I play a lot of games, (Recently even got The Outer Worlds working in wine.) And the easiest path from blank to running smoothly to me is as follows:
Arch as the distro, because it’s first what I’m used to, and secondly very easy to grab everything you might need from the AUR.
I like to use a tilingWM, for a few reasons. They tend to be insanely lightweight compared to the usual full fledged DE’s, and also, I have two monitors and sometimes for reasons I can’t figure out, games like to open on my terrible tiny monitor instead of my nice gaming one, with a floating WM that’s hard to fix. Tiling means I can tell it to do what I want whether or not it likes it. My choice for this is HerbstluftWM, because it’s sexy, and you won’t convince me otherwise.
Steam is a vital requirement obviously, and I’m on nvidia, so I need steam, steam-native-runtime (just in case) and nvidia / lib32-nvidia-utils. For most games that’ll cover it, but the latest trend to exclusivity has made a few extra things needed. Proton is amazing, but it doesn’t tend to work with the epic games store, or whatever else you might need that isn’t covered by steam. So Lutris works. The best thing about Lutris on arch is there are AUR packages that will pull in the wine versions you need to get things running easily.
A few games need extra things, you kinda have to look those up depending on the game, but this’ll get things going and running pretty smoothly most of the time.