As human beings, we love stuff that's free. As gamers, we especially love free games!
Free games are everywhere, but it can sometimes be rather difficult to find the games that will offer you the best experience. You've only got to look on the app store on Android or iOS to find hundreds upon thousands of seemingly free games - but the experience a lot of them offer you is far from stellar, packed with far too many intrusive adverts that truly distract your gaming experience.
Not all free games come stuffed with ads set to ruin your experience, however. There's a multitude of high quality titles out there, all completely gratis - you just need to know where to look.
Steam plays host to hundreds of free-to-play games, and thanks to its pretty advanced filters, it's easy to jump straight to the games available for you without ever spending a penny.
From the main menu on the store's front page, select Games, then the top option is 'Free to Play'. From there you can filter down further to choose what genres of free to play games you'd like to look at, see what's coming soon, and see the current most popular free Steam games.
You can also browse any type of game you want by using the tag search feature. For instance, if you want to find free horror games, search for games tagged with 'horror' and 'free to play'. Try any number of combinations to find exactly what you want.
EA's Origin programme doesn't throw a tonne of free games at you, but if you're a member and have the Origin client installed, there's a regular free game available. On Origin, there's a 'free games' option on the left-hand menu. Select this, then go to 'on the house'. The current game is Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, but it changes over regularly. It's a good idea to log into Origin every week or two just to check what free games are available for you.
In your browser
If you don't feel like downloading Steam or Origin, there are hundreds of games you can play absolutely free in your browser. Many of our regular Free Game Friday games are browser-based, so have a browse through our archives for some of our best picks.
Sites like Kongregate have massive libraries of free-to-play Flash-based games. Kongregate allows you to search by keywords along with browsing the most popular games or browsing by genre. Miniclip is another great browser-based free game site. It's been around for years, but still has some of the most addictive Flash games to be found online. It's not quite as user-friendly, however, but it allows you to browse by genre or see the 10 most popular games of the time.
If you prefer to be a little more daring with your free games and want to up the stakes and perhaps win something out of it, there are a lot of sites offering free pokies. Of course, you should always play these kinds of games with caution.
There may not be quite as many free games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as there are on your other devices, but there's still a fairly solid selection for console gamers to play completely gratis. Both stores allow you to filter for free games. There's a mixture of free-to-play MMOs and various arcade-style games among others, so whatever you're into, you're sure to find something that'll pass the time.