The 15 Best Epic Games Store Free Games Given Away This Year

If the free mystery game promotion isn’t enough, the Epic Games Store has proven all year that it’s one of the top subscription services when it comes to free games. Whereas other services give away four every month, EGS sometimes gives four, eight, or in the case of December, fifteen or more. The best part is that, while EGS tends to focus on smaller enjoyable and potentially less noticed titles, it still works in the big AAA games that fans love.

Whether it’s AAA, indie, classic, simulation, shooter, or whatnot, the Epic Games Store has given away a ton of great games this year. Here are the very best, ordered in the month of their release.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2: Celebration Edition (January 2021)

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has grown beyond its initial controversy, becoming a solid Star Wars game in its own rights. Alone it would have been enough, but Epic Games Store went the extra mile and gave away the Celebration Edition that comes with some extra goodies on top of it. Where Star Wars Battlefront 2 is now has led many to want a threequel to the series, but as of this writing, Star Wars Battlefront 3 doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Metro Last Light Redux (February 2021)

The “Redux” aspect of this Metro Last Light version is the upgraded graphics and all DLC bundled in it, and it’s one fans shouldn’t have missed. It may be the middle part of a trilogy, with Metro 2033 before it and Metro Exodus after it, but each game is worth playing time and again. The whole franchise combines a lot of elements, with this one, in particular, focusing on survival, horror, first-person shooter elements in a post-apocalyptic world with an excellent story, and that’s something a lot of games struggle to pull off. Metro Last Light doesn’t.

Surviving Mars (March 2021)

Surviving Mars is a city management simulation game with a twist: it’s based on Mars and modeled after data on the planet. Players get to choose a sponsor nation, and using rovers and drones, they prepare the colony for humans on the red planet. The ultimate goal is to create a thriving colony through all of Surviving Mars' mechanics and systems. It’s easily a game someone could sleep on, but Epic made sure potential fans didn’t do just that.

Alien: Isolation (April 2021)

As a franchise, Alien is as popular as ever, but everyone knows that the franchise has a rocky history in video games. Alien: Isolation, from 2014, is a survival horror game that really emphasizes the survival element of fighting a Xenomorph, but also their raw power as only one Xenomorph haunts the player. To this day, Alien: Isolation is still hailed as the best game from the franchise, and it’s the best one Epic could have given away.

Among Us (May 2021)

The social deduction game that hardly needs any introduction, Among Us. It rose to popularity during the early pandemic and has maintained that run, with its own ups and downs, ever since. Players take on the role of Among Us' bean-style crewmates (or impostors) who need to complete certain tasks/kill other players before being discovered. While it has its quirks, it’s usually a fun, relaxing game that’s definitely better with friends.

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Frostpunk (June 2021)

Frostpunk is a city management survival simulator where players must lead their citizens through the hardships of a volcanic winter. What makes it stand out from other city sims, aside from its unique premise, is the variety of options, happenings, and potential events from game to game. Anyone who loves city sims and post-apocalyptic games may find the perfect brainchild of the two genres in Frostpunk, and what’s better is they could have also gotten it for free on the Epic Games Store. Just as this title was ambitious, Frostpunk 2 was announced earlier this year with what's said to be even greater ambitions.

Control (June AND December 2021)

Control is a fantastic and beloved game out of Remedy Entertainment, one so well-received that Epic Games Store gave it away TWICE this year. The first was in June, and then it was part of the Epic Games Store holiday mystery game promo in December. The future for the franchise, as well as how it connects to Alan Wake and the announcement of Alan Wake 2, all seems like it could create a defining franchise for the current generation of games.

Overcooked 2 (June 2021)

Overcooked 2 is a co-op cooking simulation game, a classic given new life with new details. The sequel builds on the original in smart ways with new features, interactive levels, themes, costumes, recipes, and more. For a chill, fun co-op game, there’s not much that can challenge Overcooked 2.

A Plague Tale: Innocence (August 2021)

Earlier this year, A Plague Tale: Requiem was announced for release in 2022 and it immediately caught many eyes. It’s shaping up to be a beautiful game, the kind that captures the eye for years to come and not just the time of one playthrough. Of course, not everyone may have played its predecessor, A Plague Tale: Innocence. As such, it was smart of the Epic Games Store to give this game away not long after its sequel’s announcement, and hopefully, many have played it now and are prepared for the upcoming sequel.

Yooka-Laylee (August 2021)

A third-person platformer, Yooka-Laylee features the titular chameleon and bat in an adventure to retrieve a magic book from an evil corporation. Yooka-Laylee looks like a much older game at first glance, despite releasing in 2017, and that’s intentional. At its heart, it’s a throwback and nostalgia journey inspired by games like Banjo-Kazooie.

Void Bastards (August 2021)

Speaking of inspirations, Void Bastards is a sci-fi roguelike first-person shooter that draws influences from System Shock and BioShock. Void Bastards received mostly positive reviews at release, with a ton of emphasis placed on its comic book art style, dark humor, and overall gameplay. Void Bastards is an experience everyone should share, and the Epic Games Store played its part in making that happen.

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Saints Row: The Third Remastered (August 2021)

Saints Row is getting a new entry in 2022, but 2021 wasn’t completely devoid of the Saints. The Epic Games Store gave away the remastered version of Saints Row: The Third. The franchise is known for its escalation of events, with the last game being about conquering the universe, but the third sees the Saints—now a media and pop culture consumer brand empire—battling for control of the city against the Syndicate, S.T.A.G., and whatnot.

Nioh: The Complete Edition (September 2021)

Nioh: The Complete Edition comes with the base game and three DLCs, really giving fans the definitive experience. Nioh is an action RPG and franchise many have compared to Souls for its difficult approach to combat, but it’s also one of few games within that niche to make its own identity for itself. Souls is Souls, Nioh is Nioh, and that’s the best mindset for anyone who still has this waiting on their backlog.

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep: A Wonderlands One-Shot Adventure (November 2021)

Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was originally a DLC for Borderlands 2, but it was given away as it almost directly is getting a sequel next year. All eyes are currently on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a full DnD-esque adventure in the Borderlands universe, but it couldn’t have happened without this DLC. Borderlands 2 and 3 had plenty of DLC, but many would likely point to this one as their favorite. Not only does that bode well for Wonderlands next year, but it firmly plants this game as one of the best given away via the Epic Games Store.

Dead by Daylight (December 2021)

Horror fans and multiplayer fans really get it all in Dead by Daylight. It’s a popular asymmetrical multiplayer game that has only grown and grown in recent years, and for those hesitant, trying it out for free may have removed all of that. It’ll be interesting to see what new survivors and killers are added to Dead by Daylight next year, but it definitely doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Epic Games Store users typically get a handful of free games every month.

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Joshua Duckworth (3332 Articles Published)

When Joshua Duckworth received Pokemon Yellow for Christmas at 5-years-old, his fate as a gamer was set. Since then, he's been involved with every step of the gaming industries' growth from the golden PS1 era and the dying days of the arcade to any current gaming trend. When he's not writing, playing his own games, or thinking about writing or playing his games, he's probably the second player to his son's Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu! file. Joshua has an MA degree in English from Jacksonville State University, and the best way to contact him is at [email protected]

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