The age of consumer grade video game console-powered virtual reality arrived early last month with the release of Sony’s PlayStation VR (PS VR) headset. It’s not as powerful as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, it’s not as portable as the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View, and it doesn’t really offer fully-featured roomscale tracking, but it brings VR into the living rooms of over 40 million PlayStation 4 owners at an affordable price with a strong lineup of launch window software.
There are dozens of games already available for the PS VR and it can be overwhelming to look at the PSN Store or gaming store shelves to see so many options. Which games are the best? What if I want a shooter and a music rhythm game, or an adventure title and a horror experience? We’ve compiled our definitive list of the 9 best PS VR games that you can play right now to alleviate those concerns. There’s something for everyone on this list — guaranteed! The Playroom VR, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Jack Assault, and other free experiences are not included. You should be downloading those regardless.
The following games are listed in no particular order and several awesome titles were left off that we wanted to include. The PS VR has plenty of great games already, these are just what we deemed as the very best so far.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League [Review: 8/10]
If the PlayStation VR is here to prove that capable virtual reality is possible on a home video game console, then RIGS is here to prove that VR gaming can deliver a fast-paced, intense, competitive multiplayer shooter unlike anything else on any of the headsets. It combines the intense action of games like Unreal Tournament with the mechanized combat and spectacle of a futuristic sports league.
What RIGS lacks in non-competitive content it more than makes up for with depth and breadth within its core game modes. The variety of ways to blow other mechs up, as well as the variety of the mechs themselves, make it an addictive experience worth coming back to over and over again. More maps, mechs, abilities, game modes, and features are planned over the coming months ensuring this game will get the support that it deserves.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood [Review: 7/10]
If you’re looking for something to get your pulse pounding in a slightly different way, then look no further than Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. This fright fest is based loosely on the same world of Until Dawn, a narrative-based adventure horror title for PS4. In this spin-off, you are descending down into the metaphorical, and quite literal, depths of hell fighting off crazed clowns and creepy monsters.
I won’t lie and say that this is anywhere near the best that VR has to offer — there are higher scoring PS VR games I left off of this list, for example — but it scratches a very specific itch so incredibly well. The 360-degree audio does an incredible job of immersing you and the jump scares are so well-timed it becomes addictive to see what’s around that next corner. This is one trippy on-rails shooter that’s unlike anything else out there and it lasts a hefty 3+ hours for a single play through on Normal difficulty, which is great for the price tag.
Battlezone [Review: 8/10]
After you’re done blasting away enemies in rival mechs and wetting yourself from spooky thrills, it’s time to get behind the controls of a futuristic tank in the revamped and revitalized Battlezone. The series made its debut decades ago when games were mere lines and pixels, but now, with the power of VR, Battlezone is back at it again with a fresh coat of 3D immersive paint.
Other shooters in VR will pit you against one another, but Battlezone is instead a celebration of cooperative strategy. If you have a few friends that got PS VR headsets as well, then this should be your go-to buddy game that lets you roll out as a squad of super-powered neon death machines.
Robinson: The Journey [Review: 7/10]
If you’d rather explore a majestic, mysterious, and sometimes isolating foreign planet, then Robinson: The Journey may be more your speed. You’ll play as a boy named Robin that’s crash landed his ship on a planet overrun with dinosaurs. Using your A.I. robot companion — and a little dinosaur buddy of your own — you’ll explore and unravel the secrets of this new rock in space.
It’s a slow-paced game with around 4 hours of content packed in, with plenty of additional optional items to collect and areas to explore, so it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of puzzles and there isn’t very much action in the traditional sense, making this a game for the type that appreciates stopping to smell the roses and gawk at the gorgeous views.
Job Simulator [Review: 8/10]
Every platform needs a silly game you play to unwind and just have a good laugh, but we never thought that game would come in the form of a slapstick simulation of the very thing most people need breaks from: their jobs. In Job Simulator, you’ll take on the role of an auto mechanic, convenience store clerk, office worker, or gourmet chef, to get an idea of how robots view humans in the future.
Despite the title, this is far from an accurate simulation of anything other than being silly. You can mix together sriracha, lemons, soap, and bacon to create a special kind of stew, or follow the instructions to actually make the BLT your boss asked you to make. Half the fun is breaking the rules and seeing just how far you can push the game’s mechanics.
EVE: Valkyrie [Review: 9/10]
In our original review of EVE: Valkyrie from back when it launched on the Oculus Rift, we called it the game that VR headsets were designed to play. Now, it’s available on both the HTC Vive and PS VR as well and features fully-operational cross-play multiplayer between all three major devices and that vision is even more realized.
With a variety of game modes released for free since launch, as well as new maps and ships, there is a ton of content in the package now. Competitive multiplayer dogfights are still the heart of the experience and this offers some of the most intense multiplayer matches you’ll find in any game.
Thumper [Review: 9/10]
Trust me: you need to play Thumper. This game is so hard to properly articulate that even watching a video won’t do it justice. But, alas, that’s what I have here, along with my words, so that will have to do for now. To put things simply, it’s one of the most viscerally satisfying and visually enthralling experiences you can have inside of any VR headset on the market.
Described as a rhythm-violence game, Thumper pits you on a track and asks you to time your button presses, turns, and evasions across a series of dozens of tracks to the beat of a thumping soundtrack geared to make your face melt. It’s dark, twisted, and at-times infuriating, but it’s also simply fantastic.
Bound [Review: 9/10]
We’d forgive you if you wrote this off as a non-VR title, because at first, that’s what it was. But a free update to the game adds VR support and helps separate this from the pack as one of the most unique and breathtaking experiences you can have on the PS VR.
Bound tells an emotional and intimate story unlike anything else you’ll see in the medium and its beautiful world of bright visuals and evocative dance is worth exploring even for the most jaded of gamers.
Driveclub VR [Review: 7/10]
This is the racing game that you’ve been waiting for. If you already played the original Driveclub on PS4, there isn’t a whole lot here that you haven’t seen before, but it does add a few new tracks, cars, and game modes to give you a bit of a new experience mixed with the old.
For those that missed out the first time around, or simply want a realistic racing game to enjoy on the PS VR, then this is a no-brainer. Paired with a full-size racing wheel, the PS VR can quickly become a portal to the car of your dreams instead of just a hunk of plastic on your face.