The writers at website Critical Distance have put together a near-definitive list of the best PC games of the previous year, and for those feeling a certain tightness around their post-Christmas purse strings, the best news is that all the titles are totally free.

The list includes Left 4k Dead, a retro-styled homage to popular commercial zombie shooter Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 that was only released on Christmas Eve 2008 and shot into IndieGamer's top 10 games of that year; a one-button roof runner called Canabalt that was one of Eurogamer's Games of 2009 and has become a successful iPhone game in its own right; the stylish and intruiging Little Wheel puzzle game that won an MTV Award for 2009's Best Browser Game; and a free version of Plants vs Zombies, the point-and-click action game that industry news analysts at Gamasutra named as one of their top 10 games of 2009.