About This Page
Just as everyone agrees that music is art and films/movies are massive works of art, I advocate a step further for games as simply being interactive films. There is a ton of thought that goes into these creations. When you see how the best game designers also painstakingly create real, developed characters with whose true sacrifices we can most certainly relate—such as the massive, intricate, and fantastic world of Studio Pixel’s Cave Story—you can’t not appreciate such incredible dedication and work. Here is my collection of the best freeware out there: true works of art indeed.
(Red text marks games that are also Mac OS X-compatible.)

Regarding Japanese games: some of them may be difficult to access or even understand how to play; watch for telltale URLs (such as those that include the word “download”). Then check configuration executables for key mappings; nearly all Japanese games utilize the arrow keys with the keys Z, X, and C, or so.

Recent Changes

  • AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake): an incredibly well done fan port/modernization Taken down due to copyright notices
  • Cave Story: a side-scrolling RPG platformer, created entirely by one man (programming, story, graphics, music, everything!)
  • Endless Sky: a top-down space-trading-and-combat game and successor to Ambrosia Software’s Escape Velocity: Nova
  • Javel-ein: a smooth yet tricky side-scrolling platformer
  • The Snowball Fighter: a Japanese hybrid third-person action-puzzler
  • Arcade
  • Battleship 88: Iron Hero: an isometric naval combat game
  • Beacon: a suspenseful side-scrolling platformer
  • hets: a platforming arcade gunner
  • D. Ikushima, a.k.a. Metal Clover:
    FrontLine: an arcade side-scrolling infantry combat game
    Navy Mission: a 3D naval combat simulator
  • Long Lance: a (Navy Mission-inspired?) 3D naval combat simulator (press Tab to pause)
  • Ravenfield: when Sumotori Dreams meets the FPS genre
  • N: a side-scrolling platformer
  • Shoot First, a roguelike shooter (also capable of local two-player)
  • Soldat (Wikipedia): a side-scrolling “shareware” infantry combat game
  • Speedungeon: a frantic arcade game (note: it has no save file, so finish the whole game in one play)
  • Star Guard: a retro-style side-scrolling platform shooter
  • Tsunami Cruiser: a classic survival arcade shooter
  • Browser (no download)
  • 13 Jellyfish: a pirate-ship micromanagement simulator
  • fl0w: an aquatic organism life simulator
  • HaxBall: the best 5-button multiplayer sports game ever
  • Minefield: an infinitely expanding Minesweeper MMO
  • NEKOGAMESCURSOR*10 & Cursor*10 2nd Session: time-based mouse puzzlers
  • Scrapmetalship: a modular spacecraft combat simulator
  • The Company of Myself: dark, abstract puzzler
  • The Next Floor: side-view tower defense
  • Throw Out: the best Arkanoid clone in existence
  • ZType: a typing test reenvisioned as a Japanese shoot-em-up
  • Casual
  • Bernband: a casual day in the life of a pff (alien)—a game with no objectives
  • BUBBLEBURST: a silent top-down coffee-break game with wonky physics
  • Esc: a frantic coffee-break keyboard-mashing game
  • Knytt, Knytt Stories, and Within a Deep Forest: side-scrolling ambient explorers
  • Secret Exit:
    Pogo Sticker, a side-scrolling rag-doll physics game
    Stair Dismount & Truck Dismount: 3D rag-doll pain simulators
  • Sumotori Dreams (Demo): a 1- or 2-player 3D rag-doll wrestling simulator
  • Tower of Rubble: a grooving survival-platformer
  • First-Person Shooter
  • Innawoods: a single-player or multiplayer survival-horror FPS, initially made in 48 hours
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Lost Alpha: a free community variant of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games
  • The Tribes Universe series
  • Japanese Shoot-em-up
  • ABA Games: a collection of 3D Japanese shoot-em-ups and shooters by Kenta Cho
  • Amanagi: a 3D Japanese side-scrolling shoot-em-up
  • Die Slave: a 3D Japanese side-scrolling shoot-em-up (Windows 10 users will need to add in d3drm.dll and run it in Compatibility Mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2)
  • GROBE-DA (local download): abstract, high score-based top-down shooter
  • GunViper: a 3D Japanese vertical-scrolling shoot-em-up
  • xSynergy Gate: a 3D Japanese vertical-scrolling shoot-em-up
  • ZugyᾹ: a free-roaming space shoot-em-up (flip joystick controls to keyboard)
  • Local Multiplayer
    All players participate on the same one computer.

  • 0space: a retro-style futuristic infantry combat game for 2-4 people, inspired by a scene depicted in Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game
  • Battle Painters: a Japanese top-down 1- to 4-player competitive family game
  • Building Panic: a cooperative 1- to 2-player Japanese side-view action game
  • Cowboyana: a hilarious side-scrolling 2-player Wild West “simulator”
  • Eggnogg: a side-scrolling 2-player dueling game
  • Forget-Me-Not: a one-or-two-player game depicting Pac-Man as a hectic roguelike-like shooter
  • Liero (Wikipedia): a classic, highly customizable side-scrolling DOS-based deathmatch game for 1-2 players, portraying “Worms” in real time
  • Liquid War: a pixel-based multiplayer real-time strategy game
  • Pacapong: Pac-Man launches Space Invaders at the opposing Pong paddle!
  • Regular Human Basketball: a hilarious sports-based giant-robot simulator
  • Das Uberleben: skydiving gone horribly wrong
  • UFO Game: a 1- to 2-player UFO fighting game
  • Real-Time Strategy (RTS) / Real-Time Tactics (RTT)
  • Attack of the Paper Zombies (direct local download): a futuristic infantry tactics game and Alex Vostrov’s free predecessor to his commercial Infested Planet
  • Drone: a top-down strategic defense command game
  • OpenRA: Remakes of classic Westwood Studios RTSs
  • Orcs in Space: a frantic micromanagement base-defense RTS
  • Spatial: a simple yet challenging 3D space combat simulator
  • StarCraft and StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty: acclaimed, three-race sci-fi RTSs
  • S.W.I.N.E. (Wikipedia): hilarious 3D, slow military WWII-parodying tactics with bad path-finding
  • Twisted Insurrection: a standalone total conversion of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
  • The Zod Engine, an open-source remake of Z
  • Warzone 2100 (Wikipedia) by Pumpkin Studios: an open-source 3D futuristic strategy game, released as freeware in 2005 by publisher Eidos Interactive
  • Turn-based Strategy/Tactics
  • Caller’s Bane, the multiplayer card game by Mojang (creator of Minecraft)
  • Drain Storm (note): a DOS-based top-down roguelike
  • Rogue Space Marine: a roguelike made in 7 days
  • Sil: a tactical roguelike combining the stealthiness of Metal Gear Solid with the First Age of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s Middle-earth
  • Tower: a really glitchy, 3D, OpenGL-powered roguelike
  • Multi-Genre
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge: a work of art grounded in American historical fiction
  • Red Rogue: an insanely complex, detailed side-scrolling “roguelike-like”