Spring is here
After busy months like March, which brought a barrage of awesome games in the form of Dark Souls 2, Titanfall, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, we're down for a bit of R&R. By which we mean, a time to relax and catch up on our ever-growing backlog. An impossible task, but a noble one nonetheless.
But perhaps you've already burned through most of the games you'd been hoping to get to, and you're looking for something new to play. After all, there's not a whole lot slated for the rest of April, or even the first half of May. To help you get through the spring lull, we've compiled a list of 30 awesome games--any of which can be purchased for less than $30. Want to increase your backlog? Here are some mighty fine suggestions, starting with...
Games in the $20-30 price range
The Banner Saga
Available on: PC
Imagine, if you will, a tactical RPG akin to XCOM: Enemy Within or Fire Emblem: Awakening in which you control humans and Viking-like giants. Add to that an Oregon Trail-esque traveling component where terrible, terrible things happen to your clansmen, forcing you to march on while your people die in droves. That game is The Banner Saga, a grueling but rewarding RPG experience built for the iron-willed. It's a game in which defeat is always at your heels, and even when you're winning, you feel like you're losing. Still, its mature story, gorgeous Disney-like aesthetic, and tough-as-nails combat scenarios make this adventure well worth your time.
Persona 4 Golden
Available on: PS Vita (opens in new tab)
You've likely played a few dozen JRPGs that have brave heroes fighting against wizards in medieval worlds--why not try something different? Like, very different. Persona 4 Golden is a modern-day RPG, wherein you're playing as a teenager in Japan who needs to juggle his monster killing with schoolwork, all the while creating new summons via captured and crafted demons. But while that might sound a little silly and niche, it's actually an an incredibly relatable, 100+ hour journey. Sure, you're playing as a Japanese schoolboy surrounded by a bunch of teenagers, but that's more relatable. Each character is brilliantly fleshed out, and the storytelling and writing are top notch--Persona 4: Golden is the modern JRPG.
Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U (opens in new tab)
Welcome to the most badass Zelda Clone ever conceived. In Darksiders 2, you control Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Your goal: to clear the name of your brother, War, who has been framed for the annihilation of mankind. The awesome premise will have you exploring a number of vast regions, loot-filled dungeons, and even the charred remnants of planet Earth. The combat here rivals some of the best action games have to offer, and you'll love adding new abilities and equipment to your already-destructive arsenal. As far as action adventure games go, Darksiders 2 is criminally overlooked.
DmC: Devil May Cry
Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 (opens in new tab)
Maybe you hated Ninja Theory's take on a classic action hero. Or maybe you approached the new Dante with an open mind. Regardless of your reaction to his redesign, the action in DmC: Devil May Cry speaks for itself. This is an excellent combo-driven action game, one that is packed with a variety of awesome weapons, fun bosses, and environmental designs that will make you feel like you're on an intense acid trip. Not that we'd know what that's like--it's just a phrase that seemed fitting.
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Traditional point-and-click adventure games are few and far between in 2014. In the past decade, the genre has gone through a sort of metamorphosis, evolving into games like Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead. But plenty of people like that old style of clicking on everything in a room until a new dialog option opens up, and for them, there's Double Fine's Broken Age. Originally started as a Kickstarter (and eventually broken into two acts), the game has a modern look and a classic feel. You'll jump between playing as Shay (a boy trapped in an overprotective space ship) and Vella (a girl trying to slay a monster), in parallel storytelling that's at the top of its class.
Available on: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One (opens in new tab)
Before there was Nathan Drake, there was Lara Croft--one of gaming's original treasure hunters. Over time, she fell by the wayside, but was brought back into the limelight by Crystal Dynamic's Tomb Raider reboot. This gritty adventure sees Lara and her crew shipwrecked on an island, which, as it just so happens, is inhabited by hundreds of seemingly insane cultists. It's a well-crafted but mysterious setting, one packed with tons of secrets and even more deadly traps and enemies. And, of course, tombs, which you'd do well to raid. Considering this was our runner-up to the 2013 game of the year, you can't go wrong for the low asking price.
The Wolf Among Us
Available on: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, PS3, iOS (opens in new tab)
You're Bigby Wolf, formerly of Big Bad Wolf fame, investigating crimes in the fairy tale-filled Fabletown. Made by the same team that developed The Walking Dead (our 2012 game of the year), The Wolf Among Us has you interacting with the likes of Mr. Toad and Snow White as you track down a brutal murderer. Like, crazy, grisly stuff. And though the first episode flies pretty close to Telltale's zombie franchise, the later episodes evolve to become more unique and more stylized. The series isn't over yet (we're only three episodes in, at the time of posting), but the first half of the season is strong enough that we feel fine recommending you jump onboard now.