20 Steam Summer Sale recommendations for games under $10

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(Image credit: Sega)

The Steam Summer Sale 2019 is now happening in your area, and wishlist drama and confusing metagame aside, it's a terrific time to top up your library. If you're anything like us, you've probably already bought the stuff you definitely wanted, and are now considering what else you can financially justify before it ends. It's a familiar series of events at this point.

All of the game deals below cost under $10 in this Steam sale, and they all come recommended by various members of the PC Gamer team. By no means are these the only Steam deals you'll find on there (Euro Truck Sim 2 is $5!), but these are some personal choices that you'll hopefully find useful. 

As ever, look to our best PC games list for our recommendations of what to play right now. 

Portal 2

(Image credit: Valve)

$0.99/£0.71
It's almost a dead cert that you have Portal 2 in your library, but just in case you don't, Valve has ensured that you can now buy the first-person puzzle game for around the same price as a Coke (your local beverage prices may vary). If you finish the excellent story, you can dig into playing in co-op. And if you're done with that, you can start checking out over half a million singleplayer creations in the Steam Workshop.—Samuel Roberts

Into the Breach

(Image credit: Subset Games)

$7.49/£5.69
I feel like Into the Breach is the game for people who don't think they like tactics games. It boils every battle down into just a few turns, as you control three mechs of different specialities around 8x8 grids. You'll learn that pushing the monstrous bug-like enemies into each other is an efficient way to damage several at a time. You'll set forests on fire to put pressure on your opponents. You'll terraform multiple squares at once to kill every nearby threat. And sometimes, you'll sacrifice a soldier because you're in a corner and it's the only way to win. A deserving winner of last year's GOTY award.—Samuel Roberts

Superhot

$9.99/£7.19
I've always loved Superhot, but it's a much easier recommendation at a cent below $10 than $25. Time only moves forward when you do in this first-person game as you shoot, punch and slice your way through rooms of enemies in levels that are like puzzles, rather than set pieces. The real killer feature: exporting and watching your replay after a successful run. That above is one of mine (it's not quite perfect, I'm afraid). Great game.—Samuel Roberts

Vanquish

(Image credit: Sega)

$4.99/£3.74
Absurd futuristic Platinum action featuring a rocket-propelled warrior with morphing weapons and a tendency to powerslide into battle. It's dated in parts but there's loads to enjoy here for a few dollars, including the game's bizarre story, which features a weird facsimile of Hillary Clinton for some reason.—Tom Senior

Bayonetta

(Image credit: Future)

$5/£3.74
Sticking with PlatinumGames, if you like third-person brawlers and haven't played Bayonetta then this should be an auto-buy in the Steam sale. It's overflowing with style and its substantial combo-driven combat system begs to be replayed. The story progression is remarkable. You start out fighting on the face of a collapsing clocktower and the game accelerates from there.—Tom Senior

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

(Image credit: Devolver Digital)

$3.74/£2.99
I've had a weird journey with Hotline Miami 2. It builds on the potential of the original game in some ways, by providing more frantic and challenging levels, as well as more available play styles. But sometimes its levels are far too open, like the army bases deeper into the game, where the information you have as a player isn't quite enough to make effective decisions before you're shot dead. Nonetheless, I've come to love it for the moments where it really thrives as a brutal, fast-paced and difficult action game, demonstrated by both a thrilling heist sequence and tough prison riot. I now slightly prefer playing it to the original, but that's only because I sunk an unhealthy amount of hours into it at the time.—Samuel Roberts

Yakuza 0

(Image credit: Sega)

$9.99/£7.49
I started cult favourite RPG/beat-'em-up hybrid Yakuza 0 on PS4, which ended up being a terrible mistake for a couple of reasons: firstly, my PS4 started spitting discs out, which is a problem when a game has a manual save system, and secondly it came to PC anyway. There's nothing else quite like it on Steam, as you're relentlessly attacked with new minigames, odd sidequests, and interesting characters as you explore its packed little open world(s). The best starting point for the series, now that it all seems to be coming to PC bit-by-bit.—Samuel Roberts

The Magic Circle

(Image credit: Question)

$4.99/£3.74
This unusual first-person experience is set inside an in-development game that's going through major teething troubles, which forms the basis of the story. Moment-to-moment, though, you're capturing enemies and reprogramming their AI to help you attack other enemies and solve puzzles. It's one of those oddities that arrived right at the time when seemingly a million indie games started landing on Steam a week, and it deserves more attention than it got.—Samuel Roberts

Bomber Crew

(Image credit: Curve Digital)

$5.09/£5.09
This stressful but neat management sim has you controlling the crew of a bomber, trying to execute missions without being shot down or losing vital personnel. It has the spirit of FTL, despite the rhythm of its action being very different, and while I'm not any good at it, I do like personalising my bomber in PC Gamer colours and trying to keep it from falling out of the sky.—Samuel Roberts

Cities: Skylines

Here's how this happened. 

(Image credit: Future)

$7.49/£5.74
This is a frankly ridiculous price for the best city building romp around. Construct a city, balance the budget, keep citizens happy—you know the deal, but Cities: Skylines does it all so well. While it's gone on to have console launches, it's a PC sim through and through, and bolstered by a fantastic modding community that's built all manner of impressive assets. There's quite a bit of DLC, most of it good, and it's all in the sale, too.—Fraser Brown

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

(Image credit: Gearbox)

$9.99/£5.99
Homeworld's prequel doesn't get in the spotlight nearly enough. It's hard to find a good RTS these days, so a great one like Deserts of Kharak should be cherished. Like the original games, it's an elegant, eye-catching RTS with a compelling campaign driving it forward. The shift from space to ground combat also comes with some benefits, like the tactical use of terrain and elevation. The space battles are missed, but the maps are a lot more engaging. If you've not played its two space counterparts, the Homeworld trilogy is also available in a bundle.—Fraser Brown

Dirt Rally

(Image credit: Codemasters)

$7.99/£4.99
In the Discworld novels, policeman Sam Vimes can tell which street he's on in the dark by the feel of the cobbles through his thin shoes. Dirt Rally is oddly like that—a racing game where you come to know the terrain beneath your tires and adjust accordingly. In that sense I’ve never felt so connected to a course, but in another you’re completely adrift from it. Traction comes and goes as gravel flies under rubber, and it's a constant, thrilling battle to stay on track. If you want to feel what it’s like on the very edge of control, there are few more terrifying challenges in PC gaming.—Jeremy Peel

This War of Mine

(Image credit: 11 bit studios)

$4.99/£3.74
Before Frostpunk came this equally desperate management game about survival, during a Sarajevo-like siege that has turned a population into scavengers ready to kill if necessary. The games of 11 Bit Studios are ones for which the usual descriptors—fun, exciting, addictive—suddenly become inappropriate. But there’s a familiar, Sims-like drive to the busywork involved in keeping your band of citizens alive. Soon enough, the mechanics of routine end up normalising the truly horrible. This is a game in which planting rat meat in the attic to trap more rats simply became one of my daily chores. I just wish I could say that’s the worst thing I’ve done just to see the end of the siege.—Jeremy Peel

Dead By Daylight

(Image credit: behaviour)

$9.99/£7.49

Dead By Daylight is one of the strangest multiplayer games to ever break out and form its own meta. What seems like a one-off horror romp made for YouTube is actually a tactically deep asymmetrical game of cat and mouse. The themes couldn't be more different, but it's the best spiritual successor to Splinter Cell's Spy vs. Mercs mode we're gonna get. Developer Behaviour Interactive has done a great job supporting Dead By Daylight with new killers, survivors, and perks that shift its meta and keep things fresh.—Morgan Park

Rainbow Six Siege

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

$9.99/£8.49

The best tactical shooter around is half off its regular price in the Summer Sale. Rainbow Six Siege is a tough game to get into, but it's extremely well-supported and a ton of fun if you can learn the ropes. And I promise you, there are fewer things more satisfying in video games than busting open walls with Sledge's hammer.—Morgan Park

Rocket League

(Image credit: psyonix)

$9.99/£7.49

Look, I don't know why you don't have Rocket League yet, but we don't have to talk about that. It's here, it's cheap, and you can correct the mistake. Rocket League is still some of the best fun you can have out of a casual multiplayer game. The game is still constantly supported with seasonal events and modes, so it's a great one to occasionally come back to and see what's new.—Morgan Park

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

(Image credit: Capcom)

$8.99/£7.19

Dragon's Dogma wasn't universally praised at its launch in 2012, but it picked up a big cult following. It's an ambitious RPG that prioritizes intense, floaty combat over story and dialogue (though it has plenty of that too). There's also some Monster Hunter DNA in Dragon's Dogma that I'm very into, so that helps. For nine bucks, it's a solid buy.—Morgan Park

Firewatch

(Image credit: firewatch)

$4.99/£3.74

Among the indie darling narrative games of the past decade, Firewatch is easily my favorite. Its story unfolds in such a natural way, and all the while you get to live the life of a man among nature who watches the horizon for fire. You can complete it in only a few hours, and everyone should.—Morgan Park

Inside

(Image credit: Playdead)

$6.99/£5.24

I never thought the followup to Limbo would live up to its predecessor, but Inside is even better. It's similarly short and sweet, but its puzzles and world are more interesting. It's also got a hell of an ending.—Morgan Park

Mothergunship

(Image credit: Mothergunship)

$6.24/£4.99

Mothergunship is about invading gunships and shooting robots with guns to find more pieces of guns to make your own guns. It's an excellent take on "bullet hell" in the form of an FPS, and it's criminally underplayed. Take the plunge while it's so cheap!—Morgan Park