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Top 10 commercial games that are now free

Oldies and goodies sometimes became freebies - here are our top 10 released-as-freeware games

Old games can have a lot going for them, especially if the publisher has been kind enough to release them as freeware. Here are our top 10 games that were made to commercial quality, but can now be yours for nothing.

10. Tribes 2

Tribes 2 is an online or LAN multiplayer shooter – you can access a network of fan-operated servers by installing the patch from www.tribesnext.com. It’s a fast-paced game played over a wide area, with game modes including deathmatch and capture the flag. You choose from three different armour types – light, medium and heavy, and this determines your combat effectiveness and protection versus manoeuvrability.

Fast movement is helped by each player’s armour having a built-in jetpack, which lets you skim over the terrain at high speed. Throw in automated turrets and player-controllable tanks and aircraft and you have some serious free online carnage.

Tribes 2

9. Beneath a Steel Sky

ScummVM is a multi-platform emulator designed for playing classic point and click adventure games. There are a few free classics at www.scummvm.org, but our favourite is Beneath a Steel Sky – a cyberpunk adventure set in a dystopian future with beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds by comic book artist Dave Gibbons.

The game starts off light in tone, but there’s a distinctly menacing undercurrent and things get properly nasty later on. Challenging puzzles, great dialogue and a sardonic robot companion make this a must-play classic adventure.

Beneath a Steel Sky

8. MechWarrior 4

Fancy clomping round a huge battlefield in a 30-tonne armoured walker? MechWarrior 4 is for you. It’s a large 1.7GB download, so you need to download the installer from http://tinyurl.com/6k9nbqw – this will then download the full game via BitTorrent.

Once in, you’ll need to get your head around fighting with a mech. This is no dumb shooter; the Mech’s torso moves independently of its legs, you have several different weapons in different groups, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you control movement with a throttle rather than the WASD keys.

There is also a huge range of vehicles to choose from, each of which requires a different fighting style. The online multiplayer is currently offline, but you can always hook up with some friends on a LAN and see who has the baddest bot.

MechWarrior 4

7. Hidden & Dangerous Deluxe

It may be set in World War II, but Hidden & Dangerous is about as far away from the first three Call of Duty games as it’s possible to get. The game is set behind enemy lines, and as the title suggests, staying alive is all about staying out of sight. You’re outnumbered and outgunned, but with judicious use of teamwork and stealth you can get by the absurdly accurate enemy soldiers.

The Deluxe version was released as a free game in 2003 to promote its sequel – Hidden & Dangerous 2. The Deluxe version cleans up the original’s bugs, and if you can put up with its clunky interface it’s a tense and stealthy shooter.

Hidden & Dangerous

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