Though there has been plenty of hype surrounding Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda Breath of the Wild, the best new games are enjoyed in virtual reality environments. Experience VR first-hand for yourself and you will immediately recognize why this technology is central to a truly immersive gaming experience. Let’s take a look at some of the top games in VR available today.
Fire up your PlayStation 4, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, load up Eve: Valkyrie and you will be instantaneously transported to a seemingly real space combat game. Eve: Valkyrie’s intergalactic battles feel startlingly immersive thanks to the captivating stimulation provided by virtual reality’s incredible visuals and the accompanying audio. You’ll lock onto enemies, perform high-speed banking turns and engage in epic dogfights that wouldn’t feel nearly as immersive if this game was played on a traditional TV screen. Eve: Valkyrie will have you convinced of VR’s superiority as a gaming medium in less than half an hour.
Compatible Platforms: Vive, PlayStation VR, Oculus
This Oculus Rift RPG requires the same puzzle solving and combat as games like Zelda yet it immerses the player in what feels and looks like a real environment. Give Chronos a chance and you will feel as though you are truly living in an alternate reality. You’ll engage in timing-based fights, explore a stunningly beautiful world and attempt to save your homeland from evil. Chronos challenges players to solve puzzles to unlock ancient labyrinth secrets, engage in dramatic sword duels and explore a colorful landscape for all sorts of goodies. Think of it as what Zelda or Dark Souls could have been if designed for a console with VR capabilities. The game is unique in that it is played from the third-person perspective rather than the traditional first-person viewpoint used by most VR games. Most gamers enjoy this twist as it provides a cinematic feel while still giving the player ample agency.
Compatible Platforms: Oculus Rift
Available on the Oculus Rift, Obduction provides gamers with a gloriously detailed world that begs to be explored. Explore this massive landscape in virtual reality then go back to a traditional open world gaming environment on a regular TV and you will immediately recognize the superiority of VR. Developed by Cyan, Obduction is somewhat of a sequel to the uber-popular PC game Myst. Obduction’s VR world is chock full of tasty visuals rife with intriguing puzzles and clues. It really does feel like a Myst-esque world but a thousand times better thanks to the captivating nature of virtual reality.
Compatible Platforms: Oculus Rift
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Wouldn’t it be fun to disarm bombs in virtual reality without any threat of physical harm? This drama is made possible by developer Steel Crate Games on a number of platforms. The primary game player listens to friends, family and anyone else in the room rattle off bomb disarmament instructions while trying to save the day. Immersed in VR, the player flips over the bomb, studies it from all angles and does his best to defuse it before time is up. In the end, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a frantic, laugh-inducing VR party game every audience will appreciate.
Compatible Platforms: Windows, OS X, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Gear VR, Daydream
Windows/OS X: $14.99
PlayStation VR: $14.99
Gear VR/Daydream: $9.99
Thumper, available on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, is an incredibly fun rhythm game developed by Drool. Though the game is a blast in “flatspace” on a conventional TV, it is even more gripping in virtual reality. Tap in accordance with the beat piped in through the VR headset, slide around the corners and enjoy some truly trippy visuals along the way. Part of this game’s appeal is its simplicity. The controls are easy to master, making the game inviting for people of all different age cohorts and gaming skill levels.
Compatible Platforms: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive