Here are 23 good games at $1 or less in the 2020 winter sales

An image from adventure game Bard Harder. The charming bard protagonist is telling a skeletal wizard-king that their taste in interior decoration is fabulous.
(Image credit: Shark and Pelican)
Audio player loading…

With the Winter video game sales in full swing, or winding down (opens in new tab) with giveaways in some cases, it's always prudent to trawl for the good stuff that's good and cheap. Like, less than $1 American cheap. That, my friends, is cheap. So, like last year, I went trawling through the terrible search systems of the online PC game platforms to find you some sweet deals.

Are they the newest games? No. Are they literally the cheapest games you can get? Also no. Are they better than every game you can play for free (opens in new tab)? Definitely not. But they are pretty good games and maybe you've tried those other games. Maybe you'd like to try some new games. Perhaps your relative sent you $5 for the holidays. Here's now to make that $5 into five video games.

If you have more money, maybe go check out our list of the best deals of the 2020 Steam Winter Sale. (opens in new tab)

Steam

  • Poly Bridge (opens in new tab) — Build bridge. Bridge fall down. You laugh.
  • PAYDAY 2 (opens in new tab) — Steal things, shoot at the police. Do it cooperatively!
  • Teslagrad (opens in new tab) — An underrated, beautifully animated 2D Metroidvania.
  • Blackwake (opens in new tab) — A multiplayer naval combat FPS that just came out this year and has pretty positive reviews. I have no idea why it's only $1 but that seems like a steal if this is your jam.
  • GoNNER (opens in new tab) — A particularly difficult roguelike puzzle-platformer that will definitely be considered a cult classic in a few more years (also on Epic (opens in new tab).)
  • Tomb Raider (opens in new tab) — Yes, that Tomb Raider.
  • Men of War (opens in new tab) — One of the most tactically detailed RTS ever made, down to the individual bullet.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse (opens in new tab) — A cooperative superhero card game adapted from the rather-popular tabletop game.

GOG.COM

  • Anachronox (opens in new tab) — A strange, turn-based western RPG with the turn-based stylings of a  JRPG. A compelling story makes this one perfect for the RPG aficionado. 
  • Original War (opens in new tab) — An odd early-2000s RTS with signature RPG elements. Nothing quite like it has been made since. (also on Steam: Original War (opens in new tab).)
  • Thief Series — The OG stealth games. Thief (opens in new tab), Thief 2 (opens in new tab), and Thief 3 (opens in new tab). (also on Steam: Thief and Thief 2).
  • Eador Genesis (opens in new tab) — A clever old turn-based strategy game, like a fusion of Civilization and Might & Magic. One of those forgotten gems.
  • The Legacy of Kain series — The classic vampire action-adventure and roleplaying games from Crystal Dynamics. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (opens in new tab), Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (opens in new tab), Legacy of Kain: Defiance (opens in new tab), and Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 (opens in new tab).

Itch.io

  • Quiet as a Stone (opens in new tab) — A casual, slow, minimalistic game of exploration in a beautiful digital environment. As much toy as game.
  • Super Hexagon (opens in new tab) — One of the greatest twitch-based games of modern times. On a personal note, Super Hexagon is the first video game I ever reviewed.
  • Bard Harder (opens in new tab) — A ridiculous fantasy visual novel about flirting your way to success when your combat skills just don't cut it.
  • Shipwreck (opens in new tab) — An adorable, short top-down adventure game in the vein of classic Zelda games.
  • Rusty's Rail (opens in new tab) — A tiny, funny little clicker game about trains for the idle crowd.

I feel bad for not including at least 25 games, but there just wasn't that much great for cheap this year. I guess you could go get Deus Ex (opens in new tab) and its sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War (opens in new tab) for less than $1, but the interfaces... they just haven't aged well.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.