The Steam Deck is one of the best ways to play almost any game in your Steam library — right in your hands. It can handle some truly powerhouse titles. Here are what I think are the Top 10 best big-budget titles you can play on the Deck right now.
10 Essential Big-Budget Games to Play on Steam Deck
Don’t let the Steam Deck’s size and relative performance stop you from playing tons of the more demanding AAA titles you’ve been sitting on — or that you picked up during a Steam sale.
My list below isn’t exhaustive, and there will certainly be games here that may not be up your alley. But these are the Steam Deck games I’ve tested and truly believe are some of the absolute best.
10. Armored Core 6
One of the best games of 2023, Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is not only a fantastic entry to the AC series, but it’s also the pinnacle of the franchise. Ignore all the internet chatter about “being filtered” and jump in headfirst on the Steam Deck for a mostly 60 FPS experience with some setting updates. Armored Core has also always been best played with a controller, and the Deck offers one right in your hands.
9. Dead Space Remake
2023 was the year of the remake, and Dead Space was one of the best of the year. Not only did it overhaul the visuals and give Isaac a voice (cue the audible gasp), but it also added and/or changed significant boss fights.
Somehow, against all odds, it remained mostly true to the original title while updating systems across the board for the modern day. It performs well on the Steam Deck with FSR 2 enabled and a lot of the settings turned down a touch, though it does suffer from the PC port’s general instability that not even SteamOS can fix.
8. Death Stranding
Hideo Kojima’s latest (as of writing) weird opus, Death Stranding has long been a Steam Deck staple, as one of the earlier titles to be Deck Verified. Delivering packages in the apocalypse works well on a handheld, with the sometimes cluttered menus somehow remaining legible even on the Deck’s much smaller screen.
Performance is lacking, and even with a lot of lowered settings, FSR, and other alterations, moving faster than a brisk walk caused significant frame issues. Adding a 30FPS cap and not driving too fast solved most of those issues.
7. Devil May Cry 5
Capcom has been on a roll since 2018 and kept the momentum moving with DMC 5 in 2019. The latest in Dante’s adventures is peak character action, bringing back both Nero and the Legendary Devil Hunter but adding an entirely new character as well. Like Armored Core, Devil May Cry has historically been a game best played with a gamepad, and while DMC at the highest levels might be cumbersome with the full Deck in hand, it performs admirably with medium settings.
6. DOOM Eternal
Leave it to id Software to make one of the fastest-paced, best FPS games of the last 10 years. It’s not only playable on Steam Deck but playable at almost a locked 60 frames. You’ll see dips in the more hectic fights, but Doom Eternal runs like an absolute dream, letting you rip and tear wherever and whenever you have a few minutes.
5. Elden Ring
Elden Ring‘s PC port still isn’t the best, and it’s incredibly demanding of the Steam Deck. You’ll need a 30FPS cap and settings no higher than medium. But as long as you meet those two requirements, you can explore the Lands Between in the palms of your hands. With the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC coming soon (please?), now’s probably the best time to sink your teeth into a once-in-a-generation experience that captured the entire gaming world in 2022.
4. Monster Hunter Rise
This entry is a toss-up between Monster Hunter: Rise and World because both run well on the Steam Deck. I personally prefer Rise because of the improved mechanics and lower hardware requirements (it was a Switch game first, after all), but World remains a watershed moment for the franchise.
Monster Hunter: World is also a much grander and narratively cohesive experience, though the story remains its weakest point. Landing a True Charged Greatsword Slash, however, is satisfying no matter where you do it. There are also a lot of great games like it if you’re interested.
3. Resident Evil 4 Remake
Did I say there were amazing remakes in 2023? ‘Cause there were. Resident Evil 4‘s remake is as a monumental achievement as Dead Space’s, but it is also a much more important update given the mark the original RE:4 left on the industry at large. With a bit of tweaking settings down and getting some upscaling running, you can get the game looking crisp and running (mostly) like butter.
2. The Witcher 3
For a long time, The Witcher 3 was my “Game of Forever.” Nothing could touch the sheer volume of quality content and engaging quests, stories, and combat encounters. I happily put more than 150 hours into the base game and both its expansions. As with most of the other entries on this list, with some settings adjustments (there’s even a Steam Deck preset!), you can easily hit a fairly stable 60 FPS, which, let me just say, is amazing on the OLED Deck.
1. Titanfall 2
In a surprising twist, I’ve added in my previous favorite FPS game ever (only overtaken by DOOM Eternal): Titanfall 2. In my testing, I was able to hit not just 60FPS but a fairly solid 90FPS on the OLED Deck’s improved screen. However, I imagine the previous generation of Deck can easily maintain 60FPS.
If you want to play a campaign that loosely follows the Call of Duty formula but is better in every conceivable way and has giant robots and fantastic multiplayer, hit up Titanfall 2 on the Steam Deck.
Those are my picks for the Top 10 best AAA games you can currently play on the Steam Deck, whether you have a first-generation model or the new OLED. We’ve covered other burning questions in lists like the 10 best indie games of 2023, the Top 10 best roguelites of 2023, and the Top 10 best RPGs of 2023.