Gaming is a fun and interactive hobby, but it can also become expensive if you find yourself playing lots of games. Because of this, many people feel that they have to limit their collection. But, there are ways to get free and heavily discounted games, so you can have fun and keep up with the latest releases. Here are the best sites for downloading free PC games.
The Best Sites For Downloading Free PC Games in 2023
Steam sells Windows, Linux, and macOS games. Plus, when a new PC game is released, you can almost guarantee it will be on Steam. The only time this isn’t true is if a developer releases a game exclusively through another retailer. Otherwise, you can find thousands of games on Steam.
Where Steam really shines is their free games search option. While you can certainly purchase games, Steam offers a way to search for free games only, and you can find newly released games that cost $0 to own. When I searched for free games, I was able to find thousands of titles, including Overwatch 2, Farming Fever, and Home Designer Makeover Blast. That’s just to name a few!
Steam will automatically download the games that you choose, and they will put the local game files in your SteamApps folder. So yes, you will need to install Steam on your computer to access all of your games. Steam also lets you install games on up to five separate computers. However, you can only be logged into one computer at a time. So you won’t be able to play with friends or family under the same account.
While Steam is easily one of the largest online gaming stores, it does lack in a few areas. For one, many users note their lack of customer service. If you need help with anything, you’ll have to follow up multiple times before your question or problem is solved.
Also, because you have to download their app or system on your computer, you should know that it takes up a lot of space and can take a while to load. So if you download a bunch of games, Steam may run incredibly slow. Overall though, Steam is one of the best and easiest ways to get free PC games, especially if you’re looking for newer titles.
While Epic Games is the exclusive place to get Fortnite, the website offers so much more than just one game. The company is also behind Unreal Engine, a collection of tools that are utilized by developers to make games.
The store’s easy-to-navigate UI makes it simple to use while purchasing games. You can explore the website by the types of games, your operating system, genre, and more (including price).
There is a section for free games, and Epic adds new games each week. Many titles are newer, like Mutus Meteora and Panic Room: House of Secrets. In addition to the free games, Epic, unlike Steam, doesn’t use any digital rights management (DRM). So individual publishers are free to include additional copyright protection if they so wish. The cloud saves all of your backups and saves.
Of course, just like with other websites, Epic Games has its cons. There are no user reviews to read, so you’ll have to rely on ratings alone. Besides being able to chat with friends and add games to your wishlist, there aren’t many other community options. So if that’s important to you, you may prefer a site like Steam.
Are Indie games your guilty pleasure? If so, itch.io offers hundreds of free indie games that you could play for hours on your PC. You won’t be able to get Call of Duty or Fortnite on itch.io, but that’s part of the appeal for many gamers. Instead, you’ll find games you may not have ever thought to play, and many are stunning and well-put together. The best part of itch.io? You get to support Indie creators while having fun!
The site launched in 2013. It has fast become a popular website amongst its indie-centric audience. Not only is the site easy to look at, but it’s even easier to navigate. You can search for games based on what you’re looking for, including free options. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you have child gamers in the family, itch.io does have NSFW content. So be sure to set up your account accordingly if you want to avoid those types of titles.
Something that I really liked when looking into the itch.io website is that even their free games give you the option to make a donation to the creator. If you’d like to support their work, you can throw a few dollars their way as a thank you. This isn’t mandatory, but it is a cool feature.
One of the biggest cons that I’ve noticed with itch.io is that the games aren’t fully vetted. In other words, someone could put a virus in a game and you wouldn’t even know until after you’ve downloaded it. Be sure to read reviews and research the game before diving into playing it.
Origin was a well-known platform that allowed you to download free PC games. It was created by EA and recently rebranded, but you can still use the platform to play free games, including hot titles like Apex Legends, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and Sims 4.
The biggest con to this platform is that you can only download and play EA-exclusive games. Some of these games also come with strings attached, like having to pay for certain features or options. However, even with the cons, you can play with friends and stream your gaming via TwitchTV, and share your game library with friends and family easily.
If you do have to pay for certain games or in-game features, I suggest waiting until Origin has their sales. You can typically get the games and features for 20%, 30%, and even up to 50% off their regular price.
Ocean of Games
Ocean of Games was developed by a British software company and has a huge variety of games — from action to arcade options — and everything in between. Plus if you like the networking aspect of gaming, the website also has a way to chat while gaming and a community forum to meet new gaming friends.
Many of the games you find on the site offer both single-player and multiplayer gaming. So you could always challenge a friend, loved one, or new gaming buddy to a game, or just play by yourself if you choose to. While the website is compatible with Windows, you can also access it with a Mac or Linux computer as well.
Unfortunately, the site isn’t well protected. Because of this, some games can be exposed to scams. As always, be smart about who you interact with and what you expose your computer to.
GOG may not be as well known as some of the other sites on this list, but the website is great if you want to play both old and new games. A popular game they’re offering right now is Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, but they have so much more in their catalog. Plus, they’re available on Mac, Linux, and Windows.
Unlike Origin and Steam, GOG doesn’t require mandatory update requirements. You can also download the games directly from the site without having to log in to a different platform. When it comes to the games themselves, any progress you make in the game is automatically saved to the cloud.
As with any other platform, GOG isn’t without its cons. The company has an offline mode, but it’s incredibly inconvenient. You’ll find yourself signed out constantly, even during the middle of a game. And, games tend to lag more. Also, the servers are overwhelmed easily. This causes lag and problems with certain game features.
Overall, GOG is a decent site to add to your list for free games. However, don’t expect to get all of your game content from this one site.
The Best Sites For Downloading Free PC Games in 2023 Wrap Up
Although all of the websites we’ve talked about provide the same thing — games — they do so in different ways. Some only offer free games per week, others require downloading their software, and some only carry retro or older games. However, no matter what, they all offer easy-to-access and free games for you to add to your collection.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©DC Studio/Shutterstock.com.