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The best cheap PC games

A Short Hike
(Image credit: Adamgryu)

I love a good deal. It's a rush to find a big discount on something I really want to buy, and with PC games you usually don't have to wait very long for the next Steam sale (opens in new tab) to get what you want. But it's also exciting to play a game that didn't cost very much to begin with and discover how much you love it.

The best cheap PC games can hold your attention for months. Cheap doesn't necessarily mean short or simple. Sometimes the most creative indie games cost only a few dollars, and some classics from the '90s and 2000s can be picked up for a song even outside big sales. But there are so many cheap games on Steam now, sorting through them can be exhausting. That's where this guide comes in: It's a collection of the best cheap games we've reviewed and written about, broken up into categories to help you find something to play. And I really do mean cheap: Nearly every single game here costs $10 / £10 or less.

Before we get to the regular cheap PC games, we have a few resources you should check for deals and outright free games every week.

If you want to throw some pricier games on your wishlist for the next sale, check out our guides to the best PC games (opens in new tab) right now and new games of 2021 (opens in new tab).

What's extra cheap right now: Deals and free games

Freebies you can grab right now (opens in new tab): Twitch Prime freebies, free weekends on Steam, limited betas and Epic giveaways, updated every week.

Epic Games Store free games: Epic gives away at least one game for free every week. Check here for the latest giveaway.

The best free PC games (opens in new tab): Our curated list of great free and F2P games, including what we're playing right now and tons more recommendations broken down by genre.

Xbox Game Pass PC games (opens in new tab): For $10 per month, you can play more than 100 PC games via Game Pass. Here's an up-to-date list of them all.

Cheap gaming PC deals (opens in new tab): Maybe you're looking for a deal on PC hardware to go along with those cheap games.

Top five

(Image credit: Toukana Interactive)
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The best cheap PC games: 5 must-plays

The best new cheap PC games, and a couple all-timers.

Dorfromantik - $9.99 on Steam (opens in new tab)
A calming puzzle game where you build villages by placing hexagonal tiles one after another. There are light goals and high scores if you want them, or you can just click tiles to assemble very nice little towns and feel at peace.

A Short Hike - $7.99 on Steam (opens in new tab)
With vibes similar to Animal Crossing, A Short Hike is a small game about exploring a cute lo-fi island. Chat with other characters, hike, fly. Enjoy the journey, y'know?

Doom 64 - $4.99 on Steam (opens in new tab)
A great modern port of the Nintendo 64 exclusive, with completely different levels and vibes than classic Doom. It's ominous! It feels like a bizarre alternate universe Doom, but even in an alternate universe Doom kicks ass.

Dishonored - $9.99 on Steam (opens in new tab)
A fantastic immersive sim, Dishonored is an action game that offers deep choice in how you traverse its environment and take out your enemies, lethally or not. Get creative and enjoy one of the coolest settings in PC gaming.

Terraria - $9.99 on Steam (opens in new tab)
A ludicrously good deal for a sandbox you can put years into. Terraria started a bit like a 2D Minecraft, but has grown into an elaborate sandbox RPG with huge quests. Even cheaper if you split a 4-pack with friends.

Multiplayer & Co-op

(Image credit: Valve)
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The best cheap PC games: Multiplayer

Looking for something to play with (or against) friends? Grab these for just a few bucks.

  • Halo 3 (opens in new tab) - $9.99 - The peak of Halo multiplayer, and one of its finest co-op campaigns. Grab the great standalone ODST (opens in new tab) campaign for another $5.
  • Drawful 2 (opens in new tab) - $9.99 - Maybe the best Jackbox party game ever. Draw funny pictures with your friends. Laugh. Never fails.
  • Portal 2 (opens in new tab) - $9.99 - The campaign is an all-timer, but you have to stick around for the brilliant puzzles of the co-op campaign and so, so many good fan-made levels.
  • Gunfire Reborn (opens in new tab) - $12.99 - A new co-op loot shooter, a bit like a tighter roguelike Destiny or Borderlands. Cool weapons and abilities, still evolving in Early Access.
  • Among Us - $4.99 - The breakout game of 2020 can run on a potato and happens to be a fantastic take on the Werewolf "hidden identity" game. Don't trust any of your friends.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 (opens in new tab) - $9.99 -  Another Valve classic. All of its campaigns are great co-op replay fodder, but head to the Steam Workshop for infinite options. Shoot zombies 4ever.

Roguelikes and action games

(Image credit: YCJY Games)
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The best cheap PC games: Just one more run...

These action games and roguelikes may be over in an hour or in just a few minutes, but they're made to keep pulling you back in again and again.

Classic PC games

(Image credit: Revolution Software)
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The best cheap PC games: Classics

Some of our favorite '90s and early 2000s PC games that we'd still recommend to anyone today.

Story and adventure games

The best cheap PC games: Bite-size stories

The Lion's Song

(Image credit: Mi'pu'mi Games GmbH)

These modern indie classics and adventure games may look small, but they tell big, unique stories that will stick with you.

  • Undertale (opens in new tab) - $9.99 - What briefly looks like a straightforward RPG turns into a sad, funny, and affecting adventure. And what an ending.
  • The Norwood Suite (opens in new tab) - $9.99 - Explore a surreal, mysterious hotel, dense with interactive scenery and bizarre characters. There are many small stories to discover here.
  • Papers, Please - $9.99 - As an immigration inspector, it's your job to scrutinize passports and turn away those who break the law. Prepare to be confronted with increasingly uncomfortable decisions as a story develops from this simple premise.
  • West of Loathing - $10.99 (opens in new tab) - One of the funniest games ever, and a surprisingly thorough RPG to boot. Also features "over 50 hats" and "a drunk horse." (It's actually a ~40-hour RPG, but easy to play in small bursts).
  • Her Story (opens in new tab) - $4.99 - Her Story kicked off a new era of small, creative story games with a brilliant design that has you piecing together a story nonlinearly via an archive of interview clips.
  • The Lion's Song (opens in new tab) - $7.99 - One of our favorite modern adventures, a set of connected episodes set in early 20th century Austria. This is art that has something to say about art, with stories following a musician, a painter, and a mathematician. In the end it brings them all together and incorporates the choices you made in each earlier episode.

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter (opens in new tab) and Tested (opens in new tab) before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).