Over the years, there have been various impressive consoles that we’ve got the chance to play games on. Of course, there’s the mainstream PlayStation and Xbox Series, but besides that, there have been multiple handhelds such as the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck. These consoles offer a great number of games to play which is why this article will discuss all the best steam deck games In 2022.
It is worth noting that these games aren’t in any particular order; they’re all the most popular games out there. The game you might find the best could totally depend on your own preferences and the types of genres that you like!
- Release Date: February 25, 2022
- Developers: FromSoftware
- Genre: Fantasy Action RPG
Starting off the list with a huge banger and something that caught the eyes of almost every gamer out there on its release. In just a month of its release, the game had sold 13.4 million units worldwide and is still trending to this day!
Elden Ring is a fantasy action RPG developed by FromSoftware. The studio is well-known for its “SoulsBorne” franchise; games that are exceptionally hard, and even the lesser enemies can kill you multiple times with absolute ease!
Elden Ring is the studio’s first attempt at creating an open-world game, and they definitely nailed the experience! The only markers that you have on the map are the map fragments that help you unlock the full map. Besides that, it’s up to you and your horse, Torrent, to travel and discover!
From taking down extremely tough bosses to finding new best weapons to help you overcomes all challenges, the game is filled with content. You can adopt different playstyles such as a samurai build or a mage build. There are different spells and incantations to play around with and areas such as Crumbling Farum Azula for you to explore.
The game has a lot of replayability, so it makes sense to have it always around with you on something such as the Steam Deck. And worry not, as the Steam Deck handles this latest release like a champ! The graphics and performance are quite similar to the PS4, 720P version of the game.
Despite the game having performance issues on PC at the start, things have smoothed out now, and that means smooth gaming on the Steam Deck as well! So go and grab your Steam Deck and embark on the journey of becoming Elden Lord! And make sure to check out our guides to help you get started: Elden Ring Wiki.
Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Release Date: May 18, 2015
- Developers: CD Projekt Red
- Genre: Open-world world action RPG fighting game.
Following the fantasy theme, we have another fantasy RPG that broke the internet when it was released. Witcher 3 is the third entry in the Witcher franchise and the best one so far! It features Geralt on a quest to find his lost daughter, Ciri, as she runs from the Wild Hunt.
The game offers a giant open world with different regions that vastly differ from each other. There’s an insane number of monsters in the game and Steel Swords with Runewords, and crossbows for you to slay them with!
But where Witcher 3 shines the most is the narrative and side-quest experience. The story has great character development, and you’ll find side-quests that are just as engaging as the main story. From finding an old woman’s pan to solving murder mysteries, there’s so much going on at the same time!
On top of that, the choices you make can greatly impact the lives of the characters in the game; some can even lead to life and death situations! With many main endings to choose from, which can have different elements, you can constantly go back to mess around with different options!
And we haven’t even touched the DLCs of the game! Just the DLCs alone can provide up to 20+ hours of story content with a new beautiful setting and a crazy murderous vampire! And let’s not forget Gwent, players have invested hours in it. If you want to learn how to play it, consider checking out: The Witcher 3: Gwent Guide.
With a rich Witcher lore and even a Netflix show to back it up, you can’t go wrong with diving into the Witcher universe. And now, you can easily access it on your Steam Deck! The Steam Deck port of the game offers much better performance than any other handhelds like the Nintendo Switch.
You can easily play the game on medium settings and even push it to 60FPS at times! Of course, you can push the settings even further at the cost of FPS; that’s just something that you’ll have to decide whether you want buttery smooth gameplay or great graphics!
- Release Date: July 19, 2022
- Developers: BlueTwelve Studio
- Genre: Platformer, Puzzle Adventure Game
Nowadays, a lot of video games tend to be chaotic and filled with action, explosions, horror, or survival elements. It feels like you’re always on the edge of your seat and tense over an enemy appearing out of the next corner.
Well, Stray adapts a totally different philosophy and is completely opposite to the types of games that we just described. It is the best and most relaxing game on Steam Deck in 2022.
The game features a stray orange cat that gets separated from its family. The cat finds itself in a bizarre, abandoned city filled with robots, machines, and viruses. It is now up to you to guide the cat back to the surface and reunite with its family!
Stray gets a lot of things right about cats which is extremely reflective in the gameplay. From the nimble parkour movements to fitting through small gaps, it feels like a fresh change from playing as giant muscular characters ready to tear anything in their path.
The game offers a lot of puzzles, item collecting such as energy drinks and music sheets, and just simple cat things that you can do, like sleeping or scratching on random surfaces. On top of that, you can even make a drone, B-12, your friend!
Despite being a relatively new release, Valve was able to verify the game for Steam Deck! You can play it at native 720p by default, and the game runs smoothly on medium settings. For a smoother experience, consider limiting the FPS to 40-45.
God Of War
- Release Date: April 20, 2018
- Developers: Santa Monica Studio
- Genre: Action Adventure Fighting Game
When God of War (GOW4) originally came out, it generated a lot of hype. An older Kratos playing the role of a dad was something we had never seen before. The more mature Kratos seemed even scarier, especially when he would get protective about Atreus!
Taking place in Norse mythology, Kratos and his son are on a journey to spread the ashes of Kratos’ second wife, Faye, at the highest peak in the nine realms. But Kratos gets taken out of his peaceful and violence-free life by a stranger with godly powers and strength wishing to feel pain.
That leads them on a dangerous adventure where they’re trying to defend themselves while also trying to fulfill Faye’s last wish. Along the way, you’ll get to meet a number of interesting characters, such as the Dwarfs and the Witch in the woods.
Besides just the amazing story, the game is known for its epic third-person combat. With a new weapon at Kratos’ disposal and plenty of abilities to upgrade it, the combos and the different strategies that you can pull off in the middle of battle are just mind-blowing! You can also find other equipment using things like Dragon Tears or treasure maps.
And, of course, you can enjoy all of the intense gameplay on your Steam Deck! From the various comparisons and tests, God of War 4 on the Steam Deck has proven to be a better experience on Steam Deck as compared to the PS4! And if you’re a huge fan and are anticipating the release of the next God of War, consider reading: God of War Ragnarok: 10 Big Changes From Prequel!
Forza Horizon 5
- Release Date: November 4, 2021
- Developers: Playground Games
- Genre: Racing Simulation Game
Let’s take a break from all those action games and dive into a totally different genre! The Forza Horizon games are known to be one of the most realistic and beautiful racing games out there. The games offer a wide range of cars and different modes for you to play around in.
Forza Horizon 5 is no different! The racing game is set in a fictional open-world of Mexico. It has the biggest map in the franchise with active areas such as beaches, jungles, ancient temples, and the caldera volcano! If you want to check out other amazing open-world games, consider reading: BEST Xbox Series X Open World Games!
The game offers many races in multiplayer or campaign mode. The cars that you can use for such races have a lot of customization so that you can truly personalize each car that you own. You can create your own liveries, tunes, swap engines, or install body kits on the vehicles.
The world truly feels alive with the dynamic weather system. You can visibly see a storm brewing on one side of the map and can actually drive towards it! And as the map provides a wide range of elevations, you can notice the change in weather as you roam around them.
As for performance on the Steam Deck, the game is able to run at a whopping 60FPS with settings close to the Xbox One version. With such a great performance, you can practically enjoy the game anywhere, and it offers great possibilities for playing with your friends!
Grand Theft Auto V
- Release Date: September 17, 2013
- Genre: Action-adventure
- Developers: Rockstar Games
Grand Theft Auto V, or GTA V for short, hardly needs an introduction. It is perhaps one of the most popular games of the decade and has gotten released on three different generations of consoles.
You get to play as three different characters, Trevor, Michael, and Franklin. While in retirement, Michael runs into Franklin, who’s trying to pull off a car repossession scam for his employer. They soon get into some money trouble, and while pulling off a heist to pay their debts, they catch the attention of Michael’s former partner, Trevor.
The game then takes us on an amazing adventure where we get to explore the complex lives of each three different characters who are so different from each other that it hardly makes sense for them even to be friends. But their teamwork, along with various other supporting characters, makes for some amazing missions.
The gameplay in GTA V is absolutely amazing. Los Santos is filled with content. From dozens of cars to the different weapons to play with, the entire world is truly your playground. You can spend hours just roaming around and coming up with your own activities to have fun in the game.
And if that’s not enough, the game has a vast GTA online mode where you grind away and spend hours trying to create your own crime empire. Or you can simply take part in the many game modes such as racing, heists, deathmatches, and a lot more with your friends. And if you’re wondering when the next GTA will be released, consider reading: GTA 6: Release Date, Trailer, Story & Leaks!
- Release Date: February 4, 2019
- Developers: Respawn Entertainment, Panic Button Games
- Genre: Battle Royale Game
There was a huge surge of Battle Royale games being released back in 2018-19. Games like PUBG and Fortnite were dominating the market, and then came along Apex Legends! If you’re just getting started with it, consider reading: Apex Legends Tips and Tricks!
Apex Legends offers a unique experience to the Battle Royale genre with its “Legends” system that offers a bunch of characters, like lifeline, with unique abilities that they can deploy in the middle of battle. These abilities provide a whole new dynamic to how one approaches and strategizes in Battle Royale games.
Like a typical Battle Royale, a certain number of players, 60 in the case of Apex Legends, drop on a map and must find whatever loot, such as the best guns, that they can get their hands on in order to survive. Players need to engage with others in PvP in hopes of being the last one surviving on the map.
As you fight and kill other players, you’ll get better loot, armor, and weapons to take on the next set of enemies. Throughout the match, the playable area on the map shrinks so that, eventually, all teams converge at a single point to have an epic brawl.
You can play in three different modes, singles, duos, and trios. And besides just the Battle Royale mode, you can try progressing in the battle pass by completing various challenges to unlock new items and cosmetics!
The game officially came to the Steam Deck in 2022, and like many other games on the list of best steam deck games, its performance is just above the PS4. So now you can enjoy being the last one standing in an arena without being confined to sitting at your PC or TV couch all day!
- Release Date: September 29, 2017
- Developers: Studio MDHR
- Genre: Indie Platformer, Shoot ‘em up, Run and Gun
Inspired by the 1930’s animation style, Cuphead is a run-and-shoot game that features two brothers, Cuphead and Mugman, on a spectacular adventure.
After a deal goes wrong with the devil, they’re tasked to collect the souls of the devil’s debtors. It is the only way that the devil will show mercy to Cuphead and Mugman and not steal their souls! With the list in their hands, they head out to the three different islands of Inkwell Isle to take down every single one on the list!
The game has classic 2D cartoony graphics with vintage gameplay mechanics. Your main task is to shoot your enemies while avoiding any incoming attacks. You’ll start off with 3HP, and when it runs out, you’ll need to restart the entire level.
In concept, the game sounds quite simple. But Cuphead is known for its extreme difficulty, just like the SoulsBorne genre. With various enemy phases, extremely elaborate movesets, and any projectiles that fly around the map to catch you off-guard, there are a lot of aspects that can easily trip you up!
But the challenge is what makes the game fun! Besides collecting all hidden coins in the game for certain upgrades or solving puzzles like the Graveyard Puzzle, there aren’t many side activities in the game.
It’s all about moving from one boss to the next, overcoming the challenge, and feeling accomplished afterward! Sometimes it can take hours to clear a single boss, but you can visibly see your progress on a timeline at the death screen, which gives you encouragement to keep going.
Cuphead recently got a new DLC called “The Delicious Last Course” that features Ms. Chalice and a totally different story. It introduced many new interesting bosses such as the Doggone Dogfight, Moonshine Mob, and a secret boss as well!
Unlike the many other games, Cuphead isn’t exactly too demanding in terms of graphics. It is a simple game that shines in its boss and level designs. So, it isn’t surprising that the game works exceptionally well on the Steam Deck!
Combined with the precise analog sticks of the Steam Deck, you’ll be able to move around comfortably and dodge all those nasty attacks! Just make sure not to “throw your controller in rage” because it’s definitely going to be an expensive replacement with the Steam Deck.
- Release Date: February 26, 2016
- Developers: Eric Barone, Sickhead Games, ConcernedApe
- Genre: Indie Adventure RPG
Stardew Valley is a simulation RPG where you take over your deceased grandfather’s farm and take it from being absolutely nothing to the best farm out there!
The concept sounds simple, but it caught a lot of attention and became one of the most popular games out there, which is why it can be considered the best indie game for the Steam Deck!
Because the only objective is to turn the farm, Stardew Valley, into as rich and productive as you can, there’s no exact right or wrong way of doing it. You’re in control, and it’s up to you to decide what objectives you must complete to make the farm great!
You can, of course, grow crops and then sell them to make money. Using that profit, you can get better machinery, tools, and materials to get crops with a better yield. And then, using those newer goods, you can get greater profits, automate processes and go on an upward trajectory.
Besides just farming, you raise livestock, go fishing, cook meals, go mining and even socialize with the townspeople for better social relations! The social life in Stardew Valley is so fleshed out that you can even marry NPCs and have children.
All of these activities might make it seem like the game is grindy or has too many repetitive elements. But the truth is, Stardew Valley is actually considered one of the best grinding games because all of these chore-like activities feel relaxing.
You can visibly see the progress of all your hard work as the farm grows bigger and better as you unlock new stuff like the greenhouse. On top of that, when the music kicks in, it’s hard not to let go of all your worries and just immerse in the relaxing world of Stardew Valley!
As the game has pixel-style graphics, it’s not exactly too demanding. But some players did have issues running it on the Steam Deck. If you’re facing the same difficulties, you can fix them by enabling “Forced Compatibility” for “Proton Experimental.”
- Release Date: July 7, 2015
- Genre: Football, Sports Game
- Developers: Psyonix
Considering all the hype for Fifa 23, there’s no doubt in the fact that football games are always popular. But sometimes you want more than a game about kicking a ball around a field. That’s where games like Mario Strikers and Rocket League come in!
Rocket League is a football game where the “players” are rocket-powered cars that kick around a gigantic football in hopes of scoring. You can have teams of 4 facing off against each other in an arena filled with many boosters to help you activate your rocket engine and score!
The matches in Rocket League are usually 5 minutes long. But the game has a “mutators” mode where you can adjust many aspects of the gameplay. You can change the gravity, adjust the size, speed, and bounciness of the ball, and a lot more!
The concept of adding rocket cars in the mix leads to various new possibilities. You can jump, go airborne, or drive on walls to pull off crazy trick shots. Because of this chaotic yet fun system, the game is quite popular, and finding players to play against is hardly an issue!
Rocket League is definitely a game that you should be able to enjoy anywhere you go, and the Steam Deck is the perfect console for this! And if you’re just getting started, consider reading: How to get better at Rocket League.
- Release date: April 18, 2011
- Genre: FPS Puzzle Platformer Game
- Developers: Valve
If you love puzzle games, then Portal 2 is perhaps one of the best steam deck puzzle games that you can check out! Building on the success of Portal, Valve made an amazing game with a balanced learning curve, dark humor, and great writing!
In this first-person game, you play as a silent protagonist, Chell, in a single-player campaign. The goal is to explore the Aperture Science Laboratory, which is filled with mechanical mazes and puzzles. Portal 2 is a sequel to Portal 1. Initially, Aperture Science conducted experiments to determine whether subjects could move around dangerous “test chambers.”
But things went wrong when the AI behind the lab, GLaDOS, went rogue and killed all the employees. Our protagonist, Chell, was able to take it down and escape the facility, only to get dragged back inside near the end.
In the second part, as Chell is trying to escape again, GLaDOS gets reactivated and is trying to rebuild the facility. It is up to you to escape all of its tests and make it out of the facility!
But besides the narrative, the game is actually known for its fun gameplay. The idea of jumping through a portal and ending up in a totally different location is quite intriguing. And the fact that you can shoot the portals anywhere with your gun opens up a lot of possibilities!
The game also has various elements to further spice up the gameplay. There are tractor beams, lasers, light bridges, and paint-like gels, which can affect player movements or let you place a portal on virtually anything!
As Valve is behind the game, it’s no surprise that the game is also on the Steam Deck. Considering it was released in 2011, the game is heavily optimized and can run at 4K, 60FPS with ease! If you want to explore games on a different platform, consider checking out: BEST VR Games!
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Release Date: November 11, 2011
- Genre: Action RPG
- Developers: Bethesda
Skyrim is one of the most popular RPGs and had become one of the best-selling video games in history when it was released. The open world mixed with the narrative and gameplay led to an overall amazing gaming experience.
The game takes place 200 years after the events of the previous Elder Scrolls title, Oblivion. Skyrim is the northernmost province of Tamriel, where our protagonist, the Dragonborn, lies. As we’re the Dragonborn, we’re tasked with defeating Alduin, the World-Eater dragon who is prophesied to destroy the entire world!
On our journey, we get the chance to complete various quests that not only help us improve our skills but also provide us with the wisdom and knowledge to become proper warriors. Because the game is an open world, there are main and side quests, like the blood on the ice quest, that you can indulge yourself in!
Skyrim offers great gameplay with many skills for you to play around with. At the start, you can customize your character, and as you level up, you can upgrade your skills. You can cast all sorts of spells that can either be defensive such as health regeneration, or can help you attack enemies. Besides that, you also have various weapons and light armor in Skyrim at your disposal to take part in epic combat.
The open world also has a lot to offer. It is filled with all sorts of interactable NPCs. You can engage with them in conversation and even marry some of them. Killing certain NPCs can make quests unavailable and even cause a bounty on the player for the commitment of a crime!
Skyrim really is a huge game that you can spend a lot of time in. That is why the game has come out on almost every console out there, including the Steam Deck! So, if you want to explore a huge world and take down dragons, then Skyrim is a must-play.
- Release Date: November 1, 2012
- Genre: Vehicular Combat Simulator
- Developers: Gaijin Entertainment
If you’re looking for a realistic online simulation game, then War Thunder might be a great option for you. It is a free-to-play vehicular combat multiplayer game that offers a lot of game modes and vehicles for combat!
The game was initially just a flying simulation game but has adapted land and sea vehicles in its different battle modes. In fact, the game is praised for having one of the best flying simulation mechanics!
In one gameplay session, there can be air, land, and sea battles going on simultaneously. The vehicles can range from pre-World War 1 to the Iraq War and beyond, such as WWII. You can take control of and unlock vehicles from many countries like the US, Germany, Russia, Britain, France, Japan, and more.
There are 3 different game modes that have different pacing in their gameplay. The fastest and likely the most unrealistic game mode is the “Arcade Battle.” It offers easier gameplay mechanics and is often best for beginners.
Then we have Realistic Battle and Simulator Battle. These game modes are relatively slower-paced. You need to consider things such as climb rate, turn rate, engine power, turret traverse rate, and a lot more when playing in these modes. Due to all these aspects, War Thunder might be the best simulation game on the Steam Deck! If you’re looking for another game genre based on real-life, consider checking out: BEST UFC Games!
Detroit Become Human
- Release Date: May 25, 2018
- Genre: Interactive action-adventure
- Developers: Quantic Dream
Interactive story games are becoming a really popular genre. Especially when studios like telltale games produce amazing story games, it’s hard not to fall in love with them. Well, Detroit Become Human is a similar interactive story game produced by another studio.
The story takes place in a futuristic world where androids that look identical to humans serve their owners in hopes of automating and easing their lives. There are all sorts of androids for different purposes, such as chefs, caretakers, and even androids for adult activities!
The character follows the story of 3 androids, Cara, Markus, and Connor. The world is on the brink of a revolution where androids will break free and want equal rights and not be treated as discardable slaves to humans.
All three characters have their own roles in the story. Markus will get the chance to lead the revolution, whereas Connor is a cop trying to stop the revolution, and Cara is just trying to survive with her daughter-like figure and a friend she makes along the way.
Due to the vastly different personalities and roles of the main characters, the game tells an amazing narrative with a lot of character development and choices that can affect the way the story unfolds. With almost 60+ different endings, there is a lot you can do in the game!
Because the game offers so much replayability, you’d want it with you at all times. And as it can almost act like a movie at times, playing Detroit Become Human while traveling is one of the most fun things you can do. That’s why Detroit Become Human is the best story-telling game on the Steam Deck!
- Release Date: February 24, 2017
- Genre: Metroidvania, Action-adventure
- Developers: Team Cherry
Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania action-adventure game that is heavily inspired by the SoulsBorne franchise. In this 2D side-scrolling game with typical mechanics like the double jump, you take control of an insect-like Knight that is exploring Hallownest.
The plot of the game is that the kingdom of Hallownest, which is an underground kingdom, has fallen to ruin due to “The Infection.” The infection is a supernatural disease that ends up driving the citizens of the kingdom to madness and “undeath” (dead but appear to be alive).
It is now up to the Knight to take down three Dreamers that act as living seals for the temple door behind which the source of the “Infection” lies. This leads you to an entire journey where you must take down various bosses and, ultimately, the “Hollow Knight,” who has been completely taken over by the infection.
The game offers multiple endings and expansions, keeping you hooked for hours! The game also has great combat, letting you use melee and ranged attacks using spells. The currency in the game, Geo, works similarly to currencies in SoulsBorne games; if you die, you lose them.
With a lot of challenges and amazing lore to explore, Hollow Knight is a wonderful game to play on the Steam Deck, especially if you love vintage platformer-styled graphics with great soundtracks.
Monster Hunter Rise
- Release Date: March 26, 2021
- Genre: Fantasy Action RPG
- Developers: Capcom
The Monster Hunter series is a complex franchise with a lot of lore and depth in every single aspect, such as the lore and the gameplay mechanics! Its latest addition to the franchise is Monster Hunter Rise, with a brand-new set of monsters, such as seregios, and a world for you to explore!
If you’re brand new to the franchise, you’ll find the learning curve slightly steeper than many games, but it is worth it when you finally grasp how each weapon works, and you can better use it to take down the many new monsters in MHR Sunbreak.
Unlike the mechanics, the gameplay concept is actually quite simple. You go out and find monsters to hunt. And then you’re rewarded with loot that you can use to upgrade your weapons and get mods, making you more efficient at killing monsters and upgrading your loot even further!
The game also offers great traversal mechanics, such as a dog-like creature, Palamute, that you can ride around the world and even drift with at times! On top of that, there are wirebugs that you can use to move around the world, quickly close distance during battle, and even mount and ride certain creatures!
The game also has plenty of side quests and main quests to keep you hooked! The game is quite popular on the Nintendo Switch as well, but you’d be happy to know that it performs better visually and drastically outperforms the gameplay by delivering 60FPS on the Steam Deck! And if you’re just getting started, consider reading: Monster Hunter Rise Wiki Guide!
- Release Date: February 2, 2021
- Genre: Sandbox Survival
- Developers: Iron Gate Studio
Despite still being in early access, Valheim is an incredible open-world survival game that you can spend hours in without even realizing it. Considering that you can also play with your friends, there is a lot that you can do in the game!
At its core, Valheim is a typical survival game where you spawn with absolutely nothing and must start from the basics, such as cutting down a tree to gather tools to help you get resources more efficiently.
As you progress in the game, you’ll be able to do a lot more activities, such as creating your own shelter, fighting enemies to survive, and taking part in other activities, such as mining for ores like iron, hunting, and farming.
Although these seem like the typical grindy elements out of any survival game, these chores significantly improve your character, and once you have enough materials to create an entire ship and set sail, you truly feel like you’ve made a lot of progress since you started! Eventually, you’ll even be able to build portals in Valheim to travel farther.
The game has an interesting art style. It is a low poly/low-resolution stylized 3D graphics like many survival games such as Minecraft. And the worlds are always randomly generated with a seed, but the generation is done so well that it feels like they’ve been handcrafted each time!
Ark Survival Evolved
- Release Date: June 14, 2018
- Genre: MMORPG Survival Action-adventure
- Developers: Studio Wildcard
Ark Survival Evolved is an action-adventure survival game where you must survive on an island from a bunch of selectable maps. As you’re stranded there, you’ll have nothing but the materials around you to craft tools and shelter for survival.
The game can be played in the third or first person as you navigate through the open world of the island. As you explore, you’ll eventually realize that you’re not alone and are surrounded by a lot of prehistoric animals – dinosaurs, to be specific.
As of right now, there are 176 different creatures in the game. Most of these are real dinosaurs, such as the Dinopithecus, but the game also has mythical creatures such as wyvern and even some original creatures!
The game takes inspiration from many typical survival games. It has day-night cycles with different weather and lots of materials to help you craft weapons and defend yourself from enemies.
Perhaps where the game stands out is the complex crafting system and the depth that it has. You can unlock new recipes by leveling up and unlocking “engram points” that you can use to get new blueprints. Sometimes you’ll need to unlock other blueprints to get the one you specifically want.
But all of this makes the concept of grinding more fun and rewarding. Additionally, as you level up, you’ll get the chance to tame the creatures, like the Griffin, on the island and ride them around!
Ark Survival Evolved is perhaps one of the survival games on Steam Deck because of how optimized it is. You can often run 60FPS on the lower settings and 40FPS on the higher graphical settings in the game.
- Release Date: January 20, 2021
- Genre: Stealth
- Developers: IO Interactive
The Hitman series is one of the most classical stealth-based games out there. Hitman 3 is the eighth installment in the Hitman series and is supposed to be the final entry in the “World of Assassination” trilogy. If you want to know which games are the best in the franchise, consider reading: BEST Hitman Games: All Titles Ranked!
In the Hitman games, you get to play as a genetically engineered assassin, Agent 47. The third game wraps up the plot arc that began all the way in Hitman 1. Agent 47 and his allies are on a hunt for the leaders of the secretive organization Providence. They’re said to control the world’s affairs and also were responsible for the creation of Agent 47.
Like the previous games in the trilogy, there are 6 different levels in the game, with 5 of them being large open-ended levels where you’re free to choose how you’d like to take down your target. And that’s where the real thrill of the game lies, going back to take down an enemy in different ways.
The game follows an interesting game design where your progress in a level gets carried over the next time you play it. So, for example, if you open a secret door, the next time you play the game, it’ll remain open and offer new possibilities for your assassination.
And each level has multiple ways of taking down a single target. You can either sneak past all guards and put a bullet in the target’s head, or you can outsmart everyone by putting on a disguise and perhaps poisoning the enemy; or, better yet, his meal.
The game has amazing graphics and a lot of superb maps. And it runs surprisingly well on the Steam Deck! You can play with 40FPS at medium settings. But just be careful about battery timing and temperature when playing on maps with a lot of crowds!
- Release Date: November 16, 2004
- Genre: First-person shooter
- Developers: Valve
Half-Life 2 pretty much revolutionized the way FPS games were made. Back in 2004, when it was released, the game became one of the most popular games out there and got 39 “game of the year” awards!
From the physics system to the way that the puzzles were done, the game had made massive improvements from its prequel, Half-Life 1.
The game takes place 20 years after the initial incident at Black Mesa Research Facility in the first game that opened a portal to a dangerous dimension, Xen. The incident attracted the attention of a multidimensional empire known as the Combine, which is on its way to conquer Earth and is up to you, as Gordon Freeman, to stop them!
You’ll spend most of your time shooting at enemies as you progress through levels by solving puzzles. The puzzle mechanics are perhaps the highlight of the game, as you’ll get to work with a proper physics system and a gravity gun that lets you pick up pretty much any item and throw it around!
And as you get through the game, your arsenal of tools will also increase, and even your gravity gun will get upgrades along the way. There are also additional gameplay mechanics, such as driving or ordering around soldiers to fight for you.
As the game was released almost two decades ago and by Valve, it’s no surprise that the game can run well on the Steam Deck and offer up to 60FPS with ease!
- Release Date: February 9, 2019
- Genre: Adventure game
- Developers: Campo Santo
Firewatch is a first-person action-adventure game that takes place in the American state of Wyoming. It is essentially like a walking simulator but with amazing graphics, a great explorable map, and an immersive story.
You get to play Henry, who becomes a fire lookout in the Shoshone National Forest. He is supervised by a woman named Delilah and talks to her through a walkie-talkie where players can choose from a bunch of dialog options to talk to her.
But as you progress further in the game and time passes, they both start noticing some weird things happening around the forest. They begin investigating and come across a possible mystery that could be huge and make the headlines.
Besides that, the game follows the developing relationship between Delilah and Henry as you explore the beautiful 3D world. Firewatch is the type of game that you’d play after a long day just to relax. The game is all about completing simple tasks such as walking about, climbing, looking for clues, and using the walkie-talkie.
Firewatch is well known for its interesting story. If you’re looking for a game series with amazing yet creepy stories where you get to play as a young detective, then check out: BEST Nancy Drew Games.
- Release Date: October 17, 2018
- Genre: Construction and management simulation
- Developers: Ludeon Studios
Rimworld is a construction and management simulation game that has a top-down view with pixel-like graphics. It takes place in the future, where humans have got the technology needed to travel across the universe and go to other planets.
As the player, you’re stuck on a procedurally generated planet and must use your randomly generated stats to develop a colony and get off the planet generated by a seed! This can be achieved by either creating your own spaceship or finding and repairing a broken ship on the planet. But of course, you’ll be starting from scratch, so initially, you’ll have to do basic stuff like growing crops,
But throughout the game, your main objective will be to make sure that your colony grows and becomes as advanced as it can get. That can be done through constructing various research stations, generating electricity through wind turbines or solar panels to advanced power machines, and a lot more.
Besides that, the players will also get to choose an AI Storyteller, which essentially dictates the difficulty and progression of your game. These storytellers can cause different types of events that affect your colony. These can either be things that can harm the player’s progress, like raids, or favor them by altering the environment. But you can fight back using your own weapons as well.
Rimworld is definitely the type of game to be played anywhere while you work on constructing your colony. That is why it is one of the best building games for the Steam Deck! If you’re just getting started, consider reading our tips and tricks guide: Countless RimWorld Tips!
- Release Date: January 27, 2015
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Developers: Techland
Dying Light is a survival horror game that can eventually become a fun playground where you get to mess around with zombies as you parkour from rooftop to rooftop!
You play the game in first-person as an undercover agent, Kyle Crane, who has been sent to infiltrate a quarantine zone in a middle-eastern city known as Harran. But eventually, you discover that the city is filled with zombies that lurk around the streets.
The combat and traversal in the game are quite unique. You can parkour around the streets and rooftops of the city, zipline across, or scale buildings using your own grappling hook. Some of the best weapons in Dying Light are also interesting, ranging from melee to long-range weapons such as guns. But you’ll mostly find yourself sticking to melee due to the unwanted attention the gunshots draw!
But perhaps the notable aspect of the game is the day-and-night cycle; it pretty much dictates your playstyle. During the day, zombies are clumsy and unlikely to give you that much trouble unless you’re being too careless.
However, as soon as it becomes night, you’ll find yourself running for your life, trying to escape the hordes of aggressive and deadly zombies. At the start of the game, it’ll almost feel like the only option that you have is to hide or approach the game stealthily.
But eventually, you’ll level up, unlock and craft better gear, and soon the city of Harran will become your playground. From unique ways to kill zombies using traps such as electrified fences or spikes to straight up chopping them up in slo-mo, you’ll feel unstoppable!
Dying Light can run at near 60FPS at medium settings and at an exact 60FPS with low settings. It certainly performs better on the Steam Deck as compared to the Nintendo Switch, where it only manages to get 30FPS. If you’re looking for some other Zombie games, definitely check out: BEST Zombie Games To Play!
- Release Date: September 17, 2020
- Genre: Roguelike Action RPG
- Developers: Supergiant Games
Hades is a roguelike action dungeon crawler that has an interesting plot surrounding family drama, isometric view gameplay, and a unique death system.
The game follows Zagreus as he attempts to escape the Underworld to get away from his unloving father, Hades, in hopes of joining his mother in the mortal world at Mount Olympus. Things get more complicated when you realize Zagreus is actually the prince of the Underworld, and the Olympians are trying to support him as much as possible to help him escape.
The “escape” is essentially divided into four different dungeon-like levels that each represent the levels of the Underworld. Each new area gets unlocked after clearing the previous one.
The combat of the game is like a typical hack and slash. You have a primary and secondary special attack that is determined by one of the six different weapons you get to wield. You can also use magic for long-range attacks and summoning powers that are said to give tremendous power from one of the Gods.
But what’s unique about the game is that as soon as you die, you get sent all the way back to the start. But the world doesn’t forget your first attempt. Things change accordingly, and you unlock newer dialogue from NPCs that you would’ve left all the way back at the first level. Even bosses adapt in accordance with your new attempt, becoming stronger or changing their tactics.
So, as you grow stronger with each death, the world gets stronger too. But death is actually part of the game as it unlocks new dialogue, areas, and interactions! If you’re looking for a great roguelike game on the Steam Deck, then Hades is a great option.
No Man’s Sky
- Release Date: August 9, 2016
- Genre: Survival Action-Adventure
- Developers: Hello Games
Although it started out as a complete disaster and did not live up to the hype or expectations of the fans, No Man’s Sky has come a long way and, through regular updates, has reached the same quality that was promised before launch.
No Man’s Sky is a survival game that takes place in space. You can play in first or third-person as you control a specimen of an alien humanoid planetary explorer known as the “Traveller.” When you initially start the game, you’re on a random planet with amnesia. You must find your ship and repair it to get back into space.
But besides the story, the game is mostly known for its gameplay and the sheer amount of exploration available. Through procedural generation, each planet that you visit is completely different, and you can actually get rewarded for discovering these planets through the in-game currency, making exploration all the more exciting.
Additionally, like any survival game, you must hunt for resources to help upgrade your tools and spaceship. Using the materials on various planets, you can even build your own base to stay safe from all the dangers out there.
There is definitely a lot of stuff in space that is looking to get you. From hostile creatures like the Sentinels to even the dangerous atmospheres of the planets, such as extreme temperatures, toxic gasses, or storms, there is a lot that you need to defend yourself from.
But that’s the beauty of No Man’s Sky! Exploring the different areas, preparing yourself for new challenges, and just improving as time passes. And you can enjoy all of that on the Steam Deck, which makes No Man’s Sky one of the best exploration games on there! If you’re a fan of space-related games, then you’ll love this upcoming game: Callisto Protocol: Trailer, Gameplay, & Release Date.
Horizon Zero Dawn
- Release Date: February 28, 2017
- Genre: Action RPG
- Developers: Guerrilla Games
Horizon Zero Dawn is perhaps one of the most unique RPGs out there due to its interesting mixture of ancient weapons such as the bow and arrow combined with technological advancements such as robotic Dinosaurs and other creatures roaming the world.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic version of the US. There was a supposed rogue robot swarm that led to the extinction of humans, and now those that still are alive fight for their lives and live similar to how our ancestors used to in tribes and villages.
We get to play as Aloy, a young hunter of the Nora tribe. We follow her quest as she hunts down a bunch of cultists that attacked the Nora tribe during a competition known as the “Proving.”
The game has a beautiful story, with Aloy being an absolute badass in any situation that she’s put in. Additionally, the gameplay works like a typical RPG with its own elements. But on her journey, she soon discovers what caused the world to become the way it is.
Each enemy/specie in the game has its own weakness that you can discover by scanning them. Then you must adjust your playstyle accordingly to lay out traps, equip weapons that do elemental damage, or perhaps even sneak up on the enemy for an advantageous discrete attack.
With a lot of dialogue options, side quests/activities, and a giant world to explore, the game is jampacked with things that you can do. With medium settings, you’re able to get a good stable 35-40FPS making it an amazing game for the Steam Deck! And if you’re a trophy collector, consider reading: Horizon Zero Dawn Trophy Guide: How To Get All Trophies!
- Release Date: October 7, 2014
- Genre: Survival Horror Stealth Game
- Developers: Creative Assembly
If you absolutely love scaring yourself, then you’re going to adore Alien: Isolation! It is a survival horror game that is based on the Alien film series. In fact, it is set 15 years after the events of the original 1979 film.
You play Amanda Ripley, who is an engineer and the daughter of Ellen Ripley – the protagonist of the Alien movie. She is on the space station, Sevastopol, and is investigating the disappearance of her mother.
She soon discovers that the space station has been taken over by an alien creature that is on the loose and is now hunting her. It’s up to her and you as the player to get out of the space station alive.
The game sets an amazing atmosphere to really scare you to death. It is highly emphasized stealth, making the Alien feel even more threatening. So, you must use tools such as the motion tracker and flamethrower to avoid, outsmart, and fight any enemies onboard the station.
What makes the game even scarier is the fact that the Alien doesn’t have any predetermined path. It adjusts according to your movements and the disturbances that you create throughout the station, making the whole experience surreal. If you’re a fan of survival-horror games, you might find this upcoming game interesting: Sons of the Forest: Everything We Know!
- Release Date: November 10, 2015
- Genre: Action RPG
- Developers: Bethesda Game Studios
The Fallout franchise is a well-known RPG series, with Fallout 4 being perhaps one of the most popular games among them. The game is set in the open world of a post-apocalyptic Boston. Fallout 4 uses many real-life landmarks such as Bunker Hill, Old North Bridge, and Fort Independence.
The game takes place ten years after the events of Fallout 3, in the year 2287. Almost 210 years ago, there was “The Great War” that led to massive nuclear destruction across the US. You get to play as the “Sole Survivor” that emerges from a long-term cryogenic stasis in Vault 111. The vault served as a nuclear fallout shelter.
But things eventually go south as your spouse gets murdered and your son gets kidnapped. It is up to you to venture out into the Commonwealth and look for your son.
Throughout the game, you’ll get to do various quests (side and main) as well as help out factions. These will then grant you points to level up and get newer abilities for your character. You can also construct and deconstruct settlements and buildings, allowing you to freely build structures from raw materials and build towns with working electricity. There is even a vast companion system with companion perks for you to explore.
The world of Fallout 4 is massive, with up to 111k lines of possible dialogue and an amazing crafting system that incorporates the loot system in the game. The game includes 50 guns with up to 700 modifications available. There are other amazing tools, such as the jetpack, for you to spend hours playing around with!
Devil May Cry 5
- Release Date: March 8, 2019
- Genre: Action Adventure, Hack and slash
- Developers: Capcom
For some, a Devil May Cry game might’ve been their first ever monster-infested action game! Since the last game was released all the way back in 2008, Devil May Cry 5 had a lot of anticipation, and it surely lived up to it!
The game features the familiar characters, Dante and Nero, with an introduction of a new mysterious character, V. You can play as all three of them throughout the game, though some missions might be restricted to certain characters due to narrative reasons.
The plot takes place five years after the events of DMC4 and follows the trio as they attempt to stop the Demon King Urizen from destroying the human world!
But in games like Devil May Cry, the action and gameplay are where everything lies. In general, the gameplay is fast-paced, chaotic, and quite stylish. The three different characters provide their own unique playstyle.
Nero still has his Red Queen sword from DMC4 and the Blue Rose double-barreled revolver. At the same time, Dante can switch between 4 different styles to create interesting combos. And the newest addition, V, has the most unique style among all of them. Instead of fighting directly, he summons monsters to aid him in battle. Each character can get mods to improve their abilities further.
The game offers up to 60FPS on the Steam Deck, making it stand out from a lot of the typical 30FPS games. So, if you love taking down monsters and killing enemies in style, definitely check out DMC5!
Resident Evil 3
- Release Date: June 10, 2022
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Developers: Capcom
Resident Evil games are some of the first and original horror games out there. In 2020, the 1999 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis got a total remake to keep up with some of the best modern games out there.
In RE3, you get to play Jill Valentine and a mercenary, Carlos Oliveira, as they try to escape from a city during a viral outbreak and also find a vaccine. The city in question is none other than Racoon City!
Throughout the entirety of the game, you’ll have a giant boss-like enemy, Nemesis, chasing you and engaging in boss fights in between. And as you defeat him each time, he gets stronger and mutates before attacking you again.
Gameplay-wise, it feels like a typical Resident Evil game. Zombies are lurking at every corner, and you’re constantly looking for loot-like ammo to help you survive. Inventory management is a huge part of RE3, where you try only to take what you need while putting the rest of the items in a chest for later use.
Additionally, there are a lot of puzzles solving in the game, such as looking for paths or tools like a fire hydrant to help clear out a fire to reveal a path behind it.
The two characters play differently, with Jill being nimbler on her feet, allowing her to dodge at the last moments. In contrast, Carlos is more aggressive and can clear out rooms of enemies with his riffles. But the majority of the game will be played as Jill.
You can run the game at 60FPS on the Steam Deck but at the cost of higher temperatures. If that starts becoming a huge issue, then you can always lock the FPS at 45 and still enjoy a crisp-looking resolution. Resident Evil games always tend to have great villains, and if you want a list of all the best video game villains out there, consider reading: BEST Villains In Video Games History!
Wolf Among Us
- Release Date: October 14, 2013
- Genre: Graphic Adventure
- Developers: Telltale Games
If you love games with a compelling story and a huge mystery, then Wolf Among Us is the game for you! Like many telltale games, it is an interactive adventure game that’s split into episodes and follows Bigby Wolf, formerly known as the Big Bad Wolf.
Bigby is a sheriff in Fabletown, a hidden community of fairytale characters located in 1980s New York City. These characters, known as Fables, all have their unique stories, and each one you come across leaves quite the impact.
Everything is fine until Bigby discovers a severed head of a sable at the Woodlands’ doorstep. This causes chaos, and it’s up to Bigby to discover who was behind the murder.
Telltale games are known more for their stories than their gameplay, but the little bit of gameplay that you do get is superb. Much of your time will be spent choosing from a bunch of dialogues and options that can greatly affect the outcome of the story.
Something as simple as the tone of your words can create an entire chain of events that can possibly lead to the death of a character. Besides that, there are moments of action where you have to complete QTEs (quick time events) to perform actions such as fighting, chasing, or defending someone.
Batman Arkham City
- Release Date: October 18, 2011
- Genre: Action-adventure
- Developers: Rocksteady Studios
You can pretty much pick any Batman Arkham game and consider it the best batman game on the Steam Deck! But for our list, we’re going to recommend Arkham City as it is one of the most popular games out of the Arkham series, and that too for a good reason.
While at a press conference to talk against “Arkham City,” Bruce Wayne gets kidnapped and imprisoned. Hugo Strange, who is the head of Arkham City, discloses to Wayne that he knows he’s Batman and releases him into the raging crowd of Arkham City.
After making his escape, Bruce gets his Bat-suit from an airdrop by Alfred, and it’s up to him to stop “Protocol 10” that Hugo Strange keeps talking about. There is also another main plot surrounding the Joker, who is fighting the effects of the Titan Serum from the previous game. All of these plots eventually tie into an epic and memorable finale.
Besides just having an amazing story and setting, the gameplay of Batman Arkham City is breathtaking. As you move around thugs while beating them up, you truly feel like Batman. But you’re not totally invincible and must be careful against gunfire.
That’s where the amazing stealth mechanics of the game kicks in. Thugs in the game are truly afraid of you. As you take them out, they begin breaking formation and acting rashly simply due to the fear of Batman.
Although the game isn’t officially supported by Valve on the Steam Deck. You can make a few adjustments to make it run perfectly. In fact, many players have reported that it works like a charm and is better than some of the actual supported games. If you’re a fan of the Batman universe, then you might find this upcoming game interesting: Suicide Squad Kill The Justice League!
Red Dead Redemption 2
- Release Date: October 26, 2018
- Genre: Action-adventure
- Developers: Rockstar Games
The final game on our list is Red Dead Redemption 2, a prequel to the first game in the franchise. Rockstar is known for creating amazing games in general, and they certainly did not disappoint their fans with this one.
RDR2 follows an outlaw, Arthur Morgan, who is part of the Van der Linde gang. The fictionalized representation of the Western US is on the brink of revolution, and the gang must deal with the decline of the Wild West as they survive against various rival gangs, government forces, and other foes.
With around 8 years of development, Rockstar has made an amazing world for Red Dead Redemption 2. Not only does it offer beautiful graphics, but the world feels alive as well.
NPCs can be found doing their daily activities, which can actually change the world around you. From houses being built over the course of the game to forests being cleared, the game truly tries to make the world feel progressive.
Furthermore, the gameplay is solid, with every movement feeling as if it has proper weight behind it. The game is filled with various gunfights, heists, chases, and all sorts of moments that make you feel like an outlaw.
The game is an absolute behemoth in terms of hardware demand, but the Steam Deck handles it amazingly well. With high graphical settings, the game can easily manage 45-55 FPS, with just a few drops at 35-40 in huge areas.
With that, we wrap up our list of the best steam deck games out there. Do keep in mind that the Steam Deck can support hundreds of games, and there are so many amazing games out there. So, if one of your favorites didn’t make it on the list, worry not, as we’re sure it’s just as amazing as the games we mentioned!
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