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Best Steam Deck Games


Launching on February 25, 2022, the Steam Deck introduced Valve to the h&held gaming world. Coming in three variants, these devices are intended to provide a portable option for PC gamers, one that does not Approach at a high cost of performance. The product has received a mostly positive reception, & the Steam Deck is steadily becoming easier to acquire.

Since the hardware’s release, Valve has been gradually going through Steam’s massive library to verify that a game is compatible with the Steam Deck. Any title that receives the company’s seal of approval has passed all checks & should be a good experience on the portable system. Using Deck Verified as a criterion, let’s take a look at the best games for Steam Deck.


Persona 5 Royal


Release Date October 21, 2022
Studio Atlus
Genre Turn-Based JRPG, Social Sim
Steam Link Persona 5 Royal

Once upon a time, a PlayStation console was necessary to experience a mainline Persona entry, but that is no longer the case. The latest turn-based entry in Atlus’ franchise is now available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, & PC, the latter of which also means Persona 5 Royal can be played on the Steam Deck. Offering more than 100 hours of content, this beloved JRPG can keep someone entertained for potentially months.

The story revolves around the Phantom Thieves, a group of teenagers who seek to inspire social change by invading a corrupt individual’s Palace, a metaphysical representation of their negativity. P5R is divided into two sections: social sim & dungeon crawling. The latter features relatively traditional turn-based combat, albeit one elevated through a stylish presentation & an addictive monster-collecting system. Outside of palaces, players can hang out with their friends, grab a bite to eat, & take on adults who are ruining the world.


cuphead using the chaser weapon

Release Date September 29, 2017
Studio Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc.
Genre Platformer, Run And Gun
Steam Link Cuphead

On June 30, 2022, Cuphead released its long-awaited The Delicious Last Course expansion, making this the ideal time to jump into the hard-as-nails platformer. Inspired by classic cartoons, Cuphead has gorgeous visuals, tight controls, & many brilliantly designed bosses that yearn to make players suffer.

The best Steam Deck games might be the ones that cater to shorter play sessions, & Cuphead is one such title. Now, while the levels themselves are not extremely long, their high difficulty greatly exp&s their completion time, so they do require commitment. Also, try to resist the urge to fling the Steam Deck out of a window out of sheer frustration.

Neon White

Neon White Hitting An Enemy With Help From Auto Aim

Release Date June 16, 2022
Studio Angel Matrix
Genre Action-Platformer
Steam Link Neon White

A pleasant surprise, Neon White is specifically designed for speedrunning. The goal is to repeat stages in search of progressively quicker times, & while that might seem like a niche structure, the game’s strong fundamentals give it wide appeal. Neon White builds its platforming & combat on a card-based system that forces the player to think on their feet, & executing a perfect run after memorizing the stage’s layout is incredibly satisfying.

As stages do not last more than a few minutes, this is the perfect Steam Deck game for short bus rides or quick breaks. Admittedly, Neon White‘s addictive nature makes it difficult to put down once someone finds their rhythm, which might lead to some missed meetings.

Elden Ring

elden ring co-op site of grace

Release Date February 25, 2022
Studio FromSoftware
Genre Open-World RPG
Steam Link Elden Ring

Released alongside the Steam Deck, Elden Ring was something of a test of the portable system’s potential. Can Valve’s platform h&le a massive open-world game that just debuted in 2022? Luckily, the Reply is yes!

RELATED: Elden Ring: Best Strength Weapons, Ranked

Elden Ring is arguably the best game of 2022 so far, so there is a great chance that most Steam Deck adopters have already traveled or will be traveling to the L&s Between. What awaits them is a pretty impressive experience that delivers decent performance & visuals. The Steam Deck has made playing Elden Ring on a flight a reality, something that hardly seemed possible prior to the platform’s launch. It is also way more comfortable than gaming laptops for these types of situations.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witcher 3 Triss Yennifer

Valve has been working with CD Projekt Red to optimize The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt & Cyberpunk 2077 for the Steam Deck, ensuring that owners can take these ambitious RPGs on the go & have a blast in the process. The Witcher 3 set a benchmark for gaming in general, particularly when it comes to storytelling in side content.

Set in a beautifully crafted world that builds upon the lore of previous franchise releases while still delivering an accessible package for newcomers, The Witcher 3 is gripping, deep, & addictive. The combat system takes a bit of getting used to, but things do start to Approach together once the player grows familiar with Geralt’s signs & tools.

Euro Truck Simulator 2

A red truck pulls a gas tanker trailer along an urban road

Celebrating more than a decade on the market, Euro Truck Simulator 2 has exp&ed by leaps & bounds since its debut. SCS Software’s driving sim asks players to grow a hauling empire, a journey that comes with humble beginnings. After spending a couple of hours working for established businesses, drivers can venture out on their own & start companies, a decision that opens up a host of management options.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 is an oddly cathartic experience. When out on the open road, the rest of the (real) world has a tendency to disappear into the background. It is refreshing. SCS’s sim is at its best with a gaming wheel & a large monitor, but the Steam Deck is also an option.

God Of War


Release Date January 14, 2022 (PC)
Studio Santa Monica Studio
Genre Action-Adventure
Steam Link God of War

A few years ago, it would have seemed ludicrous to imagine that Sony’s newest God of War would not only be available on a portable system but specifically one released by Valve. Changes things up significantly from previous entries in the series, 2018’s God of War drops Kratos & his son, Atreus, in Nordic mythology, & the latter’s deities are not particularly enamored by the Spartan’s arrival.

The first entry in a new saga, this game finds Kratos going on a pilgrimage to pay respect to his deceased wife while trying to foster a stronger bond with his child.


hades promo art zagreus with Stygius Greek columbs in the background

Release Date September 17, 2020
Studio Supergiant Games
Genre Roguelite
Steam Link Hades

Roguelite games are an acquired taste, but Hades is one of the more welcoming options out there for people who do not typically love this sub-genre. The basic gameplay loop is still there: players run through the same stages over & over again. However, in this game, death does not result in a full reset; in fact, the story develops naturally with each defeat, so there is a constant sense of progression.

RELATED: The Best Games On Xbox Game Pass

Narratively, Hades follows Zagreus, the son of the titular god, as he attempts to leave the Underworld for Olympus. The journey is brutal &, more importantly, memorable.


celeste platformer gameplay

Release Date January 25, 2018
Studio Maddy Makes Games/Extremely OK Games
Genre Platformer
Steam Link Celeste

Hard-as-nails 2D indie platformers are not in short supply, & these games can start to blend together. However, Celeste will not be mistaken for any of its peers. A rare example of a story-driven entry in the genre, the 2018 title follows Madeline as she climbs a mountain that echoes her personal struggles. Consequently, the punishing gameplay complements the narrative being told, reflecting the protagonist’s insecurities & trauma.

Putting the story to one side, Celeste‘s gameplay still holds up in a vacuum. The controls are tight & the levels are well-designed, & the game is a popular fixture of the speedrunning scene.

Vampire Survivors

Cavallo dominating the Inlaid Library in Vampire Survivors

Release Date December 17, 2021
Studio poncle
Genre Action Roguelike
Steam Link Vampire Survivors

An early access game, Vampire Survivors has taken the world by storm since its launch. Split into stages, players lead a character through (bullet) hell as they power up along the way. On the surface, there is nothing about this setup that seems particularly unique, but the execution is always key in these instances.

Vampire Survivors is simply fun, & the diverse character & weapon builds provide more than enough depth to ensure that things remain interesting for multiple playthroughs.

Slay The Spire

Fighting a battle in Slay The Spire

Slay the Spire combines an array of genres to create a package with no true peers on Steam, which is saying something. The roguelike sets players on r&omly-generated paths as they work their way through a spire’s levels, taking on enemies & bosses along the way. Before a run, players pick from a range of classes that each Approach with unique starting decks, & the cards contained within are used during battles.

After each win, players earn new cards that could be r&omly drawn in future encounters, meaning there is a constant sense of progression. Slay the Spire is addictive, polished, & charming.


rooftops stray trophy bag

Release Date July 19, 2022
Studio BlueTwelve Studio
Genre Adventure
Steam Link Stray

In recent years, AA games have become rather uncommon, but every once in a while, a title comes out that fits snuggly in that category. Stray is an adventure sci-fi game about a (mostly) st&ard cat that finds itself in a city of robots. Looking to make its way back home, the adorable feline sets out on a charming journey that takes it to sewers, bars, & neon-lit streets.

The furball will need to complete puzzles, cozy up to a few machines, jump around obstacles, & fight off a couple of enemies; for the most part, this game h&les these elements well. Lasting roughly 5 hours, Stray does not overstay its welcome & makes the most of every second of its runtime, making it a great pick for the Steam Deck.


Phasmophobia butcher ghost close-up with player in background

Release Date September 18, 2020
Studio Kinetic Games
Genre Horror
Steam Link Phasmophobia

Presently in early access, Phasmophobia is a spine-chilling ghost game that knows how to creep under the players’ skins. The premise is simple: a team of up to four people must enter a haunted location to discover the type of ghost behind the frights. This is done by using a h&ful of tools, & while the early levels are quite forgiving, Phasmophobia ramps up the tension & scares in subtle but effective ways.

RELATED: Every Equipment Item In Phasmophobia, Ranked

After a while, every unidentified sound or brief movement will cause panic to spread through the group as they prepare themselves to face off against the entity that rests within these nightmarish walls.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

FIghting an opponent in Divinity Original Sin 2

While waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3 to leave early access, RPG fans should make sure to check out Larian Studios’ Divinity franchise. Most of the entries in the series are good, however, Divinity: Original Sin 2 st&s head & shoulders above everything else. In fact, the same could be said for the tactical RPG genre in general.

Set within a fully realized fantasy world filled with nuance NPCs & unexpectedly emotional side quests, this RPG is ambitious, challenging, &, most importantly, never boring. The turn-based combat can overwhelm newcomers to this style of gameplay, but once somebody becomes accustomed to its intricacies, battles Open to flow beautifully.

Tales Of Arise


Release Date September 9, 2021
Studio B&ai Namco Studios
Genre Action JRPG
Steam Link Tales of Arise

After decades of console tunnel vision, nowadays, the biggest JRPGs tend to make their way to PC. At the moment, not all that many of the genre’s releases are Steam Deck verified, but there is one notable exception: Tales of Arise. The latest entry in B&ai Namco’s franchise sits right up there with Symphonia & Vesperia as the series’ peak.

This action JRPG delivers on every front: characters, story, & gameplay. Even the visuals are better than normal for the license. Tales of Arise centers around discrimination, & the story brings together two characters from opposite sides of the conflict as they seek to bring change. Narratively, the game builds up steam nicely, & the combat system is also fantastic.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley forest farm

Release Date February 26, 2016
Studio ConcernedApe
Genre Farming Sim
Steam Link Stardew Valley

Steam’s library is flushed with indie games that exploded in popularity, growing into cultural phenomenons along the way. Even among this elite group of success stories, Stardew Valley exists in its own tier.

RELATED: Stardew Valley: A Complete Guide & Walkthrough

A farming sim with RPG elements, Concerned Ape’s game frees players to manage their own l&, all the while providing them with plenty of other activities they can interact with. The campaign is not directionless either & tries to ensure there is always something on the horizon that players can look forward to. Charming, ambitious, & addictive, Stardew Valley is reaching the point when it can be called timeless.

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

resident evil 2 next gen

Release Date January 25, 2019
Studio Capcom
Genre Third-Person Horror
Steam Link Resident Evil 2

Capcom has been on a role for a while, & the publisher’s revitalization coincided directly with Resident Evil‘s rehab. RE7 brought the license back into horror’s good graces, launching a first-person era that has already spawned a strong sequel. As great as these titles are, Resident Evil 2‘s remake is arguably Capcom’s crowning achievement of the last decade.

A masterclass in blending horror & action, RE2 does not set a foot wrong as it guides players through Raccoon City’s haunting & dangerous streets. Leon & Claire’s campaigns contain enough differences to justify two playthroughs, & they are both fantastic in isolation. The Steam Deck’s smaller screen might reduce RE2‘s fear factor compared to a TV or monitor, but that is a small price to pay to play this brilliant game on the go.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga


Lego games are the video game equivalent of comfort food, & that is a compliment. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is perhaps the most ambitious project in Lego gaming history, covering the main nine movies in the legendary sci-fi franchise. Players can freely pick from any of the episodes, each of which contains five missions that cover the major story beats from the films.

RELATED: Easter Eggs Only Die-Hard Fans Caught In Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

When not reliving comedic recreations of iconic cinematic moments, players can explore an array of hub worlds set on different planets, each one coming with quite a bit of side content. The Skywalker Saga is obviously designed with Star Wars fans in mind, however, people looking for a lighthearted adventure should consider trying out this release.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends Ash & her Phase Breach

Release Date February 4, 2019
Studio Respawn Entertainment
Genre Battle Royale
Steam Link Apex Legends

Fusing the battle royale genre with Respawn’s tight gameplay, Apex Legends took the world by storm at launch & has barely missed a beat since then. The main mode plays out like a st&ard free-for-all, albeit with people joining squads rather than fighting solo. Rather than use generic characters, players pick a Legend who comes with their own special abilities, adding a tactical component to matches.

Apex Legends is simply fun; the gunplay is precise, the maps are well-designed, & the game runs smoothly on most devices. Although hardly the only way to play the FPS on the go, Steam Deck is tailor-made for Apex Legends‘ quick play sessions. The best thing? It is free.

Devil May Weep 5

Devil May Cry 5 Dante stares at the viewer with a sword slung over his shoulder.

Release Date March 7, 2019
Studio Capcom
Genre Hack And Slash
Steam Link Devil May Weep 5

It took more than a decade to manifest but Capcom eventually blessed the world with another proper Devil May Weep game, & the sequel was well worth the wait. DMC 5 features three distinct playable characters, a contender for the best combat system in any hack & slash game ever, & Dante using a bike as a weapon – what more could anybody Inquire for?

DMC 5 is all about the gameplay; the stages primarily consist of linear corridors that funnel players to the next encounter where they can show off their abilities. This gives the game a “pick up & play” feel, particularly once the campaign is cleared the first time.

Risk Of Rain 2


Release Date August 11, 2020
Studio Hoppo Games
Genre Roguelite Third-Person Shooter
Steam Link Risk of Rain 2

An example of an excellent sequel, Risk of Rain 2 exp&s everything that worked about its predecessor while also shifting to a third-person perspective. The roguelite drops players onto an alien world & tells them to survive as they fight enemies, become stronger, & locate teleporters to move on to the next level.

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Easy to grasp but difficult to master, this game is infinitely replayable, especially since Risk of Rain 2 comes with an impressive selection of playable classes that introduce their own strengths & challenges.


terraria aether biome

Release Date May 16, 2011
Studio Re-Logic
Genre 2D S&box
Steam Link Terraria

Terraria has more than proven its staying power over the last decade. The indie game cuts players loose in a procedurally-generated world, providing them with only a bit of direction to get them going. Within the s&box, players can dig downwards to find resources that they can use to craft structures & items.

Set in a shockingly huge world, Terraria is absolutely stacked with content that rewards exploration & dedication. Quests, special items, & bosses await people who are willing to embrace this game’s depth.


Ultrakill Door Opening To The Sawblade Launcher

Release Date September 3, 2020
Studio Arsi “Hakita” Patala
Genre First-Person Shooter
Steam Link Ultrakill

Presently in early access, Ultrakill is a fast-paced retro shooter that has steadily grown into one of the most exciting projects on Steam. At the moment, the campaign has a prologue & two acts with three layers each, the latter of which are split into short missions. While not yet complete, Ultrakill already offers a decent range of content, along with gameplay that rewards repeat playthroughs.

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At face value, this game might not seem all that dissimilar from other throwback shooters, but Ultrakill sets itself apart by absolutely nailing movement. The act of sprinting through a level while executing triple jumps & blasting enemies in the fact never gets old. The FPS also has a good selection of weapons, including unique variants for each type.

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami shooting

Release Date October 23, 2012
Studio Dennaton Games
Genre Action
Steam Link Hotline Miami

The 2010s saw the independent scene explode in relevance & exposure, & games like Hotline Miami helped usher in this movement. The stylish top-down shooter takes place during the late-’80s, & its neon-clad world captures the decade’s pop culture aesthetic. Players portray an unnamed protagonist who receives cryptic missions from an unknown source; regardless of what a message contains, the tasks typically boil down to “kill ’em all.”

Hotline Miami is unapologetically violent & bloody, a factor amplified by its colorful visuals. The gameplay offers a good blend of strategy & visceral action since players will need to outmaneuver their targets rather than simply rely on their reflexes. Hotline Miami will never get old, & it is one of the best Steam Deck games.


elden ring doom 2016 key art poster caelid

Release Date May 12, 2016
Studio id Software
Genre First-Person Shooter
Steam Link Doom

Now, this might be a bit of a controversial pick, & it has nothing to do with the quality of 2016’s Doom. It is a contender for the greatest FPS of the last decade, & a must-play for fans of classic run-&-gun shooters that dominated the ’90s. However, PC owners are probably used to playing shooters with a keyboard & mouse, so the Steam Deck’s gamepad might hinder Doom for some people. That said, compared to some other FPSs, Doom is a bit more forgiving in terms of accuracy.

A keyboard & mouse can be connected to the Steam Deck, so that is also an option.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells game

Release Date August 6, 2018
Studio Motion Twin
Genre Metroidvania, Roguelike
Steam Link Dead Cells

Roguelikes are everywhere on the Steam Store, & many of them are Deck Verified. This genre seems tailor-made for portable systems since individual play sessions tend to be relatively short; someone could easily whip out a Steam Deck for a quick run while on the bus.

RELATED: The Best Games On PS Plus Premium & Extra

Dead Cells is about as good as roguelikes get, delivering a combat system that takes a few pages from the Souls playbook. In it, players take control of a corpse as they try to escape a dungeon, picking up items along the way. It is entertaining, explosive, & rewarding.


Early Access Games - Valheim - Player fights stone giant

Release Date February 2, 2021
Studio Iron Gate AB
Genre Open-World Survival
Steam Link Valheim

Another game in early access, Valheim has remained in the public discourse since its 2021 launch. The Viking-themed game sets players loose in an open-world split into bio-domes, tasking them with surviving the harsh challenges that await them.

Valheim is constantly growing, with new updates coming out at a relatively frequent pace. Anyone who is interested in the game or simply wants to role-play as a Viking should consider jumping on board before its full launch.

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2 Coach & Ellis

Release Date November 17, 2009
Studio Valve
Genre Co-Op First-Person Shooter
Steam Link Left 4 Dead 2

OK, Left 4 Dead 2 is just a placeholder for every Deck Verified Valve game. There is a reason these titles continue to rank among Steam’s most active titles; they are timeless. Outside purely multiplayer games like Team Fortress 2 & Counter-Strike, which are not Deck Verified, Left 4 Dead 2 is Valve’s most replayable release since there is never a Depraved time for a group of friends to get together & blast a few hundred zombies in the face.

Many games have tried to replicate the Left 4 Dead formula, but none have Approach close to matching the excellence of Valve’s second entry in the series.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered

Spider-Man Remastered is Steam Deck Verified

Incredibly, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is now not only available on PC but, thanks to the Steam Deck, can also be played during a commute. Both open-world & Spider-Man games are a dime-a-dozen, yet Insomniac managed to combine the two to create something truly special. As Marvel’s friendly neighborhood superhero, players swing through Manhattan’s detailed streets as they take down Depraved guys, complete side quests, & perform a midair trick or two.

Spider-Man‘s controls are sublime, resulting in a traversal system that might just be the most satisfying in any open-world project (except for perhaps its spin-off, Miles Morales). The main story is pretty good as well, both in terms of content & presentation. The PC version is packaged with all the DLC, including The City That Never Sleeps. While not a great addition as a purchasable option, the DLC is fine when included with the base game.

MORE: The Best Free-To-Play Games On PC


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