The Steam Summer Sale is underway, which means a frankly incomprehensible number of games will be available on the cheap until July 8.
Steam sale staples like The Witcher 3, Stardew Valley, Borderlands, Red Dead Redemption, The Elder Scrolls, and plenty of others are back bearing their usual heavy discounts, but we also wanted to highlight some of the new games that have already received hefty price cuts, as well as older games that you can play to prepare for some new and upcoming titles. And if you're just looking for an all-consuming time vampire to live in until the sweltering season is past us – because getting sucked into a game beats a heat coma – we've picked out a few of those too.
2021 releases in the Steam Summer Sale
Little Nightmares 2 - 20% off at $23.99 (opens in new tab)
The sequel to Tarsier Studio's atmospheric horror game is dripping in style and atmosphere, and one of the most terrifying perspectives in the medium. As we said in our Little Nightmares 2 review, it's an amazing little horror game.
Persona 5 Strikers - 33% off at $40.19 (opens in new tab)
As I said earlier this year, Persona 5 Strikers feels like a sequel to Persona 5 from an alternate universe. Turn-based combat has been replaced by Dynasty Warriors hacking and slashing, but the style and soul of the Phantom Thieves is untouched.
Loop Hero - 33% off at $9.99 (opens in new tab)
It's amazing how fun not playing a game can be. That's sort of the pitch for Loop Hero, a crash-course in level design and automation that blends roguelike RNG with the optimization of a deckbuilder to create an endlessly entertaining, well, loop.
Nier Replicant - 25% off at $44.99 (opens in new tab)
The remastered and expanded version of the original Nier is every bit as captivating as Nier: Automata, which really put the series in the public eye. Modernized but still endearingly weird, Nier Replicant was built for newcomers and Nier diehards alike – read up on all the improvements in this interview with the devs.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition - 17% off at $49.79 (opens in new tab)
It's Mass Effect, but prettier and smoother. You can't complain about getting three HD Mass Effect games and all their DLCs for under $50.
Phantom Abyss - 20% off at $19.99 (opens in new tab)
The procedurally generated parkour tomb-raiding of Phantom Abyss has immediately clicked for a lot of people, us included. It's an exhilarating game with tons of potential, but even at the start of its Early Access journey, Phantom Abyss is already hard to put down.
Catch up for new games, or make the wait less painful
Dark Souls 3 Deluxe Edition - 75% off at $21.24 (opens in new tab)
Elden Ring isn't out until January 2022, and Dark Souls 3 with all the fixings is the next best thing. If you've got a hankering for some open-world dark fantasy built by masters of the craft, Dark Souls 3 will suit you just fine.
Dying Light Enhanced Edition - 70% off at $17.99 (opens in new tab)
Not sure why so many people are still hyped for Dying Light 2 after all this time? Pick up the original and its many DLCs for under $20 and find out for yourself. I've half a mind to give it a replay before the sequel's out, myself.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard - 67% off at $9.89 (opens in new tab)
Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil Village are very different games, but both are worth playing. Together, they demonstrate the greatest strengths of the series: genuine horror, silly over-the-top monsters, and white-knuckled gunplay. Resident Evil 7 is the scariest the series has ever been, and for $10 it's a steal.
Code Vein - 75% off at $14.99 (opens in new tab)
Per our fresh Scarlet Nexus review, Bandai Nacmo's latest is another slick anime action-RPG that will delight fans of the genre. If you can't swing $60 for a new JRPG right now, give Code Vein a try for $15. It shares a lot of staff with Scarlet Nexus (and the Tales games), and while it's a messy game, it's got enough charm to make up for its problems. Check out our Code Vein review if you're not sold.
Steam Summer Sale games that will last you all summer
Destiny 2 Legendary Edition - 50% off at $39.99 (opens in new tab)
This bundle gets you Destiny 2 and all of its expansions – Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light – plus a full season of content. This is the best and most affordable way to get into Bungie's space opera of a shooter, and now's a great time to dive in.
No Man's Sky - 50% off at $29.99 (opens in new tab)
No Man's Sky is well past its comeback tour. It's long since established itself as an open-world sci-fi great, and at this point Hello Games is just flexing on us with incredible update after incredible update.
Black Desert - 90% off at $1 (opens in new tab)
That's not a typo; Black Desert, a staggeringly rich open-world fantasy MMO, is just $1 right now. No subscription and no expansions necessary. This has got to be one of the best values in the entire sale. Treat Black Desert as a stunning single-player fantasy RPG and you'll find yourself losing hundreds of hours to its flashy combat and engrossing exploration.
Here are even more new games of 2021 and beyond to get excited about.