With so many great games coming out all the time, it’s easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. Many of the biggest game releases these days ask players to spend dozens (if not hundreds) of hours with them, so there just isn’t enough time to see everything.
Thankfully, games go on sale all the time. If you check the storefronts on Steam, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One every week, you’re sure to find a great game from two years ago has gone down to $15. Here are the best recent games that you should play if you haven’t:
This obviously isn't some obscure indie game. 'The Witcher III' won several Game of the Year awards in 2015, but plenty of people (myself included) skipped it when it came out.
Maybe we felt we wouldn't like it because we hadn't played its predecessors, or we didn't have time to dive into a huge open-world RPG when it came out. If you skipped it for any reason, fix that as soon as possible. 'The Witcher III' is a genuine achievement in video game writing.
Imagine if every random sidequest in 'Skyrim' had the same level of care put into it as the main story. That's 'The Witcher III,' a game where something as innocuous as finding materials for an armorsmith can turn into an hours-long journey with emotional twists and turns.
The main game can be found on sale for around $30 or less pretty often, and a complete edition with all of the downloadable add-ons is launching on August 31 for $50.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Again, this was a Game of the Year contender back in 2014, but the 'Lord of the Rings' connection and generic-looking main character may have turned some people off of what is a pretty fantastic action game.
You don't need to know or care about Tolkien's fantasy universe to enjoy this. It's an open-world game that plays a lot like 'Assassin's Creed,' meaning you can take on Orc encampments with acrobatics and stealth, and it plays like a dream.
It's super fun to just run around the world killing Orcs, which is great because the story is inconsequential. The Nemesis System ensures that you'll build rivalries with Orcs that you kill (and Orcs that kill you), so the game kind of generates little stores for you. It's really cool.
Most importantly, I got it for $10 earlier this year. It's on sale constantly.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
1992's 'Wolfenstein 3D' is widely thought of as the granddaddy of all first-person shooters, but its sequels (while good) have largely failed to make the same impact on video games.
2014's 'Wolfenstein: The New Order' isn't revolutionary in any sense, but it is one of the best shooters in recent memory. Set in an alternate 1960s where the Nazis won World War II and rule the world with robotic dogs, you can use stealth or dual wield shotguns and assault rifles to mow down the Nazi scum that stand in your way.
It also has a strangely personal, introspective story with some excellent characters, making it refreshing among other hyper-violent shooters.
You can find this one on sale for $30 or less fairly often.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Originally released in 2012, 'Dishonored' is one of the best stealth games ever made. It's a first-person sleuthing romp set in a weird fantasy world powered by whale magic. It's strange, but it works.
You can use magical powers to teleport around the game's huge, detailed environments and approach situations from any angle. Also, whether you choose to kill or merely silence your targets has big effects on the story later in the game, so keep that in mind.
'Dishonored: Definitive Edition' is available on current consoles for $20, which will serve as a good primer for the game's sequel, which comes out this November.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
If you grew up playing games like 'Super Metroid,' this is the game for you. 'Axiom Verge' has old-school visuals, amazing music and tons of cool weapons and upgrades to find in its side-scrolling alien world.
It's a direct throwback to 'Super Metroid' in both its sci-fi setting and its world design. The world is non-linear, but you'll regularly find doors and pathways that can't be opened until you find upgrades later, meaning you're encouraged to backtrack to earlier parts of the game to find secrets.
It's beautiful, addictive and, most importantly, super fun to play. It's just $20, too.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, PC
'Ori and the Blind Forest' has a similar structure to 'Axiom Verge,' but with a visually magnificent art style that looks hand-drawn like an animated film. It also uses an orchestrated soundtrack to help tell its emotional story.
Don't let the way it looks and sounds fool you, though. This can be a brutally challenging game, with plenty of precision platforming sections that require cat-like reflexes. It's a true test of skill for $20.
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Don't worry, Wii U owners. The rest of the gaming world may have left you behind, but I haven't.
'FAST Racing NEO' is the closest thing we're going to get to a modern 'F-Zero' sequel. It's an outstanding, blazingly fast futuristic racer with a neat colour-shifting mechanic; you can switch between blue and orange, and you need to adjust your colour on the fly to make use of boost pads and jumps.
It has 16 tracks, local and online multiplayer and it looks great. You can download it on Wii U for $15.
Platforms: Wii U
If you want to do some racing on more popular consoles, 'The Crew' has your back. It's an open-world driving game set in (a condensed, goofy-looking) version of the entire United States, meaning you can drive from New York to California if you want.
It also has pretty deep car customisation. It wasn't very well-received when it first came out in 2014, but it's built up a solid fanbase with constant updates (there's a new expansion coming out in November).
It can be found on sale for $40 or less pretty often.
Platforms: Ps4, Xbox One, PC
This is a household name thanks to the old PlayStation games and Angelina Jolie films, but the 2013 reboot of 'Tomb Raider' is an excellent game in its own right.
It's an origin story for the adventurous historian Lara Croft, as she must learn how to fight and survive against an onslaught of enemy soldiers and supernatural forces. It's a great action-adventure game, and it can regularly be found on sale on PS4 and Xbox One for $7 (seriously!).
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Originally an internet browser game in 2008, 'Spelunky' was expanded upon and released on consoles and PC in 2012. I am not exaggerating when I say it is one of the best games ever made.
It's a cutesy, side-scrolling platformer where every level is randomly generated. Your goal is to collect as much money and as many upgrades as you can on your quest to the end of each level without dying. If you die, that's it; you have to start all over with a new set of levels and none of the things you found before you died.
It's fiendishly addictive, and it only explains so much to you. You'll discover new ways to explore (and die) every time you play because it's so full of clever little secrets to find.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PlayStation Vita, PC
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