The Steam Summer Sale is once more upon us, and you have until July 7 to take advantage of some truly spectacular gaming deals. Steam has an expansive library, and you can find sales on thousands of titles for the next week. On the one hand, that’s great, since you can find something new to play without spending too much money on it. On the other hand, that’s paralyzing, since there are so many good games — and even more duds.
We’ve polled the Tom’s Guide staff to see which games they recommend among the hundreds upon hundreds that you could buy. While we can’t promise that every single game in this list will be to your taste, there is at least one Tom’s Guide writer who will personally vouch for it. We’ve also tried to give a wide variety of genres and prices, so there should be something to suit every style and budget.
Besides, if you don’t like these Steam Summer Sale games, there are thousands of others to choose from. Let us know which ones you like, too. You can also check out our selections from the Steam Summer Sale 2021, as most of those titles are on sale again.
Age of Empires IV
Age of Empires IV is still a fairly new game, so its $15 discount isn’t terribly steep. On the other hand, $45 is a fantastic price for one of the best games of 2021. In the latest entry in Microsoft’s long-running real-time strategy series, you’ll play as a medieval tactician, leading one of eight great civilizations to victory. From the hit-and-run tactics of the Mongols to the devastating artillery of the French, there’s something here to suit every play style. There are plenty of multiplayer options, but the real star of the show is the detailed and ambitious campaign mode, which plays out like a high-end documentary, complete with 4K footage of real locations, technology and art.
Age of Empires IV: was $60, now $45 on Steam
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
While Assassin’s Creed Odyssey isn’t necessarily the best jumping-on point for the series, you can’t argue with how much content you’ll get for the money. In this open-world adventure, you’ll take control of Alexios or Kassandra, a warrior in ancient Greece. While the game takes place well before the familiar “Assassins vs. Templars” story from the earlier Assassin’s Creed games, there’s still plenty of stealth, action and exploration to go around. The story this time concerns the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, and a deadly conspiracy to change the course of Greek history. The big draw here is the enormous world map, which you’ll traverse on foot, on horseback and by ship.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: was $60, now $15 on Steam
Batman: Arkham Collection
Considering how many Batman games we’ve had over the years, it’s surprising that we’ve had so few really good ones. Back in 2009, Batman: Arkham Asylum kickstarted the Batman: Arkham series, however, which has put out consistently good (or at least passable) action/adventure fare for the Caped Crusader. The Arkham Collection contains three games: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight. While Asylum is the tightest of the bunch, City has an ambitious story, and Knight implements a few interesting ideas. Each game can last dozens of hours, so to get all three for less than $10 is an impressive deal. You’ll have to buy Batman: Arkham Origins separately, although it’s a mixed bag.
Batman: Arkham Collection: was $60, now $9 on Steam
When it launched, Cyberpunk 2077 was in a rough shape. Many reviews (including our own) lambasted the game for its immersion-breaking glitches and game-breaking bugs, but suggested that there might be a worthwhile game underneath all the technical issues. Over the past year and a half, CD Projekt Red has cleaned up Cyberpunk 2077 considerably, making the game more visually appealing, more stable and more functional. Now, players can focus on the captivating Night City, as well as the myriad interesting quests that they can find therein. Cyberpunk 2077 is a stylish game with tons of ways to customize your character, and it’s (finally) worth a look.
Cyberpunk 2077: was $60, now $30 on Steam
Our favorite game of 2021, Deathloop is one of those rare games that’s simply not like anything else on the market. You play as Colt, an amnesiac gunman who finds himself stuck in a time loop on the remote Blackreef Island. Pursued by a beautiful assassin called Julianna and determined to break the loop, Colt must explore the huge island again and again, piecing together new information and collecting just a few precious items in each run. With tight first-person shooter gameplay and an open-ended structure that lets you pursue goals at your own pace, Deathloop is sometimes tense, sometimes thoughtful, and always intriguing.
Deathloop: was $60, now $24 on Steam
Disco Elysium — The Final Cut
While most computer RPGs are about knights and wizards duking it out in high fantasy environs, Disco Elysium — The Final Cut takes a decidedly darker and weirder tack. The game is an open-ended isometric role-playing game, which puts a big emphasis on character-building and conversation. But that’s where similarities to games such as Baldur’s Gate end. In Disco Elysium, you play as an antisocial detective who can level up skills such as Visual Calculus, Empathy and Savoir Faire rather than swords or bows. There’s a bizarre mystery to unravel and a fascinating steampunk world to explore, and you’ll probably laugh a lot along the way.
Disco Elysium — The Final Cut: was $40, now $14 on Steam
To be scrupulously fair, Doom Eternal lacks the laser-focus of its predecessor, Doom (2016). On the other hand, you’ll be having so much fun that you may not notice. Picking up where the last game left off, Earth is now under attack by interdimensional demons, and only the perpetually enraged Doom Slayer can stop them. He does this by blasting them with shotguns, ripping them apart with chainsaws or simply tearing them apart with his bare hands. Doom Eternal has a fantastic sense of style, with its fast, frenetic gameplay and grotesque enemies. You can also buy its Ancient Gods expansions, but they cost a little more.
Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition: was $40, now $16 on Steam
Dragon Age: Origins — Ultimate Edition
One of the last “traditional” BioWare games, Dragon Age: Origins still holds up well today. You create a Grey Warden, a doomed warrior who must stand against the demonic Darkspawn and their draconic king, the Archdemon. Depending on your race and class (there are three of each), you can play through wildly different origin stories. After that, you can customize your skills and forge relationships with your party members, even romancing a few. With a deep, well-developed cast of characters and a story that’s much more morally gray than it initially lets on, Dragon Age: Origins was a strong start to a beloved RPG series.
Dragon Age: Origins — Ultimate Edition: was $30, now $8 on Steam
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade has only been on Steam for a few weeks, which means that even a modest sale is worth investigating. This former PS5 exclusive has made an excellent transition to PC, with enhanced resolution and frame rate. The game looks gorgeous, but that’s only one reason to play it. It also has an unforgettable cast of characters, an excellent battle system and a story that builds on the original Final Fantasy VII without simply rehashing it. Newcomers will love FFVII Remake Intergrade’s stylish cyberpunk setting and sharp dialogue; FF veterans will appreciate the unexpected story developments in the second half of the game.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade: was $70, now $50 on Steam
God of War (2018)
Sony has recently made a big push into the PC space, optimizing former PS4 exclusives for Steam. God of War (2018) was one of the PS4’s best games, and now PC gamers can experience its intense combat and touching story, too. This sequel/soft reboot picks up many years after God of War III, and follows an older, calmer Kratos as he tries to leave his violent past behind. However, the Greek demigod runs afoul of the Norse gods, particularly the vengeful Baldur. As Kratos and his young son, Atreus, make their way through the Norselands, they fight a variety of terrifying mythical creatures, and form a heartfelt bond.
God of War (2018): was $50, now $40 on Steam
Hades is a roguelite that should appeal to just about everyone — even people who don’t traditionally like roguelites. You take control of Zagreus, the prince of Hell, who must break free from his father’s titular domain. While you won’t break free from Hades on your first, or fifth, or tenth try, if you keep trying, you’ll eventually build up your skills to the point where you can conquer anything the Greek underworld can throw at you. During most runs, you’ll also exchange new dialogue with a variety of gods, demigods and mythical creatures, from Zeus and Athena, to Thanatos and Megaera, to Medusa and Cerberus.
Hades: was $25, now $15 on Steam
Over the last few years, Hollow Knight has built up a well-earned reputation as one of the most gorgeous, difficult and rewarding side-scrollers on the market. In a game inspired by Castlevania and Dark Souls in equal measure, Hollow Knight casts you as a small bug in a huge labyrinth, who must battle his way through a huge variety of enemies, traps and bosses. Along the way, he’ll unearth pieces of a grand narrative, which explains how the great city of Hallownest fell to ruin. To fully appreciate Hollow Knight’s fluid gameplay, secretive levels and haunting atmosphere, you’ll simply have to play it for yourself.
Hollow Knight: was $15, now $8 on Steam
Tales of Arise
Tales of Arise isn’t just one of the best Japanese RPGs of 2021; it’s one of the best JRPGs we’ve played in years. Years ago, an alien race called the Renans invaded the peaceful world of Dahna and enslaved the natives. You play as Alphen, a Dahnan swordsman, who teams up with Shionne, a rogue Renan. If you’ve ever played a Tales game before, you can pretty much sing along at this point. You recruit a party of attractive young misfits, then fight in hundreds of strategic real-time battles, toppling huge monsters and charismatic bosses as you go. The story has some memorable twists and turns, as well as one of the better Tales villains in a while.
Tales of Arise: was $60, now $30 on Steam
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Anthology
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI has been out for six years. As such, if you’re a fan of historical turn-based strategy games, it’s fair to say that you’ve already played it. However, Civilization VI has a staggering amount of downloadable content, from individual races, to directed scenarios, to full expansions. If you bought all of this content individually at full price, Steam estimates that it would set you back almost $300. During the Steam Summer Sale, the bundle costs just $30 —and less than that, if you already own some of the pieces. If you’re ready to lose another few hundred hours of your life to Civ VI, this seems like a good way to do it.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI Anthology: was $290, now $30 on Steam
Stardew Valley came out of nowhere and became one of the most beloved games of the past decade. The pitch is extremely simple: Stardew Valley is a farming sim, where you play as a guy or gal who’s moved out to the country to work the land. You can gather resources, sell your crops, converse with the townsfolk, romance a few eligible singles — you know how these games work. Stardew Valley is simply an excellent execution of a simple idea, as well as a supremely chill experience in its own right. There’s a little light combat, too, to keep things interesting, as well as an agreeable soundtrack, which you can also buy.
Stardew Valley: was $15, now $9 on Steam