This article was last updated by Digital Trends contributor Cody Perez on 5/05/2020.
Doesn’t everyone like a virtual reality game filled with Martians or monsters? Or maybe you prefer real-world detective thrillers or challenging puzzles? PlayStation VR has all of these and more.
As Sony’s VR platform has grown in popularity, so has the variety of its games. Here’s the best games available for PSVR.
L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files
L.A. Noire remains one of the most unique and compelling games we’ve played, and in L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, you can experience the game’s most memorable missions within PlayStation VR. Seven cases from the original game are included, and the third-person perspective was replaced with a first-person view that is more suited to the platform.
No longer simply playing as Cole Phelps, you can feel as if you are the detective in post-war Los Angeles. Just make sure you’re careful not to fire at civilians when you start battling it out with criminals.
I Expect You to Die
It doesn’t technically have anything to do with 007 or the James Bond franchise, but I Expect You to Die delivers the white-knuckled and tense spy action you’d expect from the series. Armed with special telekinetic abilities, you must escape certain death using only your wits – and whatever tools you can find in the environment.
Defuse bombs and stop rooms from flooding before they kill you, and prove your handler wrong. I Expect You to Die’s retro aesthetic feels like it was pulled directly out of a ‘60s spy film, all with a healthy dose of humor to make each death feel a little less painful.
Batman: Arkham VR
Sure, Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham trilogy and Batman: Arkham Origins made you feel like the Dark Knight, but what if you could actually become Batman? Batman: Arkham VR switches the action to first-person view as you thwart the efforts of Gotham’s most nefarious criminals, solving puzzles along the way and taking out enemies with a variety of gadgets.
Though much shorter than Rocksteady’s other titles, the opportunity to step into the Caped Crusader’s suit and dawn his cowl is worth the price of admission, and it even expands on some characters’ stories from the other Arkham games.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Star Trek has an incredibly loyal and dedicated fanbase, and with Star Trek: Bridge Crew, they can jump into the chair of a Federation ship and help explore parts unknown. With the Vulcan population in search of a new home, it’s up to the crew of the U.S.S. Aegis to travel to The Trench in hopes of finding a replacement.
Played with a group of friends, the game supports real-time lip-sync to make it appear that the characters are actually speaking to each other, and a recent update now also allows those without PlayStation VR to experience Star Trek: Bridge Crew, as well.
A Fisherman’s Tale
A Fisherman’s Tale is the kind of game that could only exist in VR. You play as a fisherman puppet named Bob, who needs to get to the lighthouse before a terrible storm hits — at least that’s the setup. The reality of the situation is much more amusing and ultimately inventive. When Bob opens the model of his home, he sees himself, reacting to every move he makes.
Playing as a puppeteer, you must guide Bob on his adventure to the lighthouse, all the while manipulating the world and solving puzzles. The narrative shines, the puzzles are challenging but approachable, and the act of pulling the proverbial strings in VR makes for a constantly charming and impressive adventure.
Blood & Truth
When PlayStation VR Worlds launched alongside the headset a few years ago, one of its most promising inclusions was London Heist, a first-person shooter game inspired by Guy Ritchie films. Blood & Truth expands on the concept in a big way, delivering blockbuster-worthy action and espionage, complete with a budget we rarely see in VR.
Blood & Truth is not a proof-of-concept technical demo, but a full-fledged action shooter that can only work in virtual reality. Filled with twists and set-piece moments in between all of the gunplay, it’s one of the strongest games on the entire platform, and it’s certainly worth the price of admission.
Firewall Zero Hour
Excluding the excellent Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, there aren’t many competitive multiplayer shooters on PlayStation VR that work well. First Contact Entertainment’s Firewall Zero Hour not only fills this void but does it with brilliant tactical gameplay that fans of Rainbow Six Siege will instantly love.
With multiple playable characters and customizable weapons, you can outfit yourself with the exact gear you want to take into battle, and everyone in your squad must play a role to succeed. With the excellent PlayStation VR Aim Controller in your hands, you feel even closer to the action.
PSVR was not the best place to go for first-person shooters at launch, Impulse Gear’s Farpoint has made it our go-to headset for the genre. En route to study a mystery near Jupiter, an explosion sends you and your team barreling toward a scorched desert planet filled with hostile aliens. Separated from your crew members, you must fight your way through waves of enemies in hopes of reuniting with your friends and escaping from the planet in one piece.
While Farpoint makes a strong case for first-person shooters in VR, the PSVR Aim controller, a gun-shaped VR peripheral that you can buy bundled with the game, might be worth the investment for Farpoint alone. With the Aim, the game’s fast, frantic, and responsive combat makes you feel as if you are really in the thick of things on this alien world. While the story is underwhelming and the environments are repetitive and somewhat bland, the action itself makes Farpoint a must-play PSVR experience.
Read our full Farpoint review
There are several AAA first-person games with virtual reality support, but Doom VFR breaks the mold. Rather than just remaking 2016’s
As a recently deceased human who has had their consciousness transferred into an artificial brain matrix, it’s up to you to foil the demons’ plans and restore security to the facility. Like with the 2016 game, there are plenty of different ways to blow demons to smithereens, and a teleportation system lets you zip around the battlefield and lay down the pain in a hurry.
Read our full Doom VFR review
Serving as a sort of expansion to an already innovative title, Superhot VR tasks players with devising strategies to eliminate rooms full hostile enemies with pistols, shotguns, knives, bottles — whatever you can get your hands on. In the original, time stopped every time you did, causing enemies to remain stagnant as you calculate your next move. In VR, Superhot employs the stop-time mechanic with the PlayStation Move controllers, which act as your hands. The VR version remains a fast-paced first-person shooter with an emphasis on strategy, but in VR, Superhot‘s inherent tension ramps up. Will you try and go for the kill with your next movement, or come up with a less direct approach? The choice is yours.
Navigating Superhot‘s confined rooms, sifting past, and dismembering enemies has never been as satisfying as it is in VR. While the gameplay loop can get a bit frustrating due to the PSVR’s limited camera tracking capabilities, Superhot VR nonetheless provides a unique experience for PSVR owners. For that, it earns a spot on our list.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
At its best, a VR game can feel like the most intense thrill ride you’ve ever been on, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood understands this. The horror-shooter sends you onto a terrifying rollercoaster filled with monsters, and you must make quick use of your pistols, shotguns, and other weapons to survive.
The game includes multiple pathways, so you can continue to replay it as you work your way up the leaderboards, and around the Halloween season, it’s the perfect game to show to friends who aren’t familiar with PlayStation VR. Just don’t play it too close to bedtime.
Read our full Until Dawn: Rush of Blood review
The Exorcist: Legion
An episodic game based on the popular movie of the same name, The Exorcist: Legion places you in the shoes of a Boston homicide detective who investigates a disturbing murder of an area priest. Each episode tells a new part of the terrifying story, expanding its scope throughout, introducing you to new and terrifying horrors each step of the way. So far, three of the five episodes are available for PSVR.
Beware, this is probably the most frightening experience available on the platform. Filled with jump scares and nerve-wracking creepiness, you may have to take a few breaks before finishing each episode. The Exorcist: Legion is one of the more admirable video games based on a movie franchise in recent years. Horror fans should pick this one up immediately.
The Persistence combines two genres that we rarely see together: horror and rogue-likes. The eponymous spaceship is on a mission to colonize a planet far from Earth, but it goes off course and enters a black hole. Everyone on board dies, but as a science-fiction game, you have the opportunity to regain life by getting the ship back to Earth. The main problem is the spacecraft is now crawling with mutants that block your path to the ship’s controls.
The Persistence plays like a stealth game in that you have to sneak your way past ruthless enemies. If you get caught, you’re probably going to die (again). What makes The Persistence so great, besides its chilling atmosphere and brutal enemy design, is that each time you boot it up, a new ship layout is born. The ship’s floors and rooms are randomly generated, meaning that no matter how many times you play it, there is room for new frights.
Resident Evil 7
A fantastic game in its own right, Resident Evil 7 has (hopefully) paved the way for longer, more intense VR experiences, akin to the AAA games we’re used to playing on PS4 and Xbox One. The early 2017 title brought the series back to its heart-pounding horror roots, choosing to focus on ambiance and atmospheric tension over the action-heavy combat in recent entries. That creepy turn translates well to VR, as the spooky Baker household comes to life when played inside PSVR. Capcom optimized the controls for PSVR to mitigate excessive head-turning and nausea, which makes it possible to play for extended periods.
Resident Evil 7 is not for the faint of heart. It’s one of the most frightening games of this generation, and it’s at its scariest in PSVR. If you like getting spooked out, again and again, look no more. Resident Evil 7 on PSVR demonstrates that traditional console games can make the jump to VR while retaining their integrity and quality.
Read our full Resident Evil 7 review
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Remember the little robots that populate The Playroom, the pre-loaded game that comes with every PS4? Astro Bot Rescue Mission takes those little guys on a grand platforming adventure across five worlds and more than 50 levels. Astro Bot does for PSVR what Super Mario 64 did for Nintendo 64.
As a third-person platformer, Astro Bot excels similarly as Moss did before it, but its level design and a unique smattering of gadgets bring it to a level we haven’t experienced before on PSVR. Astro Bot does a stellar job of making you feel as if you are in the game, despite the perceived limitations of a third-person vantage point in VR.
It’s a wholesome, endlessly fun platformer that will more than likely go down as one of the all-time 3D platformer greats. Astro Bot is arguably the first game on PSVR worthy of being referred to as a system seller.
PlayStation VR went well over a year without a true killer app, but whimsical adventure Moss might just be that game. Framed as a children’s fairy tale — complete with a single narrator performing the voices of each character, as a parent would while reading to their child — Quill the mouse runs along and overcomes obstacles, you as the reader must also interact with the environment, yourself.
Plus, Moss makes great use of the PSVR’s control scheme while also using traditional gamepad control. It’s one of the first PSVR games to truly understand the potential of virtual reality technology, relying on more subtle motions and less of the motion-sickness-inducing jerky movements seen in other games.
Read our full Moss review
This dream-like adventure follows a mysterious dancing creature on a journey to fix her home. While the game has been available on PS4 and other platforms for some time, a new patch has made the game fully playable in PlayStation VR. Though it does not use virtual reality to great mechanical purpose, a surprisingly effective solution for its shifting cinematic camera and beautiful animation make Bound one the most impressive VR narratives we’ve tried yet.
Tetris Effect improbably makes the classic puzzle game feel new again. From the studio behind the Rez and the Lumines series’,
All around the board, calming backgrounds shift as you play.
In Ghost Giant, you watch over an anthropomorphic cat named Louis, aiding him on his quest to take care of his family and the people of the idyllic town of Sancourt. Like Moss, you’re a large entity helping the action from above, interacting with objects and the environment with PlayStation Move controllers to help Louis complete tasks.
The puzzles are mostly simplistic, but the real reason to play Ghost Giant is for its heartfelt story and charming atmosphere. Making great use of the technology, Ghost Giant tells a story that could only be depicted in VR. You can beat it in a weekend, but it’ll be a weekend well spent.
PlayStation VR’s simplest launch title was, and remains, one of its best. This 3D puzzler from Fez developer Polytron asks players to rotate an ever-expanding group of cubes to fit through a shaped hole in a steadily incoming wall. The cube-structure sits right in front of your face, so as it expands, you’ll have to crane your neck further and further to identify the shape of the hole.
While it may not transport you to a new world, the game’s mechanical use of virtual reality masterfully adapts a simple concept for VR and created something entirely new in the process. This may not be the best game to show friends who are new to VR, but it’s the one you will keep playing even after the novelty of VR has worn off.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
As you show off your fancy new PSVR to your friends, you may find it disappointing that opportunities for local multiplayer are few and far between. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, an asynchronous co-op game that forces you and your friends to defuse a bomb by solving a series of complicated puzzles, has been available on PC and other VR platforms for some time, but it is a ton of fun.
On PSVR, the player wearing the headset is the only one who can interact with the bomb. The rest of the room has to walk them through the steps to wade through a 23-page online manual to find the solution to each puzzle. Unique, challenging, and great for weekend nights with friends or family, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a great game for every PSVR owner to have up his or her sleeve.
When it comes to rhythm games on PlayStation VR, none are better than Beat Saber. A phenomenon in thevirtual reality community, it has some of the best music-based action around. It takes the Move controllers and turns them into literal musical lightsabers that you use to destroy blocks on the right beat.
With a wide range of popular songs, you can have fun, feel awesome, and get a decent musical workout all in the same game. Just make sure to clear the room first as flailing your arms around wildly in Beat Saber can be dangerous to your TV and loved ones.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s cult classic shooter returns, and it’s trippy as hell. Aside from a new VR-exclusive level, Infinite is a remaster of the original PlayStation 2 game, which came out in 2001. Virtual reality, however, has made the game feel fresh again. The experience of flying through cyberspace, tagging and shooting vector-based enemies with a look, forces you to keep your head on a swivel and your eyes constantly exploring. Though it may feel a little fast-paced for some players new to VR, Rez Infinite is a game you’ll play for longer and longer over time.
Described as rhythmic violence, Thumper reframes Amplitude-style rhythmic tapping as futuristic combat against gigantic virtual monsters. Players control a metallic space beetle running along a track to an electronic beat, tapping, sliding, and bracing to hit everything your enemy throws at you.
While its VR elements are mostly cosmetic, the ominous atmosphere of wavy tentacles and giant glowing eyes emerging from the void is incredibly impressive. Get distracted for even a second, and you’ll lose your flow (and possibly your entire run.) Thumper is an absolute delight, amplified to new heights with its move to PSVR.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Nearly nine years later and we’re somehow still talking about Skyrim. The 2011 Bethesda RPG captivated gamers with its expansive open world, but its allure came from its choose-your-adventure mentality. After a series of ports that have made it impossible for Skyrim to fade into the past, the fantasy experience entered the proposed future of gaming — virtual reality. For a game as wide in scope as Skyrim, its voyage onto PSVR is extremely impressive.
The visuals line up more closely to the original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Skyrim, but it’s hard to consider that too much of a knock given the scope of this title. The game can be played with the PlayStation Move controllers, adding more immersive combat. While the default movement system effectively utilizes short-range teleportation to remove the threat of motion sickness, the free movement actually works surprisingly well — better than other first-person games on the platform. Skyrim hasn’t quite overstayed its welcome just yet, and returning to Tamriel in VR is a delight, sure to intrigue longtime fans and newcomers alike.
Read our full The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR review
Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
Who would’ve thought that mundane jobs could be so fun in VR? Owlchemy Labs apparently did, and it was right. In Job Simulator, it’s the year 2050, and humans have automated every job on the planet. As a bored human looking to pass the time, you use VR to simulate the past and learn about what it was like to work for a living back in the good ‘ole days. (Or at least what our robot servants assume it was like to work).
The four mundane job scenarios — office worker, gourmet chef, convenience store clerk, and mechanic — each provide new ways to play. Yes, Job Simulator even makes the seemingly dreadful job of working as a cashier hilarious and fun. The reason Job Simulator succeeds so well has to do with how it uses VR. One of the main draws of the technology is that you can touch objects that aren’t actually there. In Job Simulator, the world is your oyster, and almost everything can be touched, picked up, and thrown. Throw in some silly jokes and the world of Job Simulator remains one of our favorite places to visit in VR.
BoxVR won’t give you the actual boxing simulation gameplay of something like Creed: Rise to Glory, but in its place is a game that can give you a genuine workout. BoxVR plays like Guitar Hero or Beat Saber, but with musical notes and sword swipes replaced by boxing moves. You must jab, hook, and uppercut the symbols that move toward you, and even dodge and block to keep your combo going.
You can genuinely work up a sweat playing BoxVR, and though it does require a little more room than most stationary PlayStation VR games, it is still much less space than you would need for a traditional gym. The bumping soundtrack and statistics trackers should also help to keep you motivated when you might otherwise want to quit. Because the routines are designed by real fitness experts, you can be sure they’re effective, too.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
Making a play for VR’s first e-sport, RIGS is a fast-paced arena sport where two teams of three players piloting giant mechs fight to accrue the most points in five-minute matches. There are three different types of play, awarding points for kills, carrying a ball through the opposing team’s goal, or charging up your mech with takedowns and then leaping through a central ring, respectively.
With multiple online and offline gameplay modes, in addition to solo skill trials and unlockable customization options for your rig and pilot, RIGS is one of the most fully realized games available in VR currently, where most releases still feel like tech demos. Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun, and if it attracts a critical mass of regular players into a sustainable community, it has the potential to be an early pillar of the medium.
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