First up is the GameSpot game of the year–the perfect 10–Elden Ring. In the game you play as a lowly tarnished with the ultimate goal of seeking the shards of the Elden Ring and becoming the Elden Lord. On your journey you’ll find hidden dungeons, rare loot, beautiful views, terrifying creatures and lots of tough enemies that will test your strength. Just try to keep your cool, a Steam Deck broken out of frustration is a bit more expensive to replace than a controller.
Another challenging game with monsters is Vampire Survivors, a top-down roguelite indie survival game that charmed its way onto tons of Top 10 lists in 2022. The premise is simple: you choose from a handful of unique survivors, kill monsters to collect gems that turn into experience points, level up to earn upgrades and last as long as you possibly can.
If those first two games weren’t filled with enough swords and magic for you then check out Cult of the Lamb. In this game you play as a lamb saved from death by a mysterious entity, The One Who Waits. In return you must return to the land of the living, start a cult in their name and defeat the Bishops of the Old Faith. Seems like a fair trade right? And when you’re not slaying heretics, you’ll be gardening, decorating, cooking, getting married and playing dice, all while listening to a soundtrack filled with BANGERS.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is my favorite game of all time and it feels so at home on the Steam Deck (Sorry Switcher 3 fans). Though the game is now seven years old, it’s still a benchmark in video game storytelling, especially when it comes to those incredible side quests. Exploring the world, meeting colorful characters, and slaying monsters makes any train ride or picnic so much more interesting.
Some might say that I’ve left the best for last and to be honest, I wouldn’t argue with those people. Powerwash Simulator is exactly what the name implies: a game about cleaning things with a power washer. The experience focuses on building up your own business in its career mode and completing dirty jobs across the town of Muckingham. There’s no time limit or a nagging sensation to achieve a high score, just you, a filthy building, and complete freedom in how you want to finish the mission. Powerwash Sim was the drug that got to try a ton of other “simulator” games, like Lawn mowing Sim, and I love getting a little cleaning done everywhere I do with Steam Deck.