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 PSVR requirements: none PSVR exclusive: No
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.
13. WipeOut Omega Collection
Developer(s): Clever Beans,EPOS Game Studios Publisher: SIE Additional PSVR requirements: none PSVR exclusive: Yes
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.
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.
One of the best (and silliest) introductions to virtual reality for the inexperienced, Job Simulator is a straightforward experience that somehow makes working in an office not the soul-sucking commitment that it actually is and instead an excuse to go absolutely wild with the stapler. And yes, you can throw it at your boss.
With the ability to hire and fire employees, deal with a stick-up at a convenience store, and put things in a blender that really shouldn’t be there, Job Simulator is pure virtual reality fun that’s a reminder of how much better virtual reality can be than real life. Really, if you could shoot staplers at your boss ad nauseum in real life, would there even be a need for video games?
Job Simulator is also one of the cheaper PSVR titles, so don’t overlook it, human.
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.”
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.
8. Trover Saves the Universe
Developer(s): Squanch Games Publisher: Squanch Games Additional PSVR requirements: None PSVR exclusive: No
While Accounting was a good first foray into virtual reality for Justin Roiland, Trover Saves the Universe represents the next logical step for the professional weirdo. If an adventure game where you partner up with a weird-eyed monster to save your dogs from a guy who put them into his eyes to destroy existence doesn’t sound like Roiland, nothing will.
Playing kind of like a demented version of Astro Bot, you use your disembodied DualShock 4 to control Trover himself while he engages in slapstick combat and journeys across the universe. Packed with the irreverent laughs you’d come to expect from a Roiland production, there’s an unexpected amount of depth to Trover Saves The Universe to further add to its cult hit credentials.
Maybe make sure you haven’t ingested something you shouldn’t before playing, though.
Developer(s): SIE London Studio Publisher: SIE Additional PSVR requirements: none (Move controllers recommended) PSVR exclusive: Yes
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 has a dedicated middle finger button.
“Blood & 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.”
Developer: SUPERHOT Team Publisher: SUPERHOT Team Additional PSVR requirements: Move controllers required PSVR exclusive: No
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.”
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.”
Developer(s): Beat Games Publisher: Beat Games Additional PSVR requirements: Move controllers PSVR exclusive: No
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.”
3. Firewall Zero Hour
Developer(s): First Contact Publisher: SIE Additional PSVR requirements: none (PSVR Aim recommended) PSVR exclusive: Yes
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.”
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.
“This is the most impressive return to form I’ve seen in a long time. With heart-pounding scares, clever puzzles, and formidable enemies; Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is one of the best horror titles I’ve ever played.”
Developer(s): SIE Japan Studio Publisher: SIE Additional PSVR requirements: none PSVR exclusive: Yes
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.
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.