The best free games are on PC, and if you want to know what the best 50 are then you’ve come to the right place.
RPS Feature No free-to-play, just free.
RPS Feature Let's Interface
Welcome class. Take your seats and take out your note paper.
We’ve all struggled through a game with a bad interface, one where none of the icons are clear, the screen is cluttered, and elements are unresponsive. Those problems still rear their heads in every genre, but I think we’ve more examples than ever of how to do an interface well. Let’s look at a few of them.
Forays Into Norrendrin [official site] is a streamlined roguelike dungeon crawler, perfect to fit between the gobbets of work on your desktop, or long dress-up sessions out in the Commonwealth. It’s similar to RPS favourite Brogue in that it doesn’t use elaborate tilesets to communicate the particular sights, sounds and stenches of its dungeons, relying instead on ASCII figures and lovely snippets of flavour text. It stands out from the pack thanks to heavy use of status effects and exhaustion – it’s free.
RPS Feature Building The Death Labyrinth
Roguelikes are my favourite genre of game and Brogue [official site] is one of my favourite roguelikes. It has the genre’s carefully interlocking systems, which drive players towards important decisions and produce plentiful fun anecdotes, but it also presents them via an interface that’s approachable and without the bloat that can make its peers intimidating or fatiguing to play.
I think a large part of Brogue’s appeal lies in its level generation, which creates tight spaces full of interesting environmental detail, with traps to avoid, chasms to fall into, and a strange ASCII beauty. I spoke to the game’s creator, Brian Walker, about what his design goals for those levels are, how you balance a game you can’t predict, and the exact process by which the game creates those levels.
RPS Feature Level Cap
An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC RPGs ever released. Covering the entire history of computer role-playing games is a daunting task and attempting to place the best games in such a broad genre in any kind of order is even more daunting. Thankfully, we are equal to all tasks and below, you will find the best fifty PC RPGs of all time.
RPS Feature Raise a flask
My favourite thing in roguelikes are the unidentified scrolls and potions, and no game does them better than the freeware, long-developed Brogue [official site]. It’s a mouse-controllable and surprisingly pretty ASCII roguelike in which quaffing everything you find is a valid early game strategy for identifying found potions and where reading every scroll is as likely to help you as hurt.
I decided to play the game with a rule: not only would I drink and read everything I found, I’d do so as soon as I found them, no matter what the situation. This is what happened.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You hear combat in the distance.
You feel a sense of loss.
You hear something die in combat.
Brogue is a freeware roguelike with attractive ASCII graphics, intuitive mouse controls, and monkeys who will steal your heart and your portions.