Christmastime is the best time of the year for giving and getting. For the most part.
Winter Sales are still alive and kicking across the Internet, and GOG's Winter Sale is one of the best. Some of the prices are so low you'd think you were in an alternate 1940s where video games already existed.
As an avid advocate for retro gaming, especially for gamers with a tight budget, I only have good things to say about GOG sales. So, before the GOG Winter Sale ends, I'm giving you my list of recommended games you should get.
10. Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
Horizon Forbidden West was released in the summer of this year and quickly garnered much praise and Game of the Year nominations. If you've never experienced the world of Horizon and want to know what it's all about, now is a perfect time.
The Complete Edition is 85% off and is currently only $16.49. Most of the included add-ons are just outfits and bows, but the Complete Edition does also include The Frozen Wilds expansion.
The world of Horizon is one of the most beautiful in recent gaming, blending marvelous wildlife creatures and hyper-advanced Machines. It delivers an exciting and unique experience that I highly recommend.
9. Psychonauts 1 & 2
Brainchildren of the legendary Tim Schafer, Psychonauts 1 and 2 are action-adventure platformer classics that perfectly mix action and humor.
Psychonauts puts you in the brain cap of Raz, a young psychic cadet seeking to join the Psychonauts (ding). When someone starts stealing the brains of psychic children, Raz sees it as an opportunity to prove himself worthy of joining the Psychonauts and goes out to stop this brain thief.
The game worlds of Psychonauts 1 and 2 are colorful and trippy. The psychic powers are plentiful and satisfying to use. And the humor is well-done, which is becoming a rare occurrence in modern gaming.
The platformer genre has seen much better days, but the 2021-released Psychonauts 2 proved that platformers, Psychonauts, and Tim Schafer still got it. Hopefully, the success of Psychonauts 2 starts a resurgence of the platformer genre in next-gen gaming.
8. Kingdom Come: Deliverance Royal Edition
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the most immersive games in recent years, especially games based in medieval settings.
The developers took time making Kingdom Come: Deliverance historically accurate in areas like the setting and politics. It is a very welcome approach at a time when you can play a World War 1 game filled with guns that didn't exist until after World War 2.
The combat is slow (A single fight may take several minutes) and highly methodic. If you make a bad move, you may see yourself on the wrong end of a brutal demise.
In Kingdom Come: Deliverance, you take on the role of Henry, a blacksmith's son. Henry suffers the usual video game protagonist's tragic backstory of his home's destruction and the deaths of his family and friends. It becomes time for Henry to use swords rather than forge them as he goes out to claim vengeance.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is not for casual gamers. But if you fancy a challenge, I suggest you pick it up. The Royal Edition is currently $9.99 and includes all five DLC packs.
7. Metro Franchise Bundle
Since we just talked about immersion, there's no better time than now to recommend the Metro franchise.
Metro puts you in the shoes of Artyom, a young man living in post-Apocalyptic Russia. He starts as a boy wishing to see more than the confines of his small but safe Metro station, only to find himself wrapped up in larger-scale conflicts against the dangers of the post-apocalyptic world.
From bandits and Nazis to various mutants and fellow survivors who still fall victim to the plague of human nature, Artyom must step up to help prevent the eradication of the human race. From one threat or another.
Metro is personally one of the most immersive experiences I've ever had. Metro 2033 is one of a handful of games I've finished, where I immediately started a new campaign after watching the end credits. Words cannot describe how atmospheric Metro's world is. If I had to pick a Big Three of post-apocalyptic games, Metro is right beside Fallout and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchises as gaming's best.
If you've been on top of the Epic Games free game giveaways these last four years, you should already have Metro 2033 and Last Light Redux. If that's the case, make sure you pick up Metro Exodus Gold Edition for $11.99.
If you don't already have Metro 2033, Last Light, or Exodus, snag the Franchise Bundle for $14.99.
6. Blood: Fresh Supply
For first-person shooter fans, few things are more influential than the Build engine. It was responsible for delivering some of gaming's best shooters.
Deciding on a single game to reign as the best Build engine shooter is a near-impossible task. But that conversation always has a handful of usual suspects, one of them being Blood.
Developed by Monolith Productions (Responsible for some of the best shooters of the late 90s and early 2000s), Blood is about an ex-cultist named Caleb seeking vengeance against the god he once worshipped. To gain revenge, Caleb will have to fight through an assortment of cultists, demons, and otherworldly foes in a brutal, glorious, and bloody experience.
Blood helped spearhead the horror shooter experience and is known as one of the Build engine's greatest games for a reason. Whether it's to pay respect to the glory days of yesteryear gaming or because you like shooting things, Blood is a must.
Blood: Fresh Supply includes the original Blood and add-ons Plasma Pak and Cryptic Passage. It brings this classic FPS up to modern standards, with extensive mod support, controller support, and 8-player support. You can pick it up for $4.99.
Boomer shooters have never been better.
5. Divinity Franchise
Few RPGs are as good and underappreciated as the Divinity franchise.
Divinity is a pleasantly consistent series (For the most part), which doesn't get the respect it deserves. Hopefully, I can help change that.
Feeling like a blend between classic isometric RPGs and Diablo, Divine Divinity starts out as your atypical RPG, filled with the usual suspect character classes of Fighter, Mage, and Survivor (Rogue). But once you're let loose on the world, Divine Divinity takes a turn for the better and quickly becomes addictive with high amounts of replayability.
While I have nothing but good things to say about Divine Divinity, Beyond Divinity is a little trickier. The bugs alone may be enough to make you quit on this one, though that experience always varies (I have seen countless memes about how buggy Fallout: New Vegas is, but I have never experienced many bugs myself). I would say Beyond Divinity is similar to Deus Ex: Invisible War. It's not a horrible game, but it is definitely a step backward from its predecessor.
Larian Studios returned to form with Divinity 2 and have been on point ever since. Divinity 2, Divinity: Original Sin, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 are all excellent.
If you're on the fence about purchasing the Divinity franchise, I recommend scooping up Divine Divinity and Divinity 2 to start yourself off. Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity are on sale for a mere $0.59 each, and Divinity 2 is $1.99.
When it comes to Western games, Red Dead is the definitive Western experience. And that's fair enough. I don't think Rockstar will ever create a game better than the masterpiece that is Red Dead Redemption 2.
But in 2005, one year after the release of Red Dead Revolver, a massively underappreciated Western game came out: GUN.
After Colton White's adoptive father gets killed, Cole heads out, seeking revenge on those responsible. While his father's murder seemed like just the average brutal violence of the West, it eventually becomes more complicated. Cole soon finds himself up against more than just common murderers.
The story is nothing to write home about, but the gameplay is. GUN sports highly-enjoyable first-person and third-person shooter mechanics and even has Bullet Time. There are dynamite and whiskey bombs for those who like it when things go boom and bowie knives and bows for those who prefer the stealth approach.
GUN's horseback riding is also more than competent. You can hunt, collect bounties on criminals, play poker, mine gold ore, and more. GUN also has a pretty stacked voice cast, with folks like Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, and Lance Henriksen taking on main roles.
Gaming magazines had a tendency to call GUN Western Grand Theft Auto. While calling something a GTA clone now is getting stale and oversimplifying the open-world crime genre, back then, being called Grand Theft Auto was a compliment.
GUN is fun, and that's all there is to it. It's a solid way of spending $6.59.
3. Destroy All Humans
I am ecstatic to see the revival of so many fan-favorite 2000s franchises over the last couple of years. Alongside Dead Island 2, the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection is my most-anticipated release.
Unfortunately, not all franchise revivals are home runs, which is why I'm happy to say Destroy All Humans is.
Destroy All Humans is a remake of the classic 2005 game of the same name. Destroy All Humans is a parody of all the alien invasion flicks of the mid-1900s, with a more humorous spin. You're an alien named Crypto 137 who must acquire human brain stems. Long ago, Crypto's race had an encounter with the human race. As a result, humans contain a small amount of pure Furon DNA. Crypto 137 must obtain this DNA to prevent his race from going extinct.
As you would expect, there are some humans on earth who won't sit idly by as an alien collects human brain stems. Crypto 137 has an assortment of advanced technology to help fend off those trying to stop him.
Destroy All Humans maintains all the flaws of the original (A nagging trend when it comes to video game remakes) but also all of the original's best qualities. That alone makes it a game well worth playing.
Destroy All Humans is on sale for $7.49. The remake of the second game is also on sale, but it is only 25% off. I recommend scooping up the first game and waiting for a better sale for the second.
2. The Saboteur
Watch Dogs started out interesting on paper. You're a man seeking justice against wrongdoers in an unconventional and shadowy manner. But in practice, it was somewhat repetitive and disappointing despite the hacking gimmick.
Instead of Watch Dogs, I recommend trying out The Saboteur.
The Saboteur stars Sean Devlin. He's an Irish race car driver living in France during World War 2. After the Nazis invade and kill Sean's loved ones, Sean links up with the French Resistance to get revenge.
As a race car driver, Sean doesn't exactly have the typical skillset of someone going to war. As a result, he needs to take a different approach to make the Nazis pay. You guessed it; sabotage.
Set in an open-world France long before open-world games have worn out their welcome, The Saboteur is a WW2 game that succeeded during a time period when people had started growing tired of WW2 games (Thanks Medal of Honor). We don't get enough old-world games set in more urban European settings, so games like The Saboteur and The Getaway get big brownie points with me.
For $4.99, you can experience a different side of WW2.
1. Beyond Good & Evil
As of October 2022, Beyond Good & Evil 2 officially became the most delayed triple AAA video game of all time.
First announced all the way back in 2008, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still just a hope and dream over 15 years after development began. Making it worse is the fact that we still don't have a concrete release date yet.
But if a game like Dead Island 2 can emerge from the depths of development hell, I have faith that Beyond Good & Evil can pull off the same feat. But we may have to wait quite a while longer. In the meantime, gamers can, at the very least, play the original Beyond Good & Evil.
Beyond Good & Evil stars a woman named Jade. Armed with a camera and a staff, Jade is a reporter growing increasingly suspicious of her world's government. Her home planet of Hillys has been a victim of alien invaders for years, and Jade doesn't understand the government's inability to stop them. She decides to find out what's going on and soon finds herself unwinding a government conspiracy on a scale far greater than she could imagine.
Despite underwhelming commercial success, critically speaking, Beyond Good & Evil is one of the greatest games of its generation. I don't want to spoil too much. Shell out $2.99, and you can see why Beyond Good & Evil 2 is so anticipated.