Free Games Showdown – October 2015

Every month a battle royale ensues. Two goliaths enter the Thunderdome for a throwdown of biblical proportions. It’s Samurai vs. GI Joe as Sony and Microsoft duke it out … by giving away free games. Which lineup rules the roost in October 2015? Let’s turn to the tale of the tape.

**Referee’s note: to ensure a fair platform to platform showdown, PS Vita exclusives watch from ringside. However, an excruciatingly close battle CAN be decided by that added value. It’s the referee’s (my) call.**



The wiry eastern force unleashes 6 sumo stomps this month.


  • Super Meat Boy ($14.99) *Price unconfirmed*
    • Metacritic score: 87
  • Broken Age ($24.99)
    • Metacritic score: 81
  • Unmechanical: Extended ($9.99)
    • Metacritic score: 75


  • Unmechanical: Extended ($9.99)
    • Metacritic score: 75 (PS4)
  • Chariot ($14.99)
    • Metacritic score: 76 (PS4)
  • KickBeat ($9.99)
    • Metacritic score: 60 (PS4)
  • Kung Fu Rabbit ($4.99)
    • Metacritic score: 72 (PS Vita)

Average Score: 75.2

Total Value: $79.94

Free games are definitely free games, and Sony is offering a whole bunch of free games. The PS4 lineup is solid for those who want to relive Super Meat Boy (one of the best platformers ever), and Broken Age is a classic style adventure game full of Double Fine’s unique brand of whimsy. Unmechanical is yet another in a very long line of 2D puzzle games on PS Plus – great for those who love them, but tiring for me. The PS3 lineup is relatively lame, with Chariot being the standout quality wise. PS3 has an enormous back catalogue – where are the games Sony?



The mighty western powerhouse is throwing 3 backhand slaps this month.

Xbox One

  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War ($19.99)
    • Metacritic score: 81
  • The Walking Dead: Season One ($24.99)
    • Metacritic score: 92 (Xbox 360)

Xbox 360

  • The Walking Dead: Season One ($24.99)
    • Metacritic score: 92
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes ($19.99)
    • Metacritic score: 76 (X1)

Average Score: 83

Total Value: $64.97

Microsoft’s free games strategy of quality over quantity continues this month. Xbox One owners are getting two excellent titles. Valiant Hearts tells a story that A) deserves to be told and B) is beautifully put together, while The Walking Dead speaks for itself as many outlets’ game of the year in 2012. However, The Walking Dead has been on sale several times for dirt cheap, so it’s value is somewhat more dubious. Xbox 360’s lineup get a solid mehhhhh rating with one crossover and one game that was free on X1 last month. Ground Zeroes isn’t awful on last gen consoles, but it isn’t the optimal experience either. In any case, it’s mechanically excellent for action game fans.


Head 2 Head

With the free games as gladiators, who will emerge from the coliseum victorious?

Super Meat Boy vs. Valiant Hearts

Advantage: Sony

Broken Age vs. The Walking Dead

Advantage: Microsoft

Team PS3 vs. Team 360

Advantage: Split Decision


Winner: Microsoft

Microsoft wins this month’s Free Games Showdown buoyed largely by The Walking Dead. The quality of that experience STILL gives me the feels three years later. The other two titles are no slouches either, both being worth a look. Sony is a victim of itself this month, with too many repetitive themes (2D puzzling platform games) from previous months. Super Meat Boy is the clear standout, but Broken Age will also delight genre fans. As always, you can’t really go wrong with free games, but Microsoft takes the victory this month.