Steam Summer Sale 2020: The Best Games To Grab On Sale
It’s that time of year again when Steam users can save big bucks on PC games: Steam Summer Sale 2020 launched today, June 25, and will run for two weeks until July 9. As always, literally thousands of games are seeing major markdowns in the Steam sale, spanning nearly every genre, from action-adventure and first-person shooter to horror and visual novel. You’ll find deals on AAA games like Rainbow Six Siege, Grand Theft Auto V, Borderlands 3, and Red Dead Redemption 2 included alongside indie hits like Disco Elysium, A Plague Tale: Innocence, and Outer Wilds. Steam Summer Sale is always a great time to grab any games that have been sitting in your wishlist, but it’s also a nice opportunity to discover new games to keep you busy this summer.
This year’s Steam Summer Sale features a summer road trip theme and lets you earn trading cards as you shop, which can then be crafted into the Summer Road Trip Badge. On top of that, you’ll get $5 off any purchase of $30 or more, and you can claim a free sticker each day of the sale. Steam also launched a new Points Shop that’ll be live year-round, letting you earn points as you shop. Those points can then be spent on special items or to give rewards to certain user reviews.
To help you find new games actually worth your money in this year’s Steam Summer Sale, we’ve selected some of the best Steam games currently on sale that we wholeheartedly recommend. Here are GameSpot’s picks for Steam Summer Sale 2020. (Plus, see our recommendations for the best cheap games under $10 and the best PC exclusives on sale.)
A Plague Tale: Innocence
$15.29 / £13.59 / $20.38 AUD (66% off)
A Plague Tale: Innocence flew under the radar for many people in 2019, but this debut game from Asobo Studio ended up being one of GameSpot’s best games of the year and one of my personal favorites as well. This action-adventure game is set in 14th-century France during a Bubonic plague that has set hordes of ravenous rats loose upon the land. After an attack on their family estate, a young woman named Amicia and her little brother Hugo go on the run from Inquisition soldiers, who are after them for mysterious reasons. The game is largely focused on stealth and strategy, as you must navigate both soldiers and rats while also protecting Hugo, and Amicia can use both her sling and various types of alchemy to attack and create diversions.
The game’s story is also compelling and memorable, and at its heart is the developing relationship between Amicia and Hugo, who have not spent much time together prior to the events of the game. Another plus: The game is relatively short and will take you around 10 to 12 hours to complete its story. For me, A Plague Tale was worth it at full price, but for only $15.29, this incredible adventure is a steal. — Jenae Sitzes, lead commerce editor
$30 / £25 / $50 AUD (50% off)
The latest entry in the Doom series doubles down on what made 2016’s Doom great. Doom Eternal provides you with new means of getting around, allowing you to more smoothly traverse combat arenas as hellacious demons give chase. Combat has new wrinkles thrown in as you not only need to keep moving, but do so while evaluating the threats around you (in order to target weaknesses with specific weapons) and your current needs (as there are particular ways of obtaining more health, armor, and ammo). It’s an intense, thrilling experience, and it looks particularly excellent on a high-end PC. But do yourself a favor and play on a harder difficulty setting with tutorials disabled. — Chris Pereira, engagement editor
$45 / £34.86 / $63.71 AUD (25% off)
There are quite a few great games you can play on VR headsets, but Half-Life: Alyx is one that really makes the case for games designed exclusively with VR in mind. Grabbing and throwing objects with the new Gravity Gloves feels fantastic, and trying to stay quiet so a blind, unstoppable monster doesn’t hear you makes you naturally hesitant to even close a cupboard door. Exploring City 17 feels incredible through a headset, from the moment you see a Strider towering above the city’s rooftops in the first few minutes of the game to the moment you begin a mind-bending trek near the end I won’t spoil here. Alyx quickly becomes an essential part of the Half-Life universe, even if you think you know how it all ends. — Suriel Vazquez, associate editor
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
$8 / £6.79 / 11.98 AUD (60% off)
More than four years after its release, Rainbow Six Siege remains one of the best tactical shooters on the market. Ubisoft has refined the 5v5 multiplayer format with each passing year, introducing new operators, each of which has its own unique playstyle. It’s a game of offense and defense, with one team working to attack an objective and the other tasked with stopping them. Given the sheer number of variables in play, matches are routinely unpredictable, which makes for constantly enthralling action. The gunplay is sublime, and the maps are expertly designed. Siege is still incredibly popular today, so it’s definitely not too late to jump in. There’s a huge emphasis on teamwork and strategy, so it’s beneficial if you play with your buddies. It also has the rare distinction of earning a 10/10 in our 2020 Rainbow Siege review. — Steven Petite, associate editor
$16.65 / £13 / $23.97 AUD (33% off)
After starting out as a student project and undergoing development for over seven years, Outer Wilds was a surprise hit no one saw coming. Another one of our best games of 2019, Outer Wilds is an open-world space mystery about a solar system stuck in a 22-minute time loop. As the newest member of Outer Wilds Ventures, you’ll set off to explore the hand-crafted solar system and will slowly uncover secrets left behind by a highly advanced civilization that suddenly disappeared. It’s best to go in knowing as little as possible about Outer Wilds, and while the ship controls take a little getting used to at the beginning, the investment is worth it. Outer Wilds is quite simply one of the best games I’ve ever played. — Jenae Sitzes, lead commerce editor
Resident Evil 2
$20 / £17.49 / $27.47 AUD (50% off)
As far as remakes go, Resident Evil 2 sets a standard for quality. Capcom’s revival of the 1998 survival horror icon is more than a gorgeous visual update–it brings the classic but dated gameplay into the modern era to make RE2 easier and more enjoyable to play. The game also finds great ways to freshen up the original’s story, making changes to things like Mr. X’s presence throughout the game. Locations are reworked, scares are moved to new places, and in general, Capcom perfectly balances the expectations of returning players with finding ways to surprise fans and newcomers alike. Resident Evil 2 is exactly what a remake of a classic should be like, and you absolutely shouldn’t miss it. — Phil Hornshaw, editor
$30 / £26.24 / $42.71 AUD (25% off)
Disco Elysium eschews the fantasy trappings, combat-oriented encounters, and easy morality that underpin a lot of RPGs and instead lets you tell a story that truly feels your own. As an alcoholic detective hitting rock-bottom just as he’s assigned a major murder case, you explore a city block in the middle of a conflicted territory recovering from a political revolution. The conversations you have with various denizens around Revachol have you re-litigating the city’s tumultuous past, putting together a dance club in the middle of a church, and delivering heartbreaking news to unsuspecting families as you come to terms with who you were before your last bender. It’s a long journey with twists that flip from pensive to laugh-out-loud funny to solemn on a dime while somehow telling a consistent, powerful story along the way–something I can’t say about many other games. — Suriel Vazquez, associate editor
$9 / £7.49 / $14.47 AUD (50% off)
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to spend much more time indoors and distance themselves from friends and family, so finding ways to stay connected while apart has become crucial. One of my favorite ways to hang out with friends virtually has been Tabletop Simulator, an indie game that lets you play digital versions of board games in a player-driven physics sandbox. The game comes with classics like chess, poker, and dominoes included, but the real draw is the massive collection of free player-created board games and card games available in the Tabletop Simulator workshop. Here, people have recreated some of the best board games around, including Pandemic Legacy, Gloomhaven, and Root.
Obviously, some of these creations are more polished than others, but the larger games tend to work really well; in fact, I was shocked how well complex games like Root worked within Tabletop Simulator. Some publishers have also published official DLC for Tabletop Simulator, so there’s no shortage of content available to try out. If you’re a board game fan like me and can’t always get friends together in person to play, Tabletop Simulator is worth every penny. — Jenae Sitzes, lead commerce editor
$10 / £8 / $14.47 AUD (50% off)
At first glance, it’s easy to think of Helldivers as just another isometric twin-stick shooter, but spend just a few minutes with it and you’ll see it’s one of the best co-op games in recent memory. This is a game where multiplayer is essential–the inclusion of friendly fire may sound frustrating, but it forces you to stay aware of your teammates at all times. It also leads to hilarious situations where reviving a player or calling in additional weaponry can result in a teammate’s death when a drop pod lands on their head and crushes them. With a variety of weapons to unlock and an over-the-top, Starship Troopers-style storyline, it’s really a great experience–just make sure you’ve got some friends along for the ride. — Chris Pereira, engagement editor
Red Dead Redemption 2
$48 / £44 / 71.96 AUD (20% off)
Red Dead Redemption 2 is arguably the most photorealistic game this generation, especially on PC, where it has the potential to look even better. Rockstar’s sweeping western serves as a prequel to the beloved 2010 hit. Despite lofty expectations, Red Dead 2 delivered in a big way when it launched on consoles in 2018. The PC port released last year, which explains the relatively moderate discount here.
That said, Red Dead 2 has two compelling components: a wonderfully written campaign starring outlaw Arthur Morgan and the do-as-you-please online multiplayer mode Red Dead Online. The former is a lengthy, nuanced adventure filled with interesting and varied missions, characters, and fantastic acting performances. The latter is an ever-evolving mode with cooperative and competitive games that lets you decide how to spend your time in the lavish open world. Out of all of Rockstar’s great games, Red Dead Redemption 2 is my favorite. — Steven Petite, associate editor
Jackbox Party Pack 3
$16.24 / £12.34 / $23.36 AUD (35% off)
It’s hard to find a series that’s more immediately accessible than the Jackbox games. These party games, which you can play with others online or in-person through your PC or phone, have you responding to all kinds of outlandish prompts, drawing your own (often lewd) pictures to show off and working together to accomplish a common goal. The entire series is on sale for cheap, but Jackbox Party Pack 3 is the one to play, since it’s the best collection of games overall. Quiplash 2 lets you answer a bunch of weird questions with even weirder answers and then pick the funniest ones. Meanwhile, Tee K.O. has you separately drawing pictures and coming up with taglines, then putting together a shirt based on the pictures and tags you randomly get from the group. — Suriel Vazquez, associate editor
Dragon Quest Builders 2
$36 / £30 / $53.97 AUD (40% off)
Combining the whimsical world, characters, and storytelling of the Dragon Quest series with free-form block building, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a fantastic game for people who love building but feel the need to have set goals. Featuring a full-length story mode across a variety of landscapes, the game makes every building and structure feel purposeful. Combine that with a personal island where you and up to three friends can build your own creations with the materials and recipes gathered during your adventure, and the game encourages endless creation. Dragon Quest Builders 2 goes beyond combining two genres and elevates the best parts of both. — James Carr, editorial intern
$7.49 / £5.49 / $8.75 AUD (50% off)
There’s a lot to love about Hollow Knight–it captures the fleeting moments of loneliness with a beautifully melancholic soundtrack, crafts a fascinating lore, and challenges you with the twisting catacombs and enjoyable boss battles that all the best Metroidvania games are known for. But Hollow Knight is my favorite Metroidvania, largely for two reasons.
First, I think Hollow Knight manages to implement an interesting variation of souls-like mechanics by tying your magic meter to the same pool of energy that you use to heal. So instead of carefully weighing when to melee attack, dodge, or defend like in most souls-like games, you weigh when to range attack, dodge, or heal–encouraging a different but just as enjoyably tense risk vs. reward combat loop. And second, Hollow Knight has one of my favorite in-game map features. The process of finding new areas, discovering a basic map, journeying to crudely drawn landmarks on the map to see what they are, and pencilling in the tunnels and paths you eventually uncover all contribute to that sensation that you’re an explorer. — Jordan Ramée, associate editor
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
$39 / £32.43 / $58.46 AUD (35% off)
From Software has a great track record of defying expectations in its action-RPGs, and with Sekiro, it breaks a number of its own conventions to great effect. For one, Sekiro isn’t much of an RPG–if you get your butt kicked by a boss, you can’t grind out levels or change class builds to get around it. That might sound frightening at first, but every boss, mini-boss, and mob encounter is designed meticulously around your character’s skill set and tools, which means there isn’t an obstacle you can’t overcome when you encounter it. That hones the game down to what From Software does best; delivering heart-pounding fights that feel tough but fair. The intricate, interlocking world of Sengoku-era Japan is also as beautiful and fantastical as it is deadly, making Sekiro one of, if not the, best From games to date. — Suriel Vazquez, associate editor
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
$6 / £7.49 / $9.68 AUD (70% off)
Although it’s a bit of a disappointing final entry in the series from a narrative standpoint, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is still the most diverse and creative stealth game around, even five years after its release. The sheer number of options at your disposal when trying to subdue enemy soldiers is staggering, and the wide-open spaces of Afghanistan and Africa let you approach settlements from any angle (you can even skip certain boss fights if you’re stealthy enough). Building up your base, unlocking more weapons and gear, and going back to previous missions to S-rank them is an enticing loop, and you can easily pour hours into MGSV just poking around at how all of its systems work. — Suriel Vazquez, associate editor
Resident Evil 7
$9.89 / £6.59 / $13.18 AUD (67% off)
The next installment in the Resident Evil series is on its way next year with Resident Evil Village, which makes this a great time to revisit Resident Evil 7. The series’ first mainline entry to feature a first-person perspective uses it to excellent effect as you explore a decrepit mansion and face off against the horrifically mutated family within. RE7 does similar work to the recent Resident Evil remakes in updating the underlying survival horror formula of the franchise while still capturing the frightening atmosphere that has made the series so enduring for so many years. If the reveal of Resident Evil VIII has you excited, this is a great chance to check out its predecessor and get yourself caught up on the story of Ethan Winters and Chris Redfield. — Phil Hornshaw, editor
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
$6 / £7.49 / $9.68 AUD (85% off)
If you’re not old enough to remember the cult-classic Commandos series on PC, then get ready to be introduced to the brilliant subgenre of isometric tactical-stealth. A relic of the past, this genre didn’t really sustain past the mid-2000s, but thanks to developer Mimimi Games, it still lives on in its work on Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. If you’re a fan of strategy and stealth, then you’ll find a lot to sink your teeth into. Set in Japan during the Edo period, you command a misfit squad of saboteur specialists, utilizing each of their distinct abilities to complete missions across hostile enemy territory.
Since you’re often controlling a team of three to four people, who are up against a massive army of sentries and patrols, Shadow Tactics is brutal and reliant on trial-and-error. However, that’s part of the magic of the game’s steep difficulty. Each member of your squad has exactly what you need to overcome any hurdle, but it’s up to you to put it all together and elegantly solve the puzzle. All the while, Shadow Tactics rewards your inclinations to experiment and execute on myriad strategic possibilities.
There’s such a huge emphasis on real-time strategic problem-solving that you’ll likely find yourself deliberating in between sessions how to get past the current brick wall you’re continually throwing yourself against. If you love stealth games and have always wished they were more challenging, then Shadow Tactics is for you. — Matt Espineli, features editor
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
$24 / £19.31 / $34.83 AUD (40% off)
Coming from one of the creators of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a spiritual successor to the game that popularized the fan-favorite Metroidvania sub-genre. I have fond memories of Symphony of the Night, and with the lack of Castlevania games in recent years, Bloodstained scratched that same itch of gaining new skills to take down some extravagant bosses. Playing as Miriam, a shardbinder who can capture the souls of slain enemies, you’ll explore a massive castle that slowly reveals hidden dungeons and valuable loot to collect, which leads to some exciting adventures in the depths of the monster-filled labyrinth. It sticks very closely to its influences while managing to flesh out an identity of its own, making it a fun Metroidvania game that nails what made Symphony of the Night so special while also offering a fun action game in its own right. — Alessandro Fillari, editor
$9.89 / £8.24 / 13.18 AUD (67% off)
Let’s get this out of the way: You shouldn’t buy Titanfall 2 for its multiplayer–not because it isn’t great, but because the server is pretty much a ghost town now. While that is very sad indeed, the good news here is that Titanfall 2 has one of the best campaigns in first-person shooter history.
The campaign tells a rather charming story of a new Pilot and his beloved Titan (read: mech), and you might wind up caring more about your Titan than the other people in the game. Because of Titanfall’s inherently cool mechanics such as parkour and the ability to pilot your Titan, Titanfall 2’s levels have a level of playfulness that you rarely see in first-person shooters. Fast-paced gunfights and a multitude of platforming sequences add up to create a campaign that never falters. Titanfall 2 is also home to arguably the best mission in FPS history, which utilizes time travel in a way you probably won’t expect. The campaign is more than worth the price of admission alone. I’d argue you don’t even have to be a big fan of first-person shooters to enjoy what it has to offer. — Steven Petite, associate editor
$15 / £12.08 / $21.79 AUD (40% off)
As one of GameSpot’s top picks for 2018 Game of the Year, Motion Twin’s fantastic action-RPG Dead Cells impressed many with its focus on fast runs through increasingly challenging dungeons filled with deadly traps and monsters. It was a stellar mix of classic roguelike gameplay with a sense of exploration and freedom of movement found within a Metroidvania game. While a new run can start at a decent pace, giving you a sense of confidence for what’s to come, things can quickly turn south once you reach a new dungeon with its own set of monsters, all of which are more aggressive and intelligent than the ones that came before.
Every time I go in for a new run, I manage to find a unique combination of weapons and traps that pair well together, making for a fresh and unpredictable game every time. Even two years later, I still return to Dead Cells often, and I’m impressed with how much this game has to offer on each run through the dungeon. — Alessandro Fillari, editor
Slay the Spire
$12.49 / £9.74 / 17.97 AUD (50% off)
If you’ve ever wanted to get into deck-building games but felt like the learning curve was too steep, Slay the Spire might be just what you’re looking for. As a single-player deck-builder, Slay the Spire takes away the sometimes daunting competitive nature of the genre and reinvents it as a role-playing roguelike. You can choose between four heroes, each of which has their own unique decks that significantly alter the gameplay.
On your journey up the spire, you’ll square off against a wide variety of monsters with the help of your cards, which have a mix of attack, defend, and status properties. You also earn rewards and new cards to add to your deck for future runs, which contributes to Slay the Spire’s “just one more try” mantra. It’s a difficult game that is meant to be played over and over until you perfect your strategy and clear the spire. Thankfully, each run is different, so even if you manage to finish the game with all four characters, there’s still incentive to play again for a different experience. — Steven Petite, associate editor
$10 / £8.05 / $14.51 AUD (75% off)
The Tekken series was one of the earliest 3D fighters to release in the 90s, and it’s been a fixture in the fighting game scene ever since. The latest game in the series, Tekken 7, represents the series at peak performance. Featuring a stunning roster of fighters, including long-time favorites like Kazuya, Heihachi, King, and Yoshimitsu, Tekken 7 also includes the guest appearance of Street Fighter’s Akuma–who manages to fit right at home in the King of Iron Fist tournament.
Tekken 7 also has the most extensive set of DLC fighters in the series, including some original fighters like Leroy Smith, and other guests like FFXV’s Noctis and Fatal Fury’s Geese Howard. With the fighting mechanics in top form and an extensive suite of unlockables to fight, Tekken 7 is not only a fantastic entry in the series but one of the best 3D fighting games today. — Alessandro Fillari, editor