July, the month of American pride! While I could have easily themed this article ‘Games that scream ‘Merican Patriotism’, I decided I’d go a different way. With July being the typical last month before most kids return to school to serve their sentences in the American school systems, I can’t help but think of a few games that would make those last few bittersweet weeks of freedom worth while. Whatever level of education you will be tackling this fall, there’s a game waiting to help you ride out your last few weeks of no homework. (Note the grade level organization below is comprised of the organization of Arizona education levels, but feel free to apply them to as you see fit).

Elementary School Kids (K through 6)

Duck Tales: Remastered (Multiplatform)

Duck Tales originally came out back when I was just a wee lad. Last year it was re-released on current consoles, and despite both my roommate’s taunts, I went and picked up the game after hearing Ray talk about it on an Achievement Hunter video. I was expecting an asinine experience, but I was pleasantly surprised with what the game actually was, a platformer with a pretty decently written story. Duck Tales: Remastered is a kid friendly adventure that follows Scrooge McDuck all over the globe in an Indiana Jones-esque adventure that lasts about seven hours, give or take, depending on the skill of the player. Become Scrooge and have all the money in the Disney Kingdom for only eighteen bucks.

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JR. High (7 and 8)

Around the time I reached middle school (age 12) I was finally given the go ahead to start getting Mature rated games by my parental units. Below are a few good games to get you started in the delightful bloody bliss that M-Rated games bring to the table.

Dead to Rights: Retribution (Multiplatform)

Back when I was in middle school my parents still had complete and utter fascist control of the television when they were home. It didn’t matter that Attack of the Show was on or that X-Play was reviewing a game and I was dying to watch the segment. That remote was on lockdown until they went to bed that night. That usually meant I was stuck watching shows I didn’t give a rats furry crack about, but on occasion, they did throw on good shows like Burn Notice and Supernatural and I think that’s why I enjoyed playing through Dead to Rights: Retribution. It felt like I was able to play through a sort of pseudo Burn Notice-like game. No Jack and his attack dog Shadow don’t go around Miami solving an array of problems and eating yogurt like Michael Weston and his pals do, they do however take on huge gangs and a government agency which makes for a pretty decent gritty cop story you can experience for as low as five dollars at Game Stop or ten on Amazon.

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Assassin’s Creed (Multiplatform)

While I know truth seeking, white hooded trouble makers that sneak around taking out key figures of the enemy side, sounds like a certain hate mongering groups mission statement that should not be enjoyed by any one; I promise you that Assassin’s Creed is a fantastic way to spend your last few days of freedom. Altiar’s story (or any assassin other than Connor) is an intriguing tale of betrayal, vengeance, and honor that few series can even hold a candle to. From scaling tall buildings and eavesdropping on conversations to all out brawls and stabbing guards, there’s never a dull moment in Ubisoft’s first venture into Assassin’s Creed. Parents should also take note that the games do a fantastic job of telling actual events that took place throughout history, of course be cautioned that they changed and added events to give the story a little zest. Start stabbing guards and hiding in hay trailers for as low as ten bucks.

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High School ( 9 through 12)

High School was some of most angst filled (albeit some of the educationally easiest) years of my life. Those years were also filled with many hundreds of hours of games like Modern Warfare 3 (close to five hundred hours in that sexy beast) and several play throughs of Gears of War. Below are some of the other games that helped me through those angstey years.

Deadpool (Multiplatform)

Full of smartass remarks and Chimichangas, Deadpool is arguably the greatest hero in the Marvel universe. Deadpool (voiced by Nolan North) goes on an over the top third person action adventure to make the best video game ever made. That’s not just personal bias either he literally says “best game ever” several time throughout the game. The story has cameos from several Marvel characters, Wolverine, Cable, Rogue, and many others making for a very nostalgic and superbly written comic book game. Deadpool of course breaks the fourth wall, by constantly interacting and speaking directly to the player making the game feel that much more faithful to the character’s source material. Become the merc with a mouth for as low as fifteen bucks at Wal-Mart or your local Game Stop.

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Multiplatform)

It seems in High School they wanted us all to focus on team work and comradery, what better way to do that then being in the boots of a well trained government agent and his side kick as they try to stop a terrorist attack on United States soil? Sam Fisher and pals are back in yet another fantastic militaristic adventure. Made by the same team that did Conviction, Blacklist shares a lot of the same mechanics which makes for a pleasant experience coming from the previous installment. Sneak around and snap necks for as low as fifteen bucks.

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College-

Ever since I started college my love for all the delicious horror filled media in the world has climbed dramatically. While that may be a reason for me to go talk to a shrink ( I think I’ll be fine as long as I don’t start hatching Joker like plans) it doesn’t change the fact that horror makes me happy so below are some of my favorite horror games.

Kholat (PC)-

If you’re like a lot of college age students, you may be thinking “wouldn’t it be swell to go on one last adventure with my buddies before bearing the trenches of adulthood?” That could be anything from backpacking in Europe, to partying in Cabo, or ( if you’re on the mentally unstable side of things) bearing the cruel environment of Russia’s wilderness. Luckily if your brain sees the latter of that statement and screams “ LET”S TRY THAT ONE!!!!” first please seek help that worries us, second Kholat let’s you do just that without the actual risk of frostbite, or murderous spirits trying to crush you with a boulder. Pack your sack and venture into the wilderness for around twenty dollars on Steam.

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Silent Hill (Multiplatform)

I’ve been on a bit of a Silent Hill buzz as of late. I had an absolute blast playing Silent Hill: Downpour and like many had high hopes for P.T. While most people have their favorites in the city I’m attracted to bits and pieces of the series as a whole. In Downpour, I loved the main character’s personality and his background they seemed to fit the world perfectly, making the experience all the more memorable. In Silent Hill Three, I had no idea what was really going on, but I enjoyed the setting it made for an interesting adventure for the brief time I spent with it. While I haven’t played most of the other entries in the series I’ve been watching play throughs by various YouTube personalities and I find them all delightfully, woeful experiences. Grab various titles in the series for as low as six bucks or as much as thirty depending on variables like physical copies over digital, and console of choice.

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Now comes the sad part to Games with Budget Gamers, it’s over: you should go read other articles. I’m not saying forever, just until it’s that time again next month. Oh come on don’t act like that, we had some great times! I showed you some things, you over shared about your best friend. Good Times. In all seriousness thanks for reading, and if you have any games you recommend playing before summer ends please feel free to share them down below in the comment section.