Fallout 1 and 2 are rightfully famous as groundbreaking post-apocalypse RPGs: Dark, violent, funny in spots, and—fair warning—not the easiest games in the world to get into at first. They're definitely products of their era, that being the late '90s, a time when videogames demanded that players work for their success. Fallout 2 is particularly notorious for this—this Reddit thread really cuts to the heart of the matter, and thankfully also has some helpful pointers—but trust me, once you're through the Temple of Trials, the game will not disappoint. I actually prefer the darker tone of the first Fallout, but in terms of scale and variety, Fallout 2 cannot be beat.
Fallout Tactics is the black sheep in the group, but in all honesty I think it deserves better than it got. It's not an RPG, but rather a squad-based tactical game in the Fallout world. As a concept, it misses what makes Fallout great—the open-ended roleplaying in an often surprising world—but the combat simulation is quite good, and it does follow a coherent (and, by comparison, compact) story from start to finish. As I recall, it gets a bit off the rails over the final mission or two because the high-end power armor and weapons are grossly overpowered, but I had fun with that too: I suffered as a half-naked wastelander with a sharp stick at the beginning of the game, and so at the end of the game, it's payback time.
Anyway, three games, free games, and they're all great: If you haven't yet played any of the old-school Fallouts, this is a great chance to see what they're all about, and if you've avoided Tactics over the years because your friends all told you it sucked, it's finally time to discover that they were wrong. (And you can tell 'em I said so.) For the best experience, be sure to have a look at our guide to getting the most out of the classic Fallout games today—just ignore the part where Jody calls Tactics "mediocre combat-focused spin-off."
Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel are free on the Epic Games Store until 11 am ET on December 22—that's tomorrow—at which point another free game (or perhaps games) will take their place. Epic is giving away a free game every day until December 30—you can keep track of what's on the block, and what's been given out previously, in our running list of what's free on the Epic Games Store right now.