The Steam Summer Sale is a great opportunity to pick up some of the best shooters available.
The Steam Summer Sale is coming to a close, which is just as well because we’re pretty much broke.
It’s been a good couple of weeks and there have been some real bargains this year. No doubt Valve will have another record year.
Since there are no daily deals to alert you to, we’ve been dutifully handing over the featured deals of the day – even though they’re available all the time. Frankly, we’ve gotten bored with it, so here’s something a bit different: our picks of the very best FPS games in the Steam Summer Sale. We love a good shooter in these parts, innit.
When does the Steam Summer Sale end?
All good things must come to an end. The Steam Summer Sale ends July 5 so there’s still some time to grab yourself a bargain. If you were waiting for payday now’s the time to rush in and grab a couple of good games or buy-in to an entire franchise.
With that in mind, here’s our pick of the best first-person shooters in the Steam Summer Sale:
The Killing Floor Bundle is a terrific way to catch up on one of the best co-op shooters; it’s 75% off, with all DLC. Better-received than its sequel, the Tripwire classic pits you and pals against increasingly dangerous waves of zombies, and rewards you with cash for your efforts. Between rounds you can take a breather, giving you the opportunity to purchase new equipment, trade, and shore up your party, which makes for some tense negotiations. In a trend that’s only slowly gaining ground outside the MOBA world, you progress your character each round, too, so the whole thing has a bit more depth than just shooting endless zombies. A good time for all.
A very quick way to catch up on a bunch of shooters is to grab the Devolver Digital First Person Shooter Bundle at 88% off. This nets you the 2011 prequel Serious Sam 3: BFE, 2013’s Shadow Warrior reboot, and Hard Reset Redux, the superior 2016 re-release of Flying Wild Hog’s sci-fi adventure. All three games consciously tap into old-school shooter vibes, so if you’re one of those who wishes Call of Duty would bugger off where it came from and leave you with your old favourites, this is the pack for you.
If you’re looking for a narrative-driven shooter, BioShock: The Collection is well worth a look at 75% off. There’s probably a law against being over the age of 15 and not having played the seminal first BioShock at the very least, but all of them are a pretty good time if you like imaginative combat sandboxes. Combining powers, weapons and clever terrain use hypothetically makes you more than a match for what will be thrown at you, although it will do you good to be humbled once or twice as you explore Levine’s layered, fever dream retro-futuristic settings. Each of the games is on sale individually as well, if you’ve got one or another and want to round out your education.
Everyone should own at least one of the games in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Bundle, and at 75% off you may as well have them all. The Metro series is the obvious successor to this legacy, but the influence of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. can be felt across a whole array of modern games. Russian post-nuclear apocalypse survival, dripping with mystery, hardcore as it comes: this is what you always wanted from Fallout but never got. They’re also, as a general rule, pretty janky and broken, so do investigate the terrific fan patches before diving in.
Speaking of Metro, the Metro Redux Bundle is 75% off and includes the refreshed and overhauled builds of both games to date. 4A Games pushed the envelope with these gloomy adventures, meaning they were great even before the HD brush up, but it’s well worth revisiting to see how they’ve been tidied up. For those of you making your first visit to the Moscow underground, well: you’re in for a treat. Elements of survival and stealth married to a cracking story make this series one of the most tense and satisfying linear shooters of the past decade or so.
Sales are a great time to pick up indies and unique experiences you might otherwise skip over for budget reasons, so why not have a crack at Devil Daggers while it’s 50% off? Designed to be played in short bursts, Devil Daggers is a ridiculously fast-paced and challenging score attack shooter where leaderboard status wins you much-deserved respect. You won’t last very many seconds on your first go, or your second, or even your tenth, but like popcorn, it’s very more-ish. One for those with good twitch skills or willing to put in the practice rather than general consumption, it must be said.
If there’s anybody left in the entire world who doesn’t own these, now’s the time. At a whopping 93% off, Left 4 Dead Bundle is easily one of the best deals you’ll ever take advantage of. These tough co-op shooters pit you and up to three buddies against waves of zombies as you battle your way to a goal, and famously keep things interesting with an AI director who never lets you take a breather. The original and still the best, Valve and Turtle Rock perfected a formula that is often imitated but rarely equalled; no damn rats can equal the nastiness of the handful of special zombie units you’ll encounter. Still hugely active, so you’ll never lack for pals to play with.
If you love a bit of co-op shooter action but aren’t keen on playing the same maps over and over, check out Borderlands Triple pack at a tasty 83% off. Lengthy campaigns and huge number of side quests will keep you and your buddies shootin’ and lootin’ for weeks to come, especially if you tackle the DLC and hit up the new game plus modes. Much has been made of the RPG elements of the Borderlands series and you certainly can have some fun with builds, weapon choice and party composition if you’re into min-maxing, but what really makes ’em fun is the shooting, which favours hip fire over sniping and sends enemies at you from every which way, fast-paced, furious and frantic.
Looking to try something a bit different in the multiplayer shooter scene? Grab Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad with Rising Storm while it’s 70% off. Red Orchestra’s thing is to explore a realistic battle scenario. Teamwork and tactics are an absolute must, as is effective use of cover and serious patience, because this is a game where rushing the enemy will only result in your sitting out the rest of the match after an easy snipe. It’s the only popular shooter you could ever put in a list before Arma and segue with “slightly less hardcore now”.
Slightly less hardcore now, the Arma 2 Complete Collection is just busting with goodies at 80% off. This is the absolute best way to pick up everything related to the popular military sim, which is far more realistic and tactical than Call of Duty or even Battlefield could ever hope to be. You’re not just getting a bundle of great Bohemia games, though; all the Arma games have extensive modding support and there’s a huge world of extra content out there if you fancy it. This is where DayZ and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds started, and probably where the next big thing will kick off, too.
Grab the Rainbow Six Bundle at 56% off and you’ll save big on Ubisoft’s tactical shooter series. Of these, Rainbow Six Siege is probably the real prize; the multiplayer shooter has been a quiet hit thanks to loving ongoing support – a feat Ubisoft tried and failed to replicate with For Honor. A MOBA-like collection of specialists, a fierce competitive scene, and ever-improving support make Siege one of the most exciting rising multiplayer scenes, especially on PC. Have a crack at it while it’s on sale rather than picking up the grind-tastic starter edition.
There aren’t enough science fiction shooters and especially not enough that let you blow everything sky high. At 80% off, Red Faction Bundle is a great way to revisit these themes. Red Faction was published by THQ and faltered a bit in its later entries, as many things did under that effervescent brand’s guidance. Developer Volition then turned its focus entirely to Saints Row, and more recently to the similarly-toned Agents of Mayhem, so we may never see its considerably creative chops go to work on the red planet again. Come see why that’s such a shame.
In the new and different camp you can’t go far wrong with the Superhot Mind is Software Bundle. Gathering together the standard and VR builds of the indie shooter at 44% off, it’s an inexpensive way to check out an unusual experience which has inspired torrents of praise from critics. The thing about Superhot is that time only moves when you do, so with every step and flick of the reticule you’re constantly scanning for bullets to dodge and props to leverage in a tactical dance of move and counter-move. When it works, it’s like choreographing explosively beautiful action sequences. When it doesn’t, you’ll hit the floor. Try for column A more often than column B.
60% off the Far Cry Bundle means a hell of a lot of bang for your buck. The more recent entries lean very heavily on the Ubisoft open world formula (towers to reveal map icons, enormous checklists of busy content), while the earlier ones are more interested in giving you interesting and challenging systems to play with. All of them offer a rich combat sandbox which encourages scouting, threat management and freedom of approach. Which one you play first depends on your tastes. Do you like nearly dying of diseases and having your guns jam while you flee from a wildfire you expected to run the other way? Would you like to chase a charismatic villain across tropical islands slash icy mountains while badgers chew your face off? Or do you want a pet sabre tooth tiger? Decisions, decisions.
Now that Call of Duty’s going to World War II it’s probably time to remember that this is a return to form. You young whippernsappers seems to think Infinity Ward kicked off with Modern Warfare, but the Call of Duty Warchest begs to differ. These older games are pretty cheap anyway, and the sale and 33% bundle discount mean they’re an absolute steal.
We love Payday but it’s bloody difficult to keep track of all its DLC. Save yourself some angst and just grab Payday 2 Ultimate Edition while it’s 56% off and you’ll never have to worry about who owns what content for, oooh, at least a week. Jokes aside, Payday 2 is a super fun co-op shooter in which you and your pals attempt to pull off various heists without attracting police attention, and then surviving it when things inevitably kick off. It’s tense and tough and hilarious when it goes wrong, which is often. You owe it to yourself to have a go on the platform that actually gets some support.
Believe it or not, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is pretty good. It went under the radar a bit at release because the marketing was so determinedly off-putting, focusing on the lowest common denominator humour and ultra violence we tend to associate with dodgy games. But it’s a super fun shooter and actually pretty funny when it’s not on the nose. It got a second shot with this new-gen re-release, but Gearbox’s decision to market it with Duke Nukem just kind of embarrassed everyone and reinforced its association with rubbish 90’s “we’re so edgy and politically incorrect, give us money” humour. Ah, well. At least it’s 30% off now.