These days, most of us are used to gaming in one of two ways: through free downloads (which we might later spend on for DLC), and through mobile- and console-based purchases. These broad methods encompass the bulk of today’s most popular games, and truth be told, most of us don’t need anything more. When you think back to years past though, it’s clear something is missing from today’s popular gaming circles: the free, internet-based game.
Once upon a time, online arcade sites and other internet gaming opportunities held a fairly important place in the industry. And many still remember their favorite Flash games fondly. While these types of games have faded into the background though, they’re not altogether gone. This is why we’re highlighting some of the best places to find online games today.
1. Arcade Sites
Listing “arcade sites” may be vague, but it speaks to the idea that a lot of those early-2000s platforms full of simple, beloved browser games are still alive. An incredible selection of arcades at Crazy Games likely includes some of your old favorites. If you were ever a browser gamer, and Addicting Games may as well be a search engine for similar games. Whether you’re looking for Bubble Shooter, your favorite billiards simulator, a survival zombie arcade, a favorite tower defense game, or just about anything else from this medium, you can probably still find it. In fact, you may even stumble on some old favorites you’d forgotten about, but will love to see again!
2. Casino Sites
The notion of online casino gaming may sound counterintuitive in a discussion about free online games. However, there are two reasons this makes sense. One is that new sites coming into New Jersey are introducing professional digital casino platforms to a U.S. market that has long been mostly without them. Another is that many of the included games, from slot reels to poker tournaments, can be played for free. It’s a means of exposing the sites to people who don’t necessarily want to jump right into real-money gaming. And it means that at this point you can find just about any sort of casino game you like for free in your browser.
Some might consider Steam to be a form of PC-based console-style gaming rather than internet or browser gaming. But the lines blur between these categories anyway, and the point is that without leaving your laptop, you can use Steam to access any number of completely free, wonderful games. Sometimes they’re retro titles made available again; sometimes they’re console games that are effectively out of circulation, and sometimes they’re just simple, app-quality games you can play on your computer. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s plenty to enjoy if you look through Steam’s free downloads. And for that matter, there are also plenty of great games you can enjoy for very low fees too, if you’re just looking for cheap (but not necessarily free) entertainment.
Somewhat like Steam, emulators are more or less designed to make console games available in browser windows. Still, at this point this certainly qualifies as a free form of online gaming, and some of the titles available are bound to delight any gamer. Emulator Online presents games across all genres and includes franchises as popular as Pokémon, Super Mario, and Grand Theft Auto. If you can’t find something to enjoy (completely free) there, you’re probably not someone who would have read this article in the first place!