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Top 10 Best Games For The Steam Deck – Updated May, 2022

Best Games For Steam Deck
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Now that the Steam Deck is finally here, it’s time to talk about the best games you can play on it. That being said, let’s also clarify a couple of things. The Steam Deck is a PC. A fully fledged gaming PC built in a portable shell you can take with you anywhere. So this is essentially very similar to a Best PC Games list. However, the Steam Deck also runs on SteamOS, which is built on Linux and uses Proton (a compatibility layer) to get Windows games to work with it.

That means not every single PC game will work on the Steam Deck. And with that in mind, we’re going to try to stick to games that are “Verified on Deck” in most cases here. Because they’ve been tested by Valve and are guaranteed to play right on the Steam Deck out of the box.

You may also sometimes find the odd non-verified game. And these are either games we’ve personally tested on the Steam Deck and know they work, or they’ve been tested by others who confirm they work. For now, the list contains games that are all verified but that may change in the future.

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The Best Games For Steam Deck

GameCostWhere To Buy
Yakuza: Like A Dragon$32.99 (sale price until March 21)Steam
Elden Ring$59.99Steam
The Ascent$29.99Steam
Journey$7.49 (sale price until March 17)Steam
God Of War$49.99Steam
Apex LegendsFreeSteam
Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition$49.99Steam
Scarlet Nexus$23.99 (sale price until March 21)Steam
Stardew Valley$14.99Steam
Unpacking$19.99Steam

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

  • Price: $32.99 (sale price until March 21)
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Where to begin. Starting out this list is Yakuza: Like A Dragon, the seventh mainline game in the franchise.

While it features many of the things players may love about the Yakuza series, it has a lot of new stuff and some changes that players have to look forward to. First off, it’s set in a brand new location that’s based on a district in Yokohama.

It also no longer features the same style of combat. Changing from the beat ’em up combat in really every other Yakuza game to a turn-based RPG style of combat. Yakuza has always been an RPG game, so this new style of combat for the series gives it a fresh coat of paint that makes things interesting and quite fun.

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As it was just recently released at the tail end of 2020, it also comes with some really nice graphics. You also play a different main character, and have a range of new abilities to unleash on your foes like character summons, where you can summon things like a giant crayfish to help you attack.

You can also craft items, take on jobs, improve your life experience, and engage in legendary battles featuring more familiar characters, like Kazuma Kiryu. And of course there are a lot of other things to do in this game too. Such as new mini games.

If you want one game from this list that offers a megaton of content, Yakuza: Like A Dragon fits the bill quite nicely. And is definitely one of the best games out right now that’s verified on the Steam Deck, if not the best Steam Deck game (I might be a little biased with this one).

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Elden Ring

  • Price: $59.99
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Elden Ring is the latest FromSoftware game coming from Bandai Namco. Which means if you’re up for a brutal challenge then this is the game for you. Those who loved previous FromSoftware games will also want to check it out if they haven’t already done so.

Like those past games, Elden Ring delivers you up to a smattering of difficult boss fights and powerful weapons and armor. Unlike those past games though, Elden Ring takes place in a massive open world environment. Which means you can explore a lot more and doing so is encouraged. Because you never know what you might find. For many, this is easily going to be 2022’s game of the year. And it would be well-deserved. As this is definitely one of the best games to play on Steam Deck right now.

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Elden Ring

The Ascent

  • Price: $29.99
  • Where to Buy: Steam

The Ascent is a (sorta) brand-new cyberpunk-themed action RPG that just released for Xbox and PC last year. You can purchase it for $30. It plays a bit like Diablo since it’s an isometric action RPG, but it also feels a lot like a twin stick shooter.

In the game you play as an indent (a worker indentured to the corporations) on the planet Veles. You specifically are an indent for the Ascent Group. The largest corporation on Veles. Suddenly, the Ascent Group shuts down and no one knows what’s happening. So begins your story trying to figure out what’s going on as you simultaneously try to survive. Meanwhile everyone around is vying for power.

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You can acquire a ton of loot throughout the game including different weapons, gear and more. There’s also a character creator with a handful of customization options. Best of all is that the game can be played solo, or you can play with friends via online co-op or couch co-op.

Beautiful backgrounds, awesome graphics, super cool weapons and combat all wrapped up into a cyberpunk theme. What’s not to like?

The Ascent

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Journey

  • Price: $7.49 (sale price until March 17)
  • Where To Buy: Steam

While we’re super partial to Yakuza: Like A Dragon, if there’s one game you absolutely have to get for the Steam Deck it’s Journey as this is one hell of an experience. You can play Journey solo or with a friend as you both explore the vast world of the game. Strewn out across deserts and ancient ruins and other breathtaking locales while trying to uncover the secrets laid before you.

One of the best parts about the game is that there’s no voice dialogue whatsoever. So you have nothing really guiding you throughout your adventure except your sense of adventure and eagerness to explore.

Journey also contains some of the most stunning visuals and music of any game in a long time. And at the sale price of $7.49 until March 17, it’s definitely one of the best games for the Steam Deck.

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Journey

God of War

  • Price: $49.99
  • Where To Buy: Steam

God Of War is an iconic franchise that calls the PlayStation its original home. But now that the most recent title is on Steam, PC players can enjoy the franchise too. And, wouldn’t you know it, its verified on Deck. You wouldn’t think that a game of this magnitude would be playable on a handheld, but it might surprise you how well the game plays on a portable gaming PC.

Take on the role of Kratos and his son Atreus in the world of Norse mythology and gods. Experience an amazing story and thrilling combat against some of the coolest enemies, level up your skills for new flashy attacks, and enjoy an easter egg or two from past games in the series.

If you like action games, don’t miss this one. Especially since you can play it both on the Steam Deck, as well as a gaming PC at home if you happen to have one.

God Of War

Apex Legends

  • Price: Free
  • Where To Download: Steam

Most people should be familiar with Apex Legends at this point. And understandably so as it’s one of the biggest games on the planet right now. For the uninitiated, Apex Legends is an online multiplayer first-person shooter battle royale game. Drop into one of a series of maps by yourself or with a team, and be the last person or the last team standing.

Maps start with a massive size but as the match goes on, the map shrinks to force players together. You can choose from a roster of different characters each with their own unique skills, and must scavenge for weapons around the map to gain an advantage against other players.

Apex Legends

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

  • Price: $49.99
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Horizon Zero Dawn is another one of those games that PC players are just now getting to experience as it’s a PlayStation title that was previously exclusive to the PlayStation platform. For Steam Deck owners, playing this game on PC is a great way to experience it as you get the Complete Edition, which comes with all the DLC so you get every aspect of the game in one neat package.

This is an open-world game, so there’s lots to explore. Gameplay is action role-playing. So expect to engage in some really cool battles with huge machines that look and act like dinosaurs, and level up your character with new skills to help you traverse more difficult areas or take on tougher enemies.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

Scarlet Nexus

  • Price: $23.99 (sale price until March 21)
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Scarlet Nexus is a JRPG with anime-style visuals based around the story of humanity living in an age where people have psionic abilities. This newfound power came along with a newfound threat – mutants who hunger for human brains and seek to destroy.

You play the role of one of humanity’s last hopes, a soldier with these psionic abilities that just so happen to be the only thing that can defeat these mutants. As is typical with all JRPG games, you’ll be able to level up your character to gain new powers and skills to help you in battle. All the while uncovering more about how these mutants came to be and how your powers have manifested.

Scarlet Nexus also features a really cool dual story. As you can start the game as one of two characters whose stories are linked to each other. These interwoven moments help to reveal the complete story of the game.

Scarlet Nexus

Stardew Valley

  • Price: $14.99
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Stardew Valley is for many people these days, the pinnacle of a farming sim. You inherit your grandfather’s old farm plot, and you set out to create a new life for yourself turning the farm into a successful one. You can play solo or with up to four players, and as you progress you can improve various skills for your character across different categories. Including farming, mining, combat, fishing, and foraging.

This is another really cool option for people looking to pick up a casual game that won’t be too chaotic or fraught with peril. It’s also great on a handheld device, so it’s perfect for the Steam Deck and one of the best games you can spend your time with on the machine. That is, if you want something more casual.

Stardew Valley

Unpacking

  • Price: $19.99
  • Where To Buy: Steam

Unpacking is an excellent casual game to play when you just want something to wind down the night or play while you sip your coffee or tea on a weekend morning. It’s a puzzle game where you’ll have to unpack a bunch of things from boxes and put them in the right spots around the home.

While there’s no voice dialogue, it still tells a great little story about the person whose stuff you’re unpacking. And how a life can be summed up by everything you can fit into boxes and transported from home to home. As you unpack you’ll learn more about the life of the main character.

This is also partly a home decoration game and most items can be placed in multiple acceptable locations that allow you to progress. If you need one of the best games on Steam Deck to be easy going, Unpacking is a wonderful choice.

Unpacking