The Steam Summer Sale is great and all, but why should PC gamers have all the fun? Running from July 5 to July 11, Xbox’s Ultimate Game Sale provides a bounty of big savings on tons of Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, from recent blockbusters (Halo 5, The Witcher 3) to modern classics (Dark Souls, Braid).
Xbox One owners score extra big this year, as many of the discounted Xbox 360 games are playable on Microsoft’s new console via backwards compatibility. The Ultimate Game Sale is open to all Xbox Live members, though you’ll save even more if you’re an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. If you’re looking to stock up on enough awesome, cheap games to keep you inside all summer, here’s what’s worth buying from Xbox’s big sale.
We fell in love with Halo 5 when it first launched, thanks to its action-packed (if a bit uneven) campaign and a rich multiplayer suite that caters to both casual and competitive players. The first-person shooter has only gotten better since then, thanks to a steady stream of free maps, items and modes — including the crazy eight-player co-op of Warzone Firefight. If you need a game to scratch your multiplayer shooter itch this summer, few games will do it like Halo 5.
The Witcher 3 ($25 with Gold, $29.99 without)
The Witcher 3 came out well over a year ago, but folks are still gushing about it as if it’s a brand new game. It’s easy to see why — CD Projekt Red’s beloved role-playing game sets you loose in a massive open world that you can easily lose hundreds of hours in, thanks to its memorable characters and player-driven story. The Witcher 3 just might be the best hours-per-dollar value on this list, and if you manage to finish it, there are plenty of meaty expansion packs available.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was way better than it had any right to be, offering a surprisingly heartfelt and engaging narrative within a game based around killing Nazis in all kinds of creative ways. The New Order is one of the best single-player shooter experiences you can have this generation, and is a steal at $15.
The 2013 Tomb Raider reboot did a nice job redefining the world of Lara Croft, but its sequel damn-near perfected it. The gorgeous Rise of the Tomb Raider offers some of the best climbing, shooting and puzzle-solving you can find in a blockbuster action game, while turning this new version of Lara into one of modern gaming’s best heroes.
Mortal Kombat XL bundles together every character and costume ever released for Mortal Kombat X, which is an already jam-packed fighting game with a rich story mode and tons of ways to play solo or with friends. At as low as $35, you’ll have a hard time finding a better (or bloodier) deal on a fighting game this massive.
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Xbox 360 (Playable on Xbox One)
Dark Souls ($9.99 with Gold, $11.99 without)
If you’ve been considering getting into the Dark Souls series, you can start from the beginning for about the price of a fancy cheeseburger meal. The original Dark Souls is still considered to be one of the best installments of the notoriously punishing action-RPG series, and if you find yourself hooked, the Xbox One versions of Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III are also on sale.
Braid ($4.99 with Gold, $5.99 without)
Looking to scratch your indie game itch for cheap? Braid is a puzzle platformer that’s as simplistic as it is spectacular, with brain-teasing challenges and a subtle yet moving storyline. It’s well worth the 5 bucks.
We loved the lewd action of The Stick of Truth, which combines South Park’s irreverent sense of humor with genuinely fun RPG gameplay. With its sequel, The Fractured But Whole (say that out loud), due this fall, now’s the perfect time to catch up for less than 10 bucks.