Before I get started on this list, I first want to acknowledge that my picks of games that I’m looking forward to playing on the Steam Deck are going to be very, very different from what you’re probably expecting them to be.
I’m not picking games to test out the hardware like DOOM or The Witcher 3, and I’m not picking games solely on whether they can only be played on Steam, though that one is definitely a small part of it.
With this feature, I’m picking games that I’m curious to see how well they work in handheld form, and games that maybe DON’T work in handheld form but can work with the Steam Deck thanks to it being a handheld computer.
With that out of the way, here are the 10 games that I personally can’t wait to replay on the Steam Deck!
10 Games I Can’t Wait to Replay on the Steam Deck
As much as I’m loving Chivalry 2, there’s a part of me that’s curious about what playing the first game from 2012, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, will feel like on the Steam Deck.
The same goes for the Chivalry but not quite Chivalry counterpart Mordhau, which I have the sneaking suspicion will run better on the Steam Deck than 2012’s Chivalry.
Either way, something about playing Chivalry and Mordhau in handheld form really appeals to me even if I ultimately end up having to hook up a mouse and keyboard to the Steam Deck to play the game that way.
Before Your Eyes is a game I consistently rank as one of my GOTYs for 2021, and is a game that I feel more people should check out and play. As of right now, it’s exclusively available on PC so its potential presence and playability on the Steam Deck would be a first for this game in terms of it being played in handheld form.
What’s interesting about this is that the game is designed to be played with a webcam (it can be played without one as well), which would make it a difficult game to port to the Switch, or even to console for that matter.
With the Steam Deck being a handheld computer and able to handle PC accessories like a mouse and keyboard, it’s possible you could hook up a webcam to the Steam Deck and play Before Your Eyes that way. Which would be really cool.
If this is the case I hope the experience is good so I can recommend the game to other Steam Deck owners. Before Your Eyes is a game you should not miss out on!
This is interesting to me because at the moment, the best way to replay the F.E.A.R. series is on PC. The games aren’t available in handheld form. Given that the first game is significantly older than other games on this list, I’m wondering how well it’ll run on the Steam Deck.
The same goes for other older games available on Steam. If these games (like F.E.A.R.) run well, it opens up the doors for more gamers to experience these classic titles and see why they’re so great.
For me personally, F.E.A.R. is one of my all-time favorite games, and to play it in a handheld sort of way would blow my mind. Here’s to hoping it runs well!
The hit relaxing game where you can be a viking building a quaint little cabin out in the woods feels like it’d be the perfect game to play in handheld form, especially if you’re on a long plane flight, bus ride, train, etc.
Or you’re snuggled up in your bed on a rainy day. Unfortunately, the developers of the game don’t have plans to release the game on other platforms outside of Windows, Linux, and Mac as indicated in the FAQ page on the game’s official website.
So based on this, it doesn’t sound like we can look forward to a Switch release. But with the Steam Deck, it sounds like a handheld version of Valheim itself isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
Like other games on this list, we have to wait and see how well the game performs on the Steam Deck, but if it runs well we (and other fans of the game) are going to be absolutely delighted.
If you grew up playing Pokemon like I did, Temtem is an appealing game as it takes the core idea of Pokemon (capturing and training creatures to battle each other) and blends it with an MMORPG.
Outside of this, the game is bright, colorful, and a lot of fun whether you’re a Pokemon fan or not. I haven’t had the opportunity to revisit the game too often on Steam as I’ve gotten lost in work and other games.
However, with Temtem’s presence on Steam and with that its presence on the Steam Deck, having it in handheld form would really inspire me to put a lot more time into the game. I know it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch eventually, but will there be cross-progression or will I have to start a new save on Switch?
These sorts of questions lead me to wanting to play it on the Steam Deck with my Steam save for the sake of convenience, but we’ll see what happens down the road.
Papers, Please was one of the first games I played on Steam in 2013, and it sticks out in my mind as one of the best indie games I’ve ever played.
I think the subject matter the game touches upon is interesting, and the gameplay itself is fun, relaxing, and even somewhat addicting.
You can’t get Papers, Please on Switch so like Valheim, this would be a first for the game in handheld form. I am very curious whether the handheld experience will be able to adequately capture what the game feels like when played on PC.
The Audiosurf games are some of my favorites thanks to their ability to let you import music of your choice, and then play through that music on a hypnotic moving course.
There are a ton of mods for the Audiosurf games as well that let you add new courses as well, and I’m curious to see whether mods in general will be available for games on the Steam Deck. If yes, Audiosurf is probably the first game I’ll test them on.
Furthermore, I’m wondering how easy it is to import music for Audiosurf using the Steam Deck as opposed to a regular PC. If everything's the same – with Steam Deck being a PC in and of itself – I look forward to the hundreds of hours (no exaggeration) I’m going to inevitably put into Audiosurf games on the Steam Deck.
8) Let It Die
Here’s another game that isn’t available on the Nintendo Switch that would probably be quite enjoyable to play on it. My experience with Let It Die on PC hasn’t been the best per se as the game doesn’t always run well on PC in contrast with how it runs in its original home on PS4.
Currently, I’m curious to see if the Steam Deck will be able to run the game better than it runs on my home PC. I really hope it does, because Let It Die is a game I put a lot of time into on both PS4 and PC.
It’s a fun game, it’s free-to-play, and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a simple game of running through a tower collecting items and crafting materials, then returning to the ground floor (home base) and getting ready to do it all over again.
I’m a fan of repetition so for me, Let It Die is a blast. Here’s to hoping it’ll run well on the Steam Deck!
9) Horizon Zero Dawn (and other PlayStation to PC ports)
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of my all-time favorite games. I’m actually replaying it for the third time on PS5 and am having a blast. But you know where else I’d like to play Horizon Zero Dawn? On the Steam Deck!
The same goes for other PlayStation titles that have received PC ports including Death Stranding and Days Gone. If these titles become popular to play on the Steam Deck in handheld form, who knows, maybe Sony will consider bringing back an updated version of the PS Vita to compete with the Steam Deck.
It’ll be interesting to see the response gamers have to playing these Sony titles through a Steam handheld, but more than that, it’ll simply be nice to have the option to play them in handheld format for the simple sake of convenience. Many of these games are long, so it takes a while to sit down and work your way through them.
If you’re like me and play games on your Switch in bed, the Steam Deck will come in handy as it’ll likely help you put more time into games like Horizon Zero Dawn in a way that’s comfortable.
10) Kingdom Hearts
The Kingdom Hearts games are available on PC via the Epic Games Store. Now, it’s already been confirmed that you’ll be able to download third party software on the Steam Deck as again, it’s a handheld gaming PC. It does what a PC can do.
So technically… you could download the Epic Games Store on Steam. I know, blasphemy and why would you want to as a Steam user. Hear me out though because the Kingdom Hearts series is available on the Epic Games Store.
If you can download the Epic Games Store, and can play games through the Epic Games Store on the Steam Deck, you now have a great way to play the Kingdom Hearts games on the go. We may not have a modern PS Vita, but hey, we’ve got the Steam Deck!
Photo Source: Detention on Steam
I also want to add that the Steam Deck opens the door for indie games to be experienced in a handheld setting.
So finally, I just want to say I’m really looking forward to playing every single indie game I can on the Steam Deck just as I’ve been doing with the Nintendo Switch. Indies, indies everywhere, and I love it!