Of the 100 billion games on Steam, one for every star in the sky, which are the absolute cream of the crop? Which have users rated the highest? To borrow a cliche from The Bad Internet, the answer may surprise yo—[vomits profusely].

Seriously, though, you’re probably expecting a bunch of Valve games and maybe, like, Undertale, right? I know I was. Steam’s highest-rated games, however, made me do a double-take, so let’s dive in.

One Finger Death Punch

Rating: 98 percent positive.

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What it’s about: “Experience cinematic kung-fu battles in the fastest, most intense brawler the indie world has ever seen! With the unique 1:1 response system of One Finger Death Punch, players will feel the immediate feedback of every bone-crunching hit.”

So basically: Dudes come at you. You punch them with single button presses, which quickly build into rhythmic combos. Stages are brief, but before you know it, several days have passed. You are lost in the flow. Your family mourns you, but eventually, they move on.

Example review: “Day 96: My fingers have ascended beyond this mortal plane.”

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Why so many people love it: It’s a pure adrenaline rush. You only ever press a couple buttons, but each strike is like a bolt of lightning tearing the sky asunder. The game just feels excellent. It also grows remarkably complex over time, given how simply it begins. There are few better ways to spend $5 on Steam.

Iron Snout

Rating: 98 percent positive.

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What it’s about: Iron Snout is a fast, colorful and brutal fighting game in which you will be helping a piglet fight for its life against hordes of wolves.”

So basically: It’s One Finger Death Punch, except not as good and you’re a pig. Also, it’s free.

Example review: “My wife just caught me playing Iron Snout and told me to play something more age appropriate. Perhaps she would respect me more if she realised I was ranked 150126th in the world at smashing wolves faces.”

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Why so many people love it: Pretty much the same reasons people love One Finger Death Punch, except Iron Snout is more overtly humorous. And again, it’s free.

Factorio

Rating: 98 percent positive.

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What it’s about: Factorio is a game about building and creating automated factories to produce items of increasing complexity, within an infinite 2D world. Use your imagination to design your factory, combine simple elements into ingenious structures, and finally protect it from the creatures who don’t really like you.”

So basically: You build a criss-crossing, spiderweb-veining nightmare factory that sprawls for miles, planet be damned. Eventually, you realize you are the factory and the factory is you. Then you say fuck it and start a new factory.

Example review: “The factory is an embodiment of madness incomprehensible even to the men who built it, laid every unholy circuit of conveyor belt, a thousand arms madly spinning every second, countless plates of copper and iron in a complex dance the likes of which is unseen in the realm of mere mortals. There are sections that I have no idea how they work, and I BUILT THEM.”

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Why so many people love it: Micromanagement.

Portal/Portal 2

Rating: 98 percent positive.

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What it’s about: “Set in the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratories, Portal has been called one of the most innovative new games on the horizon and will offer gamers hours of unique gameplay.”

So basically: You solve puzzles using portals. Also, there are jokes. And a song. Both Portals are among the greatest games of all time.

Example review: “i don’t mean to give the entire plot away but i seriously felt like saluting the ♥♥♥♥ing flag when jfk used the portal gun to redirect the cuban missiles to chernobyl seriously get this game its the only historically-accurate biographical game i’ve actually enjoyed.”

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Why so many people love it: Both Portal games are peerless in terms of design and humor. The first, especially, is a masterclass in games as immersion learning exercises. You start out bewildered and confused, and within 30-45 mins, you’re fluent in a whole new physical, spatial, and gravitational language. Then things get even more topsy turvy. The second might be a bit bloated mechanically, and it never entirely comes together, but it’s a mad science lab of ideas, many of which could support entire games on their own. Plus, co-op is astoundingly good, arguably better than single-player. It’s Portal! Duh. Everybody loves Portal.

Hidden Folks

Rating: 99 percent positive.

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What it’s about: “Search for hidden folks in hand-drawn, interactive, miniature landscapes. Unfurl tent flaps, cut through bushes, slam doors, and poke some crocodiles! Rooooaaaarrrr!!!!!”

So basically: You click through tons of little landscapes to reveal items and cute little folks. It’s fucking adorable.

Example review: “First of all, it gives you the warm memories of sitting in the library staring intently at that ‘Waldo’ cover. Even so, this game shines with its own unique experience, not just latching on to past treasures. Its difficulty ranges from item to item, allowing for various challenges and creative thinking. To help hint to specific locations or events, each item has a small description or summery that leads you along. Also the oral sound effects are not only charming, but helpful for when you are near a certain object or person! I’ve also really grown to enjoy the art and animation style as well.”

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Why so many people love it: It’s a simple, cute game anybody can play, executed with oodles of style and inventiveness. Think Where’s Waldo, but with minigames and mouth sounds. I’d honestly never heard of it before writing this article, but it’s an utter delight. Is it the greatest game on all of Steam? No, probably not. But I can see why a lot of people adore it.

A few other notes

  • I removed DLC from this list because I specifically wanted to focus on individual games. If I had included DLC, Witcher 3's season pass would’ve come in first, and This War Of Mine’s “War Child Charity” DLC would’ve come in third.
  • When I first decided, on a lark, to look at Steam’s highest rated games a couple weeks ago, the third highest-rated game was Ty The Tasmanian Tiger. (Yes, that one obscure mascot platformer from 2002.) Since then, it’s fallen a bunch of slots. I really want to know what happened.
  • The sixth highest-rated game is Nekopara Vol 2. Of course it is.
  • Too much love for your boiling blood? Check out my list of the five lowest rated games on Steam.

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