5 Best Games To Buy on Steam

Felipe Cabrera

Steam is the best thing to happen to the budding college-aged gamer since the invention of ramen noodles. As of Jan. 15, Valve announced that Steam has 75 million active users. Steam offers thousands of games on sale for prices modest enough that splurging on two or more games will still leave enough cash in your wallet for tonight’s takeout. Here are the top five games on Steam that are worth every cent.

5. “Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gold Edition”

On a normal day, “Civ 5” would run you in the neighborhood of $49.99. Shop smart and that’s about a week’s worth of groceries. Sit on your wallet until Steam’s summer or winter sale, however, and you can snatch this game at the reasonable price of 12 bucks — making it the biggest steal on Steam. Not only are you getting the fifth (and the best) installment of a celebrated strategy game to date, but the Gold Edition also ups the ante and grants you the Gods and Kings expansion pack and a whole slew of DLC content.

Whether you are a history buff looking for a title centered on the greatest civilizations to span the globe or you are just looking for a good way to spend a few hours, look no further than “Civ 5”.

4. “Risk of Rain”

Had I made a list of my five most-played games of 2013, “Risk of Rain” would sit at the No. 1 spot. A splendid clash between stylistic retro graphics and keyboard-smashing difficulty, “Risk of Rain” will keep you basked in the illumination of your computer screen until your roommate finds you face-planted onto your keyboard.

After crash-landing on a planet hosting hostile creatures with one of 10 playable characters, it’s a battle against the clock as you survive waves of relentless enemies. The longer you dawdle, the more difficult the game becomes. This feature makes “Risk of Rain” one of the most difficult and highly addictive games on the list.

3. “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon”

Video games are as much of an art form as any form of entertainment media. Sometimes, this idea blows up in the heads of game developers and they spend more time trying to form a magnum opus of human expression and they lose sight of the most important factor of a video game: fun. “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon” waves a metallic middle finger at pretentious, ultra serious video games and backhands them singing “na-na-na-na-na.”

Take the impressive open world scope and tight-shooter mechanics of “Far Cry 3” proper, and then inject it with whatever they were feeding Arnold Schwarzenegger during the 80s and you have a love letter to the single best decade of action movies that is “Blood Dragon.” Set in the neon-fueled cyber punk 80s vision of a post-apocalyptic 2007, you play as the Mark IV Cyber Commando Sergeant Rex Power Colt sent on a mission to track a bioweapon on a militarized island. The whole game is blur of laser shoot-outs, shuriken kills and collecting the hearts of your enemies.

One part cheeky jab at the current trends in video games and one part mind-blowing awesome, you have not experienced fun until you have played “Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.”

2. “Torchlight 2”

Torchlight 2” was released in a period of time where the long-awaited sequel to gothic dungeon crawling RPG “Diablo 2” was nowhere in sight. During the 10-year dry spell, “Diablo” fans were happy enough to take “Torchlight 2” as their surrogate dungeon crawler until Blizzard graced them with the appearance of “Diablo 3.”

Well, that was until “Diablo 3” released and caused a chasm in the community. For those of you in the camp who thought “Diablo 3” was sacrilege to the franchise’s name and streamlined for the convenience of the inevitable console port, “Torchlight 2” remains a worthy stand-in.

“Torchlight 2” is practically “Diablo 2” with a different coat of paint, mirroring the addictive loot hunting and rewarding RPG gameplay that made the latter a PC classic. “Torchlight 2” even stands well on its own merits. The cell-shaded comic book-styled graphics are a pleasure to look at. The character classes are well balanced, each one being enjoyable to play whether you are playing online with a group of friends or going solo.

Even if you are not invested in the gamer drama, “Torchlight 2” is a fantastic game that will keep you violently clicking at foes for hours and deserves to be on your Steam game list.

1. “The Binding of Isaac”

The number one spot was a tossup between “The Binding of Isaac” and “Super Meatboy,” and I did not want to have two Edmund McMillen games on this list, so I went with the game that brought me to Steam in the first place: “The Binding of Isaac.”

The misadventures of the little naked lad broke two million in sales last year and for good reason. “The Binding of Isaac” popularized the rouge-like genre with randomly generated dungeons, brutal enemies and item placement. Couple this with the fact that deaths are permanent, stripping you of all your items and power ups and dropping you in a new map layout, “The Binding of Isaac” will chomp away hours of your life like some inter-dimensional Whovian piranha.

There is no reason this game should not appear on your Steam game list: it is affordable, addictive and the best game you can get on Steam — or at least until McMillen makes another game.