After I did a few features on the best Steam Deck, best iOS, and more games of 2023 (so far), a lot more great games have been released. I’ve also been playing most of them on Steam Deck. While this year has been quite rough for AAA games on PC with many launching in a poor state, there have been some notable releases that are worth highlighting not only for PC, but for those looking at grabbing their next game on Steam Deck. The games here include new games, ports of console games, and more. If you’ve not kept up with the Steam Deck and our coverage, here’s our dedicated Steam Deck page on TouchArcade with reviews, news, features, and more. As usual, the list is in no particular order and isn’t just restricted to 10 games. I’m sorry but 2023 has been beyond amazing and I will let future Mikhail, Shaun, and Jared worry about bringing things down to 10 in December. Until then, enjoy the plethora of great new games on Steam Deck.
Street Fighter 6
I adore Street Fighter 6. It is my current overall game of the year above Tears of the Kingdom and everything else. While I did enjoy Street Fighter V, it had a ton of caveats when I recommended it to people. Street Fighter 6 is a return to form, and the best Street Fighter game alongside Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. It also happens to be Steam Deck Verified by Valve. Street Fighter 6 includes a massive single player mode, robust online play, training, and basically has everything you’d hope for in a modern fighting game. I’ve also been playing Street Fighter 6 online with my 8BitDo Arcade Stick on Steam Deck with no issues. This is just a love letter to good fighting games and a superlative experience overall. Try the demo if you want a taste of it.
Age of Wonders 4
When Paradox Interactive publishes a new game, I’m always interested to check it out. While some releases lack controller support on PC sadly, the fantasy 4X strategy and turn-based tactical experience Age of Wonders 4 has been a surprisingly great experience on Steam Deck. In fact, I liked it so much on Steam Deck when I got review code, that I bought the game on Xbox Series X as well to support it and to have a version I could play on console. Age of Wonders 4 has a bit of a steep learning curve if you’re new to the genre, but it is genuinely one of the best games I’ve played this year so far, and feels superb on Steam Deck. Age of Wonders 4 is marked as Steam Deck Playable by Valve, and only really has some text that will be too small to read for some folks. I didn’t run into any other issues.
AEW: Fight Forever
When AEW: Fight Forever was announced, I knew I had to play it as a huge fan of wrestling games in the 90s. When it was released a few weeks ago on all consoles including Nintendo Switch and PC platforms, I enjoyed what I played a lot on both Steam Deck and Xbox Series X. Since launch, I’ve been playing it a lot more on Steam Deck, and it actually plays like a dream on Valve’s handheld. If you enjoyed wrestling games back in the “good old days", AEW: Fight Forever is for you, and it is my favorite wrestling game on Steam Deck alongside Fire Pro Wrestling World. I can’t wait to see what Yuke’s brings to AEW: Fight Forever going forward. AEW: Fight Forever is Steam Deck Playable by Valve, but it has no issues on Steam Deck.
Dragon Quest Treasures
When Dragon Quest Treasures hit Nintendo Switch late last year, Shaun liked it a lot. I did as well, but the technical issues in the Switch version were annoying. Square Enix recently brought it to Steam, and it basically fixed every technical issue the original release had, and delivered a great port that plays amazing on Steam Deck. Dragon Quest Treasures’s blend of action-RPG, treasure-hunting, and Dragon Quest charm makes it a must play for fans despite it being easier. In a lot of ways it feels like a nice introductory RPG for a younger audience, but Dragon Quest Treasures on Steam Deck is absolutely the best way to play it, and I hope we also see future Dragon Quest spin-offs hit the platform alongside or not too long after consoles. Dragon Quest Treasures is Steam Deck Verified by Valve.
Jagged Alliance 3
Jagged Alliance 3 from Haemimont Games and THQ Nordic was my first Jagged Alliance game, and it made me immediately buy the prior numbered entries on Steam. The turn-based tactical RPG has been one of the nicest surprises of the year so far despite a few rough edges. These kinds of games always feel perfect to play on a portable for pick up and play action, and Jagged Alliance 3 is everything you’d hope for on Steam Deck, but it has a few technical issues. There is supposed to be a demo so I’d recommend checking it out, but Jagged Alliance 3 is Steam Deck Playable by Valve because of some small in-game text and some portions not having full controller support.
CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story
I played CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story on Switch and was disappointed in the technical issues, but enjoyed everything else the game had to offer. On Steam Deck, there are no technical issues, and the excellent platformer with polished gameplay and level design is one of Riot Forge’s best releases so far. If you enjoy metroidvanias, like League of Legends, or just want a great game to play on the go, CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story from Riot is for you. CONVERGENCE: A League of Legends Story is marked as Steam Deck Playable by Valve because of some in-game text being too small.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
I’ve written about Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective through its iOS updates and more, but the best version of Ghost Trick is definitely the new remaster Capcom released on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is best on Nintendo Switch thanks to better touch support and a better screen if you have the OLED model, but it is flawless on Steam Deck. It is Steam Deck Verified by Valve as well. While it offers nothing really for those who played it before on DS or iOS, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective’s remaster is the best version with its high resolution visuals, new soundtrack option, and more. It is a puzzle adventure masterpiece that has aged brilliantly, and one of Capcom’s best.
Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection
If you’re a fan of dungeon RPGs, you likely have heard of Atlus’ Etrian Odyssey series. The map-making dungeon RPG series that began on DS saw three entries there before the series jumped to 3DS with a few more games and spin-offs. The 3DS games and remakes are superb, but Atlus decided to go back to the beginning with the Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection. This collection, Steam Deck Verified by Valve, includes enhanced remasters of the Nintendo DS Etrian Odyssey trilogy with visual upgrades, soundtrack upgrades, quality of life improvements, accessibility options, and more. The only knock against this release is the lack of new content from the 3DS remakes of the first two games. The asking price might seem high, but this collection over delivers in its quality and how much time you will get out of it.
LIVE A LIVE
Square Enix’s remake of LIVE A LIVE in the HD 2D style of Octopath Traveler was an amazing surprise last year, and was the first official release of the Super Famicom game outside Japan on Nintendo Switch. A few months ago, Square Enix brought LIVE A LIVE to Steam, PS4, and PS5 worldwide, and the Steam Deck version is my favorite way to play it. It is the best of both worlds, giving me a portable experience of a JRPG that was ahead of its time, and one that delivers high quality visuals and smooth performance across the board. Even in 2023, LIVE A LIVE is a must play for any JRPG fan, and it is Steam Deck Verified by Valve. I urge you to try out the demo if you aren’t sure it is for you.
OXENFREE II: Lost Signals
I already reviewed OXENFREE II: Lost Signals covering it on multiple platforms with a focus on the iOS release through Netflix, but it remains one of the best releases of the year so far for Steam Deck owners. I had no issues playing it on Deck, and it even recently got Steam Deck Verified by Valve. The increase in quality across visuals, scope, and story all make OXENFREE II: Lost Signals feel even better than the first game. If you enjoy narrative thrillers, OXENFREE II: Lost Signals is for you, and while I do recommend playing it on Netflix Games for mobile if you can, it is a fantastic experience on Steam Deck out of the box. I’m glad to see the team deliver in spades with this sequel under Netflix, and I hope we do get OXENTHREE in the future.
The Ninja Saviors Return of the Warriors
The Ninja Saviors Return of the Warriors from Tengo Project and Natsume released a few years ago on Nintendo Switch and PS4, and finally hit Steam days ago (as of this writing). I loved it because it definitely is one of the better beat-em-ups of its time, and the Tengo Project release is exactly what it needed to be worth getting today. If you enjoy 2D action games and have wanted the definitive edition of The Ninja Warriors on SNES, Tengo Project’s The Ninja Saviors Return of the Warriors is for you. While it hasn’t been tested by Valve on Steam Deck yet, I’ve had no issues playing it both over the Steam Deck Docking Station and on the handheld itself. Pure fun.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is one of 2023’s best PC ports, and another fantastic release by PH3 bringing a superb Falcom JRPG to Steam Deck. The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is Steam Deck Verified, and it runs flawlessly, and is my favorite version of the game even above the PS5 release. On the portable side, The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is not great on Switch, but it shines on Steam Deck. The one thing to keep in mind is The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie is the worst starting point if you’re not already invested into Falcom’s amazing Trails series. You absolutely need to play at least the four Trails of Cold Steel games and both Crossbell games before playing this. Barring that caveat, you can’t go wrong with The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie on Steam Deck.
We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie
We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie brings an enhanced version of the second Katamari game to all consoles and PC platforms. While the original debuted on Steam and Switch, this one was released on every console and Steam from the start, bringing a much better game to modern platforms. While I think both Katamari REROLL games are worth your time, We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie is pure joy, and it is superb on Steam Deck. Despite Valve’s dumb labeling of it as Playable, it is basically perfect on Steam Deck. The reason they marked it as Playable and not Verified is because it has 800p support but defaults to 720p. This is weird considering most Verified games don’t even have 16:10 and 800p support, so We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie is doing more than usual. Either way, I’ll save my rant on Valve’s verification system for another day. We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie is absolutely worth your time, and one of the most fun games I’ve played this year on any platform.
As with other features, there are some recommendations that have caveats. With the games below, I mention those before talking about why said games are amazing and worth playing on Steam Deck.
Diablo 4 is what got me to look into sideloading other game launchers on Steam Deck. I detailed the process in my Steam Deck review. While I’m not a fan of it being online-only, Diablo 4 is brilliant, and I can’t wait to play it through the upcoming seasons. It feels like a game Blizzard made to show it still has what everyone loved about the old Blizzard. I loved Diablo 3, Hearthstone, and the first two years of Overwatch, but nothing since clicked like Diablo 4 did recently. The caveat with it on Steam Deck is the sideloading needed. Hopefully Overwatch 2 coming to Steam means Diablo 4 follows in the near future.
I’m working on a full review of Remnant II on Steam Deck, and have loved the time I’ve spent in it so far since launch, but it isn’t an amazing experience on Steam Deck in its current state despite being Steam Deck Verified by Valve. The action adventure souls-like third-person shooter basically fixes every issue I had with the original game (which I recently reviewed on Switch), and is just plain fun to play with friends. I’ve tried two classes so far across Steam Deck and Xbox Series X, and feel like this one will end up on my overall Game of the Year list at the rate things are going. It is that good, but I’m disappointed to see it can’t even maintain 30fps with everything set to low and upscaling used in its current state. The one big advantage to it on Steam Deck over consoles is the fact that I can use gyro aiming thanks to Steam Input.
The final game I wanted to feature is one many might skip because of its reception online. Exoprimal from Capcom is a fun blend of what I love in hero shooters and Earth Defense Force. A great podcast game if you may, that has amazing class variety, fun gameplay, superb late-game missions, and more. It is held back by two major issues. The first is it being online-only like Diablo 4, and the second being that you need to tolerate four or five hours of repetitive easy missions before you get to the good stuff. This one is in Xbox Game Pass as well, so I’d recommend trying it there before buying it on Steam for Steam Deck if you have the option. The game runs fine on Steam Deck, and gyro through Steam Input helps, but it really shines at 60fps. Despite all of its issues, I’ve been enjoying Exoprimal on both Steam Deck and PS5.
Hopefully my new feature on the best Steam Deck games of 2023 so far helped you find something new for your Steam Deck. If you missed part one, read it here. If you think I missed something, feel free to let me know in the comments below. I’m working on a new indie list as well for Steam Deck in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading.
Interested in more Steam Deck coverage? Check out our Steam Deck recommendations!