Opinion regarding Sony’s Playstation VR is mixed. On one hand it’s a brilliant piece of kit that gives you plug-and-play access to a new frontier in gaming. On the other it’s an expensive novelty that lacks proper support from Sony.
The argument that the platform has hardly any games is a fallacy though; a quick browse of the PSVR section of the Playstation store turns up a surprising number of games and new ones are appearing all the time.
Obviously this can make things a little overwhelming, so I’ve gathered together a list of 15 best PSVR games that I think you really have to play.
How we’ve arranged our best PlayStation VR games list
I’ve broken down the following list into three parts: beginner, intermediate and experienced. Suggestions for beginners are mainly static affairs, whilst intermediate and experienced games provide increasing levels of motion that may cause discomfort to those new to VR.
All the games on this list can be enjoyed whatever your level of VR experience though, so don’t discount them just because you don’t think you fall into the right category.
Oh, and of course, this isn’t a definitive rundown. I’ve not been able to sample every single PSVR game out there, so if you think I’ve missed something wonderful, please do share your suggestions!
Best PSVR games for beginners
The Lost Bear is great introduction to virtual reality thanks to the way it seamlessly blends traditional 2D platforming with a sedate VR experience.
Played from a seated position, the action unfolds in front of you, as if you were watching your very own, personal puppet show. From the safety of your virtual sofa, you must guide little Walnut as she attempts to rescue her favourite teddy bear from the clutches of the evil Toy Snatcher.
Don’t let the cutesy name or premise fool you though: before long the atmosphere starts to take a dark turn, bringing with it a distinctly Limbo-esque vibe. Not everything happens on this virtual stage either.
Occasionally creatures or objects will break the fourth wall, crossing from your 3D world to Walnut’s 2D one and vice versa. It’s a great touch that makes both planes feel connected and it adds extra immersion in many unexpected ways.
Moss is easily one of the best titles available for the PSVR at the moment. The game is set in a stunningly realised storybook world that’s brought to life by the kind of polish that can only be achieved when creators have poured their hearts and souls into a project.
Our plucky heroine Quill is the highlight, of course, exquisitely animated and full of personality despite her tiny size, but she’s not the only star of the show.
Moss makes you a part of the game too by casting you as your very own character called The Reader. As this ghostly presence you not only have direct control over Quill, but you can also reach into the game world to push, pull and interact with objects. Or you could just stare lovingly at your own reflection in babbling brooks.
These interactions give you a believable connection with the game world and help you form a bond with Quill in a way that just isn’t possible with traditional video games.
Moss is best played from a seated position but it encourages you to lean forward and explore the environment, as if you were inspecting a magical model village. Whether you’re a complete beginner or video gaming veteran, Moss needs to be in your VR library.
Statik is a puzzle game like no other. Not only is it incredibly immersive, but it also nails the balancing of its puzzles, making them tricky but not unfair. Its crowning glory, however, is the ingenious way it uses the Dualshock 4 controller to ground you in its virtual world.
You play a test subject whose hands are trapped inside a series of increasingly complex puzzle boxes and as you grip your controller in real life, your virtual arms mimic your real world movements.
The only way to remove the puzzle boxes is to tinker with your controller until you find the right combination of button presses to help move the puzzle on. Sometimes you may get stuck for a long time, twisting and turning the controller in your hands.
Fiddle around with the buttons and thumbsticks for long enough, though, and after a while, something will click – and when it does finding that solution is unbelievably satisfying. Statik may be one of the least physically taxing PSVR games out there, but that doesn’t stop it from delivering a truly memorable – and physical! – experience.
Rec Room may only be in beta at the moment, but that shouldn’t disqualify this vibrant social hub from appearing on this list, especially seeing as it’s completely free!
Rec Room is a great social space where you can find new friends and indulge in group activities, which are both things that are very hard to do in VR games that traditionally tend to deliver more solitary experiences.
Rec Room is also the most active game in the beginners section thanks to its mixture of mini-games like Disk Golf, Laser Tag and Paddle Ball so it’s worth bearing that in mind if you’re short on space to swing your arms around.
This also means that you’ll need to own two Move controllers in order to play Rec Room – but if you’re serious about getting into VR you’ll need them eventually anyway. While the control scheme can be a little frustrating to get to grips with, the amount of content available makes up for that, as does the fact that the game gets updated at weekly intervals.
Job Simulator may have a rather mundane title but don’t let that fool you. There’s nothing boring about this VR game. Not only is it incredibly funny, it also allows you to stand up and play around with virtual environments in ways that are not too strenuous for VR beginners.
Using two Move controllers to grab at virtual objects, Job Simulator’s quirky tasks will have you picking things up, opening cupboards, pushing buttons and pulling levers, all whilst making you giggle yourself silly.
There really is no better game out there for getting you comfortable with moving around in a 3D simulated space. Job Simulator may be set in a comical world populated by wacky robots, but it’s such an immersive experience you’ll often forget you’re in VR altogether.
Best PSVR games for intermediate users
Ultrawings isn’t the most exciting of flight sims but it’s certainly one of the best you’ll find on PSVR. Hidden behind the rather basic graphics is a relaxing and immersive game that really nails the sensation of flight, complete with sudden lurches in your stomach if you decide to pull off some of the more extreme maneuvers.
Played out almost like a VR version of PilotWings, you take to the skies above a group of tiny islands in a series of small, single seater airplanes and must complete short challenges in order to earn enough cash to upgrade your way to new planes and landing strips.
While your first take-off and flight may feel a little intense, the majority of your time in the sky will be quite comfortable, and there are plenty of options available to help you feel more settled.
Crucially the cartoony visuals hide some excellent in-air physics that, when combined with the audio of wind rushing past your ears, provide the illusion of flight in a way that no other PSVR game can.
For the ultimate in relaxing VR experiences, turn off the in-game music, stick on a Spotify playlist and enjoy the freedom of soaring over the ocean to your favourite tunes – it’s magical.
Farpoint was first released alongside Sony’s Aim Controller, a plastic peripheral that mimics the feel of holding a real gun while also adding increased immersion by allowing you to aim down virtual gun sights.
I wasn’t too taken with the game when it first came out: the excellent gunplay provided by the Aim Controller didn’t quite mask the fact that the campaign was nothing but a super linear sci-fi shooter.
In the last few months however, Farpoint has had loads of free content added which has pushed the game into must-buy territory. There are a host of challenge maps which add longevity to the short campaign, plus a very exciting PvP mode that hints at how good a proper multiplayer shooter using Aim Controllers could be.
If you’re thinking about investing in an Aim Controller then Farpoint has to be on your list too. It’s easily the best implementation of the tech and because of this shooting aliens in the face has never been so satisfying.
Considering Until Dawn: Rush of Blood was one of the PSVR’s original launch titles, this haunted roller coaster still holds up incredibly well. Visually the game is a treat, with each super spooky level building suspense and tension as you trundle down its rickety tracks.
Sudden in-your-face jumpscares combined with an ever present sense of dread make this much more intense than just your standard on-rails shooter, but at the same time it also makes it much more believable.
There’s a sense of physicality to the enemies when they get close enough to startle you, and the way you’ll need to move your body to duck and dodge spinning blades adds an extra layer of realism.
Dual-wielding with Move controllers feels fantastic too, and the way each location encourages you to shoot up the scenery ensures that even in those rare, quiet moments, things don’t get boring.
For fans of horror this is an essential purchase, but really anyone who enjoys well made VR shooters will get a kick out of it too. Just don’t forget to keep your arms and legs inside the carriage at all times!
I’ve decided to share this next entry between three games because I just can’t choose which one I like the best out of Rez Infinite, Polybius and Thumper. All of these action games deliver a similar kind of experience, but each one is presented in a wildly different way, so which one you enjoy the most will probably come down to personal preference.
Rez Infinite is a VR remake of the Dreamcast favourite that’s both perfect for a trip down memory lane and also a great example of how some older titles can potentially be repurposed for VR.
Polybius is a psychedelic shooter from Jeff Minter that’s a real trip for your eyeballs. It gets more intense the better you do and I swear if you play it for long enough you can start to see cracks forming in reality.
Finally, there’s Thumper. which sends you thundering down a twisting track as you battle to stay alive by mashing buttons to the rhythm of its oppressive beats. There’s a foreboding feel to proceedings, and it’s something that will stick with you even after the PSVR helmet comes off.
Each one of these games is utterly thrilling and immersive in its own right and they’re all brilliant examples of how VR can deliver experiences that are beyond your imagination. If you’re getting, or already have a PSVR, you really need to try at least one of these games out.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a unique VR game that really needs to be played with other people to get the most out of it. Roleplaying as officers of the Federation, you and three other players must assume individual roles aboard the USS Aegis and work together as the ship makes its voyage into unknown territory.
Communication is key here – the captain provides the orders, while the three remaining crew members must carry them out in a series of missions that increase in complexity and danger.
The game is best played with two Move controllers so you have independent control over both your arms. Using these you can interact with your control panels, signal to other players or just pull off silly little dance moves in the quiet moments.
Played solo, the events that unfold are utterly forgettable, but with friends, or strangers these missions deliver an unparalleled experience that will even appeal to those of you who don’t identify as Trekkies.
Best PSVR games for experienced players
Resident Evil 7 is probably the best example of a triple-A experience on PSVR. Everything about it, from the graphics and audio design to the moment-to-moment action screams quality. And screams is the operative word.
The game itself is identical to the 2D version, but the extra immersion that VR brings ratchets up the terror factor to create one of the most heart-pounding VR experiences ever.
From the way you can peer through windows at the horrors outside to the act of crouching behind objects as an unstoppable beast stalks you from the shadows, Resi 7 oozes atmosphere and tension.
The amount of detail put into the level design and world-building is phenomenal and it makes each corner of the Baker family farm feel like a real-life location. It’s not for the faint-hearted, to say the least, but for those of you who are brave enough to play it through in VR? Well, you’re in for a masterclass in immersion.
When Doom VFR was first announced, early gameplay demos and trailers terrified fans because they showed the game being played using teleport-to-move mechanics only. How on Earth would Doom’s signature, silky smooth dances of death translate to that kind of control scheme? we all wondered.
Well thankfully, even though you can play the game using full locomotion controls, the teleportation mechanic works really well. It’s even been factored into the core gameplay by becoming a novel replacement for the game’s gory glory kill system.
In fact, using both free-move and teleport together is the best way to play Doom VFR as it allows you to zip around each level in ways you’ve never before imagined. So yes, Doom’s trademark ultra-violence is just as much fun in VR as it is on a TV screen, but here you get to understand just how bloody huge a Mancubus actually is!
Many VR games can be criticized for being too short but you won’t have that problem with Skyrim VR. Bethesda’s roleplaying epic has been recreated inch-by-inch for PSVR, and stepping into the world they’ve created is, at times, literally jaw-dropping.
Most VR games have an impressive sense of scale to them, but Skyrim’s incredible vistas, huge temples and labyrinthine dungeons feel so vast that you can’t help but stop every so often just to take it all in.
This land of Skyrim always felt like an enchanting place to explore, but in VR everything feels alive and vibrant. Even if you’ve already played the vanilla game through to completion it’s worth a replay in VR just to see how fresh and new everything feels with that extra added dimension.
The fact that you can control the game and dual wield weapons and spells with two Move controllers only adds to the immersion, even though it does feel a little bit clumsy at times. I mean, seriously, what other games out there allow you to physically bop an actual dragon on the head with an enchanted broadsword? None that I can think of!
One thing the PSVR isn’t short of is shooting galleries. There are bloody loads of them and to be honest, they’re all a bit samey and they tend to get old fast. The best of the bunch, though, is Raw Data, which at its core is a shooting gallery experience, but with a little bit of full motion thrown in as well.
You’re tasked with downloading sensitive data from a variety of servers while at the same time fending off the attacks of multiple waves of angry security bots. You battle these enemies with an assortment of weapons that utilise the Move controller’s full potential and as such feel great to use. Of special note here is the shotgun which you have to manually pump after each shot – something that never stops feeling awesome!
What saves Raw Data from becoming just another dull grind is some top-notch presentation, an interesting storyline and some great voiceovers.
Plus there’s the added bonus of being able to choose from four different characters, each with their own unique abilities, including one that uses a super cool laser sword that feels incredible to weild. If you just like shooting (or chopping) stuff in VR, then Raw Data is a definite must-buy.
Out of all the games I’ve mentioned in this list, Sprint Vector is easily the most physically demanding. Played like a cross between Mirror’s Edge and Mario Kart, you take part in deadly races that are powered by your own physical movements.
By holding a Move controller in each hand and pumping your arms in a running motion, you build up speed until you find yourself rocketing around fantasy locations, flying over jumps and shooting enemy racers with powerups.
Once you’ve got over the steep learning curve and hit your stride you’ll feel like you have complete mastery over the virtual world you inhabit – and that is an especially empowering experience.
Sprint Vector will get you sweaty but it’ll also deliver an adrenaline boost quite unlike anything else on the market, especially once you start nailing those first place positions.
So, those were 15 PSVR games you really have to play – but which of your favourites did I miss? I bet loads of you say Superhot. I know I missed Superhot, but come on, that was great for the first hour or so but then when the psychic powers and throwing mechanics get introduced it just turns into a frustrating mess.
But anyway – I bet there are loads more I missed so have at it in the comments below, and do have a lovely, VR-filled day!