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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 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 right now and new games of 2021.

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

Freebies you can grab right now: 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: 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: 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: Maybe you're looking for a deal on PC hardware to go along with those cheap games.

Top five

(Image credit: Toukana Interactive)

The best cheap PC games: 5 must-plays

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

Dorfromantik - $9.99 on Steam
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
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
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
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
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)

The best cheap PC games: Multiplayer

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

  • Halo 3 - $9.99 - The peak of Halo multiplayer, and one of its finest co-op campaigns. Grab the great standalone ODST campaign for another $5.
  • Drawful 2 - $9.99 - Maybe the best Jackbox party game ever. Draw funny pictures with your friends. Laugh. Never fails.
  • Portal 2 - $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 - $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 - $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)

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.

  • FTL - $9.99 - A stone cold classic roguelike about managing your crew and upgrading your ship on a perilous interstellar journey.
  • Post Void - $2.99 - Post-comprehension? This hallucinogenic FPS may make you queasy, but you'll never play anything like it.
  • Super House of Dead Ninjas - $6.99 - Perfect throwback to 16-bit platformers. Chain hits to power up and see how long you can keep your combo going.
  • Devil Daggers - $4.99 - All hell's out to get you, and you'll be lucky if you survive a minute. How many runs can your nerves and reflexes handle?
  • Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy - $7.99 - You're the man in the jug. You have a hammer. How far can you climb?
  • Nuclear Throne - $11.99 - One of the great action roguelikes, this top-down shooter gives you tons of fun characters to try, and the shooting's delightfully twitchy.

Classic PC games

(Image credit: Revolution Software)

The best cheap PC games: Classics

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

  • Quake - $4.99 - This FPS campaign is still a masterful display of level design 25 years later, and fans are still making custom maps to this day
  • Fallout: New Vegas - $9.99 - You can get a whole lot of RPG for 10 bucks. Our favorite Fallout concentrates tons of quests and interesting characters along the Vegas strip.
  • Star Wars: KOTOR 2 - $9.99 - Another Obsidian great. No game has offered such a thoughtful approach to Star Wars in the 15 years since.
  • Broken Sword - $5.99 - A classic point-and-click adventure that still holds up in 2021.
  • Final Fantasy 7 - $11.99 - The remake isn't on PC yet, but you can grab the original on Steam. Definitely grab an AI upscale mod, too.

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 - $9.99 - What briefly looks like a straightforward RPG turns into a sad, funny, and affecting adventure. And what an ending.
  • The Norwood Suite - $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 - 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 - $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 - $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.
When he's not 50 hours into a JRPG or an opaque ASCII roguelike, Wes is probably playing the hottest games of three years ago. He oversees features, seeking out personal stories from PC gaming's niche communities. 50% pizza by volume.