If you are old enough to remember the early days of computer gaming you know there were a lot of great games that were fun because of the exceptional gameplay and not just the graphics. Gaming started to become a little more popular in the 90s once people started buying computers. In the early 90s games like Maniac Mansion, X-com 1, and Civilization were extremely hot because of their addictive unique gameplay. Today gaming is mainstream and marketed towards a mass audience. In order to market to everyone, many games these days focus on the graphics and special effects rather than unique gameplay. You see many games that seem to be carbon copies of each other with slightly different twists.
These days, a lot of games try to be as realistic as possible and have the most textures and polygons jammed in to wow your eyes. In order to market to everyone, many games these days focus on the graphics and special effects rather than unique gameplay. Although there is nothing wrong with a game with beautiful graphics, once the novelty of the graphics runs out, the gameplay is what keeps you playing. You see many games that seem to be carbon copies of each other with slightly different twists. There are a few games like Halo 2 where the developers obviously spent a lot of time fine tuning to make sure the gameplay was as enjoyable as possible. With Halo 2, the two things that give it an edge in my opinion is the fact that the movement of players is slower than most games and the weapons are highly balanced. Also, rather than throwing tons of multiplayer maps at the player, the developers focused on making a limited number of quality maps.
Freeware games are an option for people on a small budget who value gameplay over graphics. A freeware game is simply a game that is completely free with no fees attached. Freeware developers usually do not have the million dollar 3d engines to run their games so they must make the games as fun as they can without all the bells and whistles of retail games. These developers make games simply for the love of making them and sometimes come up with some unique and quality games that are definitely worth a look. Especially considering that these games are completely free. These games span all the categories of retail games from Massively Multiplayer to 3d First Person Shooter. Some companies also release production quality games as freeware because they decide not to put the game into production or as promotion.