Travel the world as you deliver packages…while traveling the world.Image: Kojima Productions / Kotaku
The “director’s cut” of Hideo Kojima’s weird 2019 walkathon Death Stranding hit PC earlier this year. If you enjoy this game and haven’t given the expanded version a try, I highly recommend it. It is easily the best version with an expanded vehicle selection, new missions, and higher difficulty. The PC version also has the gravity gloves from Half-Life: Alyx. Picking up packages has never been easier!
Death Stranding is Deck verified, and with the right graphics settings, the Deck is a great way to enjoy the thrills of delivering packages in a post-apocalyptic world while avoiding floating dead people and keeping your BB happy. You know, If you’re into that sort of thing.
I recommend dropping the graphics to Low here. Also, adjust the main “Frame Rate Limit” to 30 in the Steam Deck’s “…” menu. The game itself won’t run at this more tolerable framerate from the in-game settings alone. AMD’s resolution-enhancing FSR tech is also available here, but I found it makes the screen look like it’s covered in vaseline. Your mileage may vary. You will still get dips below 20fps, particularly with large draw distances. I find it to run a little better than the original game on a base PS4, but it drags enough to demote it to the “honorable mentions” category.
One important caveat to consider is the online functionality. If you’re not connected to the internet, Death Stranding is a very different experience given the lack of the social elements and structures that other players build. But no matter where you’re playing from, you can still use the Steam Deck’s motion controls to soothe BB. Aww.
Even when including the honorable mentions on this list, picking the top Steam Deck games of 2022 wasn’t easy. I’m sure there are others, even just within the Deck-Verified status on Steam, that deserve a shout-out. These titles, however, represent an exceedingly wide scope of games available on the platform, from quirky indie games to the most celebrated AAA blockbusters. Combine the range and diversity of the Steam Deck’s library with some really incredible control layouts and the options to adjust graphics settings like you would on a PC, and it’s not hard to see why so many are lining up to get one.