Have you had days where you scroll through your Steam library and realize you don’t want to play any of those games? Yet deep down, you still want to play something.
If that feeling sounds far too familiar, then it’s time to try some new games. Better yet, it’s time to try some new games at an affordable price. To satisfy your craving, we’ve looked through Steam’s catalog and put together a list of the best games below $10 (and above $5, as we have a separate list of Steam games below $5 here).
Curious about the Nintendo Switch? Here’s our list of the Best Upcoming Nintendo Switch games.
1. Bloons TD 6
In Bloons TD 6, players have to mobilize an army of monkeys to defend themselves against a horde of increasingly threatening balloons. It’s a tower-defense game where light-hearted fun and frame-killing animations take center stage.
Much like other tower defense games, ridiculous upgrades and powerful combos are the main allure. However, its simplicity and easy-to-pick-up mechanics create a wonderful experience to just sit back, conjure up an army of monkeys, and pop some balloons. If you enjoy the sound of popping bubble wrap, then the sound of popping balloons in this game may have an ASMR-like effect on you that more justifies its $10 price tag.
Plus, it has an amazing 4-player coop mode. Each map is split up into four different sections, with each player only allowed to create monkeys in their own section. This leads to players coordinating with one another to survive the waves.
Terraria shares many similarities with Minecraft, except it’s 2D and uses pixel art. Much like Minecraft, Terraria has players gathering materials during the day and then defending their fortresses at night from waves of monsters.
The 2D mechanics make Terraria feel like you’re playing a Metroidvania with Minecraft’s building mechanics. This feeling really comes to life in Terraria’s boss fights. There are over 20 bosses to slay, and each one is a heart-pounding affair. Since Terraria can support up to eight players, these fights become even more chaotic as you try to coordinate with your friends to take down these massive enemies.
Portal is a masterpiece. If you haven’t played this game, then $10 is a steal for such an amazing game.
It’s a single-player game where you test out a portal gun for a high-tech science company. Players have to solve puzzles by creating portals that connect to one another. For example, navigating across a gap requires you to put one portal on the other side of the gap, and another portal right next to you. That way you can walk through the portal nearest to you and appear on the other side.
The premise is simple and the game itself isn’t extremely long. But each challenge is a genius pairing of creative game mechanics with hilarious dialogue. The almost endless library of high-quality player-created content makes this pretty amazing value.
Right next to Portal, Undertale is another masterpiece that is a bargain at $10. Its 8-bit RPG experience is a callback to old-school RPGs like the original Final Fantasy and Earthbound. But its heart-warming story, unique combat mechanics, amazing soundtrack, and endearing characters make it a leader in the RPG genre.
Plus, few games challenge the well-established building blocks of their genre quite like Undertale. This is best seen in the “pacifist” run, where players are rewarded with a phenomenal storyline for not engaging in a murder spree that so many games default to. Instead, players are shown that being peaceful and kind is often the harder, but more rewarding route to take.
5. Faster Than Light
Fans of roguelike games will love Faster Than Light.
In this game, Rebels have successfully dissolved the Federation. You’re the captain of a Federation ship with an important message that may help restore balance to the galaxy. Your job is to make it to the other end of the galaxy in one piece.
Faster than Light is an amazing game because it combines so many genres within itself – a bit of survival game here, a bit of management there – yet still keeps things fairly simple. On the management front, players have to figure out where to put their limited resources on their ship and how best to use their crew members; at other times it feels almost like an RTS, as during fights players have to figure out where to hit the enemy ship and how to use their crew to fend off boarders.
At the heart of this game are the roguelike aspects. Each run in FTL may start the same way, but it’s never the same journey as the previous one. The randomized mechanics influence what events your ship meets, what weapons it finds, and what strategy you want your ship to use to survive an extremely unforgiving universe.
Rounds is a quirky and often hilarious platform fighting game that also does a great impression of old-school artillery games like Gunbound or Worms. The goal is simple: shoot your friends and reduce their HP to zero to win the game.
What makes Rounds such are blast are the buffs each player gets. Players are granted a buff at the start of each game, which can range from something simple like life steal on each hit, to stranger ones like randomly changing your color and granting you different powers based on what color you are.
Games are decided in a first-to-three wins format. After a player wins a round, each loser gets given another buff. This means that as the rounds go on, the game becomes more and more chaotic, creating absurd late-game battles for everyone involved.
Tired of (or too spooked by) Phasmophobia, but you still want to solve puzzles with friends? Labyrinthine is a four player coop horror game that combines jump scares with escape room puzzles.
Each game will throw your group into a maze where you’ll have to solve puzzles in order to escape. But as you’re solving these puzzles, a monster in the maze is hunting you down. The objective is to learn about the maze’s lore, use that lore to solve the puzzles and avoid evisceration by whatever horrifying creature is lurking near you.
8. Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 3 is the pinnacle of the iconic Metal Slug franchise. It’s a classic arcade shooter with fairly simple mechanics that you can play with one additional friend. You don’t need to have played the previous games; just jump into this one and enjoy the button-mashing mayhem.
What makes Metal Slug 3 a gem of its era is the mountain of secrets to discover. Some secrets will lead you to secret bosses and secret routes. But the especially entertaining ones lead to extremely powerful mounts like a massive war elephant.
Another potentially frugal way to play is cloud gaming, so we’ve covered the best cloud gaming platforms for you here. If you don’t mind the extra cost, our list of the Best JRPG Games on the Nintendo Swtich.