The Steam Summer Sale has begun! From now through July 4th, you can grab thousands of games at a discounted price—provided your wallet can keep up. Below, we've handpicked our favorite deals. If you’re upset that your favorite game was left off our list of recommended games, just remember that these are our personal picks. Feel free to share your best buys with us on Twitter (feel free to reach out to James and Ryan personally if you want!) Also, you could always leave a comment below, if that’s your thing.
Tags: Puzzle, Exploration, First-Person, Open World
You want to walk around a beautiful environment
Learning and problem solving is part of the fun for you
Taking notes (in a physical book) gets you excited
You can fight the urge to look up solutions
$39.99 $31.99 (20% off)
James: The Witness is, in my opinion, the most beautiful game out there; it also holds a top spot on my ‘Game of the Year 2016’ list so far. That said, it is mostly just solving line puzzles… but they’re the best line puzzles I’ve ever seen! Sure, there’s a little more to it, but that’s something you might have to discover (or perhaps decide) on your own. This extremely peaceful game is great to share with friends or loved ones, even if they aren’t into video games.
Ryan: A Metroidvania game disguised as a puzzler set on a gorgeous, sprawling island. This isn’t a game you know you’ll need until you start to delve deeper into the game’s intuitively simple yet brutally devious systems and suddenly it’s 3 AM and you’re staring at a composite notebook filled with what most people would rightfully assume is the hieroglyphic rantings of a psychopath deluded into thinking they’re one line puzzle away from finding the god particle.
Metro Redux Bundle
Tags: FPS, Survival, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
You long for an FPS that requires thought, pacing, and strategy
Exploring a mix of realistic post-apocalyptia and eastern mysticism sounds neat
You want a beautiful game that runs well on a mid-tier PC
29.98 $7.49 (75% off)
Ryan: For less than the price of a full game you can find out why there's nothing quite like the Metro series. Scavenging around the decaying ruins of a Russian library, hoping to find another filter for your rapidly-expiring respirator, listening to the sounds of gigantic mutant gargoyles circling overhead. These games are about harrowing moments interspersed with rest stops at pockets of civilization struggling to live in the confines of the metro station.The first entry, Metro 2033, redefined survival games, forcing players to use their currency as ammunition in times of need. The sequel, Metro: Last Light, delivered more of what makes the series unlike anything else, but with a mercifully improved combat system that has been brought over to the remastered original as well. These are the most immersive games I’ve ever played, fully engrossing the player in a world that feels organic and lived-in before thrusting them out in the frozen Russian wastes to live moment to moment, bullet to bullet. In my opinion, this is the best purchase you can make on this list both for the price and the breadth and quality of content.
Tags: Adventure, Atmospheric, Walking Simulator, Indie, Emotional, Amazing Dialogue
You want an emotional story, and don't mind crying a little
You're looking something short-and-sweet
You're ready to hear some the best dialogue available in a video game
$19.99 $13.39 (33% off)
James: Okay, I might have choked back tears once or twice playing Firewatch, I’ll admit it. That’s to the game’s credit, obviously; the story and the ambiance of Firewatch are consistently of the highest caliber, and the artwork by Olly Moss only adds to it. While some consider the original asking price for the game a little too steep (which I disagree with, this is a quality over quantity situation) the sale definitely softens the blow. This is not just a great video game, it is a wonderful story about solitude and what it means to be alone. Play this if you want to feel things.
Tags: RPG, Simulation, Agriculture, Pixel Graphics
You need something relaxing and low stress to play
You loved Harvest Moon but always wanted a little more out of it
You can’t decide if you want to kill slimes or go fishing
$14.99 $11.99 (20% off)
James: Stardew Valley is packed and brimming with content. The main gameplay consists of managing your farm, delving into one of the game’s several 100-floor dungeons, cataloging a myriad of collectibles, building relationships and starting a family, improving the town, or instead destroying its many small businesses by teaming up with Joja Mart (think of it as a pixel-y Walmart.) Stardew Valley does a lot and it looks good doing it, with beautiful pixel graphics and a great soundtrack. It also has a community of fervent modders who have created wonders such as Pokedew Valley, which retextures many of the animals and enemies to pokemon.
Tags: Turn-Based Combat, Dark Fantasy, RPG, Difficult
You’re willing to pay a heavy price for failure
You enjoy a lovecraftian aesthetic
You want your adventure to be narrated with some amazingly grim writing
$24.99 $14.99 (40% off)
James: Darkest Dungeon is mean. People like to tout Dark Souls as being hard—but those who do obviously haven’t played Darkest Dungeon. Here’s the thing: Dark Souls is fair, Darkest Dungeon is not. So why is it here? Stockholm syndrome? While Darkest Dungeon is grim and brooding, it's also a tactical and expertly crafted RPG. Primarily, you send a party of four sad, often depraved souls (selected from a roster of 14 character classes) through a series of dungeons as they make their way toward the aptly named Darkest Dungeon. En route, the sanity of your characters will be challenged, sometimes causing them to refuse a fight or even attack their friends. Between missions you will need to manage your party in town, allowing those who have lost their sanity time to rest and cycling in new party members. Those who die during a mission… well, they’re dead.
Hyper Light Drifter
Tags: Action, Adventure, Fat Pixel Art, Great Sound Track
You want a stylized beat-em up with elements of Zelda
You're looking for a game that's short but tricky
You want beautiful pixel art and an awesome soundtrack
$19.99 $15.99 (20% off)
Ryan: A highly-stylized, acid-fueled remix of Zelda and Devil May Cry. Hyper Light Drifter is an ultra-fast, super-precise action adventure set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. You play as The Drifter, a caped swordsman with a sidearm and a penchant for fluidly dashing about the decayed landscape, turning hordes of enemies into bright red sashimi. Gorgeously animated fat pixel art brings the visually arresting, frequently-unnerving graphic violence to life. Well worth the one or two sittings it’ll take to beat it.
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Tags: RPG, Open World, Character Customization, Big Monsters, Weird Story
You want to play a great open world game that isn’t like the others
Mounting a giant griffon as it tries to escape sounds cool
You're willing to play until the end to see how weird the story gets
$29.99 $20.09 (33% off)
James: I originally played Dragon’s Dogma on the Xbox 360 back when it released in 2012 without the additional content provided in the PC release (namely, the Dark Arisen expansion.) However, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a game I will personally be picking up during the Steam summer sale based on my fond memories of the original. One of the game’s more unique system is Pawns. A Pawn is a character that the player creates in tandem with their hero at the outset of the game, this Pawn then accompanies you like a best pal (or like, well you know, a Pawn.) Additionally, you can go online and grab other players’ Pawns to accompany you as a party of four. I gotta say… this game goes to some really weird places story-wise. Make sure you play it through until the end, you’ll thank me later.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Tags: RPG, Open World, Story Rich, Atmospheric,
You want a rich story where your choices actually matter
You'd like a game to change your perspective on what an open world can be and mean
You're interested in playing one of the most critically-acclaimed and well-liked RPGs of all time
$49.99 $24.99 (50% off)
James: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was well worth buying at full price a year ago when it was a hot mess. The controls were wonky, the inventory sucked, and it contained bugs-a-plenty. Yup, even then it was worth your time and attention. Now that a year has passed, most of the bugs have been ironed out, the controls have been smoothed (thanks in part to an alternative movement option for the player-character, Geralt,) and the inventory is a little less hostile. In addition, independent developer CD Projekt Red has released numerous free DLCs over the last year in addition to two larger paid DLCs (the sales for which, are too meager to be worth mentioning.) Still, it’s never been a better time to get into The Witcher 3, a game which some consider to be one of the best video games ever made.
Tags: FPS, Action, Gore, Demons, Shooter, Sci-Fi
You want to shoot demons
You have a powerful computer
You need a good single-player campaign
$59.99 $34.99 (40% off)
James: DOOM only came out only a little over a month ago, so a 40% discount is quite substantial if you’ve been on the fence. While DOOM contains (an allegedly lackluster) multiplayer, the real meat of the game is its single-player campaign, which is pretty rare these days for a first person shooter.
Ryan: Delightfully antiquated in the best possible sense. DOOM firmly delivers on the promise of 90s-era ‘tude, and all the heavily-distorted butt rock guitar riffs that implies, but with graphics and gore that will melt your face and your GPU simultaneously.
Risk of Rain
Tags: Roguelite, Indie, Platformer, Action, Difficult
You like roguelites and somehow forgot to buy this one
You want to get into roguelites but didn’t know where to start
You don’t know what a roguelite is but are curious nonetheless
$9.99 $2.49 (75% off)
James: Put simply, Risk of Rain is one of my favorite games in one of my favorite genres. It’s a real tough roguelite that starts you off weak and allows you to become a total badass if you survive long enough for it to happen. By the end of a run, you’ll be firing out lightning, missiles, and lasers at anything foolish enough to appear on-screen… or you’ll die two minutes in and start over. At $2.49 (less than a large coffee, come on) you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
Tags: Indie, Management, Pixel Graphics, Strategy, Simulation
You’re looking for something a little different
You are more interested in strategy than reaction
You want a cohesive retro style
$9.99 $2.49 (75% off)
James: For me, Punch Club was a huge surprise. On the surface, it’s a retro-influenced boxing sim that lets you eat some weird pizza and punch alligators in the sewer. At its core, it’s a fun tactical game about efficiently managing your boxer through his training, his fights, his social life, and all the wonderfully odd things that happen later on. This is a great game to play while listening to a podcast (maybe WTDG Podcast, for example) but you wouldn’t want to miss out on some of the great retro video game tunes (it’s worth noting that the soundtrack is also 75% off.)
Tags: Great Soundtrack, Story Rich, Choices Matter, 2D
The internet hasn’t spoiled it for you
You want to listen to the best video game soundtrack in recent history
You don’t mind going into a game blind
$9.99 $6.99 (30% off)
James: Undertale was my favorite game of 2015. That said, I was fortunate to get to it before the fandom came in and well… did what fandom does. Now that we’re further away from all the hype surrounding it, I feel more comfortable simply saying: play this game. I don’t care who you are or what biases you have toward any given style of games, you’ll find something to love here. Actually, If you know nothing about this game, that’s all the better; don’t look up anything. Just go for it. This was one of the best video game experiences I’ve had since I was a kid. I could sing its praises for a long time, but I’d rather say as little as possible. If you have somehow found your way here as someone who hasn’t played video games recently, or maybe even ever… this would be a fascinating place to start. If you are someone who plays practically every game out there, but found some excuse to avoid this one… just stop that. Play Undertale.
Ryan: A beloved instant cult-classic with a story that subverts expectations at each and every turn, complete with a cast of memorably neurotic characters only a monster wouldn’t love. Although the oddball mix of bullet hell and classic JRPG never really clicked with me, Undertale has hardly left my thoughts since playing it. It’s one of the best examples of a game narrative that uniquely exploits its medium, a proof-of-concept for what plot-heavy video games should aspire to be. Even if your heart is too cold to give one of the most critically-acclaimed indie (or otherwise) games of all time a shot, you owe it to yourself to listen to the best video game soundtrack in a decade crafted by lead designer himself, Toby Fox.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Tags: RPG, Comedy, Adventure, Funny, Turn-Based
You like South Park humor (duh)
You like Paper Mario
You'll take on simpler gameplay in exchange for great writing and acting
$29.99 $7.49 (75% off)
James: South Park: The Stick of Truth is pretty much a 15-hour interactive episode of the television show; and that should tell you all you need to know about whether you’ll like it or not. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, then I wouldn’t recommend this as easily, given how many callbacks the game makes to the TV series. That said, even without the brand familiarity, Stick of Truth is a well-playing (albeit, simple) turn-based RPG about one kid’s quest to become “cool.” The game is written and directed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and it even looks exactly like the show. I’m personally very excited about their next game, South Park: The Fractured, But Whole.
Street Fighter V
Tags: Fighting, Competitive, Multiplayer, Action, 2.5D
You want an accessible fighting game where you’ll spend more time fighting than mastering combos
You have a friend to play with locally or online (or don't mind fighting randoms)
You own a controller or fight stick
$59.99 $40.19 (33% off)
Ryan: The core fighting of Street Fighter V is stellar, but due to myriad well-publicized failings on Capcom's part, almost everything else about it isn't. Thankfully, that hasn't stopped Capcom from supporting it as a platform with monthly updates and DLC characters. The free June update touts the biggest addition to the game yet with the long-awaited story mode, various quality of life changes to matchmaking, and the return of everyone's favorite teen ninja, Ibuki. At a snail's pace, Street Fighter V is only getting better. Now's the time to buy in at a reasonable price and snag some of those premium costumes with the savings.
The Stanley Parable
Tags: Comedy, Narration, Indie, First-Person, Satire
You value narrative and comedy enough to shrug off a lack of gameplay
A video game about other video games and their narrative agency doesn’t sound too pretentious
You can promise not to quit at the first ending and see what happens when you do things differently
$14.99 $2.99 (80% off)
James: The Stanley Parable is a funny, self-referential, adventure game with a great narrator. While it offers very little in terms of actual gameplay (you pretty much just walk around an office and listen to the narrator,) it’s worth seeing, sharing with your friends, and finding all the ways it plays out differently. Without seeing many of the extreme endings or earning some of the ridiculous achievements (such as play for the entire duration of a Tuesday) I clocked 6 hours of honest gameplay. For how story-driven this game is, that’s not bad at all. However, if you’re still on the fence then check out the demo (downloadable on the store page.) The demo a different story in a different environment that will give you the gist of what the game is like.