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6 Best Emulation Games on the Steam Deck

6 Best Emulation Games on the Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is a great handheld device that can emulate A variety of other consoles. Valve’s entry into the handheld gaming market adds the functionality for it to play emulated games. These are our picks for the best Steam Deck Emulation Games.

The best-Emulated games currently available on Steam Deck include:

  • Elden Ring
  • Aeterna Noctis
  • Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition
  • Disco Elysium – The Final Cut
  • Hades
  • Psychonauts 2

This article will focus on why certain games are more popular with gamers. And why it would be ideal to have them on your Steam Deck. 

Relevant: Valorant on Steam Deck (Is it playable?)

What are the Best Emulated Games To Play on the Steam Deck?

To have these games on a hand-held device, as perfect and portable as Steam Deck is every gamer’s dream. Without further ado, let’s explore what are the best Steam Deck Emulation Games to play right now.

1. Elden Ring

Steam Deck Emulation Games Elden Ring
Promotional Picture of Elden Ring

Elden Ring is one of the most recent fantasy-action role-playing games. It enables exploration of the fantastical world of the Lands Between. Where we might evolve, get corrupted, or ultimately become the Elden Lord.

It’s a thrilling game in which a massive universe opens up for the players containing a wide range of circumstances. It also contains enormous dungeons connected by intricate, three-dimensional architecture.

You will enjoy learning about new and intimidating hazards as you investigate throughout these dangerous lands. Not only are you allowed to decide and develop the outlook of your characters. You can also decide what armor and weapons to you would like to equip.

The story itself is multi-layered and explores every potential dramatic aspect of this unbelievable game.  

Performance on the Steam Deck

For the players using Steam Deck, we suggest they set the graphics to ‘High’ for a better experience. This is because the PC gives 60fps whereas Steam Deck might only give 30fps. However, the convenience of gameplay allows for a lot more flexibility in graphic settings, in our opinion.

Relevant: Lost Ark Steam Deck (Install, Controls, Performance)

2. Aeterna Noctis

Steam Deck Emulation Games Aeterna
Announcement Poster for Aeterna Noctis

Aeterna Noctis is a complex 2D hand-drawn action platformer that will challenge your gaming abilities. All the while its intense battles will have you on the edge of your seat. As the King of Darkness, you go through 16 interconnected zones on a mind-boggling quest to recover your powers.

You are destined to battle your opponent till death, and even then, you cannot escape your fate. The non-linear nature of the plot makes this game far more engaging than other 2D animation games. This is due to the potential ramifications that could be brought forward based on the choices you make.

Aeterna Noctis’ Steam download version has been entirely upgraded. It now includes all the modifications made in response to player input. There are two game modes: Aeterna mode, which offers a Metroidvania-only experience. Noctis mode, which combines Metroidvania with a challenging platformer.

Aeterna Noctis gamers may anticipate intuitive controls and features that let them customize their gaming experience. 

3. Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition

Steam Deck Emulation Games Darksider s 2
Promotional Image for Darksiders 2

You can transform into the mysterious force that everyone and everything wants to flee from, but cannot. You will be from amongst the most dreaded of the fabled Four Horsemen. Who are capable of destroying entire planets and battling forces from both Heaven and Hell.

Your goal is to restore your brother’s honor. While learning about a historical grudge that may put all of existence in danger.

This game offers a fascinating window into the animator Joe Mad’s mind. Players may alter their experiences by choosing from a variety of armor sets, weapons, and skill trees. The game’s open-world concept, a multitude of side quests, and customization options allow players to endlessly play it.

What better game to have on your hand-held device than one that allows so much variety?

Relevant: How to Use FSR on the Steam Deck (Easy Guide)

4. Disco Elysium – The Final Cut

Steam Deck Emulation Games
Promotional Image for Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium allows you to play a drunken detective with a special skill set at your fingertips. And you have an entire merciless city block to cross to make your name there.

Set in the city of Rachel, this game allows you to interact with the NPCs like no other. Thanks to the game’s amazing voiceovers’ in English. This game allows you to make your own decisions, based on your political compass.

You will not be playing a predetermined game, which allows you to make choices entirely on your own. It could be an interrogation of unforgettable characters, cracking murders, having sexual encounters, or taking bribes. As you chase your dreams (whatever they may be), you will discover more citizens, unlockable areas, and monumental sights.

Disco Elysium lacks action and a variety of other standard game mechanics, unlike most mainstream RPGs. Instead, it largely depends on developing better attributes and skill sets necessary to guide conversational threads to complex ends. 

Disco Elysium is nuanced, complex, and well-crafted. The absence of action makes it suitable for a smaller handled device. Even though that may seem constrictive or even monotonous. It may cater to a select few of the players, but it adds diversity to the gaming palette of players.

5. Hades

Hades
Promotional Image for Hades

Hades is probably one of the most popular games amongst players today, and for good reason. It is one of the best games to explore Greek mythological details through gameplay. From the creators of Pyre, Transistor, and Bastion. Hades explores the journey of Zagreus, a prince of the underworld. And his attempt to ascend Mount Olympus after escaping the god of the Underworld.

It is amongst the finest games the action, the role-playing genre has to offer. The game’s gorgeous graphics and satisfying fighting make it a complete delight from beginning to end.

Hades, which redefined what the roguelike might be with its ambition, refinement, meticulous precision directed towards details, and plot, has become a must-play for almost every game lover. Choosing Hades for the Steam Deck Emulation just makes sense. It is brilliantly suited to the medium and amazing on its own.

The smooth, combo-friendly fighting in Hades just requires the face buttons and a single thumb-stick. It plays at a flawless 60 frames per second. Additionally, the Deck’s quick resume function enables you to pause whenever you choose and start playing just where you left off. Which is a brilliant option to have when playing games such as Hades.

Relevant: Hades Steam Deck (Settings, Performance, Controls)

6. Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2
Promotional Image for Psychonauts 2

One may argue that Tim Schafer is at his finest with Psychonauts 2. The premise of Psychonauts 2 is that a young psychic joins an international espionage organization to find out who kidnapped the organization’s leader.

The world is created by Schafer with the utmost care and it packs the density of a graphic novel or a well-regarded fantasy series. When Psychonauts 2 was published last year, it was hailed as a success and received accolades for being a wonderful game whose bold, cartoonish aesthetics and the majority of its core gameplay translate beautifully to the Steam Deck.

Even better, it’s said to operate incredibly smoothly on the Valve device, making it a no-brainer to add Double Fine’s flagship game to one’s Steam library. Despite the display’s resolution, Psychonauts 2’s vibrant graphics appear to be running at a steady 60 frames per second.

The availability of all our favorite games and ones largely anticipated by the gaming community on the Steam Deck is making all of us excited. These games are some of the must-haves for every Steam Deck owner so that they can experience how multifaceted it is.


And that was our list of the top 6 Best emulated games that you can play on the Steam Deck right now. All o these games can either be played using the software inherent to the Steam Deck or you can download certain useful emulators to play them.

Whichever option you choose, you really cannot go wrong when playing these games because every one of them is fantastic from start to finish. And if you’re someone that enjoys playing a variety of game genres, then you’ll appreciate the diversity on this list.

Till next time! Ciao.