/GojWHBBsjCOctober 20, 2022
Fallout 3 is not the only giveaway game this week, although it might seem that way given how I've gushed about it. You can also grab Evoland Legendary Edition, "a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming." The Legendary Edition is actually a bundle including Evoland: A Short Story of Adventure Video Games Evolution and Evoland II: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder. They're both very good, too.
Both Fallout 3 and Evoland Legendary Edition are free for the taking on the Epic Games Store until 8 am PT/11 am ET on October 27. For a list of all the games Epic has given away, going all the way back to December 2018, hit up our regularly updated list of what's free on the Epic Games Store right now.