23 best Steam Deck games in 2023 from AAA to indie & more

23 best Steam Deck games in 2023 from AAA to indie & more
Images via Square Enix | Obsidian | ConcernedApe

Written by 

Harry Boulton


25th Oct 2023 12:20


Valve's portable device has been one of the hottest pieces of hardware since its launch back in 2022, and we've got all of the best Steam Deck games that you can play in 2023 from AAA to indie if you're looking to build the ideal game library.

Despite its size, the device packs a fair amount of power, so you'll even be able to try out all of the latest games on the go - albeit with a little bit of compromise when it comes to visuals and framerate. It is within smaller games that the Steam Deck really shines though, as games from over 20 years ago feel purpose-built for the Valve device in 2023.

So, keep reading to see all of our picks for the best Steam Deck games that you can play in 2023, as we've got some excellent suggestions - and maybe a few titles that you might not have otherwise considered.

  • Got yourself a PlayStation 5 and not sure what to play? Check out our guide to find out what the best PS5 exclusive games are in 2023

Best Steam Deck Games in 2023

Key art of the Steam Deck
Click to enlarge

While it would be easy to throw all of our favourite games in this list and call it a day, we've decided to exclusively include games that work best on the Steam Deck platform.

That might come down to factors like suiting a controller layout best, working within the power limits of the system, avoiding any compatibility issues, and working portably. Of course, there are going to be loads of games that we won't have space to include on this list, but this is just a selection of our personal favourites in no particular order.

#23 - Elden Ring

Key art of Agheel in Elden Ring
Click to enlarge

Elden Ring details:

  • Price: £49.99/$59.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Massive open world
    • Classic FromSoftware combat
    • Outstanding bosses

While this does somewhat defy the parameters we just set, Elden Ring is just too impressive to not include on this list. Outside of it being easily one of the greatest titles that the entire medium has ever produced, it also runs surprisingly well on Valve's portable device, making it instantly one of the best games to play on Steam Deck.

Capping at 40 fps and running on lower graphical settings is your best bet for a stable experience, and it will of course eat away at your battery, but it is just a marvel to play a game of this scale on a platform so small. There's definitely a reason why it ranks so highly on Valve's official Steam Deck playtime charts.

I find it far too easy to just jump back into the Lands Between for a new save or to tackle the next big boss, and just the feeling of exploring areas like Altus or Leyndell is more than enough to keep me at my Deck for hours and hours - or at least until the battery dies!

#22 - Baldur's Gate 3

Image of Shadowheart in Baldur's Gate 3
Click to enlarge
Larian Studios

Baldur's Gate 3 details:

  • Price: £49.99/$59.99
  • Release date: 2023
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Huge amount of variability with each playthrough
    • Tactical turn-based combat
    • Massive amount of fully animated cutscenes

After a release that saw it reach over 875,000 concurrent players on Steam, it is no surprise that Baldur's Gate 3 has instantly become one of the best Steam Deck games that you can play right now.

It has an utterly incredible narrative that was part of why it received a perfect score in our review, and experiencing that on Deck is just as good as it would be on PC. While it is still very much a CRPG at heart, the existence of the PS5 release has meant that the controls are perfect on the handheld device, so you have nothing to worry about there.

From a performance side of things, Baldur's Gate 3 runs well on Steam Deck - albeit with a short battery life and a fair amount of noise. You should expect to hit 30 fps for most of the game, and post-launch updates have only enhanced the game's performance on Valve's device.

Baldur's Gate 3 is by far my favourite game of 2023, and being able to experience a game of such gargantuan scope on a portable machine is genuinely a marvel. It is understandably an inferior experience to playing on a beefy PC or PS5, but I am still able to fall in love with the dense world and the incredible characters all the same.  

  • We've conveniently got a list of the best games like Baldur's Gate 3 too if you're looking for something to jump into after you finish the lengthy adventure

#21 - Resident Evil 4 Remake

Key art of Ada Wong in Resident Evil 4 Remake
Click to enlarge

Resident Evil 4 Remake details:

  • Price: £49.99/$59.99
  • Release date: 2023
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Horror and action combined
    • One of gaming's most iconic titles
    • Excellent performance on Steam Deck

While Resident Evil 4 Remake is the most recent entry on this list (despite technically being 18 years old), it immediately emerged as one of the best. The RE Engine has always performed exceptionally well on lesser hardware, and this continues with the recent remake which shines on Deck.

According to our own Resident Evil 4 Remake Steam Deck guide, you can expect to get a comfortable 40-50 fps at 720p, which is more than playable - especially when compared to other high-budget titles. While it doesn't offer the same pure horror as previous Resident Evil games, leaning instead more into the action, it still remains perfect for playing on the go or hidden under the bedcovers.

This is made even better with the release of the Separate Ways DLC, adding to the overall experience by letting you play as Ada. With a total of seven new chapters to explore and new content to experience even if you played the original, there's no better time than now to start RE:4 on Steam Deck.

#20 - Cursed to Golf

Screenshot of the Practice Shot card in Cursed to Golf
Click to enlarge
Chuhai Labs

Cursed to Golf details:

  • Price: £16.99/$19.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Golf with a roguelike twist
    • Challenging but fun
    • Perfect for picking up on the go

Golf has rather surprisingly been one of gaming's favourite sports to tackle, and Cursed to Golf is one of the latest success stories that absolutely shines on Steam Deck.

It takes the sport to the underworld, using roguelike elements to increase the typical 18-hole challenge where you will be condemned to limbo forever if you don't succeed. Even if you don't typically like golf, this game is well worth a try as it has plenty of tricks up its sleeve that will always keep you entertained.

  • Find out what the best cozy games are to play right now in this amazing list

#19 - Mundaun

Image of a horde of bees in Mundaun
Click to enlarge
Hidden Fields

Mundaun details:

  • Price: $19.99/£16.99
  • Release date: 2021
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Wonderfully unique art style
    • Enveloping Alpine horror narrative
    • Under 10 hours to finish

Immediately upon seeing Mundaun for the first time, you will realise that it looks very little like any game you've seen before. Reminiscent of hand-drawn charcoal, Mundaun's gloomy aesthetic deposits a folk-horror tale in The Alps that you won't soon forget.

Stretching only eight hours at the very most, Mundaun is the perfect game to pick up and play on Steam Deck, as you will be gripped by its curious narrative that slowly unfolds. Puzzles, hay monsters, and a cacophony of bees will surround you in a game that is as beautiful as it is horrifying, and it is undoubtedly one of the best Steam Deck games out there.

#18 - Sea of Stars


Image of a tree with blue leaves in Sea of Stars
Click to enlarge
Sabotage Studios

Sea of Stars details:

  • Price: £29.50/$34.99
  • Release date: 2023
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Retro throwback
    • Gorgeous pixel art style
    • Intriguing combat mechanics

As you will soon find out with many of our later choices, the Steam Deck is a match made in heaven with turn-based RPGs - and Sea of Stars certainly continues that trend. It truly is a throwback to the SNES classics like Chrono Trigger, with a soundtrack by none other than Yasunori Mitsuda and a beautiful pixel visual style that will make you fall in love with every area.

It's an experience made for fantasy lovers, with a world full of magic and interesting creatures. Furthermore, one of the biggest selling points for me is that, like Chrono Trigger, there are absolutely no random encounters - so you won't have your progress halted every five seconds to take down Small Bug #5.

#17 - Marvel's Midnight Suns

Key art of Blade in Marvel's Midnight Suns
Click to enlarge
Firaxis Games

Marvel's Midnight Suns details:

  • Price: £69.99/$79.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Tight XCOM-esque tactical combat
    • Features all of your favourite superheroes
    • Recent update significantly improves Deck performance

If you fall in the middle of a superhero and SRPG-themed Venn diagram, then Marvel's Midnight Suns will be an ideal choice for you on Steam Deck. You will be able to utilise all of your favourite superpowers in-game, building up the perfect deck to take down even the toughest foes.

Additionally, while it didn't fare the best at launch, it has recently received an update that significantly boosts the performance on Steam Deck. With this, you've got no excuse not to jump right in and enjoy all the action that Marvel's Midnight Suns has to offer.

  • We've got all of the best pirate games here if you're keen on sailing the high seas

#16 - Diablo 4

Diablo 4 Barbarian
Click to enlarge

Diablo 4 details:

  • Price: £59.99/$69.99
  • Release date: 2023
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Multiple character classes
    • Addictive loot grind

Diablo 4 is one of the biggest launches of 2023, and while it was playable through some Linux trickery since its launch in June, it finally arrived as a native Steam version in October - opening it up to true Steam Deck compatibility.

For a franchise that debuted with mouse and keyboard input, Diablo has become a phenomenal action RPG to play with a controller, and Diablo 4 continues that lineage on Steam Deck. Pick one of the game's five varied classes and fling spells, swing axes, and raise the dead to carve a bloody swathe through the foreboding world of Sanctuary, looting powerful new gear as you go.

With seasonal content bringing new foes and new tools to smite them with, be sure to keep an eye on the best endgame builds.

#15 - Death Stranding

Best Steam Deck Games: Death Stranding
Click to enlarge
Kojima Productions

Death Stranding details:

  • Price: £34.99/$39.99
  • Release date: 2019
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Fantastic cinematic storytelling
    • Incredibly tactile feeling of movement
    • Can walk in-game while walking in real life

We just couldn't resist including a game about transportation on a list of the best Steam Deck games. While this does fall under the same category as something like Elden Ring - where battery life and performance will suffer slightly - it is still well worth playing on Deck.

There would be something just so therapeutic about walking through the damaged terrain of Death Stranding while commuting as if you were experiencing two journeys at the same time. Do watch out for the lengthy cutscenes that Kojima has become synonymous with though, as you could be stuck there for a while!

#14 - Monster Hunter Rise

Key art of Monster Hunter Rise showing a large spiked monster and four hunters
Click to enlarge

Monster Hunter Rise details:

  • Price: £32.98/$39.99
  • Release date: 2021
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Countless high-octane monster battles
    • Huge weapon variety
    • Can play solo or with friends

Another of the best Steam Deck games that sadly hasn't quite hit the "Great on Deck" certification yet, Monster Hunter Rise is brilliant on Valve's console.

It's perhaps not surprising given the series' history with handhelds, but slaying huge beasts and using their claws, tails, and anything else to build new gear to slay even bigger beasts is a compelling loop that never gets old -- even moving into the huge expansion, Sunbreak.

You can also pick this up with a number of fellow hunters, which is perfect if you're hopping over to a friends house but (understandably) don't feel like taking your entire PC. If big boss battles are your type of thing, then Monster Hunter Rise is definitely one of the best Steam Deck games for you.

#13 - Persona 3 Portable & Persona 4 Golden

Key art of the all out attack screen from Persona 3 Portable and the main character from Persona 4 Golden
Click to enlarge

Persona 3 Portable & Persona 4 Golden details:

  • Price: £17.99/$19.99
  • Release date: 2009/2012
  • P3P Steam link / P4G Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Lengthy turn-based adventures
    • Control a wide range of monstrous personas
    • Perfect if you played and loved Persona 5

While this is technically cheating to include two games in one entry, the ports of Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden are two of the best games to play on Steam Deck. Considering how long Persona games can be, being able to whittle away anytime and anywhere at your own leisure can really help in reducing fatigue.

Additionally, considering that Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden were both portable editions of their respective games, it makes playing them on the Steam Deck even more natural. If you're a fan of Persona 5 and want to dive into more, then why not give these both a try on the Deck?

#12 - Hades

Screenshot of Hades standing in a field in Hades
Click to enlarge
Supergiant Games

Hades details:

  • Price: £20.99/$24.99
  • Release date: 2020
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • One of the best roguelikes out there
    • So much replayability
    • Runs are no longer than 25 minutes

Another genre that feels like a match made in heaven with the Steam Deck is roguelites. While we could have just as easily opted for titles like Rogue Legacy 2, Dead Cells, and Spelunky 2, Supergiant Games' Hades emerged as our choice as one of the best Steam Deck games you can play right now.

Hades features combat that somehow manages to effortlessly bridge the gap between chaos and precision, and its short but infinitely replayable runs make it perfect for the Deck. Each playthrough takes no longer than about 25 minutes, making it a fantastic choice if you're looking for something to just pick up and play on the commute or while you've got some downtime at home.

#11 - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Screenshot of Snake hiding from a helicopter in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Click to enlarge

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain details:

  • Price: £24.99/$29.99
  • Release date: 2015
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Ever-evolving emergent gameplay
    • Control and build your Mother Base
    • Take on an abundance of side activities outside of the main missions

Another Kojima game on this list, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is still well worth playing in 2023 - despite arriving almost eight years ago. It was "Great on Deck" but is now just "Playable". However, we've had zero issues in testing. 

Still, time is a flat circle, and Phantom Pain's huge sandbox, seemingly endless stream of unlocks, and moreish base-building mechanics make it one of the most enjoyable games on the Steam Deck to just sit back and unwind with.

Fancy gathering resources for an hour? Head out and recruit soldiers to your cause. Want to tackle an assassination mission? Lock and load in any way you choose. Naturally, there's a positively batsh*t plot to follow, but even without it, it's easily one of the best Steam Deck games of 2023.

#10 - Divinity Original Sin II

Image of combat in Divinity Original Sin II
Click to enlarge
Larian Studios

Divinity Original Sin II details:

  • Price: $44.99/£29.99
  • Release date: 2017
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Flexible and environmental turn-based combat
    • Lots of freedom to tackle each of the game's quests
    • Wonderful fantasy world

If you're looking for a CRPG to pick up on Steam Deck, then there are few better options than Divinity Original Sin II - especially if you've already played and loved Baldur's Gate 3. While - as the name suggests - CRPGs are best played on PC, the existence of the Steam Deck's trackpads makes this a surprisingly excellent experience.

With Divinity Original Sin II, you're getting an outstanding RPG with a vast narrative and wonderfully flexible combat that is so easy to get lost in. With so many possibilities to undertake and paths to discover, you will find this game difficult to put down.

There's very little to worry about when it comes to performance too, with a minimum of 40fps being very achievable with a respectable battery life, which only contributes to Divinity Original Sin II being one of the best Steam Deck games you can play right now in 2023.

#9 - Triangle Strategy

Screenshot of a battle in the mines in Triangle Strategy
Click to enlarge
Square Enix

Triangle Strategy details:

  • Price: £49.99/$59.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • One of the best SRPGs ever
    • Perfect if you love Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre
    • Choice-based narrative with multiple different paths

If you're a keen fan of tactics games, then there are few better to choose from than Triangle Strategy. While we could have just as easily selected Tactics Ogre Reborn as it is also a fantastic game, Triangle Strategy is the perfect balance for enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre alike that make it another of the best Steam Deck games.

The game's stunning HD-2D graphics and complex choice-based narrative pair wonderfully with dense and varied tactical combat scenarios. Its only downside is that it is surprisingly power-hungry on Deck, which can be quite troubling when battles often reach within the hour mark.

#8 - Stardew Valley

Screenshot of the farm road in Stardew Valley
Click to enlarge

Stardew Valley details:

  • Price: £10.99/$14.99
  • Release date: 2016
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Build and maintain your own farm
    • Engage with all of the residents
    • Influenced by games like Harvest Moon

If you've somehow not played Stardew Valley yet, then the Steam Deck is the perfect place to start. ConcernedApe's Harvest Moon-style farming sim exploded upon its release in 2016, sustaining a massive fan base ever since.

Its day-based gameplay system makes it perfect for those who want to play for short periods, while also sustaining the ability to be played for hours at a time too for the keen farmhands and cave crawlers out there. The only slight downside is that installing mods is a bit more finicky on Deck, but it is still thankfully very much possible when using a tutorial.

Stardew Valley is just one of those cosy games for me that I find so easy and relaxing to play, and being able to pick it up wherever and whenever on the Steam Deck only enhances the overall experience.

#7 - Chrono Trigger

Screenshot of the time travel machine in Chrono Trigger
Click to enlarge
Square Enix

Chrono Trigger details:

  • Price: £11.99/$14.99
  • Release date: 1995
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Arguably the best JRPG ever made
    • Adventure across space and time
    • Stunning pixel graphics to this day

JRPGs, specifically those originally released on the SNES, seem to just be perfect for the Steam Deck as a platform. The smaller screen makes the 16-bit graphics truly shine, and they are just a breeze to play on a handheld platform.

Chrono Trigger in particular is a particular standout from an era of excellent games, being rightfully regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. It takes you on a time-travelling adventure across various fantasy lands, with a simple but ever-engaging turn-based combat system and a masterfully told narrative that still resonates to this day.

#6 - Final Fantasy VI

Screenshot of the opera singer Maria throwing a rose in Final Fantasy VI
Click to enlarge
Square Enix

Final Fantasy VI details:

  • Price: £12.99/$17.99
  • Release date: 1994
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Our pick for the best Final Fantasy game
    • Fantastic multi-character narrative
    • Looks even now with the recent Pixel remaster

We would be remiss to not include a Final Fantasy game on this list, and with the recent pixel remasters Final Fantasy VI emerges as a clear favourite. While it does broadly fall into the same category as Chrono Trigger, it is just too good to pass up.

You can easily opt for several other Final Fantasy titles too, with Final Fantasy XIV being very much playable on deck with a bit of tinkering, and series favourites like VII, IX, and X also working well alongside the other pixel rereleases. Overall, the Steam Deck is perhaps the perfect console if you want to dive into the Final Fantasy series.

#5 - Hollow Knight

Screenshot of a mossy area and a metal bridge in Hollow Knight
Click to enlarge
Team Cherry

Hollow Knight details:

  • Price: £12.79/$14.99
  • Release date: 2017
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Merges Soulslike and Metroidvania elements
    • Wonderful sense of exploration
    • Perfect for anyone looking for a tough challenge

Standing out among the sea of Metroidvania titles in Hollow Knight, which is both an utterly brilliant and crushingly difficult game for anyone up to the challenge. Hollow Knight's stunning aesthetic might still look great on a massive TV, but it fits so well within the seven-inch boundary of the Steam Deck, giving you an even more intimate experience.

With the (supposedly) imminent release of Hollow Knight Silksong, there has never been a better time than now to jump into Hallownest if you haven't already taken the plunge.

#4 - Vampire Survivors

Screenshot of a wave of monsters in Vampire Survivors
Click to enlarge

Vampire Survivors details:

  • Price: £3.99/$4.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Each run only takes 30 minutes
    • Ideal pick-up and play game
    • Easy to learn, hard to master

Crowned as the unofficial "Best Steam Deck game" of 2022, Vampire Survivors took the world by storm with its simple and captivating gameplay. Falling again under the roguelite category, Vampire Survivors tasks players with surviving its 30-minute time limit with the help of a few upgrades and health boosts along the way.

This might sound pejorative but the best thing about Vampire Survivors when it comes to playing on Steam Deck is that it near enough plays itself. No button presses are required, as all you need to do is avoid any nearby foes and let your power-ups do the work. It emerges as almost the ideal 'low effort' game: tailor-made for those oh-so-common moments when you just want something easy to play.

#3 - The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

Screenshot of Ryunosuke Naruhodo pointing in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Click to enlarge

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles details:

  • Price: £31.99/$39.99
  • Release date: 2021
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Very few games like Ace Attorney
    • Two games in one package
    • Outlandish characters and constantly engaging cases

If you want to play a visual novel on your Steam Deck, then there are few better choices than The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Compiling both Adventures and Resolve into a nice neat package, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles serves as a highlight for an already excellent series.

Instead of playing as the famous Phoenix Wright, you play as his ancestor Ryunosuke Naruhodo in both Meiji-era Japan and Victorian England - alongside a certain Herlock Sholmes. Featuring ten cases across 70 hours of gameplay, there is just so much to enjoy and uncover within this extravagant collection that fits so well into the handheld system.

#2 - Pentiment

Screenshot of Andreas on a boat in Pentiment
Click to enlarge

Pentiment details:

  • Price: £14.99/$19.99
  • Release date: 2022
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Medieval detective narrative
    • Engaging cast of characters
    • Beautiful painting-esque art style

Continuing with the detective theming, Obsidian's 16th Century Bavarian murder-mystery Pentiment is another one of the best games to play on Steam Deck. It doesn't require much power at all despite coming out recently, and its art style just looks wonderful on the handheld platform.

Furthermore, it features a near-constant autosave system, making it perfect if you're looking for something that will let you just pick up and play for a short period. You might struggle to put it down though, as Pentiment's utterly compelling narrative will have you relentlessly uncovering each mystery.

Pentiment was the first game I played after getting my Steam Deck, and I could not have picked a better first impression of the device. It just felt so right to be playing through Adreas' journey on a handheld, and I found myself able to so easily power through the adventure whenever I got a spare moment.

What is the best game to play on Steam Deck?

Screenshot of Temenos and Crick in Octopath Traveler 2
Click to enlarge
Square Enix

Octopath Traveler 2 details:

  • Price: £49.99/$59.99
  • Release date: 2023
  • Steam link
  • Key features:
    • Play as eight wonderful characters
    • Top tier turn-based combat
    • Iconic HD-2D visual style

Our choice for the best Steam Deck game that you can play right now in 2023 is Octopath Traveler 2, as its epic narrative, outstanding combat system, and stunning HD-2D visuals work perfectly on the portable PC.

We certainly thought so too in our Octopath Traveler 2 review, which outlined why the game is not only one of the best to come out this year but within the entire turn-based RPG genre. While Octopath Traveler 2 might have a rather lengthy runtime, that fact almost makes it even more perfect for the Steam Deck, as you're able to chip away at any point, and in your most comfortable spots.

So, that wraps up this list of the best Steam Deck games that you can play right now in 2023, giving you plenty of options to enhance your experience on the go.

Find more recommendations visit our lists homepage, or check out the best free-to-play shooters in our guide, as there's bound to be something for you.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

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