The Steam Deck is redefining gaming, and many early adopters of the console absolutely love it. One of the machine’s strong suits is that it can run thousands of PC games right off the Steam Store. There are so many, in fact, that choosing a game to play can feel overwhelming.
Choosing the best video game for any system is incredibly difficult because opinions vary wildly on what is a good game. However, we’ve compiled a list of some distinct categories of games to help you find one that fits your favorite type of video game.
- Best Overall: Grand Theft Auto V
- Best for Families: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Best for Superhero Fans: Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
- Best for Explorers: No Man’s Sky
- Best for Western Fans: Red Dead Redemption 2
Best Overall: Grand Theft Auto V
There are so many games that could be the best overall on the Steam Deck, but Grand Theft Auto V is the best choice. This has something for everyone and packs it all into a handheld console for the first time. Unfortunately, Grand Theft Auto V isn’t for everyone. It does have a lot of violence and nearly every other factor that makes a game rated M.
However, if you are looking for an open-world game with a solid story that will keep you entertained for a while, this is it. The game’s story revolves around three very different characters whose world’s collide together. These three also fall into some very common stereotypes, which lets players experience three distinct views.
What really sets the game apart is that you can quickly snap between the three players who go about their daily lives when not completing missions. The game also has an enormous online aspect where you can create a character and live out your own adventure. Best of all, Grand Theft Auto V is now playable on the go with the Steam Deck.
Best for Families: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga combines two great things, Lego and Star Wars. If you haven’t experienced previous Lego Star Wars games, they take the world of Star Wars and recreate it in Lego form. Everything is very well done, and there are tons of characters you can play from all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga.
This is the definitive game for Lego Star Wars fans as it includes all of the content from The Complete Saga. It also includes The Force Awakens games and adds in The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. The new game also includes some all-new gameplay features and some major additions to the sections of the original game.
As you make your way through the plots of all nine movies, you get to solve a mix of puzzles and battle villains. There is something very exciting about playing as a Lego character, and it is always funny when a character breaks apart. The game is sure to delight young fans that are new to the movies and diehard fans alike.
Best for Superhero Fans: Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
Spider-Man has had several games made about him over the years, including some really good ones in the early 2000s. But the newer PlayStation exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered is a true gem. It is easily the best superhero game that has ever been made for any console, and Sony has made it available on Steam.
One of the best things about Marvel’s Spider-Man is that it isn’t based on a specific movie and instead takes a broad approach and inspiration from a range of source material and it feels very faithful to the comic books. It is also a great game for people that aren’t huge fans of superheroes but like open-world games with plenty to do.
In Marvel’s Spider-Man, you take control of the web-slinging hero as he makes his way through New York City. Along the way, he battles many of his most well-known nemeses and learns their backstories. The game is packed with tons of actions, and its graphics are very good. Being able to take this on the go with a Steam Deck is the ultimate way to play it.
Best for Explorers: No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a beautifully designed exploration game that is compatible with the Steam Deck. However, that wasn’t always the case.
The game was first released back in 2016, and its developers promised loads of content that turned out not to be in the initial release. Fortunately, they continued working after its release and turned it around from a hollow shell to the sprawling game we have today.
The most important thing to know about No Man’s Sky is that it is not a story-based game like some of the others on this list. Instead, the game focuses heavily on free exploration. In this case, that isn’t a bad thing because there is so much to see and do. However, there are some small story points to keep you connected to the game.
The biggest draw is that the game is nearly limitless as the planets and worlds in the game self-generate. This means they are not pre-designed and programmed, but instead rely on the software to create the environment as it progresses. It is a great game to play on the Steam Deck since you won’t get too wrapped up in a story and have a nearly infinite amount of gameplay.
Best for Western Fans: Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a masterfully created game with a well-told story and some amazing graphics. This game is so detailed and full of life that it is an absolute must-play if you have a Steam Deck.
From riding horses to train robberies, this game has everything you’d expect in the West. But what makes Red Dead Redemption 2 really stand out is its wide variety of locales that help break up the otherwise bare desert. In this massive open world, you go hunting, play cards, or just follow the game’s awesome story.
The map consists of the deserts in the Western United States from the first game but adds some amazing towns, such as the thriving Saint-Denis, which is a “modern” city. While you could spend hundreds of hours exploring the world, the game’s story is really a standout. If you want a methodical and well-detailed game that is unlike anything else, then you can’t go wrong with Red Dead Redemption 2.
How to Pick the Best Steam Deck Game
The main thing you should consider when picking a game to play on the Steam Deck is whether or not it sounds like something you would enjoy. Far too often, gamers put too much faith in reviews. But reviews may not be indicative of the types of content that you enjoy. The simple reason for this is that everyone has their own opinions. In many cases, your opinion won’t align with the person writing a review.
With that said, reviews can be very helpful for determining if a game is worth playing or not. For instance, reviewers may note that there are problems with various parts of the game or that they had trouble running it on their system. Therefore, you should thoroughly read through reviews rather than just check a star rating.
It is also a good idea to look at a given genre that you find enjoyable. If you like open-world games that allow for a lot of exploration, then look out for those games specifically. Then, look at reviews to see if the gameplay and settings are something that you would be interested in.
The Steam Deck is changing how gamers play by allowing them to take games on the go that would ordinarily require a computer or gaming console to run. Putting these triple-A titles on a handheld makes them more accessible and allows for gaming even when you’re away. Some of the most notable games are former PlayStation exclusives that Sony has made available on PC.
However, not all games on the Steam Store are Steam Deck verified. No matter what types of games you enjoy, be sure to double-check that they are compatible with the Steam Deck before purchasing. Steam has a verification process that confirms whether or not games function on the Steam Deck. Only games that function without any sort of issues are able to get Steam Deck Verified.
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