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Thanks to Steam’s hardware agnostic approach, it’s become the defacto repository of all things PC VR (excluding Oculus exclusives, of course). Every major PC VR headset is supported through the SteamVR platform, including Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Pimax, and Windows VR headsets; not to mention Oculus Quest, which thanks to Oculus Link lets you play PC VR games from the Oculus Store, Steam, and Viveport.
So you may be wondering, what are the best VR games for SteamVR headsets recently? You may find a couple repeats from our 10 Best Recent Rift Games, but there’s still plenty of top-scoring games to dig into here. Now, in no particular order, our top 10 best games for SteamVR headsets.
Note: Below you’ll find links pointing to Steam and Viveport, as the latter also offers support for many of the major VR headsets.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Cool weapon mods, refined physics-based zombie killing, and a high level of polish put this one head and shoulders (ok, maybe not ‘head’) above many other similar games in the genre. Check out why we gave The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners a super solid [9/10] in our review.
It’s a weird time to be alive. After over a decade of waiting, Valve has finally revived the Half-Life franchise, and it did it to spectacular effect in VR with Half-Life: Alyx (2020). Delve back into the dystopian City 17, set between the first and second Half-Life games.
Seriously, the level of detail is amazing in Half-Life: Alyx, making the linear narrative feel lived-in and much larger than it really is. And that’s saying something, because this full-featured puzzle-shooter boasts 15 hours of gameplay that is totally justified playing it straight through. Stop and smell the daises though, because we gave it our top score of 10/10 for good reason.
Road to VR’s Ben Lang calls Fujii’s lack of instructions “a testament to the intuitive VR game design skills of developer Funktronic Labs,” noting that players learn to interact with the world almost exclusively by doing, exploring, and testing the limits of the world in way that makes it a truly unique and personal experience. Check out why we gave Fujii an [8/10] in our review.
It feels like Cloudhead Games took a slice of Beat Saber (2018), a little dusting of Smash Hit (2015), a few shards of SUPERHOT VR (2017) and mixed it all together to create Pistol Whip, a VR rhythm shooter that engages your body in a very unique and compelling way.
You’re constantly moving forward through a levels where enemies appear and shoot at you, and it’s your job to not only return fire, but dodge incoming bullets too. Flow state is the name of the game here (ok, it’s Pistol Whip, but you know what I mean), and although we are still technically waiting for more music to fill out its 10-song library, it’s a game you’ll be able to pick up easily but have a hard time mastering. Check out our preview to learn more about why we like it so much.
Boneworks (2019) from Stress Level Zero is not only an achievement in VR physics simulation, but it also basically brought to VR what Valve couldn’t. That was of course before Half-Life: Alyx was even public knowledge, but this part HL homage, part physics sandbox is still a super interesting game that takes a hardliner stance on how to best immerse the player.
We didn’t give it the best score in our review—a respectable [6/10], which on our linear grading scale puts it at “good”. Due to a minimal narrative, you have to create some of the fun for yourself, which might just be right up your alley.
Until You Fall (Early Access)
Until You Fall arrives to us from Schell Games, the studio behind the super successful VR puzzler I Expect You to Die (2017), making this hack-and-slash melee adventure a bit out of left field for the studio.
Nonetheless, it offers up what Road to VR’s Ben Lang calls “a surprisingly rich combat experience which successfully fuses meta-game elements in a way that no other VR title has yet managed.” It’s still in Early Access, so we haven’t given it a score in our EA review; if we had to, it would certainly be high up there.
What’s a ‘best-of’ list without Beat Saber (2018), the game that has basically become synonymous with VR at this point. Granted, it’s available now on basically any VR headset worth owning, although its overall input simplicity makes it perfect for a multi-device platform like SteamVR.
Ok, we get it. It’s not super recent, but the content keeps flowing at a pace we simply haven’t seen in other VR titles. Now that Facebook has bought developing studio Beat Games, there’s been a strong influx of content from household names like Green Day, Panic at the Disco!, Timbaland, and more to keep you coming back for that sweet, sweet paid DLC.
No Man’s Sky (New VR Support)
With No Man’s Sky (2016), Hello Games has gone the full hero’s journey. With one of the biggest hype cycles for an indie studio to weather, the worst releases in video game history, and nary a sign of a light at the end of the tunnel, No Man’s Sky easily could have slunk away into the darkness, never to be heard from again. Instead, Hello Games persevered and ardently improved No Man’s Sky, eventually even adding VR support with its free ‘Beyond’ update.
Its VR support didn’t exactly wow us when it first released; Road to VR contributor Gabriel Moss called it “a wonderful, deeply flawed space odyssey,” giving it a still pretty respectable [7.5/10]. Quality of life updates have gone a long way of keeping us coming back for more since it first launched though—Bethesda could learn from.
Job Simulator (2016) wasn’t an easy act to follow, considering it was likely people’s first VR experience when it arrived as a launch title on basically all VR headsets. No fear though, because the owls at Owlchemy Labs hashed out a slightly new direction with its more relaxed little bro, Vacation Simulator, which includes a story line, a more open environment and a ton of vacation-style activities to explore and play.
Some fans of the original may not exactly gel with the new direction Vacation Simulator takes, but we’re willing to bet many people will have a blast going through the gads of activities. Anyway, we did, which is why we gave it a resounding [8.8] in our review.
Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs
Angry Birds in VR? Pffft. That sounds lame! But no! It’s actually really fun, and not at all a diseased microtransaction-riddled mess like its mobile forbears have become. Here, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs actually hits on some seriously fun gameplay by letting you not only knock down complex creations overrun by evil little piggies, but now you can even make your own block fortresses in creative mode.
Angry Birds just works in VR thanks to an intuitive shooting mechanic and a good mix of difficulty levels, which were big factors in why we gave it a [8.5/10] in our review.l
Update (March 26th, 2020): Out with the old, in with the new. We’ve updated to include a few of VR’s most promising recent games that you should definitely consider now that you’ll never leave the house.
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