It isn’t a stretch to suggest that virtual reality hasn’t enjoyed quite the boom that its innovators would have hoped for, but it’s far from dead. Any gleeful proclamations about its race having already been run are extremely premature, especially with Sony throwing their weight behind the technology with some of the best PSVR games.
Compared to any other company jumping on virtual reality, Sony are the ones who have arguably been pushing for it the hardest — their lineup in 2017 was focused heavily on the PlayStation VR and its games. Their dedication has paid dividends with strong hardware sales and a bright future for the technology, whether in this generation or next.
VR still feels like it’s in its infancy as a whole, so who knows how much better it will be when the PlayStation 5 rolls around. We know PS4 games will be backwards compatible with the PS5, and, best of all, the current VR headset can also be used with the PS5.
We aren’t looking to the future today, however. We’re looking at the right now, the best PSVR games you should play if you’ve picked up a headset. If you haven’t yet, consider these a good enough excuse to dive right in, especially seeing as how it’s never been cheaper and the experiences just keep getting better and better as more developers get acclimated and accustomed to the hardware.
From terrifying families to an almost obnoxiously adorable mouse, here’s what you should check out on PlayStation VR in no particular order. Also consider that we will be adding to these PSVR games when we play new games that we think should make the cut.
If you’re at all already familiar with Thumper, you know that it’s a rhythm game dosed to the gills on acid and speed. It’s one of the most unique games of its ilk, like the artistic progression of Dance Dance Revolution with a really dark side. Apply that to VR and you get something completely wild.
Thumper in VR is a sensory overload of the best kind, one that will utterly bewilder and excite. If you have a stomach of steel, Thumper’s strange but infinitely enjoyable blend of bass, nightmare visuals, and a frenetic pace with an ever increasing difficulty will be a VR experience like the opening of the Ark of the Covenant. As a bonus, you don’t need to buy a separate version of the game just for VR.
Capcom made a huge push for VR with the latest entry in their beloved horror franchise, going so far as to stealth release a VR demo by the name of Kitchen for it. The entirety of Resident Evil 7 is playable in VR and is a surprisingly smooth ride, even if the disembodied hands may drag you out of the immersion somewhat.
With most “big” VR games, the resolution takes a significant hit on a base PS4 when using the PSVR headset, but not enough to stop it from being terrifying. If you want to get up close and uncomfortably personal with the Baker family, Resident Evil 7 via VR is the best way to do that. Just make sure you don’t eat breakfast before you play or it will all come back up again the second the chainsaw makes an appearance.
Developer: Supermassive Games Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: Move controllers preferable
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood doesn’t make a lick of sense. The original game, Until Dawn, is a narrative-based game with the emphasis on player choice. Its VR spin-off, Rush of Blood, is an on-rails shooter. Somehow, however, it’s one of the best PSVR games around.
Equal parts tense and action-packed, Rush of Blood borrows some of the infamous imagery from the main game to create a challenging shooter that was made for the Move controller. Dual-wielding pistols is incredibly satisfying as you dispatch of the many twisted apparitions the game throws at you, as well as the occasional squealing pig. You can play Rush of Blood with the Dualshock 4, but it really won’t do the game justice.
“Until Dawn: Rush of Blood will keep you entertained for a while, with hidden items hidden in each level, and high scores to compete with. It’s the creepy abandoned fun fair that every horror house wishes to be.”
Developer: SIEA/Impulse Gear Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: Aim controller preferable Buy on Amazon
Claims that Farpoint was going to be “the Halo of VR shooters” were a bit farfetched when it launched in 2016, but that doesn’t stop it from being the ultimate VR game for fans of Starship Troopers. It’s you, your Aim controller, and an endless stream of bugs — actual bugs, not Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 bugs.
The shooting is impeccable with the Aim controller, though you can approach Farpoint with whichever tools you like. It’s also scalable depending on how good you are at handling movement in VR; you can either make small steps and turns or go entirely freeform. While it may not have shifted as many VR units as Sony may have liked, early signs are there for Farpoint to be turned into the VR shooter franchise.
5. Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Developer: Red Storm Entertainment Publisher: Ubisoft Additional requirements: Move controllers preferable Buy on Amazon
Even if you aren’t much of a sci-fi fan, you’ve probably wondered what it would be like to be the captain of a spaceship. Star Trek: Bridge Crew allows you to do just that and may well be the most immerse Star Trek game to date, or perhaps even the best overall.
Team up with your friends to take to the bridge of U.S.S. Aegis and explore The Trench. You will need to work as a unit, which will inevitably fall apart the second you start to make rude gestures at each other in VR. Either as a Captain, Helm, Tactical, or Engineer your team can make your way through Bridge Crew’s storyline or take on the game’s dynamically generated missions.
Just don’t blame Ubisoft if you have a power struggle for captaincy that destroys your friendship circle.
6. Eagle Flight
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Publisher: Ubisoft Additional requirements: none Buy on Amazon
A serene and simple game, Eagle Flight pits you as a bird of prey in a desolate Paris as you soar in its skies, either alone or in multiplayer. It’s not the longest or most robust PSVR game out there, but it certainly leaves an impression while the experience lasts.
Eagle Flight uses the PSVR headset to its fullest, allowing players to gesture with their heads in the direction they want to go. While its single-player is a short but sweet journey through the emptiness of France’s capital, its multiplayer features some engaging dogfights in an open-world that’s worth exploring, even if it does belong to Ubisoft’s brand of open-world, i.e. pretty empty.
7. DOOM VFR
Developer: id Software Publisher: Bethesda Additional requirements: Aim controller preferable
Although we weren’t that impressed by DOOM VFR when played through a base PS4, it’s still a FPS game worth checking out if you have any interest in wreaking havoc. Even if it strips out Glory Kills and quite as much chaos as the main game, DOOM VFR is a shot of adrenaline straight to the face.
Set during the same time as Doomguy’s exploits in the 2016 installment, you play as a UAC employee who’s having just the worst day and lets you know about it often. While it’s technically not the prettiest or longest PSVR game around, there’s something about ripping and tearing into demons with the metal soundtrack blaring through your headphones that is primitively satisfying.
If you’re becoming worryingly similar to the South Park WoW guy, Sprint Vector is the VR game for you — you can just go ahead and chuck that Davina McCall fitness DVD in the bin. It’s relentless, rewarding, and really likely to make you sweat out your past transgressions.
Basically Speedrunners in VR, Sprint Vector is a darling for PSVR owners as it somehow manages to not make players sick despite all the frantic action. Race to be first with your Move controllers doing more for your health than lifting weights ever could; the game maps your real-life movements, so if you’re running like a madman, your avatar will follow suit. Definitely not for you if you live in an small cabin, however.
While you wait for its port to the N-Gage, why not check out Skyrim VR? It’s the complete Skyrim experience through virtual reality, making it one of the most complete PSVR games that is going to submerge you into its massive world for hours at a time.
If you’ve played Skyrim to death, its VR counterpart may not maintain its “wow” factor for that long, but make no mistake: having a dragon roaring in your face is a memory that you won’t forget in a hurry. There are options for full locomotion if you’re brave, but the Move controllers offer the quickest and most reliable way to get around in Skyrim.
It would probably be worthwhile to just add in a load of screenshots of Quill and be done with this entry. She’s one of the most affable protagonists in gaming in quite some time, and it’s your job to protect her as her benelovent overseer and help her to become the heroine she is destined to become.
Moss innovatively utilises the headset and Dualshock 4 to make it one of the best PSVR games for new VR gamers. It’s not an “intensive” game, but it sure is an emotional and captivating ride all the same. Moss will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale while proving just how expansive and promising VR can be outside of first-person perspectives.
“Brief as it may be, it’s hard to deny that Moss might be the new standard for VR platformers. It’s a fantastic and fantastical adventure that will bring out your inner child and, considering the cynical world we live in now, you couldn’t ask for a better respite.”