Best Steam Deck games 2023

The best Steam Deck games aren't just indies, as this handheld gaming PC has enough horsepower to make most games portable if you tinker with the settings.

Best Steam Deck games: Vampire Survivors in action on the Library map

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. 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. 

An image of Luke from Street Fighter 6, throwing a punch towards Jamie, another playable character within the game.

2. 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.

An image of Ranni the Witch from Elden Ring.

3. 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.

An image of the player character standing in their farm in during the fall season in Stardew Valley.

4. 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.

An image of a mass of enemies swarming the player character in Vampire Survivors.

5. 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.

An image of Spider-Man from Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered.

6. 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.

An image of the character Judy Alvarez from Cyberpunk 2077.

7. 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.


An image of Arthur Morgan, the main character from Red Dead Redemption 2, holding out two guns.

8. 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 rootin’ 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.

An image of the player character walking in a town in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.

9. 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.

An image of a Persona from Persona 5 Royal, using the move 'Riot Gun' during a battle.

10. 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.


An image of some of the main survivor character's from Dead by Daylight, with the killers looming above them.

11. 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.

A screenshot from Halls of Torment by Chasing Carrots.

12. 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.

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.