The Best Games to Buy Right Now, No Matter Your Current Pay Level

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

Are you flush with cash and looking to expand your game library? Congrats! Payday is awesome. If you're maybe a little tighter in your checking account but still hoping to have some fun, well, that's frankly the more common experience.

Here are some games for any budget, whether you're enjoying a healthy tax return or struggling with a predatory loan on your Dodge Charger. (Any car lot advertising "We finance E-1 and up!" should only be approached with a healthy understanding of interest rates.)

“Baldur's Gate 3”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

Nine months after its release, “Baldur's Gate 3” is a standard-bearer of the role-playing game (RPG) genre. It might not be as flexible as having a good dungeon master, but it's still Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) rendered in high definition. Expect to party with your favorite classes, kill Cthulhu-like monsters, and sleep with a vampire (if you want).

There's music, romance, and lots and lots of killing. All for $59.99 on PC or Mac or $69.99 for PS5 or XBox.

“Helldivers 2”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

Let's get this one out of the way. Arrowhead's hit new game, "Helldivers 2," dropped out of space and into our hearts on Feb. 8. If you haven't played it, someone in your unit has, your friends have, and your nephew who isn't old enough for it yet has also played it and has cussed me out in a few games for not running the meta build.

The base game will set you back $39.99. It does have in-game transactions, but it's easy to grind everything you need. It's more challenging, but not impossible, to earn enough super credits in the game to unlock everything you want without paying anything past the sticker price.

$39.99 on PC or PS5.

“Sons of Valhalla”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

It's an odd but fun mix: "Sons of Valhalla" uses cozy pixel art to depict brutal Viking warfare. And it's a base-building strategy game with 2D side-scrolling combat. While both of those combinations may sound odd, the end result works and it's weirdly soothing to watch your enemies go up in warm, gentle flames. And since it only needs 1GB of video ram, you could probably play it on a smart toaster.

$19.99 for PC.

“Spy Guy Hidden Objects: Deluxe Edition”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

If you're unfamiliar with hidden object games, think “I Spy” books or “Where's Waldo?”. The “Spy Guy” games ask the player to solve crimes in Treflik City by finding clues hidden in crime scenes and cityscapes. You can kill a lot of time on ammo guard with the mobile versions, and it's easy to drop at a moment's notice if something needs your attention.

$10 on Steam, or sections of the game are available on Google Play and Apple App Store for free (with in-app purchases available).

“Content Warning”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

A cute art style belies the horror-ish nature of this game, where you and your friends try to explore spooky areas, do spooky stuff and go viral. The game is new and fast-selling.

$7.99 on Steam for PC.

“Banshee Hunt”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

This short survival horror game drops the player in forested hills as a hunter and then puts them up against a banshee of Irish folklore. It's short but priced accordingly at $3.99 and can turn a barracks room into a fear factory for a few hours at a time. Double points if you play right before a night training exercise.

Some quick free-to-play games to consider

“War Thunder”

I’ve played 'War Thunder' and grabbed screenshots in it. I have never captured one this cinematic.
I’ve played 'War Thunder' and grabbed screenshots in it. I have never captured one this cinematic. (Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

“War Thunder” released fully in January 2013, and the vehicle combat game expanded for more than 10 years. Now, it includes land, air and even naval vehicles from the early 20th century to the modern day. The game is known for its realism, which players get so obsessed with that they leak restricted military documents to win arguments over it. (Don't do that. Please.) It's fun and has lots of funny moments. One warning: It is a player versus player (PVP) game with a very devoted audience, so the learning curve is steep.

“Destiny 2”

(Screenshot courtesy of IGDB)

“Destiny 2” is showing its age of over four years, but the Bungie game still has some tricks that make it worth playing. The current season, “Season of the Wish,” gives the game a distinctive fantasy feel, but most of the experience is still: "Explore space, fight sci-fi battles, gather loot."

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