Steam Winter Sale highlights, hand picked for you and your loved ones by our artisan bakers

Steam’s Winter Sale used to be The Big One, a crazed festival of online commercialism of the likes you’d not see again for another year. Not so much these days, with the robotshop seeming to have sales every few weeks. And even less so now it’s a two week static bunch of discounts, rather than a daily lucky-dip, people hedging bets on waiting to see if their desired games would take the big 80% plummet for a single day, then becoming furious when they chickened out and bought a day before. It makes life easier, if somewhat less interesting. Still though – it’s an awful lot of discounted games to scour, so we’ve rifled through and found some of the highlights. What a cracking bunch of super-cheap games you’ll find below!

The Big Names

There are, as ever, some big ticket hefty discounts, major titles that you may have not been able to pick up at full price on release. Perhaps the most significant being…

DOOM -67% – £13/$20/€20

The second best shooter of the year, unless you think it’s the first best, and offering one hell of a discount. Plummeting from overpriced to bargain priced, this seems the golden boy of the year – something Bethesda seems to get right every time.

Read all our DOOMed coverage here.

Just Cause 3 -75% – £10/$15/€12.50

An absolutely fantastic romp, now more fantastic for having a year to iron out the many, many bugs.

Jump into our Just Cause 3 posts.

Dishonored 2 -33% – £27/$40/€40

Bethesda haven’t been quite as impressive with the discount for their other big 2016 title as they are with DOOM, but a third off actually takes it down to the price it should have launched at in the first place. (Although you can pick up the original Dishonored for a crazy £2.63!)

Sneak a peak at all things Dishonored 2.

Tom Clancy’s The Division -50% – £20/$25/€25

With so many free updates patched in the game is better than it’s ever been, and it’s always been rather good. Half price seems very fair.

Tom Clancy’s coverage on RPS is all here.

Cities: Skylines -75% – £6/$7.50/€7

Proving there’s much life left in the city builder, this game continues to see excellent additions. The base game is just £6 for the holidays, or you can get all the DLC added in for a not-so impressive £25.

Brick by brick we bring you all the Cities: Skylines news.

The Indie Greats

Invisible Inc -70% – £5.40/$7/€7

One of 2015’s finest challenges, packaged together with its Contingency Plan DLC, for a lovely deal.

Sneak up on our Invisible Inc coverage.

Oxenfree -75% – £3.75/$5/€5

Narrowly missed off our Advent list for 2016, this is a stunning spooky mystery that you may have missed via its January release.

Spend the night reading our Oxenfree posts.

Hexcells Complete -70% – £1.80/$2.70/€2.70

It would be madness for me not to mention the best puzzle game ever released on PC. All three for less than £2. Extraordinary.

Be puzzled by all our Hexcells coverage.

American Truck Simulator -30% – £10.50/$14/€14

Our driving game of the year takes off a modest 30%, but nudges at a very favourable tenner. Also, if you feel like quite the bargain, you can get SCS’s bundle of this and Euro Truck Sim & its sequel, plus a raft of DLC for both, and Bus Simulator, for just £26ish.

Haul your way through all our American Truck Simulator postings.

RPS Favourites

Ben There, Dan That/Time Gentlemen, Please -90% – 29p/49c

Two of the best point and click adventure games ever made, for 29p. That’s frankly very silly. Like the games. Which feature Hitler’s robot-dinosaur army and the time travelling adventures of a coathanger.

Point then click at all our Time Gentlemen, Please coverage.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons -85% – £1.64/$2.24/€2.24

How can it be over three years since this gorgeous little third-person adventure came out? The smartest use of a game controller since I threw one at a spider.

Sniffle your way through our Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons posts.

Subnautica -50% – £7.50/$10/€10

Pip’s game of 2016, beautiful early access underwater exploring, crafting and staring at octopuses.

Dive into our Subnautica coverage.

Deadly Premonition -90% – £2/$2.50/€2.50

Alice SCREAMS that you must play this. And at 90% off and just two quid you’ll likely get past just how buggy it is.

Investigate all our Deadly Premonition articles here.

Super House Of Dead Ninjas -80% – £1/$1.40/€1/40

Adam extols the virtues of this retro roguish platformer, and at a quid it’s not too big of a risk to see if he’s a trustworthy sort. (He rather is.)

Descend ever downward into our Super House Of Dead Ninjas posts… Oh wait you can’t, because ADAM’S FORGOTTEN TO EVER WRITE ABOUT IT. He explains, “I am an idiot.”

Life Is Strange -75% – £4/$5/€5

The first episode of the coming-of-age, Telltale-style adventure is already free, so you’ll struggle to complain at that price. And now you can find out if you’ll enjoy the other four episodes for a tiny £4.

Rewind time to read all our Life Is Strange writings.

Oh and so many more besides. You’ll have found your own hidden treats, and you should let everyone else know about them (and why they’re great) in the comments below.

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51 Comments

  1. teppic says:

    Darkest Dungeon is also slipping out of 2016 highlights because it was released in January. Definitely worth it.

  2. Ghostwise says:

    Grabbed Tales of Zestiria, Invisible Inc., the two Drawn games, Final Fantasy III and VIII.

    And replaced my “alternatively procured” copies of SW Republic Commando, Dreamfall TLJ, Shardlight, Serpents in the Staglands, Undertale and Darksiders II with proper bought versions. My gaming budget is quite constrained, but I’ll happily pay for what I can afford.

    • napoleonic says:

      I’d like to replace the “alternatively procured” Mercedes I picked up last night, but unfortunately, although I’ll happily pay for what I can afford, my car budget is quite constrained.

      • John Walker says:

        Please share with us your technique for freely duplicating automobiles at the soonest opportunity.

        • Ghostwise says:

          You group up with Nicholas Cage to steal the car, then with Leonard Nimoy to hack the ship’s teleporter beam and duplicate matter.

          But since Lenny died, I can’t do that anymore. I miss him.

          • Darth Gangrel says:

            Oh, so that’s why you’re called Ghostwise, to honor Leonard Nimoy’s memory. Instead of a wise man, he is now a wise ghost – Ghostwise.

  3. malkav11 says:

    Unfortunately the age of static discounts also seems to mean tepid ones. Used to be when they had daily and flash deals that you could expect to see some recent releases hit 40 or 50% off and older stuff as low as 90%. Now you’re lucky to see 25% off on most newer stuff and plenty of older stuff caps at 50%. You do see -some- major discounts, but it never seems to be on the stuff I really want.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Yeah, it’s a bit of a shame. I’ve found myself spending less in total and amongst fewer games during these static sales than I did during the days of deep discount flash sales.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ericusson says:

      There is plenty of stuff discounted at more than 75% on this sale.
      I must say I am pretty happy with it, even more when you pay ASEAN prices.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      On the other hand, those of us unable to commit to refreshing the site constantly based on the time in the US can now get some solid deals.

  4. welverin says:

    DOOM was released in the beginning of the year and Dishonored 2 was released at the end of the year, that’s the difference in the discounts for you right there.

    It’s also a bit odd to call out two games for being over priced when they’re the standard AAA price and neither one is particularly lacking in content.

    • John Walker says:

      No, the standard AAA price for PC games has been £30 for a very long time. And it mostly still is, but for a couple of publishers seeing if they can dramatically increase it to £40 over the last year. Which still seems worth calling out in my mind.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Unless you’re EA in which case £50. Just seen the Origin sale, a lot of 50% offs that it turns out are still £25 discounted

      • frightlever says:

        I find myself agreeing with John Walker. It’s a Christmas Miracle.

        Doesn’t seem THAT long ago that £19.99 was the standard price for AAA PC games.

        • grimdanfango says:

          When has the standard price ever been £20?

          I distantly remember Warcraft 2 releasing in 1996 for £35, and thinking that was taking the piss a bit when all other major releases came out at £30.

          That same £30 in 1996 would be worth roughly £45 now, given inflation, so the fact that the standard price has mostly stuck around £30 for 20+ years means we’re actually paying significantly less for most full price releases these days.

          I’m inclined to regard the older prices as excessive though – the standard price *should* have been £20 in 1996, and it really should stay £30 now. I think £40 will be a reasonable baseline price somewhere around 2030.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ericusson says:

            Especially when I saw what a price reduction did to my own purchases.

            Having switched to ASEAN Steam store, the AAA releases pretty much have the same price but discounts and indies make games really cheap.

            As a result I actually buy more games now and have a bigger budget for games than before.

      • Baines says:

        PC game pricing has been a split world for a while, with a lower “PC” price range as well as a higher “near console” price range.

        One of the things that helped hold down PC prices was the quality of multiplatform ports. Even publishers realized that consumers would have trouble swallowing a $60 price tag for a port released 3 years late that missed features, had almost no support, and wouldn’t even work for 40% of the buyers at release. That has been somewhat addressed, and port/multiplatform prices have risen.

        And even PC-first prices have risen. Some to match multiplatform/console prices. Some to “counter” Steam sales, as a higher base price meant you could afford to give steeper discounts. Some probably just to due increased costs.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Be reasonable. In a market where development costs continue to rise because the cost of living, rent etc. isn’t static, you’re not going to get a game like Dishonored at 33% lower cost on release.

        That particular game should have stayed in the oven a while longer to iron out the tech issues, but it’s obvious a ton of work went into the level design and art assets. Someone has to pay the people who do that. I’ll gladly pay these prices on release when the game is worth it. You want cheap games, you’re going to get cheap-looking games.

      • malkav11 says:

        Surely some of that has to do with the declining strength of the pound? It used to be my rule of thumb that 1 pound approximately equalled 2 US dollars and I just checked and at the moment of this post the exchange rate was about 1 pound to 1.23 US dollars. Which is a pretty dramatic difference.

        So even at 40 pounds, you’re paying less than we are at $60.

      • fish99 says:

        TBH new game prices on Steam have always sucked and often been over £30 going back a long time. Admittedly they’ve pushed up from £35 to £40 recently for some games. Personally I paid £28 for Dishonored 2 at launch by shopping around. Also it’s way too early for deep discounts on it.

  5. IcyBee says:

    I’d quite like to see what a game called “Bothers” looks like.

    • bills6693 says:

      Controller required. But it, try it in one uninterrupted 3-4 hour session, don’t read anything about the game/story beforehand as it’ll ruin the experience. Unreservedly recommended.

  6. sicanshu says:

    I hate to say it, but I genuinely miss all the flash sales and daily deals and clicker games and such. Even the silly shit at least had character. And I know for a fact steam made more money on me then, because I’d keep checking back. Even late at night. When I’d been drinking. I’m still finding games I’ve never played and have no recollection of purchasing.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I miss those days, too.

    • frightlever says:

      Don’t miss them one bit. A quick scoot through my wishlist and I have the whole sale sorted with about fifty quid spent on 15 games. You mustn’t value your own time much if you were happy to keep checking back in on the Flash Sales etc. every day.

      • sicanshu says:

        Said the guy making snide remarks to strangers on the internet. Have you never heard the saying “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time”?

        • gunny1993 says:

          Ever heard the phrase “Time spent being manipulated by people using your inherently weak, human brain against you, is time most definitely wasted”

          • sicanshu says:

            Think about this for a second: you just took time out of your day to be shitty at a stranger specifically for how he chooses to spend his free time. If you can’t see the irony there, then perhaps you’re not quite so highly evolved as you want people to think.

          • lordcooper says:

            So did you.

          • Zap Brannigan says:

            “Time spent being manipulated by people using your inherently weak, human brain against you, is time most definitely wasted”
            That is a strange quote for you to make, considering you idolize boot camp, which is pound-for-pound, intentionally one of the most intense psychological manipulations you can endure.

      • mukuste says:

        To be fair, you mustn’t value your own time much if you play video games.

        • frightlever says:

          Good point!

        • Premium User Badge

          Ericusson says:

          A small videogame habbit can be healthy, though if you are the reader of a die hard pc gaming website such as RPS, our relationship to videogames is probably past the healthy point.

    • malkav11 says:

      My favorite incarnation of the whole thing was the scavenger hunts. They actively encouraged you to play things that you already owned, and in at least one instance resulted in getting little fillips of actual worthwhile stuff instead of just silly trading cards.

    • Artificial says:

      My favorites were one of the earlier summer sales where you got the special items, and then one of the earlier winter sales where you got special Christmas achievements in certain games.

      Think that was for two reasons. One being that it was before I already had a huge collection of Steam games, so all the discounts just blew my mind.

      The second being that they were actually fun and got me playing games I wouldn’t usually have touched just to get the items and achievements.

      Least favorite was the clicker game sale where it seemed like you had to do a bit of research / cheat to get the most out of it.

    • twaitsfan says:

      I love flash sales. It’s fun to go check every 15 minutes or so and you get way better deals than these 7 day static ones. I’ve also read that dev’s like the flash sales because they get better exposure.

      I don’t understand the arguments against it – it’s manipulative? C’mon – you’re an adult. It’s not dishonest. It’s fun and if you buy too many games it’s a you problem not a steam problem.

  7. caff says:

    Bought Hexcells, finally. As much as I love my family, I’m going to have to be around them a lot over the next few days, and this might be a good way of playing games whilst politely being in their presence.

  8. SaintAn says:

    I recommend Age of Wonders 3 with it’s expansions. Especially the Necromancer expansion. Incredible game that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough even though it pulls off some really cool and original ideas.

  9. Darth Gangrel says:

    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is at an all-time I low I believe, costing only 1,64 euro. That’s *insanely* cheap!

  10. Solidstate89 says:

    After all the patches and DLC – is the latest Anno worth getting at all?

    I must admit I was pretty excited for it when it was first teased a couple years ago, but after the early reviews I put it in the pile of games I wouldn’t buy. However I’ve heard good things about the current state of the game.

    Can anyone else chip in any experience with the game in its current state?

  11. Morte66 says:

    Right now, just connecting to Steam would be nice

  12. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Sad but unsurprising to see confirmation that Oxenfree didn’t make the calendar. Great little game that really didn’t get the response or recognition it deserved from a place like RPS.

  13. darrrrkvengeance says:

    I haven’t really been bowled over by this Steam sale. There are some moderate rebates on a few AAA games I want to pick up (e.g., XCOM2), but my backlog is such that by the time I get around to playing them it will be time for the next Steam sale, so I may as well wait — they’ll probably cost less then anyway.

    I picked up The Room 2 yesterday, as well as chapters 2-4 of Higurashi When They Cry (not really a game, but still great for reading along to on the exercise bike). I’ll probably pick up a few indie point-and-clicks as well (e.g., Dream Machine, Rusty Lake). But it will be a pretty light haul this year, I’m thinking.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      Pretty much how I feel looking over my wishlist, there’s a lot of things lightly discounted but nothing there that I want to play NOW, and am willing to stump up full price for just yet when I have so much stuff waiting already. The few older games that are seeing big discounts is stuff that’s in my “maybe some day” part of the list, and are always knocked down to the same price every single sale anyway.

      I can see myself picking up a small indie game or two if they look neat and are under a fiver, that’s about it though.

  14. Titler says:

    Just so folks know, the Grombrindal / 20% Discount cards that you can pick up from Games Workshop stores do apparently stack with the 25% off on Steam for Total War: Warhammer, if anyone feels like getting a better deal… I had a few cards for friends, and they tell me at least for them, it went up to 45%. Shame none of the DLC was on for sale though :(

    I honestly this year am not feeling the love, maybe I’ve bought too many games in the past; I used this thread to find gifts for all my friends, but haven’t bought a thing for myself yet.

  15. BajiNaji says:

    Satellite Reign is currently 85% off. Sanctuary: Black Edition 90%. The first episode of the excellent Void and Meddler adventure game is a dollar.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Ericusson says:

    Everspace is still in EA and only 20% off but is the most polished 3d space shooter with some depth that happened in the last 15 years.

    Not playing Everspace means forever losing the glorious title of PC gamer. Not sure if that is a thing … hmmm

    But still, Everspace is hands done the best game of 2016 for me.

  17. Yachmenev says:

    Everyone should pick up the excellent Pixeljunk Shooter Ultimate.

    A fantastic game inspired by the old Gravity/Turboracketti games from the amiga.
    It’s 2€, 16h long, has coop and vs mode, ab excellent graphic style, and a fantastic OST by High Frequency Bandwith.

    link to store.steampowered.com