The Steam Deck marks Valve’s attempt to tap into the growing portable gaming PC market. And as far as early forays go, its latest device is quite powerful for its relatively small form factor. But a gaming PC is only ever as good as the crop of games that can run on it.
So, with its promise to let you carry your entire Steam library wherever you go, most gamers would love to know what games look and run best on the handheld. That’s why Valve itself maintains an ever-growing list of titles that have been optimized for the Steam Deck. Of all these games, here are the ones we consider essential.
8 Days gone
Although it was initially slapped with lukewarm reviews upon its release on PS4, Days Gone has seen renewed interest since its PC version shipped with a number of PC-specific improvements last year. last.
These include higher resolution textures along with an unlocked frame rate, which work together to improve its graphical fidelity beyond what was possible on the base PS4. You can expect a similar experience on the Steam Deck, with plenty of options to tinker with to further fine-tune the game if you wish.
seven Metro Exodus
Metro games have always been notoriously heavy on performance, pushing gaming devices to their limits while delivering stellar visuals. So seeing one working on a portable machine as well as Metro Exodus does on the Steam Deck is almost like magic.
The latest game runs surprisingly well while still managing to look as impressive as it would on a high-end PC. And while controllers and buttons will never replace a good mouse and keyboard, the Steam Deck controls do a more than admirable job.
6 Eternal destiny
Doom Eternal encourages players to blast their way through enemies as fast as possible, which means any performance dip will be keenly felt the moment it occurs.
Luckily, the game manages to maintain a smooth and steady frame rate on the Steam Deck without any noticeable sacrifice on the quality of the visuals. So, you’ll be ripping through those demons without having to worry about frame drops.
The Metal Gear series has dabbled in the handheld gaming world in the past, with several releases on the PSP. But none of those games had looked as good as Metal Gear Solid 5 running on a Steam Deck.
The awe-inspiring vistas of its Soviet-controlled Afghanistan remain vibrant on the portable gaming PC, as its rich sandbox continues to offer multiple ways for players to achieve their goals. All of this makes the game a solid addition to any Steam Deck library.
4 Batman: Arkham City
Of the three Batman: Arkham games developed by Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham City remains a favorite among fans. This is mostly due to its fully realized open world where players are free to do whatever it takes to clean up the streets of Gotham over the course of a night.
The game’s graphics continue to be impressive, especially seeing it run on the smaller screen of a Steam Deck, which helps retain the movie look the developers wanted when it released in 2011.
3 God of the war
Sony didn’t exactly call it quits with their PC port of God of War, so the fact that the game runs as well as it did on the Steam Deck is a testament to the power of the laptop.
The Midgard Realm looks just as gorgeous as it would on a high-end PC, and the performance isn’t too far off either. So if you fancy taking on Norse gods in a meaty adventure that should last you several hours, you should definitely consider downloading this one from Steam.
2 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 is another game you’ll definitely want to take with you to your Steam Deck. Because while it can already be played portable on a Nintendo Switch, it does so with a number of glaring compromises to its visual fidelity.
This is not the case on Steam Deck, however, as the game is able to match and even exceed the performance of consoles like the PS4 Pro. So whether or not you’ve already played through its story, you’ll want to give it a spin just to see what the Steam Deck is capable of.
1 Ring of Elden
The PC version of Elden Ring launched in a relatively rough state, with frame rate issues and other performance related issues. And while it continues to receive patches aimed at fixing some of these issues until today, it didn’t take the team at Valve very long to get it working at an acceptable level on their machine.
You can expect slightly better performance than you’d get on a base PS4 and none of the shader compilation issues that plague the PC version, thanks to clever optimization on the part of Valve, which makes it the one of the best showcases for their equipment.
NEXT: PC Games We Can’t Wait To Play On The Go With Steam Deck