Free games? Doesn't that go against everything that's right and natural? Perhaps, but a number of websites collect games that are playable on your Wii, with your Wii controllers. They're not as advanced as games you'd pay for, but hey, free games! You play them through the Wii's Internet Channel - it once was a a paid download that cost 500 Wii Points ($5) but is now offerered for free. The games are in Flash 7 format; this is an older version of Flash, and the latest supported by the Wii's Opera browser, so the latest games from popular web-game publishers like PopCap generally won't work - but many will.
You can also use the Homebrew Channel to download and play free games. Read this article for more information.
Step 1. Set Up Your Wi-Fi or Internet
First, you need to get your Wii online, either by connecting your Wii to your local Wi-Fi or plugging in an Ethernet cable from your DSL or cable modem. Bright Hub has a great article on how to do this...connect Wii to Internet.
With your Wii connected to the Internet, you can also trade friend codes and play against friends online in some games.
Step 2. Download the Internet Channel
From the home Wii menu, go to the Wii Shop Channel and then the WiiWare Channel, and select the Internet Channel for download. You'll need to also download the Opera browser from the Wii Shop Channel if you don't have it already installed. The Internet Channel, as of this writing, costs no money at all. Nintendo is even offering users who did pay 500 Wii Points for the channel a free NES game of their choice, worth up to500 Wii Points.
Step 3. Check Out These Sites
There are several sites of note that concentrate on Wii-playable Flash 7 games. These are among the most popular, and each has dozens of games to try for free. Note: given how clunky it is to type with the Wii Remote and the onscreen keyboard, feel free to go to google.com and just enter the names of the sites.
Maybe the largest collection online, WiiCade offers games of every genre, and is a worthy first stop.
The well-done cartoon style of the YatSha site and games make this a good stop for kid-friendly games.
With beautiful art direction and sophisticated music, some of the games at Orsinal are like pastoral paintings come to life.
Since the games on the sites above use an older version of Flash, you can play them all on your computer using your mouse instead of the Wii Remote. This is handy for checking out games at work to later play on the Wii when you get home. Not that we'd suggest you do that, of course.
In future installments of "Free Wii," we'll be highlighting good games we've found. In the meantime, happy browsing!