Stocking up on games? Start with a free copy of Left 4 Dead 2!

Bargain of the year has to be given to Valve's popular zombie shooter

Games! Cheap games! Four games for the price of one, make that ten games for the price of one!

Before you read the rest of this article, if you haven't gotten your free copy of Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 co-op zombie shooter, go grab it now. You have until 10AM PST 12/26.

Once that is over, it's time to start shopping and we don't just mean on Steam.

The big three for the best deals

Of course the Steam Christmas sales are always fun. Part of the joy is refreshing and voting for the next sale and hoping it's a game you want.

Here's a tip:make a point to vote for the Steam Flash sales. Voting gets you trading cards, which you can always sell them for quick cash. Even if you only get between US$0.20 to $0.30 a card, considering some of the cheaper older games go for US$1.00 even, that's still some money saved.

But before you buy what seems a great deal on Steam, make a point to compare the game's price at Good Old Games (GOG)or Greenmangaming (GMG). GOG is a great option for DRM-free versions of games like Witcher and Dragon Commander, as well as old classics like Baldur's Gate and Planescape:Torment. Need I also mention the site is running its own winter sales with great bundled deals of games you loved a long time ago?

GMG offers significant deals on games all year round, sometimes even cheaper than Steam. The best bit is that GMG sells its games via Steam keys so you can still have your games on Steam but for less.

Other sites worth checking out: Play-Asia which has the ocassional sale on not just PC games but console ones as well. It also sells Google Play and iTunes credit for those with, ahem, US accounts.

Just remember that part of the fun of the sales is the bargain hunting. Still, don't wait overlong and only hold out for a deeper discount if the game is at least half a year old. New releases won't likely go beyond 50 per cent off so don't hold out for a 75 per cent sale on Football 2014, mate. It's not going to happen.

Happy hunting!