PC gamers can now grab an open world classic for free on Steam

Mafia on PC
(Image credit: Illusion Softworks / Valve)

Mafia has been made available as a free game on Steam, for those who missed out on this classic, in celebration of its 20th anniversary on PC.

For the uninitiated, Mafia is an open world third-person shooter with a compelling storyline that’ll keep you hooked.

Thanks to that, and the impressively woven atmosphere the game benefits from, it still stands up well today. So it’s great to see the title join the ranks of the best free Steam games.

Mafia is free to grab from right now through to September 5, and as you may recall, there’s something else to remember here: Mafia benefited from a recent remake (in 2020). That Definitive Edition isn’t free, as you might imagine, but it is heavily discounted on Steam, with a 65% price reduction until September 8.

This celebration isn’t just about the 20th birthday of the original Mafia, either, as it also serves to promote the recent announcement that a new game is being developed in the franchise.

Analysis: Graphics don’t maketh the game (but you can always upgradeth them)

If you’re planning to jump right in with Mafia, one thing to bear in mind is to temper your expectations with the graphics. Of course, this is a game from two decades ago, so unsurprisingly, it looks dated – although the rest of the experience and atmosphere easily makes up for that. Particularly if you’re the type of gamer who can rely on their imagination more, and not be niggled by the appearance (and potential glitches here and there) of an older game.

There are options to improve the graphics, mind, as there are community modpacks out there to pep up the visuals (such are the joys of PC gaming, of course). Or alternatively, you could purchase and play the remake, Mafia: Definitive Edition, which has a full upgrade in terms of all the graphical bells and whistles.

One thing to note is that going by critical feedback, not everyone is happy that the Definitive Edition doesn’t hold to the original in terms of tweaks to the storytelling, most notably some more contemporary framing around things like dialogue. That said, we felt the reboot was a fine effort.


Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).