There’s quite a few websites about nowadays with half a dozen games on, and not much else. There’s also quite a few with hidden costs, where you need to pay to access some features. Some are fairly reasonable, like Pogo Games, which charges a nominal annual fee for full access to all its games, and has dozens of games which require no purchase at all. Nevertheless, the point of this article is to point the reader towards solely free sites, so I shall list a few of the more popular ones.http://www.kongregate.com – A reasonably new site, where games are designed and submitted by the players. Completely free, and currently offering 5,172 games as of time of writing. The quality of said games is hugely variable, as might be expected; there are some truly awful attempts, but these are easily counterbalanced by the excellent ones. Users can submit comments and ratings on the game, and games can be searched as such. Badges and collectibles are winnable on select games.
http://games.yahoo.com – As you might expect, Yahoo’s games site has been around for some years, and has a large family of games associated with it. Users can sign in with their Yahoo accounts, or simply play as guests. The games are generally of excellent quality, though there is a lot less to pick from than some others. Downloadable games are available for purchase, though all web-based games are free.
http://newgrounds.com/games/ – Part of the larger Newgrounds website, which hosts a variety of videos, flash animations and so forth, this is the specific games section of the site. Like Kongregate, games are user submitted, and share the same problem of variable quality because of it. Again, though, there are hundreds of excellent examples, and again, games are rated by users, making it easier to sort the wheat from the chaff. A slight caveat: Newsgrounds tends to have a certain amount of R-Rated material that would be unsuitable for minors or people with no sense of humour.
http://www.lilgames.com/games_menu.shtml – Another relatively new site with some unique games available. The site tends to be rather full of advertisements, but anyone seriously wanting to play games online should look into using Firefox as a browser if they aren’t already, and installing the Adblock Plus addon. Problem solved.
http://www.popcap.com/ – Long established site, which really is a front for selling its full downloadable versions of the games on the site. Still, the games are fully available to play on the web, and there’s no obligation to buy anything.