We get it — times are hard after Christmas. Funds are in short supply and every gamer and their neighbour are under the pressures of having to cut back somewhere. Sadly, gaming can be a serious bank-breaker if we aren’t overly careful with our pennies. That sort of makes things extremely difficult — especially when endless streams of triple-A hits start filling the shelves. We can’t always transfer our entire paycheck to the catalogue, and sometimes we do just have to put our foot down and settle for something a little less extravagant. However, fantastic games can be found for a few dollars these days — and that’s always a plus when trying to replenish the savings.
Since we’re in the January sales part of the season, we thought we’d scour the console markets and pick out five award-winning games. Even if you’re not deeply involved in a specific featured genre — we can’t fault the price tags on some of these titles. Plus, for a few dollars a piece — you’ve got very little to lose — and a whole world to gain. So, do yourselves a favour and trust us on this. We’ll be stacking those spare coins in no time.
Step into one of the most emotionally riveting quests ever produced in a video game with Outlast. Of course, you’re going to want to shut off the lights and buddy up for this one — because the atmosphere within the wallowing asylum can make for some seriously unsettling gameplay. Oh, and headphones are a must if you’re truly committed to bringing out the deepest levels of fear within you. But, you know — no pressure on that one.
The wandering patients of Mount Massive Asylum are on the loose, and it is up to you, an investigational journalist, to venture deep into the depths of the hospital in search of answers behind the experiments taking place within. With only a camera and a set of batteries, you are tasked with stepping into the dark and combining both stealth and intuition to navigate the eerie halls. Just don’t forget to keep an eye on that power if you plan on making it out alive.
4. The Wolf Among Us
Notably one of the most praised episodic adventures ever produced by the genius minds behind The Walking Dead. The Wolf Among Us, although slightly more adult-themed in certain ways, is an explosive journey that clashes both children’s fables and soap-opera dramas together in one mighty crunch. There’s a dash of emotion, a barrel of fast-paced action — and a whole ocean of immersive storytelling. But, of course, that’s what Telltale are most known for — and they certainly didn’t leave any stone unturned with this one, either.
As Bigby Wolf, you are the sheriff of Fabletown, a dystopian city crammed with folklore and fables. With creatures forced to take a drug called “glamour” in order to take a human form, the city becomes overwhelmed with rebellious fables and corrupt figureheads. As the Big Bad Wolf himself, you must keep a firm grip on Fabletown and stop the city from spiralling out of control. Of course, that’s easier said than done — especially when a severed head ends up at your apartment door, thus beginning a timeline of mysterious events. So, what is it exactly that’s going on in Fabletown? Can you link the pieces together?
3. Dead Island: Definitive Edition
It might not be the perfect vacation — but it certainly has its quirks. Dead Island, as you can probably guess, is a zombie survival game that grants you the keys to explore an entire island fleshed-out with neckbiters. Ultimately, the goal is to find an escape from the tropical beachfront, but without bundling together enough survivors to back the escape plan, you’re as good as dead, anyway. So, with an entire tropical playground to branch out to, you’ve got yourself a pretty hefty grind with a lot of survivors in dire need of assistance.
Dead Island provides you with stacks upon stacks of hours of nailbiting yet extremely enjoyable gameplay. Whether you’re tiptoeing through the dark in search of a weapon upgrade or pouncing along the beachfront on a slaughter spree, Dead Island keeps you both busy and entertained. There’s a little something for everyone here, and we think for a few dollars it’s definitely worth picking up. Oh, and it’s the definitive edition, too — meaning you’ll also get your hands on all the juicy DLC as well as the remastered edition of the base game. Now that’s a bargain.
2. The Last of Us: Left Behind
From the critically-acclaimed series that delivered one of the most outstanding games of a generation comes Left Behind, the standalone zombie adventure. Although a much shorter experience compared to the meaty campaign featured in The Last of Us, Left Behind is still a worthy accessory that deserves to be able to host your attention. And, I mean, for three or four dollars — you’d be crazy not to tune in and listen to Ellie’s backstory.
Dipping in and out of the events from The Last of Us, Left Behind focuses primarily on Ellie’s tale that takes place a few months prior to meeting Joel. As a clueless survivor in the broadening apocalypse, you are faced with reliving memories that evolve around a crumbling shopping mall. With close friend Riley holding you by the hand and coursing you through an emotional rollercoaster of a story, you are simply tasked with enrolling on the tale of a lifetime. There’s enough action to satisfy your bloodthirst, but a generous amount of heartwarming story to settle your hunger for a powerful narrative. So, do yourself a favour and tuck in!
1. Sleeping Dogs
Square Enix produced one of the most underrated open-world action games ever made back in 2012, and it still numbs our hearts to see the lack of mainstream success for it even today. Sleeping Dogs, which was originally on track to becoming another entry in the True Crime series, is an absolutely beautiful game that packs one of the biggest punches ever for its genre. Everything about Sleeping Dogs is an experience unlike any other, and if you haven’t discovered it yet — then we urge you to now — especially for a few dollars.
Taking on the role of Wei Shen, an undercover police officer in a city full of criminal activity, you are instructed with enrolling as a soldier in the Sun On Yee, a powerful Triad branch that uses sadistic methods to clutch Hong Kong by the strings. By working from the inside of the gang, you must balance your responsibilities as an officer of the law while earning the trust of the evilest men in the city, all in the hopes of taking down the criminal underworld. But, when work becomes personal, you are left with the ultimate decision on how you’ll escape the life of the Sun On Yee without having to face the harsh consequences.