Hidden Bundle Bargains In The Steam Holiday Sale

Steam sales are bloody confusing. That’s just a fact, as you’ll find listed in any Oxford Bumper Book Of Facts. Back in the olden days, when Steam had seventeen games on it, you could find your way around them, and come away with armfuls of games for 11p. And the best parts of it were the publisher bundles. Big name pubs would put together their entire Steam catalogue, and sell it to you at an extraordinary price. £50 for every THQ game, for instance, and you’d be set for months. But with Steam a wholly different, far busier place, this Christmas sees a terrifying 3859 games at sale prices. No, I typed that correctly. And the publisher bundles are few and far between.

So I thought it might be useful to find the publisher bundles that still remain, hidden in there, and not mentioned on the sales pages, as well as some of the highlights of game series collections.

Which is easier said than done. Although a lot easier done thanks to the sterling work of SteamDB and their tracking of the tangled madness. Even so, even their database is bowing under the weight of the completely dysfunctional store. It strikes me as a peculiar kind of daftness that Valve don’t put more effort into making the sales more accessible, rather than simply plucking a lucky few to be highlighted on the front page, and then dumping the rest in a mad, unfathomable splurge.

But collections there are. There are even a couple of publisher collections remaining. So here we go:

The best of the bunch is undoubtedly Eidos’s reliable Anthology collection. There isn’t space on the internet to list all the games in here, but amongst them are all the Deus Exes, all the Hitmans, Just Cause 1 and 2 and all their DLC, all the Thief games including this year’s, and all the Tomb Raiders (except for the very recently Lara Croft II). This gets you the whole lot half price. And keep an eye on it, as this is an offer over the whole sale, so it could drop a lot lower for 24 hours. Or you could get just the Tomb Raiders for £30.

You could also pick up all the Total War games in the Grand Master Collection for £60. That’s again half price, and gets you everything, along with all the DLC. And again, look out for further price drops.

1C are the other publisher who reliably collect everything together, and for £80 you can get their Complete Collection. That’s a whopping 58 games, although with a fair amount of dross, but still including all the King’s Bounties, UFO Aftermath and Aftershock, all the Men Of Wars, and the Elven Legacy series.

Daedalic have pushed things far further, gathering their motley crew of adventures for 80% off, giving you their Armageddon Bundle for £26. That gets you all three of the (increasingly disappointing) Deponia games, the charming The Whispered World, Memoria, both Edna & Harveys (yuck) and The Night Of The Rabbit, A New Beginning, 1954 Alcatraz, and The Dark Eye: Chains Of Satinav. That’s a whopping £105 off.

PopCap (remember them?) have 34 games for just £28 in their Complete Pack, saving you £45. It contains all the games you already have, along with their oddities and (actually really good) hidden object games.

The Binding Of Isaac Collection is rather stretching the definition of “collection” with just the two games. But cor, what a bargain at 90% off. You get the original roguelike frenzy of The Binding Of Isaac, as well as DLC pack Wrath Of The Lamb, for 49p!

In similarly cheap territory, you can get Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition and Shadow Warrior: Classic Redux together for a mere 64p. Clearly they’re both ancient, but also classics, and at that price it’s crazy not to.

Today there’s the Stronghold Complete Pack. That contains all of the hit-and-miss castle-based strategy series, which is Stronghold, Stronghold 2, Stronghold Crusader, Stronghold Crusader Extreme, Stronghold Legends, and Stronghold 3 Gold. You get the lot for a really quite fantastic £4.50.

Also just for another seven hours is L.A. Noire. It never clicked for me – it felt like someone trying to invent the adventure genre without having played through the 90s. But right now you can get Rockstar’s rare miss, along with its DLC bundle, for a tiny £3. Which is a double-extra-good offer, as buying them separately in the sale would cost over £7.

Microsoft have put in a better effort in a sale that ends later today, with a bunch of RTS games for £19. That’s Age Of Empires II and DLC The Forgotten, Age Of Empires III: Complete, Age Of Mythology: Extended Edition, and Rise Of Nations: Extended Edition, which would ordinarily cost £76, and even in the sale the bundle saves you another £8.

The Portals are always extra-cheap every Steam sale, and this Baby Jesus Birthday is no exception. Both are 80% off individually, but you can get the pair of them for a snippet cheaper yet, at £3.59.

Or of course you could splash out and get the Valve Complete Pack, for all the no users of Steam who haven’t bought/played them yet. That’s CS:GO, CS: Source, CS: Condition Zero, Portal, Portal 2, Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2, TF2, TF Classic, Day Of Defeat, Day Of Defeat: Source, Half-Life, Half-Life: Blue Shift, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life Deathmatch: Source, Half-Life: Source, Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Deathmatch Classic, and of course the mighty Ricochet. You get all that for £19, instead of the £76 it would normally set you back. That runs out by the end of tomorrow.

If you have taken leave of all your senses, you could spend an idiotic £108.74 on the Call Of Duty: Ghosts Complete Bundle. This gives you the blah-blah game that is still hilariously RRPd at forty quid for a snip at £30, along with every piece of its incessant stream of DLC (a wolf skin for 25% off its usual £1.69!), and saves you an extra £23 for buying it bundled. Or you could stab yourself in the back of your hand with a screwdriver.

Lastly (it’s not lastly, there are loads more bundles on there, hidden away for you to find), you can pick up the Saints Row Ultimate Franchise Pack for £25, saving you £56. As it was console only, pleasingly it doesn’t come with the revolting and really not very good Saints Row, but rather after things start rapidly picking up. Saints Row 2 is still a fairly creepy little thing, but it starts to show where the series is heading. Then The Third is a glorious playground of insanity, no longer lamely ripping off GTA but finding its own place. And there’s the epic, extraordinary Saints Row IV: Game Of The Century Edition. Plus the abundance of DLC.

Do drop any other neat offers or hidden bundles you’ve spotted in the comments.

69 Comments

  1. funkstar says:

    telltale complete collection? its on there, cant remember how much though!

  2. Stirbelwurm says:

    Ah, thanks for the list. Those bundles should be made way easier to find in the store.

    Btw, this is what the AoE bundle shows for me:
    link to dl.dropboxusercontent.com

    Thats quite …. a lot?

  3. jasta85 says:

    I get depressed at the fact that whenever the new front page of games comes up I already own like 75% of them and have no interest in the others. It’s usually the small indie games that I pick up now as I seem to own all the major ones already.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Same there, but since i have ( sigh ) to take advantage of something, i’ll give Spintires a… spin. Heh.

      Oh but i have something to genuinely look forward to: Shadow of Mordor, but it’s not popping up and i fear it won’t go anywhere past the 33% off mark.

      Oh and i still don’t have Original Sin. * runs away from RPS land before the storm *

      • Synesthesia says:

        Oh, how is it? I’m buying a g27 today, and that one was one that drew my eye. Is the cockpit view any good?

        • Zanchito says:

          Didn’t like Spintires muchm it’s really barebones and the driving model, although different, doesn’t do much for me. Other friends like it very much, so YMMV.

          Euro Truck simulator 2, on the other hand, is SEXCELLENT with a G27.

          • Blackcompany says:

            Confirming that Eurotruck Sim 2 is truly marvelous with a G27. I bought the $190 wheel specifically for the $3.74 (sale price) game, in fact. And I have not regretted it. Absolutely changes the game for the better to a degree I cannot express in words.

        • iainl says:

          I don’t believe that it recognises a wheel; it’s not that sort of game, it seems. Assetto Corsa’s on 30% off if you want something wheel-demanding.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Aye, you’re better off with Euro Truck, i absolutely swear it’s glorious with a wheel and your own preferred web radio set up.

          I think i even grew attached to the people i hired as my empire grown, i like to set up imaginative rivalries between them!

        • welverin says:

          Hopefully you’ll come back and see this, but Shadow of Mordor is currently $30 on the Humble Store, so 40%. Good for the next 2.75 days as of my posting this.

          Replied to the wrong person, and someone else already mentioned it.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Rumour has it that Spintires has been abandoned by the publisher, who won’t let the developer release updates.

        • LionsPhil says:

          There are some seriously negative reviews on there.

          Most pertinently, it sounds like they’ve never fixed the camera.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I remember downloading the tech demo way back then, it already felt pretty interesting to me and i had no quibble with the controls/camera, but it sure stinks that this is never going to be a game worth much, or at least something i couldn’t easily recommend.

            And yes, it can get repetitive, but i sort of enjoy it as a whole if that makes sense.

          • LionsPhil says:

            The first tech demo, which showed up on Flare Path, was grand. The one where there was actually gameplay (fetch crates).

            The more recent tech demo was both worse and apparently more representative of the final game, cursed with an abominable external camera.

      • Person of Interest says:

        Shadow of Mordor is 40% off at the Humble Bundle Store for the next three days. (At least for U.S. buyers.)

    • Faxanadu says:

      Yeah, I get the vague feeling the sale frontpage has somehow got worse, or maybe it’s just that there’s so many more interesting games there’s no way to browse them good.

      So far I’ve got Dead Space 1-2 which I’m surprisingly enjoying much more than Wolfenstein. And then 1 game I can’t remember anymore…

      Also, where’s my screwdriver…

  4. Creeping Death says:

    “this Christmas sees a terrifying 3859 games on sale. ”

    You’re missing out, John. 6228 games here Oo

    • mukuste says:

      Huh. The Steam frontpage speaks of a meager 1149 titles for me. What’s up with that.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      I meant, at sale prices. I wasn’t very clear there.

      • CloudPS says:

        6125 titles at sale prices.

        • ScottTFrazer says:

          6323 total titles if you uncheck all the OS options.

          3128 if you only look at “Games”

          2784 of DLC

          My guess is that some items only show up for some people. Like if they’ve removed a title, and you still have it or something…

    • LarsBR says:

      “Thousands”.

      Man, some people. Like the guy who puts “we still have to go about 161 km to get there” in subtitles.

  5. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    “PopCap (remember them?) have 34 games for just £28 in their Complete Pack, saving you £45. It contains all the games you already have

    Yeah, uhm… About that…

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      You DON’T own Peggle?!?

      • UppityTeapot says:

        I thought not owning Peggle was a statistical impossibility these days. You’re born, you die, you pay taxes, you own Peggle.

      • Carra says:

        They once gave me peggle… for free!

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        Off course i own it, you silly.

        I especially love the flak cannon. God, that thing has such a great feel to it…

      • Rufust Firefly says:

        How do people measure downloads OTHER than in terms of number of equivalent Peggles? Though is that an Imperial or metric Peggle?

    • Vandelay says:

      I’m not sure whether I own Peggle or not. At first I thought not, but the more I think about it the more I am convinced I do.

      Definitely own that one that came with the Orange Box. Does that count?

  6. thedosbox says:

    Wait, you’re not Cass! Where are the plushies!

  7. Raztaman says:

    LA Noire for 3 quid? This was written at 1pm, it’s now 3pm and it’s £4.24. Well that’s not very clever is it?

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      If you wait until 0h it’ll become even cheaper!

  8. Eery Petrol says:

    1. Whenever you see a Steam game you like, press ‘Add to Wishlist’.
    2. Receive an e-mail whenever a Wishlisted game is on sale.

    I never even check sales. Discounts are so common, I not only have no need to buy a full priced game in order to play absolute gems (only to support devs), but +70% discounts will always offer themselves way before I am done with my previous ones. I’m still waiting for competitors to offer these discount notifications.

    • erikose says:

      Love the email for wish list games. Finally snagged the HUGE EU IV collection for about $25 (usually $100)! Also prevents the purchase-due-to-excessive-eye-glaze that I get scrolling through the endless sale page . . .

    • zapatapon says:

      No. Whenever you see a steam game you like, you put it on your isthereanydeal.com waitlist. I don’t even bother with steam wishlist any more.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        ^ This. Or you use the Steam wishlist because it’s completely impossible to add The Fall on ITAD, and them import to ITAD.

        The wishlist email is bizarrely sporadic; I’m sorry to inform you that if you rely solely on that you must have missed out on quite a few deals.

  9. Pazguato says:

    John, can you elaborate your sentence about L.A. Noire: “it felt like someone trying to invent the adventure genre without having played through the 90s”? What games from the nineties should play adventure designers?

    • Perkelnik says:

      What John meant in my oppinion is some outlived “features” of many adventure games in the 90s, before developers finally abandoned them.
      Like pixel hunting, which is very annoying, or trying to figure out what is and what isnt interactive and relevant to your progress.

  10. LarsBR says:

    I just stabbed myself in the back of my hand with a screwdriver. :-(

  11. Greggh says:

    Eidos schmeidos – just get the Legacy of Kain bundle!

    link to store.steampowered.com

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Already grabbed it on GOG the first time I saw it on sale. I am as big an unashamed LoK fanboy as it’s possible to be.

  12. MartinWisse says:

    Or just moosey over to Gog.com and get the compleat Nordic bundle, for another twenty hours or so.

  13. lomaxgnome says:

    Don’t buy the Saints Row pack at the current 50% off price, when Saints Row gets a daily (and it will) the complete pack is 75% off which is probably the best deal on steam.

  14. Spatvark says:

    I just use SteamDB’s sales page to show all the hidden deals. Makes life easier I find.

    link to steamdb.info

  15. Guvornator says:

    You can actually get the Valve Complete pack for a tenner link to savygamer.co.uk

  16. Mechorpheus says:

    The age-old rule of Steam Sales still applies. DO NOT buy anything which isn’t a daily deal until the last day of the sale. Time and again I’ve bought something I thought sounded good, only to find the same game (or bundle) available in the following days deals at an even more ridiculous discount.

  17. zarnywoop says:

    Now, what did I do with that screwdriver?!? hmmm.

    • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

      You can borrow mine. Let me clean off the blood and bits of flesh first, though.

      • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

        Blood? Flesh? Pretty sure it should be just vodka and orange juice, maybe some ice…

  18. alms says:

    Given that 99% of the bundles on Steam don’t give out extra copies for games you already own, count me too among the unimpressed by the presumed savings.

  19. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Remember when Steam had indie bundles? Did that die because of Humble and all the other bundle sites? That’s my guess, anyway.

    • Jalan says:

      It didn’t die and it was never the same as actual bundles as far as pricing is concerned. They still trot them out on occasion.

  20. Jalan says:

    I bought the Wrath of the Lamb DLC for my oldest nephew as a Christmas gift. I was planning on getting him Portal 2 until I realized the reality is that he’ll likely be drowning in gift cards and money of his own to spend and thus could buy it himself.

  21. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    This should have the tag “it’s a secret to everyone”.

  22. B.rake says:

    Quite enjoyed LA Noire, having recently played through it. Rather singular experience, a well told and acted story especially suited to being played through piecemeal, an hour or so at a time- absolutely worth a few dollars.

    It can be a bit frustrating in that, even though its fairly linear, it is often quite difficult to predict the right course of investigation and interrogation. Frustration and failure is natural enough to police work, but the game doesn’t incorporate it other than to lower your rating or impel you to replay the case- even so, I enjoyed playing most of the cases out (just imagine the possibilities if the crime scenes were as context rich as something like Gone Home). Also underrated as an open world imo- yes, irrelevant to gameplay, totally vacant, non-interactive, not much like LA except in its shapeless sense of place, but quite attractive, and there’s bizarre satisfaction zipping around the city in a vintage car, victim of the games cruel joke vis GTA- actually expecting you to follow traffic laws and not kill civilians.

  23. Shardz says:

    I don’t shop there, I wouldn’t know. The three games on my wishlist (if I did shop there) never go on sale no matter what.

    Now, on GOG and Desura, I understand exactly what’s going on and why. Go figure.

    • Jalan says:

      Out of curiosity – which three? I was going to guess and say the LEGO Star Wars titles but then I’d be talking about my wishlist (damn those games and Disney not doing… anything about them).

  24. acheron says:

    I bought that Popcap collection ages ago, and the hidden object games have sat unloved and uninstalled ever since. Maybe I should give one a shot next time I am bored?

  25. malkav11 says:

    The thing about that Binding of Isaac Collection is that Rebirth contains all the content in both the base game and Wrath of the Lamb, plus a ton of additional content, plus isn’t made in Flash. And owning the original gets you no discount whatsoever on Rebirth. So it’s really only a bargain if Rebirth’s new (arguably inferior) art style and new (definitively inferior) music are a complete non-starter for you. If the original soundtrack were still available, now that would be worth it and then some.

    Also Ghosts is pretty much on par with most of the other post-4 Call of Duties as far as I can tell. Now, most people on this site seem to consider the lot of them to be ridiculously rubbish, but if, like me, you actually enjoy a bombastic, silly, linear action movie shootfest, CoD knows how to provide, and Ghosts’ general lambasting means it’s not ridiculously overpriced for once (on sale, at least). $15 is about right for those campaigns, I think. Not that cheaper wouldn’t be better. Pity they almost never actually get that low.

    Finally, I would argue that in many respects Saints Row 2 is actually the best of the lot. It’s certainly been the most lavished with love (by the original developers – the PC port job is a bit awful but wasn’t handled in house), has by far the most to do and the most cool little touches. And although it’s a bit bipolar, it’s also probably the most coherent narrative of the bunch, each gang getting a fairly lengthy come-uppance and virtually every story thread being resolved (unlike 3), while never pretending side activities constitute main missions the way IV does. That’s not to say that 3 and IV aren’t great in their own ways, and the heights of inspired lunacy IV reaches are really something to behold. Plus, y’know, superpowers.

    • B.rake says:

      Not sure I agree about Isaac, still find myself playing Wrath of the Lamb on occasion. Rebirth IS essentially better, but it’s also different, and even on hard it seems a little easier. I’d definitely encourage people who haven’t played either to start with Rebirth, but, though the original might be superceded, it’s still a fun game at a ridiculously low price.

    • Jalan says:

      Danny still sells the soundtrack, it just isn’t sold through Steam. Since all you happened to get through the Steam version of the soundtrack were 320kbps MP3 files, where the Halloween & Wrath of the Lamb tracks weren’t even properly numbered into the soundtrack ordering itself, buying it through Danny is a better deal and offers more options for those who might no longer use MP3 (I don’t – though I was among those who still bought the soundtrack through Steam as well).

      Also, you’re not wrong about Rebirth but that’s not an entire reason to just say “screw the original”. Yes, the original has bugs that were never (or will never be) fixed (the rusty key trinket doing nothing, the infamous “Brimsnap”, the invincibility bug, etc.) and runs questionably on most machines because it was made in Flash but it doesn’t mean it isn’t still enjoyable or fun to play.

      • malkav11 says:

        But what point in paying for something that’s fun to play when you’ll just have to pay again for that same content and more in a superior version?

        It would be different if there were much being left behind in the transition – there’s still reason to play the original Realms of Arkania over the recent update, for example, because apparently the latter is pretty shonky. Or play the Exile games over Avernum, because even though the latter have some modern improvements and added content, they also significantly alter the gameplay. But Rebirth is, except for the two things I mentioned and perhaps being slightly easier, a complete upgrade. It’s like buying a VHS instead of a DVD, because the former happens to be cheap right this second and it’s a good movie.

  26. Contrafibularity says:

    I wasn’t aware that 64p for the Shadow Warrior Redux + DN3D bundle translates to 3,49€ these days. Steam pricing can be very odd indeed.