The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to stuff some stockings! If you’ve got a gamer that you love, or one you simply have to buy gifts for, here are some great games on Steam that are perfect for a stocking stuffer. Each game comes highly rated and under $20, and they’ll arrive precisely when you want them to.
The Perfect Steam Stocking Stuffers for Christmas 2022
Return of the Obra Dinn
Usually $19.99 USD but currently on sale for $13.99. The Return of the Obra Dinn is a highly stylized investigation game in which you play as an insurance investigator. The Obra Dinn, a merchant ship, was lost at sea for six months. But on a random October morning it returned to port with damages sails but without its crew. It’s the players’ job to board the ship, prepare an assessment of the damages, and discover what happened. This game comes highly rated, with over 16,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews, and is perfect for a player that loves puzzles and mysteries. It’s also obtained several awards and recognitions for Excellence in Narrative, Artistic Achievement, and Art Direction.
Usually $39.99 USD, it is currently on sale for $13.19. Despite being the third installment in the Wasteland series, Wasteland 3 is perfectly accessible for new players. In it, you’ll play as a Desert Ranger, trying to rebuild society in the ashes of a bombed Arizona. Wasteland 3 is a dynamic squad-based RPG with a focus on wild world-building, squad customization, challenging turn-based combat, and a story full of twists and choices that will impact the plot. Wasteland 3 has received over 12,000 Very Positive Reviews and if your loved one enjoyed the original Fallout series, it’s likely that they’ll like this game too.
Related: 2022 Gift Guide for Console Gamers on the Go
A Short Hike
Priced at $7.99 USD and not on sale. A Short Hike is an indie game that has players hiking, climbing, and soaring through the idyllic landscape of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. As you explore, you’ll meet other hikers, discover hidden treasures and secret, and grow to love the lush environment with its relaxing soundtrack. This is the perfect game for players who enjoy cozy games without combat or stressors but love to explore. A Short Hike was the finalist in five different award categories for Golden Joystick and D.I.C.E., nearly cinching the recognition of Excellence in Game Design, Family Game of the Year, Best Indie Game, and Game Direction.
Priced at $14.99 USD and not on sale. If your friend loves cozy, indie games and hasn’t gotten around to playing Stardew Valley, this is the time to buy it for them. They’ll be kicking themselves for not playing it sooner. Stardew Valley is a farming simulator, populated by a rich cast of characters and ample things to do. It’s open-ended, full of places to explore, and can be played co-op. Stardew Valley has received over 430,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews. Buy this for your friend if they like cozy games and they don’t have it.
Purchasable at $19.99 USD, currently not on sale. Omori is a little dark compared to other items on this list, though it might not seem so at first glance. Players must uncover a forgotten and buried past, with decisions made determining both your fate and the fate of others. Omori is the type of game that must unravel through gameplay, with everything else leading to unfortunate spoilers. But if your giftee enjoys story-heavy psychological horrors, and perhaps enjoyed the Doki Doki Literature Club and its multiple endings, they’ll likely enjoy this RPG as well. It’s received over 40,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews.
Related: Where to Play All of The Game Awards’ “Game of the Year” Nominated Games
Usually, $24.99 USD is currently on sale for $12.49. Hades is a hack and slash game that has you playing the son of Hades, who is dead set on escaping hell. But death is to be expected in this rogue-like dungeon crawler, which gives players ample opportunity to boost their buffs and refine their unlockable weapons. Hades is beloved by fans for its excellent game play, fantastic characters, and stunning visuals. It’s has received over 190,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews and is well worth the purchase if this is a genre your loved one is interested in.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Usually $59.99 USD, it is currently on sale for $19.80. Fans all over know the Assassins Creed franchise, but many have fallen away from the series as the years have passed. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a great time to get back into the game. In it, you’ll aptly be playing as a Viking. But Valhalla offers players more than just stealth and assassination. Players will also be able to raid enemies, grow settlements, and build their political influence. If your loved one enjoyed Assassin Creed games in the past, or has never tried one of the series, this action adventure, open world RPG is a great option. Especially when it’s so heavily reduced.
Usually $19.99 USD, it is currently on sale for $13.99. Valheim is a brutal exploration survival game where you can play alone or with nine of your closest friends. Together, you can explore a world inspired by Norse mythology, craft weapons and build houses, slay foes, and try to prove to Odin your worthiness. But this isn’t your standard survival game. If you choose not to eat (or simply don’t have the resources to eat), you won’t die. Instead, you’ll gain buffs for eating and taking care of yourself. This takes out some of the stress that might deter players who have otherwise shied away from survival games. Valheim has been well-received by the Steam community, netting over 300,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews, and several awards and recognitions, including Game of The Year awards from PC Gamer and Massively OP.
Cult of the Lamb
Usually $24.99 USD, it is currently on sale for $19.99. This unique colony management game has you playing as a cult-leading lamb, saved from annihilation by an ominous stranger. In order to repay your life debt, you must build a loyal following for your benefactor. These followers are obtained through exploration and as you progress, you’ll be able to build new structures, perform rituals, and reinforce the faith of your flock. Occasionally, you’ll be pitted against rival cults, but defeat them and you’ll gain their power. It’s an extremely easy game to get into, and if your loved one enjoys fun visuals and unique concepts, Cult of the Lamb might be for them. Its garnered over 6,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews and 36,000 Very Positive Reviews.
It Takes Two
Usually $39.99 USD, it is currently on sale for $15.99. It Takes Two is a lighthearted co-op game in which players take on the role of couple Cody and May, who are turned into dolls and trapped in a magical world. You’ll need to work together and master unique, connected abilities in order to surpass the puzzles and obstacles presented to you. There are ample funny, if not outright ridiculous, moments which come together to create a heartfelt and cheerful story. The best part of It Takes Two is that it only takes one to buy the game. Once purchased, a friend can join you for free. It Takes Two has received over 93,000 Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews and was the Winner of Game of the Year at the Game Awards 2021.