Black Friday is fast approaching and one thing is on everyone's mind because of it: Getting the best deal possible. However if you're short on cash, even the most tantalizing sales can still be out of your price range. I'm here to help with that. Since I myself am usually a little short on cash as well, I have found several extremely good games all at ten dollars or less. So if you're looking for some good, inexpensive games (or if you're just being cheap), I present my top ten list of video games that are $10 or less.
(Please keep in mind that my opinions may or may not reflect your own, this list is entirely biased.)
FEZ (XBox 360, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Steam)
FEZ is a puzzle/adventure platforming game made by Phil Fish of Polytron. It has this unique game mechanic where while the game is played in 2D, the world can be rotated 90 degrees to get a different view of your surroundings. It also has a very charming feel and rather calming soundtrack. This has been one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played, and even though many people don't agree with Fish's opinions or practices as of late, you should not condemn the game solely on that fact alone. Remember, it is okay to like someone's work even though you don't like its creator.
VVVVVV (Steam, 3DS)
Pronounced as "The Letter 'V' Six Times," this game is a 2D adventure platformer designed in the style of old Commodore 64 games. While the game has a very retro look, it has a rather interesting gameplay mechanic wherein you cannot jump. Instead, pressing Up or the "jump" button will reverse the pull of gravity. It is a ton of fun and also has a fantastic soundtrack to boot. Definitely download it if you like retro games.
Retro City Rampage (Steam, XBox 360, WiiWare, PS3, PS4, PSVita, 3DS, MS-DOS)
Speaking of retro games, Retro City Rampage is a mission-based adventure/sandbox game reminiscent of the Grand Theft Auto series but presented in the graphical style of many classic gaming systems and computers of the 80's. For the most part the game is entirely open-world; There is a ton of stuff to collect and explore and there are even secret cheat codes that can be found as graffiti. Considering that this game can be downloaded on just about everything, there is no reason why you shouldn't get it.
This is a rather charming game made by Hal Laboratories, the creators of game series like Kirby and Super Smash Bros. It is a puzzle platformer in which you play as Qbby, the eponymous box boy who has the ability to spawn blocks from his body to help him solve puzzles and traverse the treacherous terrain of his world. This game truly excels at what it does. It gives you one main game mechanic, and gives you so much stuff that you can do with it. Plus it has a rather interesting monochrome presentation that gives it an unusual indie feel to it. Definitely download this game if you own a 3DS.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (XBox 360, Steam)
Like arcade-style games? Then you would definitely love this. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is a fast paced, twin-stick shoot-em-up that has on occasion been described as being like "Asteroids on steroids." It is action-packed, has a ton of color and flashy graphics, and is extremely addictive. Its simplicity is this game's strong suit; it doesn't need much and it still pulls it off extremely well. Download it whenever you get the chance.
Teslagrad (PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Steam)
Teslagrad is an atmospheric Metroidvania game with a heavy focus on electricity and magnetism as part of its gameplay. It has clever puzzles and a rather intriguing story that is told via puppet shows in special theater halls that you will occasionally find as you explore. While this game doesn't have much combat, it doesn't really need it as the puzzles and the secrets within the story is what really make this game shine. A must have if you like Metroidvania style games. (Please note that only the Steam version of this game is less than ten dollars when not on sale.
Papers, Please (Windows, Steam)
Not really the most compelling game at first glance, but looks can oft be deceiving. Papers, Please is a story driven simulator where you play as a checkpoint inspector at the border of the fictitious country, Arstotzka. At the end of each day, you are payed five credits for every person you successfully process, but all of that money must be spent wisely on food, medicine and shelter for your family or else they will get sick and eventually die. This makes making choices harder as moral conundrums arise and a rebellion uprising makes itself apparent. If you like story-driven games, then this might be the game for you.
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (XBLA, PSN, Steam, Windows Phone, iOS & Android)
Pac-Man has always been an addicting game series, but this one takes the cake. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is very likely the fastest and most addicting classic-style Pac-Man game to date and it definitely shows. It has the same old Pac-Man gameplay that made the series what it is, plus a few tweaks here and there to make it much more interesting and thrilling. Instead of progressing from board to board, the maze changes on the fly as you play, plus the timer makes for a much more interesting experience as you are racing against the clock to get as many points as possible. This game is a lot of fun and cheap to boot.
Noitu Love 2: Devolution (Steam)
To be completely honest, I first heard about this game by watching Steam Train on YouTube, but once I saw it, I was hooked. Noitu Love 2 is an arcade-style beat-em-up with a graphical appearance and presentation that is very similar to games like Metal Slug and Gunstar Heroes. The gameplay is actually pretty unorthodox for a beat-em-up; you move with WASD controls and you attack by aiming and clicking the left mouse button, but as unusual as this seems, it works really well. If you like games like this, this is likely going to give you many hours of fun.
Undertale (Windows, iOS, Steam)
This game was a rather unexpected gem that has spawned a rather large following in a very short time frame. Undertale is a JRPG-styled indie game where you have the option to fight, but have the ability to completely finish the game without ever harming anyone. This has the unprecedented ability to make the player question their morality once they start to stray from the path they started on, because not only does the game give you the power to win by not fighting, but it remembers everything you do, even if you reset the game after you've saved. This game is far too content dense for me to list the rest here, so I will be reviewing it separately at a later date.
BONUS: Any classic game offered by Nintendo's Virtual Console Service (3DS, Wii, Wii U)
Don't like those fancy new games? Why not take a nostalgic trip down memory lane then? With the exception of Sin & Punishment, every game on Nintendo's Virtual Console service is between $5-10 and can offer the same amount, if not more content than many modern downloadable games. Definitely consider this option if you like classic games.
Well I hope this helps. I know it probably would've helped a lot more if I listed more than what I did, but cheap high quality games are really hard to find these days. So while it isn't much, I hope you try out these games anyway, but until then, I'll be seeing you.