The Best Cheap PC Games You Can Buy On Steam Right Now
Great Computer Games At Low Prices
Because it's not divided up into generations the way that consoles or handheld game systems are, PC has the broadest array of games you'll find anywhere. With the majority of those games playable on modern hardware, save for occasional instances where current operating systems don't support certain games, that means you have a Herculean task in front of you when deciding what to buy and play.
Similarly, whereas console and handheld games see discounts on a more irregular basis, there are constantly sales on places like Steam, GOG, Humble, Itch.io, and so on. But sale or not, there are plenty of years-old games that are now low-priced but nevertheless worth playing.
As such, it can be downright overwhelming when you decide to pick up something you haven't played before. You have decades of games to choose from. Even if you set yourself a price limit--say, $20 in the US--that does very little to actually reduce the number of games you have to consider. And that's where we come in.
Above, we're rounding up some of the best games you can find on PC for no more than $20. Because of the reality described above, this is far from comprehensive--it's simply impossible to highlight every noteworthy PC game that you can pick up for relatively cheap. But we've assembled a list of games that we think you'll be quite pleased to play, and we'll continue to expand the selection over time.
All of these games are regularly priced at no more than $20--whether or not there's a Steam sale going on. There's usually such a promotion not far off, which means you can get these already budget-priced games for even cheaper. But in the meantime, you can still get any of these at what's still a pretty reasonable price.
Into the Breach ($15 / £11.39)
From the creators of FTL comes hands down, one of 2018's best games. Into the Breach is tactical strategy boiled down to its purest elements, with completely transparent mechanics that let you know exactly what the enemy is going to do next, and what effect your hypothetical actions will have before you make them. This alone makes every single turn a satisfying brain-churn that has you poring over all the game's exciting and multi-faceted cause-and-effect systems. With dozens of unique mechs, it's a sincere joy to experiment and replay Into the Breach again and again and again. -- Edmond Tran
Read our Into the Breach review
Gunpoint ($10 / £6)
Gunpoint is a brilliant blend of comedy, stealth, and puzzle games. It puts you in the role of a spy who breaks into various secure buildings using two key tools. The first of these is the Crosslink, which lets you rewire gadgets throughout the building to suit your needs--letting you set up elaborate traps that can result in a guard being knocked off his feet by a door swinging open into his face. Your other standout ability allows you to fling your character around, which presents you with an opportunity to go flying through windows to stylishly and hilariously take out guards. Both the guards and your your character can be taken out in one shot, which requires you to plan out your moves in advance. And thankfully, actually pulling them off is every bit as satisfying as you'd hope. -- Chris Pereira
Read our Gunpoint review
Papers, Please ($10 / £7)
I sincerely hope you're skipping this entry because you've already played and finished this game, because Papers, Please is one of my favourite games of all time. It's a modern classic where premise and mechanics marry together beautifully with difficult moral choices, strict consequences, and an unavoidable imperative for self-gain. You play an immigration inspector on a politically tumultuous Eastern European border, charged with inspecting and cross-referencing documents, controlling the flow of people, and correcting following protocol above all else. Hidden amongst civilians are spies and terrorists, but also sympathetic stories of innocent people caught by the riptides of war, trying to hang on to a semblance of life. Where does your loyalty lie: To the job that's keeping your family fed, to the greater good, yourself, or potentially, something else? How far are you willing to push your moral compass? Paper, Please is a masterpiece through and through, and it makes stamping passports feel like the most satisfying feeling in the whole world. -- Edmond Tran
Read our Papers, Please review
Devil Daggers ($5 / £4)
Devil Daggers offers a level of simplicity you don't often find in shooters. It's a fast-paced game in the mold of classic FPSes like Quake, but it takes on elements of roguelikes as you're stuck in an arena and tasked with surviving for as long as possible. You have only a single weapon with two modes of fire--one in the style of a rapid-fire machine gun, and the other like a shotgun--and an endless wave of monstrous enemies to defeat.
There's not much more to it than that, and it's common for runs to last no more than 30 seconds to a minute. The visuals are modest and there is not a tremendous amount of complexity going on, but Devil Daggers offers a satisfying, super-intense loop as you strive to last longer and longer. With your replay being uploaded for others to watch, it's an ideal high-score-chasing game that you'll come back to time and again. -- Chris Pereira
Read our Devil Daggers review
Valkyria Chronicles ($20 / £15)
I hope no PC devotees out there will get upset when I say that one of the most innovative tactical strategy games of the past decade was born as a console game, and is anime as hell. Valkyria Chronicles puts some strange twists on its alternate version of World War II, but that doesn't deny the fact that its battle system is unique and fun. You plan and order troops in a turn-based fashion with a top-down strategy phase, but then need to personally move an ordered troop or vehicle in a real-time third-person mode and line up their shots. It may sound arduous, but it's incredibly satisfying and exciting to actually do. Its beautiful watercolour art direction has aged very well, and with Valkyria Chronicles 4 coming out on PC and consoles later this year, you might as well see what the fuss is all about. -- Edmond Tran
Read our Valkyria Chronicles review
The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ($20 / £15)
There have been plenty of light gun-style arcade shooters over the years, but only one has let you deal with foes by typing on a keyboard. The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is the latest and greatest evolution of the Typing of the Dead series, and it remains as enjoyable as ever. Rather than taking aim with a cursor or a light gun, here you type away various words and phrases to dispatch the undead. Aside from the game's B-movie-inspired comedy, the actual words you type can be a consistent source of humor. And with the PS3 version of House of the Dead included, as well as co-op support for two players, there's more than enough variety to keep things feeling fresh. -- Chris Pereira
Nex Machina ($20 / £4.49)
Nex Machina developer Housemarque has been focused almost exclusively on twin-stick shooters for the last decade. Starting with Super Stardust HD and running through games like Resogun and Dead Nation, it's experimented with different spins on the genre. Nex Machina feels like the culmination of those efforts, offering intense, high-octane action that constantly has you analyzing your surroundings and your options for disposing of enemies. It's an incredibly fun and satisfying experience to pick up and play, but it also features a variety of wrinkles and secrets for high-score chasers. Add in the gorgeous, neon-infused visuals, and you've got the finest output of Housemarque to date--which makes it all the more upsetting that the studio has decided to shift gears and go in a different direction. Still, you won't find a better example of its work than Nex Machina. | Chris Pereira
Read our Nex Machina review
Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 ($13 / £10)
"Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 creates an exciting dynamic where ghosts are still dangerous, but the overall game is more forgiving than the original--and it’s more entertaining as a result. Arcade ports tend to be games we play in short bursts--mostly for the nostalgia factor. Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 certainly relies on that nostalgia to a point, but it handles the classic game in a way that plays with expectations to surprise you. It’s the same game enhanced in the right directions to be make an old concept fun, innovative, and challenging all over again." -- Jason D'Aprile
Minit ($10 / £8)
"Minit's lives might only last 60 seconds, but its extremely well-thought-out world design and engrossing loop of progress make it a curse-filled adventure that is worth dying the world over for. Its throwback to classic visuals aren’t done for aesthetic alone, as none of its gameplay systems scream antiquity. It’s a slickly presented adventure that continually manages to surprise you with every new area you uncover or item you procure, pushing you to pick away at its seams to uncover every drop of what it has to offer. With a delightful ending and more promised after its first run of credits, Minit is far more than just a collection of seconds." -- Alessandro Barbosa
Read our Minit review
N++ ($15 / £13.49)
"[T]he purity of N++ is still its greatest appeal, a stripped-down representation of the skills that many gamers have come to know as innate, given free reign in some of the best level design ideas in the industry. N++ may represent an 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' sort of expansion, but the exhilaration that it continues to offer speaks to the idea that it may have been perfect to begin with." -- Justin Clark
N++ represents the latest and greatest version of the stellar platforming series, packing together a positively massive number of levels--there are more than 4,000 in all, none of them procedurally generated. With local co-op support, online leaderboards, and a stellar soundtrack, N++ has a case as one of the best platformers you're find on PC, and it comes in at a budget price.
Lumines Remastered ($15 / £13.49)
"You wouldn't think a game about arranging colored blocks into rectangles could be this interesting and this engrossing. At the heart of Lumines is an ingenious design, which someone theoretically could have dreamed up years ago, but no one did until now. And at the soul of Lumines is something that you might call completely pure. You wouldn't expect a game like this to incorporate most all of what's good about gaming--the sights, the sounds, the trancelike experience, the option of competition--but Lumines does all that." -- Greg Kasavin (2005 review)
Read our Lumines (2005) review
Lumines Remastered, as the name suggests, is an HD remaster of the classic puzzle game for modern platforms. It also features some small adjustments, including a Trance Vibration option that lets you sync controllers to the music to "feel the bass across your body," as developer Enhance puts it. Those who buy it within two weeks of its June 26 launch will get some deluxe DLC for free, including wallpapers, a soundtrack, and avatars.
SteamWorld Dig 2 ($20 / £15)
The first SteamWorld Dig was most notable for its distinct blend of mining mechanics and Metroid-style exploration, but it ended right as it began to come into its own. Its sequel is twice as long and puts that added runtime to good use, as both the story and mechanics are given time to flourish. The game put you in control of a steambot named Dorothy searching for her missing friend, Rusty--the protagonist of the first game. There's a surprising sense of momentum that runs through the adventure; it's as if developer Image & Form sifted the original in a pan, removing its redundancies while expanding upon what made mining treasure and exploring so fun in the first place. The result is a brilliant and varied evolution of the first game that not only expands upon its hybrid formula but presents it in its best light. Where the first game was a diamond in the rough, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a polished jewel. | Matt Espineli
Read our SteamWorld Dig 2 review
Crypt of the NecroDancer ($15 / £10.99)
Roguelikes (or at least roguelike elements) have been one of the most popular trends in gaming over the past handful of years, but few have taken as interesting of an approach to the genre as Crypt of the NecroDancer. It tasks players with navigating a dungeon to the beat of the music. Rather than simply move in the direction you wish or attack the enemy that's in your path, you and your enemies' actions are tied directly to the (always excellent) soundtrack. It's essential that you always be doing something--not taking an action at the next beat resets your combo, meaning you'll earn less gold or deal less damage, depending on the items you've acquired. Particularly as the music becomes more fast-paced, this lends a real sense of tension and excitement to every moment: you need to constantly be considering your next action while accounting for how nearby enemies will react to your movements. It's an experience with few points of comparison, but it's nonetheless one that you'll certainly want to try. | Chris Pereira
Read our Crypt of the NecroDancer review
Inside ($20 / £15)
Playdead games won the admiration of its now-large audience when it released Limbo, a slow-paced puzzle-platformer that relied heavily on the use of light and negative space. For the studio's follow-up, Inside, it delivered yet another somber world to explore. It presents a tale that unfolds effortlessly before your eyes as you advance from one scene to the next, with nary a word from any of its characters. Through the power of inference and suggestion, you realize the infiltration of a malicious organization and bear witness to its sinister deeds. Inside will test your ability to think creatively, but it's the narrative--and the way it's delivered--that makes it a game worth playing. Inside reinforces the notion that, sometimes, less is more. | Peter Brown
Read our Inside review
Thumper ($20 / £16)
Although it's a game arguably best-suited for VR, Thumper is an incredible experience however you play it. It provides a unique blend of rhythm-based gameplay and action--what the developer calls "rhythm violence"--that provides a far more intense version of the basic mechanics you see in other rhythm games. With an incredible soundtrack and levels well-suited to chasing high scores, Thumper is a game with the potential to stick around in your recently played section for a long time. | Chris Pereira
Read our Thumper review
Thimbleweed Park ($20 / £15)
Point-and-click adventure games have experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, and Thimbleweed Park--from adventure game legends Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick--is a prime example. The X-Files-inspired journey puts you in the role of two FBI agents that bear more than a passing resemblance to the classic TV show as you relive the glory days of adventure games. While it's also available on console (including Switch, where it's portable), playing on PC means getting the ideal control scheme of a mouse and keyboard. | Chris Pereira
Read our Thimbleweed Park
Jamestown+ ($10 / £7)
Vertical arcade shoot-em-ups typically deal with far-flung futures where an ace pilot is defending Earth from a swarm of technologically advanced aliens. By taking place in an alternate timeline where Mars was colonized by England in the 17th Century, Jamestown immediately sets itself apart from its peers. The unique, tongue-in-cheek setting goes a long way to make the game enjoyable, but it's the excellent gameplay that makes Jamestown easy to recommend. You have multiple attack ships to choose from, each with their own weapon loadouts and special abilities. They are easy to control and feel distinct enough that you won't mind replaying levels to extend your time with the game, all the while combating cleverly constructed swarms of enemy ships that gradually escalate from level to level. It's not as punishing as most games in its genre, but the progress you make as you inch your way towards the conclusion feels rewarding nonetheless. | Peter Brown
Read our Jamestown review
Pyre ($20 / £15)
Pyre, the latest from Supergiant Games, diverges from the action RPG gameplay the studio is known for. The fantastical, hand-painted art by Jen Zee returns. A western, electronic, trip-hop fusion soundtrack from Darren Korb also makes a comeback. But instead of controlling a single protagonist who destroys the enemies in their path in search of answers, Pyre revolves around a mystical sport that's played in an underworld populated by those who've been exiled from the normal world. You are The Reader, found in Purgatory (where reading is forbidden) by a band of exiles who befriend you. The Rites are rituals of sport that determine your worth, and this is where the meat of the gameplay happens.
In a Rite, you assemble a team of three from a pool of allies you meet along the way. You face another team of three and fight for the single orb placed in the contained arena with the objective of dunking or shooting the orb into the other team's goal (or Pyre). Only one player from each team can move at any given moment. Each type of player has a varied skillset that can make the sport easier, depending on your playstyle. It sounds like a bit much at first, but once you get a hang of the flow, there's just nothing quite like it. Many have described it as Rocket League meets Dota meets Transistor. Outside of sick orb dunks is the intriguing visual novel-style story about sacrifice and the ties that bind. | Michael Higham
Read our Pyre review
Transistor ($20 / £15)
Transistor, the follow-up to Bastion, would take many of the striking features of that game (like the hand-painted art style, for one) but twist them for a sci-fi, cyberpunk tale. Red was a singer who had her voice physically stolen in an attack on the city of Cloudbank, and she's the one you control in this unique isometric action RPG. The Transistor, a sword-like weapon that killed a man in the attack, becomes Red's tool for fighting back against an army of robots known as The Process, controlled by an evil collective known as The Camerata. Yes, it has a lot going on, but that's how it is with Supergiant's games. The Transistor glows and speaks; it trapped the consciousness and voice of the man it was used to kill, which means this dead man becomes Red's companion throughout the game, similar to the narrator in Bastion (also voiced by Logan Cunningham). What sets Transistor apart is that it incorporates a layer of strategy on top of the action RPG gameplay. There are countless permutations to Red's movesets since each individual move, or functions, can be mixed with another to create an attack which can be used to make short work of enemies that took over your neon-lit city. You also get to pause the action for a limited timeframe to craft a plan of attack and come up with clever ways to string together functions.
Not only does Transistor's soundtrack stand out for its folk-tinged electronica, but it's the focal point for characterization and acts as a driving force from start to finish. Music is at the forefront and Darren Korb's vision for complementing the futuristic world is fully realized, which makes Transistor an absolute joy to play. | Michael Higham
Read our Transistor review
Bastion ($15 / £10.99)
Supergiant Games' debut, Bastion, set the stage for everything else the developer created. This isometric action RPG tells a gripping story of a world destroyed by a catastrophic event referred to as The Calamity in the city of Caelondia. You control Bastion's protagonist, The Kid, who is led by the charismatic narrator named Rucks in a journey to piece the city back together. Very few survivors are left, and hostile monsters litter Caelondia, which is the impetus to put a varied arsenal of melee and projectile weapons to use. The Bastion acts as a sort of home base that slowly comes together as you progress and collect cores at the end of each level.
Rucks' deep, instantly recognizable voice (that of Logan Cunningham) adds a level of grandeur to the story that's superbly supported by a truly remarkable soundtrack (by Darren Korb) that's vaguely Celtic, Western, and trip-hop all at the same time. Bastion's fantastical hand-painted art style (by Jen Zee) breathes life into a world nearly devoid of it, torn apart by a conflict of different cultures. These elements came to be staples of Supergiant's work, and Bastion is still a sterling example of the team's ability to craft a game that's both fun and heartfelt. | Michael Higham
Read our Bastion review
Shovel Knight ($9.99-$24.99 / £6.69-£19)
This is admittedly a bit of a cheat, as you're best off buying Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, which includes all three of the campaigns released so far (and more content to come) for $25. But just $10 will get you a single campaign which is more than worth the price of entry. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment puts you in the shoes of one of the main game's antagonists, Specter Knight, as he takes his own unique journey through the same levels featured in the original game. As with Plague Knight's campaign, the unique mechanics at play here (like the dash attack) make for a much different experience. You would be best-served by starting with the base Shovel Knight campaign, but whichever version you play, you'll be treated to a modern take on retro platformers that bests many of the classics it draws inspiration from. | Chris Pereira
Read our Shovel Knight review
Celeste may look like another pixelated platformer with a youthful protagonist, but it quickly transforms into a brutal, tightly orchestrated gauntlet of death that only the best players can master. It challenges you to traverse spike-lined caverns with a modest selection of skills, with alternate pathways that push your mettle even further as you strive to acquire every last hidden item. You will die hundreds of times, but with quick restarts and a catchy soundtrack, there's never any downtime to wallow in defeat, only a new opportunity to show the game what you're made of. The action and difficulty curve are accompanied by a surprisingly engaging story that adds just the right amount of context to make your arduous journey feel justified, and to solidify Celeste as one of the biggest surprises so far of 2018. | Peter Brown
Read our Celeste review
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ($20 / £25)
You may have heard that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the final Metal Gear game to feature the involvement of series creator Hideo Kojima, has flaws. The last chunk of the game involves replaying earlier missions with small tweaks, and certain late-game story content was consigned to a special edition bonus feature. Despite all of that, The Phantom Pain stands as a seminal example of what an open-world action game can be. While still retaining much of what makes a Metal Gear game so distinct, it presents players with a vast open world and the ability to tackle its challenges in many, many ways.
The mechanics of Ground Zeroes have been fine-tuned, and you can leverage them in a multitude of ways as you take part in the game's consistently excellent, thrilling missions. Just as enjoyable are the emergent hijinks you'll encounter along the way, and all of this is made better by the consistent progression of building up your own personal army. Although it's undoubtedly an experience best played after playing making your way through the prior games, The Phantom Pain is a game that everyone should ultimately try. It holds up now, even after a few years; all that's changed is the price tag. | Chris Pereira
Iconoclasts ($20 / £17.49)
There's no shortage of Metroidvania titles out there, but Iconoclasts stands tall as much more than a simple game about exploring the world while solving puzzles and fighting bosses. Sure, you swing a wrench that can interact with objects and whack enemies over the head, but the magic of this game goes far deeper than the tools at your disposal. Iconoclasts is a story about conflict: science vs. religion, nature vs. technology, old vs. young. And that serves as an incredible backdrop for dynamic characters that extend far beyond their 16-bit look. It's worth playing just to see where they--and you, as the mechanic Robin--end up. | Tony Wilson
Read our Iconoclasts review
Overcooked ($17 / £13)
Overcooked is like a Mario Party mini-game blown up into its own standalone experience in the best way possible. It's a game that becomes exponentially better when played with at least one other person. What starts out as a relatively tame game where you help each other chop some vegetables and get them served on a plate becomes a frantic rush to put out fires, get ingredients distributed between two moving vehicles, and other ridiculous scenarios. | Chris Pereira
Read our Overcooked review
Undertale ($10 / £7)
Undertale watches you. It knows you through your actions. You don't have to hurt anyone, but you can hurt everyone. The consequences are hardly laid bare, but they are always alluded to in this retro-style RPG by independent developer Toby Fox. Undertale is both a culmination of the most chilling creepypasta and the most adorable, lovable characters you could imagine. It's all wrapped into a throwback turn-based RPG that incorporates dialogue trees in combat with elements of the bullet hell style for its combat.
One of Undertale's greatest achievements is its ability to portray emotion and frame scenes through writing and an old-school art style. However, the most impactful piece of the puzzle is music: Its soundtrack evokes such a strong emotional response that very few games capture. The cozy, heartwarming jingle that plays in Snowdin town makes you wish you could chill at the local bar Grillby's with its diverse community of monsters. Papyrus' theme is equal parts silly and catchy, perfectly encapsulating the character himself. Hotland's tense, foreboding rhythm gets an electronic remix in a later stage that empowers you to push forward. The list goes on, but the point is that Undertale's masterful use of music becomes inseparable from the story it tells.
It's a sort of love letter to Earthbound, but Toby Fox crafted a game that should be respected in its own right. Very few games evoke heartbreak, terror, and joy as powerfully as Undertale in such a short period of time; and in that regard, it's one of the best independent games ever made. | Michael Higham
Read our Undertale review
Axiom Verge ($20 / £15)
Axiom Verge is another take on the Metroidvania style, but it distinguishes itself through its wide variety of weapons and tools--most notably, the Address Disruptor, which affects the environment and each enemy type in different ways. It's also a game with an impressive sense of scale and no shortage of secrets to uncover, encouraging multiple playthroughs. Add in an excellent soundtrack and tantalizing story, and there's a lot to like here. | Chris Pereira
Read our Axiom Verge review
Fez ($10 / £7)
Despite being over six years old, Fez is still worth playing today. While it initially presents itself as a 2D game, it quickly reveals a third dimension and unfolds into something truly special as a result. You can rotate the game's seemingly 2D environments in 90-degree increments, which allows you to bring elements from the background into the foreground, often to reveal a hidden path. It's a tricky system to wrap your head around at first, but with a simple selection of puzzles to get you going, you can pick it up in no time. From this point on, Fez pushes you to contort your problem-solving techniques as it escalates to truly complex brain teasers that introduce cryptic symbols to match the ever-more-mysterious atmosphere. It's one of the few truly unique games around, and with the sequel cancelled long ago, it seems that will be the case for the foreseeable future. | Peter Brown
Read our Fez review
Sonic Mania ($20 / £15)
Created by members of the Sonic fan-hack community under Sega's watch, Sonic Mania exudes passion and reverence in its recreation of nostalgic visuals, sounds, and level designs. But the game isn't content with senselessly regurgitating the past; rather, it expands upon the familiar with new ideas of its own and delivers plenty of inventive concepts that diversify and build upon the series' fast-paced level design. Sonic Mania is smart and interpretive in its approach, leveraging the strengths of its design and visuals to craft not only the best Sonic game ever made, but an amazing platforming experience overall. If you've enjoyed Sonic at any point in your life, you owe it to yourself to play Sonic Mania. And even if you're not a longtime fan, the fast-paced platforming on display is a fantastic introduction to Sega's beloved blue blur. | Matt Espineli
Read our Sonic Mania review
The Sexy Brutale ($20 / £15)
The Sexy Brutale is a quirky little puzzle game co-developed by Tequila Works, the studio behind beautiful adventure game Rime. Its essentially Groundhog Day: The Game--you play through the same day over and over, but with each runthrough you learn more about the creepy mansion you find yourself in. After seeing one character shoot another, you might go and find the gun and prevent the bloody murder by replacing real bullets with blanks. A number of these murders are interconnected--solving one puzzle might prevent one murder, but that could change another branch of time elsewhere in the house. There's no way of preventing every murder in one go, but discovering and tinkering with the different timelines is where the fun lies. Suffice it to say, we've played it over and over again--groundhog day indeed. | Matt Espineli
Read our The Sexy Brutale review
Enter the Gungeon -- $15 / £11
Being a roguelike-style shooter, Enter the Gungeon naturally draws comparisons to games like The Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne. And while that does offer a decent starting point for understanding what to expect, Enter the Gungeon manages to rise above being a pale imitator. It feels fantastic, with a dodge-roll ability that allows you to satisfyingly evade damage with a well-timed use. There are ridiculous weapons, such as those that fire bees or a gun that shoots guns which themselves fire bullets. The well-crafted procedurally generated environments help to keep each run feeling fresh, as do the wide variety of items and secrets to uncover along the way. And co-op support makes for an especially fun, chaotic experience (although it's unfortunate that the second player isn't able to play as the different characters that the main player has access to). The entire game is also overflowing with personality and color, making for an experience that is as fun to look at as is to play. | Chris Pereira
Read our Enter the Gungeon review
Stardew Valley -- $15 / £11
Hit farming sim Stardew Valley has made its way to consoles with very few compromises, outside of the PC version's access to mods. Regardless of platform, it's an excellent take on the Harvest Moon formula, with a laid-back small-town atmosphere, tons of work to do, and bachelors and bachelorettes to date. But the valley also has its mysteries, and the added intrigue makes it easy to pick up, hard to put down, and rewarding day after day. Even though it has nothing to do with the Harvest Moon franchise, it's easily the best "Harvest Moon" game in years. | Kallie Plagge
Read our Stardew Valley review
Battle Chef Brigade ($20 / £15.49)
Battle Chef Brigade puts you in control of an aspiring young chef named Mina as she fights to become the best cook in the land. But this isn't your typical cooking game; rather than choose from pre-set ingredients in front of you to make a simple dish, you actually have to hunt and gather them yourself, making use of Devil May Cry-like battle system to eliminate them in the wild. You then have to take what you gather back to your kitchen, throw it in a pot, and cook it in a match three mini-game.
Frame this within an Iron Chef-like cook off where the clock is ticking against you and you'll have an idea of what you're getting into. The juxtaposition between the two core mechanics of hunting and cooking make for a tense, fast-paced experience that's both memorable and fulfilling. | Matt Espineli
Furi ($20 / £15)
Fans of Japanese action games will instantly love Furi, as it utilizes a twitch-based combat similar to fan-favorite games in the genre, like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Its premise is simple: you play as a nameless silver-haired swordsman who must fight his way out of imprisonment, facing off against a gauntlet of deadly bosses.
Aside from its striking presentation, Furi's most memorable quality is its fast and frenetic combat, which is punchy, nuanced, and elegantly simple. It combines mechanics from both hack-and-slash games and shoot 'em ups, challenging you to handle switching between gameplay styles at a moment's notice in the midst of a fight. If you're a sucker for challenging action games, Furi should be at the top of your list for $20 games to buy. | Matt Espineli
Read our Furi review
Retro City Rampage DX ($15 / £11)
A throwback GTA Online mode aside, Grand Theft Auto has long since moved on from the classic top-down perspective of its earliest games. Retro City Rampage carries on that legacy, offering an open-world crime game in 8-bit style. What could have easily been a mere GTA clone, however, is distinguished with copious pop culture references and a distinctly arcade-style feel to its gameplay. This DX edition offers additional content not seen in the original version of the game. -- Chris Pereira
Read our Retro City Rampage review
West of Loathing ($11 / £8)
"West of Loathing's focus on maintaining a flexible, open-ended nature and lighthearted, humorous feel keeps you engaged in what feels like an imaginative pen-and-paper Dungeons and Dragons campaign, led by a game master whose only goal is to make sure you're laughing and having a fun time. West of Loathing's visuals are monochromatic, but there's enjoyable comedy painted between every line, a pitch-perfect Spaghetti Western soundtrack, and a full spectrum of role-playing possibilities to choose from that make it a consistently enjoyable madcap cowboy jaunt." -- Edmond Tran
Read our West of Loathing review
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected - ($20 / £17)
"Saints Row IV definitely recycles plenty of ideas from earlier games in the series, but it's also frequently inventive, not just in its shift from absurd crime game to absurd crime game with superpowers, but in the content of its story missions. You play a 2D beat-'em-up, return to the series' Stilwater-set early days, complete a Metal Gear Solid-esque stealth mission, battle a Godzilla-size can of the Saints Flow energy drink, and get embroiled in all manner of other insanity. Almost every core story mission and optional crew loyalty mission has an entertaining concept or a funny surprise in store. However, these missions often focus on the same ho-hum combat you find throughout the game, so even though the ideas on display are varied, the gameplay feels a bit flat. Still, it's well worth playing through the story missions just because of their outrageous scenarios and sharp writing."
Read our Saints Row IV review.
Don't Starve Together - ($15 / £13)
"The way Don't Starve blends its crafting, exploration, and survival elements makes for an enthralling and unique combination. This game will readily eat up many hours of your time if you let it, but the promise each run holds never seems to pan out thanks to the insidious challenges the game constantly stacks against you. The initial sense of wonder that comes from stumbling upon the surprises and discoveries of this interesting world rapidly fades away when you're stuck tackling the same menial tasks over and over again to regain lost ground for the hundredth time. It's disappointing, because Don't Starve otherwise packs a tremendous amount of charm, depth, and intrigue."
Read our Don't Starve review.
Cuphead - ($20 / £ 17)
"Everything you've heard about Cuphead is true. It is a difficult side-scrolling shooter with relentless boss battles that demand rapid-fire actions and reactions. Think for too long, and you won't stand a chance against the game's toughest enemies. Battles may only last three minutes at most, but they feel far longer when you know that you can only absorb three hits before you have to start from scratch. When you are navigating your way around bullets, smaller enemies, and pitfalls, while simultaneously trying to damage your primary target, toppling Cuphead's imposing bosses is both a monumental and rewarding task."
Read our Cuphead review.
Batman: Arkham Knight - ($20 / £ 17)
"What Batman: Arkham Knight does well, however, it does really well. Gotham is a dazzling playground where neon lights pierce through the rain and mist; all it takes is a single glimpse to tell you that this is a city in need. Moreover, many individual elements are so carefully constructed, and presented with such flair, that appreciation is the only reasonable reaction. Yet most of these elements--excellent acting, wonderful animations, moody soundtrack--are ones that Batman: Arkham City also excelled in, making Arkham Knight's missteps all the more noticeable. Rather than escape the pull of the games that spawned it, The Bat's newest adventure refines the fundamentals; it is a safe but satisfying return to the world's most tormented megalopolis."
Read our Batman: Arkham Knight review.
Dying Light - ($20 / £ 17)
"Dying Light succeeds when it remains confident in its systems. The combat isn't as fulfilling as it is in Dead Island--you won't be breaking any arms--but out in that wild world, you aren't meant to wade into the horde anyhow. What drives the action is the promise of discovery and self-improvement. There are locks to pick and supplies to nab before the opposing faction gets to them. The balconies harbor new people to meet, who share their stories if you stick around long enough to hear them. When a zombie or six draw near, you swipe, kick, and bash until the blood is flying and the grunts are silenced, and you can return to your pillaging. Dying Light most often approaches greatness when it allows you to improvise your own tune instead of clumsily trying to conduct the entire orchestra."
Read our Dying Light review.
Rocket League - ($20 / £ 17)
"The joy of Rocket League rests on the countless plans that are conceived and discarded every other second in any given match. Trying to predict where and how the ball will bounce next is a game within the game. Despite the use of cars, Rocket League emulates the emotional surges typical of The Beautiful Game, such as the rush of an unexpected fast break or a well-timed header into a goal. With Rocket League, the promising concept of combining two wonderful things--cars and soccer--is equally magnificent in execution."
Read our Rocket League review.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - ($20 / £ 17)
"PUBG's technical shortcomings can undermine its broader achievements on rare occasions, but they don't override your desire to continue playing. Each phase of a match presents a different type of tension that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, driven by the insatiable desire to be the last person (or squad) standing. Whether you play solo or in a group, successfully executing adaptive tactics to win intense, high-stakes firefights makes for an incredibly rewarding experience. Every player has unique stories of their most memorable matches, and even after hundreds of hours, PUBG continues to inspire rousing tales of victory and defeat."
Read our PUBG review.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 - ($20 / £ 17)
"As an ode to the ever expanding Marvel universe, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is practically without peer. The characters you'll play, the locations you'll visit, and the references you'll come across span the length and breadth of the comic juggernaut's history in comics, TV, and film, extending to the genesis of Marvel as Timely Comics way back in the forgotten mists of time (the 1930s). In fact, outside of the exclusion of X-Men and Fantastic Four characters (for some undisclosed and surely byzantine legal rights reasons), this game is the most Marvel any Marvel game has been so far."
Read our Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 review.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - ($20 / £ 17)
"We didn't know it at the time, but Resident Evil 4 was the beginning of the end. Though in many ways the series' best game, it also signaled the start of Resident Evil's transformation from survival-horror into something far scarier: forgettable, derivative action. By contrast, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has been heralded as a return to form--a classic, uncompromising frightfest. And indeed, it is. In place of blockbuster pandering, the game delivers intimate horror with a tightly focused scope and all the trappings you'd expect from a survival game. No superfluous skill trees or meaningless fetch quests, just the stomach-churning tension of guiding a relatively helpless character out of a waking nightmare."
Read our Resident Evil 7 review.