The 8 Best Steam Games of 2020

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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Adventure: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at store.steampowered.com

"The game offers up a massive open world, a strong narrative, and stunning graphics that hold up despite its aging status."

Best First-Person Shooter: Insurgency Sandstorm at store.steampowered.com

"Players will select from an array of classes and then work as a team to capture an objective and hold them against the enemy team."

Best Role-Playing: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim at store.steampowered.com

"In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you play as the Dovahkiin, a warrior destined to face down the dragons that returned to the land of Skyrim."

Best Battle Royale: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds at store.steampowered.com

"PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) remains one of the most fun battle royale games around, especially in the realm of military-themed shooters."

Best Multiplayer Online Battle Arena: Dota 2 at store.steampowered.com

"Two teams of unique characters take separate sides of the map and defend against the other team’s attacks."

Best Fighting: Dragon Ball FighterZ at store.steampowered.com

"Dragon Ball FighterZ offers up a lengthy story mode that sees players fighting through the game as popular heroes, villains, and androids of the Dragon Ball universe."

Best Virtual Reality: Superhot VR at store.steampowered.com

"In the title, you’re thrust into dangerous situations with only your quick reflexes to help you get out."

Best Indie: Dead Cells at store.steampowered.com

"A challenging adventure with 13 levels, multiple bosses, a vast assortment of weapons and abilities, and high stakes as there's always the threat of permanent death."

Steam has no shortage of titles for gamers of every stripe, so we've narrowed down our picks for the absolute best steam games you can grab today. From early access indie titles to AAA blockbusters, there is definitely something for everyone on Steam.

Picking out an awesome game for yourself on Steam can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore, and is often pretty subjective. But if you're looking for some guidance, Steam's algorithms can help you figure out your next obsession based on tags from your previous purchases. Another fun way to find a new game to pour some free time into is to check out your friends playlists and find out what they recommend.

If you're curious about steam and how it works, make sure to check out our handy guide for all the details.

Best Adventure: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Amazing graphics

  • Expansive world

  • So..much...content

What We Don't Like
  • Occasional bugs can be disruptive

Fans of adventures games have little other than praise for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its pair of expansion packs. The game offers up a massive open world, a strong narrative, and stunning graphics that hold up despite its aging status.

In The Witcher 3, you play as Geralt, traveling through the Northern Realms in search of Ciri. She is more or less the adopted daughter of Geralt, and is pursued by the ultimate villain of the game, the Wild Hunt. The game’s main story alone offers a substantial breadth of content and missions that can culminate in different endings for Geralt, Ciri, and those around them.

As you explore the world, you’ll face the best and the worst of humanity and magical monsters from harpies and wyverns to giants and vampires. All the while, you’ll get to level up Geralt with new skills that suit your playing style. Even after you’ve completed the main story, the available side missions and added content from expansion packs add even more to this compelling adventure.

Best First-Person Shooter: Insurgency Sandstorm

Insurgency Sandstorm

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Solid military sim

  • Amazing graphics

What We Don't Like
  • Unforgiving difficulty

The first-person shooter genre has a host of top-notch games, and many offer something to suit player preferences. Some are more run-and-gun for an adrenaline-charged experience, while others are more methodical. Steam has plenty of options, but we’ve settled on a unique title that blends a bit of everything —Insurgency: Sandstorm.

This is an indie title, but the developers have done some serious work to make it a well-polished game with strong mechanics, beautiful graphics, superb sound design, and engaging battles. It’s centered around modern military combat, with teams squaring off in highly lethal conflicts. Players are generally encouraged to play slow, but with the realistic sounds making you feel the pressure, it can be tough to stay level-headed.

Players will select from an array of classes and then work as a team to capture an objective and hold them against the enemy team. Each class has specific weapons and utilities available to them, with commanders also able to call in special strikes. All of this makes for a dynamic and thrilling FPS game.

Best Role-Playing: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Extensive modding community

  • Dragons!!

  • Solid narrative and roleplaying

What We Don't Like
  • Graphics are a bit dated at this point

  • Still buggy, even years later

Few games have had the staying power of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and it continues to offer a compelling role-playing experience for gamers. Not only has it seen numerous expansions, remasters, and even a VR edition, but it's remained fresh and graphically improved thanks to a modding community that added loads to the game.

In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you play as the Dovahkiin, a warrior destined to face down the dragons that returned to the land of Skyrim. Aside from that, much of the experience is left up to you. You get to design your character, decide how you want to play, and go through the game world as you see fit. While the main story is engaging, you don’t even need to play through that portion if you feel more like taking on the role of a mage, assassin, or thief. With no shortage of side quests that can snowball into lengthy narratives of their own, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is definitely a strong pick for players that want to get their money’s worth.

"If money is a bit tight, I wholeheartedly recommend adding a steam title to your wishlist and waiting until it drops in price. Steam sales happen every couple of months and can result in big discounts."Alice Newcome-Beill, Associate Commerce Editor

Best Battle Royale: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PUBG

 

 

 

 

What We Like
  • High stakes combat

  • Incredibly rewarding

What We Don't Like
  • Quickly being outpaced by other Battle Royale games

  • Unpredictable performance

Now the most popular form of multiplayer shooters, thanks to the breakout success of games like Fornite and Apex Legends, it would be easy to forget the battle royale game that started it all. That would be a shame, however, as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) remains one of the most fun battle royale games around, especially in the realm of military-themed shooters. 

Everything you now know as standard battle royale fare was first established in PUBG — launching from the air via a giant aerial vehicle, the fast-approaching circle of death, the rush to scavenge arsenal. PUBG gave life to a whole breed of shooters. After all, can anything else match up to the experience of finally landing yourself a "Chicken Dinner," and being the last player left standing?

Best Multiplayer Online Battle Arena: Dota 2

Dota 2

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Solid free-to-play model

  • Cool, stylized characters

What We Don't Like
  • Staying informed of meta strategy is difficult

If you’ve ever wanted to dive deep into the world of competitive gaming and gain a better understanding of what’s going on, then it’s important to get familiar with the multiplayer online battle arena genre — or MOBA for short. Dota 2 isn’t just one of the best MOBAs out there, it’s also one of the most popular esports titles. The game has a basic setup: two teams of unique characters take separate sides of the map and defend against the other team’s attacks.

Dota 2 has a large pool of characters, all of which are immediately available and free to players. Each character has a distinct set of skills that offer different approaches to combat, defense, teamwork, and overall playstyle. Aggressive players that like to jump into combat and dish out damage can find a character to love just as easily as players who like to stay on the edge and help out their teammates.

Because the game has so many different characters, all of whom slowly advance and change over the course of each match, Dota 2 doesn’t grow stale and lets players explore new tactics as they learn. And, for all it offers, it’s only made better by being totally free.

Best Fighting: Dragon Ball FighterZ

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Courtesy of Steam 

What We Like
  • Exciting, fast-paced battles

  • Love song to the DBZ fandom

What We Don't Like
  • Loot boxes feel cheap

  • Lackluster story

There’s no lack of great fighting games on Steam, but Dragon Ball FighterZ stands out as one of the most polished. The game offers simple enough controls so new players can quickly get the hang of it; a cast of colorful characters that fans of the show will quickly recognize; and deep combat that leaves plenty of room for players to grow.

Dragon Ball FighterZ offers up a lengthy story mode that sees players fighting through the game as popular heroes, villains, and androids of the Dragon Ball universe. There’s also local and online versus modes which allow you to test your skills against friends or opponents from around the world. With the sort of high-speed, explosive combat you’d expect from Dragon Ball, the game is truly a thrilling fight title.

The game also uses one of the most well-executed examples of cell-shading to create a 2D, cartoony style while still being 3D. Dragon Ball FighterZ simply looks stunning, whether you're an existing Dragon Ball fan or not.

Best Virtual Reality: Superhot VR

Superhot VR

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Peak fantasy fulfillment

  • Delivers on the promise of John Wick style gunplay

What We Don't Like
  • Still requires a VR headset

Steam has a good record when it comes to virtual reality support; tools are readily available for setting up many of the most popular headsets. Chief among Steam's best VR games is Superhot as it offers exciting gameplay, thorough immersion, and far less chance of motion sickness than other popular VR titles.

Superhot VR draws its gameplay from the non-VR version of the game. In the title, you’re thrust into dangerous situations with only your quick reflexes to help you get out. And, your reflexes will feel quick, because time in the game only moves when you’re moving, and it only moves as fast as you’re moving. Slowly turn your head, and you can dodge a bullet. Move too frantically, and you’re dead.

Few games do such a compelling job of making players feel like a badass. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Neo in Matrix — after he learned how to dodge bullets, of course — this is the game for you.

"Steam reviews are an awesome way to separate the good games from the truly great ones. A game with overwhelmingly positive review scores is almost guaranteed to be a winner."Ajay Kumar, Tech Writer

Best Indie: Dead Cells

Dead Cells

Courtesy of Steam

What We Like
  • Satisfying action

  • Cleverly blends genres

  • Procedural level design somehow works

What We Don't Like
  • Pacing is a bit of a drag

For fans of retro-style video games, Steam has no shortage of indie titles that offer old-school-meets-modern flair. Dead Cells is a first-class example, with a stunning mix of sprite graphics and more modern lighting styles and effects. The use of color adds to the overall beauty of this game, but even beyond enticing visuals, the title offers rich, challenging gameplay.

The game is dubbed a “rogue-lite,” taking some cues from roguelike games that impose permanent death on your character. Dead Cells combines that concept with the MetroidVania game style, which blends the platforming, exploration, and combat of old-school games Metroid and Castlevania. The result is a challenging adventure with 13 levels, multiple bosses, a vast assortment of weapons and abilities, and high stakes as there's always the threat of permanent death.

Fans of MetroidVania games, roguelikes, and old-school art styles need look no further. Best of all, the game’s system requirements are relatively light, so you won’t need the most serious gaming computer to enjoy it.

Final Verdict

Ports to just about every console ever made, a Netflix series tens of thousands of positive reviews can't be wrong. The Witcher 3 is an amazing game that we can't recommend enough.

About our Trusted Experts

To date, Alice Newcome-Beill has logged in excess of a thousand hours in various steam games across various genres and refuses to pay more than 10 dollars for a new release.

Ajay Kumar has logged more than 500 hours in Rome Total War 2 and more than double that across his Steam library. He currently has more than 30 games on his Steam wishlist.

What to Look for in a Steam game

Specs - Buying that new game won't do you much good if your machine can't run it. Always check the recommended specs for a game and use a free tool like Speccy to see how your machine stacks up. If you're not super tech-savvy, you can also use sites like systemrequirementslab.com to automatically detect your PC's hardware and how it compares to the requirements of a specific game.

Ratings - There's no shortage of sites that review games, but some of the most candid and entertaining reviews come from Steam ratings. These metrics are always measured as an average and will generally tell you how well a game was received.

Price - Steam is home to some of the best sales on the internet, often drastically reducing the price of even brand new titles. In short, paying full price is for suckers, so add some of your favorites to your wishlist so you can keep tabs on price changes during sales.