Sony’s jump into virtual reality with its PlayStation VR has proved more successful than even Sony anticipated. In less than a year on the market, players have bought more than one million PSVR headsets, and we found the hardware very impressive. As with all video game consoles, however, no console can win fans over by itself. There’s been slow, but steady lineup of great games coming to PSVR since launch. These are the 12 best PSVR games available today.
PlayStation VR went well over a year without a true “killer app,” but whimsical adventure Moss might just be that game. Framed as a children’s fairy tale — complete with a single narrator performing the voices of each character, as a parent would while reading to their child — Quill the mouse runs along and overcomes obstacles, you as the “reader” must also interact with the environment, yourself.
Plus, Moss makes great use of the PSVR’s control scheme while also using traditional gamepad control. It’s one of the first PSVR games to truly understand the potential of virtual reality technology, relying on more subtle motions and less of the motion-sickness-inducing jerky movements seen in other games.
PlayStation VR’s simplest launch title was and remains one of its best. This 3D puzzler from Fez developer Polytron asks players to rotate an ever-expanding group of cubes to fit through a specifically shaped hole in a steadily incoming wall. The cube-structure sits right in front of your face, so as it expands you’ll have to crane your neck further and further to identify the shape of the hole.
While it may not transport you to a new world, the game’s mechanical use of virtual reality masterfully adapts a simple concept for VR, and created something entirely new in the process. This may not be the best game to show friends who are new to VR, but it’s the one you will keep playing even after the novelty of VR has worn off.
Making a play for VR’s first eSport, RIGS is a fast-paced arena sport where two teams of three players piloting giant mechs fight to accrue the most points in five-minute matches. There are three different types of play, awarding points for kills, carrying a ball through the opposing team’s goal, or charging up your mech with takedowns and then leaping through a central ring, respectively. With multiple online and offline gameplay modes, in addition to solo skill trials and unlockable customization options for your rig and pilot, RIGS is one of the most fully-realized games available in VR currently, where most releases still feel like tech demos. Most importantly, it’s a lot of fun, and if it attracts a critical mass of regular players into a sustainable community, it has the potential to be an early pillar of the medium.
Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s cult classic shooter returns and it’s trippy as hell. Aside from a new VR-exclusive level, Infinite is actually a remastered of the original PlayStation 2 game, which came out in 2001. Virtual reality, however, has made the game feel fresh again. The experience of flying through cyberspace, tagging and shooting vector-based enemies with a look, forces you to keep your head on a swivel and your eyes constantly exploring. Though it may feel a little fast-paced for some players new to VR, Rez Infinite is a game you’ll play for longer and longer over time.
This dream-like adventure follows a mysterious dancing creature on a journey to fix her home. While the game has been available on PS4 and other platforms for some time, a new patch has made the game fully playable in PlayStation VR. Though it does not use virtual reality to great mechanical purpose, a surprisingly effective solution for its shifting cinematic camera and beautiful animation make Bound one the most impressive VR narratives we’ve tried yet.
Described as “rhythm violence,” Thumper reframes Amplitude-style rhythmic tapping as futuristic combat against gigantic virtual monsters. Players control a metallic “space beetle” running along a track to an electronic beat, tapping, sliding and bracing to hit everything your enemy throws at you.
While its VR elements are mostly cosmetic, the ominous atmosphere of wavy tentacles and giant glowing eyes emerging from the void is incredibly impressive. Get distracted for even a second and you’ll lose your flow (and probably your run.) Thumper is an absolute delight, amplified to new heights with its move to PSVR.
Six years later and we’re still talking about Skyrim. The 2011 Bethesda RPG captivated gamers with its expansive open world, but its allure came from its choose-your-adventure mentality. After a series of ports that have made it impossible for Skyrim to fade into the past, the fantasy experience entered the proposed future of gaming — virtual reality. For a game as wide in scope as Skyrim, its voyage onto PSVR is extremely impressive.
The visuals line up more closely to the original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Skyrim, but it’s hard to consider that too much of a knock given, the infancy of the medium. The game can be played with the PlayStation Move controllers, adding more immersive combat. While the default movement system effectively utilizes short-range teleportation to remove the threat of motion sickness, free movement actually works surprisingly well — better than other first-person perspective games on the platform. Skyrim hasn’t quite overstayed its welcome just yet, and returning to Tamriel in VR is a delight, sure to intrigue longtime fans and newcomers alike.