The story of virtual reality technologies is similar to that of 4K displays.
A lot of hardware was being provided to the public, which was already fueling the hype of 4K, but there wasn’t enough content available in 4K to justify its purchase.
The same goes for VR today: Numerous tech giants and startups are working vigorously to create new and advanced VR hardware, but there is barely enough high-quality content to support its purchase.
The VR gaming community is also currently very small, which is why when an awesome and immersive new game is released, not many potential buyers hear about it.
This is our mission: To share with you the top-quality VR games that you may not already know about, and prevent you from buying expensive and unnecessary VR hardware.
The HTC Vive is one of the most popular, aggressively-marketed, and powerful VR hardware today’s industry has to offer.
If you don’t have an HTC Vive headset and are ready to spend some serious cash to buy some excellent VR equipment, the HTC Vive might be the right choice for you.
Do you own a Vive headset and are tired of trying disappointing VR experiences?
We’ve provided a good list below of the best HTC Vive VR games that we think are worth your time; you will soon find yourself enjoying VR in a way you never would have expected.
Gamers usually want to strap on an exo-suit, grab a Gatling cannon, dive out of a cargo plane 25,000 feet above the ground, and start shooting enemies.
However, if you are new to VR, I would recommend that you try what the industry has to offer in the Adventure genre before jumping into the action and shooter games.
Adventure games in VR will mesmerize you with their beautiful scenery, and introduce you to the rush that explorers experience when they see a captivating new landscape for the first time.
Through these games, you can practically step into the boots of someone completely different, and experience what it is like to be in their world.
Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel
Inside the Hacker Hostel is your chance to become a part of the playful comedy world built for HBO’s popular show Silicon Valley.
If you have watched the show, you will love the accurate rendering of the show’s environment for the VR experience.
You will also be pleasantly surprised, as you roam around the office, at your interaction with the biggest characters of the original show.
Get ready to become the scapegoat of a very dysfunctional IT company where everyone except you is messing things up.
Of course, no one is restraining you to be a functional member of the group either.
There are no rules inside the Hacker Hostel for you; you can trash the offices, get frustrated over nothing and punch holes in the wall, and play foosball instead of getting things done; you could even take a hit of a virtual bong!
There is so much to do in this awesome VR experience, and no rules on how to do it.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
The Federation is in disarray, as the handful of remaining Vulcan population struggles to find a viable planet to rebuild its species.
Enter a talented, skilled, and innovative starship crew: You and your friends.
You are tasked with one of the most critical missions of the time: Find a new homeworld for the Vulcans, in a stunningly-beautiful, unique, and treacherous uncharted sector of space codenamed The Trench.
Four friends can play four vital roles in this immersive VR experience: Captain, engineer, pilot, and tactical.
Your crew will have to communicate with each other to make efficient decisions, as you face countless obstacles on your voyage.
The best part about this VR experience is that your team will be operating inside the original bridge of the legendary starship Enterprise, where our beloved franchise heroes journeyed through the final frontier.
Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives
Job Simulator provides a very innovative and fun plot.
The year inside this virtual world is 2050, and every job in the world has been given to robots, while humans enjoy a well-earned rest.
Now that you have nothing to do, you may be bored, and want to find something with which to pass the time.
So, the virtual you puts on a VR headset (a second layer of virtual reality!) to experience how it was to be on a job.
You can choose to be a mechanic, an office worker, a convenience store clerk, or a chef.
This might sound absurd, but what you may not know is that there are no rules here.
Cause mayhem in your workplace by literally messing up everything you’re assigned to do; you can trash everything, if you want to.
Play this game, and you will realize how fun it is to destroy a virtual environment!
Do you watch movies like The Martian, Gravity, and Interstellar, and start imagining yourself in those situations?
If you are even slightly attracted to interstellar experiences, Adr1ft is worth playing.
The game opens with you floating freely in space near Earth; the wreckage of a space station is likewise floating around you.
You don’t know how you got here, but a single look at the wreckage, and you can be sure that there was a terrible tragedy.
The oxygen inside your suit is falling, and since there is no way to get a refill, you have to act quickly to ensure your survival.
Adr1ft will distract you at every turn by showing beautiful scenery of space; you will often lose track of the task at hand just to gaze around and take in the stunning sight.
Could immersive technology be used to make people laugh?
The creator of Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, certainly thinks so, and he has created Accounting – a short comedy adventure game – to show us why.
As you pass through multiple deformed and deranged layers of virtual reality, your main task will be to move and manipulate objects in the environment to achieve a goal.
You might not like the interactive part of the game very much, but you will enjoy the writing a lot.
The game is littered with unusual characters who speak in a bizarre rambling way that is reminiscent of Rick and Morty.
Let’s jump right into one of the best genres of virtual reality today.
Action games in VR are a blast.
This is mainly because you no longer control a character on the screen; instead, you are the character.
Every shot, every punch, every bomb will be aimed at you.
It may not sound convincing in theory, but try an action game in VR, and let your headset fool your senses.
You will soon find yourself sweaty and out of breath!
Elite Dangerous: Horizons
One of the best ideas for a VR experience is an action-packed dogfighting game, where the perspective camera is placed inside the cockpit.
Add in fantastic elements like outer space and alien enemies, and you have an immersive VR title on your hands!
Elite: Dangerous is arguably the best implementation of space dogfighters in virtual reality.
The developers at Frontier have been working on bringing Elite to VR for a really long time, and they didn’t want to mess anything up.
The result is a very immersive, nicely-detailed, and polished VR game, which provides the perfect start for your journey in VR.
Elite Dangerous, the game, has been in development for a very long time, and the results justify it.
Raw Data is one of the most popular action games you can find for VR.
The game’s backstory is pretty clichéd; you are a member of a group of hacktivists called SyndiK8, and Eden Corporation is an evil organization trying to take over the world.
You and your highly-skilled buddies attempt to charge in through the front door of Eden Corporation and destroy its functional capability by capturing their data.
The most exciting aspect of the game is its gameplay.
Raw Data offers you a large variety of weapons, in addition to an arsenal of nanotech-based powers.
You will be using combinations of weapons and powers to decimate anyone who comes in your path.
This style of gameplay is very popular in sci-fi games like Mass Effect, Titan Fall, Halo, and Destiny.
You may find it hard to believe that virtual reality can be just as fun in third-person action games, but it is true.
Moss, a cute and cartoonish action-adventure VR title, is here to prove that.
Moss is like taking the pedal off the gas when you compare it to other action games on this list, but in a fun way.
In Moss, the players are given control of a mouse in a third-person perspective, which makes the gameplay a lot like that in traditional PC games.
The game also allows you to control of a lot of the aspects of your environment, which you have to use to solve puzzles and clear obstacles as you progress.
Moss can be a very fun VR starter for younger gamers. I would still recommend you try this one out, regardless of your age.
If you are into rhythm games like Guitar Hero, you should give this VR title a try.
Thumper proves that rhythm games are even more intense, and the players can do even harder levels with style, in VR.
The best part about Thumper is that it starts at a very slow pace and, as you progress through without dying, the speed keeps increasing until you reach the point where your senses are absolutely numb to the outside world.
In this VR game, you are given control of a metallic beetle which hurtles across a psychedelic speedway.
The players can use easy commands and gestures to make the beetle line up perfectly with the obstacles and pass them.
Each obstacle is synchronized with the beat of the rock music playing in the background.
The music keeps getting better as you perform perfectly-timed gestures to cross obstacles.
Thumper’s neon-ish visuals and end-level boss fights make it a unique rhythm violence game in VR that you should try.
With unprecedented games like the Prince of Persia and the Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft has proven its skills in rendering highly-accurate versions of many major historic cities of Europe in the medieval era.
Eagle Flight is another very interesting game by Ubisoft that captivates the players with its breathtaking visuals and brilliant storytelling.
Eagle Flight is set in a future where humans have been extinct for 50 years; the world, now, is only populated with animals, and they have inherited everything that we humans have left behind.
The players are given control of an eagle soaring over Paris.
It’s not all about flying a thousand feet above the ground and taking in amazing visuals of the beautiful city, although that is awesome in itself.
You will have to face various animals on the ground and in the air who try to encroach on your territory.
Ubisoft even offers a multiplayer mode, where every player is an eagle. Excited yet?
This is the genre you have all been waiting for; the culmination of any VR gamer’s dreams.
There is no need to explain why the world is going crazy over shooting games in VR.
Nothing pumps adrenaline more than being in a constant danger of being shot by an army of enemies, while you alone have the firepower and skills to defeat them all.
Let’s shoot, dodge, take cover, and vault through these awesome VR shooting games that will make your VR journey unforgettable.
Superhot VR is among the worthiest titles in this list of VR games for the HTC Vive, not because of its high-speed action, but because of the innovative gameplay mechanism it features.
The original game was a very popular shooter puzzler that was meant for VR, even when VR gaming was in its infancy.
The Superhot VR’s graphics are based on 3D triangles, so everything looks like a work of art in the white rooms through which you have to pass while fighting enemies.
In Superhot VR, as long as you’re moving, time moves normally, but as soon as you stop, time stops, too.
Can you imagine what this means in VR?
Thanks to the HTC Vive’s tracking system, any movement followed by the controllers will return time to normal, so you will have to be very still in order to trigger a time stop.
Carefully calculate your moves through the stunning rooms, both to destroy your foes in style and to feel good about yourself.
Doom was that awesome FPS shooter game that many of us played back in the late ‘90s.
The franchise was almost forgotten, until the developers released the Doom reboot in 2016; this upended the gaming industry.
To capture the feeling of the now-beloved game, Bethesda decided to launch Doom VFR in 2017.
The name accurately captures the overall vibe of the game; within the first hour of gameplay, you will realize what the “F” in “VFR” stands for!
You thought you experienced a rush when you played 2016’s Doom?
Wait until you launch it in VFR, and let it unleash its horde of demons against you.
Serious Sam: The First Encounter
Are you a fan of those shooter games that give big guns to crazy people and let them do whatever they want to their environment?
Serious Sam is that game in VR.
This is the second VR title of the series, and I would recommend you try the first one, too.
The First Encounter is an accurate VR remaster of the 2009 HD remake of the original game in this popular series.
Serious Sam offers teleportation, as well as full locomotion, between which for you to choose.
The rest is up to you; you can play the game however you see fit, and the game will ensure that you are given enough firepower to prevail.
Apart from the 15 highly-immersive and exciting campaign missions, you can play Serious Sam in an arena-style mode, or with your friends in co-op missions.
Space Pirate Trainer
Many developers grant the players some slack when it comes to aim in VR shooter games.
Since the tracking systems aren’t as smooth as they could be to let the player aim accurately, simply pointing in the general direction of the enemy can grant you a hit.
Space Pirate Trainer has a different setup.
The developers of Space Pirate Trainer seemingly believe that a true player will learn how to aim accurately in virtual reality, if they’re put under enough pressure.
Space Pirate Trainer is a solitary experience, for now.
The player is teleported to an isolated platform, and the game releases a barrage of robots every few minutes to fight them.
Both of your Vive Controllers act as guns, and each gun has a unique set of capabilities, including different firing modes, charged shots, and various kinds of ammunition.
2001’s Rez is one of those games that popularized gaming for 90’s kids.
Rez Infinite is a very loyal VR adaptation of the original experience, which reminds us gaming maniacs why we fell in love with games in the first place.
Just as in the original offering, you will be placed in a hostile computer network, and lasers will be fired upon you from all angles in your field of view.
In VR, however, the game will feel different; not like the original game, at all.
The stunning visuals and highly-immersive environment of Rez Infinite will make you realize that this experience is meant for virtual reality.
We already have a number of zombie shooters for VR, but Arizona Sunshine is undoubtedly one of the best on the market today.
You can play the campaign missions solo, but I would suggest that you play in co-op mode, because then it becomes a social zombie shooter game, which is even better!
The story begins with a radio broadcast about a group of humans who have survived the zombie apocalypse; you decide to link up with them.
However, as you travel through the barren lands, you will realize that this won’t be an easy task, as the overwhelming heat makes it hard to travel for long, and there is always a horde of zombies nearby.
Once you are done with the awesomeness called “Campaign Mode,” you should try horde mode, where four players can fight an army of zombies.
Hover Junkies is nothing like any of the other games on this list.
While many developers today have barely released few-hour-long gameplay teasers of their otherwise large titles, Hover Junkies is a complete game within itself.
The game puts you on the deck of a hover ship that you can move around the battlefield.
The player itself’s movement is restricted to the deck of this ship, which brilliantly solves the problem of limited movement space.
Fight other players on an epic battleground, while salvaging junk to upgrade your hover ship.
You can also use the collected junk to build walls behind which to take cover on your ship.
Hover Junkies is one of the best VR multiplayer shooter games, and it is definitely worth a try.
Role-playing is one of the most popular gaming genres of all time.
The original role-playing games (pen and paper-based) are very strictly defined, but VR RPGs use some of the main elements of the original concept.
When you think about it, almost every action, adventure, and a large number of shooter, games use some of the elements of role-playing games to enhance their experience.
There is something about being a character with a rich backstory in a fantasy universe that we love dearly but can’t explain why.
Fallout 4 VR
One of Bethesda’s flagship RPGs, Fallout 4, is among the most popular games in the industry.
It would be natural that the VR adaptation of the game instantly includes the highlights; it’s the best RPG on this list.
Fallout 4 is known for its ridiculously-long walkthrough, filled with hundreds of quests in a large world.
The best feature of the VR adaptation is that, unlike many VR games, the developers of Fallout 4 VR have ported the entire game to VR, instead of bringing just a small part of the original game.
Fallout 4’s backstory is very attractive and emotional, which becomes even better in VR.
Fallout 4’s gameplay is equally as explosive and action-packed.
Games like Fallout 4 VR are among the best that VR gaming currently has to offer.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Bethesda strikes again, with another VR adaptation of one of its flagship RPG games.
Skyrim is yet another of one of the most popular games in the gaming industry, and its VR version received equal attention as soon as the developers announced its release.
The Elder Scrolls is set in a fantasy world called Tamriel; its province of Skyrim is inhabited by one of the oldest races of men, the Nords.
Skyrim has everything that you would want in a fantasy world: Ancient weapons, magic, dragons, tribes, kings, legendary people who can speak the dragon language, and much, much more.
Skyrim VR will show you the true power of immersive technologies, and introduce you to the best of what RPGs have to offer.
One of the most popular VR titles in the RPG category is Left-Hand Path, a Dark Souls type of game that won’t offer you warm milk and cookies, even if you are a beginner.
Left-Hand Path beautifully utilizes the motion tracking system of the HTC Vive, and makes the player get active.
You will have to dodge spells, sword swings, and axes that are bigger than your own body.
The best feature of the Left-Hand Path is its magic.
You will have to make accurate gestures to activate different powerful spells in the game.
Learning the movements may be a bit frustrating at first, but when you’ve put some effort into the game, you can truly master this universe’s magic.
Still in Early Access, this game is the evidence that virtual reality can successfully combine cartoonish visuals with a serious story and intense gameplay.
As you explore the vast and beautiful world of Vanishing Realms, you will get your hands on a large variety of weapons, and will have to face several different types of enemies.
Halfway into the game, you will have chosen your favorite, unique to you, weapons and combat style.
You should definitely try Vanishing Realms, if you want to witness the powers of VR in a cartoonish RPG.
Manipulating puny humans is such fun, isn’t it?
In this game, you’ll get to play the role of a bloodthirsty monster, and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about.
The game is pretty straightforward, but very entertaining.
Up to six people sit at a table in a medieval town’s square; each one is given a different role, and everyone has to work together to reach the goal.
The goal, obviously, is determining which one of the six people is a shapeshifting monster.
Imagine the pen-and-paper game Killer-People-Detective, fused with a reality TV show where everyone is playing a role to confuse everyone else.
Social and Creative Games
The original idea of VR is that the player is transported away from the real world; most people think that VR games are solitary experiences.
That’s not entirely true; there are a lot of VR games that teleport you to a new world, but also let you interact with other people in the real one.
Most of the games listed in this category are the kind of games that you can enjoy either with your family and friends, or even alone.
This social VR experience is true to the definition of social VR games in every way.
Rec Room is a large virtual recreation space where you can hang out, interact with other players, and play fun little games to pass your time.
Some of the awesome mini-games that you can play in this social world with your friends, or even random people you meet, are basketball, soccer, disc golf, paintball, and many more.
All of the mini-games in Rec Room are optimized for room space activity, which makes them very immersive and fun to play.
Google Tilt Brush
Tilt Brush might not be a game by definition, but it certainly is a lot of fun, and deserves to be on this list.
Tilt Brush provides you with a large 3D canvas and a variety of brushes, tools, paint types, and colors, and then leaves you to create whatever you want.
You hold and control the brush with your dominant hand.
Your other hand is used to manage the color palette, change brush types, change paint types, activate tools, and manage system settings.
Tilt Brush also features several effects brushes, like fire and flowing water, to bring your 3D-painted creativity to life.
Tilt Brush is still being upgraded; more and more tools and functionality are being added with each update, but it still isn’t a professional VR app with which to create complicated art.
Ritchie’s Plank Experience
No matter how strong you are mentally, you will probably be afraid of standing only on a narrow plank 80 floors above ground level.
Ritchie’s Plank Experience allows you to face that fear with the safety of actually being on the ground.
Don’t let that fool you for a second, though; the game’s immersion will scare you silly.
To make your experience even more realistic, the developers encourage you to use a real-life plank to walk on, and adjust the dimensions of the virtual plank in the game to make things feel more real.
You can even play this one with your friends and family, and make small wagers on who will be able to succeed with the experience and who will choke.
Puzzle games are exceptionally cute and interesting in virtual reality, due to the attachment you develop to the game environment.
You can spend hours in VR puzzlers without getting bored. These VR games for the HTC Vive will immerse you in highly-interactive environments, and make you get creative to find solutions to pass each level.
The HTC Vive’s state of the art motion tracking system has unlocked great capabilities for VR game developers.
Fantastic Contraption is an amazing puzzler that fully utilizes these capabilities, and presents a very exciting experience.
Fantastic Contraption is based on the popular Flash-based game of 2008, in which the users had to use different components to create a 2D contraption.
Instead of picking up a tool to grab and drag components, you have to lift components with your hands and fit them into the contraption, however you want to.
The main task of each level is to build a mechanism that moves an object to a specified goal area.
It is pretty simple, but has a very strict physics engine, so you’ll have to work a bit before you can achieve the goal.
Cyan, the developers of the popular puzzle-adventure game Myst, have outdone themselves yet again with Obduction.
While most of the puzzlers on this list confine the player to an isolated area, Obduction puts the players on a strange but very beautiful planet.
Your mission is to solve puzzles throughout your journey to find a way to get off this planet and back to your homeworld.
The game features brilliant aesthetics and beautiful landscapes that you could gaze at for hours before getting your head in the game.
If you are a fan of adventure games that offer a lot of puzzles, Obduction should be in your library.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes avoids the solitary kind of VR gaming, instead letting you interact with the real world in addition to the virtual one.
The more friends with whom you are playing this game, the better you can play, and the more fun your group can have.
The game concept is simple; the friend wearing the VR headset will be presented a randomly selected bomb full of wires and a keypad.
Each bomb type has a different procedure to disarm it, and the information about the bomb types and their disarming procedures is printed on a manual which is given to the friends in the real world.
The friend with the VR headset will try to describe the bomb to his friends, who will look for that type of bomb in the manual, and walk the friend with the VR headset through the disarming procedure.
The game is as exciting as it sounds, and can be a source of a great fun for you and your friends.
Mr. Mercedes Lair Escape
Mr. Mercedes Lair Escape is based on an original TV series by AT&T, in which the protagonist is trapped in a lair and has to escape from it, one room at a time.
The show became so popular that a lot of entertainment companies started offering real-life experiences of the escape room concept.
Now, instead of paying a lot of money to an agency to put you in an escape room experience, you can simply enjoy one from the comfort of your own couch.
The obvious advantage is that you can quit the experience by taking off the headset whenever you are too stressed, but what fun would that be?
Just as in the TV series, the VR game uses psychological tricks to put pressure on you, and the immersion of the overall experience will ensure that you really want to get out of this pit as fast as possible.
As this is one of the less resource-hungry games on this list, Conductor compensates for its less-flashy graphics with its brilliant gameplay.
The escape room game features multiple locations (or levels), each one with an increasingly difficult solution.
This is a nice way to get the players into the mood; offer them easy levels to get them confident and help them understand the available interactions in the environment, so they can get ready for the harder puzzles.
Your goal in each level is to make a train operable so it can transport you to the next level.
You also get a gravity cannon that you can use to move objects around.