Best Oculus Rift and Rift S Games Windows Central 2021
The Oculus Rift platform, made up of the Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Rift S, and the Oculus Quest (when using Oculus Link), provide an incredible wealth of content for players to experience. If you got one for the Holidays, a birthday or anniversary, or just bought one to enjoy a whole new way to game, we've created a list of new and classic VR titles that you absolutely must play if you own an Oculus Rift.
- ★ Featured favorite: Beat Saber
- Kill the dead: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
- Becoming John Wick: Pistol Whip
- Flying in the clouds: Stormland
- Wrath of the gods: Asgard's Wrath
- Real physics, real crazy: Boneworks
- Humans are obsolete: Budget Cuts 1 & 2
- Shooting targets to a beat: Audica
- The zombie apocalypse is better with friends: Arizona Sunshine
- It's always a Cold War in space, comrade: Red Matter
- VR pugilism: Creed: Rise to Glory
- Adorable VR story: Moss
★ Featured favorite: Beat SaberEditor's choice
If you have a Rift or Rift S and are not playing Beat Saber, it's time to fix the problem. In Beat Saber, you have a lightsaber in each hand, and you must chop incoming blocks that line up with the rhythm of pumping original music. Try to reach the top of the online leaderboard and create your own tracks through the now-included level editor. It's been out for nearly two years now, but regular updates featuring new music and modes, as well as a massive modding community have kept it very fresh.
Kill the dead: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners pits players in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans that's not only flooded with water but is also flooded with zombies. This nightmarish landscape paints the perfect picture of the brutal action you're about to endure. Surprisingly, though, action isn't the purpose of the game. It's all about survival and unraveling a conspiracy theory as you try to live to see another day. Collect relics of the past and scrap them to craft your own weapons, armor, and food, but don't forget about the rival gangs trying to control what's left of the city. With ground-breaking physics and interaction that feels as real as it looks, it's an incredible experience that only makes sense in VR.
Becoming John Wick: Pistol Whip
Anyone who loves the John Wick films can understand the draw of a game whose main character envelops the bad-assery of Keanu Reaves' iconic character with the movement and gunplay that only VR can bring. Pistol Whip is different from other rhythm games like Audica or Beat Saber, though. Instead of requiring players to shoot to the rhythm, Pistol Whip is all about the movement and feeling of clearing entire levels of bad guys, while nailing the shots to the music will net you bonus points. If you've ever wanted to dodge a bullet like Neo in The Matrix, this is your game.
Flying in the clouds: Stormland
Stormland utilizes VR's unique body presence in a way that most games don't bother attempting. Stormland is all about freedom of movement and takes weapons-based combat to a new level. The world of Stormland is made up of floating islands, but movement between these islands isn't restricted to flying vehicles, as you can fly Superman-style between any of them. Join friends in co-op missions through the main story, or through the never-ending multiplayer co-op events. It's a first-person action-adventure that's sort of a Metroidvania-lite while also serving up RPG elements with character upgrades and new equipment along the way.
Wrath of the gods: Asgard's Wrath
Take on the role of a Norse god in this gripping story involving characters you're likely familiar with (does Loki ring a bell?), spanning the gamut of Norse mythology in an epic quest. Being a Norse god means that you're in control of every aspect of the environment, from a birds-eye view of the world or through the eyes of a character. Transform animals into fierce warriors that will do your bidding, solve puzzles, navigate complex environments, and battle like you've never battled before in VR with realistic sword fighting and spell casting. It's an action RPG like you've never played.
Real physics, real crazy: Boneworks
If you've been even remotely interested in VR, it's highly likely you've heard of Boneworks. Visually inspired by Half-Life, Boneworks takes physics in VR to new and (often sickening) levels. Featuring realistic hand modeling and full-body physics, Boneworks attempts to recreate the physical nature of objects in a virtual space and utilizes these advanced physics models to take you through a veritable theme park of VR experimentation. It's not for the faint of heart or someone who gets easily motion sick but if you've got major "VR legs", it's a journey that's wholly unique and incredibly fun.
Humans are obsolete: Budget Cuts 1 & 2
Sneaking around like a spy is one of the most satisfying things to do in VR, and it's in the Budget Cuts series that you'll find yourself in the shoes of an unintended spy. As the last human worker in a company that's replaced humans with robots, it's your job to find out the motives behind these sinister budget cuts and solve the mystery of where all your pals have gone. Hide under desks, climb through air vents, and sneak around corners while you take down every robot guard along the way. Budget Cuts 2 ups the ante with additional weapons, enemy types, and larger environments, creating one of the most satisfying experiences you'll find in VR.
Shooting targets to a beat: Audica
Looking for a little more aim and a little less slash in your VR rhythm games? Audica is a VR rhythm shooter that focuses on movement and precision, working out your eyes and reaction times as targets move around the screen to the rhythm of a song. Created by Harmonix, the team behind brilliant music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Audica requires every ounce of your determination and focus to hone in on those perfectly aimed shots as you space out to the thumping beat of dozens of songs. Regular DLC and mod support are keeping Audica fresh and new even for seasoned players.
The zombie apocalypse is better with friends: Arizona Sunshine
If we've been taught anything from the barrage of zombie films, games, and books over the years, it's that the zombie apocalypse is best lived through in the company of friends. Take on hoards of zombies as you traverse through the harsh Arizona desert landscape with another friend. Explore mines and abandoned buildings, solve puzzles, and clear thousands of zombies away as you venture through the story in Arizona Sunshine.
It's always a Cold War in space, comrade: Red Matter
Red Matter is a puzzle adventure game set during a dystopian sci-fi Cold War. Your mission is to investigate a shady top secret research project at an abandoned Volgravian base on a frozen moon. Red Matter will keep you thinking with its inventive puzzles, gorgeous environments, and intriguing story.
VR pugilism: Creed: Rise to Glory
Pugilism in VR just seems natural, and what better way to make the snot fly than with Creed: Rise to Glory. You play as upcoming fighter Adonis Creed, trained by Rocky, as you rise from upstart to champion. All movement is handled 1:1, so you really feel like your punches and dodges are making an impact. If you don't mind a workout while you game, this is a great addition.
Adorable VR story: Moss
Moss is a single-player puzzle game that puts you in third-person control of Quill, an unsuspecting mouse who's destined for great things as she hacks and slashes her way through carefully crafted — and gorgeous — levels. You'll need to rely on speed and cunning to survive tough enemies, and you'll be engrossed by the exploration that's available.
Competitive FPS: Pavlov VR
If you like to get competitive while in VR, there's really no better multiplayer FPS than Pavlov VR. Join a skilled team for a match of search and destroy, or goof around in casual games against bots or other humans. There are a ton of weapons available, and if you've ever played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on a standard monitor, you should feel comfortable here in this homage.
Universal multiplayer: Star Trek Bridge Crew
Whether or not you're a fan of the series as a whole, Star Trek: Bridge Crew is one of the best multiplayer games so far created for VR. Team up with other players online and take a seat on the bridge of the U.S.S. Aegis as you complete missions within The Trench. Included in this bundle is The Next Generation DLC, which has new enemies — Romulans and the Borg — to tackle.
Anything goes: Rec Room
Rec Room, the free social gaming experience from Rec Room Inc is some of the most fun you'll have in VR and is a relatively simple idea executed well. You're greeted by an open rec room where you can interact with other real players, customize your avatar, get a squad together, and play some of the myriad minigames on offer. Anything from paintbail to swashbuckling, battle royalle to disc golf can be found here and enjoyed with anyone on any VR platform. It's also, somehow, completely free and is regularly updated.
Goofy fun for everyone: Vacation Simulator
From the fine folks who brought us Job Simulator comes Vacation Simulator, an equally goofy and joyful romp through days off in the sun. You're still one of the last humans on earth, and the robots around you try to make you as comfortable as possible while you explore and unlock vacation spots. Tackle wildly varying minigames, challenge yourself with puzzles, and get lost in the tongue-in-cheek humor that makes these games very worth your while.
Real-time strategy: Brass Tactics
With a lengthy campaign and easy setup for co-op or multiplayer, Brass Tactics will keep you entertained with real-time strategy (RTS) gameplay controlled by your Touch controllers. Each match takes place on a large tabletop fitted with a map, and it's up to you to build towers, control regions, and ultimately crush the enemy's stronghold with your army.
The Atari classic gets a new perspective: Battlezone: Gold Edition
If you ever played Battlezone on the original Atari back in the day, or maybe even the 90's remake on PC, you'll feel immediately at home in Battlezone: Gold Edition. Take a seat in a futuristic tank and blast your way through randomly generated worlds until you reach the final boss, an AI that's taken over the world. No two playthroughs are exactly alike, and it's best played with friends!
Arcade shooting action: Robo Recall
Robo Recall is an intense, constant action shooter that uses Oculus Touch controllers to rip, shoot, smack, and generally destroy everything. You teleport around, kill all of the robots coming for you, and move on as quickly as possible. There are a bunch of different weapons to try out, and the artwork is gorgeous. If you're a fan of first-person shooters (FPS), this is one to have in your library.
Violent time manipulation: SUPERHOT VR
Take an FPS, add geometric art, remove any sort of regular pacing, and you have SUPERHOT VR. Enemies are plentiful — as are their bullets — but they don't get to move until you start moving. Survey the field, plan your attack, and finally commit to action in a storm of lead. The Forever Update has added more than 20 hours of endgame play to the experience, giving you the opportunity to relive SUPERHOT VR over and over.
Zero-gravity space odyssey: Lone Echo
Lone Echo delivers a haunting exploration of our relationship with A.I. and the intricacies of time dilation. The game is absolutely beautiful and has a full story, plus the zero-gravity locomotion feels natural for VR. It's spooky, it's thrilling, and it will take some thinking to solve all puzzles within.
Wave shooting action: Space Pirate Trainer
This game is an homage to the old arcade cabinets we love, so expect an awesome soundtrack and plenty of flashing lights. You're stranded on an interstellar platform, standing before your ship, as waves of enemy droids attempt to turn you into moon dust. You'll be swapping weapons on the fly, pulling shields off your back, and spinning around to compete with all challengers that arise.
All the fantasy you want: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR brings the classic Skyrim experience into the virtual world. Featuring all official DLC, including Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn, you're getting the full experience and more thanks to mod support. Start out as an outlaw attempting to get across the border, and forge your own path through the midst of a civil war.
Secret agent, extraordinaire: I Expect You to Die
The most difficult part of being a secret agent is avoiding detection. Too bad your chacter in I Expect You to Die didn't seem to get this memo, as the game puts you in the shoes of a secret agent who always seems to find themselves in the most dangerous situation possible. Toxic gas, lasers, heat seeking missiles, sabatoged submarines, and flying space debris are among a few life-threatening scenarios you'll encounter during the many missions in this thrilling title, which taxes your brain and motor skills more than it does your feet.
Choose your own space adventure: Elite Dangerous
Elite Dangerous has turned into a favorite for many VR users thanks to attentive developers and feedback from rabid fans. What you have here is an enormous online (single player is also available) game that focuses on exploring billions of planets, mining resources, trading resources, buying and upgrading your ships, and fighting off enemies.
If we're making some suggestions
It's clear from this roundup that there is a ton of content available for the Oculus Rift platform, and, in all likelihood, there are a couple of titles you love not found here. Altogether, there's more content here than most will need to stay entertained in VR, so we can make some suggestions to narrow things down.
Beat Saber is an all-time favorite for most people who've been lucky enough to give it a try, and it's great for all ages and VR experience levels. You can start slow and ramp things up to an incredible pace as you become accustomed to the level design and mechanics, and it never seems to get old, especially now that there are extra music packs and a level editor in which you can create your own courses from music you love.
Beat Saber will give you an incredible workout, but it's mainly focused on cardio and upper body. Pistol Whip solves that problem by requiring players to dock, dodge, crouch, and move the lower half of your body around in a completely different way than Beat Saber does. It's less focused on the music and more focused on the experience, so if you enjoy rhythm games but aren't traditionally great at them, this is a great way to experience something amazing and unique.
If adventure games are more your style, Stormland and Asgard's Wrath are two of the most exciting and deep games you'll find on the Oculus Rift platform. Both games feature multi-hour story lines, varied gameplay, and a full story that'll keep you coming back until you've finally experienced every little detail that the developers have poured into the game.
If you just picked up a Rift S, be sure to have a look at our roundup of the best accessories available, and if you'd rather spend your dough on more games, we've also collected a bunch of Rift S accessories that don't cost more than $20.
Updated January 13, 2020: This guide has been refreshed to include information the latest amazing games for the Oculus Rift platform.
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