Valve Games In Order

It's no secret that Valve makes some great games. Here is a list of all Valve games in chronological order along with short descriptions of each game.

“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 list, we’ll provide a brief overview of all Valve games released to date, including some that aren’t out yet.

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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 beginning to end, incorporating both classic fast-paced FPS action, along with some puzzle and platforming segments.

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 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 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.

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 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.

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 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 a few ways such as the introduction of a stamina bar and heavy recoil.

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

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

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.

Much like Counter-Strike, Half-Life got its own Source-based remaster. 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.

One of Valve’s most recognizable games, Half-Life 2 took the world by storm in 2004, as it was 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.

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

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.

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.

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 greater new features, weapons, or enemies, apart from a super-charged Gravity Gun that could manipulate living matter.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 introduces 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.

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.

Leave it to Valve to once again 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.

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 general experience is still very distinctly Portal.

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.

What do we have here? Did Valve turn 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 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.

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.

Now, here’s an interesting thought – 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 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. A release date hasn’t been set yet, though it seems likely that the game will launch sometime in 2020.


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 adjusted to better suit the East Asian market.

As always, we’ll update this article as future games are announced and released, so be sure to check back now and then.

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Samuel Stewart

Samuel is GamingScan's editor-in-chief. He describes himself as a dedicated gamer and programmer. He enjoys helping others discover the joys of gaming. Samuel closely follows the latest trends in the gaming industry in order to keep the visitors in the flow.

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