2016 is the year of virtual reality games. The Samsung Gear VR launched late last winter. Oculus Rift released in March. HTC Vive hit the market in April. And PlayStation VR is set to arrive this October. Clearly, virtual reality games are not just a passing fad — this immersive, engaging technology is here to stay.
We’ve rounded up eleven of our favorite virtual reality games.
Let us know what you think!
1. EVE: Valkyrie
EVE: Valkyrie by CCP Games is a multiplayer shooting game set in the EVE Universe. In it, you assume the role of a newly recruited elite space fighter pilot fighting for a breakaway pirate group called Valkyrie.
It was the launch title for Oculus Rift in November and is slated to launch with PlayStation VR, as well. It came bundled with every pre-ordered Oculus Rift, so you know it’s good. Still,industry experts are actually more excited for the PlayStation VR version. The graphics have been described as beautiful, stunning, smooth and striking.
2. Lucky’s Tale
Lucky’s Tale is a classic character action game, in which you follow Lucky as he navigates through a truly immersive world. Together, race through trees, dodge swamp pits and battle wacky creatures. It’ll feel like you’ve really been transported to a cartoon world.
In December, Oculus announced that Lucky’s Tale by Playful would be included free with every purchased Oculus Rift. It was made exclusively for Oculus Rift. In fact, the CEO was an original backer of the Oculus Rift Kickstarter.
3. RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League by Guerilla Cambridge is a first person shooter game that was designed specifically for PlayStation VR. In it, you’re competing in teams of three at a series of sporting events known as the Mechanized Combat League. But, it’s not just you — you take control of these massive machines, or RIGS, and fight from within them, like armor. It’s fast, exhilarating, and of course, addicting.
4. 100ft Robot Golf
100ft Robot Golf
It’s pretty straightforward, as you can assume from the title. In100ft Robot Golf by No Goblin, also designed exclusively for PlayStation VR, you control 100 foot tall robots as they play each other in golf and destroy the world around them. Yes, we know, it sounds ridiculous and hilarious. But believe us, it’s going to be a fun game. They’re so large, that they knock everything in their paths — buildings, cliffs, skyscrapers, trees and other obstacles standing in your way.
5. Tilt Brush
Tilt Brush by Google is not really a game as much as it is a painting application — well, a virtual reality three-dimensional painting application. It was developed for the HTC Vive, and with just a wave of the hand, lets you paint life-size, three-dimensional objects wherever you are. Basically, your room is your canvas! It’s magical and special — not only will you enjoy making silly drawings with it but your children will too.
Chronos by Gunfire Games is a third-person adventure role-playing game designed for Oculus Rift. In it, you follow a young hero as he sets out to save his homeland from evil. It begins in the ruins of an abandoned modern facility and goes on until suddenly you’re traveling through fantasy dungeons battling goblin-like creatures. It’s great combat, closely resembling Zelda and Dark Souls. It completely absorbs you into its immersive world — almost making you forget there’s a real world outside.
7. Edge of Nowhere
Edge of Nowhere
Edge of Nowhere by Insomniac Games is a third-person adventure game, in which you assume the role of Victor Howard, a man searching for his fiance, who is part of a missing expedition lost in Antarctica. In the game, you scale massive ice walls, travel deep into alien gaves, and hike across treacherous mountains — anything to save and rescue the beautiful Ava. In this virtual reality game, the landscapes are beautiful and the fast-paced running and combat sequences are engrossing.
8. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
‘Keep Talking’ by Steel Crate Games is a great ice-breaker for any dinner party. Trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb, your task is to defuse the bomb with the help of your team-mates. This cooperative game will get you communicating in ways you never thought imaginable; from tapping out Morse code, to deciphering strange shapes. And because only you (the one wearing the VR headgear) can see the bomb, communicating every detail becomes hilariously intense. This game is exhilarating and addictive. As the timer begins to count backwards, you’ll find yourself shouting, jumping and laughing your way through each nerve-wracking level as you try not to hear the BOOM!
9. Rock Band VR
Rock Band VR
Want to feel like a superstar? Jump on stage and rock out to the hottest tunes with this latest version of the game by Harmonix. You’ll be asked to look around the stage and even interact with other band members and instruments. One particularly cool feature of wearing the VR headset is that just by holding a glance at another band member, that character comes towards you. So pick up your guitar, follow the coloured lights on the fretboard, and bring out your inner rock star with this awesome game.
Step in to a mysterious space station and find your inner detective as you look for, and pick up clues. Who lived here? What happened to them? Answers will unfold as you explore and discover clues by interacting with almost anything within your vicinity. Immerse yourself in this strange and intriguing world with mesmerizing music and exceptionally realistic sound effects. The game isn’t only about exploring though. Gain new items and open new areas by solving puzzles scattered around the station. If you previously thought that first-person adventures were too static, you have to give P.O.L.L.E.N a try; this game is shaking up the genre for great reasons.
11. Minecraft: Gear VR Edition
Minecraft: Gear VR Edition
Put on your Virtual reality goggles and get ready to play one of the best selling games of our time. What does this version of the game offer in virtual reality? It’s a VR version of the successful Minecraft: Pocket Edition, yet offers all the same gameplay opportunities. Choose to play in ‘theatre’ mode and the whole Minecraft world is at your fingertips from the comfort of your own virtual sofa. Or choose the ‘Immersive Mode’, which gives you the full 3D stereoscopic experience. Build, explore, fight and participate socially in both modes, just as you would in dozens of different versions of Minecraft. Start off with a 10 minute gaming session in this incredible realm, and you’ll find yourself immersed and entertained for hours.
It goes without saying that there are lots of great virtual reality games coming for us this year. And we can’t wait to get our hands on them. Did we miss any that you’re particularly looking forward to playing? Let us know!