Fallout 3 is free on the Epic Games Store

Fallout 3 guy
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

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.

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.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.