What are the best Steam Deck games? Narrowing down the list of the best Steam Deck games is no easy task, as the device is capable of playing a myriad of genres and titles from across the decades. Yet whether you play your Steam Deck in small bursts, have it hooked up to an external display, or use it as your official travel buddy, there are perfect games for every occasion.
With almost the entirety of the Steam library available at the touch of a button, we’re often spoiled for choice for what to play on the Steam Deck. And that’s not including the magnitude of options that get Valve’s Verified seal of approval every day. Steam games don’t necessarily require Valve’s coveted approval to be playable, either, with plenty working on the handheld after some simple tinkering about with the settings. The amount of wonderful things you can play on your Steam Deck is growing exponentially, but we’ve put together a shortlist of our favorites to make things a lot easier.
Check out the best microSD card for Steam Deck guide, before getting too immersed in the list of games we recommend playing. More and more we’re seeing modern games require a lot of storage space, so whether you’re sporting the 64GB model, or just want to have the freedom to install more games, it’s worth the investment.
The best Steam Deck games are:
1. Baldur’s Gate 3
The latest game by Larian Studios has taken Steam by storm, becoming most of the most played games to ever hit the platform, and it rightly remains of the best games to play on the Steam Deck too. The massive RPG, which sees you setting off on a journey of epic DnD proportions, runs beautifully on the Valve handheld, after a bit of tinkering with the settings. Once you get going, the huge, expansive word of Faerûn comes alive in the palm of your hands, making Baldur’s Gate 3 one of the best games in the entire Steam Deck’s library.
Check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Steam Deck compatible guide to find out exactly how the game runs, and be sure to read our Baldur’s Gate 3 review to learn more about the latest DnD adventure from Larian Studios.
2. Dave the Diver
Ever since Dave the Diver splashed its way onto PC, this indie darling has taken the Steam Deck by storm. In this adventure management hybrid RPG, you take on the role of Dave (of course) who spends his time diving for fish in the morning, and running a sushi restaurant by night. Its gorgeous pixel art, and chilled gameplay, makes it incredibly easy to get caught up in what might be one of the best cozy gaming experiences on the handheld.
Check out our Dave the Diver Steam Deck compatible guide to find out exactly how the game runs.
3. Street Fighter 6
When playing a game like Street Fighter 6, I prefer to not opt for a handheld device, in case I end up having to fight against connection issues. However, thanks to the addition of the single-player campaign, World Tour, and the community-driven Battle Hub, this sixth installment in the beloved series from Capcom becomes one of the best fighting-game experiences on the Valve handheld.
Check out our Street Fighter 6 Steam Deck compatible guide to find out exactly how the game runs, and be sure to read our Street Fighter 6 review to learn more about the latest installment in the flagship fighting game series.
4. Elden Ring
No maidens? No worries. You’ll find plenty in this latest massive open-world RPG from FromSoftware. The difficulty found in Soulslike games isn’t for everyone, but this challenging RPG becomes a little bit easier thanks to the portability of the Steam Deck. Being able to practice your dodge rolls, and trying out a variety of builds on the go, makes venturing through the dangers of The Lands Between that little bit less taxing.
Read our Elden Ring review to learn more about one of the best FromSoftware, soulslike adventures.
5. Stardew Valley
What was originally a love letter to the farming sim games of yesteryear, has become the best of the genre. If you haven’t yet joined the Stardew Valley revolution, you’re missing out. It’s one of the best cozy gaming experiences out there, which is only made better by the portability of the Steam Deck. You can tend to your farm, grow your crops, check out your new neighbors in the valley, and fight monsters in the dungeons – anything’s possible in Stardew Valley.
6. Vampire Survivors
Vampire Survivors is a perfect fit for the Steam Deck, offering up a devilishly delightful gameplay loop that can be enjoyed in bite-sized sessions or played for hours when one run simply will not do. While its art style is charming to look at, it’s not taxing on the device either, meaning that you can expect a smooth gameplay experience and not have to worry about battery life either. Just be warned that this roguelike bullet hell is as tough as it is impossible to put down.
7. Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
This PlayStation console exclusive zips along on the Steam Deck with all the speed and grace worthy of your favorite neighborhood Spider-Man. The first Spidey outing from Insomniac Games looks great on Valve’s handheld, and few things feel better than getting to swing about Manhattan on the go.
Read our Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC review to learn more about Peter Parker’s web slinging escapades.
8. Cyberpunk 2077
While it’s an understatement to say that Cyberpunk 2077 had a rough launch, CD Projekt Red has made its sci-fi epic of an RPG worth a second look. With the new Phantom Liberty expansion soon on its way, there’s never been a better time to get familiar with the characters of Night City on the Steam Deck, exploring this dystopian world from the comfort of wherever you please.
Read our Cyberpunk 2077 review to learn more about the dystopian goings-on in Night City.
9. Red Dead Redemption 2
While Grand Theft Auto 5 plays superbly on the Steam Deck, for our Rockstar pick of the list we’ve gone for the rootin’ and tootin’ Red Dead Redemption 2. In what is one of the best single-player experiences in gaming, you take on the role of Arthur Morgan and play through the events that lead up to the original goings-on in the first Red Dead Redemption. Even if you’ve played this action-packed sequel before, nothing beats the feeling of roaming through the Wild West on horseback with the Steam Deck.
Read our Red Dead Redemption 2 PC review to learn more about Arthur Morgan’s life in the wild, wild west.
10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
By now, everyone and their mom has heard of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s been over a decade since this colossal RPG launched, and since its spanned constant ports, being available on pretty much everything, including your Steam Deck. What makes this version of Skyrim stand out is that, with a bit of elbow grease, you can install mods to vastly improve a magnitude of features, like the textures for one. However, if you prefer not to spend your time tinkering away with mods, the Anniversary Edition already offers up remastered art and effects, all the previously released expansions, and even some fishing too.
11. Persona 5 Royal
The Persona games went from being a niche RPG series, beloved by few subsets of fans, to exploding in popularity, and rightfully so. Persona 5 Royal perfectly encapsulates why the series is now so adored, with its catchy soundtrack, top tier voice acting, in-depth battle system and beautiful visuals. Style is just oozing out of every bit of this game, and it’s never looked better than on the Steam Deck. You might spend anything from 100 to 140 hours on this lengthy RPG on your Valve handheld, but it’s worth every second.
12. Dead by Daylight
Even if you’re not someone of the spooky persuasion, Dead by Daylight is spine-chillingly fun on the Steam Deck. Whether you take on the role of the killer, or prefer to try your best to survive, it’s easy to spend hours on this online asymmetric multiplayer. For an optimum experience on the Valve handheld, I highly recommend using your favorite gaming headset and playing Dead by Daylight in a dimly lit room. This way, you can set the mood and properly get your spooky on, while being able to hear the killer’s every move.
13. Halls of Torment
Although it’s still in early access, Halls of Torment has already proven itself to be a must-have for the Steam Deck. The horde survival indie-game is inspired by late-90s RPGs, and like the games of your childhood, you’ll easily find yourself spending hours upon hours in this game.
14. Armored Core 6 Fires of Rubicon
This isn’t the first FromSoftware game to make the list, but its addition surely is a sign that the developer knows how to make a game run great on the Steam Deck. Armored Core 6 is the latest game in the Armored Core series, and instead of the gothic surroundings, you’ll be more than used to in games like Elden Ring, this time around it’s all about robots. If you love tough boss battles, blasting away your enemies, and, even more robots, then this is the fast-paced action game for you and your Steam Deck.
15. Sea of Stars
We’re no stranger to turn-based RPGs when it comes to this list, but Sea of Stars is the first entry that captures the feeling of playing the classic fantasy games of the 90s on the Steam Deck. Brought to you by the same studio as The Messenger, Sabotage Studio has created one of the most stunning uses of sprite art in modern gaming, and one of the best looking games to play on the handheld. Sea of Stars tells the story of the Solstice Warriors, and their adventures of using Eclipse Magic to save the world, and defeat the one known as The Fleshmancer. If you grew up playing RPGs like Chrono Trigger and Breath of Fire, you owe yourself the experience of playing Sea of Stars on the Steam Deck.
Read our Sea of Stars review to learn more about the Solstice Warriors and their epic journey inspired by retro classics.
Got a great bunch of games already installed? Why not pivot your attention to our best Steam Deck accessories list and help Valve’s handheld hardware reach its full potential.