It’s Amazon’s annual Black Friday in July sale, and Prime Day brings not only great deals on tech and games, but a bounty of free games for Prime members through Prime Gaming.
All year round, Amazon cycles promotions where you can grab free games or in-game bonuses from certain partners. There’s usually a good chance that your favourite live-service game may have some goodies up for grabs, like League of Legends and Apex Legends or even bigger MMOs like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online.
For the length of the Prime Day festivities, however, there’s a veritable buffet of free, full games that members can add to their catalogues forever.
Move quick and snap up these Prime Gaming free Prime Day games while you can:
Need For Speed: Heat
The Need For Speed franchise was a staple of the late-90s’ robust racing scene, a time when The Fast and the Furious and Gone In Sixty Seconds poured gasoline on an already competitive genre. EA sought to return to those roots with 2019’s Need For Speed: Heat, and was mostly successful. This is the perfect kind of game to add to your Origin library for free from Prime Day—a modern return to a classic series, and a fun pick-up-and-play experience when you’re not sure what else to play.
From our review of Need for Speed: Heat: “Gone are the obnoxious characters, bland open worlds, and the meek police presence that pervaded games like Need For Speed 2015 and Payback. In their place, Ghost Games has reinvigorated EA’s racing franchise with a focus on tuning and customization, a compelling progression system, and a police force that makes racing an actual challenge. Not everything is successful, however, but it is still one of the better Need For Speed games in quite some time.”
You may have already picked up some free SNK games on offer during last year’s Prime Day festivities, but if you missed out or joined since then, now’s a great time to experience some classics.
Four of the arcade juggernaut’s most iconic franchises are represented: King of Fighters 2000 and King of Fighters 2002, Fatal Fury Special, Samurai Shodown II, and Metal Slug 2. The former three series are foundational names in fighting game history, and these are some of their best iterations to boot. Metal Slug is similarly a quintessential arcade experience, with its fast-paced action and kooky art style. If you’re curious about their modern siblings like King of Fighters XV or the upcoming Metal Slug Tactics, pop a coin in your Amazon Games app and add these to your library this Prime Day.
Indie Games Galore
The vast majority of the free titles on offer are smaller indie games that you may not have heard of before. As you scroll through all the other Prime Day deals, don’t miss the opportunity to grab any that stick out to you. Everybody loves a good deal, but it’s also important to support smaller or more local businesses in Amazon’s colossal shadow.
Even though the indie game scene is pushing the envelope and expanding the larger industry’s boundaries, sometimes these games get a bad rap simply because they aren’t from triple-A studios, or they get lost in the shuffle thanks to games with bigger, flashier advertising campaigns. So take a chance on some of these titles—you never know, you just might find a brand-new favourite.
(Personally, I’m looking forward to trying Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark, Hue, and Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor from this year’s Prime Day offerings.)
Star Wars: Jedi Knight
You’d be forgiven for mistaking either of the two Star Wars: Jedi Knight games on this year’s list for Jedi: Fallen Order, thanks to a history of confusing naming decisions at Lucasarts. Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are, however, among the best Star Wars games in the series’ 45-year history, and you can grab them for free this Prime Day.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is a particular standout. Set in the old Expanded Universe/Legends continuity, you create your own Jedi avatar and enlist at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi school on Yavin IV. Fight your own way and choose your destiny—for free, on the Amazon Games launcher.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
This, however, is the true headliner of the 2022 Prime Day lineup. Last year’s outstanding remaster collection compiles the entire Mass Effect trilogy into one title, which you can now add to your Origin library for free. Not only are these games massive experiences that fans love to re-experience regularly, they’ve been remastered deftly and include their respective DLC expansions.
If you’ve never played this series, you owe it to yourself to check out this offer, even if you just add it to your digital shelf for a future rainy day. As a hybrid between a military shooter and more traditional pen-and-paper RPGs, it’s uniquely accessible, and when presented as one cohesive whole by this Legendary Edition, it’s one of the most compelling narratives I’ve experienced in a game yet.
From our review of Mass Effect Legendary Edition: “There’s no better way to experience Shepard’s journey than back-to-back, as your choices carry weight throughout the saga. By the very end, three games’ worth of character and world development rest on your shoulders as you march to the final battleground. If you put in the time and emotional investment, the story will repay you.”