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Tips for Finding Windows PC Games that are Completely Free

written by: KateG•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/11/2009

Gaming for free? It may sound too good to be true, but there are actually several legitimate ways that anyone can find and download free Windows PC games.

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    Free Windows PC Games

    You may have noticed, as you go through your local game store, electronics store, or even big-box retailer that signs touting the words "Games for Windows" have been showing up. This promotional effort is no doubt designed to showcase the fact that when it comes to the number of games available, Windows has both Mac and Linux outnumbered by more than a factor of 5. It may also have something to do with the fact that video games are a cash cow - just ask the Xbox division.

    A game can run you up to 50 dollars a title which, if you bought just one game a month, would come to an extra 600 dollars a year. Unlike console-based (Wii, PS3, XBOX 360) games which can be rented for a small fee at most video stores or through services like Game Fly for a monthly rate, PC Games have no rental options.

    So what is a play-hungry, yet budget-conscious PC gamer to do?

    The answer is simple: Get them for free.

    Right now, you may think I'm talking about web-based games, but I'm not. I'm talking about bona fide, stand-alone downloadable programs that you can play offline if you please. No doubt you have some questions, so let’s get some answers.

    Can I get big name titles?

    This answer is a yes with a “but”. Yes, you can get them, but it would be illegal to do so. I won't be telling you how, and I can't legally condone the behavior. That being said you can get versions of popular games like Tetris.

    Will I get a virus from downloading free games?

    The odds are against it, but just to be on the safe side never download from a less-than-savory site, and keep your anti-virus software updated. If you don't have anti-virus software, get it before you download. ClamWin is a great free choice if you are low on funds.

    What types of games can I get for free?

    You can play everything from puzzle games to real-time strategy and even first-person shooters for free. There really are no limits to the types of Windows PC games you can get.

    What is the picture quality like?

    Quality of the graphics will vary depending on the game, but as a general rule of thumb, don't expect graphics of the same quality that you would see in a commercial game or a 3D environment like World of Warcraft.

    Will I end up with demos?

    No, you can get full-length Windows PC games for free. Any "demos" should be clearly marked as such.

    So, where can I get these free games?

    There are a lot of sites where you can find free Windows PC games, but two popular sites with a nice selection are 1UP and Free Windows Games. Either one will give you a solid selection.

    Now that you know, go out and enjoy your gaming the way it should be: stress free and cost free. Remember, though, these communities work best when everyone contributes. Even if you can't code, you can link to a game you like or write a review to tell others about the game.