If you received a virtual reality gaming headset this holiday season, congratulations! Whether you’ve got the newly released Oculus Quest 2, one of the last few units of the now discontinued Oculus Rift S, or another headset like the PlayStation VR, there are a ton of video games for you to explore with your new head mount display. Here are ten games I personally enjoy and think are worth your time and money.
We’ve rounded up our favorite and most-used games, apps, and entertainment. Check out our app picks for iPhones, Android phones, Windows PCs, and M1-equipped Macs; our favorite mobile games from Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass; and our top choices for gaming PCs, the PS5, Xbox One and Series X / S, Nintendo Switch, and VR. We’ve also listed our favorite streaming shows on Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, and Netflix; some great sci-fi books; and exciting new podcasts. (Note: pricing was accurate at the time of publishing but may change.)
Yeah, it’s not Half-Life 3. But the fact that Half-Life: Alyx even exists is truly a blessing and is a great addition to the Half-Life franchise. Set five years after the events of Half-Life 2, you control Alyx, who is tasked with taking a super weapon that belongs to an alien empire.
Star Wars: Squadrons
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to pilot an X-Wing. I thought it was so cool to be soaring through space and blasting Tie Fighters out of the sky. So when EA announced that Star Wars: Squadrons would have VR support, I knew I could finally fulfill my childhood dream.
It’s a very difficult game, and you don’t need a VR headset to play. But it’s also a very rewarding game that fully immersed me when I strapped on a virtual reality headset.
Real VR Fishing
When I was growing up on the eastern shore of Maryland, fishing was (and is) a very popular activity in the summer. There’s something great about casting your line with a cold drink in hand while on the water, and the challenge and patience it takes to reel in a fish. Now that it is winter, I needed something to fill the void until the warmer season returns once again, and Real VR Fishing does not disappoint.
Void Racer: Extreme
Void Racer: Extreme is a sci-fi racing game that gives me the same adrenaline rush that I get from games like Wipeout or Sprint Vector and combines it with an aesthetic like that seen in the film Tron. If you are looking for a fast-paced racing game and love sci-fi vibes, this is the game for you.
Sure, there are no true PS5 games released yet, but the PlayStation VR still has a solid library of PS4 titles that you can check out, including Media Molecule’s 2020 game creation title Dreams. It’s not a video game in the traditional sense — it's more of a game about creating games. Dreams strongly encourages players to embrace their creative side, and you would be surprised by what type of user-generated content you can create.
Rez Infinite is a techno-fueled shooter with sublime and trippy graphics that is truly a breathtaking experience. It’s released on practically every virtual reality gaming headset, which makes it very accessible to play.
Although Beat Saber was originally released in 2019, this is still one of the best VR games around, and it’s one that every VR headset owner needs to experience. A rhythm game where you use lightsaber-like drumsticks to slice through musical beats? You can’t beat that. The game has also expanded to a slew of content packs, which include original songs and some licensed songs from bands like Linkin Park and BTS.
VR Shoot Around
Among the many things I missed this year because of the pandemic is sports. Namely, the ability to go to a basketball court and shoot some hoops. After some asking around, I heard about a really decent VR simulation title called VR Shoot Around, and it did not disappoint. Oh, and did I mention this game is only $5?
Trover Saves the Universe
Like a few games on this list, Trover Saves the Universe was not released in 2020 (though it was released this year for the Oculus Quest). Developed by Squanch Games, this game is one of the goofier titles available on VR headsets. And if you are a fan of Rick and Morty, you will surely get a kick out of this game — in fact, it was created by Justin Roiland, one of the co-creators of that series.
Pixel Ripped 1995
Like its predecessor, Pixel Ripped 1995 is a love letter of sorts to the decade it is set in: the ‘90s. It’s a sequel to Pixel Ripped 1989 and will make anyone who grew up during the 16-bit or 32-bit era of gaming feel nostalgic.