What is the best free computer game?

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Answered by: John, An Expert in the Games - Free Games Category
Team Fortress 2, the game that popularized the free-to-play genre, may very well hold the title of best free computer game to this day. With a vibrant community, bustling economy, and solid gameplay, this game stands out from its legion of imitators despite being released in 2007.

Team Fortress 2 is a class-based first person shooter published by Valve, centered around capturing or defending a given area. There are nine character classes, each with their own unique weapons, strengths and weaknesses. Each class plays so differently that choosing a different class is almost like playing a different game. From the fast but fragile Scout, to the stealthy covert action of the Spy, the game will keep you busy learning the ins and outs of each class for a long time to come.

One of the most obvious elements is the stunning, Pixar-gone-wrong art style. Despite the age of the Source engine upon which the game is based, Team Fortress 2 still looks great thanks to its highly-stylized, cartoony look. However, this also means the game will run well on even the most low-end of computers and still look good. The game oozes charm and personality.

Team Fortress 2's economy is complex but accessible. Although each player starts out with only a few weapons, they will be awarded new weapons at random as they keep playing. These can be traded to other players as a form of currency for other weapons or more expensive cosmetics. However, this does not mean that veteran players will have an edge over new players through their arsenal of weapons; the new weapons are meticulously balanced to ensure that all weapons are equal in power, if different. This keeps gameplay fresh and interesting as new weapons create new ways to play.

The gameplay is fluid and intuitive. The game is focused heavily on teamwork, with good communication and planning essential to victory. Each class controls differently, but with a common control scheme that is easy to pick up and learn. Any player familiar with first person shooters should have an easy time adapting Team Fortress 2.

However, the game is not without its downsides. The art style goes a long way to mask the age of the engine, but as time goes on the game's age becomes more and more important. Also, the economy can be daunting to new players. Fortunately, participation in the economy is not required to get the most out of the game, and really only comes into play for players concerned with cosmetics which have no bearing on gameplay. Also, there is no singleplayer mode, meaning the only way to play is online with other players.

All around, Team Fortress 2 is a solid game and worthy of the title of 'best free computer game'. With a player base of over 84,000 players per day, Team Fortress shows no signs of slowing down even as it enters its seventh year of existence. If you are looking for an addictive, complex online gaming experience that is both fun and accessible, look no further than Team Fortress 2.

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