It’s that time of year again. That magical time where Valve opens up it’s Steam service to all kinds of wonderful discounts that make buying all those beautiful games you couldn’t bring yourself to purchase at full price a lot easier.

These are just a few of the games I think you should absolutely consider for purchase in the next few days. The Steam Summer Picnic Sale runs through July 2nd, so you still have some time to grab these deals before they are gone.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – $12.95
Discount: 75%

Normally: $49.99

The Nemesis System keeps the combat in Shadow of Mordor interesting and allows players to tackle missions in many different ways. It helps that the combat and movement are a blast as well. While not the best deal on this list, this game is a STEAL at $12.95.

From Our Review:

“Will you attack the enemy chief head on? Do you try and take advantage of a specific weakness? Maybe you take the subterfuge route and track down his personal body guards in order to make them your mental slaves and have them do the job for you? In the end, the choice is up to the player.”

 

Life is Strange – $9.99
Discount: 50%
Normally: $19.99

A series that unfolds over 5 episodic parts, Life is Strange combines the humanity of being a teenage girl in high-school (and all the awkward, difficult decisions that come with it) with surreal time-manipulation powers. The game plays more like Telltale’s The Walking Dead than an action game, but the payoff at the end is seeing these characters through devastating choices in a coming of age story that is unparalleled in the medium.

It’s $10 for the whole package, and you’ll be thanking me once you’ve finished it all.

 

Fallout 4 – $29.99
Discount: 50%
Normally- $59.99

At 50% off it’s hard not to recommend Fallout 4. This is the steepest discount I’ve seen on the title, and as a Bethesda game, you know you’re getting your money’s worth (Read: “Hundreds of hours of content”). Not only that but the wealth of mods available can extend that play time further.

From Our Review:

“Exploring the Wasteland and going on your own adventures, building a new home and finding your own place in the world is spectacular. Combat is familiar, but fun and the newly implemented features add some interesting new mechanics into the Fallout formula that I hope to see expanded upon in the future. It’s the kind of game where you get what you put into it, and if you really invest your time into it, then it’s well worth your money.”

Also of Note:

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition – $11.99 (-40%)
Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition – $11.99 (-40%)

 

Doom – $35.99 
Discount: -40%
Normally – $59.99

I typically use Steam Sales to pick up smaller indie titles that are under $10, or games I was semi-interested in years ago that are now steeply discounted. But I’ve been dying to play Doom since before it launched, and nearly half-off the asking price just a month after release is the perfect excuse to pick up this old-school throwback.

From Our Review:

“There hasn’t been a game that gets my heart racing and keeps it at breakneck speed for a long time. Sure, lots of games have a few intense moments, but with Doom, the entire game is an adrenaline rush.”

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – $24.99
Discount: 50%
Normally: $59.99

I still think its too early to call, but The Witcher 3 might just be the best RPG of all time when all the dust settles and a few years have allowed us to properly reflect. With an endorsement like that, how can you pass up its hundreds of hours of meaningful content for only $25? Pick it up and bask in its glory.

From Our Review:

“When all is said and done, The Witcher 3 provides one of the most enjoyable RPG experiences this year. Everything from travel to combat to exploration manages to find a near perfect balance, encouraging the player to become immersed in the world of Temeria. And for those that need a break from the day to day activities of witching, there’s always Gwent.”

Also of Note:

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition – $2.99 (-85%)

 

Hotline Miami 1 & 2 Combo Pack – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

Hotline Miami is my favorite game series of all time. Full stop. Yes, even more so than Metal Gear Solid (damn, now I’m debating in my head again). At $5, you’d better pick this up. I sat down with the original and didn’t get back up again until the credits rolled. When the second came out, I got it on launch day and did the same. They’re that good. I’ve bought these games about 10 times each during Steam Sales just to gift them to friends because everyone NEEDS to play this series.

/fanboying_over

 

Bioshock Triple Pack – $10.51
Discount: 85%
Normally: $69.99

This has to be one of the best Steam Sale deals I’ve ever seen. Bioshock is one of the best franchises in all of gaming and you can get the entire series (including the criminally overlooked Bioshock 2) for a few dollars more than Infinite is going for on sale right now.  Pick this up. If you haven’t played this series yet or missed an entry or two, you’re in for a real treat.

From our Bioshock Infinite Review: 

Taking the series to new heights, quite literally, Irrational Games has once again set the bar for how a video game should be made. BioShock Infinite is a mind-twisting thrill ride that not only shows its prowess in the gameplay, but also in the approach to story and thematic representation of sensitive topics such as religion and racism. With so much condensed into such a little package, Irrational Games has not only created one of the best games of this generation, but one that truly showcases the artistic power of video games to everyone.

 

Transistor – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

Great art? Check. Great soundtrack? Check. Smart RPG gameplay? Check.
There’s really no game that’s come out in the last few years that so deftly executes what it sets out to do as Transistor.  Its one of the high water marks for the video games as art debate and its damn fun, too.

From Our Review:

Transistor is a stunning action RPG that will change the way people think about indie developers. The art is absolutely gorgeous and the music is beautifully hypnotic and powerful. The gameplay and combat in Transistor is a hybrid of real-time action and turned based strategy that is one-of-a-kind and stays fresh and exciting throughout the entirety of the game. This game must not be missed.”

 

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

The pinnacle of the Dark Souls series in my book, Dark Souls features some of the best level design in gaming history, with a looping, stacked world that unlocks more twists and turns as you make it through each devastating boss fight. If you’ve yet to experience a Souls game, take the jump with this one. Dark Souls III isn’t at a good enough discount right now to recommend (a mere 25% off in comparison to this) and Dark Souls II just doesn’t have the same intricate level design and attention to detail as the other entries.

Batman: Arkham City – Game of the Year Edition – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

Arkham City is probably my favorite superhero game of all time. Gliding around as Batman is just as fun as fighting enemies and discovering new areas and secrets never gets old. While some find Arkham Asylum’s focus on finding trophies and solving puzzles fits more with the Batman-as-detective motif, the sheer amount of content and fun in this package shouldn’t be missed, especially for $5.

Also of Note:

Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition – $4.99 (-75%)

 

Crypt of the Necrodancer – $3.74
Discount: 75%
Normally: $14.99

Crypt of the Necrodancer is a criminally underappreciated dungeon crawler that asks players to move to the beat of the music to defeat dancing skeletons, zombies, dragons, and more. I’m a sucker for Danny Baranowsky’s soundtracks after being deeply hooked on Super Meat Boy and Crypt of the Necrodancer scratches that itch. On top of the amazing soundtrack, you can upload your own MP3 files which the game then integrates into the level. Can you follow the beat of your favorite songs to survive? Its a rare concept that’s executed perfectly, and you should definitely check it out at this price.

Also of Note:

Super Meat Boy – $1.49 (-90%)

 

Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad w/ Rising Storm – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

This is a game I truly believe in, from a publisher I completely trust. Tripwire has been making PC games for the fans for years and Red Orchestra 2 is a testament to their dedication to delivering an experience to that fanbase. It is a hardcore, no frills first-person shooter where one bullet means you’re dead. Maps are massive and full of places to hide and most soldiers are equipped with a long-range rifle. There is no shooter out there that creates a sense of tension the way that Red Orchestra 2 does and each successful kill is exhilarating and gratifying because of the looming, omnipresent threat of death. That it’s Pacific Theatre- themed expansion Rising Storm comes with it (bringing a TON of new maps and factions) is just icing on the cake and makes this one of my favorite deals on this list.

Also of Note: 

Another Tripwire game, Killing Floor looks a bit outdated now, but it runs well on older machines and offers a great online co-op experience where up to 6 players try to survive against an invading zombie horde.

Killing Floor – $4.99 (-75%)

 

Gunpoint – $2.49
Discount: 75%
Normally- $9.99

Gunpoint is a fun little 6-hour game where you play a sleuth trying to navigate the twists and turns of a very tongue-in-cheek noir-style story. Betrayals happen constantly as you quip over the phone with clients that have hired you to take care of some dirty business. The meat of the game involves rewiring levels to use as weapons against guards that can otherwise one shot you to death. Navigating these puzzles never gets old and you’ll put the mouse/controller down and sit there for minutes at a time just wondering how to make it through to the end. A definite must have for fans of brain-benders.

Antichamber – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally- $19.99

Antichamber isn’t so much about solving puzzles as it is about enduring the strange manipulation the games engine puts players through. Misdirection, visual anomalies, shifting levels and a simple aesthetic make this game a surreal acid trip that everyone should play at least once. There are little life lessons strewn about the map that give hints on how to progress, but progression isn’t as important as learning something, whether it be about yourself or about the strange nature of things around you.

 

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – $4.99
Discount: 75%
Normally: $19.99

With Mankind Divided releasing in just over a month, why not take the last entry for a spin as a refresher before the sequel? Human Revolution combines a cyberpunk world with a noir story of betrayal and conspiracy. Your character, Adam Jensen, can switch between third-person sneaking and first-person shooting with the click of a button. The sprawling, consequence riddled story is a return to form after previous entries diverged from the originals framework and while Human Revolution makes some important changes, it’s a worthy follow-up to one of the best games of all time.

Also of Note:

Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition – $1.49 (-75%)

 

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons – $1.49
Discount: 90%
Normally: $14.99

Starbreeze Studios – of The Darkness, Syndicate, and The Chronicles of Riddick fame – team up with Swedish film director Josef Fares to bring you one of the most human and touching stories in all of gaming. A departure from their more violent titles, Brothers tasks you with taking control of the games two brothers simultaneously to solve puzzles, explore exotic locations, and fight boss battles as they set out on a journey to find a cure for their ailing father. As the two brothers discover more about each other and themselves individually, players will discover just what it means to be part of a family. At this price, you’d be a fool to miss it.

 

Metro Redux Bundle – $7.49
Discount: 75%
Normally: $29.99

The Metro series is one of the most bleak and fully-realized depictions of the post-apocalypse ever created. The original, Metro 2033, was a bit long in the tooth until the Redux Edition gave the game a facelift to get it up to the graphical standards of today. Both games look gorgeous and have you fighting other survivors, bandits, and mutants as you try to survive. Both are fairly long affairs as well, and offer up a bit more substance than your typical FPS campaign.

From Our Metro: Last Light Review:

Metro: Last Light is a worthy successor to its predecessor Metro 2033,working to improve on everything that 2033 failed to execute properly. With massive overhauls to the inventory interface, weapon customization system, equipment and environments, Last Light does so much right and so little wrong.

Honorable Mentions

Making a list like this is hard. During the Steam Summer Sale there are just SO MANY good games out there are great prices that it’s impossible to cover them all in as much detail as I did above. The games below aren’t WORSE choices than the games above, and I’m pained to not be able to go into all of them. All of the games on this list are worthy of purchase, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Below is a quick list of more games I think you should give a try that have discounts that put them into the ‘must have’ category.