Developer: SUPERHOT Team Publisher: SUPERHOT Team Additional requirements: Move controllers required
The temptation to sum this up with “SUPER. HOT. V. R. IS. BRILL. IANT.” was one that I struggled to resist, but make no mistake: if you are entirely new to VR and want to feel like the ultimate badass, SUPERHOT VR is the absolute best way to do just that.
Even with some tracking issues to contend with, SUPERHOT VR allows you to emphatically live out your fantasies of being inside The Matrix. It’s one thing to play the base version of SUPERHOT, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to duck out of the way of fire in VR and return fire with dual pistols. You will work up a sweat in SUPERHOT VR, so buy it, Sprint Vector, and a massive vat of whey protein and you will be jacked to hell in no time.
“Superhot VR is a ridiculously fun experience which somehow manages to make Superhot more Superhot. It takes everything that makes the concept great but couldn’t be accomplished with a traditional gaming setup and immerses you into the Superhot experience like never before.”
Even if it’s more like a VR experience than a fully fleshed out game as it only runs for just under two hours, Batman: Arkham VR is one of the earliest examples of what you can achieve when you translate beloved worlds and characters to a virtual reality space.
You won’t spend your time in Arkham VR battering ne’er-do-wells, rather solving puzzles and taking part in investigations. This may disappoint anyone who’s a big fan of Rocksteady’s Arkham series, but you truly feel like you’re adorning the iconic suit in Arkham VR as well as like you’re coming face-to-face with the Bat’s most iconic enemies. Essential for fans of DC’s best hero.
“Although Batman: Arkham VR is not the game that will justify your PS VR purchase, it is still my favourite one thus far and I hope that it will set the standard of quality for future VR games. Rocksteady did not disappoint with the final entry in the Batman: Arkham saga, even if it is a bit short.”
13. Apex Construct
Developer: Fast Travel Games Publisher: Fast Travel Games Additional requirements: none (Move controllers recommended)
Channel your inner Legolas with Apex Construct: a FPS VR game from the creators of Battlefield. You can tell that it’s been made by people who have mastered the craft of making things die; using Apex Construct’s bow is immensely satisfying, even if it makes you look like a bit of a goof.
Journey into a post-apocalyptic world as the last remaining human in the middle of a battle between two powerful AI, or just shoot arrows at random objects. Its combat, while not perfect because of some tracking annoyances, allows you to command a shield and bow to dispatch the many robot enemies you will come up against. As with most PSVR games, Apex Construct is a little on the short side, but the playtime for you to arse around in with your bow is infinite.
Developer: Evolution Studios Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: none
From now until the day I leave this mortal plain, I will always maintain that Driveclub is the most underrated PS4 exclusive there is. Its VR counterpart is packed with content and overflowing with speed, though your stomach is going to be tested if you get light-headed on long car journeys.
Driveclub VR also takes a visual step down from its big brother, but don’t let that dissuade you. There’s nothing quite like it on PSVR to make you feel like you’re behind the wheel of a car, whether it’s the ability to adjust your seating height or cruising around tight bends. If you overlooked Driveclub, as so many did, when it first launched, don’t do the same for its VR counterpart.
Wave-based shooters aren’t going to go out of fashion; that’s a fact. Raw Data knows this and provides all manner of bad guys for you to slice and dice your way through in VR while also applying smatterings of its cyperbunk story in-between.
What makes Raw Data so enjoyable is its approach to different playstyles. Unique characters have their own abilities, so whether it’s Saija’s katana or Elder’s bow, Raw Data will always feel fresh and rewarding, particularly as times goes on and you have more tools at your disposal. The only downside is that Raw Data has PVP on PC and doesn’t on PSVR, but it’s still worth checking out if you enjoyed Apex Construct or SUPERHOT VR.
16. Megaton Rainfall
Developer: Pentadimensional Games Publisher: Pentadimensional Games Additional requirements: none
Megaton Rainfall essentially puts you in the shoes of a purple Doctor Manhattan, sans the terrifying penis, as you save the world from an alien invasion. It’s the superhero game that should have come to VR a lot sooner than it did as it just makes you feel like an all-powerful hero, which is what the best PSVR games really should do.
While somewhat visually underwhelming, nothing can match the joy of flying around a planet and dispatching of spaceships in the vein of an arcade shooter. As you progress, you are endowed with more and more powers while also constantly warned about collateral damage — Superman wouldn’t get away with destroying a tonne of skyscrapers. It’s on the short side, but Megaton Rainfall is the perfect excuse to unleash your inner child for a few hours nonetheless.
There’s nothing about The Persistence that isn’t appealing, unless you’re weak of heart. A horror roguelike with a sci-fi aesthetic that might be the closest thing we get to another Dead Space game, The Persistence will slip under the radars of many this year, but it really shouldn’t.
A step above most PSVR games in terms of presentation, The Persistence offers a heart-pumping, sweat-inducing time aboard a stranded spaceship. You must race against time to repair the ship, but how long can you hold back the mutants for? Offering infinite replayability and the ability to allow your friends to join in via their smartphones, The Persistence should appeal to anyone who got through Resident Evil 7 unscathed.
Developer(s): Monstars, Enhance Games Publisher: Enhance Games Additional requirements: none
The early days of the PS2 were unconventional. Featuring “experimental” and unusual games, as well as some barmy advertising, the platform played host to all manner of weird and wonderful titles with Rez sitting pretty at the top of the pile. A cult classic by definition, Rez landed on the PS4, two generations since its initial release, as Rez Infinite.
A remaster of the original game with some new added content, Rez Infinite is a visual and aural feast that is the closest you can get to LSD without disappointing your grandmother. A forebear to the likes of Thumper, Rez Infinite isn’t a game you can play in long bursts (lest you travel to the spirit realm), but quickfire dives into its irresistible sense of rhythm are hard to pass up.
19. WipeOut Omega Collection
Developer(s): Clever Beans,EPOS Game Studios Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: none
Another PlayStation classic revitalised for a new generation, the WipeOut Omega Collection bundles WipeOut at its best and gives them a modern polish. While the game was well-received at launch, it’s the introduction of VR that made it such an essential experience for anyone who could stomach it.
With the addition of VR, the entirety of the game was playable through a headset, really immersing you in the cockpit. With the game always moving at such a high speed, those who are prone to feeling queasy should be forewarned, but for anyone who lived in the nineties and wanted to feel even closer to the action, it’s a revelation. It’s also quite affordable these days.
20. Firewall Zero Hour
Developer(s): First Contact Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: none (PSVR Aim recommended)
After the failure that was Bravo Team, it would be understandable if you had reservations about military VR shooters. Luckily, Firewall Zero Hour avoids all the mistakes of Bravo Team and provides one of the most dramatic and engaging FPS games on the market, virtual reality or not.
Firewall will feel immediately familiar to Rainbow Six Siege fans as it shares a lot of the same principles. Communication is key, as is holding the same corner and peeking until you can no longer bear the tension. It’s at its best when your teammates also have mics as constant communication can often be the difference between mission success or failure. With a strong community behind it, Firewall Zero Hour may be one of the best PSVR games at convincing people to hop aboard the bandwagon.
“It’s a community that should hopefully continue to grow, because Firewall Zero Hour is a game that deserves all the players it gets. With some slight tweaks to progression and the occasional content refresh, Firewall may just prove to be a turning point in converting the masses to virtual reality gaming.”
21. Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Developer(s): SIE Japan Studio Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: none
One of the most pleasant surprises you’re ever likely to have, a platforming experience centred around the PlayStation 4’s somewhat forgotten mascots shouldn’t be at the top of your wishlist. Somehow, Astro Bot Rescue Mission turned out to be one of the most fun, breathtaking, and outright joyous virtualy reality games ever made.
With a slew of content and a collectathon hook that will keep you going for many hours, Astro Bot Rescue Mission is a wonderfully detailed and delightfully upbeat romp that’s like being injected right in the eyes with a bag of sugar. If you want to introduce someone to VR, this might just be the perfect game as it’s so easy to pick up and play.
“Don’t let Astro Bot Rescue Mission pass you by: it’s one of the most innovative and downright fun PlayStation VR games you’re ever likely to play.”
Developer(s): From Software, SIE Japan Studio Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: Move controllers
From Software but have been watching a lot of Monty Python because Déraciné is something completely different from anything they’ve made before, even if it does share a suitably gothic mood with its Soulsborne cousins. A narrative-based puzzle game, Déraciné isn’t like many other PSVR games out there, which may mean that it really isn’t for everyone.
If you don’t mind a slower pace and having to navigate with Move controllers, Déraciné is a lo-fi oddity that’s worth playing. It’s not a revolutionary game, but what it does it does well indeed, making it an emotive and often heartwarming experience that isn’t also afraid to get dark.
Tetris has stayed largely the same for three decades. Those who love it absolutely adore it. Those who can’t see the fun discredit it as just being Tetris. While Tetris Effect is, at its essence, more Tetris, it reinvigorates the formula with some absolutely captivating virtual reality moments that need to be seen to be believed.
A total audio visual feast, Tetris Effect is the perfect example of what virtual reality has to offer for video games — who knew reorganising tetrominos could bring so many so close to tears? With a fantastic soundtrack and adoration for the iconic franchise from its developers as well as a surprising well of content, Tetris Effect is one of 2018’s most understated joys.
“An absolute delight, Tetris Effect twists and bends the mind of the player like few other games are capable of. While not quite a revolution of the classic premise, Effect provides players of all experiences the chance to discover what has made the franchise so iconic while also pointing towards the future.”
24. Beat Saber
Developer(s): Beat Games Publisher: Beat Games Additional requirements: Move controllers
Sometimes words can’t really describe why a VR game is so great: you just have to play it for yourself. That’s exactly the case with the maddening and captivating Beat Saber, which I’ve highlighted the possibilities of this video depicting a guy going Darth Maul on Rap God. Just wait until that part and you’ll see why it’s so popular among streamers and basically anyone who knows about it.
A rhythm game for anyone jaded by Guitar Hero, Beat Saber is a simple game with devilish difficulty. You must hit blocks as they pass along the track to correlate with the beat with plenty of sweat along the way. Just like Sprint Vector, Beat Saber is one that you will enjoy because not only is it just plain fun, but also because you can work off that guilt pizza you just ate.
While you can’t play Rap God just yet at this time of writing because of licensing issues and the content is a little on the light side, Beat Games are promising to support Beat Saber on PSVR with new songs so watch this space. Update: they added Pop Stars by K/DA, which is an absolute bop.
“PSVR continues its barnstorming 2018 with a supremely fun rhythm game that’s only going to improve and grow from here.”
Developer(s): Plastic/Santa Monica Studio Publisher: SCEE Additional requirements: none
A game that can be played in either VR or traditionally, Bound is the epitome of how much better diving into a virtual reality can make a game. While the “typical” experience is a nice blend of platforming and aesthetic, its virtual reality counterpart is like an LSD party of swirling images and beautiful sights.
You play as a ballerina princess in a fairytale gone wrong who must save her mother from a nefarious beast. Dancing across Bound’s beautiful worlds is a simple joy, but not one that gets tiring. It’s also a third-person adventurer, so nausea will be limited but you are bound (heh) to fall down to your doom often because of the depth perception that takes a little getting used to. Once you become acclimated, however, expect a wonderful time that’s one of the prettiest experiences in virtual reality.
26. Blood & Truth
Developer(s): SIE London Studio Publisher: SIE Additional requirements: none (Move controllers recommended)
Listen ‘ere, me ol’ bunch of China plates. You simply have to take a butcher’s at Blood & Truth on the PSVR, which is one of the closest VR experiences you will get to an actual Hollywood movie, but with a lot of thick cockney accents and thrown in for good measure.
Featuring enough gunfights and explosions to make Michael Bay reach a climax within minutes, Blood & Truth is a wholly fun and equally silly ride that makes some of the best use of VR we’ve seen so far. Even if the story is a bit flimsy and the monkey bars are far too frequent, there’s something to be said for a game that had a dedicated middle finger button.
“Truth is some popcorn fun that’s as good a reminder as any of the appeal of VR. With PSVR going into the next PlayStation generation, I can’t wait to drive around Bethnal Green in a tank in its sequel: Bloodier & Truthier.”
How To Make The Most of the Best PSVR Games
The first thing to note with PSVR games is that they look considerably different depending on what kind of PlayStation 4 you have. The VR headset has some muddiness compared to its more expensive peers, such as the Oculus and Vive, but a PS4 Pro can clear a bit of that up. The mid-term console is quite a leap in price and one that may not be worthwhile if you aren’t someone to care terribly about resolution, but should be considered if you’re going to be playing heavily.
It’s also important to note that Sony recently released a slightly better headset model that allows for HDR passthrough, which effectively means that you won’t need to unplug your PSVR every time you want to watch or play something with HDR. This model is the CUH-ZVR2 and allows for the aforementioned passthrough as well as built-in headphones and tidier cabling. Something to bear in mind if you’re looking at a PSVR bundle.
Lastly, don’t forget that some really great games on PSVR are unplayable without extra peripherals. SUPERHOT VR, for instance, can only be played with Move controllers. In addition, there are a lot of games that are significantly better experiences, such as Firewall Zero Hour or Doom VFR, with an Aim controller, which mimics the shape of a real gun — think Time Crisis and you have the right idea. See if PSVR is right for you over here.