Windows Mixed Reality (WMR), Microsoft's go at the VR world, allows users to find games on the Microsoft Store and SteamVR, opening up a considerable amount of exciting content. If you're unsure where to spend your hard-earned dough, we've put together this short list of the best games available right now for WMR.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (opens in new tab)
★ Editor's Pick
There have been quite a few zombie games created for VR — the topic does a great job of blending horror and action — but The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners truly offers something special. You're stranded in a flooded New Orleans, surrounded by the undead. It's your job to survive by any means possible while working on the unraveling of a conspiracy theory as to why this all happened. Enjoy realistic physics, an in-depth crafting system, and stealth mechanics as you make your way through this hit game.
Lightsabers and Music
Beat Saber rests at or near the top of just about any VR game roundup, and for a good reason. It offers an addictive blend of awesome original (and now licensed) tracks and lightsaber dicing that will have your heart pumping within the first 15 seconds. If you have a WMR system and you don't already have Beat Saber, give it a try ASAP. On top of just being downright fun, it's frenetic enough that you'll feel like you hit your cardio goals for the day.
Lasers and Landing Pads
Space Pirate Trainer is kind of turning into a "classic" at this point, but that doesn't mean it's not as fun as ever. You're stranded on an intergalactic landing pad with a busted ship while enemies attempt to ruin your day. It's an arcade shooter with akimbo guns and shields, made better by a pumping soundtrack and satisfying gameplay loop. Try to climb the leaderboard or just jump in for a quick bit of fun.
Physics Made Fun
Boneworks is an impressive demonstration of what VR physics can be, and it just happens to have a gun-filled storyline attached to it. There's not a proper way to go about the game, and you'll find the freedom to experiment to your heart's content. Boneworks might not be the best option as a first foray into VR because of its mechanics, but it's certainly something worth trying at some point in your career.
Puzzles and Storytelling
Moss is the story of a brave little mouse named Quill who sets out through a magical world to save her uncle. Instead of playing as Quill, you're a third-person ally who must aid Quill in her journey. You'll help her fight and solve puzzles in this charming game that has captivated just about everyone lucky enough to jump in. If you prefer a slower experience with a great story, this is it.
Yes, Superhot VR is a first-person shooter, but it has an interesting mechanic that sets it apart from other games (besides the crystalline look). Your enemies don't move until you move, making this an intense strategy game with brief moments of shooting, slicing, and dodging incoming fire. It's some of the most fun you can have on WMR, and its unbelievable popularity is a testament.
Same Game, Just VR
There's not much to say about Minecraft that hasn't already been said. The best-selling game of all time that delivers building, crafting, and exploring is also available to experience within WMR. While it's still the same Minecraft, the experience seems entirely new. There's just as much intensity here as most VR action games — try exploring a cavern in the dark and see for yourself.
Shooting to the Rhythm
Pistol Whip has been likened to a "John Wick Simulator" in the sense that it makes you feel like a complete badass with a gun in hand. Pistol Whip is all about timing and smooth movement; you're shuttled through the levels of bullet hell with a pumping soundtrack and no shortage of enemies to dispatch. It would be nice to have more levels, but it's still worth the price of admission.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew is every Trek fans dream come true. You and three friends pilot the USS Aegis as it travels the far reaches of the galaxy, completing the campaign before tackling procedurally generated missions. Because this is VR, all controls are laid out in front of you just as they would on a standard ship, and you feel like you're there. Don't forget to check out The Next Generation DLC for even more content.
CS:GO for VR
If you've invested in WMR for a killer multiplayer first-person shooter experience, you don't have to look any further than Pavlov VR. It's built by a small studio that clearly loves VR and plays its own game. It has come a long way since release and is still receiving updates, delivering content that's likened to Counter-Strike in VR. This is team-based action at its finest.
RTS for VR
Not only is WMR great for immersive first-person games, but it's also great for games that require a high vantage point, like the real-time strategy genre. Skyworld takes a tabletop fantasy world in which you command forces on the battlefield and at home and moves it successfully into VR. It's challenging, often relaxing, and worth your time.
The Hot Undead
Arizona Sunshine is a first-person shooter that plops you down in the middle of a sweltering desert following a zombie apocalypse. Featuring beautiful graphics, satisfying gunplay, and a detailed world, this is one of the best shooters for VR and a staple of most VR game libraries.
Free Community Fun
When it comes to free VR games, Rec Room should be near the top of everyone's list. It's a cross-platform meeting ground that lets you customize avatars and environments, plus it has a bunch of fully-fleshed games for when chatting gets tiresome. Play laser tag, disc golf, paintball, cards, and more with players from around the world, or host your own private game to hang out with close pals.
Why Go Anywhere Else?
Like its sibling Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator is a comical romp through a robot-filled world where humans are nearly extinct. Robots attempt to keep you happy while you travel between vacation spots, solving puzzles, and testing out minigames. Perhaps the best part, though, is the tongue-in-cheek humor that makes this game something special.
Gory Gladiator Mayhem
GORN isn't really anything technically spectacular, but it's one of the highest-rated VR games of all time. You're a gladiator in an arena, and it's up to you to use the provided physics engine and myriad weapons to dispatch your enemies in gruesome style. It's extremely fun, but be sure you have lots of space cleared out to avoid broken furniture.
True VR Horror
The Five Nights games have always been about spooky animatronics but translated to VR; it becomes a whole other level of scary. It's your job to keep the place in working order when the kids go home, but there seems to be something weird going on in the dark. If you played the original games, you know what's up, but you'll be just as scared as newcomers to the series.
If we're making some suggestions
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There's clearly a lot of great games for WMR, and we've barely scratched the surface of all VR content out there with this shortlist. You're probably not going to want to buy every game listed above, which is why we can make further suggestions.
We've had the most fun lately with The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (opens in new tab) thanks to its blend of accurate physics, gunplay, zombies, crafting, and storyline. There's a ton of stuff to do and discover in a flooded New Orleans, and this game is undoubtedly going to go down as one of the greats.
If you're not really into the FPS genre, Beat Saber might be more appealing. It's an incredibly popular rhythm game where you're tasked with slicing incoming blocks (timed to the beat) with lightsabers. It's easy to get lost in Beat Saber thanks to leaderboards and plenty of content, and you might find that you've got all the exercise you need after a session.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
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