they are not as great as people make them out to be.
Ricochet can be summed at as Tron disc battles meets twitch arena shooters. Sounds awesome right? Wrong, Ricochet was and is crap. The game was released as an official Half-Life mod by Valve in 2001. The game suffers from awkward shooting mechanics, bland arenas, the lack of a reticule, and no weapon variety. The game has players sling discs at eachother to try and behead eachother as the jump around floating pads. That's pretty much it. Note, this is a mod for Half-Life that was made by Valve themselves. that is still sold on steam, for real money. Guess even gaming gods can make some crappy games. However, this isn't Valve's only screw up.
Counter-Strike: Condition Zero is the second game in the Counter-Strike series. The game went through being developed by multiple developers. First Rogue Entertainment, then Gearbox Software, then Ritual Entertainment. Ritual's version went gold and scored reviews around 60%. Why, because of a new crappy singleplayer mode, and absolutely no changes to multiplayer. Valve handed the game to Turtle Rock to revise it. Turtle Rock pretty much restored Gearbox's work, and then included the original single player with it as deleted scenes. Valve then released it to retail. To sum things up, Valve and Turtle gave Valve fans a Counter Strike game with nothing new to offer except crappy singleplayer and slightly improved graphics. Great work Valve.
Yes, I agree, Steam is pretty awesome, but its also a ginat DRM scheme. Valve pretty much helped pioneer DRM on PC. Without Steam DRM, we might not have had all of this crappy DRM including always online DRM, which plagues the PC market today.
Half-Life's plot is ripped off from Doom
You are Doomguy-er-I mean, Gordon Freeman a Scientist. You are working at a company, the Union AeroSpace Corporation-er-I mean Black Mesa. They are experimenting with teleportation technology. Unfortunately, something goes wrong and the scientists accidently open a portal to Hell-er-I mean Xen and a bunch of Demons-er-I mean Aliens come through and screw everyone over. The player must fight through the labs to get to Hell-er-I mean Xen to fight the Spiderdemon-er-I mean the Nihilant.
Anyways, Valve is still awesome, just not as awesome as people make it out to be. They are one of the gaming gods, but they aren't perfect.