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.
“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 PSVR requirements: Move controllers PSVR exclusive: Yes
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 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.”
Developer(s): Plastic/Santa Monica Studio Publisher: SCEE Additional PSVR 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 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.”
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.
28. 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.
29. Falcon Age
Developer(s): Outerloop Games Publisher: Outerloop Games Additional PSVR requirements: None (Move recommended) PSVR exclusive: No
Birds are cool, aren’t they? Virtual reality has previously allowed us to live out life as one in the skies with the likes of Eagle Flight, but Falcon Age is something a little different. You play as Ara, who sets out on a quest with their falcon in tow to pen back robot colonisers.
A beautiful, often sweet adventure where you bond with your falcon as you dress them up in increasingly adorable outfits, Falcon Age lets you explore a vast wasteland and collect resources as you look to join the resistance.
Thematically speaking, Falcon Age is a much heavier game than a lot of the games on this list, but regardless of that, it’s just a lovely sojourn that tugs at the heart-strings.
30. Borderlands 2 VR
Developer(s): Gearbox Software Publisher: 2K Games Additional PSVR requirements: None (Aim recommended) PSVR exclusive: No
Borderlands 2 is a bona fide FPS classic, there’s no doubt about it. There’s a reason why so many people were left playing it for years after it first released, and that’s down to how it made the looter shooter that very rare thing: actually fun.
The VR version may not be the absolute best way to experience Gearbox’s flippant penis joke simulator, but it’s still an immersive trip to Pandora all the same. Blessed with a massive range of ways to play, much like Skyrim VR, Borderlands 2 VR proves how classic experiences can get a new lease of life in virtual reality.
How To Make The Most of Your 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.