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EA's Dragon Age: Origins is on the house

This top-rated fantasy RPG normally sells for $20. For a limited time, get it free, no strings attached.

Free? Free! EA

In recent months, EA's On the House promotion has netted gamers such goodies as Dead Space, Wing Commander 3, and Bejeweled -- all free for the price of setting up (or signing into) an Origin account.

This week brings arguably the best giveaway to date: Dragon Age: Origins (Win) is free for a limited time.

To clarify, once you get the game, it's yours to keep. And play. Forever. The time limitation: The giveaway itself ends Oct. 14. If you're overseas or off-planet and don't return until Oct. 15, well, no freebie for you.

What's Dragon Age: Origins, and why is EA giving it away? I'll answer the second question first: The sequel, Dragon Age: Inquisition, drops Nov. 18. The very, very smart marketing gambit here is to hook you on the original so you'll buy the sequel.

And hooked you shall be. Origins is a fantasy RPG of the highest caliber, a Dungeons & Dragons-style adventure brought to life in all its hack-and-slash, spell-casting glory. GameSpot awarded it a very rare 9.5 and summed it up thusly: "Incredible storytelling, great characters, and exciting battles are just a few of the things that make this fantasy role-playing game so extraordinary."

Screenshot by GameSpot

That was back in 2009, but the beauty of modern gaming is that the bar has been so high for so long, a game that's five years old still looks great today. Indeed, if you check the recommended system specs, you'll see you can enjoy Origins even on a PC that's modest by today's standards.

Anyway, you don't need me to sell you on a game that's flat-out free. I've already grabbed it -- not for myself, but for Cheapskate Jr., who's totally into "Lord of the Rings" and will undoubtedly love this. (Is it cheating to give this as a birthday present when it didn't cost me anything? Discuss.)

Bonus deal: Game time! Oh, wait, this whole post was about game time. Well, just in case you're hungry for more, Green Man Gaming has the rollicking action-adventure Just Cause 2 (Win) for $2.40. That's after applying coupon code VBHGBM-JS2VN9-0J5OFM at checkout. Regular price: $15. Pretty amazing deal on a game GameSpot rated 8.5 and called "ridiculous in the best possible way."