The Best VR Games You Can Play Right Now

Future’s, made of, virtual insanity 

Virtual Reality has become a major force in gaming, bringing experiences that traditional consoles could never achieve. It’s a concept that’s existed for decades but was only truly broached by Nintendo in 1995 with their Virtual Boy, a console best forgotten. It never truly kicked off until the Oculus Rift’s development in 2010, created by Palmer Luckey after experiencing frustrations with then-existing hardware. 

Since 2010 we’ve seen Microsoft, Valve, HTC and Sony present their own, fully-fledged hardware through various headsets. As with all great hardware, this was backed up by an excellent library of software. Providing a new means of immersion (and occasionally some motion sickness), early efforts saw a few hiccups, often feeling like tech demos, but the last few years have seen developers bring us incredible experiences. 

Best VR Games

It’s been hard to narrow down the best experiences going and many games at least deserve honourable mention. Moss, Space Pirate Trainer, Blasters of the Universe, No Man’s Sky, Walking Dead Saints and Sinners, I Expect You To Die and Firewall: Zero Hour are just a few. There’s a lot of great experiences on the way too, Half-Life Alyx chief amongst them, but here are some of best VR games at this time.

Budget Cuts

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality). Confirmed for PS4

Corporate satire is common in gaming but rarely does it primarily focus on issues faced by automation. Released in 2018 on PC and scheduled for PSVR this year, Budget Cuts took this concept and turned it into an action stealth title. 

Playing an employee of megacorporation TransCorp, you find your job under threat, as TransCorp also happen to be experts at producing cost-cutting robots. Seeing one of your colleagues dragged off to HR, you later find a mysterious package at your desk, and this sets the stage for your fightback. 

Its let down by clunky physics from time to time but developers Neat Corporation have confirmed that these will be updated to match their recently released sequel, Budget Cuts 2. This aside, however, it’s a title with great humour, interesting puzzles and some highly satisfying kills.

Eve Valkyrie: Warzone

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift) PS4

MMORPG’s are some of gaming’s most enduring titles. Originally launched in 2003, CCP Games have seen massive success with Eve: Online. Renowned for its overwhelming scale and complexity, players engage in unscripted competition, warfare and political schemes with each other, vying for virtual supremacy and creating countless amounts of fascinating stories with it, all created via user experiences.

Even now, it remains a highly popular MMORPG, so it’s not surprising CCP wished to branch out the franchise further. After their free-to-play shooter, Dust 514, launched in 2014 and shut down two years later, EVE: Valkyrie arrived in 2016 and put players directly in the cockpit. A space dogfighter, it featured a heavy emphasis on its PvP missions, allowing 8 vs 8 combat and a limited set of single-player missions.

It received criticism for the short campaign, but it was a highly exhilarating experience, feeling like an arcade game and it actually felt like you were inside the cockpit. It’s a first-generation VR title, and this shows with lack of campaign content, but it’s still a highly competent multiplayer game and worth revisiting.

Boneworks

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality)

On the opposite end of the scale, Boneworks is an experience best recommended for more experienced VR users. Developed by Stress Level Zero, who previously brought us horror game “Duck Season”, it released four months ago, arriving on all major VR headsets. 

Within the story, you play as Arthur Ford, head of security company Monogon.  Becoming involved in a wider incident after MythOS, Monogon’s digital city, you enter lockdown due to a void breach and encounter both rogue AI enemies and holographic soldiers along the way. Described as an “experimental physics VR adventure”, it comes with a campaign and extensive sandbox mode, attempting to replicate realistic combat through a complicated physics system. 

It has some plot issues, and it suffered from the occasional bugs, but Boneworks is a solid game overall. It’s a well-developed engine, where physics actually feel realistic in their weight when being moved or picked up and provides some enjoyable gameplay. 

Gorn

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality). Confirmed for PS4

GORN came to prominence for its more cartoonish visual style, approaching the point of violent parody with comical levels of gore. Developed by Free Lives, previously known for their excellent co-op run and gun title Broforce, it represented their first venture into Virtual Reality, and it left a lasting impression.

A physics-driven combat game that allows players to execute fellow gladiators in the most violent manner they can think of. Providing a wide range of weaponry including swords, maces, knives, war hammers and even shields, you must prove yourself in combat and become the strongest gladiator.

Released last year, GORN’s over the top battles proved both comedic and highly enjoyable, keeping us coming back for more. PSVR owners will be pleased to know that it’s due to release on PS4 later this year and is certainly worth the wait.

Arizona Sunshine

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index), Oculus Quest, PS4

Virtual Reality has seen its share of Zombie games, but Arizona Sunshine was amongst the first. An FPS game, it released back in 2016 at the hands of Vertigo Games. Seeing you playing an explorer, you start within a cave near an Arizona river valley when you find a radio signal which appears to be a human voice and go out in search of it.

Combining free exploration with killing zombies, it features both this campaign and a horde mode, where you attempt to survive increasingly difficult waves of zombie attacks. Both modes are available in single-player and multiplayer and the more players involved, the harder it becomes.

It presented some of the best multiplayer fun you can experience in Virtual Reality and one of the best VR games as a result. Plus, developer support has not let up with continued DLC releases. For horror fans, it’s an experience worth playing.

Superhot VR

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality), Oculus Quest, PS4

Superhot was an indie hit when it first released in early 2016. Starting life as an entrant in 2013’s 7 Day FPS Challenge, positive early reception convinced its developers to make a full release, and it secured funding the next year via Kickstarter. Featuring a minimalistic art style and unique premise, one where “time only moves as you move”, it received critical acclaim upon launching.

A VR version was promised in that Kickstarter campaign, and by the end of 2016, Superhot Team delivered on this. In its move to VR, Superhot Team rebuilt it from scratch as opposed to utilising existing assets, realising certain gameplay aspects didn’t translate well. 

Retaining the core concept, time instead flows in reaction to body, head and hand movement. It feels like a natural extension of the original game, providing an immersive experience that’s genuinely fun and feels right at home in VR. 

Beat Saber

Available on: PC (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality), Oculus Quest, PS4

Chances are that if you know much about VR, you know that Beat Saber is one of the best VR games. Created by Czechia-based studio Beat Games, their debut title became the next evolution of the music game genre, swapping plastic accessories for a VR headset and motion controllers. You control two coloured light sabers, and as each level begins, you’ll be presented with a set of coloured blocks to slice with the corresponding saber. 

You get scored based on how well-timed these cuts are made, with a multiplier in effect that builds up with consecutive hits.  Its purely a music game and there’s no story here, just a campaign mode with different challenge objectives for songs. It’s seen a large library expansion recently through DLC packs and free songs, but the initial library was quite limited. 

That, in turn, fuelled the PC modding community, who begun creating new maps with popular songs. This led to increased attention online, becoming the focus of many Twitch streams and Youtube videos. With its release on Oculus Quest and PS4, it’s sold over 1 million copies and landed itself amongst the best-selling VR games of all-time.