Summer is a time to celebrate what it means to be part of the PC Master Race. It’s also a time to blow your rent money on games you’ll never play. Instead of doing that, how about I tell you about the 10 best games you can get on this year’s Steam Summer Sale so that you can save your time and money on games actually worth playing.
10. Undertale ($7)
Undertale may have some of the most annoying fans imaginable, but there’s a reason it became a nerd-cultural phenomenon so quickly after release. It’s an amazing game. Two parts Earthbound, one part bizarre self referencial parody of JRPGs, Undertale succeeds in almost every regard. If you enjoy a good laugh and an engaging RPG at the same time, Undertale should be on your wishlist.
9. Ultimate Chicken Horse ($10)
Ultimate Chicken Horse is competitive Mario Maker in everything but name. Toss in elements of The Incredible Machine games, and you have an incredible platformer/griefing simulator to play with your friends. I don’t think I’ve had this many laughs with another game ever. 10/10 would giggle my ass off at my friends’ expense again.
8. Transformers Devastation ($13)
I was born in the 90s, and therefore don’t appreciate the nostalgic benefits of Transformers Devastation, but I can say that this gem from Platinum games goes far beyond an 80s kid’s nostalgia. Not only did Platinum faithfully recreate the Transformers animated cartoon show in game form, but they did so over a frenetic action beat-em-up with surprisingly deep combat mechanics. Dodge, smash, and shoot your way through the Decepticons in this short but sweet robot action parade.
7. The Elder Scrolls Online ($20)
As an MMORPG, ESO is a harder sell for someone looking for games on a budget. Unlike most other MMOs, however, ESO is a Buy to Play (B2P), meaning that once you own it you can play for as long as you want without paying a subscription fee. ESO is as close to an Elder Scrolls game an MMO can get, while also recreating some of my favorite mechanics from classic MMOs like Ultima Online. If you enjoy exploring a sprawling fantasy landscape, ESO is hard to ignore at only $20.
6. Hotline Miami ($3)
Picture this: Old Boy meets Drive in a 2D top down action shooter. Yes, it exists, and it’s amazing. Go play this game now. I honestly don’t know what else to say.
5. Psychonauts ($1)
Pyschonauts is one of my favorite games ever made, and it’s only one dollar. It’s a god-damned crime and a blessing for anyone who hasn’t played this masterpiece. Tim Shaffer’s humor comes through in spades in one of the last true adventure platformer games.
4. The Banner Saga ($5)
I know this list is basically just me comparing these games to others, but it’s hard not to. For example, The Banner Saga is what would happen if you took the Oregon Trail and mixed in Final Fantasy Tactics, which is to say that it’s amazing and you should play it. If you like in-depth story lines, Norse mythology, and possibly Game of Thrones, you’ll have a blast trudging through the frozen wastelands of TBS.
3. Golf With Friends ($5)
I’ve been on a local co-op kick lately, so the title “Golf With Friends” immediately caught my attention. Sadly, GWF is not local co-op, instead opting for an online cooperative experience. Either way, it’s still a fun mini-golf game to play with buddies or stranger alike. It’s not as in-depth as other golf games, but provides just enough gameplay to facilitate giggly fun times for all.
2. Torchlight 2 ($4)
Action RPGs were all the rage in the early 2010s, with the release of Diablo 3, Path of Exile, and the Adventures of Hellsing, but one company above them all brought the series back to its roots. Torchlight 2 is, pound for pound, the closest you’re going to get to Diablo 2 without playing it itself. The sound, the story, the environments of Torchlight 2 are all very reminiscent of D2, and it works out beautifully. Where games like POE and Diablo 3 went for the more complex route, Torchlight 2 keeps things simple and streamlined for a wider audience and a more relaxed experience. If you loved D2, you owe it to yourself to play Torchlight.
1. The Wolf Among Us ($12)
Telltales series of point-click adventures reached their zenith with The Wolf Among Us, a game adaptation of a popular comic book series about fairy tale characters in New York. The story follows Bigbie, the sheriff in town, as he tries to solve a murder mystery and conspiracy plot to undermine all that the Fairytales have worked to achieve. If you like comic books, mysteries, or just about any form of entertainment media, I implore you to give WTAU a try. It’s the one game that I would show to just about anyone to try to get them into gaming, and it’s one of my favorite games to boot.