Best Steam Deck games in 2024: The Exit 8, El Paso, Elsewhere & more
The Steam Deck has a huge library of games for it, but which ones are worthwhile to play in 2024? Here’s a list of Steam Deck games you need to check out.
Since launching in March 2022, the Steam Deck has garnered an enormous list of supported games. Being connected to Steam, there’s also a bevy of titles that might not have that green “verified” tick but still work fantastically on the Deck.
A great thing about the Steam Deck is the way it brings that massive backlog with you, wherever you go. Looming over you, like a dark storm cloud of fun. Why did you buy what you did back in 2010? You’re never going to play Chrome, a forgotten FPS that doesn’t like controllers.
Maybe you will, maybe you’ll map everything to the trackpads and give it a whirl. Either way, here are some games you should absolutely check out on the Steam Deck.
From huge releases to quaint indie darlings, the Steam Deck is rife with stuff to play. Let’s take a quick look back into the last few months and years to check out what titles are best played on the Steam Deck.
Best Steam Deck game for February: Granblue Fantasy: Relink
Granblue Fantasy: Relink is a superb action-RPG, that is sure to suck up your time. The combination of Monster Hunter-esque questing, the constant loop for upgrading, and an enjoyable story earned it 4/5 in our review.
The game offers fast-paced action, with a frantic feel to the combat. It’s pure chaos at all ends, but in a way that works. It’s an ideal title for the Steam Deck, as its questing never takes more than maybe five or ten minutes, making it the perfect “pick up and put down” game.
While the story can feel a little like an anime movie to a series you have never seen, it never gets deep enough to warrant thinking too hard about it. Just sit back, take the tropes for a ride and you’ll discover a far deeper game under the surface.
On Steam Deck, it manages to keep pace at a solid 30FPS and looks fantastic while doing so. The anime art style helps bring it all together and it’s where we wound up spending most of our time.
Best Steam Deck games in 2024
The Exit 8
There’s nothing better than when a small game comes out of nowhere and essentially roundhouse kicks you into beating it. The Exit 8 is a small game that roundhouse kicks you into beating it. As addictive as it is short, the puzzle game is prime Steam Deck material.
You’re trapped in a subway station, desperate to escape. As you circle through the station, it’ll begin to trick you by creating ‘anomalies’. These can range from the man also trapped with you walking quickly, or something as subtle as the sign being different.
It’s utterly terrifying when you least expect it and continues to surprise all the way through.
The Exit 8 costs just $3.99 and can take you anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or two to beat. Of course, your first real run isn’t going to take 10 minutes, as the game has a plethora of tricks up its sleeves.
The Exit 8 is available via Steam for $3.99.
Dave the Diver
You know, it’s pretty cool that there are two quite relaxing, but suddenly stress-inducing fishing games at the moment. Dave the Diver joins Dredge for last year’s fishing game extravaganza, and it’s fantastic.
You play Dave, a diver, who is roped into helping a fledgling sushi restaurant by catching fish – and also being its waiter. It combines a mixture of exploring the deep for more fish and treasures, along with a funny story to tie it all together. After you’re diving for the day, you’re then thrust into the manic sushi restaurant portion.
Here you will choose the menu, serve customers, and wash dishes. Eventually, you start hiring staff and upgrading just about everything in the game.
It’s the perfect Steam Deck game, with short bursts of the game that can be easily paused, put down, or just for that lunchtime session.
Set in a rustic fishing village, and its conjoining islands, you’re a fisherman who has found themselves with a broken boat and no money to repair it. As you dash back and forth between searching the depths for treasure, or fish, the Eldritch curse that has taken the land leads into a small mystery.
Eventually, you go from fishing for oceanic life, to braving the dark abyss of night and dredging up old trinkets which a curious researcher wants. What for? Well, you’ll have to find out.
El Paso, Elsewhere
Combine Max Payne with horrors from another world, and you get El Paso, Elsewhere. The game is a joyous mix of old-school third-person shooting with some fancy slow-motion mechanics thrown in.
It’s a wild experience, with a twisted story that plays out throughout various, quick-fire missions. El Paso, Elsewhere also continues Max Payne-esque traditions complete with painkillers and diving to take out the hordes of the undead and mythological.
Backing it all up is an absolute monster of a soundtrack, that kicks in just as you need it. It looks gorgeous on the Steam Deck OLED and continues to invade our little minds.
Path of Exile
Another is inspired heavily by the vibe and mechanics of Diablo 2. After Diablo 3 launched to a less than stellar reception by diehard fans of the second game, Grinding Gear Games began work on Path of Exile.
We’re nearly a year on from GGG launching controller support and running through the last couple of major updates has led to the Steam Deck being our go-to for the game. Path of Exile’s enormous breadth is perfect fodder for those TV catch-up sessions or podcast listening endeavors.
Path of Exile’s fresh runs through the early content work wonderfully well on the Steam Deck. Even when we’ve hit some of the endgame content, Path of Exile’s surprisingly well-thought-out controller mapping makes things a breeze.
Path of Exile is available for free on Steam.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Being stalked and mobbed by the unruly Spaniards, Resident Evil 4 Remake slots perfectly into the “pick up and play” motif the device has. Struggling against a boss while you aim for that S+ rank,or just getting the heeby-jeebies from a late night romp through Dr. Salvador’s backyard? Set it and forget it… for five minutes.
The expanded exploration and huge replayability make Resident Evil 4 Remake a joy on the Steam Deck. Our extended hunts for treasure around the castle and village were done in pure comfort as we lay in bed until 2 AM.
Despite having to settle for 720p/30fps at all Low settings, it stops mattering once you’re in the game. Resident Evil 4: Remake’s art style, while more realistic, isn’t lost once you start ticking down the settings. There are a few spotty shadows, and hair can look strange, but the performance is solid throughout.
Besides, who else is going to save the president’s daughter?
A bizarre crossover between the visuals of old Castlevania games, bullet hell shooters, and rogue-likes, Vampire Survivors is fabulous. With each round being maxed out (at the start) to 30 minutes, it makes for an excellent time waster.
However, the deeper you go, the more you try to complete the various challenges, and the game starts to break wide open.
Soon, those 30-minute stints killing monsters – and surprisingly very few vampires – can blossom into these extravagant and elaborate rounds where the timer can be busted, power-ups are taken advantage of and so, so much more.
It’s the perfect “one more round” game, but much like everything else on this list, is an excellent pick-up-and-play title too.
Vampire Survivors is available on Steam.
Final Fantasy XIV
It also plays superbly on the Steam Deck, offering intuitive controls for a gamepad. Designed originally to support the PS3, a lot of care has gone into making sure the heavy MMO gameplay isn’t lost on those who just want to explore the world around them.
On Steam Deck, there’s nothing better than finishing work, grabbing that black slab, and going to town on leveling up your botanist skills. Or finishing a dungeon.
There are also great improvements to solo play, with strictly multiplayer affairs like dungeons and key quests in the game now offering AI companions so you’re not sitting around waiting too long.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak
Are you starting to notice the pattern of our recommendations for the “best Steam Deck games”? They’re all things that won’t ultimately detract from your day if you have to quickly put them down. So what game is a better example than Monster Hunter?
Monster Hunter Rise takes the game back a step in terms of graphical prowess but makes up for it in the sheer quantity of things to do. Seriously, the game is a non-stop barrage of upgrading, and fighting and that’s before you even hit Sunbreak.
Sunbreak is the expansion DLC that offers a deadly deluge of things to do, and monsters that need their heads bashing in.
Monster Hunter is always best played when portable, and the Steam Deck lets you run the title without a hitch, and play in co-op with your friends on PC.
Those are the best party video games to play in 2024! While you’re here, check out some of our other recommended games below:
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