Lord Gabe is back to bring all players under his rule with Valve’s release of the Steam Deck. The handheld lets you carry your entire Steam library with the power of a decent gaming laptop and the flexibility of a handheld console. The device now has 405 verified titles and an additional 357 playable games without official support.
You might not think that expansive tales and mechanics would do well on the Steam Deck, but there are actually a solid bunch of excellent RPGs out there that provide a smooth gameplay experience. With an ever-expanding library of Steam titles, some stand out as the perfect on-the-go RPGs.
ten Yakuza: like a dragon
Yakuza: Like A Dragon took all the best elements from previous entries in the series and added a solid turn-based RPG system that offers amazing gameplay. And, yes, it still carries on the Yakuza tradition of having awesome minigames that you can spend hours playing.
Whether you want to hit the streets as a hero or delve into the fairly compelling main story, it’s great fun that really proves why the genre still works. It’s verified for the Steam Deck, so you’ll have no problem taking Ichiban Kasuga on the go.
9 South Park: The Stick of Truth
Every gamer deserves to experience the irreverence, absurdity, and surprisingly solid gameplay of South Park: The Stick Of Truth just once. With the way it’s set up, it almost feels like it was designed to be the kind of game you decide to boot up while you’re on the go or bored in a waiting room.
You can see both the main gang and some of South Park’s most iconic characters appear throughout the game as fun playable or throwable characters. The real fun comes from how you build your party like you would in any other fantasy RPG, just with a lot more raunchy, farts, and silly jokes.
8 persona 4 golden
Take the Mystery Inc. gang, add a healthy portion of darkness, and put it into the multiverse of Shin Megami Tensei. With this volatile combination, you get the masterpiece that is Persona 4 Golden. It might not be the most popular entry in the Persona series, but it’s still one of the best JRPGs you can put out.
Originally a PlayStation exclusive, you’ll find that the controls are already perfect for a handheld experience. The best part, however, is that you still get the Steam port which has better graphics.
With a great mix of slice-of-life social mechanics and combat against the mysterious forces of evil, Persona 4 is well worth a try. The English dub is extremely well done (as is usually the case with any Atlus release).
seven Tales of Arise
Be aware that this is not the first game in the Tales series. The good news is that you absolutely don’t need to play any of the other titles to understand or enjoy Arise. Of course, nothing prevents you from going in chronological order if you want to take advantage of the small references and the scattered Easter eggs.
Combat can be a chore, but the game always finds a way to make it worth it. You get next-gen graphics, a story that keeps you engaged throughout, and a cast of characters you want to root for. Be sure to keep your firmware up to date and you should be able to run Tales of Arise without a major fps drop.
6 Ring of Elden
Elden Ring has quickly become one of the best RPGs since its release, thanks in large part to its challenging yet rewarding gameplay set in an absolutely beautiful world. Despite its large map and rather demanding graphics, you can still comfortably run the game on the Steam Deck with a smoothness comparable to its PS4 performance.
Given how grueling some battles can be, it can improve the experience of being able to play when you’re outdoors. At least when Malenia puts you out for the tenth time in a row, you can take a moment to smell the roses and enjoy the fresh air.
5 Disco Elysium – The Final Cut
Disco Elysium is an isometric detective RPG fever dream filled with stunning art and plenty of existential questions. It’s one of those unique titles where you really feel like you’re dictating who your character is as a whole, down to the smallest details that nobody wants to think about. The Final Cut offers even more story and a dollop of much-loved interaction between your favorite cop duo, Harry and Kim.
The game is notoriously text-heavy, so you might worry about reading everything on the Steam Deck’s seven-inch screen. Luckily, it’s been optimized to look pretty clear from the get-go. If you’re still having trouble reading everything, you can resize your text in game settings for a more comfortable experience.
4 To the east
Eastward’s pixel graphics make it an easy-to-integrate title for the Steam Deck, and its small install size makes it perfect even for the 64GB version. Each environment in this game is so rich in detail that you could pass hours in an area admiring all the little things.
Many gameplay and story elements are reminiscent of old Zelda games at best. It doesn’t just make it a copy, though. Eastward is a charming game that manages to create an immersive world worth experiencing. Come for the graphics, stay for the world-building and memorable soundtrack.
3 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Looks like The Witcher 3 has become a mainstay in every list of best RPGs. It’s hard to argue with his position, like that old chess veteran in the park that no one can ever beat.
The Witcher 3 runs well on the Steam Deck, and you’ll find that the environments are still nice to look at. That said, you’re not exactly out of the woods due to some of the random and hilarious glitches the game inherently has.
You play as the son of Hades and fight all the underworld. If that doesn’t sound engrossing enough to keep you playing, check out the roguelite gameplay and chaotic battles set to a punchy soundtrack. You’ll get addicted faster than you can say, “Get your titanic back in gear!”
Hades is also Deck Verified, so it sees a lot of support updates that ensure a good gaming experience. It’s also one of the best RPGs for the Deck in terms of battery life for as long as possible .
1 fable birthday
Despite its age, Fable remains one of the greatest due to its humor, charming world, and distinctive art style. Even if you’re not playing with the nostalgia goggles, you’ll enjoy the Anniversary Edition with its remastered sound and graphics.
If you find the camera shake or bob a little too dated or boring, there are some well-tested mods you can apply to make it more contemporary. Of course, it’s best to make sure you have the latest firmware first and keep a clean backup before installing mods. Even though the Steam Deck is designed to fully support modding, you still run the risk of having launch issues.
Next: Best games to play on the Steam Deck