Steam Deck, disguised as a mini gaming PC, is the most versatile piece of gaming hardware you can think of – a handheld console, a gaming PC, a home console (docking station coming soon), and a great emulation machine all in one. Its still too early to say if the console is going to live up to the expectations, but early adopters’ and critics’ reviews are quite bright so far.
You’re probably a little skeptical if you should make the jump and preorder a Steam Deck, right? Well, that’s to be expected. Don’t worry though, we are here to prove that Valve’s newest creation is a beast at what it should be doing best – playing high-end PC titles.
In theory, almost every PC game should be playable by using the stock OS on the Steam Deck. But there’s still a number of games that can’t be played on Valve’s system. This is due to the fact that Linux-based systems do not support anti-cheat software. But don’t worry, Valve is working on this as we speak.
All titles mentioned in this list are Steam Deck verified, which means – full controller support, flawless UI, no compatibility warnings, support of the Steam Deck’s default resolution of 1280×720(800), and full system and anti-cheat support. These games can also be bought on the platform itself, so make sure to get some Steam Wallet Codes from OffGamers here to prepare yourself.
Without further delay, here are the best games you can currently play on the Steam Deck!
We just have to start with this one! Portal 2 is one of Valve’s core games and one of the best sci-fi games of all time and we can’t just move past it. Portal 2 is much more fun than its predecessor with its wittier humor, better story, and awesome co-op mode. Escaping an Evil AI mastermind by using space paradoxes has never been more fun!
Portal 2 is one of the first games to be Steam Deck verified. We already had a glimpse of it running on TV in 4K/60 FPS, which is a great showcase of how powerful the Steam Deck is.
There is a high chance that you have already beaten Portal 2 in 2011, but if you didn’t, there is no better time than playing it on Valve’s newest console. Valve dived deep in the console business with the Steam Deck, and just as Sony has Crash Bandicoot, Microsoft has Master Chief and Nintendo has Mario, Valve has Peabody and Atlas!
God of War
God of War on PC? Even though this may sound like nonsense to you a year ago, it actually happened this January. God of War’s newest instalment arrived on PC for the first time ever, about one month before the Steam Deck did; and now is the perfect time to unleash the power of Kratos on Valve‘s portable console.
As a Steam verified game, early adopters of the Steam Deck have already posted numerous videos showing how great the game runs on the portable console. The vanilla PC version of the game runs smoothly in 30 FPS at the native 720p resolution of the Steam Deck and this is more than enough to get you hooked. Don’t forget about the countless mods already flowing through the Internet. We all remember how big this was with Skyrim back in the day.
Whether you have played God of War before or not, the game is still one of the best games ever and is always worth a revisit. The sequel is just around the corner and who knows, we might see it released on PC as well one day.
Another game that launched as a Steam verified game is the freshly released Elden Ring. FromSoftware raised the bar quite high with the Souls Franchise, Bloodborne, and Sekiro, but Elden Ring still managed to deliver. The huge open world, the challenging gameplay, the breath-taking graphics, and the masterfully written story by G.R.R. Martin brought the game maximum score from almost all critics.
Despite being locked to 30 FPS and not having the online features of the game (Valve should be adding this soon), Elden Ring is one of the best games for the Steam Deck. You might still be worried if the controls are adequate for a FromSoftware game. And yes they are! As a third-person game best played on a gamepad, the controls are well transitioned for the Steam Deck’s buttons and analogs.
We can safely say that Elden Ring is a wonderful way to show how greatly the Steam Deck handles the latest titles!
Despite being quite decent for a portable PC, the Steam Deck is not all-powerful and it can struggle to achieve a higher frame rate for the newest titles. The original Dishonored came out in 2011 and is still one of the finest action-adventure games for PC of all time. It is one of the most optimized as well and you can easily expect to achieve maximum frame-rate without sacrificing any quality.
Don’t refer to the game as just a way to test out the Steam Deck. As we’ve mentioned, Dishonored packs a great fantasy world combined with great gameplay revolving around stealth gameplay in the first person. Avenge an assassinated Empress and save her daughter, in order to clear your name. Would you slaughter all or simply sneak past? Both options are available, it’s your call!
Horizon Zero Dawn
Another high-profile PS4 exclusive just arrived on PC and is waiting to be played. Now with Sony abandoning portable gaming, the Steam Deck appears to be a great way to play former PlayStation exclusives on the go. Horizon Zero Dawn is one the most iconic games for Sony‘s console and runs just as smoothly as God of War in 720p, with no frame rate drops. Thus, finding itself as one of the best games to play on the Steam Deck.
Don’t get us wrong, Horizon Zero Dawn is not just a way to test how well your Steam Deck will play PC ports of PS exclusives. The game is one of the greatest open-world games of all time and will totally immerse you in trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of huge mechanical creatures! The sequel just came out and who knows, we might see it on the Steam Deck as well someday!
Hades is 2020’s best Nintendo Switch game and it just found a new home on the Steam Deck. Some of you may also recall that Hades is on our list of the Top 6 Must Play Roguelike Indie Games of all time. Hades is now also Steam Deck verified. Now is the best time to catch up with this great game. The Switch buttons are quite similar to those of the Steam Deck and thus you can expect the same (if not better) level of control.
As for graphics, you can be sure that the game will be looking so much better as the Steam Deck is way more powerful than the Switch.
If you decide to trust us and test your brand new Steam Deck with Hades, you can expect one of the most addicting dungeon crawler games of all time. You play as Zagreus who is trying to escape from the Underworld, using powers granted by Olympians. The gameplay is quite fast and you will be dying a lot, but don’t worry, you won’t be left with a bitter Dark Souls’ taste as there is a quick respawn mechanism.
It is still too early to say if Valve’s console will be able to match Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The three giants have established names for a long time and each one of them has a huge fanbase. And no matter if Gabe Newell wants it or not, Valve just stepped in a console war against the big names.
The Steam Deck is trying to be many things, which is quite hard. Let’s hope that Valve will ride the wave of the initial success of their console and continue to achieve big things. Do let us know your thoughts on this, will the Steam Deck find its place in the gaming world and where should Valve push in order to succeed further? Comment below and let us know!