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What Are the Best Deals in the Steam Summer Sale? 2016 Edition

Summer is here and your wallet is slowly draining. Valve launches this year's Steam Summer sale!

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Today, Valve kicked off the Steam Summer Picnic Sale, one of the two major Steam sales of the year.

Remember, every game will have the same discounts for the entire duration of the sale, ending on July 4, 2016 at 10am PDT. That means there's no more rush to check the deals each day. Find what you want, see how cheap it is, buy it.

The big issue is there's a ton of games for sale right now:

Before, it was easy to keep up with the featured and daily deals to find the best stuff. Now, everything is on sale! So here's a few recommendation of titles that you can pick up for cheap. Surprisingly, a number of titles aren't as low as their Winter Sale discounts, so they've been removed for our list. If there are other great deals we missed, let us know in the comments!


Doomguy may have just returned, but you can pick up the new Doom for 40% off in the Steam Summer sale! What was once Doom 4 during a troubled development period absolutely stuck the landing, as our own Jaz Rignall noted in his review:

"The single-player campaign is a blisteringly fast, gruesomely gory experience that, while feeling somewhat padded out towards its latter stages, nevertheless delivers a rip-roaring ride that's challenging and thoroughly entertaining. Forget the plot, and just enjoy running around, single-handedly blasting the seven shades of crap out of a hellspawn of demons using a toolbox of great-feeling weapons. Ultimately, it's oldschool-feeling FPS action, and it's great."

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

  • $3.74 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

The sequel to the excellent Hotline Miami is now on sale! Part action game, part puzzle, Hotline Miami 2 offers you up room after room of enemies to take down in the quickest and bloodiest way possible. Kill, move, kill some more. If you haven't played this game or the original, you can buy both in a combo pack for $4.99!

Axiom Verge

  • $13.99 - 30% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

If you love classic Metroidvania titles, you'll get a kick out of this loving homage to the original Metroid. Jaz and Jeremy both raved about the game in our review:

"Axiom Verge uses a Metroid blueprint as its foundations, and builds upon it something old, yet something new, weaving in deft control and design touches from other games of the period, like Blaster Master, Star Control, and Contra. The result is a Metroidvania par excellence; one of the most engaging and addictive I've played in years."

"Axiom Verge goes the whole retro hog. It's in the little things. Anyone who gamed through the late 80’s and early 90’s will love the meticulous attention to detail poured into the game’s looks and cut scenes. The backgrounds are authentically tiled, colors and black space have been cleverly used to create period-style shading and depth, and even the way the enemies move and fire feels absolutely spot-on."- Jaz

"Tom Happ's Axiom Verge appears to have been built around that entire experience: Of being a kid poking around inside a game's code, of the illicit thrill of turning an adventure inside-out by traveling beyond its intended boundaries. It taps into a collective experience shared by countless old fans of NES games, creating a sort of controlled sensation of chaos. Unlike Metroid, Axiom Verge's glitches are a deliberate part of the game design and won't cause the code to break. Yet the game perfectly captures the feeling of those early days of console gaming, the spirit of venturing beyond the game's intended parameters."- Jeremy

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

  • $4.99 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac]

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is coming this August, but in the meantime, you can pick up Deus Ex: Human Revolution for cheap! Other than a few missteps - namely boss fights - Human Revolution was the return-to-form that Deus Ex needed. As Adam Jensen, you're tasked with various objectives and how you complete those objectives are up to you. Do you go in quietly or rock the house? If you enjoy stealth games, Deus Ex: Human Revolution should not be missed.

Endless Legend Collection

  • $25.41 - 69% Off [Windows, Mac]

I've been recommending this one forever and if you notice the price has gone up, that's because Amplitude Studios released another great expansion in April. Shifters adds the new season-shifting Allayi faction and an updated weather system to boot! Endless Legend is still one of the best 4X strategy games in recent memory. If you haven't played Endless Legend yet, this is your gateway for entry.

Ys Origin

  • $5.99 - 70% Off [Windows]

All of the Ys games on Steam are 70 percent off during the sale and you should probably get into them with a new Ys coming soon. I'd recommend starting with Ys Origin if you're looking to get into the series. It's a prequel to the entire series, played out across three different perspectives. Regardless, it's still the same awesome hack-and-slash gameplay that Nihon Falcom nearly perfected in Ys: The Oath in Felghana. That title is probably where I'd go next, then jumping over to Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim. Unfortunately, not all the Ys games are available on Steam, so you're buying the series piecemeal.

Fallout 4

Bethesda just dropped the excellent Far Harbor story DLC and the Contraptions Workshop, letting players craft their own ammo, so now is a great time to pick up Fallout 4. For many players, Bethesda's latest was the Game of the Year for 2015. Head out into the Boston Wasteland, find your son, and get into a whole mess of trouble. And when you're done with that, you can grab all of the currently-released DLC for 25% off as well!

Payday 2

  • $5.00 - 75% Off [Windows]

Following the developer's decision to fix its random lootbox system, now is the time to get into Payday 2! The game is a foru-player co-op experience, tasking you and three other players with stealing things from banks, museums, and other places of relative security. A whole bunch of the game's DLC, ranging from new heists, to new characters and weapons, is also available for 75% off.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

  • $3.99 - 80% Off [Windows]

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person mystery with the players taking on the role of Paul Prospero, an occult detective who receives a disturbing note from a young boy who's in grave danger. Now it's time to head to the town of Red Creek Valley and solve a local murder. Here's Bob's take on it:

"The Vanishing of Ethan Carter picks up where Myst and its various sequels left off—spiritually, that is. Though its setting doesn't strive for the outlandish, and its puzzles feel more natural to the world around them, Vanishing's Red Creek Valley provides a convincingly lived-in and unbelievably detailed backdrop that feels ripped from faded pictures and jittery home movies, rather than the work of 3D modeling software. Around every corner, you'll find yet another reason to pick your jaw up off the floor thanks to the unrelenting beauty of Red Creek Valley's winding forest pathways, distressed, turn-of-the-20th-century architecture, breathtaking vistas, and all the other visual elements that lend this wholly fictional location a distinct sense of history and presence."

Shadow Warrior

  • $3.99 - 90% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

Lots of players missed Shadow Warrior the first and second time around, but with Shadow Warrior 2 on the horizon and looking great, perhaps this 2013 reboot will get a few new fans. Join Lo Wang, a hitman who gets in way over his head. Take up your trusty katana and a heap of guns to destroy a demonic invasion; Shadow Warrior is fast, bloody, and fun.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1

  • $4.49 - 85% Off [Windows]

The anime aesthetic is your thing, you might want want to check out this mix of visual novel and JRPG. Featuring a bunch of characters based on game consoles in various degrees of fanservice, this is the first of the Hyperdimension Neptunia HD remasters. You can also have Re;Birth 2 and 3 on the store if the first game tickles your fancy, albeit at lower discounts (you lose 5%, bringing the discounts to 80% off).

The Blackwell Bundle

  • $5.99 - 70% Off [Various Platforms]

Likewise, if you're looking for a great game in the style of the old LucasArts adventure games, here's the Blackwell series. Rosa Blackwell is a neophyte medium attached to her spirit guide, Joey Mallone, a former detective. Together, they fight crime! Unfortunately, the bundle is missing the final game in the series, the Blackwell Epiphany. You can pick that up on sale for 70 percent off as well.

The Talos Principle

  • $9.99 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

Imagine Portal, as delivered by the team that brought you Serious Sam. Wait, no. The Talos Principle is much smarter than that, weaving math, philosophy, and physics into a compelling puzzle game. As Bob said in his review:

"Above all, I found Talos a worthwhile experience simply because it made me feel smart. It's an extremely satisfying experience to work a puzzle out, bit-by-bit, until you finally reach the glyph hiding at its creamy center-so much so that you'll immediately want to move on to the next one and feel that rush all over again. Even without the thoughtful, existentialist trappings, Talos would still be a fantastic game, but this central theme definitely makes Croteam's creation something special."

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

  • $9.99 - 50% Off [Windows]

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is JRPG action like you remember it, but better. This is a loving localization of Nihon Falcom's epic Trails in the Sky series, and the second game is also available on Steam. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, this is the place to start.

King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition

  • $4.99 - 75% Off [Windows]

King of Fighters XIV is coming soon, but until then, you can play the last 2D entry in the series! Beautiful animated 2D art and a great cast of fighters rounds out an awesome King of Fighters experience. There's also the KOF Triple Pack, which adds KOF 2002 Unlimited Match and KOF 98 Ultimate Match, while remaining at 70% off ($10.49)!

Door Kickers

  • $2.99 - 85% Off [ Windows, Mac, Linux]

Imagine Rainbow Six played from the perspective of Hotline Miami. Door Kickers is a real-time tactical puzzle game, putting you in charge of a SWAT team. Outfit your team members, plan your entry, and take control of your squad on the inside.

Age of Wonders III

  • $7.49 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

Another great 4X strategy title if you've somehow drained Endless Legend dry or you want a slightly cheaper barrier to entry. For just under $3 less than the base Endless Legend, you can pick up Age of Wonders III's base game. Either will do you right if you're a veteran or budding 4X fan.

Shadowrun Hong Kong

  • $6.99 - 65% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

The third game in Harebrained Schemes amazing Shadowrun RPG series. After rebooting with the Kickstarted Shadowrun Returns and the follow-up Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Harebrained takes the game to the mean streets of Hong Kong. Will you find your Cyberpunk self in the gleaming lights of the city? You can also pick up the entire series for 79% off ($14.75).

Just Cause 2

  • $3.74 - 75% Off [Windows]

I'm reasonably sure that Just Cause 2 has a plot, but I don't know what it is because I've never beaten the game. JC2 is a playground of destruction with you are the center. With your trusty grappling hook, parachute, and a whole host of weapons, it's time to free the populace of Panau by... blowing up everything you see? Yeah, it doesn't make much sense, but it's fun as hell. Just Cause 3 just came out, so it's only 20% off right now.

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

  • $7.49 - 75% Off [Windows, Mac]

Sleeping Dogs was one of the better open-world titles of the last generation, putting players in the role Detective Wei Shen in a difficult mission undercover in Hong Kong. The combat was great, the driving was solid, the city was just the right size, and the story campaign was focused. As a bonus, the game even comes with all the DLC. I loved it, Jaz loved it, and it's absolutely worth the asking price.

Sunless Sea

  • $9.49 - 50% Off [Windows, Mac]

In the Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London, you have to navigate your ship through a pitch black ocean. Sunless Sea is like FTL; every shot is your only shot. Find loot, upgrade your ship, and recruit unique officers. Will you make it through, lose the sanity of your crew, or turn to cannabalism to survive?

Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

  • $4.99 - 75% Off [Windows]

Young Recette has the same problem as most game and anime protagonists: missing or horrible parents. In her case, her father has left her with a crushing debt. Together with the sardonic fairy Tear, Recette needs to get her item shop up and running to pay back her debt! Recettear lets you live the life of an RPG shopkeeper, pricing your goods and sending adventurers off to get more. It's one of the more unique game you can find on Steam. Capitalism, ho!

Invisible, Inc.

  • $6.79 - 66% Off [Windows, Mac, Linux]

Klei Entertainment has a great strategy title that will only set you back $7! Invisible, Inc is a strategy game focused around spycraft and subterfuge. Tackle missions using stealth, sniping, hacking skills, and some deft engineering. It's hard to find a good tactics game, but Invisible, Inc. definitely brings something unique to the table.

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Mike Williams avatar

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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