Words like "free to play" and "freemium" probably make your blood boil, but I've got to vouch for Tribes: Ascend being wtfomgawesome. If you played the original Starsiege: Tribes ( the sequels were shite ) then you'll find that Ascend is a pretty faithful recreation of that classic game, complete with massive spaceships facing it off, and bases with turrets/power generators and all that nonsense.
Anyway, it's free. So if you've got a decent PC, give it a go. I'm not sure how to create a private game, but it'd be worth a punt!
Most of the "paid" upgrades can be earned via grinding, like you would in many modern FPS games, and none of them are game-breaking or overpowered. There are silly things like vanity skins, but it's actually nice to see that sort of diversity in game.
ive been playing this...really fun game..
Billy Mitchell JNR
Downloading it now, 2.5 gig download for those who wanna know
Can't find anything about what specs you need to run in, but they cant be that high for a free multiplayer game surely?
I enjoyed the Beta, hope it continues to be a good precedent for Freemium games