The Best Free PC and Console Games to Claim in May 2021

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NBA 2K21 (Image: 2K Sports)

Everyone loves free games. Steam has a hefty collection of them, but some places offer titles for only a limited amount of time. Epic Games gives away multiple games a week. Amazon’s Prime Gaming subscription service has new titles each month. But if you’re not paying attention, you’ll lose out on a PC game you could have kept forever.

In an effort to help gamers know what’s out there to claim, we’re tracking the best free games available in a given month. While some titles are free outright, others are included as part of a subscription service. Here’s everything you can grab this month.


Best Free Epic Games Store Games

Epic Games gives away free titles every week; no need for a subscription. Head over to the Epic Games Store website or open the launcher, scroll down to the Free Games section, and hit the Free Now banner on the title you want. Then, go through the process as if you were purchasing the game. You won’t be charged, and the game will appear in your games library on the Epic Games launcher.

NBA 2k21 (Until May 27)

Play as your favorite professional basketball players or create your own in NBA 2K21. The MyCareer game mode allows you to follow the career of your own player in the NBA or WNBA. Build your ultimate team and collect virtual trading cards in MyTeam. Franchise Mode puts you in the position of general manager, allowing you to make trades, draft players, and play games.

Sludge Life (Until May 28)

This third-person 3D platformer with retro CRT graphics is really just a vandalism simulator in disguise. Sludge Life is short and sweet, allowing you to explore the game’s surreal world, meet a cast of crass characters, and tag areas with graffiti. Devolver Digital has made the game free to keep for the next year.

Rocket League (Now Free)

Rocket League combines high-speed racing with competitive sports gameplay as you play soccer with racecars. And last fall, the game moved exclusively to the Epic Game Store and became free-to-play for anyone who wants it. We previously gave it an Editors’ Choice award, praising it for a fantastic concept and over-the-top fun while maintaining enough nuance to be a competitive esports title. We consider it to be one of the best PC sports games available, and now you can get it for free.


Best Free GOG Games

GOG doesn’t have regular giveaways like some other websites do, but there is a small collection of free games, which mainly comprises classic computer games. Titles like Shadow Warrior Classic Complete and Postal: Classic and Uncut, which you would have to pay for on Steam, are free on GOG. Other classics, like Ultima 4 (1985) and Akalabeth: World of Doom (1979), are not available anywhere else.

  • Akalabeth: World of Doom (1979)
  • Ascendant (2014)
  • Beneath a Steel Sky (1994)
  • Bio Menace (1993)
  • Cayne (2017)
  • Delores: A Thimbleweed Park Mini-Adventure (2020)
  • Doomdark’s Revenge (1984)
  • Eschalon: Book I (2006)
  • Flight of the Amazon Queen (1995)
  • Jill of the Jungle: The Complete Trilogy (1991)
  • The Lords of Midnight (2013)
  • Lure of the Temptress (1992)
  • Postal: Classic and Uncut (2003)
  • Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves (2013)
  • Shadow Warrior Classic Complete (1997)
  • Stargunner (1996)
  • Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius (2014)
  • Teenagent (1994)
  • Treasure Adventure Game (2011)
  • Tyrian 2000 (1999)
  • Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar (1985)
  • Ultima World of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams (1991)
  • Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire (1990)
  • War Wind (1996)

Children of Morta (While Supplies Last)

This giveaway is a little different because it requires you to make a purchase, but you get a free game out of it. GOG and Visa are teaming up to give away 53,000 codes for the action RPG Children of Morta. Get the game by signing up at the giveaway page, then making a $25 payment using a Visa card. Save the card to your account for future purchases, and you will get your free copy of this roguelike tale of the Bergson family’s journey to free Mount Morta of the evil Corruption.

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

GOG allows you to score a free copy of the first Witcher game if you download the GOG Galaxy desktop client. Go to the Recent view and click the giveaway button at the top of the screen. As long as you agree to let GOG send you news and offers, the game is free to claim.


Best Free Microsoft Store Games

Microsoft doesn’t usually give away games on the Microsoft Store, but there are a few titles the company has decided to make free moving forward (some you can find only on the web, and not the desktop app). If you have a game code to redeem, sign into your Microsoft Account, then enter the code at redeem.microsoft.com; from the web app, go to More > Redeem a code. If it’s a game for your Xbox console, you must first make sure remote install is set up on your console.

Crackdown (Now Free)

Initially released in 2007, Crackdown received praise as a sandbox style third-person shooter that lets you cause massive amounts of destruction to the environment as you fight a crime wave in a dystopic future.

Crackdown 2 (Now Free)

Crackdown 2 brings back much of the same gameplay as the first game but with additional superhuman abilities and expanded multiplayer. Set 10 years after the first game, the title has you fight terrorists and save the city from a mutant-creating viral outbreak.

Farming Simulator 14 & 16 (Now Free)

Farming Simulator is a popular game for those looking to grow crops, care for animals, and run a farm while operating true-to-life farming equipment. While a new edition is released every year, the editions from 2014 and 2016 are now free in the Microsoft Store, giving you a good chance to try out the games before investing in the newest version.

Phantom Dust (Now Free)

Released in 2004 for the original Xbox, Phantom Dust combines third-person combat with card collecting to create a unique real-time strategy experience. Complete missions to gain new skills and equip unique builds for each new battle. The game was supposed to get a remaster on Xbox One, but it was cancelled and instead the original game was made free for Xbox and Windows.

Too Human (Now Free)

The action RPG Too Human is a science-fiction retelling of Norse mythology, where all the gods are cybernetically enhanced humans who must stop Loki’s machine army.


Best Free PlayStation Plus Games

PlayStation Plus is Sony’s online multiplayer and games subscription service that costs $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, or $59.99 for a full year. As part of the service, you can claim two new games to keep every month. They’ll be accessible as long as you have an active PlayStation Plus subscription. Subscribers who own a PS5 will also be able to keep games from a curated selection of titles.

There are two ways to claim these games from your console. Choose the PlayStation Plus icon from the PlayStation home screen to see the currently available games, plus previously claimed titles. Claimed games can be re-downloaded from this page. You can also go through the PlayStation Network Store and select PS Plus in the left-hand menu.

The other way allows you to add games to your console directly from the PlayStation Store as long as you have Automatic Downloads enabled. Once this is set up, you can choose the games you want from the web page and they will be remotely downloaded to your console.

Battlefield V (Until May 31)

The first-person World War II shooter Battlefield V includes playable stories centered around real-life events during the war. The game focuses on party-based gameplay, character customization, and several multiplayer modes, including battle royale mechanics.

Stranded Deep (Until May 31)

After surviving a plane crash, players must gather resources, craft items, manage vitals, avoid predators, and ultimately find a way to escape a procedurally generated tropical island. The game features a large quantity of passive and predatory sea life that can affect your playthrough.

Wreckfest – PS5 Only (Until May 31)

Combining traditional car racing and demolition derby gameplay, Wreckfest focuses on vehicular combat with realistic damage and physics that affect your car over the course of a race or derby. The game features a career mode, where you can upgrade and customize your car, as well as multiplayer and custom event modes.

Operation: Tango – PS5 Only (June 1 – July 5)

In the espionage-themed co-op game Operation: Tango, you play as either an agent or hacker and must work together to complete missions and save the world. While the game requires an internet connection to play, your friends can play with you for free.

Star Wars: Squadrons (June 1 – July 5)

Take control of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter in this space combat game set in the Star Wars universe. Each side has its own strengths and weaknesses, with different classes each possessing their own capabilities in battle. The game, which is played exclusively in a first-person perspective, includes two multiplayer modes and a story mode.

Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown (June 1 – August 2)

Remember Virtua Fighter 5? The game that was first released in 2006 has now been remade under the title Ultimate Showdown. The new game includes upgraded graphics, new music, an updated interface, new cinematics, and online features.

PlayStation Plus Collection – PS5 Only

Those who own a PlayStation 5 and subscribe to PlayStation Plus now have access to a curated collection of PS4 games. Games can be claimed at any time and remain playable as long as there is an active subscription. The current lineup, from Sony and partner studios, includes:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Bloodborne
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Days Gone
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Fallout 4
  • Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
  • God of War
  • Infamous Second Son
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Persona 5
  • Ratchet and Clank 
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard
  • The Last Guardian
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Until Dawn


Best Free Prime Gaming (Twitch Prime) Games

Prime Gaming (formerly known as Twitch Prime) is a subscription service that provides in-game loot, free games, and many other perks each month. The service costs $12.99 a month with a free 30-day trial, or comes included with your $119 Amazon Prime subscription. Navigate to the Prime Gaming page, scroll down to the “Games with Prime” section, and select the Claim button next to the titles you want.

To play games offered by Prime Gaming, you must download the Amazon Games launcher. Click the “Download and Play” link that appears next to the Claim button. In the pop-up window, click the link that says Download the Amazon Games Apps (Windows) to install the launcher. Once installed, Prime Gaming games can be claimed from the launcher itself.

Edgar – Bokbok in Boulzac (Until May 28)

This point-and-click adventure game sees outcast Edgar explore the nearby city, where he uncovers a surreal conspiracy that changes everything.

A Blind Legend (Until June 1)

True to its name, The Blind Prophet is an action-adventure game that consists of no video elements and focuses solely on audio interaction. The game can be used with either a touch screen or a mouse, and 3D audio helps players navigate accurately.

Beholder (Until June 1)

In Beholder, you are a state-sponsored landlord who is tasked with spying on your tenants and reporting them to your superiors. You have the option to protect those suffering under this oppressive regime, but the choice is yours!

The Blind Prophet (Until June 1)

In this point-and-click adventure game, you play as the apostle Bartholomeus on his mission to liberate the corrupted city of Rotbork. The game includes puzzles, mini-games, and challenges to complete.

Healer’s Quest (Until June 1)

In this comedy RPG, you play as an adventuring party’s underappreciated healer. Manage your mana reserves while healing, buffing, and curing party members. Just don’t let anyone die too often or they may get moody and underperform.

Yoku’s Island Express (Until June 1)

Help a dung beetle deliver the mail in this pinball-like platformer with Metroidvania-style open world exploration.

Faraway: Director’s Cut (Until June 4)

Explore ruins and solve puzzles in Faraway, a modern tribute to the classic adventure game Myst.

Bombslinger (Until June 11)

Bombslinger is an action game with roguelike elements inspired by classic Bomberman gameplay. In this spaghetti western revenge story, you use bombs to defeat your enemies or battle friends in multiplayer mode.

Mana Spark (Until June 18)

In this action RPG rogue-like, you explore a randomized dungeon, fight enemies in souls-like combat, rebuild the village, and acquire new weapons and items on your way to victory.


Best Free Steam Games

Steam has many free games you can download at any time, but limited-time free titles are a rare occurrence. In the event that you do find a free game, you can “buy” it on Steam like you normally would, but it will be automatically added to your library instead of having to check out.

If you have a Steam Key code, you can claim the game by launching the Steam client and clicking Games Menu > Activate a Product on Steam. Follow the instructions to complete the process and get your game. You may also need to connect your Steam account with another online retailer (e.g. Humble Bundle) before you can enter the code.

Nights Into Dreams (While Supplies Last)

It turns out that Sega has a few more Steam codes to give out from its 60th anniversary celebration. Register your email with Sega, then claim a key for the classic console game Nights Into Dreams in your email.

Company of Heroes 2: Southern Front DLC

If you have the Company of Heroes 2 base game, you can grab the Southern Front DLC by linking your Steam account on the game’s website. The second game of the real-time strategy series focuses on the Eastern Front of World War II with the player primarily controlling the Soviet Red Army. The Southern Front DLC focuses on the bleak weather conditions in the spring of 1943.

Crusader King II (Now Free)

The grand strategy game Crusader Kings III has been well received, but if you’re not ready to commit, there’s a way to preview the experience for free. Paradox Interactive has made Crusader Kings II free-to-play since 2019, giving gamers a chance to see what the excitement is all about before paying up for the most recent entry in the series. While the base game is free on Steam, the game’s many DLCs are still paid.

Endless Space Collection

You can get the 4X strategy game Endless Space and its Disharmony DLC directly from the developer thanks to its Games2gether platform. Sign up for an account and open the reward page (the present icon in the top-right corner) to see your free game. Just link your Steam account to receive the free Steam key and save $10.

Samorost (Now Free)

The surrealist point-and-click puzzle game Samorost was initially released in 2003 but has now been remastered with enhanced sounds, graphics, and new music. The developer has made the game free forever.

Total War: Shogun 2 – Battle of Kawagoe (Now Free)

If you already have Total War: Shogun 2 in your Steam library, you can grab the Battle of Kawagoe map for free. It was originally released as a pre-order bonus in 2011, but now anyone can play the legendary battle that saw the Hojo clan launch an attack against the Uesugi, Ogigayatsu, and Ashikaga clans under the cover of night.


Best Free Xbox Live Gold Games

Xbox Live Gold is the premium subscription tier of the Xbox Live online gaming service that costs $9.99 a month or $24.99 for three months. It is also included in the cost of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Among the many perks you get is free Xbox games every month. While original Xbox and Xbox 360 titles are yours to keep forever, Xbox One games can only be played as long as you have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

To claim your free games with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, go to the Gold section on your Xbox One console or visit this page on a computer to queue up the game for download on your console. Games are added on the 1st and 16th of every month.

Armello (Until May 31)

Armello is an RPG strategy game that is depicted as a board game complete with dice rolls, playing cards, and hexagon-shaped tiles. Up to four players control anthropomorphic animal heroes from different clans in an effort to claim the crown.

Tropico 4 (Until May 31)

Rule your own country in Tropico 4, a city management and government simulation game that allows you to customize a tropical island, then meet the needs of your citizens with the parameters you have set. The game allows you to create your own leader avatar, navigate different political factions, and complete missions in a campaign mode.

Dungeons 3 (Until June 15)

Dungeons 3 is a dungeon building and real-time strategy game where you create a dungeon, defend it from raiding heroes, and even release your armies on the world in single-player and multiplayer gameplay.

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (June 1 – June 15)

NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is a 2-on-2 tag team fighting game that brings together many characters from SNK and ADK titles. Franchises represented include Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, Metal Slug, The Last Blade, Athena, World Heroes, King of the Monsters, Aggressors of Dark Kombat, and Savage Reign.

The King’s Bird (June 1 – June 30)

This precision platformer lets you use your momentum to run, jump, and fly your way through beautiful minimalistic worlds.

Injustice: Gods Among Us (June 16 – June 30)

Set in a world where Lois Lane was murdered by the Joker and Superman is now evil, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game that pits Batman’s resistance fighters against the Man of Steel’s worldwide regime.

Shadows: Awakening (June 16 – July 15)

In this action RPG, you control a demon who can consume the souls of long-dead heroes. Each hero has their own abilities and storylines, which you can switch to in combat at any time. Now it’s up to you to either save the world or destroy it.


Miscellaneous Free Games

Not every free game is part of a larger program or initiative. If we find a random giveaway or a DRM-free download, we will share them below.

Hampton Court (Until June 20)

This visual novel is a work of historical fiction, where you play as a foreign princess forced to navigate her way through the English court of King Henry VIII. In Hampton Court, you must make choices that influence the story and character relationships, while navigating yourself to one of the game’s multiple endings.

Apogee Classics

Before 3D Realms created the Duke Nukem series, the company created adventure games for MS-DOS under the name Apogee Software Productions. You can grab several of these games for free if you create an account at 3drealms.com. Claimed games will appear under My Games, which can then be downloaded directly to your computer. Here’s the list of Apogee games:

Blizzard Arcade Collection

The Blizzard Arcade Collection brings together the definitive editions of three classic games: 1994 action platformer Blackthorne, 1993 puzzle platformer The Lost Vikings, and 1994 isometric racing game Rock N’ Roll Racing. While Blizzard expects you to pay $20 for the upscaled versions, you can still download and play the original games without needing to pay.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena

The Elder Scrolls: Arena is the first entry in the popular Bethesda series and has been free of charge since 2004. Download the full game on the company’s website. It combines designed spaces with procedurally generated areas to create a vast, explorable game far bigger than what was usually possible back in the ’90s.

The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

Daggerfall has been free since 2009; get it from the Bethesda website. Like Arena, Daggerfall features thousands of towns and dungeons to explore, as well as guilds to join, which offer their own questlines.

Marathon Trilogy

Before Bungie developed Halo for Microsoft, the company created Marathon, a Doom clone set in space that is considered a spiritual predecessor to Master Chief’s adventures. Bungie developed Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon Infinity in the mid-90s, then publicly released the source code prior to the Microsoft purchase. Now, Aleph One continues support and development of the games, which you can download and play here.

StarCraft

Blizzard released StarCraft: Remastered in 2017, so it made the original real-time strategy game, and its sequel, free to play. You can download StarCraft Anthology, which packaged the original game with the Brood War expansion pack, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty for free.

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