If 4K gameplay with high framerate and HDR support isn’t enough to make you feel immersed in your games, you might want to stop looking at the television and put on a virtual reality headset instead. Whether you’re playing on PlayStation 4 or PC, there are plenty of VR games to choose from across several genres, and we’ve selected some of the best of them per platform.
For PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift, we stuck to the exclusives. As the Vive doesn’t focus heavily on exclusives, several of the games listed for that headset are also available on the Rift and PlayStation VR, and programs also allow you to play many Rift games on the Vive.
These are the best virtual reality games you can play right now.
Blood & Truth
The PlayStation VR has been one of the most popular virtual reality devices in history, but it didn’t have a true killer app before Blood & Truth. Based on the “London Heist” component of PlayStation VR Worlds, the full follow-up is essentially a playable Guy Ritchie movie. Car chases, tons of gunfights, stealth components, and thrilling set-pieces make it one of the most impressive games in VR, which should come as no surprise when you see it comes from the same studio behind The Getaway. Blood & Truth is the reason to get PlayStation VR, and it goes beyond merely proving the usefulness of the technology.
Gran Turismo Sport VR mode
Gran Turismo Sport is one of the most realistic racing games on the market, delivering an impressive amount of authenticity both in the included vehicles as well as the locations, and it has an impressive number of modes and features to keep any gearhead busy. The action really heats up, however, when you virtually step into a car in the game’s VR mode, which offers all the thrill of first-person racing with none of the danger — and if you ding the bumper, you don’t have to pay for repairs!
Firewall: Zero Hour
Far removed from the frenetic and over-the-top games typically seen on virtual reality devices, Firewall: Zero Hour is a tactical multiplayer shooter that plays on the basic mechanics of Rainbow Six Siege to create one of the first truly competitive games on PlayStation VR. Using the PlayStation VR Aim controller, you choose one of 12 characters and carefully move forward with your squad as you pick off enemies and hide behind cover. There are also cooperative and solo modes to help you get used to the gunplay, or just to practice working as a team.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard VR mode
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard swapped the series’ traditional third-person action for a first-person perspective, making it even more terrifying to go down an unfamiliar hallway or turn a dark corner. Naturally, playing this in virtual reality makes it feel like you’re actually being hunted down by a mutated Louisianan family. The entire game is playable in VR mode, and during the Halloween season, there’s no better way to get yourself scared than to turn off all the lights, put in your earbuds, and head into the house.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
In need of a little more “pew pew” in your VR horror games? Look no further than Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. An on-rails shooter rather than the timing-and-choice-based adventure of the main Until Dawn, it’s no less frightening. Taking place on a rollercoaster with multiple possible paths, you have to defend yourself against spooky monsters with a variety of weapons, which you can dual-wield for even more deadliness. As the game was free on PlayStation Plus and features global leaderboards, you should have plenty of friends’ high scores to try to beat as well.
Rigs: Mechanized Combat League
When a studio can’t decide between making a first-person shooter and a sports game, they come up with Rigs: Mechanized Combat League. The late Guerilla Cambridge’s hybrid game was one of the headset’s best launch titles, delivering an exhilarating mix of teamwork, fast-paced action, and verticality. Rigs feels like the craziest game of paintball you’ve ever played, but with mechanized suits instead of dudes in plastic masks, and it has several different multiplayer modes as well as a single-player career mode to switch things up.
I Expect You to Die
The Oculus Rift is perfectly capable of playing games originally meant for traditional consoles or PC, but Schell Games wasn’t interested in that market. Instead, the studio developed I Expect You to Die, a game that can only exist in virtual reality. As a telekinetic secret agent, it’s your job to escape from and infiltrate a variety of dangerous scenarios, using items you find in the environment to your advantage. The pin of a fire extinguisher can be used to disarm a grenade, while a leaky pipe can cool down an engine nicely. Schell Games might expect you to die, but you don’t have to accept your fate.
Dirt Rally VR
You can get a taste of VR driving in Gran Turismo Sport on the PlayStation VR, but if you want to experience a full racing game from a headset, you’ll want to pick up Dirt Rally. Available both as a component of the Steam release as well as a standalone game via the Oculus store, Dirt Rally VR takes all of the game’s modes and makes them compatible with the rift. The game features both single-player and multiplayer, and a variety of outdoor locations to view as you race and attempt not to crash your vehicle.
Classic 3D platforming games are a rarity these days, and it’s even rarer to see them in virtual reality. Lucky’s Tale checks both boxes, with plenty of collectibles and challenging jumps, as well as the additional camera control provided by the Oculus Rift. Lucky is an adorable mascot, bringing back memories of heroes like Banjo-Kazooie. Lucky’s Tale is free if you own the headset, and if you decide you love the game, a non-VR version called Super Lucky’s Tale is also available on Xbox One and PC.
Edge of Nowhere
For something a little bit darker in a third-person perspective, Insomniac Games has you covered with Edge of Nowhere. A horror game that blends natural terrors — like certain death after falling off an ice cliff — with fears a little more rooted in fantasy, it’s another example of Insomniac’s masterful storytelling. Edge of Nowhere is certainly less cartoonish than the other games we’ve seen from the company, but it combines gameplay and narrative in a way that is just as compelling.
Rock Band VR
Playing guitar but wishing there were a few more fans — or a fan – to cheer you on? With Rock Band VR, you can live out the fantasy of being a rock star with an adoring audience jamming along to your tunes. Using an Oculus Touch or a Rock Band 4 controller, you can play along like a classic Rock Band game or improvise and experiment, all while standing on a virtual stage. Unlike real life, the club you’re playing doesn’t smell like stale sweat, either.
Developed by Crytek – the company behind technically stunning games like Crysis – The Climb allows you to experience all the thrills of mountain climbing without the risk of dying if you manage to slip. It is filled with shortcuts for more adventurous players, supports multiplayer, and it even has a “tourist mode” so your friends can try it out without having to master all of its mechanics.
Who could have predicted that a dancing game that uses two virtual lightsabers would be among VR’s biggest hits? Beat Saber tasks you with slashing incoming blocks using color-coded saber swings, and the intensity varies depending on the song you select. There are plenty of options for customization even including your own songs on PC, and you’ll be able to get a great workout by merely doing what you’ve already pretended you could do for decades: Swing a lightsaber. With content added regularly, Beat Saber is a game you’ll be playing for months or years on end.
Fallout 4 VR
It’s Fallout 4 and it’s in VR. This isn’t a sampler or a teaser of what a full Fallout game could be like in virtual reality, but the entire Fallout 4 experience made playable on the HTC Vive. From killing mutant creatures to building your dream community, you can do it all from behind the headset, which should make some of the game’s more emotional choices even more impactful. Of course, you could also just go out and cause as much mayhem as possible. It’s up to you.
Want to enter the world of 2016’s Doom and look demons in the eyes as you rip their jaws in half and stomp on their mutilated corpses? With Doom VFR, you totally can. Rather than turn the existing game into a VR shooting gallery, Id Software created an entirely new story for Doom VFR, which sees you working on demon cleanup duty to stop an outbreak from destroying a Mars-based research center. Most importantly, however, it just gives you an excuse to kick some demon ass.
One of the most unique first-person shooters and adventure games ever made, the original Superhot’s hook — a world that only moves when you move — creates a sense of tactical awareness not typically seen in the genre. The VR version builds on that great foundation, and updates have added additional challenges, levels, and even an option to beat the game without ever firing a gun. Speed and careful planning will be necessary to make it out alive.
Creed: Rise to Glory
The film Creed II sees Adonis Creed facing off against Ivan Drago’s son in a battle that mirrors the plot of the objectively great Rocky IV, and in preparation for his most important fight to date, Creed must train to be the best boxer on the planet. Creed: Rise to Glory lets you do just that, with vicious punching controls, player-versus-player fights, and training alongside the legendary Rocky Balboa. You can even visit some of the films’ famous locations to really get in the mindset of a Philadelphian fighter. Now cut me, Mick!
Don’t let the benign title fool you: Arizona Sunshine is all about zombies. The desert western setting is merely a backdrop for the vicious undead looking to eat you, bones and all, and you can take a friend along for the ride as you attempt to survive. Unlike some similar VR shooters, you are free to move around the environment naturally in Arizona Sunshine, and you have access to more than two dozen weapons to slaughter the zombies you encounter.
The Oculus Quest’s wires-free, self-contained design makes it the perfect VR headset to use for fitness, and BoxVR is one of the most effective exercising games on the platform. Rather than battle against another boxer, BoxVR has you practice your various punches against incoming symbols. You also must dodge out of the way of approaching walls, and block attacks to keep your score as high as possible. As you do this, the game keeps full track of your calories burnt, and the total accumulates for a week, which lets you easily keep track of fitness progress.
Who said you needed a camera or Wii Remote to play Dance Central? In the VR version available on Oculus Quest, nearly anywhere can be a dance party as you jam along to the beat and try to strike all the correct poses. Complete with online multiplayer, 32 different songs, and the lively art style we have come to expect from the Dance Central games, its debut on Oculus Quest will let you boogie to your favorite tunes in your bedroom or the middle of the park. Just don’t get too surprised at the looks you receive.
The Oculus Quest is great for shorter game experiences, but it’s still perfectly capable of handling larger story-driven games, as well. Apex Construct is a futuristic action game filled with bow-and-shield combat, as well as secrets to find and upgrades to unlock. It’s a full-fledged adventure that doesn’t sacrifice its action, story, or world-building in the move to a portable platform, and it’s the perfect game to play when you want to experience something a little bit deeper than Dance Central or BoxVR.
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- The best Oculus Rift games available today