Where does one even start with Steam Autumn Sale? With discounts on thousands of games, to find gems takes either a lot of trust in The Algorithm or- oh hey, or recommendations from your friendly neighbourhood PC gaming website. We've had a good rummage and turned up 20 Steam sale game recommendations for you, big and small, cheap and dead cheap, across a spread of genres. Read on for our picks.
Alice0: Ah y'know what, yeah, I will recommended Cyberpunk 2077 at this price. By now, I'm sure your expectations have been thoroughly tempered by the reality of this game. I think that reality's worth a go. I enjoyed a lot of my time in Night City, meeting people, sneaking around, running and leaping across footstops with my cool cyberlegs, befriending Keanu Reeves, and hacking the planet. Lots is repetitive but I don't mind so much when it's set somewhere as pretty as Night City. I grew up on Judge Dredd and trash cyberpunk movies; this is the sort of oh-so-80s vision of the future I crave. I have spent a long time simply strolling through the streets, looking.
And as someone who enjoys the fact that games are built of smoke, mirrors, and lies, it's great to see this so starkly exposed by the contrast between the fancy art and the janky tech. I once spent five minutes on a beautiful street watching a parade of colourful NPCs approach a set of stairs then instantly turn around once they realised they didn't know how to climb them. Sometimes they would then bump into someone coming the other way, turn back around, and approach the stairs once more before giving up again. I know it's a simple pathing issue but something so pretty yet so wonky is genuinely delightful to me. Video games are stupid and it's a wonder they work at all; aren't they great?
See our Cyberpunk 2077 review for more. And be aware of Alice Bee's warning that Cyberpunk 2077 patches can't fix its biggest problems. But if you do get it, check out the best Cyberpunk 2077 mods.
What is it? An immersive sim trapped in a time loop, from the makers of Dishonored and Prey.
Price: £24.99/€29.99/$29.99 (50% off)
For an opinion from someone who has played it, see our Deathloop review. Brendy will also encourage you to play with multiplayer invasions turned on, while Jeremy Peel is more enthusiastic about doing the invading.
What is it? Hideo Kojima's melancholy hike to save the post-apocalyptic USA by fighting ghosts, delivering pizza, and fixing everyone's Internet connection.
Price: £16.49/€17.99/$17.99 (70% off)
Katharine: Death Stranding is many things. It's a game where you can pee off the side of the mountain, rock a baby in a jar to sleep, hike across a post-apocalyptic United States, and do battle with invisible ghosty boys by hurling grenades at them made of your own excrement. Most of all, though, it's a game about connection, whether that's forging new routes and delivery links between disparate cities, or simply strengthening your bond with your jar pal BB. It was one of my personal favourites from last year, and at 70% off is well worth a punt if you've been curious about what Kojima did next after Metal Gear Solid V. It can be a little slow to find its feet, and be intensely daft in places, but I have never felt such a deep connection to a game world as I have in Death Stranding. This is a game that really asks you to engage with its environment, where every journey must be planned and prepared for in advance, and where even the slightest change in gradient can send you tumbling to your knees. It's the very best kind of walking simulator, and a road trip you're unlikely to forget in a hurry.
Our Death Stranding review came in video form, which you can watch below. RPS Supporters can also follow Katharine's full adventures in the BB Boys road trip diaries.
Deep Rock Galactic
What is it? Subterranean, four-dwarf co-op FPS in which you help yourself to a planet's natural resources while under constant assault from giant bugs.
Price: £12.49/€14.99/$14.99 (50% off)
James: This is probably one you'd need to convince multiple friends to buy at the same time. Still, once you emerge with them from DRG's alien mines – splattered with insect bits, leaden with freshly mined jewels and still utterly plastered from the stat-boosting stouts you drank earlier – you'll have forged a bond worth far more than your collective investments. Randomly generated cave networks and a deep unlock system help keep excursions feeling fresh, and with each dwarf class possessing a unique traversal skill, it’s not as purely combat-obsessed as a lot of co-op shooters.
See our Deep Rock Galactic review for more.
What is it? A Commandos-style squad tactics game from the makers of Shadow Tactics.
Price: £17.99/€19.99/$19.99 (60% off)
Katharine: At first glance, cowboys and tactical stealth don't seem like the most natural bedfellows, but the sneak wizards at Mimimi Productions manage to make it work in spectacular fashion. Building on the lessons learned from their previous stealth masterpiece, Shadow Tactics: Blades Of The Shogun, Desperados III is another tactical tour de force, where shooting your way to victory is just as valid as having the fastest quick-load finger in the west. Each of its miniature sandbox levels is a real pleasure to crawl around in, with memorable hooks and themes that stick long in the memory. Most importantly, Desperados III's showdown mode gives you the time and space to plan your moves properly, pausing the action to let you pull off some truly hair-raising feats of perfectly timed silent sabotage. I much prefer it to the version we saw in Shadow Tactics, which simply slowed time down rather than stop it altogether. In Desperados, however, Mimimi gives you full rein to experiment as you see fit, and it's a gamble that pays off in spades.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut
What is it? The prequel to Ion Storm's seminal cyberpunk immersive sim, starring a man who's not best pleased that his ulnae have been replaced with knives.
Price: £1.94/€2.99/$2.99 (85% off)
Jai Singh Bains: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is over ten years old and it's still my favourite immersive sim. It's drenched in this unique cyberpunk style inspired by films like Akira, and it might be the most atmospheric game I've ever played. I love just walking around taking in the ambiance.
The greatest aspect of it though is the freedom. Every quest, level, and even enemy encounter has multiple solutions to uncover. It rewards exploration like nothing else I've ever played. I've beaten it six times and I'm still finding new things!
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
What is it? A fantasy action-RPG from Capcom that's unexpectedly spiky in ways both frustrating and delightful.
Ed: Dragon's Dogma is an action-RPG that's brilliant because it's essential you recruit AI companions created by other players to do your bidding. You know, like a warrior called Barry Hammerlegs, who’s surprisingly nimble for a big fella and seen a lot in his time. Combat is glorious too, with a sort of Monster Hunter-esque meatiness as you swing at griffin beaks or even clamber on top of beasties and deliver some bashes.
Sure, the game isn't perfect. At times its quests can be unclear or the world a bit empty. But if you forgive these frustrations and embrace its quirks, then you're in for a wonderful time.
What is it? A first-person explore-o-puzzle game about inspecting infrastructure in a European city.
Price: £5.94/€6.99/$7.49 (75% off)
Alice0: I know I have recommend Infra in sale roundups before, but I will keep doing it because I can tell from the lack of "ALICE, EXCUSE ME, INFRA? WOW" e-mails in my inbox that you likely have still not played it. Imagine all the exploration, conspiracy theories, subversive factions, sewers, and crate-stacking of Deus Ex, but you're playing as an infrastructure inspector in a European city on a day of great disaster, and you don't fight anyone, but you have to solve more puzzles, and the ending is partially determined by whether or not you took enough photos of damaged concrete and faulty wiring. It is also the Source-iest Source engine game that ever did Source, and I took so many screenshots as I played.
Here, this will sell you on it: it is the sort of game where if you pass a working phone and see numbers written nearby, you can dial them for weird conversations with strangers, just because. And that's the sort of game I want.
Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
What is it? A cooperative bomb-defusal game with some very odd bombs.
Price: £3.62/€4.94/$4.94 (67% off)
Hayden: Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes brings a pile of quick, recognisable puzzles, sticks them all onto an ominous, bleeping bomb, and gives you a few minutes to figure it all out before you fail in a disastrous, fiery explosion.
The catch? One player sees a bomb, while the rest have the instructions. A lot of screaming, shouting, and laughing will follow as you relay information while attempting to defuse the bomb. Oh, and a whole lot of exploding. If you're looking for some co-op fun for friends and family as we enter the holiday season, I couldn't recommend this more.
What is it? Somewhere between dungeon-crawler and city-builder, a roguelikelike where you build the route your hero will automatically move and fight along.
Price: £7.49/€8.99/$8.99 (40% off)
Ollie: Loop Hero is a marvellous roguelite which takes place entirely within the confines of a loop. Around this loop your player character must endlessly trot, defeating increasingly powerful monsters. You don't control the player directly: moving and fighting is automatic. You're in charge of two things: equipping your hero with the right gear for the job, and playing cards to build extra bits of terrain around the loop.
Some bits of terrain give passive bonuses to your character, while others spawn more monsters for you to defeat and earn more goodies from. You therefore have some degree of control over the difficulty of the game: but make things too easy or too hard and things will spiral out of control. It's an inspired piece of game design, and it'll keep you playing for far longer than you'd expect.
Imogen: When Loop Hero released earlier this year, I was fully obsessed. It's a roguelike autobattler where your little medieval hero wanders around a time loop in a dark void, fighting monsters and collecting loot. They'll keep going until they either die or beat the final boss. You help them by swapping out their weapons and armour, and placing tiles to create a landscape around them, changing the way the loop works. Oho, making a mountain are we? Harpies are going to attack you from that. Place a vampire mansion next to a village? Woops! That village is full of zombies now. Every tile placed can make your loop tougher, and it's so rewarding when you get around the circle just one more time. I never thought an autobattler would grab me as much as this did, so if you slept on it for the same reason, take this as your sign to pick Loop Hero up.
What is it? A multiplayer dating sim set in a high school for monsters.
Price: £2.87/€3.71/$3.71 (69% off)
Rebecca: Monster Prom is a darkly comic multiplayer competitive dating sim, and my favourite game to come out of 2018. In it, you and your friends take on the roles of four young adult monsters, who want to convince their most popular classmates to go to prom with them. But prom is only three weeks away, those popular ghouls are hard to impress, and you're all lovable-yet-dorky losers...
Since its debut Monster Prom has spawned a full-on franchise's worth of sequels, but I particularly wanted to bring the original to your attention, because its sale discount is 69%. Hehehe. [nice -ed.]
What is it? A blast of interactive storytelling on procedurally generated road trips through a politically divided country.
Price: £13.56/€15.96/$15.96 (20% off)
Alice Bee: In Road 96 you don't just go on one road trip, you go on a bunch of them. In each one you're a different teen, trying to escape your authoritarian home country Petria and get over the northern border. This involves hitchhiking roughly three thousand miles every time, punctuated by conversations and interactions with the same cast of characters. There's an extremely creepy cab driver, a child hacker savant, a cop patrolling the roads, to inept but endearing criminal bikers, and so on. It wears its political theming very much on its sleeve, but the real fun of Road 96 is the friends you make along the way.
See our Road 96 review for more.
What is it? A roguelikelike FPS with two-player co-op.
Price: £10.06/€10.91/$12.99 (35% off)
Imogen: Roboquest is a roguelite FPS that's still in early access, but it's one of the more polished early access games I've played in a long while. You play as a robot built by a young inventor who sends you off into procedurally generated desert canyons and techy cities to shoot evil robots. If you like the Borderlands-y cell-shaded style, and frequent swapping out of weapons, I highly recommend it. It's smooth, fast-paced, and you have so many guns to try out - my favourite is a toss up between the automatic crossbow and a pistol that shoots fire.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened - Remastered Edition
What is it? An adventure game pitting the detective against Lovercraftian forces.
Price: £1.79/€1.99/$1.99 (80% off)
Rebecca: The new Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One is regrettably still full-price, but every single other game by developer Frogwares is currently enjoying a massive discount, with many of their older titles down to mere pounds. I'm a big fan of all their wonderfully weird games and honestly don't think you can go wrong, but if you want my personal pick, it's got to be Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. It's not quite as polished as the studio's more recent output (to put it mildly), but if you're a fan of old-school point-and-clicks and want to see Holmes fight Cthulhu, you shouldn't miss it.
To see where the series has ended up, check out Alice Bee's Sherlock Holmes Chapter One review.
What is it? A horror mystery unfolding within the apps of a phone you've found.
Price: £1.35/€1.35/$1.69 (66% off)
Rebecca: Simulacra is an indie FMV mystery/horror found phone game and I absolutely love it. It's intensely creepy but light on jumpscares, and has a solid story with a villain who will make you want to unplug from social media (and don't we all need a reason to do that?). While the acting is a little cheesy, it's better than in many FMVs, with a corny charm that really grows on you. And, surprisingly, it low-key has one of my favourite video game romances.
Also noteworthy: the devs recently made an official Doctor Who tie-in game in the same genre.
State Of Decay 2
What is it? An open-world community-building survival game in the zombie apocalypse.
Price: £14.99/€17.99/$17.99 (40% off)
Hayden: In State Of Decay 2, you slowly grow a community of survivors that you can swap between as you please. The hard part: when a character dies, they’re gone for good. You’ll need to make tough decisions to keep them all alive.
In one run, you might need to decide whether to cure an infected character or end their suffering. In another, you might need to deal with the threat of humans that have set up camp nearby. Each State Of Decay 2 playthrough lets you tell unique survival stories with your characters, which keeps me coming back for more.
See our State Of Decay 2 review for more, though do bear in mind it did receive a big overhaul after two years with the 'Juggernaut' update and more patches since then.
What is it? A survival game of exploration, base-building, and fleeing for your damn life in the alien sea of a distant planet.
Price: £12.49/€14.99/$14.99 (50% off)
Ollie: Subnautica is one of my favourite games. It's also far, far scarier than it has any right to be. Probably because many people - me included - don't really consider underwater to be our domain of choice, and so there's a lack of control and a trepidation that quickly turns into panic when you hear a deep thrumming roar reverberate through the water and a horned menace hurtling out of the blackness towards you. But it's also this setting that makes the world of Subnautica so utterly enchanting to explore - far more so than any other survival game I've played. It's an absolute delight from start to finish, and at half-price it's a steal.
See our Subnautica review and the RPS verdict for more. We've declared it the best survival game too. If you dig it and want more, read our Subnautica: Below Zero review for thoughts on the follow-up, which has a 25% discount now.
What is it? A colourful murder mystery.
Price: £9.29/€10.07/$11.99 (40% off)
Imogen: Who doesn't love a little bit of murder mystery to liven up the holiday period? Tangle Tower is your typical whodunnit story, dropping you in a mansion where a supposed murder has taken place, and your leading clue is a bloody knife that's being held by a portrait. It's not some gritty affair with a stone faced detective though, it's much more whimsical, with a lovely comic-like art-style and lots of fun puzzles to work your way through. Think Professor Layton, except instead of a classy man and his doe-eyed protege, the main characters are a ditzy detective and his sarcastic partner. It's great.
See our Tangle Tower review for more.
The Darkside Detective series bundle
What is it? A 2D point and click adventure with spooky crimes to solve and an actually good sense of humour
Price: £10.78/€12.40/$14.02 (46% off)
Alice Bee: I have a real soft spot for Detective Francis McQueen and Officer Dooley, the Darkside Division of Twin Lakes City's police department. The cases in this are all paranormal themed – ghosts, portals, creepy clowns – but the solves aren't as convoluted as you might expect from point 'n' clickers. Plus, these games have actual jokes that are funny in an actually funny way, not in a groaning at a pun way. I've recommended getting the bundle of both games here, but you can get one individually if you really want (the first one is 60% off).
What is it? A pretty town-building toy.
Price: £3.20/€3.34/$4.01 (33% off)
You can add blocks, you can subtract blocks, and you can change the colour of blocks, and that's it. Townscaper does the rest. Its cute art and magical algorithms translate your block patterns into a Ghibli-esque island town, spawning cottages and houses and towers balconies and rooftops and gardens and support beams and cubbies and cranes and stairways and tunnels and plants and trees and beehives and washing lines and docks and oh, it's all so delightful. Developer Oskar Stålberg calls Townscaper "a toy" and it is a joy to play with. The best part is: no matter what you do, your town will look good. It can't not.
The Steam Autumn Sale runs until 6pm (10am Pacific) on Wednesday the 1st of December. Black Friday week sales are also running on Epic, Origin, and GOG. What have you picked up so far, reader dear, and what else would you recommend to us all?
Black Friday is over but many of its best deals remain available on Cyber Monday, so check out our Cyber Monday deals hub for our curated picks of offers on all kinds of PC gaming hardware. We're also keeping track of the best Cyber Monday mouse and keyboard deals, the best Cyber Monday SSD deals, the best Cyber Monday gaming monitor deals and many more.