“We used to make games, now we make money” is a joke that you’ll often hear when Valve games are brought up as a subject of discussion. And true enough, Valve did churn out way more games back before Steam grew to dominate the PC market, but these days – not so much.

Still, Valve has created many classics that will be played and re-played for years to come, so in this article, we’ll provide a brief overview of all Valve games released to date, including some that aren’t out yet.

Half-Life

Half Life Game Order

Release date: November 16, 1998

Platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 2

The first game ever released by Valve is Half-Life, a title that we’re sure needs no introduction. When it was released back in 1998, it was quite a big deal. It featured 3D graphics that were very good at the time and it placed a greater accent on the story than 90s FPS games usually did.

Half-Life featured both single-player and multiplayer modes, and it proved to be a rather captivating experience from start to finish, incorporating both classic fast-paced FPS action, along with some puzzle and platforming segments.

Team Fortress Classic

Team Fortress Classic

Release date: April 7, 1999

Platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS

Following their immensely successful single-player focused debut, Valve also released Team Fortress Classic – a team-based multiplayer experience that started out as a Quake mod. The game featured nine classes, each with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, thus encouraging teamwork among the players.

Half-Life: Opposing Force

Half Life Opposing Force

Release date: November 19, 1999

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Half-Life: Opposing Force is a standalone expansion pack for the original Half-Life which featured a new protagonist, a new single-player campaign, some minor graphics updates, as well as several new weapons, all of which helped make the original Half-Life experience feel a bit more fresh.

Ricochet

Ricochet

Release date: November 1, 2000

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Ricochet is a simple and often-overlooked title with a very Tron-like aesthetic. It is a platform-based multiplayer game where the goal is to eliminate other players either by killing them or by knocking them off a platform.

Counter-Strike

Counter Strike

Release date: November 9, 2000

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox

Here’s another classic game that hardly needs any introduction. Much like Team Fortress started out as a Quake mod, so did Counter-Strike start out as a Half-Life mod before it became a full-fledged game of its own.

Counter-Strike divided players into terrorist and counter-terrorist teams, each with some unique gear of their own. It also introduced new game modes that revolved around objectives such as bomb defusal, hostage rescue, and assassination.

Deathmatch Classic

Deathmatch Classic

Release date: June 7, 2001

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Deathmatch Classic is essentially just the deathmatch multiplayer mode of Half-Life released as a separate game, and it was based on the original deathmatch mode seen in Quake.

Half-Life: Blue Shift

Half Life Blue Shift

Release date: June 12, 2001

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

The second Half-Life expansion, Blue Shift, has the player re-experiencing the events of the first game from a different perspective provided by a new protagonist. Much like Opposing Force, Blue Shift updated the graphics and added a new single-player campaign, though it did not introduce any new weapons or enemies like the first expansion did.

Day of Defeat

Day Of Defeat

Release date: May 6, 2003

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Day ofDefeat was yet another case of a multiplayer mod turning into a full game. It is a WW2-themed squad-based multiplayer experience, featuring multiple classes and putting an extra accent on realism in several ways such as the introduction of a stamina bar and heavy recoil.

Half-Life: Decay

Half Life Series

Release date: November 14, 2001

Platforms: PlayStation 2

An unusual entry in the history of Half-Life, Decay is a PlayStation 2-only expansion that features two protagonists, cooperative play, and it puts a greater accent on puzzle-solving compared to the other Half-Life titles that came before and after it.

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero

Counter Strike Condition Zero

Release date: March 24, 2004

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Condition Zero was a sequel to the original Counter-Strike which features updated graphics, new models, new maps, and even a single-player campaign.

Counter-Strike: Source

Counter Strike Source

Release date: October 7, 2004

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Following Condition Zero came yet another Counter-Strike title, but this time it was simply the original Counter-Strike re-created in Valve’s then-new Source engine. Counter-Strike: Source featured graphics and physics updates which were a big deal at the time, and the game itself felt a bit more realistic and a little less arcade-y compared to the original GoldSrc version.

Half-Life: Source

Half Life Play Order

Release date: November 6, 2004

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Much like Counter-Strike, Half-Life got its own Source-based remaster, though while the graphics and the physics were updated, the game still used old assets, making it appear quite dated compared to what would follow soon after.

Half-Life 2

Half Life Expansions

Release date: November 16, 2004

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android

One of Valve’s most recognizable games, Half-Life 2 took the world by storm in 2004, as it was absolutely groundbreaking on virtually every front: the graphics were stunning for 2004, the new physics engine made the experience more immersive and the action more flexible, the animations – especially facial animations – were on a whole new level, and the story was very well-developed, complete with unique and memorable characters.

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

Half Life Game

Release date: November 30, 2004

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Similar to Deathmatch Classic, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch was a standalone release of the deathmatch multiplayer mode seen in Half-Life 2.

Day of Defeat: Source

Day Of Defeat Source

Release date: September 26, 2005

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Yet another game in the long line of Source remasters, Day of Defeat: Source brought the original Day of Defeat experience to the more advanced and better-looking new engine, though the fundamental experience remained mostly identical to the original.

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast

What Order To Play Half Life

Release date: October 27, 2005

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Next up, we have Lost Coast, which isn’t so much a game as it is a tech demo for the Source engine. It features a single level that was cut from the original game and it focuses on showcasing the engine’s HDR rendering capabilities.

Half-Life 2: Episode One

Half Life Timeline

Release date: June 1, 2006

Platforms:  Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android

Then, came Half-Life 2: Episode One, the first of the three episodic Half-Life 2 expansions that were planned at the time. It picks up immediately where Half-Life 2 left off, featuring Alyx as a helpful AI companion throughout most of the game, but it didn’t add any major new features, weapons, or enemies, apart from a super-charged Gravity Gun that could manipulate living matter.

Garry’s Mod

Garry’s Mod

Release date: November 29, 2006

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

As the name suggests, Garry’s Mod is yet another game that started out as a fan-made mod before Valve picked it up and released it as a standalone game. Garry’s Mod is a sandbox that features a modified version of the Source engine, allowing the player to play around with a variety of props.

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

All Half Life Games

Release date: October 10, 2007

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

The second and, sadly, final episodic expansion of Half-Life is Half-Life 2: Episode Two. Much like Episode One picks up after the events of the main game, so does Episode Two pick up where its predecessor left off.

Episode Two features a variety of new environments, new enemies, and levels that feel more detailed, organic, and open compared to what Episode One and the main game had to offer, making for a very captivating single-player experience.

Portal

Portal

Release date: October 10, 2007

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android

Taking place in the same universe as Half-Life, Portal was Valve’s unusual and extremely popular puzzle game characterized by creative level and puzzle design, as well as its unique aesthetic, presentation, and a fairly dark story hidden underneath a layer of humor which can actually be quite dark in itself.

Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

Release date: October 10, 2007

Platforms: Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

An immensely popular sequel to the original Team Fortress, Team Fortress 2 puts a comical cartoony spin on the classic team-based multiplayer game, making it more marketable and approachable without taking away from the core experience which remains tactical and team-based as before.

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead

Release date: November 17, 2008

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Xbox 360

Cue another highly popular multiplayer game from Valve, Left 4 Dead is a four-player cooperative game that has the players wade through various zombie-infested maps in order to reach the final goal. Naturally, Left 4 Dead encourages cooperation and though it’s not too story-heavy, it still features a cast of distinct, memorable characters.

In addition to the co-op campaign, it also features a Versus multiplayer mode where players can also take on the role of “special” infected that are already present as AI-controlled threats in the co-op missions.

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Release date: November 17, 2009

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360

Released only a year after the original Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 was somewhat controversial at launch due to how quickly it followed the original game. It added new characters, new maps, new weapons, new special infected, and eventually received a lot of DLC, as well as all of the original Left 4 Dead content.

Alien Swarm

Alien Swarm

Release date: July 19, 2010

Platforms: Windows

Leave it to Valve to once again to turn a mod into an independent game. Alien Swarm, which started out as an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod, is a top-down shooting game that, as the name suggests, pits the player against swarms of Zerg-like aliens. It features both single-player and cooperative multiplayer modes, as well as a variety of different weapons.

Portal 2

Portal 2

Release date: April 18, 2011

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

A sequel to the first Portal game, Portal 2 adds some new puzzle mechanics and a separate 2-player cooperative campaign that is completely separate from the single-player one. The environments are more chaotic and dilapidated compared to the clean and tidy test rooms of the first game, but the overall experience is still very distinctly Portal.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike Global Offensive

Release date: August 21, 2012

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

The latest main entry in the Counter-Strike series, Global Offensive refreshed the core Counter-Strike experience by introducing new weapons and game modes, along with new and updated graphics, thus streamlining the experience, making it more up-to-date with the latest trends, and making it more accessible to new generations of gamers.

Dota 2

Dota 2

Release date: July 9, 2013

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

What do we have here? Valve turned yet another mod into a popular full-fledged game? Indeed, the classic Warcraft III mod known as Defense of the Ancients, i.e. DotA for short, was turned into a Source-based MOBA game known simply as Dota 2.

Just like the original mod, Dota 2 has up to 10 players engaging in a PvP/PvE match, sticking to the overall formula that we can see in virtually any MOBA game. The game is not tied to Blizzard’s Warcraft series, as Valve’s Dota is a separate IP. After all, the original DotA itself was simply a fan-made mod that was in no way connected to Warcraft lore.

The Lab

The Lab

Release date: April 5, 2016

Platforms: Windows

The Lab is a Portal spinoff and it is a VR game developed with the HTC Vive in mind. The game consists of eight minigames and was mostly focused on capitalizing on the new VR experience, relying on motion controls and room-scale motion tracking.

Artifact

Artifact

Release date: November 28, 2018

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android

Trading card games gained some traction in the 2010s, and Valve wanted a piece of that cake. And so, Artifact was released, but the fans did not exactly take well to the new Dota-based card game. Much like Blizzard’s more successful Hearthstone, it is heavily influenced by Magic: The Gathering, but it never took off due to the genre being oversaturated as it is and because fans saw the game as little more than an easy cash-in on Valve’s part.

Dota Underlords

Dota Underlords

Release date: June 20, 2019 (Early Access)

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android

Now, here’s an interesting one – a game based on a mod for a game which was in itself based on a mod. Dota Underlords started out as Dota Auto Chess, a chess-like auto battler strategy game based on Dota 2. Currently, the game is in early access.

In the Valley of Gods

In The Valley Of Gods

Release date: TBD

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

In the Valley of Gods is an upcoming first-person adventure game set in Egypt, and it is being developed by the creators of Firewatch, Campo Santo, a studio that was acquired by Valve in 2018. No release date has been set, though it seems likely that the game will launch sometime in 2020.

Conclusion

And those would be all the Valve games released thus far, not counting some spinoff titles such as Half-Life 2: Survivor, Left 4 Dead: Survivors, and Counter-Strike Online, among others, as these are merely heavily modified versions of original Valve games tweaked to better suit the East Asian market.

As always, we’ll update this article as future games are announced and released. In the meantime, if you feel that we’ve made any errors or overlooked anything important, let us know in the comments and we’ll see about fixing the article ASAP.

You Might Also Be Interested In These