Looking for some new games to play on your Steam Deck? If you've got yourself a microSD card for your Steam Deck, and plenty of storage space left, then you can install a lot of great games in 2023 on your device.
The Steam Deck is a very capable handheld gaming machine for playing even the latest hit games once you turn down the graphical settings, or use AMD FSR upscaling to boost the image quality in some titles a bit. Beyond that, it plays indie titles and lighter less-demanding games without issue, too, all in the comfort of a form factor that's definitely better than sitting in front of your laptop screen or a monitor with a dedicated controller. So, if you're looking for something to play, check out ten of my favorite Steam Deck games right now.
1 Hogwarts Legacy
Topping our list is Hogwarts Legacy. This game has yet to become available on the Nintendo Switch, so if you want to play it when not in front of a console, monitor or laptop, the Steam Deck is the way to go. It's a graphically demanding title, so you'll have to tune the settings down a bit, but this is one of the best action adventure open-world games of 2023. It's even Deck verified by Steam, so you can run this game on your system without issue.
If you're not familiar, though, Hogwarts Legacy has you in the center of the fictional world of Harry Potter. The game is set before what happens in the books and popular movies, which means you get to follow a unique storyline and enjoy really life-like environments as if you were a wizard yourself.
2 Baldur's Gate 3
Second on the list is Baldur's Gate 3, another RPG. This party-based RPG game is from the creators of Divinity: Original Sin 2 and is set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. This game has turn-based combat, and plenty of incredible moments, where you'll experience betrayal, and also sacrifice, and of course, survival. It's both single player and multiplayer, so you can enjoy this game with yourself or with your friends.
3 Vampire Survivors
Looking for a more casual (but still spooky) shoot-em-up game? That's what Vampire Survivors is. This gothic horror game puts you in control of a character who has to fight a never-ending wave of monsters. The longer you play, the more characters, weapons, and other items you can unlock. Weapons that you use attack automatically, so this game is pretty straightforward, but you'll need to be careful as when those monsters touch you, you'll end up taking damage. And remember, you'll also want to collect those gems along the way to restore your health!
4 Apex Legends
Next up is Apex Legends. This is another game that's Deck Verified, meaning it will run on the Steam Deck without issue. This is actually a free-to-play game, too, so it's very appealing. It's a battle-royale style game, where you can join squads and enjoy playing as characters who have a variety of movement and combat abilities that you have to use to stay ahead of your opponents. It's a personal favorite of mine since the maps are detailed, and give you plenty of room for player-on-player action.
It'd be a poor choice for me to not mention Minecraft in this guide. This is one of the most popular games of all time, but installing it on the Steam Deck as a downloadable title with the native operating system requires some extra work compared to if you're running it through Windows or through cloud gaming like you would on a device like the Logitech G Cloud.
You'll need to use Prism Launcher from the Discover app to install Java and then add your Microsoft Account to access Minecraft as a non-Steam Game, then tweak the controls to custom options through Prism Launcher again. The extra work is worth it to take Minecraft anywhere you go, as Minecraft is a world of creativity. You can spend hours building your own blocky worlds with friends and family, and even play in survival mode and fight zombies. It's one of the best sandbox games you can find for the Steam Deck.
6 Sea of Thieves
Next up is Sea of Thieves. This isn't your traditional shared-world action-adventure game at all. It's certified to run on the Steam Deck and there's plenty of reason to like it. In this game, you assume the role of a pirate and complete voyages across the sea. The voyages aren't always smooth, and you'll encounter violent ship battles with rivals who are also on the hunt for treasures.
7 Stardew Valley
How about a more relaxing game? This fifth option is a classic that's also certified to run great on the Steam Deck. It's the farming simulation game Stardew Valley. In this game, you inherit a farm from your deceased grandfather and are tasked with taking care of the land and turning the barren fields into a lush and vibrant home. The game is known for its relaxing soundtrack, fun side quests, and heartwarming story.
8 Pizza Tower
If you're a fan of Nintendo's Mario, then Pizza Tower may just be the game for you. This is a 2D platformer game inspired by the Wario Land series, a spin-off of Mario Land on the original Game Boy. The game is very fast-paced with special emphasis on moving and attacking. It has a greatly great pixel art style that's reminiscent of 1990s-era cartoons that you'll be sure to appreciate.
Do you own cats? Or want to own a cat? If you're a fan of our feline furry friends, then you'll want to consider playing Stray. In this third-person adventure game, you play as a start cat in a strange walled cybercity that's home to weird things like robots, machines, and even mutant bacteria. Your goal is to get back to the surface world, and you'll solve many great puzzles along the way while evading enemies known as the Zurks and Sentinels.
10 Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered
Have that racing itch while holding the Steam Deck in your hands? You'll want to check out Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. This game is a refreshed version of the original 2010 title. In it, you can race as either a member of the police or a traditional street racer. You race your way around fictional Seacrest Country in exotic cars, street cars, and cop cars with advanced tactical weapons like spike strips. The game features period correct vehicles from all the major manufacturers that car fans are sure to appreciate.
Now we've come to a newer indie game from the developer Black Sale Games. This is a fishing video game where you sail the ocean and catch fish, upgrade your boat, and look for secrets beneath the ocean. You can catch 125 different species of fish, come across sunken treasure, and interact with locals to get side quests. This is a title that's sure to get you hooked (pun intended).
13 Hi-Fi Rush
As the list goes on, next is a rhythm-based action game that recently was taking gamers by storm. This game is quite new, but it's also quite fun. In the game, you play as Chai, after a music player is accidentally embedded in your chest during surgery. You're able to sense the rhythm of the in-game world, but you're also being hunted by robots, and you have to form new friendships and defeat your enemies in battle. The visual style in the game is amazing, but you'll have to be careful as every in-game movement is tied to music.
14 Street Fighter 6
Do you love arcade-style fighting games? If you answered yes, that's what Street Fighter 6 is. This game has a great single-player mode, and it supports cross-play, so you can enjoy combat with players on other consoles and platforms. The combat system in this game also has three control types (Classic, Modern, and Dynamic), which help fit different skill levels, so if you're a pro or a newbie, you'll still enjoy. The game even has real-time commentary, which can help make it feel like you're in a tournament of your own when playing.
There's even more you can try
There's no possible way for us to link to every game for the Steam Deck in this guide, but we do have suggestions on how you can find additional games. Beyond what we've already mentioned, it's a good idea to visit the Great on Deck page on Steam. From here, you'll see games that are certified to run great on the Steam Deck. It's where we've found many of our picks on this list. But don't feel limited to just those titles. As we mentioned before, if you tune down the graphical settings on Steam games, you'll get a better experience. But if you happen to download or play a Steam game that doesn't work right on your Steam Deck, don't worry, Valve will be happy to refund you as long as you put in a request, the game has little play time, and you provide a valid reason.