Whether you started on Battlefield with the original Battlefield 1942 or just want to see what it was all about, now you've got a great chance: the game has been released free of charge on Origin to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary.
The good news is servers are plentiful, and the game works just great on Windows 7, and actually has aged reasonably well overall. For newer series fans like myself, you'll still find a surprising amount of similarities between this and even Battlefield 3. See for yourself with this new montage by popular montage maker Threatty:
Note players using this version of the game can't play with those using the box version, and vice versa. Of course, if you do own the box version, you can simply replace it with this one and get to playing.
Hit the source or boot Origin and check out the Demos section of the shop to get started.