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The 41 best VR games

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What’s worth playing in virtual reality? Here are all our favorites.
Welcome to our regularly updated guide to the best games VR has to offer.
And when we say “games,” we mean it. Unlike most cool VR experiences, the titles on this list are aren’t things we tried once and would probably never try again. These are the games that drew us in, made us want to play all the way through and/or kept us coming back for more.
That’s why you won’t find amazing apps like Tilt Brush here, or one-and-done experiences like Batman: Arkham VR and Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul. We also didn’t include Minecraft VR, because — awesome as it is — it’s not the best way to play that one.
As you’ll see, the bar still isn’t super high just yet — but we’ll be making it higher as we test new titles.
Playable on: HTC Vive
If I could only have a single VR game, Fallout 4 would be the one. It’s not without its flaws — we’re talking about a still-buggy overhaul of a two-year old game that was never designed for VR. But being able to fully immerse myself in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic wasteland with a virtual Pip-Boy strapped to my actual wrist is an absolute joy. I didn’t even notice it was 2AM until the hours had already flown by.
Plus, it’s one of the very few full-length, open-world games in VR — which means a big enough world you could literally play for weeks on end.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
You’re on the highway to Hell, banging your head to the beat. Your steed is a silver beetle traveling at the speed of sound, on a collision course with the devil himself. He’s throwing every obstacle in your path, bending the fabric of space itself to stop your deadly charge. Press buttons, to the beat, to dodge his traps and destroy him.
I just made half of that up, but it describes Thumper to a T. It’s fast, furious and fantastic. You can play it without VR, too, but it’s just not the same.
Trailer here .
Oculus Touch exclusive
My human body is gone, but I don’t even care. Instead of flesh, bone and sinew, my hands are made of titanium — I can even see the mechanical tendons flex when I bend a finger. They’ve got built-in thrusters and plasma cutters, which is handy because I’m in zero-G, trying to repair a space station.
This is Lone Echo, and it’s probably my second favorite game in VR. It perfectly embraces VR’s strengths and limitations with its zero-G movement, where you have to literally grab onto parts of the station to pull yourself forward. Reaching out to interact with objects is eerie, but natural, and production values are top-notch. It’s a VR world that feels convincing because it feels lived in.
And that’s without mentioning the multiplayer mode, Echo Arena — it’s like the Battle Room from Ender’s Game, only with a disc instead of guns.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, PSVR, Windows MR
You’ve probably never played anything like The Invisible Hours. It’s not a game in the traditional sense where you choose what to do — instead, this vintage murder mystery is all about being in the right place in the right time to observe seven suspects who may have murdered the famous scientist Nikola Tesla in his secluded mansion.
You can’t be everywhere at once — but by rewinding and fast forwarding time from literally anywhere in the mansion you’d like, you can slowly piece together the clues. VR adds a real sense of presence: You’re a fly on the wall as the events of the evening transpire.
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, PlayStation VR
“Fruit Ninja? Seriously?”
Yes. Believe it or not, Fruit Ninja makes for a brilliant VR game. With a pair of motion controllers, swinging a Japanese katana to slice and stab scores of juicy, helpless fruit is a real treat. It’s peaceful, relaxing and violent all at the same time.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, Windows MR
When I put people into VR for the very first time, Space Pirate Trainer is one of my go-to titles. It’s a highly addictive game where you shoot waves of flying robots with twin laser pistols that transform into shotguns, grenade launches and gauss rifles at the push of a button, while using your actual body to dodge enemy laser beams.
Oh, and you can pull out a reflective shield or energy whip.
Trailer here .
Here’s Conan O’Brien playing Space Pirate Trainer.
Fair warning: Several of VR’s best games are about shooting waves of enemy robots. It’s kind of a theme.
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch
Onward isn’t a complete game yet. It’s a Steam Early Access title which isn’t finished and may not be anytime soon. But it’s already one of the most intense things you can play in VR — a mil-sim where you have to realistically load, ready and aim your weapons with your own two hands, and communicate with four other real, human teammates to achieve your objectives.
Amazingly, I had no trouble finding a match during the evenings when I tried to play, and there’s a Discord channel and Wiki if you need help with the game’s substantial learning curve.
Video here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch
Pavlov VR, too, is an unfinished team-based shooter where you have to realistically reload your weapons and aim. But where Onward is hyper-focused on realistic 5 vs. 5 military simulation, Pavlov isn’t afraid to get a bit zany.
While the basic game is a riff on Counter-Strike (you buy weapons each round with money you earn, go defuse bombs and things like that), I also joined servers that threw me into hilarious non-stop deathmatches and even custom maps. GoldenEye 007 in VR? Yes please.
Video here .
Playable on: Oculus Touch, HTC Vive, Windows MR
Can VR be good exercise? Absolutely.
Audioshield, from the creator of Audiosurf, is like Guitar Hero meets Tae Bo. You literally punch your way through incoming beats of music — any music of your choice. (What’s on your hard drive?) We’d recommend something thumpin’ for the best workout.
Trailer here .
Playable on: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Daydream
There’s no describing the majesty that is Rez Infinite . 16 years ago, the original Rez was already a musical mind trip on old-school 2D TVs. Now, the Tron-like environments are all around you. It’s like flying through neon code.
Note: Don’t buy the version for Google Daydream right now; there’s a huge issue with the game’s audio last time we checked.
Trailer here .
PlayStation VR exclusive
One of the other few AAA, big-budget video games you can play entirely in VR, Resident Evil 7 doesn’t disappoint. Despite losing a lot of graphical fidelity when you plug in a VR headset, the game is almost too atmospheric, too scary, because the horror is all around you. You literally can’t look away.
Just know you may need a strong stomach as well — while the game is much improved since its E3 demo, it still made me a bit queasy.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
Zen is the opposite of Eve: Valkyrie. It’s a frantic space dogfight where the only moments of peace are when your cockpit shatters and your body freezes in the inky blackness of space.
But if you’ve ever wanted to pilot a starfighter, it feels like a dream come true. I still get chills being catapulted out of the launch tube. Plus, you can play six-on-six matches with your friends who own headsets on different VR platforms now. Here’s hoping for a decent single-player mode.
Update: You don’t need a VR headset to play Eve: Valkyrie. PC and PS4 players can play on a flat monitor or TV, and they can skirmish with VR players as well.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, PSVR, Windows MR
With or without VR, Superhot has a brilliant conceit: Time only moves when you move.
Which means you can be utterly surrounded by enemies bristling with machine guns or ones ready to slice you into pieces, and still defeat them all by — oh so slowly — brushing their weapons aside, dodging bullets, throwing pots and pans, etc. Every level plays like a puzzle as much as a shooter, and you come out looking like an action hero every time.
VR just means you do it all with your own hands and head, and you feel that much closer to Superhot’s plot — which I won’t spoil here.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch
You’re a gladiator in the arena, and it’s time to bash in some skulls — with a zany array of seemingly spring-loaded weapons you actually swing with your own two hands. Gorn is a bloody mess in more ways than one (it’s a Steam Early Access title that’s still rough around the edges), but it’s definitely fun… and far enough along I can actually recommend it now.
The new local multiplayer mode (your friends can control the enemy gladiators by firing up an Xbox gamepad) is an added bonus. Just don’t break your TV when you’re swinging those controllers around.
Trailer here .
Oculus Touch exclusive
The second must-play game about shooting waves of enemy robots, Robo Recall is fantastic fun. You’re a bit like Neo in The Matrix — you’ll teleport into a group of robots, slow down time, pick their bullets out of the air and throw them back. You can also juggle robots with blasts from your own twin pistols, grab their weapons away and even rip off their limbs then beat baddies down with ’em.
It’s not a very deep or long game, but figuring out ways to increasingly stylishly dispatch your foes and compete for high scores keeps me coming back. Plus, Epic’s opened up the game to modders. Fans have already added a lightsaber.
Trailer here .
Playable on: Samsung Gear VR
Whimsical and artistic, this simple but immersive puzzle game from the creators of Monument Valley is a must-play for Samsung Gear VR owners — if you ask me. This video will give you the basic idea.
I’d recommend a swivel chair for this one, since you’ll need to turn around a lot.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, PSVR, Windows MR
It’s the Wii Sports of VR, and my colleague Dan Ackerman says it’s the most fun he’s had yet. It’s a completely free-to-play (for now) online multiplayer lounge, dressed up like a school gymnasium, filled with sport games to play. Even just juggling in front of peers is amusing, but the teleportation-filled paintball game is the real entree.
Trailer here .
Playable on: Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR
Not all VR games need to teleport you to a jaw-droppingly immersive all-around-you space. Instead, Witchblood draws its inspiration from classics like Castlevania and Prince of Persia for its side-scrolling adventure.
Your young witch hops from platform to platform, collecting the necessary spells she needs to reach the next area and defeat her foes. The VR just lends a neat diorama-like feel to the art, and makes it that much easier to time her jumps.
Trailer here .
Playable on: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Windows MR
Captain a Federation starship with three of my friends no matter which headset they own? Yes, please. Star Trek: Bridge Crew puts you on the bridge in one of four roles: Captain, Helm, Tactical or Engineer. You’ll plot in a course, raise shields, engage enemies and teleport helpless lifeforms on board, communicating with teammates all the while — or shouting voice commands to IBM’s Watson supercomputer when your friends can’t make it.

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