Kingdom Hearts is finally on Steam and it’s perfect for the Steam Deck

The PC versions of the Kingdom Hearts games are finally available on Steam, meaning they can finally be played on the Steam Deck

The original Kingdom Hearts feels perfectly suited for a handheld, and thanks to the Steam Deck we know it’s true(Square Enix)

The Kingdom Hearts series has finally arrived on Steam after three years of Epic exclusivity – and it’s already the best way to play these classics

To tell you the truth, I’ve never understood why people get so mad about games coming to PC as Epic Games Store exclusives rather than releasing on Steam. Sure, opening another launcher is a bit of a pain in the arse, but it’s not the end of the world. At least that was the case until the Steam Deck came along. Once I had a taste of playing my PC games on-the-go, things absolutely changed; sure you can technically play Epic Games Store titles on Steam Deck as well by installing the launcher in desktop mode and tinkering with Proton compatibility setings, but in my experience it requires a lot of faff and often times impacts performance.

Kingdom Hearts being one of the longest-held Epic Games exclusives only made this worse. The games arrived on PC back in early 2021, and since then Square Enix titles have released onto the Epic Store as exclusives before coming to Steam in a way shorter timeframe – Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins released onto Epic in March 2022 and arrived on Steam just over a year later in June 2024 for example. So my hopes were not high that the series would come over. However, after three years, almost the entire Kingdom Hearts series has arrived on Steam – and by extension, the Steam Deck. Naturally, I had to boot up the bizarrely named ‘Kingdom Hearts -HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX-‘ (I’m just going to call it Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5, though).

I don’t know if it’s just me, but since getting the Steam Deck, I’ve come to find PS2-era games being the sweet-spot in terms of what I love playing on my handhelds. The likes of Metroid Prime Remastered over on Nintendo Switch and Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection on Steam Deck just feel right to play. Another thing that is perfectly suited to handhelds is RPG’s so naturally getting Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 onto a handheld was one of those pipe dreams. And yes, the Kingdom Hearts games did release onto the Nintendo Switch in 2022 as cloud versions, but those are so bad that I’m not counting them (cloud versions for a collection of what are mostly PS2 games still baffles me).

But of course, when it comes to Steam Deck there’s always the underlying fear that it will run poorly (as Dragon’s Dogma 2‘s underwhelming performance on the handheld demonstrates), so in the lead-up to launch, the fear did set in a little, especially since the Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection took a few updates to iron out issues on Steam Deck.

Thankfully, from what I’ve played so far (which is a big chunk of Kingdom Hearts 2) it runs like a dream on Steam Deck. And while not every game in the collection is a winner (here’s looking at you RE: Chain of Memories, you stink) you’re still getting two of the best PS2 games in one collection. Plus, if you’re keen to get in on the bonkers Kingdom Hearts lore, all of the PSP, DS, and 3DS entries have been brought up to date via this collection and its follow up, the equally strangely named ‘Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue’.