The Oculus Rift is one of the systems leading the charge when it comes to quality games for the young platform. If you're looking to drop a mint on a Rift, you'll want to spend the rest of your money on the most worthwhile games.
Here are our favorite games that you should be playing!
With a lengthy campaign and and easy setup for co-op or multiplayer, Brass Tactics (about $40) will keep you entertained with real-time strategy (RTS) gameplay. 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 you army.
Thanks to the Rift's Touch controllers, you can easily navigate the board and control your forces in a natural way that lets you focus on strategy. Brass Tactics is easy to pick up and get into, but you'll be hard-pressed to master it anytime soon.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Now available across PC-based VR systems, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (about $60) 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.
If you've in the past tried Skyrim with something like VorpX and found the results unsatisfying, this is definitely the version to try, especially after you load 10 or 20 graphics mods and have things looking like real life.
From Other Suns
From the creators of Chronos comes From Other Suns (about $40), a space-themed first-person shooter (FPS) that puts you and your ship's crew up against all sorts of intergalactic monsters that are set on stopping your return home. As you collect fuel, scrap, and weapons to aid in your trip home, you'll get involved in ship-to-ship battles as well as more personal stuff, where you'll smell the burning hair and sizzle of ozone from your blaster.
When you get tired of watching your NPC crewmates get gunned down too fast, jump online and team up with real people who know what they're doing. From there, it's tough to go back to working alone.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Whether or not you're a fan of the series as a whole, Star Trek: Bridge Crew (about $50) is one of the best 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. It's is full of Klingons, but it's up to the Federation to find a suitable homeland for the Vulcans.
Immersion is next level, and you'll find yourself constantly barking orders, accepting orders, and punching buttons on your command panel. When no one is able to join you in multiplayer, tackle procedurally generated missions for what is essentially endless fun.
The fun of eSports intensifies in VR, and Sparc (about $20) is on the frontline of the genre (what it calls vsport). It's you against another player in a long, narrow arena, where the main objective is to score points by hitting your opponent with a glowing ball. There are three different game modes to keep the action from getting stale, including Basic Brawl, Advanced Brawl, and Experimental.
The first, Basic Brawl, has you punching incoming projectiles with your knuckle guards while also attempting to hit your opponent to score points. Advanced Brawl removes the ability to deflect with your hand but you do have access to a shield, and the time limit is removed. Finally, Experimental fills the room with angled surfaces that make ricochets a common occurrence and will really get you moving in your VR space. If you don't mind getting a workout, definitely try Sparc.
Arizona Sunshine (about $40) doesn't just plunk you down in a small area that you must defend — you have free roam in a post-apocalypse desert filled with hungry undead.
Search trunks and seats of the vehicles littered throughout the land for extra ammo and new guns, and see what secrets the spooky old mine holds. Quality voice-acting, sharp wit, and beautiful graphics make this a must-have for any shooter fans out there.
OK, so Chronos (about $40) is a little like the Legend of Zelda, but what it might borrow from that franchise, it builds on in an expansive and ambitious VR experience that's sure to make you "whoa" á la Keanu Reeves.
You play as a male hero who must save his realm from destruction in this fantasy/alternate history action-adventure epic. Sounds pretty formulaic, but the coolest part of Chronos is how your character progresses. Once a year, the door to the mystical labyrinth opens, which is the cornerstone to saving the realm. Every time you screw up and die in the labyrinth, you're cast out and must wait a year to go back.
This ain't the Simpsons, kid – you character ages in that year and the cost of abilities changes based on your age. You start off as a boy, lightning-quick and full of energy, but maybe a bit sloppy. As you age, you slow down, but you gain wisdom and experience to make up for lost youth. The idea behind Chronos is absolutely fascinating and it's lovingly iced with gorgeous graphics and gameplay that's as fun as it is spellbinding.
What is Thumper (about $20)? We're not sure exactly, other than it's going to blow your mind. You speed down a glowing track while music thumps, and it's your job to reach the end without crashing. Around you are twisting, morphing graphics that range from arcane to terrifying.
If you're accustomed to getting in a metallic spaceship and speeding around a looping racetrack after ingesting a few tabs of LSD, you'll probably feel right at home here.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
If you're looking for explosive party fun (there are more puns where that came from), then Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (about $15) should absolutely be on your radar. The game requires two or more players, with one player as the "Defuser," working in VR, and the others as "Experts," giving the Defuser instructions from the provided bomb defusal manual. The fun part? The Defuser can't see the manual and the Experts can't see the bomb. It's all about communication, baby! And should there be a Led Zeppelin moment (Communication Breakdown – do keep up, won't you?), KABLOOEY! Game over.
Each bomb is made of several modules that vary from bomb to bomb. Some modules are just classic wire-cutting defusal scenarios, but other modules require more attention and you won't be able to defuse them, instead you have to shut them off from time to time so that they don't go off and ruin your progress.
Not only are you destined to be a great magician — you're destined to be the greatest magician. The Unspoken (about $20) throws you into a multiplayer game where you face off against other spell-throwers who are also clamoring for top spot in the world of mages.
There are a bunch of classes to choose from, each with their own set of mesmerizing spells to cook up, and the graphics will wow you no matter what you launch at your enemy. The locomotion mechanic is on point, and replayability is high; this is a must-have for anyone with Oculus Touch.
Rec Room, the free social gaming experience from Against Gravity that we call some of the most fun you'll have in VR, 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, and get a squad together, and play some of the minigames on offer.
Once you're ready, you can jump into one of the game rooms, which include paintball, charades, disc golf, giant soccer, and more. There are also quests you can tackle with a team, sword and shield in hand. Finally, private rooms make it easy to meet up with close friends in order to play some cards or just sit around and catch up. Rec Room is an impressive app, and the fact that it's completely free makes it that much better.
Space Pirate Trainer
Space Pirate Trainer (about $15) is one of the first VR games we ever played, and it remains one of the most polished shooters available. You're stranded on an interstellar platform, standing before your ship, as waves of enemy droids attempt to turn you into moon dust.
This game is an homage to the old arcade cabinets we used to love, so expect an awesome rock and roll soundtrack and tons of flashing lights. Don't worry, no extra quarters are needed when you lose a life. Keep in mind this game is physically demanding, as you'll be pulling shields off your back, switching weapons on the fly, and spinning around to compete with all challengers that arise.
Take an FPS, add unique geometric art, remove any sort of regular pacing, and you have SUPERHOT VR (about $25). Red 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 and...
The much-hyped Lone Echo (about $40) was worth the wait, delivering 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.
While Lone Echo is a singleplayer experience, its free sibling, Echo Arena, delivers a competitive multiplayer experience also set in zero-gravity. It's sort of like handball, sort of like American football, and sort of one of the best things we've played in VR.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality
What happens when you smash Job Simulator together with the ridiculousness of Rick and Morty? You get Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality (about $30), which has you taking care of business at home as a Morty clone while your counterpart goes adventuring with Rick. Things definitely don't go as planned though, and chaos certainly ensues.
If you're a fan of Rick and Morty's particular brand of humor then this game shouldn't be missed!
Robo Recall (about $30) 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.
It doesn't get much more intense than this game. If you own an Oculus Rift, you need to own this game.
Elite Dangerous (about $60) had a bit of a rocky start — chalk it up to a lack of variety — but has since turned the corner thanks to attentive developers and tons of feedback from rabid fans. What you have now is an enormous online (single player is also available) game that focuses on exploring billions of planets, mining resources, trading resources, upgrading your ship, and fighting off enemies.
What you do in Elite Dangerous is essentially up to you. Ready to depart? You won't be disappointed.
Landfall (about $15) has blurred the lines between RTS and tabetop adventure by putting a multiplayer combat game on a battlefield you stand over as though you were in the middle of a games store. You can lean forward and get a close up look of your team to form the best strategy, or stand above everything and get the whole field.
The solo missions are a lot of fun, but the real adventures come in at the multiplayer part of the experience. You can see the outline of your opponent on the other side of the map and talk to them throughout the experience. Landfall also support two-on-two multiplayer, so you and a friend can form the perfect plan together.
What are your favorite games for the Rift?
These are our recommendations so far, but what are your favorite VR games for the Oculus Rift? Let us know in the comments!
Updated April 9, 2018: We've added more awesome games you can pick up now!
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