This weekend edition of the Dealmaster is focused exclusively on video game discounts for PlayStation and Xbox owners, as both Sony and Microsoft kicked off wide-ranging sales on their respective online stores earlier this week. The former’s PlayStation Summer Sale runs through August 18—with Sony promising a second batch of discounts arriving on August 4—while the latter’s Xbox Ultimate Game Sale will last through August 5.
These are not the first sweeping sales each company has run on its digital shops this summer, but as before, the new promotions discount several hundred games across last- and current-gen consoles (plus a few PC games, in Microsoft’s case). Also like before, most of the offers advertised in each sale aren’t great deals, either because the game in question is lackluster or because the discount isn’t much lower than the street price we’ve seen in recent months.
So, as we like to do with the Dealmaster, we’ve looked through the entirety of Sony’s and Microsoft’s selections so you don’t have to, picking out the genuine deals along the way.
You can look through our full roundup below, but we’ll shout out a few highlights first. On the PlayStation side, the gorgeous PS5 remake of the all-time great action-RPG Demon’s Souls, which we called a “must-buy” for PS5 owners, is down to a joint-low of $50, as is the hardcore sci-fi roguelike Returnal, which launched in April. Both games typically retail for $70. (We’ll also note that the latter suffered from some harsh glitches and game crashes at launch, but recent patches have helped rectify those issues in the time since.)
Beyond those, there are a handful of notable PS4 discounts happening alongside Sony’s summer sale that aren’t a part of the sale itself. Those include the open-world samurai adventure Ghost of Tsushima for $30, which is $10 below its usual price over the past few months, and the stealth-action zombie drama The Last of Us Part II for $20, which is a new low. Both of those made our best games of 2020 list.
Over on the Xbox side, it’s worth remembering that many of the highlights are also included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, which goes for $15 a month. But if you’d rather own your copy—insofar as you can “own” a digital product—the sale includes Halo: The Master Chief Collection for $30, which matches the lowest it’s been on PC and falls about $10 lower than the co-op-friendly collection’s usual price on Xbox. The next-gen edition of the supernatural shooter Control, our 2019 game of the year, is down to a joint-low of $20, while a bundle that pairs both of the excellent 2D platformers in the Ori series is half off at $17.49.
Almost the entire Yakuza series is deeply discounted, too, while single-player gems Titanfall 2 and The Witcher 3 are down to $3 and $10, respectively. And the tactical dodgeball game Knockout City, which our review deemed “the best team-deathmatch game we’ve played in years,” is down to $13 from its standard price of $20.
There are plenty more deals on games besides those, however, including good deals on 2021 games like Mass Effect: Legendary Edition and Hitman 3, excellent indies like Disco Elysium, Kentucky Route Zero, and Lonely Mountains: Downhill, and much more. If you have more room on your backlog, you can check out all of our top picks below.
Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.