10 best PC exclusive games which can be played on Steam Deck

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10 best PC exclusive games which can be played on Steam Deck
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With Steam Deck coming soon, it's time to look back and review some of the best PC exclusives.

The Steam Deck announcement took us all by surprise. There have been leaks on the Internet for several months, saying that something was up, but just a few people believed them. Valve's portable console will reach its first players this December. The company claims that Steam Deck will be capable of running every game that is available on Gabe Newell's platform. It was promised that the device will handle even the most demanding titles. Well, with a few exceptions, as we will not play selected multiplayer titles with it yet. More information on this subject can be found at the end of the article.

For now, we would like to celebrate this unexpected announcement by presenting you some of the best PC exclusive games. Of course, all of them will also be playable on Steam Deck!

ARMA III

Release date: September 12, 2013

The origins of the ARMA series date back to 2001, when the Czech studio Bohemia Interactive released Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. This shooter stood out with its considerable realism at that time and quickly gained great popularity. During the preparation of the sequel, the  conflict with the publisher arose, as a result of which Codemasters retained the rights to the brand, while the studio faced bankruptcy. 

Fortunately for everyone, the Czechs managed to finish another game, which was released under the name ArmA: Armed Assault. This title, as well as ARMA II and the described third part, were warmly received by the players. ARMA III is still actively supported by the devs and is continuously offering its players an extraordinary realistic experience of a massive open world conflict. As long as you don’t mind bugs too much. 😉

Baldur’s Gate III

Release date: October 6, 2020

You may not count on the prompt release of Baldur's Gate III full version, but what was made available to players as part of Early Access is already impressive. Even though the campaign mode is not finished yet, it already takes nearly 40 hours to complete the main and side storylines.

The third installment of the cult RPG series refers to its predecessors, while also introducing some major changes. One of them is the turn-based combat system based on the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons rules. In the future, the title will probably also appear on consoles, but at least until the premiere, which is scheduled for the second half of 2022, you will have to limit yourself to PC and ... Steam Deck 😉

Black Mesa

Release date: May 5, 2015

If we were to imagine the list of Steam Deck exclusive games, it’d be a crime not to consider this one. Black Mesa started out as a small fan project. A group of enthusiasts set out to refresh the iconic first part of Half-Life. What was really fascinating at that time, is that Valve did not mind and even allowed the mod to be distributed on the Steam platform. 

Although Black Mesa is based on the original, which was released in 1998, the fan project does not use a single piece of the original code. It was entirely created from scratch! The game itself has been expanded with additional threads taking place in a separate dimension called Xen. Half-Life on Steam Deck? Would’ve been absurd not to assume that!

Crusader Kings III

Release date: September 1, 2020

Swedish studio Paradox Interactive specializes in strategy games. Crusader Kings III is the latest installment of the series that originated in 2004, and once again players find themselves in the medieval era. The game takes place on a huge map covering all of Europe, as well as large parts of Asia and Africa.

Crusader Kings III focuses mainly on expanding the sphere of influence of the dynasty, both through military actions and diplomacy. Stay vigilant and be careful at all times, because problems can be caused by other enemy rulers, as well as by your uncle plotting behind your back.

Factorio

Release date: February 25, 2016

This PC exclusive is a real phenomenon! Factorio is entertaining, makes you think hard, which can be frustrating and exhausting. However, we can not deny that this is one of the most interesting exhibits on the list. Expanding and managing a factory on an inhospitable planet is extremely rewarding.

You need to ensure adequate supplies of raw materials, optimize the production line so that everything works better and more efficiently, and defend the base against invasions of indigenous inhabitants who are not entirely happy that someone is ruling their area. Fortunately, this option can be turned off to be able to enjoy the unfettered expansion of the factory.

Loop Hero

Release date: March 4, 2021

Who would have expected a simple game combining roguelike, strategy and card games to be so popular? The phenomenon of this production is explained by well-managed marketing and the lack of major releases in 2021, but let's be real. Loop Hero is an amazing and highly addictive game. The biggest drawback is the peculiar graphic design, which is certainly lacking the universal appeal.

However, it is worth bearing through, because excellent gameplay more than pays off the mediocre visuals. The only question is how it will work on a small Steam Deck screen, because readability is the issue even on larger monitors.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Release date: March 30, 2020

Exactly on the 10th anniversary of Mount & Blade: Warband release, which is a standalone expansion for the popular Mount & Blade sandbox set in the Middle Ages, the second full-fledged installment of the series has appeared on Steam. Production is currently in Early Access, and the full premiere is scheduled for this holiday season.

However, the work on this game is taking a long while and it is not known whether the creators will manage to meet the deadline. After all, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord already has plenty of content that delivers fun for hours. When it comes to gameplay, fans got what they expected, combining an action game with a strategy and an RPG.

Rimworld

Release date: October 17, 2018

Rimworld is a rather unusual strategy game about managing an extraterrestrial colony of survivors. The group of survivors is composed of different people, each of whom has their own characteristics and predispositions, determining the approach to work and other residents.

As if that was not enough, the title implements the AI Storyteller function. This mechanism tracks the player's actions, flooding him with newer and newer goodies. Sometimes you may get bonuses in the form of a resource drop or the arrival of a new colonist, other times you will have to deal with an attack by bandits or food poisoning. Thanks to this, each game is played out differently.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Release date: October 2, 2009

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is coming out next year! The game will hit both PC and consoles (in this case as a temporary exclusive for Xbox). Before setting your foot in the Zone, check out the titles that started the buzz, which just so happens to be games only on PC.Although the first three parts are not the freshest of the titles, they are still very much playable and mesmerizing. 

Many of the recent horror games of the recent years can’t compete with its dark and intense atmosphere. A large community is gathered around it and modding groups are still active, which not only improve the mechanics, but even create full-fledged campaigns, introducing a lot of functions not available in the original.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Release date: May 23, 2019

The twelfth main installment of the iconic Total War series of the strategy games, just like its predecessors, combines turn-based gameplay on the world map with huge real-time battles. The Total War: Three Kingdoms campaign unravels in 190 CE, a time when ancient China was divided into three hostile kingdoms.

The player walks in the shoes of one of the dozen or so historical commanders and is faced with the task of reuniting the land. By the way, it is also worth mentioning that the other installments of Total War, including the latest A Total War Saga: Troy and Total War: Warhammer 3, which is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021, are also available on PC only, meaning they may as well be Steam Deck exclusives.

What about multiplayer games on Steam Deck?

There might be a slight problem here. Multiplayer games such as Destiny 2, Apex Legends, PUBG, and Rainbow Six Siege are not currently compatible with Linux-based SteamOS. More specifically, it's due to the built-in anti-cheat systems not starting, without which you won't be able to access the servers. 

Fortunately, Valve is aware of this issue and is working with software vendors to make sure everything works smoothly on Steam Deck's launch. There is plenty of time until December, so let's stay positive. 😉

Have you pre-ordered on Steam Deck? What game do you plan to run on Valve’s portable console first? Will you reach for PC exclusive games?

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