Usually Steam sales are special events with unique rewards, all of which boil down to getting you to buy (or at least look at) a bunch of new games. But it would be wildly inaccurate to call Steam's brand new Spring Cleaning Event a Steam sale, because it actually does the opposite: it wants you to play through all those old games you already own! And try out some new games too, granted, but unlike the usual wall of "XX% off" price tags there are only 9 of them and they're all free for the weekend (today through Monday, May 28).
Steam Spring Cleaning free games
- Don't Starve Together
- Dead by Daylight
- Cities: Skylines
- Borderlands 2
- Castle Crashers
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Dirt 4
Before we get much further, you should know that the reward you get for participating in all of this is - drumroll please - a Steam profile badge. But even if you don't typically care about that kind of thing, the overall event is a much-appreciated push for us all to finally tackle games we've been meaning to try for years. There are "Daily Tasks" that reward you for trying out a random selection of the free games, a random set of games that you own, and one game that you own that you've never played (assuming you have one). Then there are "Projects" which you can tick off one by one throughout the whole event.
My favorite Projects are "Another Chance", which challenges you to load up a game that you've logged less than an hour with, and "Blast from the Past", which rewards you for playing the first game ever added to your Steam account. I was pretty sure I knew which one that would be, so I checked the details, and yep - good old Half-Life 2! Though Counter-Strike Source (AKA the awkward middle sibling of Counter-Strike), Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, and Half-Life 2: Lost Coast were also options since they're tied to the same purchase.
I wonder what the Connor of 2004, who was mildly annoyed that he had to sign up for this "Steam" thing just to play Half-Life 2, would think about Connor of 2018's Steam library. He'd probably wonder why I still haven't played through the original Thief and… well, that's a good question, past Connor. Maybe I'll clean that up this weekend.
Prefer to keep looking forward? Check out our curated look at the upcoming games of 2018.