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Where to Buy Cheap PC Games in 2021
Nov 09, 2021

PC gamers the world over are spoilt for choice! There are so many fantastic digital distribution platforms offering super cheap AAA and indie games. So, where to buy cheap PC games isn’t much of an issue. Regulars like Steam, GOG, and Epic Games offer thousands of cheap indie titles (and some AAA ones).

It’s really a case of mixing and matching various platforms at once and taking your pick from the regular sales they offer. Here’s our pick of the best!

Are games on PC cheap?

Yes! And no. It really depends on where you look and what you’re after. If you want the latest FPS from Bethesda or Far Cry 6, you’re going to need to pay full price. However, if you’re looking for indie games and older AAA titles then many are cheap or available with a major discount.

Some are even free! These tend to be indie games from up-and-coming developers, but otherwise regular sales on the likes of Steam can bag you many titles at bargain bin prices.

Is PC or console better for cheap gaming?

This is kind of a seesawing effect, as games on PC tend to be cheaper than for consoles. But paying for a laptop and/or PC tends to be expensive. However, Sony’s PS5 is far from cheap—$500+. Which can buy you a good enough laptop to enjoy indie gaming and some AAAs.

Certainly Nintendo’s Switch (a handheld and console) is arguably the best value console, as it’s under $300 and has a digital shop similar to Steam. Although the games still tend to be more expensive than on Valve’s platform. This is because console devs have to pay a licensing fee to Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo. This forces the price up.

But in terms of what’s better for gamers, it really depends on your preferences. If you know what you like and PC gaming is your thing, then Steam is a fantastic option. But the consoles are also great, often coming with exclusives that can tempt you away from your PC.

Breath of the Wild, for example, is only on Switch. And as it’s one of the best games ever, you’d have to miss out on it on your laptop.

Most gamers tend to mix-and-match these days anyway. For example, your writer here has a Switch, Xbox One S, and a laptop for Steam, GOG, and Itchi.io gaming. Really spoiled for choice! And it’s all relatively affordable.

If you know what you like and PC gaming is your thing, Steam is a fantastic option. But the consoles are also great, often coming with exclusives that can tempt you away from your PC.

Where to get cheap PC games

Straight to it! Where to get PC games cheap? Well, these are your best options for downloading high-quality games. Starting with the most obvious choice.

Steam

Valve’s fantastic platform redefined gaming when it launched. It’s home to major AAA releases from major developers, which tend to be on the pricey side (and often need a top-end PC to run). However, Steam is also a glorious shrine to the wonders of indie gaming.

There are 30,000+ AAA and indie games on Steam, according to the service itself. Many of these are very cheap and many more are free! Some indie devs will release a title free of charge to promote interest in their work, so keep an eye out for those.

Better yet, Steam has regular sales and discounts. So it’s easy to find cheap PC games and add them to your library.

Our suggestions? Try Downwell, INSIDE, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Teslagrad. But whatever your gaming interests, Steam has you covered! And often at a great price.

Who is Steam’s biggest competitor?

The quest for where to buy cheap PC games leads most gamers to Steam. But don’t forget, there’s a wide variety of options out there. Steam isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of PC gaming.

There are some excellent alternatives on the same level as Steam, which offer you a mixture of modern, indie, and retro gaming.

Itch.io

Itch.io is just fantastic—a real haven for indie game enthusiasts. The platform is the go-to place for up-and-coming indie game developers, or established names looking to tap into indie game crazy players. The absolute scale of everything on offer is incredible, with a huge and creative selection of titles available.

Many of these are also free, meaning you can pick and choose to play whatever you want. But the devs who do charge tend to keep prices very low, such as $2. Keep an eye on Itch.io’s Twitter feed for the most recent releases.

GOG (Good Old Games)

GOG is like Steam, but caters more for a retro gaming audience. So you can find many classics here, such as Dungeon Keeper, Curse of Monkey Island, and Earthworm Jim 2.

Prices tend to be low and there are regular sales, so you’ll often be able to pick up a classic from the ‘90s or ‘00s for $5 or less.**

It’s a fantastic platform for retro gamers. Although there are also modern titles, including recent AAA and indie game releases.

Epic Games

Epic Games may be controversial among gamers, but it does still offer an excellent selection of titles. Prices tend to be high, but the service does provide one free game a week. And this tends to be high-quality. So, keep an eye out for the weekly free game! As well as the sales that bring the mix of AAA and indie game prices down.

Humble Store

Like a hybrid of Steam and GOG, this mixes retro and modern gaming. The service stands out as it has regular game bundles. And these tend to be “pay what you want”, meaning you can keep prices low.

Humble Store also sends 5% of each sale to the charity Child’s Play, so you can enjoy gaming while supporting a great cause.

How to get cheap PC games

Okay, with the above in mind but you’re new to gaming… how do you get started? Well, the platforms we’ve listed above require you to download some software. Steam, Itchio.io, GOG etc. offer a cloud-based gaming library. With the platform you install, you then have access to these games. Think of it as like Netflix, but for gaming.

Once you have these installed on your computer, you’re free to search around for titles you like, pay for them, and then start playing.

The best place to buy cheap PC games

Arguably, that’s Itchi.io as you can pick up so many games for free from first time developers.

However, we’d still say Steam has the best value prices around. Especially as Valve provides so many sales all the time, meaning that $20 game you don’t want to fork out for can suddenly drop to $5 during the weekend deals.

But every game is different and you can find it on different platforms for different prices. So, before you buy anything make sure you do a price comparison across all the available services to get the best price.

About game emulation and piracy

Many gamers turn to emulators and piracy to play games at the cheapest possible price. Nintendo’s October 2021 release, Metroid Prime, was available on emulators three days after its release. This is, of course, illegal. But many gamers take this route despite it being wilful online infringement of copyright.

If the copyright holder finds out about this, they can sue you. And they would win. Our advice is always to pay for your products and support the game’s industry. Especially for smaller developers who need the financial support to continue making fantastic titles.

The indie scene, for example, is flourishing and needs players to be paying for their products. So, please always pay for your games.

Our advice is always to pay for your products and support the game’s industry. Especially for smaller developers who need the financial support to continue making fantastic titles.

Terminal3’s recommendations for the best cheap PC games

One of the joys of modern gaming is the sheer range of new games coming out all the time. But it also makes it tricky to know what to buy. Well, we’ve got a few personal suggestions below. These are all really cheap and will help you work out where to buy PC games cheap.

Valley Peaks

Free! Or you can name your price. This relaxing little adventure title is a climbing sim involving frogs. Take control of your frog and scale mountains for a relaxing time of it!

A Short Hike

Similar to Valley Peaks, but with an emphasis on climbing. You’re at a holiday resort and it’s your job to explore an island and take in some sights. Relaxing, fun, and compelling.

Cats Organized Neatly

Think Tetris, but with cats. It’s your responsibility to arrange cats into a grid. This gets complex fast and makes for an engaging puzzle experience. With meows!

Toree 3D

Costing less than $1, this brilliantly crafted little 3D platformer is a homage to PlayStation titles from the mid-late ‘90s. And it’s excellent! Very engaging, fast-paced, and featuring clever old-school level design.

Downwell

A vertically scrolling shooter with roguelike features, you jump down a well and you don’t stop falling. It’s your job to bounce off enemies for combos and get a good combo of power-ups going on. Downwell is a mini-masterpiece!

Brutal Castle

At a mere $2.99 (and often on sale for $1.49) Skinner Space’s beat em ‘up involves an angry mobile castle beating up fields and other bits of countryside. Very absurd, but also great fun.

Monetize your games with Terminal3

Are you an AAA or indie dev looking to sell your games worldwide? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Terminal3 helps you to monetize your title across the world—no matter where you are.

With our in-built features you can sell your game, in-game items, virtual currency, and expansions packs (DLC). And we can do this with Terminal3 Payments, a shop builder, and global marketplaces.

Plus, we’ll be your merchant of record. This ensures you stay compliant with tax regulations across the world, keeping you free from any legal problems. And, to top it off, we handle risk and fraud** with our Medusa software. And we take care of disputes and chargebacks—we win 80% of our cases.

Ready to sell worldwide?

Get in touch with any queries you have.

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