With Valve finally starting to ship its hotly anticipated handheld PC and we are here with our Top 5 newly portable games we can’t wait to play on Steam Deck! So, what are the rules of our top 5 choices? Well firstly, these are games that Valve have deemed VERIFIED – that means they should work out of the box with the Steam OS. We know this doesn’t mean much – many games not verified will be playable or you could install Windows and give that a go. Still, we wanted to go with the day one experience right now.
Secondly, we appreciate that there are already some pricey third party windows handhelds out there. So technically, some people would be able to play their Steam collection via them. So we are going to rule on technicality when we say dedicated gaming handheld. Thirdly, we won’t include any game already playable on a dedicated gaming handheld. So if you can play it on Switch, it isn’t on the list.
Bring the portability!
Lastly, as great as they are, we are ignoring other means of playing these games such as streaming or emulation. Streaming is different from having a handheld you can play without good quality internet and emulation is a grey area.
So why this list? Well, we here at Any Button Gaming like the freedom that handhelds give you. Even the longest, grindiest game can be conquered when you can take the game into the toilet with you. Or want to ignore what the other half is watching on the big TV. With that in mind, let’s get stuck into the top 5 games we cannot wait to play in bed.
5. Portal 2
Ok, we are getting this one out there quick because it is scheduled for a Nintendo Switch release in April 2022. Still, this is a favourite of ours and possibly one of the best puzzle platformers ever made. Plus there are some great fan made mods. It won’t be the most graphically taxing game for the powerful behemoth but c’mon, who doesn’t want to be able to take Wheatley on the go? Also, with the room based areas, it will be perfect for pick up and play gameplay. Having a Valve product and not trying a Portal game on it just feels…wrong?
4. Death Stranding
This is going to come as a bit left field. Metal Gear Solid guru Hideo Kojima’s odd walking and delivery sim has been divisive with gamers but we’d argue that a handheld platform could be the best place to experience it. With the main gameplay loop revolving around balancing baggage while walking across a post apocalyptic landscape, it’s an interesting but very long experience. Hideo us asking a lot by spending 50 hours delving into the game in front of a TV or monitor. Tucked up on the couch for a quick wander though? Maybe a match made in heaven. Besides, we are 93% certain that Death Stranding’s missions count as your daily excercise.
3. Death Loop
We just like games with Death in the title don’t we? This 2021 first person thriller might seem like an odd choice and if you are looking to revel in its shiny graphics, the Deck probably isn’t the place. Bear with us though… a next gen timeloop shooter in the palm of your hand? This is pretty amazing right? We think so and the constant looping of the game through repetition and discovering the best methods to take down your targets seems pretty ripe for pick up and play. Plus, it’s not even a year old at time of writing and you can play it on a handheld! Wonders neve cease.
2. Yakuza 0
This isn’t a particularly new game but Yakuza 0 (or any of the Yakuza titles really) do an amazing job of taking a small open world and cramming it full of things to do. So much of the charm of the Yakuza games are the mini games or odd side quests on the streets of Kamurocho. With so much to do, playing in handheld is the way to go. Besides, as a prequel (but from a release standpoint, a sequel), you can start getting into the series with one of the best entries.
1. Elden Ring
C’mon, you knew this was coming right? Yes, Elden Ring is the current critical darling and source of a billion Youtube vids and Twitch playthroughs. Sure, it is risky having a Souls game in a format that you can throw against a wall. Yes, everyone on the Any Button Gaming’s group chat who isn’t interested in this game is going to groan at its inclusion. We don’t care.
The simple fact is that Elden Ring is addictive. An open world chock to the brim with things to do, explore and collect. It is also a beast of a game. This is a game that you can easily rack up more than a hundred hours of gameplay. So having it handheld, being able to pick up and explore a quick dungeon or do some rune farming is a dream come true for those of us that are in the thralls of the game. Sure our social life will suffer and we’ll never bother talking to our significant partners again (until the battery runs dry that is) but it is so worth it.
That’s it folks for our top 5 newly portable we can’t wait to play on Steam Deck. What would you play? Have you pre-ordered? Are you one of the six people that has a Steam Deck? Let us know below and stay tuned for our Steam Deck review which should be coming as soon as one of us actually gets one delivered!
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Rudy Manchego has been gaming since the days of the BBC Micro Computer and spreads himself thin with a love of retro, indie and mainstream gaming. He’s one half of the Jambags Comedy Gaming podcast and likes nothing better than kicking back with a nice pot of lapsang souchong, a good game and a background podcast on the intricacies of Spanish cheese making.