This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK.
If you're finding yourself at home a lot recently, then you're not alone. While social isolation is probably the best thing for the nation right now, it's not the best thing for being a little bit bored. Although now might be a good time to make a dent in your backlog, it's also as good a time as any to try out something new - and what better way to do that than with a host of free games?
A bunch of developers have come forward and made their games free-to-play for those of us stuck inside, while a number of others just happen to be going ultra-cheap right now. So if you're in need of something to break up the tedium without putting as much as a dent in your wallet, look no further.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey
The second game in Ubisoft's rebooted time-travelling franchise is free on Xbox One, PS4, and PC all weekend, until March 22. With more than 40 hours of gameplay in the base game alone, you're unlikely to get it all done in just a few days, but if you like the idea of sailing around ancient Greece, this is a good chance to get a taste of a pretty impressive time-sink. [Grab it here]
Sea of Thieves
Pirates aren't known for being particularly philanthropic, so it makes sense that this is more of a coincidence than anything else. Sea of Thieves turns two years old this weekend, and to celebrate, Rare has made its swashbuckling title free-to-play on Xbox One until Monday. [Grab it here]
The Stanley Parable and Watch_Dogs
The money-printing machine that is Fortnite offers Epic the opportunity to be pretty generous with its giveaways. The PC storefront has been giving titles away almost since its inception, and this week's offerings are pretty decent. Watch_Dogs might pale in comparison to its sequel, but it's still an interesting precursor to that Cyberpunk game we're all so excited about in terms of the tech it experiments with. The Stanley Parable, meanwhile, should make you feel a little better about not being at your desk right now. Both are available to download and keep for free until March 26. [Grab them here]
Steam Game Festival
The Steam Game Festival was established back in December by Geoff Keighley to allow a host of upcoming indie games to show off their wares ahead of release. After the cancellation of GDC, the Festival is back, with more than 40 demos available until March 23. Highlights include reverse horror game Carrion, Wandersong follow-up Chicory: A Colourful Tale, and Spiritfarer, but if you're into indie games in any way, there's almost certainly something worth checking out. [Grab them here]
GOG - Stay at Home and Play Some Games
GOG's trying to keep people indoors by offering 27 games for free until March 30, all of which are yours forever. There are some classics in there (including Beneath a Steel Sky), but a few newer titles too - although I see you sneaking Gwent in there, GOG, I see you... [Grab them here]
Football Manager 2020
With no actual sports taking place, clubs have already taken to simulating their games through Sports Interactive's acclaimed management game. The series' most recent iteration is currently free to play until March 25 on Steam, and could easily prove to be the only way that Liverpool manage to win the League this year. [Grab it here]
Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online
All of the content, including DLC, for Standing Stone's MMO titles has been made free to everyone until April 30. On top of the drop in price, there'll also be extra events on the calendar. So if you ever wanted to get stuck into an MMO but felt you didn't have the time, now could be your moment. [Play LotR Online here and D&D Online here]
This is a decent starting place, but it's far from an exhaustive list. There are, of course, a whole heap of excellent free-to-play titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, and CS:GO out there to try. Indie storefront itch.io is always a good place to try out new experiences, many of which are available on a 'pay what you want' system.
And while not technically free, subscription services like Apple Arcade, Xbox Games Pass, and Twitch Prime are all good ways to pick up a host of titles at the same time, and many offer steep discounts on the first few weeks of membership.