Just bought an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Gear VR or a Daydream headset? These are the games you need to play
Have you recently acquired one of the best VR headsets around? Chances are, you’re looking to sink your teeth into some games that will really show off what your new piece of hardware is capable of.
The best VR games offer up truly transportive experiences, taking you into the depths of space, the tops of mountains and even to the bottom of the ocean. Some VR games relish in placing you in unfathomable situations, full of obstacles and perils.
To make that choice easier, we’ve put together this list of our favourite VR games across all of the main platforms, grouping Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR into one list, and mobile platforms into another. This is mostly because many games on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive also find their way over to PlayStation VR, and vice versa. Some mobile games make the jump, but most tend to stick to a single platform.
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Best VR games for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR
L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files
HTC Vive (£24.99)
Rockstar’s first foray into VR games is absolutely impeccable. There’s definitely some shortcomings to the experience, namely how it’s only select cases rather than all ofL.A. Noire, but this is one of the most impressive and immersive VR games you’ll ever experience. If following the rise and fall of one of Los Angeles’ finest cops doesn’t do it for you, perhaps the antics you can get up to will entice you in.
The Elder Scrolls and Virtual Reality are a match made in heaven – it’s hard to think of a world more immersive, expansive, and inspiring than that of Skyrim, and Skyrim VR takes that experience to a whole new level. Gameplay will take some getting used to, especially if your RPG experience up until now has been spent lying supine on the sofa, but once you get to grips with the basic VR mechanics you’ll never look back.
It’s one thing to play Skyrim on a console or PC, but playing it in VR is a whole other league. You’ll feel truly involved as you climb that mountain, take in that breathtaking vista or battle that dragon.
Combat in Skyrim VR really redefines the experience; there’s nothing quite like swinging a hefty sword into an oncoming bandit’s face using your own arm. This is visceral, satisfying, and rewarding stuff. The only complaint we had is that it’s too tiring to play Skyrim VR for 12 hours at a time, which is how we usually enjoy Bethesda’s open world games.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
PlayStation VR (£15)
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard harks back to the series’ glory days, letting you explore a twisted mansion full of horrors, backtracking through explored environments only to find new threats. The major difference with this Resident Evil is its switch to a first-person view. Call it an Outlast rip-off if you will, but that’s a disservice to Capcom’s long-running horror series. It’s intense even before you decide to don your PlayStation VR and immerse yourself in its world.
Oculus Rift (£29.99)
Launching as the first room-scale Oculus Rift title, Lone Echo tells the story of an advanced robotic assistant tasked with looking after a space station while conducting scientific research. One thing leads to another –chiefly a space anomaly occurs and ruins everything – and it’s down to you to investigate what’s gone wrong.
Not only is it an excellent Rift-exclusive, but its use of zero-gravity gameplay and stunning visuals make Ready At Dawn’s first major VR title an absolute joy to play. It’s not a short-lived experience either, this is a meaty game in its own right.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (from £19.99)
Designed to be the biggest space simulation in history, Fronteir’s Elite: Dangerous gives you free reign in a universe of 400 billion star systems. Around 150,000 are actually modelled on real-world astronomical data, with the rest algorithmically generated using current known scientific models. It’s a gargantuan project and, for anyone who absolutely dreams of exploring space, it’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to being there.
It may not have been designed as a VR title from the outset, but Frontier has done more than simply patch it in, they’ve optimised and built Elite: Dangerous up to be one of the best VR games ever made. Unfortunately, PS4 players will still have to wait to experience it in VR as Frontier still claim it’s not quite there in terms of quality yet.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes turns the concept of isolation in VR completely on its head. This multiplayer game requires one person to wear the VR headset defusing a bomb while others hurriedly flick through a physical bomb-defusing manual trying to help. It’s an odd concept to wrap your head around, but once the bomb-defusing cogs are in motion, you can’t help but get sucked in.
Radial-G: Racing Revolved
For those hankering for a slice ofF-Zero, Wipeoutorthe return of Extreme-G, Radial-G is the game for you. Moving at a breakneck pace in VR, Radial-G is anti-gravity racing where tracks are formed from wrap-around tubes. It’s fast, frantic and you can go head-to-head with 15 other racers, be they AI or online human opponents. The only thing I will say is it definitely requires a steely stomach at times!
Best VR games for Gear VR and Daydream VR
Gear VR (£7.99)
Set in a neon-soaked neo-noir future, Augmented Empire is an intriguing turn-based strategy game with a contextual one-button approach to gameplay. Playing in a similar way to Xcom: Enemy Unknown, stages take place in a diorama-like setting and battles occur in the same environments used for storytelling. It’s an intriguing approach to design and one that works wonderfully as it allows for immersive play without any of the discomforts associated with long VR gameplay sessions.
Gunjack 2: End of Shift
EVE: Gunjack was a mobile VR arcade experiment developed by CCP games as a way to test the potential for the likes of Gear VR and Google Daydream. Gunjack 2: End of Shift evolves upon the original’s premise of being a gun operator on a huge spaceship. It’s still great fun to play and, if you’ve not got access to Google Daydream, it’s still worth picking up the prequel.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Working in exactly the same way as on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes takes the multiplayer-focused VR chaos to your mobile. It’s just as superb, and can now be taken absolutely anywhere!
On paper, Twilight Pioneers sounds like it just can’t work in VR. It’s a first-person action RPG where you fight one-on-one with big bosses and navigate your way around the environment through teleportation. Oh, and it’s only available on Daydream. In reality, however, it’s great fun. You might feel a bit disoriented at first, but for a free VR game, there’s plenty of polish here to make it a worthwhile addition to your VR library.
Minecraft: Gear VR Edition
Gear VR (£4.99)
It’s Minecraft but in VR. What more could you want?