Steam Halloween Sale hidden gems: 10 great deals on non-horror games

The Steam Halloween Sale secretly offers deals on games that aren't horrifying. Here are 10 of the best.

see all specials

Lurking non-horrors

The Steam Halloween Sale is here, offering deep discounts on horror games galore. But did you know that all sorts of non-terrifying PC games are on sale, too? While the Halloween Sale interface focuses solely on horror games, you can scroll all the way down—past the VR game and movie discounts you probably don’t care about—to find a simple, understated button: “See all specials.” There, the flood gates open.

If you want PCWorld’s recommendations on scary selections while the sale’s in full swing, check out our list of the best PC horror games and our original Steam Halloween Sale coverage. Here, we’ll dig into the hidden gems—truly great non-horror games that Steam doesn’t advertise.

gta v

Grand Theft Auto V

Let’s start with some of the big guns at record low prices. Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most popular PC games around, with a massive world, a lengthy singleplayer campaign, and a GTA Online multiplayer mode that’s still thriving years after release. But if you haven’t picked it up yet, the $30 it’s selling for during the Halloween Sale matches the lowest price it’s ever been on Steam, per SteamDB.

witcher 3
Brad Chacos/IDG

Witcher 3 GOTY

The Witcher 3 easily earned PCWorld’s Game of the Year honor in 2015, and it still stands as the high water mark for RPGs. Hell, it surpassed Deus Ex for my favorite game period of all time. The Game of the Year Edition includes the equally superb (and deep) Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine expansions, and at $20 during the Halloween Sale, it’s as affordable as it’s ever been.

pillars of eternity
Pillars of Eternity

CRPGs galore!

If it wasn’t for Witcher 3, Pillars of Eternity likely would have been our favorite RPG of 2015. It also made our best games of the year list as a sterling example of the CRPG revival taking PCs by storm, blending the best of old-school Baldur’s Gate­-like design with modern elements. It’s great, and it’s only $18 right now.

The Halloween Sale’s a great time to stock up on new-school CRPGs in general. Tyranny (60 percent off), Torment: Tides of Numenera (56 percent off), and PCWorld’s 2014 Game of the Year Wasteland 2 (50 percent off) can all be had for cheap. Together, the trio offers hundreds and hundreds of hours of gameplay, and you can pick up all three for less than the cost of a single new AAA game during the sale.

talos principle
Talos Principle

Talos Principle

The Talos Principle oh so barely lost out on Game of the Year 2014’s honor to Wasteland 2, but it’s still the best puzzler since Portal—and the philosophical story will bend your brain just as hard. It’s a downright steal for $10. Just writing about it makes me want to play it again.

just cause 3
Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3

Or maybe you just feel like blowing stuff up while zipping around an open world in a badass high-speed wingsuit. Just Cause 3 (75 percent off) scratches that itch. It’s a wonderfully ridiculous destruction sandbox—one that encourages you to ask “What happens if I use my grappling hook to tether this jeep to this enemy helicopter and then drive the jeep off a cliff?”

xcom 2


XCOM 2 is one of the best turn-based tactical games of all times, full stop. That juicy action’s augmented by a surprisingly deep strategic layer as well as permadeath and personalization mechanics that make you feel truly connected to your squad. When one of your soldiers dies to a Muton’s fierce punch, it hurts. Because of all that, XCOM 2 made our list of the best PC games of 2016.

It’s on sale for 60 percent off during the Steam Halloween Sale, or $23. If you can’t scrounge up that many pennies, still-superb predecessor XCOM: Enemy Unknown is on sale for just $7.50.

mad max

Mad Max

Mad Max suffered from divided opinions when it came out in 2015. Some people loved it, some people hated it. Our review fell somewhere in the middle. It’s definitely worth the mere $6.79 the game’s going for in the Halloween Sale, though. Even with a few flaws, Mad Max offers crunchy Batman: Arkham Knight­-style combat and fun vehicular mayhem in a gorgeous, beautifully realized open world. It runs like a champ on PCs, too.



Stellaris takes Paradox’s excellence in grand strategy games—this is the developer behind the mega-popular Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis IV—into space, with stellar (ha ha) results. Or as we wrote in PCWorld’s Stellaris review, “Freed from the chains of history Paradox has created something creative and bold and inspiring, something that illuminates just how vast and unknowable space is and how tiny our place in it.”

The game’s on sale for 60 percent off during the Halloween Sale. All of its DLC is discounted too.

cities skylines
Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines is the best modern take on the Sim City formula you can find. It’s even better than modern versions of Sim City. This city builder graced PCWorld’s 10 best games of 2015 list, and it’s a whopping 75 percent off—just $7.50!—for the duration of the sale.



Spelunky kicked off the rogue-like craze—games that give you a single chance to run through randomly generated levels. And years after its release, I still play it often. The platforming action feels damned good and with every death feeling like your own mistake, the lure of “just one more one” stays strong in this one. And get this: It’s only $1.50 during the Steam Sale. You can’t even get large fries that cheap!

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