The world being forced to stay at home during the midst of a global pandemic means that people have more time on their hands than ever. One of the few benefits of this is the ability to indulge in your hobby a little more which, if you’re a lifelong games fan, means dipping into the various releases you couldn’t quite get around to. Luckily, it appears that certain publishers and distribution platforms are more than happy to help. There are plenty of games available to play for Free!
One thing we will mention is that most of the following programs relate exclusively to PC unless stated otherwise. It’s simply a result of platforms like Steam, the Epic Games Store and UPlay being a lot more open source. However, here we’ll cover plenty of ways to play games either for FREE or on the cheap on both PS4 and Xbox One. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at all the free games playable during worldwide lockdown:
Xbox One: Play two games every weekend as part of "Free Play Days'
Xbox One players always have something to look forward to ever weekend, all thanks to Microsoft's extremely generous 'Free Play Days' programme. Through this Xbox One players always have a minimum of two games to try out over the course of that weekend. There's more often than not at least one Triple-A game to sink your teeth into, even if it is a little older.
The most recent selection of 'Free Play Days' titles includes Sonic Forces, the latest in the long line of 3D Sonic the Hedgehog games. This one is a little different, though, in that you can create your own animal character to fight alongside the blue speedster. If you were always curious about checking it out before, why not try it for free? Also in this weekend's line-up is Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, a full-fledged remaster that brings the ball-rolling hilarity up to date for modern players. And then those who prefer retro games can rest easy knowing that the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection is there, too. That's three FREE games to sink your teeth into on Xbox One from May 4th- June 7th.
Free Play Days on Xbox One really is the gift that keeps on giving. Why not make the most of these trials and see if you can finish the full game?
PC: FREE weekly games from the Epic Games Store
Say what you will about this main rival to Steam, the Epic Games Store has quickly solidified itself as one of the ideal ways to experience PC gaming. Not only did it snap up some pretty major platform exclusives like Borderlands 3 and Metro: Exodus in the early days, but since its launch players have been treated to two free games per week pretty much since it launch.
Games in the past have ranged from cult classics like Alan Wake to delectable indie titles like The Messenger or A Short Hike. Often, though, PC players are treated to slightly older triple-A titles they may have missed like Watch Dogs and Batman: Arkham Night. Currently at the time of writing Epic Games Store customers can nab Overcooked for FREE, to download and keep forever. This game represents one of the best couch co-op games out there, and is well worth jumping on for any PC player wanting to stay busy during the COVID-19 crisis.
So, if you haven’t already downloaded the Epic Games Store launcher, what are you waiting for? There’s always a free game on offer worth trying out.
PC: A free Ubisoft game every week from UPlay
To most console players, Uplay is just that annoying little logo you see briefly pop up in the corner of the screen each time you load up the new Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry. On PC, however, it works similarly to Steam and the Epic Games Store, being Ubisoft’s first-party game launcher home to most of the publisher’s biggest titles. Wouldn’t you know that Uplay too is making the most of the current crisis, offering PC players a free title to keep permanently every week.
This programme first kicked off with the ever-brilliant Rayman Legends being made available for free. Then 2009’s Assassin’s Creed II – AKA one of the best entries into this stealthy series was free to download until April 17th. Now, however, UPlay is letting players jump into Far Cry 5 for free (for a limited time) and all you need to do is download UPlay, sign up and enjoy! It will then soon be replaced by another Ubisoft title. What this next game will be is still unknown.
Again this is a limited-time free game offer exclusive for PC players who download Uplay.
PC: Two free months of Stadia Pro - with access to 10 titles
Despite continuing loft promises, Google Stadia arrived late last year and was pretty much dead on arrival. Creating a dedicated platform where players wouldn't have to worry about installing or updating their games was admirable, but the incredibly limited launch line-up and shaky performance left Stadia "Founders" extremely disappointed.
However, Google Stadia is looking to capitalise on the global pandemic in a bid to gain some redemption. You see, as of April 8th, access to the base-level version of the service — where game streaming is limited to 1080p quality — will be free by signing up at the Stadia website. And if that wasn't enough, there's also a two-month free trial period of the Pro version, which instantly grants you access to 10 games including Gylt, SteamWorld Quest and GRID.
If you've remained sceptical about Stadia until now, trying it out for these two months is a great way to play free games and make your mind up.
Reminder: Low cost games with Xbox Games with Gold and PS Plus
And so we arrive to the portion of the article where we break the rules a bit. Because while the various games released each month on PS Plus and Games with Gold aren’t strictly free, they’re as good as such. Especially when you use the onsite Console Deals comparison filter to find the best membership price for both from around the web.
For one low monthly subscription can you gain access to a whole wealth of great first- and third-party titles, keeping them forever for as long as you stay subscribed. In Xbox’s case you don’t even need to do that. Simply sign up once, download the games and you’re set for life. You can learn more about this month’s games for both PS Plus and Games with Gold here. Then, if you like what you see, feel free to find the lowest current subscription price below:
Games with Gold best price:
PS Plus best price:
We’ll be sure to keep this post regularly updated with any other free (or close to free) games we find. COVID-19 might be disrupting social life quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of virtual worlds to get lost in and explore.