It’s impossible to find a gamer who doesn’t love role-playing games.
RPG is among the most popular genres of the gaming world.
Especially in today’s generation, almost every game that you play will have at least some elements, if not all, of role-playing games.
RPGs allow us to be more than who we are; they fulfill our need for conquest, sense of achievement, and attention.
Yes, you may be the savior for all living species of just a digital fantasy world, but it still is a very nice feeling.
Virtual reality is the ultimate goal for us RPG lovers because, up until now, we have been controlling the role of our favorite characters.
In virtual reality, however, we get the chance truly to become that character. In this article, we will discuss what RPG games are, and list some of the best VR RPG fantasy worlds that need a savior: You, and your awesome wit and fighting skills.
What, Exactly, Are RPGs?
You could watch hours of video content on YouTube, and scan countless forums to understand what an RPG really is, and you still might not fully understand the concept of role-playing games.
I will try my best to present a very simple explanation.
Originally, RPG’s were pen and paper-based games – Dungeons and Dragons being the most popular – that had a strict set of rules, including, for instance, how a character levels up; and the game would be played with dice.
Players would assume the role of a character, all players would get the same player stats (I’ll explain about stats later), and from then on, with a very powerful imagination, the players would venture into the beyond.
RPG video games simply offer you the same game, but now you don’t need the imagination part, as the game will animate all of that on the screen.
The original concept of RPG dictates three basic rules:
- The game must have a character leveling system, or all playable characters must have individual statistics that can be improved as the game progresses
- A menu-based combat system (also usually known as a turn-based combat system)
- A central quest that is the main story for the game
Hybrid RPGs don’t necessarily include all three of these rules, but they do follow one or two of them.
Most of the hybrid RPGs neglect the second rule, and offer a dynamic real-time combat mechanism instead.
Character statistics are practically the level of a character’s skills.
A character’s interaction within the game is significantly affected by the distribution of skill points.
For instance, a character with a greater strength will be better at wielding swords than magic.
Character statistics allow you to tailor your character’s growth to suit your preference, and is essentially the core element of any form of RPG.
Why Are RPGs So Awesome In VR?
It’s quite simple.
We would love to be that powerful warrior who wields a legendary sword and casts expert level spells with ease.
Even though you get to turn a beginner-level noob into this warrior, but it still isn’t you.
The character does what you instruct it to do. In virtual reality, however, it’s a different story, entirely.
In VR, you become the character itself; your moves affect the game; you see through the eyes of this character.
In virtual reality, you have the freedom to move however you want, you can create your own combination of strikes, you can point your spell wherever you want, and you can peek around walls.
Simply put, the immersion of VR RPGs is immensely greater than that which you can experience through a monitor display.
You should know that there are quite a few different types of hybrid RPGs; the ones we cover in this article will mostly be Action, and Adventure RPGs.
So, are you excited to experience a whole new level of immersion in huge fantasy worlds?
Do you think you are capable of cutting and slashing your way through your enemies to reach the top?
Let’s dive right into it, then!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, PSVR
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (known commonly as “Skyrim”) is hands down among the best RPG games ever to have been developed.
The Elder Scrolls is a very popular RPG franchise by Bethesda, and Skyrim is by far the most fantastic release in the series.
The VR version of Skyrim was released for PlayStation VR in November of 2017.
The game, originally released for PlayStation, Xbox, and Windows PC in 2011, is set in a fictional realm known as Tamriel, of which Skyrim is an adventurous province.
Skyrim has been awarded countless awards since its release for having one of the richest backstories in the history of gaming, for its spectacular world, and for the quality of its content; all of these will have you on your PC for six hours a day, for at least two months straight.
The game puts the players into the boots of a mere thief who is about to be beheaded for his crimes.
No one, not even the player, knows the fact that a very powerful force runs through the veins of this nobody, and that he or she is the prophesied “Dragonborn” who is destined either to cause the doom of the entire country, or save it from the evil clutches of Alduin – the oldest and the most powerful dragon in the realm, who is set to destroy Tamriel and all of its inhabitants.
I may have told you a lot about the story, but trust me, you will still be very pleased with yourself as, amidst all of the chaos of dragons returning to Skyrim, you will subconsciously utter a “shout” in the Dragon Language, and all of Skyrim will acknowledge your power and look to you for help.
If you have been paying attention, I have been addressing you as the main character; that’s what Skyrim is like in VR.
Every awesome detail that I have mentioned, and every awesome moment that you will experience while playing the game, you will witness the moment through your headset like you have lived it yourself.
Vanishing Realms: Rite of Steel
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Start playing Vanishing Realms on your Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, and you will instantly realize that this game is meant for VR.
The fantasy world in Vanishing Realms has a dark and broody feel, and will instantly set your mood for adventure and exploration.
Players who love mysterious worlds that are filled with dangers around every turn will definitely love this one, too.
Vanishing Realms will make you realize how real a cartoonish 3D game can be in virtual reality.
It will also reward you with a sense of achievement every time a life-sized monster falls to the ground by your sword.
In this amazing hack-and-slash RPG, the players set out to seek mysterious vessel artifacts that contain ancient powers unmatched by any force in the realm.
You will have to fight a large variety of monsters every step of your way to these mystical and powerful artifacts.
Vanishing Realms has a very friendly combat mechanism which shows the damage you have done to your enemy with each attack.
This is very helpful when you want to switch to a weapon or magic spell to which the enemy is exceptionally vulnerable.
This mechanism will also help you make the right calls when you level up your character.
Vanishing Realms is ripe for a conqueror like you; is it worth conquering? Definitely.
VR Dungeon Knight
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
If you have loved looting treasure chests and corpses of underbosses spread out through a dark and nightmarish world, you will be doing yourself a huge favor by trying VR Dungeon Knight.
VR Dungeon Knight is one of those games that has mesmerized anyone who dared to try it, hooking them in for countless hours of gameplay.
Even in early access, VR Dungeon Knight has made its way to one of the favorite games of the VR community.
Your gaming sessions will end with you in sweat, your adrenaline level at its peak, a bag full of loot tied to your leg, and a satisfied mind that will have experienced countless awesome moments.
The dungeons in this game are cursed, and your mission is to free these dungeons from that curse by destroying the evil sources and ultimately take a stand against the powerful necromancer who cast the curse.
There will be a new dungeon every time, and all of them will be filled with death traps and creatures that will try to kill you the moment you meet them.
One of the best features of VR Dungeon Knight is your personal dungeon, which acts as a base of operations; all your weapons and equipment can be browsed and managed there, your loot is scattered around it, and you can summon yourself to evil dungeons from there.
This dungeon gives us players the feeling of truly belonging in the game.
Fallout 4 VR
Fallout 4 VR is another conversion of a PlayStation / Xbox / Windows PC-based AAA RPG to VR.
Fallout 4 is a very beautiful and immersive Action Adventure RPG that is set in the world’s ruins after a nuclear apocalypse.
This post-apocalyptic world is both exactly how our world is today, and nothing like it.
It is infested with mutated creatures and monsters who would love to have you for dinner.
The Fallout franchise’s story is that the rich people of the U.S. were offered spaces in underground nuclear shelters, called vaults.
These vaults were designed and developed by Vault-Tec, and provided the ultimate safe haven for these people in case a nuclear war started.
Everything went as was promised; people who paid enough money were able to stay safe from the nuclear war; but nobody could have been ready for the long-term results of this nuclear apocalypse.
The nuclear apocalypse gave birth to a number of new evils that you, as a first-timer, would never have expected to see in the game.
Humans turning against each other, whole vaults vanishing from the physical realm, vaults being used by Vault-Tech to conduct unimaginable experiments on people, and much more.
Are you excited to catch a glimpse of what has been acknowledged as one of the most accurate visualizations of a post-apocalyptic world?
Do you love fighting monsters that include lion-sized roaches, trolls, huge bees, and the worst of all, humans?
Do you love an RPG where your choices make significant differences in the storyline?
Then Fallout 4 VR is your new favorite game.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
Under no circumstances could I have excluded Star Trek: Bridge Crew from this list.
While Star Trek: Bridge Crew may not be an Action RPG, and doesn’t have a very serious leveling system, it’s still an Adventure RPG which I would never want you to skip.
Get ready to take command of a unique and first-of-its-kind starship U.S.S Aegis, and explore a huge unchartered portion of the final frontier named “The Trench” by the Federation.
In Star Trek: Bridge Crew, you are tasked with handling the core functions and exploration plans for the U.S.S. Aegis; its ultimate mission is to chart out The Trench and find a viable homeworld for the Vulcans, whose major populace was decimated during the events of the 2009 Star Trek movie.
People who loved the movie will find this VR title especially addictive, because it will be easier for them to relate to the pain of the Vulcans, which is the ultimate motivation for the players to explore this uncharted area in space.
Also, you will get your fill of action, as reports of Klingon activity in The Trench have been received, and their presence could seriously damage your operations if you aren’t careful.
The only way you can bring hope to the Vulcan species is through communication, trust, and close coordination with your allies.
Also, a major feature of this game is that you will be playing a large portion of it in the original bridge of the iconic starship U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.
Deadly Hunter VR
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Deadly Hunter VR is yet another worthy entry in our list of the best VR RPG games available today.
Even a Skyrim lover would love to try this one out and see if this VR FPS game’s control mechanisms are the same, or if the environment is as immersive as in Skyrim.
While you may not find Deadly Hunter VR’s world as immense as either Skyrim VR’s fantasy realm or Fallout 4 VR’s post-apocalyptic landscape, it’s definitely worth a walkthrough.
In Deadly Hunter VR, your world has been invaded by, and successfully defended against, orcs.
However, a number of them are still squatting in many of your strongholds.
As an experienced hunter, you are tasked with cleaning up your strongholds by defeating these formidable monsters.
You will often find yourself engaged in brutal battles against your enemies, as you look for ways to kill them before their blades find your neck.
You can easily juice over four hours out of this game.
A number of exciting challenges spread across 20 scenes are waiting to be experienced by you.
What makes this game such a must-try is its variety of monsters.
There are more than 10 types of orc enemies, and each of them has a unique way of fighting and weak spots.
It’s up to your killer instincts to find the best way to reunite them with their maker, if they haven’t killed him already.
The Left-Hand Path
HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Have you played Dark Souls? Do you know the feeling you get when you realize that the developers have built a game to make you suffer, so that only the worthy is left standing?
Well, The Left-Hand Path will give you goosebumps and nightmares.
Every dark corner of the dungeons you will be exploring in the game shouts, “Prepare to die!”
The game opens as you wake up from a presumably-long sleep in a ruined castle.
The castle is full of dangerous creatures, a dark and disturbing history, and arcane forces that you can use if you can master them.
Fight your way through the dark dungeons as you get better at your magical powers, and become one with the darkness.
Keep in mind that The Left-Hand Path is a room-scale game, and you can’t play it seated.
You’ll have to dodge arrows, crouch under swinging axes that are as large as your character, and make various gestures to summon powers like lightning bolts on your unfortunate enemy.
The magic rituals that you’ll master in this game are inspired by historic Hermetic magic.
The Left-Hand Path is not easy; it will make you work as hard as it will make you think of ways to overcome obstacles and defeat unforgiving monsters with specific weaknesses.
If you want to challenge yourself and enjoy over 15 hours of intense role-playing, all while discovering ancient and horrifying truths, The Left-Hand Path might just be your new best adventure.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
Karnage Chronicles is another wonderful Action Hack-and-Slash RPG that will put you into the boots of a Mulkwraith who has to defend its land from invaders.
The next second, the game will shove surprising revelations to your face, followed by a lot of hard decisions that will define who you really are, which, in turn, will define the future of your lands.
Karnage Chronicles currently features about 3-4 hours of juicy hack-and-slash content, but that’s not all.
The developers of this wonderful game chose to pay full attention to details, graphics, and backstory, instead of forcing boring content into the game.
The result is an awesome game that has a rich backstory, great plot and storytelling, and one of the best visual experiences you’ll find in any VR title.
Plus, the developers have said that they are working on more content to expand the length of the game.
Choose your combat style, whether that of a sword-wielding loud and destructive warrior or a silent and stealthy archer, and set out to snatch your lands back from your enemy.
Each of the two classes has unique weapons to support their combat style.
The developers have also promised to bring Mage and Cleric classes into the mix, during Early Access.
We have discussed so many awesome and brilliant VR RPG games that I have run out of unique words to describe any more.
Make no mistake, there are a lot more RPGs in VR that you would enjoy playing; the VR industry is growing every day, and more and more developers are diving into these uncharted waters and giving us game lovers a piece of their creative minds. And we love it!
Also, remember that I haven’t ranked these games, because each game is awesome in its own unique way.
To rank these games would be to disrespect them and their developers’ efforts.
So, get your controllers calibrated, and your calendar and wallets empty, and dive right into these mysterious and intriguing worlds that are practically begging for you to come and conquer them.