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Feature: The 89 Best PC Games For Under a Fiver
by Chris Hawke

So, you got that brand new next-gen game from Santa, ate way too much advent calendar chocolate and have a wad of cash from family and friends. Only, what do you spend it on? Never fear, for Gamer's Guide To Life is here, and we've compiled a list of the 89 best PC games you can snatch up for under a fiver. Trawling through pages upon pages of what seem to be endless Sims 2 Expansions, we've found some classics, some surprisingly cheap 2009 games, and some interesting box arts. The games are neatly organized into little sections to help you find what your looking for. We're using to find our 89 titles, because it's a reliable, online retailer with a vast catalog, and a site most people have used before. Some of the games are priced as over £5 by Amazon, but they'll be under £5 on the 'New or used' section. Oh, and we're not responsible for any postage and packaging weirdness.

Happy hunting, and don't forget to leave a comment!

The Great Deals:

Assassin's Creed
While it might not be as complete as it's console counterpart, £4.50 is a great deal for the free-running champion.

World Of Warcraft
If you really, really need to escape to another world altogether, or just like killing elves and stuff, you can now join the more-popular-than-Christianity MMO World Of Warcraft. Be prepared to be called noob for a long time, though.

Tomb Raider Underworld
Lara Craft returns (again?) in Underworld, half of which is spent underground and the other half getting Lara drenched in rain. It's a winning combination.

Football Manager 2009
Many may be put off by the incredibly in-depth stats and figures for thousands of footballers, but the footie hardcore can't get enough of what is easily the best management sim around. For anyone that thinks they could do better than Wenger.

Plants vs. Zombies
Another dangerously addictive, light game from PopCap - plant your plants and watch as they repel the onslaught of zombies. Odd, but fun.

Diablo II
Bored of people going on about how great Diablo III will be? Get in on the action with Diablo II, and surprise them with your uber warrior.

Mirror's Edge
It might have it's faults, but Mirror's Edge is a unique experience, with surprisingly good graphics and some fantastic free-running sections. Before you fall 100 feet. Several times.

On par with Half Life 2's awesomeness, if you haven't picked up your ticket to Rapture yet, you really, really have to. Now.

Rome: Total War
Often seen as the best in the Total War series, forgive the outdated looks and instead embrace your inner Caesar. And that does not mean throwing up a Caesar Salad (see what we did there? See it?).

Unreal Tournament III
Pretty old but still with a large group of players, UT3 is basically for anyone who likes the word 'Headshot'. A lot.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Clear Sky
It's no where near as good as the original, but it has it's perks, like great graphics and even better lighting.

The Movies
Also known as: The Moving Pictures, The Flicks, The Cinema and The Magical Actor Box.

Rainbow Six: Vegas
The better of the two Vegas games, gambling addiction is the least of your problems when terrorists invade the famed city. And at this price, it's not a gamble at all (See what we did there, again? See it? Ohh, man, we're good)

Multiwinia: Survival Of
The Flattest
Yeah, we're going to be honest; we're not really sur
e what this is about. The funny stick men look cute, though.

Deus Ex
Often mentioned along with Half Life 2 and Bioshock as the greatest game of all time, and if that's not reason enough to buy it - look at those shades!

Colin McRae: DiRT

It's not DiRT 2 (obviously), but it'll still get you muddy, with tight off road racing and some nice crashes.


Alright, so, it might not be that good. But, for around £4, it'll keep you interested for half a week, plus, has some pretty epic stuff (See: Big Ben being torn apart by a Leviathan)

Company Of Heroes: Gold

Not only do you get the best RTS game ever, but you also get the stellar DLC Opposing Fronts. Forget about Tales Of Valor; that was rubbish.

Medal Of Honour: Airb
This is a real diamo
nd in the rough; it might look a bit dated and stupid, but despite the short campaign, the parachute is really fun, the missions are great, the rag doll is hilarious, and upgradable weapons means you won't stop replaying this for at least a week.

Blacksite: Area 51
Famed for a developer calling it 'crap' even before the game was out, sure enough, it's a bit crap. But it's cheap, and will keep you occupied f
or a few days.

Frontlines: Fuel Of War
Easily the most mediocre title in the world turns out to be a better than average shooter with a neat gimmick - the front lines changes as you fight.

Killing Floor
Surprisingly scary and very good co-op shooter, with great maps, enemies, slow-mo mode and weapon swapping. Get it with a mate and it'll last y
ou weeks on end.

Lost: The Video Game

Honestly, worth getting for John Locke's face alone. That is all.

Half Life 2
No PC collection is complete without it. Simples.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
It's brown, yes, and it
didn't cause a storm when released but it'll do enough to get you through the first days of 2010, and that's a blessing when all the family decide to come round....

Blood Money
The best of the Hitman games
: get it and catch up on the story before the inevitable Hitman 4

Quantum Of Solace
It's no GoldenEye, but it uses the Call Of Duty 4 engine;
squint and it might feel the same.

Mafia I
Lens Flare is all the rage in Mafia I, and as well as being
pretty fun, it'll also get you in the mood for Mafia II.

Doom 3
Scare yourself for less than £5 with the creepy, experimental Doom 3.

SEGA Rally
Got buried by DiRT, but this was an overlooked gem, with frantic, fast racing. The track changes with each lap as your tires grind up the mud or snow, meaning replay value is endless.

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

While it's not much different from Vegas 1, if you loved the first, you're sure to love this.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
So, it didn't live up to the hype. Ignore the haters and enjoy what is actually quite a good game, if you look past some...crippling faults.

Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

Now that Pandemic are gone, it's nice to look back at some of their work; stupid fun, but fun none the less.

Tycoon City: New York

Quite an old-school title, but a strangely compelling capitalist romp through the Big Apple.

Jump and shoot in slow motion. Reason enough to buy it.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
The best Splinter Cell, and possibly the best stealth game on PC, until Conviction comes out.

Half Life: Episode 1 & 2
Just get it, OK?

Ride your music, a bit like Guitar Hero, but with your i
Tunes library. Always a joy.

The only game to have actually sold out in the Steam sales, you might as well jump in to see what all the fuss is about.

Disney show they'
re actually quite good at all this 'game' stuff with a solid ATV racer.

IL-2 Sturmovik
Best flying sim ever, hands down. Or rather, wings down (Oh, we're on fire today!)

Baldur's Gate

What many call the best RPG ever, and it's yours for spare change.

Alone In The Dark
Survival Horror set in and around New York.

Clive Barker's Jericho
Another horror title, but this time ridiculously gory. Don't play while the guests are round.

Trackmania United
Good-looking racer with an odd twist; you're playing o
nline, all on the same course, for the fastest time, retrying as many times as you like.

Battlefield 2
The daddy of online FPSs, with a solid single play
er to boot.

World In Conflict
Think Company Of Heroes on a large
r scale and in modern times, with great set pieces and Alec Baldwin as the narrator.

Grand Theft Auto 1 & London '69

A blast from the past; the two games are incredibly old, but will dro
wn you in a flood of nostalgia.

Almost a pre-cursor to Borderlands, XIII (13) is set in a violent comic book world, all about the JFK assassinatio
n. Yay.

007: Nightfire
The second best Bond game for under £5? D
eal. A great single player and bot-fueled multiplayer will keep you playing for ages.

UFO Trilogy

Cult classics; you might love them, you might hate them.

Need For Speed: Prostreet
It's not Shift, but it's a nice car-'em-up from the old NFS series, with some great drag races.

Scarface: The World Is Yours

Now the game is you
rs, too (Nah, that wasn't very good). Think Just Cause with more Al Pacino.

Freedom Fighters
Underrated stunner just waiting to be snapped up. Giggle with glee as you liberate the US of A from those pesky Russians.

The Italian Job
It's old, yes, but at the time it was brilliant, and for those who played it in the 90's, this is a must-have blast from the past.

The Godfather

Think Scarface with less Al Pacino.

Rush For Berlin
An RTS for the historical minded. A niche title.

Over the top shooty-shooty gun fest. Mental, but in a good way.

Get It Because Of The Box Art:

While they may not be very well known (or good), these games caught our eye for having either nice or horrible box arts. And yes, it is like judging a book by it's cover. That's encouraged, right?

Lost In The City

Ohh, butterflies. That's nice. What does that have to do with being lost in a city, by the way? Oh, really? That's nice.

DEFCON (with Uplink)
As well as a nice, simple, clean box art, it turns out this game is considered brilliant by the 3 people who've ever played it.

Hammer & Sickle
Good vs Evil, USA vs Russia, Stars n' Stripes vs Hammer n' Sickle. Nice flag.

The Suffering

This horror title accounts Andrei Agassi's short time in prison for drugs.


I'm sure that's what everyone thinks of when they think of
Paradise; panthers.

Infinite Sudoku
Longer than Finite Sudoku, but not as long as Infinite Sudoku 2.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder

Judging from the screenshots, this actually seems like a good, creepy game. Still don't know what Loath Nolder is, though.

It's like a poor man's World At War with a rich man's box art.

Who Want's To Be A Millionaire?

Replace 'Millionaire' with 'Eaten Alive By Plastic Man' and
you've got a more accurate game title.



Nope. Still no idea what the hell is going on here


We wonder if this has some connection to the shady MMO Evony. We think; yes.

We kid you not; this box art is almost identical to Mass Effect. The game probably isn't.

A very good game, people tell us. Great box art, we tell them. They walk off. We're left alone.

Blitzkrieg II
Almost identical to the Battlefield 2 box art, with a bit more green thrown on.


With that box, no wonder it's obscure (Ohh, baby, back on track!)

Sudden Strike
It seems the artist was too time-pressed to draw a pr
oper soldier, so instead just did half an outline. No-one noticed.

Boiling Point: Road To Hell
What is the game's boilin
g point, you ask? It's over 9000. Fact.

Get It Because It Came Out In 2009:
Other games on the list are from 2009, yes, but here are a handful of 2009's back catalog that have gone down in price faster than Drogba when tackled (a little football joke for you there). Savior the year that was with these titles:

Order Of War
Yet another WWII RTS, but this is one of the better o
nes, with shiny graphics and strong gameplay.

Velvet Assassin
The critics were pleased with how this sneaky stealth stalker turned out, so why not give it a go?

F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin
One of the guilty pleasures of '09, wi
th awesome, bloody combat and a few frights with a creepy girl.

Sniper: Art Of Victory
You get what you pay for, and what you're paying for is some sniping. Have fun.

The Wheelman

Another physically impossibly but frantically fun
GTA/Driver hybrid staring Vin Diesel.


Ok, so, it didn't do very well critically. Or commercially. But it's £2.70. Go on...

If you can get past the slightly unfriendly controls, t
here's a good strategy game in here.

The 3 Best Buys For Under £5
As if all those other games weren't good enough, here's our pick of the 3 best games you can get for that fiver. We've left out the Half Life's and the Bioshock's because, frankly, you've already got them...right?

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway
The best single player FPS ever. Tight controls, unique graphics, great levels, a stunning story, deep characters, plenty of weapons and a never-failing cover system. Shame about the multiplayer.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow Of Chernobyl
The original version might not be a looker, and is a bit broken, but with some fantastic mods around, you can turn an already brilliant game into a stunning experience that will last you a lifetime.

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena

Ignore the haters; Butcher's Bay is even more incredible in HD, and while Dark Athena isn't as good, it's still a worth addition. Update: Amazon should have more in stock soon.

The Bottom Of The Barrel:
No matter how cheap, there are some games you just don't want to touch, ever. Here are the worst of the worst.

Pony Luv
Eww, eww, eww! Not only is the title a horrific butchering of the English language, but the game looks dull beyond dull.

Dr. Who: Top Trumps
David Tennant's face is very nice. Not nice enough to make anyone buy this.

Mr. Bean
Looks like the kind of thing drug dealers would push if they had no actual drugs.

That's your lot. Hopefully, you've found a good deal or two, but remember; Amazon have over 5,500 PC games for under £5; we've just skimmed the surface. If you find a great deal, put it in the comments section, and spread the love. Keep tuned to Gamer's Guide To Life for more bargain-hunting and A-grade awesomeness.


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- Chris Hawke

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