An entire 76 of the 100 most-played games on Steam are either Verified or Playable on a Steam Deck, a milestone that shows developers, at least, are enthusiastic about Valve's handheld gaming PC. That probably means things are working out on the player end too, if all these people are seeing
This Linux gaming blog Boiling Steam first noticed that of the 97 games in the top 100—removing Wallpaper Engine, Soundpad, and the Source SDK Base 2007—that 73 of them were Steam Deck playable or verified. I took this one step further, and just looked at the next three games to round out that 100—and yep, Squad, Slay the Spire, and Brotato all do just fine on the deck.
That rounds out to a not very smooth 76 out of 100. Suspiciously like a PC Gamer review score. Or like an, uh, 19 out of 25, if you prefer that one. 38 out of 50? Either way, those games are rated either Verified, meaning Valve thinks they work flawlessly, or Playable, meaning they work with one or two caveats—bringing up the on-screen keyboard to enter text, or bad interface scaling, for example.
The big exception, however, is pretty big: Those 21 games from the top 100 that don't work on Steam Deck are mostly there because they're older, marquee, highly-played games that have extensive anti-cheat software involved that just doesn't exist on Linux. We're talking games like PUBG, Destiny 2, Rainbow Six Siege, and home-grown Steam hit Rust, not to mention MMOs like Black Desert. Making their anti-cheat work is just technical debt that developers aren't interested in finding time to fix.
Still, as this platform grows and more people become interested, ever more hardware optimizations will become available. Since we know that Steam Deck 2 ain't happening soon, and even Valve is investing time in stuff like ray tracing and volumetric effects. It's also increasingly likely that future games from these bigger developers will consider making support for the Deck's operating system of choice a priority.
Either way, this is a real capstone for the last month of Steam Deck news, which included stuff like a really sick game data transfer feature and the Steam Deck's first sale. We've also finally, properly got a list going of the best Steam Deck accessories, including a harrowing story of how Katie made upgrading the Steam Deck's SSD way harder than it had to be.