Best Steam Winter Sale Deals 2019: Sekiro, Disco Elysium, And More
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Steam's 2019 Winter Sale is finally here.
We knew it was coming, but that doesn't mean the Steam Winter Sale doesn't have some pleasantly surprising deals going on this year. Tons of major PC games are on sale right now, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (GameSpot's 2019 Game of the Year), and Red Dead Redemption 2 (GameSpot's 2018 Game of the Year). The sale ends January 2.
There's a mini-game and other aspects of the sale, as detailed below, but if you just care about the game deals, we've got you covered. Because your time is precious and literally thousands of games are marked down, we've gathered the absolute best game deals worth taking advantage of in the Winter Sale. Read on for our picks on all the best Steam deals right now. And if you're on a budget, check out the best games on sale for less than $10--there are some terrific games you can get for very cheap, such as Doom, Stardew Valley, DMC, and Max Payne 3.
Best Steam Winter Sale 2019 game deals
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night -- $28
- Civilization VI -- $15
- Disco Elysium -- $32
- Life is Strange 2: Complete Season -- $33.95
- Red Dead Redemption 2 -- $48
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice -- $39
- Superhot -- $10
- ...and more -- see below
If you buy a game in the sale, you'll earn Festivity Tokens, which can then be redeemed in the Holiday Market. The Holiday Market includes a $5 off coupon, chat stickers, chat room effects, profile backgrounds, emoticons, and other various Steam perks. You'll earn 100 Tokens for every $1 you spend on Steam.
You'll also earn Festivity Tokens by completing Holiday Quests, which encourage you to do various activities on Steam like joining a chat room or adding three games to your wishlist. In addition to Quests that are available through the duration of the sale, you'll also get a new quest every day at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, with the final Quest becoming available on January 1. These are worth 100 Tokens each. Complete all of the Quests, and you'll get the exclusive Steamville Badge.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice earned GameSpot’s Best Game of 2019 award. From the creators of Dark Souls, Sekiro is an action game that thrusts you into difficult encounters, not just with its impeccably designed bosses but with the common soldiers that dwell in the richly detailed world. Success in Sekiro requires well-timed parries. Unlike other From Software games, you cannot cheese your way past tricky bosses--you must confront all enemies head-on. There’s an elegance to the combat, a rhythmic dance of sorts, that feels utterly fresh and unrivaled in the action game space.
I’ve clocked more than 50 hours into Sekiro, and I still find it to be one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played. But the feeling of triumph that comes from slaying a particularly tough foe also continues to be ridiculously satisfying. Sekiro’s Sengoku-era world is mesmerizing, which makes the many challenges you face all the more compelling. If you have the patience and perseverance, Sekiro reveals itself to be one of the most brilliant games of this generation. | Steven Petite
Disco Elysium is one of GameSpot's best games of 2019 and for good reason. It features an incredibly unique and engrossing take on RPG dialogue, where your skill point-allotted abilities are really just various aspects of your personality, speaking to you throughout your conversations. You can have the mind of one who seeks out-of-body experiences, the attitude of someone who'd rather solve problems with his brawn, or an encyclopedic thought process that knows everything from A to Z.
These personality traits speak to you during moments of conversation, giving you insights you may not get from just reading a character's dialogue. If you're a sensitive soul, your Empathy skill may fill you in that a specific character is down on their luck. You're not required to obey the personality traits in these situations, but they help shape your adventure throughout the city of Revachol.
Like a good book, it's hard to stop playing Disco Elysium once you've dived into its eloquently written story, and these personality traits make it worth seeing through to the end--and jumping in for more with a different character. | Mat Paget
Life is Strange 2: Complete Season
Despite the popularity of Max and Chloe from Life is Strange, Dontnod took the sequel in a brand-new direction, introducing two brothers, Sean and Daniel, who embark on a perilous journey to find a new life. I was an early skeptic, but Life is Strange 2 ended up being one of my favorite games of the year. Like its predecessor, LiS2 forces you to make difficult moral choices, but even the tiniest decisions you make over the course of five episodes can end up having major consequences by the end of the game. As with Max in Season 1, Daniel is gifted with an extremely powerful but dangerous supernatural power, and Sean's behavior throughout the game will affect the man Daniel becomes and how he decides to use his power. | Jenae Sitzes
Into the Breach
Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game where you know exactly what the enemy is going to do at the start of your turn. Your squad of giant robots (which vary greatly in terms of their abilities and allow for different synergies and strategies) do battle with aliens who attempt to destroy buildings and the people inside of them.
Played out on maps comprised of simple 8x8 grids, the challenge--and delight--comes in considering your enemy's intentions and figuring out how to mitigate any damage they might be able to inflict. You'll no doubt find yourself backed into a corner at times, with seemingly no good options--only for a stroke of genius to occur to you, as you discover some means for averting disaster. That might involve blocking a shot with one of your units and performing an attack with another that pushes an enemy into the sights of another enemy, who will dispatch the other for you. The basics of Into the Breach are simple and straightforward, but how you choose to apply them leads to one of the most satisfying and fun strategy games around.
Take note--Into the Breach is free on the Epic Games Store until December 20. If you miss out or simply prefer Steam, Into the Breach is well worth its price tag. | Chris Pereira
Superhot is a brilliant take on first-person shooters that forces you to consider every step you take. When you're not moving, time slows to an almost complete stop, giving you the freedom to analyze the situation, sidestep incoming bullets, and take careful aim. It takes some time to master as you come to grips with the fact that moving will speed up incoming fire, but once you do, it allows for an experience unlike anything else. You'll slip in and out of danger in this visually distinct world, with its all-white environments and polygonal orange-and-red enemies that shatter into glass when killed. | Chris Pereira
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is self-consciously a Castlevania-like and shows that famed Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi hasn't lost a step. While Bloodstained doesn't engage in wild experimentation or innovation, it has an attention to detail and craftsmanship that allows it to stand toe-to-toe with the best of the Metroidvania genre. A wealth of customization options lets you flexibly create your own varied combat style, and a host of small quality-of-life improvements modernize the classic appeal without entirely upending it. Perhaps best of all, it strays from getting too dour, instead reveling in its own gothic silliness and melodrama. | Steve Watts
Hollow Knight: Silksong is my most-anticipated game of 2020, largely because Hollow Knight is one of my favorite games of the past decade. Part Souls-like, part Metroidvania, Hollow Knight is as frustratingly difficult as it is beautiful, featuring some of the most challenging bosses I've ever fought and one of the most hauntingly bewitching soundtracks I've ever heard. Despite the hurdles it throws at you, Hollow Knight is a deeply satisfying game to both overcome and understand--drawing you into its mystery by utilizing a very Souls-like way of storytelling where you piece together the overall lore of the world with every new enemy encountered and item found. | Jordan Ramée
A new Steam sale means another excuse to talk about Forgotton Anne--one of my favorite games of 2018 and one you should really play if you haven't already, especially if you're a fan of choice-driven narratives. As the titular Anne, you're tasked with uncovering a terrorist plot to destroy the machine that will allow all forgotten things, from socks lost in the dryer to old lamps left in the attic, to return to their owners. Your suspects are the forgotten items, all of which gain sentience when they undergo the emotional stress of becoming lost, and you must decide if you'll try to talk your way to the truth or take the lives of those that get in your way. Either way, every action has consequences. Plus, the beautiful anime-like graphics and wonderful soundtrack make for one of the prettiest games of 2018. | Jordan Ramée
Slay the Spire
Slay the Spire is a blend of roguelikes and card games where you attempt to ascend a tower, doing battle with monsters using your deck of cards. That deck will likely grow over the course of your run, and combined with power-ups that can radically impact how you use cards and the types you want to collect, each run can feel like a hugely different experience. In one, you might get a power-up that makes you want to keep your deck as small as possible, while another might encourage you to focus almost exclusively on cards of a particular type.
Fundamentally rethinking how you approach deckbuilding and battling from one run to the next is hugely fun. And don't worry if you're typically intimidated by the process of assembling a deck--I've often shied away from engaging in that sort of thing in other games, but I found Slay the Spire to be far more approachable. Choices only matter for a single run, and because you are, to some extent, at the mercy of randomness, you'll likely be forced down some paths you wouldn't have thought to try--only to find them to be entertaining and effective. | Chris Pereira
I've become staunchly anti-early access; while I think it's a good idea, I'm personally not interested in investing significant time in an unfinished game. Hades has proven to be an exception to that, capturing the magic of developer Supergiant's past work like Bastion and Transistor. This roguelike has you battling your way out of Hell in an action RPG style. Every run feels distinct, and each new weapon you acquire provides a new spin on how you do battle. Combined with Supergiant's gorgeous artwork and another stellar Darren Korb soundtrack, Hades is worth jumping on board with now as Supergiant continues to develop it. As an added bonus, buying it on Steam will get you a free copy of the studio's previous game, Pyre. | Chris Pereira
Take one of Shakespeare's best plays, full of intrigue, conspiracies, murder, and ghosts, and throw in another supernatural twist, and you've got Elsinore. The game finds one of the play's more minor characters, Ophelia, trapped in a time loop that resets at the end of the play (and everybody dies, Ophelia included) and restarts at its beginning. As Ophelia, your job is to solve the mystery of what's going on, and try to save everybody's life as Hamlet contemplates murdering his uncle, King Claudius, and some unseen force targets the court of Denmark for its own sinister purposes.
Elsinore is fascinating because it takes a classic piece of literature and digs into its margins, expanding on its characters and adding a heap of great writing that doesn't just adapt the source material but also adapts it in a lot of interesting ways. It also lets you alter the Bard's classic story as you learn about, befriend, and betray its characters in an effort to change its tragic outcome. Even if you're not a major fan of Shakespeare, Elsinore is worth checking out for its storytelling spin that turns one of the best-known works in the English language into an interactive, paranormal detective story. | Phil Hornshaw
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is similar to Control when it comes to combat, as both utilize a single main weapon and telekinetic abilities. The difference is in focus. Fallen Order's combat is centered around your primary weapon, a lightsaber, while your Force powers are used to complement it. In Control, combat encourages you to use your Force-like supernatural abilities instead, while your primary firearm, the Service Weapon, is your secondary option. So which is the better Jedi game? Control honestly, with its focus on using powers. But that doesn't mean Fallen Order is bad--what it does with lightsaber combat is fun, especially once you get the timing down and can enter into the fray and fight off a horde of Stormtroopers without taking a single hit. And even if Fallen Order is a bad Jedi game, it's a great Star Wars game--telling a story that captures why people love the tales told about that far-off galaxy from a long time ago, which is more than GameSpot can say for Rise of Skywalker. | Jordan Ramée
2018's Hitman 2 is a terrific evolution of what its predecessor set up. This $15 standard edition bundle gets you all six of the base game's levels, each of which serves as much more than a single mission to eliminate some targets. You can replay those story missions, certainly, and discover numerous creative (and often hilarious) ways of dispatching your marks. But these levels, and the game overall, serve as more of a platform than one-off experiences. Each level offers up a plethora of missions to undertake, be it in the form of escalation missions (where you perform a series of assassinations, where each one is a more elaborate version of the previous one), elusive targets (limited-time missions where you have only one attempt), or player-created contracts.
Whatever you decide to tackle, Hitman 2 is essentially a playground, giving you a target and a large sandbox with the freedom to proceed how you wish. Do you go guns-blazing, or do you set up an elaborate trap that causes an industrial fan to blow a Bollywood director off the roof of a building? Whichever of the countless paths you take is an exhilarating and fun ride. | Chris Pereira
Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 feels like the culmination of all things MK. It expands on what we've gotten in previous entries, with another fun story mode, its always-rotating towers (giving you different types of challenges and rewards that incentivize you to check in with the game often), a customization system that changes how characters play, and a navigable "Krypt" that feels like a love letter to series fans. It's got all of the gore and over-the-top finishers you've come to expect, but what I appreciate is that NetherRealm has again crafted a game that I can enjoy as someone who isn't very good at fighting games and exclusively plays them solo. The competitive side exists if that's what you're into, but you'll find a deep experience with a ton to do even if you'd rather stick to fighting the AI. | Chris Pereira
A Plague Tale: Innocence
One of the more underrated releases of 2019, A Plague Tale: Innocence follows a young woman named Amicia and her younger brother, Hugo, as they make their way through plague-ridden 14th-century France, avoiding ravenous rats and Inquisition soldiers. While heavy on the stealth elements, A Plague Tale also involves combat using Amicia's sling and various forms of magic. It's a compelling, emotional tale about the complicated relationship between two siblings trying to survive in a dangerous world--and you don't want to miss it. | Jenae Sitzes
The latest entry in the popular turned-based strategy 4X franchise, Civilization VI, is on sale for just $15 for Winter Sale 2019. Like previous games, your goal is to build a civilization from the ground up, establishing government policies, building structures, assigning tasks for your people, and interacting with other nations, whether that's forming an alliance or declaring war. There's a lot new here to check out, from the addition of city districts with certain bonuses and tile requirements, a new victory condition for religion, unique agendas for different world leaders, and more. I've lost entire days playing Civ VI, so be warned: It's addicting. | Jenae Sitzes
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Trails of Cold Steel is a tricky game to recommend given that it's the first part in a four-game saga, with each one taking about 60 hours to finish. Not only that, it's part of bigger saga of separate but interwoven games in the same universe. But outside of Persona, there's nothing quite like Trails of Cold Steel as JRPG comfort food.
Stop me if you've heard this before: You play as a swoopy-haired anime boy who goes to school (well, military academy) and bonds with his classmates over time that overcome hardships through the power of friendship. Many of your colleagues start out as anime tropes, but things soon get heavy and make good on the direction of these characters. It might look a bit dated (it was originally a PS Vita game after all) but this is a great PC port with plenty of graphics options, like 4K and ultrawide support, and a turbo button to help pick up the pace in the slower moments. The combination of character growth, a fascinating turn-based tactics-lite combat system, and military/political drama will hook you on Trails of Cold Steel. | Michael Higham
When it comes to the modern immersive sim, Dishonored 2 stands out as the best in the genre. Arkane Studios has the pedigree with devs from the genre's deep lineage, who proved they still had it with the first Dishonored, but the sequel refined the formula in many ways. After Emily and Corvo are unjustly ousted, they travel to the vibrant city of Karnaca, where most of the game takes place. It's a good starting point if you didn't play the original, and you'll be hooked onto its pitch-perfect mix of stealth, action, exploration, and creativity. Levels are elegantly laid out with a sense of verticality that lets you use your powers in fascinating ways, too. But the game truly shines in the Clockwork Mansion and Crack in the Slab missions, which are some of the best levels of recent memory. For just $10, you're getting a top-tier game. | Michael Higham
Valkyria Chronicles 4: Complete Edition
Embrace the power of anime in Valkyria Chronicles 4, a tactical-strategy RPG that features a clever mix of real-time and turn-based elements. It's a brilliant strategy game that's accessible to those who might shy away from the genre but one that also presents challenging scenarios for you galaxy-brain generals.
It may be the fourth game in the series, but there's no need to have played the previous games (although they're great) since this is a standalone story with new characters; Valkyria Chronicles 4 essentially shows a different front of the same war. Anime tropes abound, but I'm not saying that as a bad thing. And if you read my entry on Trails of Cold Steel, then you know what it's about: the power of friendship materializes on the battlefield, and you're bound to find a squad of your favorite characters along the way. With this being the Complete Edition, you get all the DLC as well. | Michael Higham
It's best to go into Undertale without knowing anything about it, so don't read anything other than what's right here. Undertale is one of the most impactful, creative, hilarious, and harrowing RPGs in recent memory, and it's only $4 in Steam's 2019 Winter Sale. And don't be fooled by the retro-style visuals; Undertale manages to paint a vivid world and express emotion through clever use of its art style. If that's not enough, creator Toby Fox delivers an unforgettable soundtrack that captures each moment perfectly. Your choices matter, and the consequences may reflect in unexpected ways. If you already know too much about Undertale and haven't played, do it anyway. But if you're still in the dark, I'm excited for you. | Michael Higham
For the past few years, we've been shouting from the rooftops for folks to play Yakuza. Now you don't have an excuse, because one of the series' best entries, Yakuza 0, is the cheapest it's been with the Steam Winter Sale. You'll follow the story of both Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima in their younger days as they navigate Japan's complicated and ruthless criminal underworld. It sounds harrowing, but Yakuza 0 is absolutely filled with charming absurdity and genuine laugh-out-loud moments. It strikes that unique balance of seriousness and ridiculousness perfectly, something developer RGG Studios does so well time and time again. Gameplay-wise, Yakuza plays like a 3D beat-em-up where you fight through hordes of bad dudes with different fighting styles and savage, stylish special moves. And the side quests (aka substories) are full of wacky, unique, and heartfelt moments that you won't see anywhere else. | Michael Higham
Outlast + Whistleblower DLC
Base game: $4 (
$20); DLC: $1.79 ( $9)
I'll be honest, I'm primarily recommending Outlast so that I can talk about Outlast: Whistleblower, the DLC expansion. The game and DLC are both on sale though, so may as well nab 'em. Outlast is scary in a thrilling way, with a lot of sneaking around and running from psychopaths. Whistleblower ups the fear factor by adding some creepy but yeah-these-guys-could-exist-in-real-life characters, all of whom are more terrifying than their main game counterparts.
Being chased by a doctor with massive scissors or a living storm of nanite machines in Outlast? Yeah, that gets the ol' heart racing. Being stalked by a romantically spurned man who desires to literally carve men, like me, into the perfect wife in Whistleblower? That terrifies me. A lot. But that's what I want from horror games, and if you're in the same boat, chances are you'll love Outlast and Outlast: Whistleblower. Maybe stay away from Outlast II though; it's open-ended levels aren't as enjoyable to play. | Jordan Ramée
Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition
Whenever I'm thinking of games to recommend during a Steam sale, Divinity: Original Sin 2 invariably comes to mind. It's one of the finest RPGs ever made, with stellar writing, a fun and strategic combat system, and a huge amount of freedom. The numerous ways in which you can deal with a given situation help to make the game's world feel like a real place, its terrific cast of characters will have you itching to replay over and over just to see everything you missed. Original Sin 2 is a phenomenal single-player RPG experience, but you can also have other players take control of each party member with co-up for up to four players. Either way, this is an absolute must-play for any RPG fan. | Chris Pereira