Virtual reality hasn’t caught on as quickly as some predicted, but VR headsets have managed to amass an impressive collection of software in the last few years regardless. And given Sony’s recent PSVR2 announcements, this could be a big year for virtual reality. If you just bought a Meta Quest or haven’t fired yours up in a long time, there are several great experiences to be had. We highlight some of the best VR titles out now for the Quest, from high octane music games to spooky shooters. Here are 10 VR games you shouldn’t ignore, in no particular order.
Honorable Mentions: Half-Life: Alyx and Lone Echo
If you have a VR-ready gaming PC, you can connect it to a Quest via an Oculus Link Cable or over WiFi using Air Link. Doing so unlocks a number of PC-based VR games, most notably Half-Life: Alyx and Lone Echo. You definitely need some extra firepower to run these impressive games, but those experiences are well worth the trouble.
Workouts are rarely fun, but Beat Saber is a total blast and it does a fantastic job getting your blood pumping. This intense rhythm game puts two lightsabers in your hands then tasks you with slicing through a steady stream of oncoming blocks while dodging the occasional obstacle, all to the beat of some great tunes. It sounds simple – and it is – but we can’t deny its magic. Over the years, several updates have added music from artists such as Panic! at the Disco, Green Day, BTS, and Lady Gaga, so everyone should be able to find something to jam out to as you slice and dice. | Our Review
I Expect You To Die
Schell Games clearly loves old James Bond films; I Expect You to Die is a love letter to every scene in a movie where a spy has been tied up and left to engineer an escape. You are a special operations field agent who can’t catch a break. Each level you wind up in some precarious situation, such as locked inside a car aboard a cargo plane or trapped in a space station in high Earth orbit. Thankfully, you have psychic powers and can manipulate objects from a distance. Still, can you solve these clever environmental puzzles and escape each trap in time? A sequel came out in August 2021 and is equally compelling. | Our Impressions
Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
You might think your job is tedious, but what would robots from the future make of it? This cheeky simulation from Owlchemy Labs lets you explore a future museum dedicated to dead-end jobs. You explore wacky approximations of real occupations like auto mechanic, gourmet chef, and office worker. A robot gives you a series of simple tasks to complete, but these literal-minded machines don’t really understand our modern lives. You “burn CDs” by putting them in a toaster and type on a keyboard with only two buttons, a “1” and a “0.” Job Simulator is full of great jokes, and it’s easy to create your own fun in these wacky play spaces. | Our Review
Quill is a tiny little mouse lost in a big world. Unfortunately, a fire-breathing snake named Sarffog threatens to overrun her kingdom. When Quill’s uncle is captured, you must help guide this little mouse through a series of trials and sword fights to save her uncle from Sarffog’s clutches. A series of inventive puzzles break up the action and ask you to manipulate Quill’s environment so she can progress. You also play the entire game from a fixed perspective, so even those most susceptible to VR sickness shouldn’t have to worry about losing their lunch. Moss: Book II is planned for a spring release, and we’re very excited to see how Quill’s story progresses. | Our Review
The Climb isn’t a horror game, but it forces you to stare fear in the eye as you climb a series of impressive rock-climbing routes. Your feet never actually leave the ground, but Crytek’s impressive VR visuals convince your mind otherwise. As we worked our way up the crags of a snow-capped Himalayan mountain, we couldn’t help but break out into a nervous sweat. In 2021, Crytek released The Climb 2, which adds new climbing routes that include caves and skyscrapers, and the ability to compete with friends in asynchronous multiplayer modes. No matter which game you play, the view from the top is incredible. | Our Review
Like Beat Saber, Pistol Whip is one of those games you have to experience to fully understand the magic. Cloudhead Games’ shooter isn’t exactly a rhythm game, but it gets your pulse pumping and produces a rhythmic flow state. Levels are themed after various action movie genres, and you slowly march forward as enemies jump out from cover and take aim at you. Your task is to dodge their gunfire and take them out before they overwhelm you. This is another simple concept, but the execution is spot on, and the thrill of victory makes you feel like John Wick.
Resident Evil 4 VR
Capcom’s iconic survival horror experience has been ported to so many consoles over the years that there is a good chance you already own it (or multiple copies of it). Still, you’ve never seen Resident Evil 4 like this before. Armature Studio rebuilt the game from the ground up so players could get to the heart of the Los Iluminados cult from a first-person perspective as they fight off a horde of Las Plagas-infected monsters. Bringing Resident Evil 4 to VR might not sound like a big deal, but it dramatically impacts the action as you can now freely move around during combat. Even if you’ve beaten RE 4 a dozen times over, it’s worth another trip in VR. | Our Review
Room VR: A Dark Matter
Nothing in Room VR is going to jump out and attack you, but it remains one of the more terrifying experiences we’ve had in VR. The Room franchise started as a series of clever puzzle games for mobile devices, but with this VR entry, developer Fireproof Games proved the concept remains strong on other platforms. You assume the role of a police inspector tasked with investigating several missing person cases spread across Victorian England. However, that investigation quickly leads you to some dark corners of the spiritual realm as you solve environmental puzzles and uncover the secrets of a cosmic horror that threatens our very existence. | Our Review
A game full of slow-motion gunfights doesn’t sound intense, but Superhot VR’s action is more sweat-inducing than most traditional first-person shooters. As long as you stand still, the world around you moves in slow motion, which gives you plenty of time to assess surrounding threats. But whenever you move, the world comes to life, and everyone is out to get you. If you plan your attacks well, you can turn the everyday objects around you into deadly missiles and even knock oncoming bullets out of the air with a pistol. Each mission is a rollercoaster rush of excitement. | Our Review
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Telltale’s The Walking Dead series expertly brought Robert Kirkman’s zombie-filled comic book series to life as an adventure game and became an object lesson in how to adapt a comic to this medium. That’s a high bar to clear, but Skydance Interactive’s action/RPG/shooter does a stellar job carving out a niche of its own. You are a tourist who arrives in New Orleans after the zombie outbreak who hacks and shoots their way through an endless horde of walkers on their way to The Reserve: a rumored military bunker reportedly filled with enough supplies and weapons to wait out the undead storm. Throughout this journey, you gather supplies, craft new gear, and make decisions that impact the narrative. If you’re looking for another survival horror VR experience after Resident Evil 4 VR, give Saints & Sinners a chance.
Are we missing any of your co-op favorites? Let us know in the comments section! If you enjoyed reading this, check out some other genre top 10s by clicking on our “List of Lists” hub below.