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The best VR games: Our favourites and how to get the most out of them

Best VR games (Adrià García Sarceda/Unsplash)
Best VR games (Adrià García Sarceda/Unsplash)

VR is one of the most exciting things to happen to gaming in generations. While graphical improvement has felt increasingly incremental, virtual reality – where you don a headset for 360-degree 3D views – ups immersion immeasurably, opening up never-felt-before gaming experiences.

It’s not exactly a cheap hobby, with even standalone budget headsets like the Meta Quest 2 costing hundreds of pounds. And if you want the full PC games library available, you’ll need a gaming computer as well as the headset.

But if you’re keen to dip your toes into the water and see what the fuss is all about, you’ve come to the right place. Below are the best VR games you can play today, but first a couple of FAQs …

Which VR headset should I use?

That depends on your setup, but broadly headsets come in three categories: wired PC (HTC Vive, Valve Index, Oculus Rift), all-in-one (Meta Quest, Vive Flow) and console options (PSVR and its upcoming sequel.)

For us, the Meta Quest 2 is our favourite, both in terms of price and flexibility. You can play standalone games on the headset, but also connect it (via wire or wirelessly) to a gaming PC to play the titles it is not strong enough to support on its own.

The good news is that many of the titles below are multi-platform, meaning you’ll find them wherever you play. But the experience won’t necessarily be the same, especially if you’re a PlayStation 4 user on PSVR with its lack of room-scale play.

What can I do about VR motion sickness?

If you find your head swimming as soon as you put on a VR headset, you may decide that virtual reality simply isn’t for you.

But before you put that headset on Ebay, here are some tips that might just help you acclimatise.

  • Don’t try to power through nausea. Play in small bursts to get yourself accustomed to the experience.

  • If your game has multiple control schemes, try the “teleport” option rather than an analogue stick for movement.

  • Many people swear by the fan trick. Have a desk fan blowing cool air at you, face on, while you play. It’s like opening the window if you’re feeling car sick.

  • Try walking on the spot when you’re moving in VR to trick your brain into accepting the virtual travel. If you play on PC, there’s also software on PC called Natural Locomotion, which ties character movement to arm swings, which might help too.

  • Try chewing gum while you play.

The best VR games

Without further ado, here are the VR games we recommend. We’ve highlighted the format each game is available for as some are platform exclusives.

Half-Life: Alyx

Best VR games – Half Life: Alyx (Valve)
Best VR games – Half Life: Alyx (Valve)

Format: PC

Certainly the most ambitious VR game ever made, Half-Life: Alyx is a virtual-reality-only prequel to Half-Life 2, which is often called the greatest PC game of all time.

While many VR games are novelty experiences or glorified tech demos, Half-Life: Alyx is a fully fledged first-person shooter, complete with a few physics-based puzzles to keep you on your toes. It’s incredibly well made and will take you a good 12 to 15 hours to beat.

The only real downsides are the price and the fact that it’s PC only. But remember if you have a powerful enough computer, you can always stream it to a Quest. And it certainly justifies the cost of entry.

Buy now £49.99, Steam

Superhot VR

Best VR games – SuperHot VR (Superhot Team)
Best VR games – SuperHot VR (Superhot Team)

Format: PC, Quest, PSVR

Superhot VR is the game I show people to get them excited about virtual reality. It’s a very stylised shooter/brawler where the trick is that time (and therefore bullets and enemies) only moves as you do.

That means it feels as if you are in the middle of a John Woo film, artfully dodging out of the way of incoming fire while you land the perfect shot in return.

It’s very much a game of trial and error, and as much a puzzler as a shooter. But despite originally being a flat-screen title, Superhot feels as if it was made for VR and is an absolute must-buy.

Buy now £18.99, Oculus

Walkabout Mini Golf

Best VR games – Walkabout Mini Golf (Mighty Coconut)
Best VR games – Walkabout Mini Golf (Mighty Coconut)

Format: PC, Quest

Walkabout Mini Golf is my new virtual reality obsession. Not only does it feel unnervingly accurate in terms of putter physics, but it’s an incredibly generous package, with eight 18-hole courses included in the price of admission, and extra courses (including one based on the cult movie Labyrinth) priced at around £2 a pop.

All of these courses can be played solo but the real joy is joining friends online with in-game chat. Up to eight people can play, regardless of whether they are on the PC or Quest version, and DLC courses bought by the host are open to all.

Buy now £10.99, Oculus

Beat Saber

Best VR games – Beat Saber (Beat Games)
Best VR games – Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Format: PC, Quest, PSVR

What do you get if you cross a DDR-style dancing game with Star Wars? Probably something like Beat Saber, even if the glowing swords in your hands are never referred to as the very-much-under-copyright Light Sabers.

Music plays, and you have to swing your arms to hit the blocks in time to the music. It sounds simple, but it gets hard very quickly and, like the best rhythm action games from Guitar Hero to Donkey Konga, it’s extremely addictive in a one-more-go kind of way. A surprisingly good workout, as well as being a whole lot of fun.

Buy now £22.99, Oculus

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Best VR games – The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners (Skydance Interactive)
Best VR games – The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners (Skydance Interactive)

Format: PC, Quest, PSVR

If you can’t play Half-Life: Alyx on your headset, then The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners is the next best thing. It’s another meaty (and extremely grisly) first-person adventure, which will take you around 11 hours to complete.

You don’t have to have watched the show or read the comics to drop in here: all you need to know is that zombies (or “walkers” as they’re known here) are everywhere and deadly – but human survivors can be just as monstrous.

Explore the ruins of New Orleans as you sneak your way around scavenging materials to survive another day. But be ready to fight with combat that feels amazingly weighty considering the ergonomically sensible controllers VR headsets come with. It’ll take a couple of axe hits to the head to stop a walker from terrorising you, after all …

Buy now £29.99, Oculus

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Best VR games – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games)
Best VR games – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Steel Crate Games)

Format: PC, Quest, PSVR

Virtual reality can be a somewhat isolating experience but Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a clever way of introducing same-room multiplayer.

One person pops on the VR headset and sees a bomb they have to defuse. The other players have a bomb-defusing handbook, filled with instructions for all kinds of explosives. The two teams have to talk to figure out what model of bomb is being defused and the right instructions to decommission it … all while the timer gets closer and closer to explosion time. Frantic fun.

Buy now £10.99, Oculus

Tetris Effect

Best VR games – Tetris Effect (Enhance Games)
Best VR games – Tetris Effect (Enhance Games)

Format: PC, Quest, PSVR

Of all the games that could do with a virtual reality experience, you might fairly assume that Tetris would be pretty close to the bottom.

And yet Tetris Effect is a wonderful experience that combines trippy sights and sounds into something that lulls you into the perfect trance to adjust blocks and remove lines, just as you did on the Game Boy 30 years ago. It’s a beautiful environment to remind you why the puzzle game is so damned brilliant in the first place.

Buy now £10.99, Oculus

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

Best VR games – Astro Bot: Rescue Mission (Sony)
Best VR games – Astro Bot: Rescue Mission (Sony)

Format: PSVR

PS5 owners may be familiar with Astro Bot, thanks to the brilliant Astro’s Playroom – a freebie that comes installed on every PlayStation 5 to introduce players to the new DualSense gamepad.

But before Astro’s Playroom, there was Astro Bot: Rescue Mission – a brilliant platform game. How does a VR platform game work? In much the same way as a flat-screen one, only your head controls the camera, helping you spot the way forward and secrets aplenty.

It probably doesn’t need to be in virtual reality, but Astro Bot: Rescue Mission offers a Nintendo-like charm, and is a brilliant game in its own right. If you have PSVR, it’s a must-buy.

Buy now £34.99, PlayStation