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Independence Day video game deals

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Gaps Solitaire

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July 4th sales extravaganza

In case you hadn't noticed, it's Independence Day weekend. Not only does that make it one of the year's best opportunities for grilling out, watching fireworks, and enjoying the sun, it's also one of your best chances to get away from it all, take an extra day off work, and catch up on your gaming. Consequently, it's prime season for gaming price-cuts, too -- and here's our pick of this year's best.

Steam

Digital distribution service Steam's summer deals are legendary -- and this year's selection isn't going to hurt that reputation one iota. In addition to their rotating set of daily deals, they're slashing prices on massive bundles.

Every Valve-developed game -- including Half-Life 2 and Portal 2 -- for under $50? 50 Square Enix games for $75? 12 of Rockstar's biggest hits for just $40? Numerous publishers have seen price cuts of between 25 and 30% on their entire catalogs. Long story short, if you're looking for cheap, back-catalog PC games, this is your week.

And that's not all. Steam has another set of discounts up its sleeve -- but you'll need to work for them. Up until the sale closes on July 10, gamers who win specific achievements in Steam-powered games will also earn extra discounts on a wide range of titles. Check the list for today's specials.

Gamestop

Retail giant Gamestop isn't one to be left out. It's also throwing a big summer-themed shindig, boasting some nice savings on newly released console games. Both F.E.A.R. 3 and Duke Nukem Forever have $20 slashed from their face price, making them $39.99. Just-launched superhero epic Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters drops to $50 on PS3 and X360, and $40 on Wii. There are some nice savings on used Nintendo DS handhelds, games, and accessories too, so if you're not down with the new 3DS, you could well snag a bargain.

GOG

If your tastes (or budget) run more to cut-price classics, we strongly suggest taking a look at Good Old Games this weekend. Their featured sale is on games from legendary (and now sadly defunct) publisher Interplay, and it's nothing if not simple: they're just $2.99 each. We'd suggest checking out Freespace 2, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Sacrifice, or any of the Fallouts, but that's just us. At less than $3 a pop, you can't go wrong with any of GOG's selection.

EA's "Biggest Sale Ever"
Game giant EA is getting in on the act with what it's calling its "Biggest Sale Ever" this weekend, offering great deals on various platforms including the iPhone, iPad, Xbox 360, and on the PC via EA's new downloadable game service, Origin.

How great are these deals? Pretty great, especially if you're into iOS games: over 50 are on sale, with highlights including Sims 3, Monopoly, Scrabble, NBA Jam, and the critically-acclaimed Dead Space, all of which are under a buck. On the PC, The Sims: Medieval is $29.99, Mass Effect 2 is under $12, and Dead Space 2 is just $17.99. Other platforms -- including Xbox Live and Kindle -- come in for their share of love too, and you can see the full list right here.

Xbox Live

If you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, don't overlook the latest set of discounts on downloadable Xbox 360 games. This week's include half-price deals on the excellent Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (600 points), the hilarious Comic Jumper (just 400 points), and the retro-styled Hard Corps: Uprising (600 points). The deals are good until Monday, but you'll be enjoying the games well beyond that.

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