The top 5 games to check out on Steam

With the Steam Winter Sale having gone live, here are some of the titles I would personally recommend you keep an eye out for. They’re definitely not the newest games, but they are some of those that stick by you no matter what.

  • 5. Tropico 5 (Current discount: 50%)

This world building Sim, which just released its Waterborne expansion, is one of the most fun ways to run a fictional island into the ground. Take on the role of El Presidente, and lead your people to a better life… With plenty of monetary reward, of course. Be it the oppression of an entire island that gets you going, or actually trying to improve their lives, you’ll have a blast (maybe literally, if things go really wrong) with Tropico 5.
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  • 4. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Current discount: 25%)

In Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor you take on the role of Talian, a ranger of Gondor. The twist? You are killed at the start of the game, and only the presence of an elven wraith keeps you alive and ready to seek vengeance for your family that died before your eyes. Wielding both the skills of a seasoned ranger and the powers of an even more powerful wraith, you are looking for revenge on the Hammer, the Tower and the Hand of Sauron himself. A brilliant action RPG with great storytelling and an incredibly fun feature called the “Nemesis-system,” you’re in for hours of fun; especially the nemesis system and the way it creates new captains and warchiefs with names and personalities for you to chase, keeps the game engaging far beyond what it otherwise might have managed.

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Click here for the Shadow of Mordor gameplay trailer.

  • 3. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Current discount: 40%)

Though its successor, Assassin’s Creed Unity, came out in November, I would still recommend checking out Black Flag more. A fantastic adventure spanning much of the later life of Edward Kenway as he grows into one of the most notorious pirates to ever sail the seas. Meeting figures such as Blackbeard and Anny Bonny is but the least of the fun as you captain the Jackdaw and sail her to the ruin of any ships that might try to drift in your way. Though you might get caught up in sailing the seas and pirating until you wonder how there is a single ship left to sail the Caribbean, you shouldn’t forget about the story. Edward’s adventures are a compelling narrative that will keep you engaged from beginning to end and pull you in like few videogames do nowadays.
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  • 2. Banished (Current discount: 50%)

Banished is a world builder of unparalleled detail. Take on the role of an ever present god and lead your people from humble beginnings to great towns spanning vast tracts of land. Manage food and other supplies but always beware of disaster: disease and disasters (unless turned off) can strike easily and unless you are prepared, they will destroy your town in a heartbeat. A gut-wrenching medieval simulator that will see your first few villages fall to pieces before you realize how to fulfill your villagers’ most important needs, Banished is definitely worth picking up for the micromanagers among you. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your first town grow bigger than you ever imagined. And nothing is more devastating than to realize your food supply is dwindling too quickly, and that your people are dying too quickly to produce anything anymore. But that just means the fun (of dying, cough) starts all over again.
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  • 1. Crusader Kings II (Current discount: 50%)

Paradox Interactive’s brilliant masterpiece of medieval simulation, Crusader Kings II is the game to look out for. Unlike Banished, where you manage a single village, Crusader Kings II puts you at the head of a medieval nation: be that an empire, a kingdom, a duchy or even a simple county. Looking over the map, you’ll quickly realize that the game has a fairly steep learning curve. However, if you can stomach putting in the time to get through that, you’ll find a game with appealing depth and humor. You’ll be playing as the head of your dynasty, and it is your goal to increase your dynasty’s power and prestige.
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Marry off your daughters and sisters to those rulers who you want on your side and hope that they don’t betray you, or take the warpath and amass gold and armies to invade your neighbors. Don’t think it is all in the spirit of the Total War style of warfare though: you’ll need a good reason to invade, your neighbors will mistrust you for doing it anyway, and your vassals (the rulers who are loyal to you) might not take kindly to your actions and rebel. Tread carefully and build a world empire, or go too quickly and lose it all. Just keep your dynasty in power somewhere, because if the heir to your titles is not of your dynasty, it will be game over.

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