Valve’s largest sale of the year, simply known as the Holiday Sale, is rumored to begin on December 19th and end on January 2nd. You can expect to see major discounts on all of your favorite games and maybe see classic PC games receive a boost in population. While I’ve only been a Steam user for a couple years, I’ve seen plenty of the most popular games being reduced by up to 75%. In this article, I’m going to give you my top 5 must have Steam games that are a must have for any PC gamer that has a Steam account. If you don’t have a Steam account, you can make one for FREE here!
Before I get into my top 5 must have Steam games, I’m going to inform you about how the Steam Holiday Sale is expected to work. The moment the Steam Holiday Sale starts, you’ll immediately see sales on a variety of games. Some of these discounts will be available for the entire duration of the Winter Sale, but some will only be available for a limited amount of time. These other two types of sales you can expect to see are Flash Deals and Daily Deals. Flash Deals will feature some large discounts, but for a very small amount of time. You might see a game like CounterStrike: Global Offensive for 65% off for only 4 hours. As for Daily Deals, it’s pretty self explanatory. You only have 24 hours to purchase a specifc deal before it expires. The most important thing to keep in mind is that some games will be discounted for the entire Holiday Sale, but it may also be a Flash Deal or Daily Deal later on, so be sure to only purchase a game when it’s at the best deal possible! When I first became a Steam user, I purchased a game for $20, but it was on sale for $5 a week later. So once again, be careful when you make purchases on Steam to maximize your savings!
Now that you know how the Steam Holiday Sale works, let’s go over some of the best games you can buy!
5) Dungeon Defenders
If you like to play games alone or have a buddy to play with, Dungeon Defenders is a game I’d highly recommend. It’s one of those games that you can dive in and just have some silly fun, or you can play on the harder difficulties and have a surprisingly difficuly challenge.
Dungeon Defenders is essentially a class based horde mode with some tower defense and RPG elements. You choose one of many classes that all have different abilites and specific roles. The goal is to fight off waves of increasingly difficult enemies as they attempt to destroy the Eternia Crystal that’s typically located in the center of the level you’re playing on. It’s your objective to survive and defend the Enteria Crystal. Luckily for you, each class has fortifications or abilites they can use to hold off enemies, kill enemies, or even assist your team! For example, one player could put down automated harpoon turrets and blockades while another player can heal or increase damage for teammates. As you play, you unlock skill points and earn gold that you can spend to make your character stronger. You can spend your gold at the pub which also allows you to change your equipment and start up games easily. Think of it as a playable pre-game lobby where you have access to a lot of useful tools and data.
Dungeon Defenders has a huge variety of enemies and levels and in turn, it becomes a game with a high amount of replay value. I completed all of the levels that were available at the time as the Warrior class with a friend that played as the Monk class. On our second playthrough as different classes, the game felt completely different. You have to approach each level and enemy differently depending on theses variables. Dungeon Defenders 2 is set to release in 2014 and I’d recommend this game to anyone who is interested in getting a taste of what’s to come with this franchise.
While I haven’t been fortunate enough to play Starbound yet, the conversations I’ve had with other gamers about Starbound had me sold. Starbound is what some would call a Minecraft or Terraria clone, but it capitalizes on the apparent lack of quests and storytelling. Besides those two imporant features, you also have coop and competitive multiplayer, randomly generated dungeons and monsters, a deep crafting system, and much more. There’s an incredible amount of content that you can discover and if you’re interested in playing one of the next big indie games of 2014, Starbound is for you.
Starbound is currently in it’s beta phase, but if you supported the UK based indie developer Chucklefish Games or preordered your copy of Starbound on Steam, you will have access to their beta.
Since Valve first released the original CounterStrike in 2000, Counterstrike helped define the First Person Shooter genre. As one of the most competitive shooter games in history, to some, it may be a surprise that CounterStrike: Global Offensive still has a strong following in the eSports universe. While many can argue that games like Halo and Quake are not as successful as a game like League of Legends, the recent Dreamhack tournament smashed CounterStrike: GO tournament records and brought the franchise back into the spotlight.
In CounterStrike, there are a variety of gamemodes where one team, known as the Counter Terrorists, go against the Terrorist team. In the classic gamemodes, you earn money for your actions and you can spend that money on weapons, grenades, and body armor. Traditionally, CounterStrike has gamemodes that are round based with each player only having one life per round. The classic modes are no doubt pretty difficult to get into if you’re new to CounterStrike, but if running and gunning is your preference, there are new casual modes that are more accessible to novices or casual gamers that come from more well known military games like Battlefield and Call of Duty.
If competitive gaming is your passion or if you wanna get back into CounterStrike, purchasing CounterStrike: Global would be something I’d definitely reccommend. While the latest addition to franchise may be a little unfamilar to those who played CounterStrike: Source or 1.6, it’s one of the most competitive first person shooter games on the market. Valve has also put an emphasis on getting more casual gamers into their CounterStrike franchise. I only have about 4 years of experience with CounterStrike and I can say with confidence that some of the casual gamemodes can help you on your journey to becoming a competitive player.
2) Killing Floor
While Killing Floor is my all time favorite game on Steam, it’s not for everybody. Killing floor features some of the most intense gaming moments you’ll ever have in your life if you dare to try it. Some may find this game scary and some may find this game too intense for their taste. Hundreds, sometimes thousands of specimens are hunting you down and you only have up to 5 other people by your side in your mission to survive. Killing Floor is truly one of those one of a kind games that you must try at some point.
Killing Floor currently gives you access to 7 distinct classes including Sharpshooter, Medic, Support Specialist, Berserker, Firebug, and Demolition. Each class has a very specific role and a wide array of exclusive weapons and tools to use at their disposal. For example, if you play as a Commando, you have reduced recoil for Assault Rifles, get bonus ammo, and have a several weapons that no other class can use. If you choose to play Medic instead, you have access to the Medic guns, you get discounts on certain items, and can run faster than other players. Once you add in the leveling system for each class, the game becomes so in depth with how you play your class and how you use them.
Killing Floor also has a very large amount of enemy types. Because of this, some classes excel at killing certain specimans. You have to carefully choose who does what role and how your team plays. The developers over at Tripwire Interactive put an emphasis on making players constantly move, but also give the tools to allow you hold down a location temporarily. At the end of every round, a store opens at a random location on the map. You have to run to this store in order to get the supplies you need to survive the next wave. The simple, but effective mechanic here is that the game will inform you where the next store is at once a new round starts. You have the option to run to that store immiediately and hold down the area, but risk the chance of getting killed on the run or your squad can choose to play it safe. Your team can choose to stay somewhere that’s already fortified instead, but you have limited amount of time to reach the store in between rounds. The earlier you get to the store, the more time you have to purchase valuable items.
At the end of the last wave, you have one last opportunity to stock up on supplies and ammo. Once the time is up, the boss battle begins. I won’t spoil much, but if you play on the harder difficulties, you’ll be facing one of the toughest boss battles in modern gaming. The boss is known as the Patriarch and he is the strongest and most heavily armed specimen you’ll come across in the game. One simple mistake is all it takes to ruin your chance at beating the game.
In the end, Killing Floor is one of those games that you can play alone, with friends, or with strangers and still have a blast. It’s very rare to play a game that encourages you to actually interact with fellow gamers. I find myself constantly communicating and helping out my teammates while also trying to stay alive. It’s a tug of war type of feeling where if one person slacks off, the rest of the team’s lives are in jeopardy. If you’re into cooperative shooters, Killing Floor is the perfect game for you. Once you add in all of the DLC and community created maps on top of the out of the box experience, Killing Floor slowly becomes an insatiable addiction that makes you wanna play more and more.
1) Garry’s Mod
Garry’s Mod is a sandbox game that is a tremendous game on its own, but the community driven downloadable content s is what makes this my number one pick. In the standard game, you can take various assets from Valve or Source Engine games and do what you please with them. Do you want to create silly faces with the characters and take pictures? You can do that. Do you want to take all of the NPCs from Half Life and have an all out war on a custom built map? You can do that. Garry’s Mod supplies all of the tools you need and all that it requires is a Source game like Half Life or Team Fortress. I’ve spent hours just fooling around with the tools and assets that other games have created. Just recently, I made a vehicle out of furniture and thrusters. Anything that you can think of can be done and you can play with some of the most creative or bizzare things that were built by the community.
The main attraction to Garry’s Mod is the online multiplayer. You have hundreds of populated servers all using gamemodes that are uniqe to Garry’s Mod. One of my favorite gamemodes, Deathrun, pits dozens of players known as “Runners” against a few randomly picked players that play as “Death” behind the scenes. The Runners have to navigate through an obstacle coure which in most cases, is pretty difficult, but apparently, that’s not enough. The players that play as Death can mess with the obstacles and cause hilarious moments. Think of it as a Final Destination in a game, but some of the players have control of what happens. One of the most hilarious moments I’ve had recently was on a map that was a recreaction of a parking garage. There’s a fence that blocks off the final obstacle before getting to the end of the course. One of the players that is playing as Death has control of the fence and he can choose when to turn it into an electric fence. I’m way behind my team of Runners and I’m watching some of them get picked off one by one by cars that happened to roll down ramps and deadly signs that fall off the walls. Two players managed to climb the fence and get across with no issues. The rest of the Runners assumed it was safe and about dozen people were climbing the fence right as I started to catch up. Right as I was about to touch the fence, a loud shock noise could be heard by everyone and the majority of my team were taken out. Listening to the reactions in the chat and on the microphone was too hilarious to ignore.
There are plenty of other gamemodes like Trouble in Terrorist Town, where a several terrorists are randomly chosen to be traitors and a few are chosen to be detectives. The rest of the players are just labeled as innocent. The terrorists have to secretly kill all of the other players or complete objectives to win. The innocent and the detectives have to eliminate the traitors to win. The catch is that the Innocent don’t know who is on what team other than the Detectives. When you’re playing this game, you have to carefully watch your back and monitor the behavior of other players. You don’t know who to trust and there is a lot of suspense. As a Traitor, it’s pretty difficult to blend in and not act suspicious, but it’s a ton of fun if you have a team of Traitors that work together.
There are a ton more gamemodes that I could go into detail with, but they are better when you just jump into them without much knowledge. Learning a new mini game is challenging and makes the experience much more enjoyable.
Garry’s Mod is one of those games that includes every imaginable gamemode. You have some gamemodes where you play a standard deathmatch and you have some gamemodes where you find yourself just building funny scenes. Garry’s Mod has something that any gamer can have fun with and it’s well worth the money.
Be sure to keep an eye on our front page for more articles on the Steam Holiday Sale in the near future! Do you like my top 5 must have Steam games? What are yours? Discuss this Top 5 with other members of the PC master race on our forums here!