8 great PC games for under $10 to stretch your quarantine buck

Eric Abent - Mar 19, 2020, 4:11 pm CDT
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8 great PC games for under $10 to stretch your quarantine buck

As many of us are being to self-isolate as much as possible in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, that means we need to turn to the entertainment options we have at home. Thankfully, living in the digital age means that books, movies, TV shows, and video games are all accessible over the internet. That’s great, but given the future’s uncertainty, many of us are also concerned about saving as much money as possible.

PC gamers are no stranger to getting games at a discount – sales from digital storefronts like Steam, GOG, and others tend to significantly mark down a large number of PC games. The problem is that many of those sales are seasonal or centered around holidays, and here in the middle of March, there isn’t a whole lot to celebrate. With that in mind, here are several games that are available for $10 or less on PC, allowing you to dig into a new game while stretching your dollar.

Note: This list will only contain games that normally cost $10 or less, which means no games that are currently less than $10 because they’re on sale will be included. That way, should you happen upon this list at some point in the future, you can be confident that all of the titles listed can still be had on the cheap. The list also won’t include free-to-play games, simply because the cost of those games can quickly jump past $10 when in-game purchases are accounted for.

Terraria ($9.99)

At this point, I seem destined to mention Terraria on every single list of PC games I put together. That’s because Terraria is both cheap and a ton of fun, which is winning combination in pretty much every scenario. If you’ve never played Terraria before, then this should be one of the first games you should consider when buying on a budget, as it offers a ton of content that can potentially keep you playing for hundreds of hours on end. Check out the trailer for Terraria‘s upcoming expansion, Journey’s End, above.

FTL: Faster Than Light ($9.99)

There are a lot of really, really good roguelike games out there, but few of them strike as perfect a balance between price point and addicting gameplay as FTL does. In it, you’ll be tasked with leading a spaceship and its crew through hostile territory, with plenty of random events and challenging fights serving as roadblocks to your progression. While a successful run may only take around an hour to complete, you’ll inevitably fail plenty of times before you taste sweet victory, so FTL is perfect for those who are looking for a challenge.

SteamWorld Dig ($9.99)

If you’re looking to maximize your time-played-per-dollar-spent ratio, you should probably consider other games before picking up SteamWorld Dig, as the main story only took me around 8 hours to complete when I first played through it. If, however, you want a unique, chill exploration game, SteamWorld Dig is definitely one to get. Despite the fact that many consider its successor, SteamWorld Dig 2 (which is $15 and therefore ineligible for this list, sadly), to be the better game, I would recommend playing the original first so you can get the complete story.

One Finger Death Punch 2 ($7.99)

While some of the games on this list are games you’ll want to play for hours on end, One Finger Death Punch 2 is more of a pick-up-and-play game that you might only play for a half hour at a time. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of content to play through, but rather that the game gets so intense that you won’t want to devote long play sessions to it.

One Finger Death Punch 2 is all about fast-paced combat that only utilizes the left and right mouse buttons. Sound easy? You’ll quickly learn that even with only two buttons to worry about, One Finger Death Punch 2 can still throw a lot of challenges at you.

Halo: Reach ($9.99)

It feels odd that I’m writing a list about PC games and including Halo: Reach on it, but here we are. The full Master Chief Collection can be had on PC for $39.99, but at the moment, Halo: Reach and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary are the only games available for it (Halo 2 Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3 ODST, and Halo 4 are all planned for this year). Individually, the games cost $10 each, so you can pick up Halo: Reach on its own and play through its stellar campaign before losing yourself in its deep online multiplayer.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ($9.99)

BioWare is a company that’s had a few misses in recent years, but once upon a time, it crafted some of the finest RPGs around. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic should certainly be counted among BioWare’s best titles, and it still (mostly) holds up to this day – just be sure to install some mods to modernize the experience by adding things like widescreen support before diving in.

Don’t Starve ($9.99)

With Don’t Starve, we have another roguelike game to add to the list, and just like FTL, you can easily squeeze a lot of playtime out of this one. In Don’t Starve, you’re dropped in a mysterious world with nothing but the clothes on your back and your goal is to survive as long as you can while unraveling the secrets of the world around you. While Don’t Starve has a number of DLC expansions these days, the base game has more than enough content to last you a long while.

Kingdom Rush ($9.99)

Growing up in the age of Flash gaming, I’ve played a ton of tower defense games in my time – more than I care to count, in fact. Kingdom Rush is the pinnacle of the genre in my opinion, perhaps alongside only GemCraft. Some of you out there have played enough tower defense games to last you a lifetime, but if you haven’t, you can’t go wrong with picking up Kingdom Rush and diving in.

Bonus: Most of GOG’s classic library

If you’re in search of games on the cheap, GOG is the first place you should stop. The digital retailer has a ton of classic games in its catalog for $10 or less, which it offers DRM-free. Many of those games can be purchased elsewhere, but on GOG, you can typically count on those games to be updated to run well on modern operating systems. Some classic games worth checking out include the original Diablo, Heroes of Might and Magic 3: Complete, and Warcraft 2: Battle.net Edition, all of which are normally priced at $9.99.


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