With the advent of platforms like the Oculus Quest 2, VR has never been more accessible. Setups that once required a massive commitment of time and resources — not to mention space — have become remarkably easy to use. While the Oculus Quest 2 is one of the more popular options when it comes to VR headsets, we’ve included titles that use HTC Vive, Steam VR, and Oculus Rift headsets as well.
Once you get past the fact that you’re going to look silly, no matter what game you’re playing, you’re bound to have a great time with our list of the best titles you can play with your VR headset of choice. While the majority of our top picks for this year are available on all VR headsets, there are some notable exceptions. If you’re wondering if a game will work with your particular headset, we’ve outlined that at the bottom of each entry.
Beat Saber features an existing library of free songs but also features songs from popular artists like Skrillex and Billie Eilish that are available for purchase individually or as part of a bundle. Furthermore, with a little bit of elbow grease, you can even add your own tunes.
At a base level, Beat Saber is relatively simple, having you cut through incoming cubes in specific directions to the rhythm of the song. However, like most rhythm games, Beat Saber has a remarkably high skill ceiling, becoming downright relentless on the higher difficulties.
Dance Central VR
From the same house that brought us Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Harmonix is a studio that knows how to make us look ridiculous in our living rooms while making us feel incredibly cool. Dance Central VR is the logical evolution of this franchise that debuted on the Kinect, and anyone familiar with the classic Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance titles will know what to expect here.
The game features 32 songs and several remixes that bridge eras and genres from ‘80s hip-hop to modern alternative. There are a dozen or so DLC songs available; however, the store is no longer receiving updates and there is presently no way to add your own, unlike Beat Saber.
Dance Central VR is by far the most active game on our list and even has a rudimentary built-in fitness tracking function that provides you with a rough estimate of how many calories you’ve burned.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift
The Climb 2
Definitely not for the acrophobic (fear of heights), The Climb 2 leverages the same engine used for the Far Cry franchise into a game focused on mountaineering — or more specifically, rock climbing. The Climb 2 features 12 peaks of steadily increasing difficulty spread across four distinct environments ranging from alpine mountain ranges to urban cityscapes. Each ascent features multiple routes to the top and a scoring system to keep you competing against the best of the best with a global leaderboard.
The mechanics of the game are simple and intuitive — using your hands to grip and climb is something that comes pretty naturally. There are some wrinkles that open up as you progress through the game, however, forcing you to leap across gaps and perform tricky “technical holds” to extend your grip on trickier ledges. While not fitness-oriented, playing The Climb 2 for extended periods will definitely work up a sweat, or at the very least, some clammy hands.
The Climb 2 also features seasonal events that rotate every few months that can net you exclusive cosmetic rewards, and while the gameplay isn’t terribly deep, there’s still enough incentive to keep you playing year-round.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift
Resident Evil 4 VR
This classic entry in the Resident Evil franchise has been rereleased more times than we can count, but making the leap to VR platforms has given this aged game a new lease on life. This iteration keeps most of what made the entry great to begin with while excising some parts that have perhaps not aged well.
Besides moving the action to a first-person perspective, Resident Evil 4 VR also ups the tension significantly by turning many of the actions that would be relegated to a button press, such as reloading, into manual efforts. It takes more than a few failed attempts before you can successfully reload without panicking.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest 2
Who knew that the next Half-Life game we got would be exclusively for VR? Not that we’re complaining, Half-Life: Alyx feels like a game that was built exclusively for VR platforms from the ground up. While some other titles feel like they were ported to VR, Half-Life: Alyx is a game that couldn’t succeed in any other way.
Set several years prior to the events of Half-Life 2, Half-Life: Alyx, as the name implies, has you filling the role of the character of Alyx Vance, who served as something of a sidekick to Gordon Freeman during the Half-Life 2 saga. The narrative is well-written and expertly performed by the entire cast, and while it isn’t essential to have played previous entries in the Half-Life franchise, your experience will definitely be richer for it.
Half-Life: Alyx features an impressive armory of weapons and gadgets, including Alyx’s “gravity gloves,” which allow you to interact with just about every object in the environment in some occasionally surprising ways. The first time you intuitively snatch an incoming grenade and fling it back at your would-be assailant is nothing short of a magical moment.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest 2 (via Oculus Link), Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro, Valve Index
Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars: Squadrons isn’t exclusively for VR but features extremely strong VR components that make it a far better experience. This space dogfighter channels the spirit of legacy Star Wars games like X-Wing and TIE-Fighter into a wholly modern experience that benefits greatly from the addition of a VR headset. Bonus points if you can throw a HOTAS joystick into the mix.
Each cockpit is rendered with painstaking detail, making each ship feel distinct. The ability to turn around and see all the buttons and knobs come to life does a great job of selling the overall experience. The VR aspect also ties in with the piloting experience, allowing you to crane your neck around to keep an eye on incoming bandits. Frankly, if you don’t audibly scream when you do your first high-speed pass on a Star Destroyer, you may want to check for a pulse.
While much of the allure may be lost on players who aren’t fans of the films, Star Wars: Squadrons features a fairly lengthy single-player campaign that’s a solid original Star Wars story but also serves to introduce you to all the different ships and mechanics. The real meat here is a strong multiplayer component that allows you to take on other players in ship-to-ship dogfights or play in objective-based fleet battles to earn experience and currency to purchase cosmetic items and additional parts for your ships.
Superhot VR is the best John Wick video game that isn’t about John Wick. Just like its non-VR predecessor, Superhot VR has you constantly outnumbered and outgunned in scenarios where a single bullet can kill you — with one twist. Time only progresses when you move. It definitely suffers from the VR problems where “your hands are just guns,” but the time distortion mechanic makes the experience a little more cerebral than your average shooter.
Superhot VR is really a puzzle game where bullets and the environment make up the pieces. It challenges you to find creative ways out of tough situations where you’re hopelessly outgunned. Out of bullets? Throw your gun. Don’t have a gun? Pluck an incoming bullet out of the air and fling it at the bad guys.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive Pro, PlayStation VR
Tetris Effect: Connected
While you can definitely play Tetris Effect without VR, this musically charged entry in the classic block-stacking game is different than anything else you’ve experienced from previous iterations. The core experience of Tetris Effect remains unchanged, but Tetris Effect VR is also driven by a euphoric combination of musical rhythms and vivid colors. This means your experience can vary wildly from intense to meditative depending on which level you play. The VR component does a good job of adding depth and dimension to each level and encapsulating your periphery with the sights and sounds that make Tetris Effect VR feel distinctly different from its more standard counterpart.
In Death: Unchained
Put Dark Souls into a VR environment and pair it with your favorite roguelike, and you’ve summed up the gameplay of In Death: Unchained. The story is a bit slim, and the difficulty is absolutely brutal, but In Death: Unchained is a punishing game that keeps you coming back for more. While combat is limited to bows and different types of arrows, In Death: Unchained excels in making its weapons feel incredibly satisfying to shoot.
While the original In Death was made for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Unchained is a remake made exclusively for the Oculus Quest 2. This version definitely compromises the graphics a bit to accommodate the hardware but comes packed with some additional levels to bridge the difference.
Compatible with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2
Considered to be a masterpiece by some, the BAFTA-nominated Rez: Infinite is a trippy VR experience that’s available on all VR platforms. This VR port is a rail shooter at heart, but the unique aesthetics, sound, and music combine to transform Rez: Infinite into an experience like no other — especially when played in VR.
You control Rez: Infinite primarily through head-tracking and controller inputs, which allows you to simply look where you want to aim and press a button to shoot. This makes the experience feel remarkably fluid, especially when paired with the amazing techno soundtrack. The score is driven by the action as enemies release a flurry of loops and beats when they’re destroyed.
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