The Steam Summer sale is upon us. Valve has reduced the stress of recent sales as compared to past ones--there's no more worrying about missing out on flash deals or need to check in multiple times a day, as discounts are available for the duration of the promotion.
But just as the number of Steam games released every day has grown, it's also become a challenge to find the best deals available on the service. Valve is continuing to refine the store to better help you discover the games you care about, but finding worthwhile deals over the next two weeks is no easy task.
While by no means a comprehensive list, we've rounded up a selection of our staff's favorite deals for you below--links in the bullet-point lists will take you to the game's Steam page. Separately, we've also rounded up the best anime game deals and pointed out that Steam Link can be had for a mere $15. Be sure to let us know what your picks are, as well as what you've decided to pick up during this sale, in the comments below.
Chris Pereira | News Editor
- Danganronpa 1 + 2 bundle -- $27
- Superhot -- $15
- Doom -- $15
- Company of Heroes 2 -- $5
- Deadly Premonition -- $2.49
With a sequel on the way, Danganronpa 1-2 Reload will get you caught up with the crazy murder-mystery story that's been told so far. Superhot offers a genuinely original take on first-person shooters, while Doom provides arguably the best single-player shooter campaign in years. Company of Heroes 2, while now getting up there in age, remains a killer strategy game--launching a barrage from rocket trucks and destroying some ice, causing enemies moving across it to sink never gets old. And now that Twin Peaks has returned after 26-plus years and is actually genuinely good, there's no better time to jump into Deadly Premonition, which is essentially a Twin Peaks game in all but name.
Mat Paget | Video Producer
- The Witcher: Enhanced Edition -- $1.50
- Binary Domain -- $5.10
- Call of Juarez: Gunslinger -- $7.50
- Rocket League -- $12
- OlliOlli2 -- $3.74
Many people may not have played the first Witcher game, but it holds a special place in my heart with its eclectic characters, twisting storyline, and morally ambiguous choices. Stories are an important part of games, which is why I also love Binary Domain, a third-person shooter that has you building relationships with your squadmates and seeing your hard work reflected in heartfelt cutscenes. But of course, good gameplay just can't be beat. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (an excellent first-person shooter with a fantastic narrator), OlliOlli2 (an incredible and unique take on skateboarding), and Rocket League (an intense soccer-fueled battle between rocket-powered cars) all keep me coming back for more, even after all these years.
Jake Dekker | Video Producer
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor -- $4
- Wolfenstein: The New Order -- $10
- Abzu -- $5.99
- The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition -- $25
- Transistor + Soundtrack -- $4.50
There's no better way to kick off summer than a 100-plus hour RPG. For $25, you can get The Witcher 3 with all of its DLC. That alone could keep you occupied for the rest of summer. But if you're looking forward to Shadow of War and New Colossus, then you can pick up Shadow of Mordor and The New Order for $4 and $10, respectively. And if smaller experiences are more your thing then look no further than Abzu and Transistor, but make sure to get the soundtrack for Transistor because it's arguably the best part of the game.
Michael Higham | Associate Editor
- Antichamber -- $4
- Hitman: Blood Money -- $1.80
- Deus Ex -- $1.40
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords -- $2.50
- Metro 2033 / Metro Last Light Redux -- $7.50
- Dishonored 2 -- $20
One of the best parts of Steam sales is taking a chance on indie games in hopes of a pleasant surprise. Antichamber shares similarities to Portal but adds an MC Escher aesthetic to really screw with your perception of a 3D world. Knights of the Old Republic II is often overlooked since it released in a buggy, almost unfinished state. That's all been worked out now, even adding touches like controller support and a more complete ending. It's one of the deepest, darkest Star Wars stories.
I also love revisiting my favorites from past generations. Deus Ex is the greatest game of all time, and while it's old, its core tenets are timeless, and its influence still lives in games today. Hitman: Blood Money is arguably the series' best entry, even though I consider the latest Hitman my 2016 game of the year. The two classics can be had for less than a cup of coffee. Both Metro remasters are under $10, and they aren't your average shooters; their challenge and atmosphere are like no other FPS games. Last but not least, Dishonored 2 is only $20, and it's not even a year old. It captures so much of what I love about immersive sims.
Miguel Concepcion | Editor
- Half-Life 2 -- $1
- Mark of the Ninja -- $4
- Ys: The Oath in Felghana -- $4.50
- The Typing of the Dead: Overkill -- $4
- Jet Set Radio -- $2
Steam sales might make you weep for your soon-to-be empty wallet, but at least practically every genre is represented. One dollar for one of the most important games ever? You don't need to play Half-Life 2 to appreciate gaming history because it's an immensely timeless shooter. Mark of the Ninja is worth double its sale price for being one of the few side-scrolling adventure games that effectively captures what it means to be a ninja: stealthy and resourceful. If you're looking for a series that consistently emulates the older installments of The Legend of Zelda, Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a solid place to start. Lots of games in this Steam sale ooze in style, but you'd be hard pressed to find a game with a cast of slick vandals like the crew of Jet Set Radio (with a killer soundtrack to match). And just to make sure your growing library isn't all fun and games, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill will prove educational while you lay waste to zombies.
Kallie Plagge | Associate Editor
- Stardew Valley -- $9
- Doom -- $15
- Hotline Miami -- $2.50
- Danganronpa 1 + 2 bundle -- $27
- The Witness + Braid bundle -- $19
One of the best things about Steam sales is that there's something for everyone, but if you have a wide range of gaming tastes, that can make it hard to pick what to buy. These games are all some of my favorites in recent years, they're all steals, and they cover a wide range of genres. Stardew Valley is the new standard for farm sims with a rich world and even some dungeon crawling; Hotline Miami is a fantastic action game with an outstanding soundtrack; Doom is a love letter to the original game that helped pave the way for shooters; and $19 for both The Witness and Braid is a great value for two phenomenal, inventive puzzle games. You can also get one of my favorite series of all time, Danganronpa, in an affordable bundle so you can play both of the murder-mystery visual novels before the third comes out in September.
Justin Haywald | Managing Editor
- Portal 1 and 2 bundle -- $2.23
- Left 4 Dead 2 -- $2
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor -- $4
- Kalimba -- $2.49
- Castle Crashers -- $3
The best Steam deals are the ones in the "impulse purchase" range. Games that are both so cheap and so good, it doesn't make sense to not buy them. The list of games above are all games that i've also owned on console, but that I ended up buying a second time on PC because you never know when you might absolutely need to get in a quick round of Castle Crashers or L4D2. And if you haven't played the Portal series or Shadow of Mordor, you're about to have a really, really good weekend.
Jimmy Thang | Technology Editor
- SpeedRunners -- $3.74
- Broforce -- $3.74
- The Jackbox Party Pack -- 9.99
- Fallout: New Vegas -- $2.49
- HTC Vive -- $749
Every single game I've recommended is under $10 and marked off by at least 60%. They're all great, too. Fallout: New Vegas, which is arguably better than the amazing Fallout 3, is a steal at $2.49. The rest of the three games that I recommend here make excellent party games. SpeedRunners is the 2D platformer racing game that Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing should have been. Broforce is a great four-player homage to Contra and action movies of the '80s and '90s. And I still often fire up The Jackbox Party Pack today. Finally, because I'm the resident hardware guy and VR nut, I'm recommending the HTC Vive, which is currently on sale for $50 off and comes with a $50 Steam gift card.
Alex Newhouse | News Reporter
- Hyper Light Drifter + Soundtrack -- $12.49
- Civilization V Complete -- $12.27
- Papers, Please -- $4
- Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition -- $10
- Firewatch -- $9
$12.49 for Hyper Light Drifter and its incredible soundtrack is basically highway robbery. I cannot recommend this game enough; from its beautiful art style, to its challenging combat and drifting mechanics, to its subtle but entrancing narrative, Hyper Light Drifter is one of my favorite games of the last few years. It's a fantastic game to get lost in while you hide from the heat, but if you need more and somehow haven't picked it up yet, Civilization V and all its DLC is a sure bet to take 100 or more hours of your life--and it's also $12 right now. Papers, Please, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Firewatch are three more beautiful, narrative-driven games that are absolute steals at their sale prices and should not be passed up.
Matt Espineli | Associate Editor
- Commandos Pack -- $2.24
- Broken Sword: Complete Pack -- $8.53
- Dropsy -- $2.49
- Max Payne 3 -- $6.99
- Deadly Premonition -- $2.49
I'm always eager to recommend some of my favorite obscure or forgotten games on Steam. And with the summer sale going on, most of them are on the cheap. The WWII-themed real-time tactics game series, Commandos, was the highlight of my young PC gaming days, challenging me to think outside the box to sabotage Nazis. The classic Broken Sword series stole my heart with its pulpy Indiana Jones-esque style and complex puzzles. In contrast, Dropsy is well worth playing for how it manages to stand apart from point-and-click adventure classics thanks to its offbeat narrative and open puzzle design. I like to think that my remaining choices--Max Payne 3 and Deadly Premonition--also follow in that mold. Both ooze a strong sense of style narratively and mechanically, making them each distinct from the games and media they pull inspiration from.
Tamoor Hussain | UK Editor
- Hitman: The Complete First Season -- $23.73/£16
- Dead Cells -- $14.44/£12
- Stardew Valley -- $9/£6.60
- This War of Mine -- $4/£3
- What Remains of Edith Finch -- $15/£11.30
My picks are perhaps on the pricier side, but the majority of them offer a whole lot of bang for your buck. The first season of Hitman remains one of the finest examples of how to do episodic content, with developer IO Interactive making the most of each of the game's many locations by filling them with numerous challenges, objectives, and gameplay opportunities. Dead Cells is still in Early Access but feels polished and, as a combination of ideas from Castlevania, Metroid, and Rogue Legacy, is both compelling and compulsive. Similarly, the simple, serene gameplay of Stardew Valley will keep you coming back to tend to your garden, spend some time with quirky citizens, and maybe even crawl through a few dungeons. On the opposite end of the spectrum is This War of Mine, a brutal, punishing survival game that asks you to make difficult decisions to ensure you and the people you hold dear can make it through a war happening on your doorstep. Finally, What Remains of Edith Finch is a story about a woman rediscovering her roots and delving into the misfortune of her family, which is told through a number of charming gameplay vignettes; it's a breezy, memorable experience.