Sony’s PSVR headset has proven to be something of a white knight for VR. Despite being technically inferior to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on almost every level, PlayStation leveraged 20+ years of industry experience to create an awesome line-up for its PS4-based device. PSVR is home to many of VR’s best games and is also arguably the most accessible mainstream headset available.
It’s important to get a list of the best PSVR games right, then. There’s plenty of obvious choices, but PSVR also houses many hidden gems. We wanted to make a list that reflected that.
Throughout the week we’re going to be updating this list with five games a day in ranked order, leading up to the game we’ve crowned as, yes, the very best game on the platform. Once we’re done, this will be our new and definitive list, replacing our previous, smaller version. Updates will appear on this very page so make sure to check back through the week.
Let’s get on with it, then. Here are UploadVR’s 25 best PSVR games.
25. Borderlands 2 VR – Read Our Review
It may not have seen the most nuanced VR integration but Borderlands 2’s massive world, plentiful quests and deep loot system still make it something of a treat for PSVR players. This is the entire original game in which you step onto an alien world in the hopes of finding fame and fortune. You are, of course, met by a legion of deadly beasts to slay and crazy characters to meet.
Sadly, there’s no coop here. But Gearbox has redesigned the game to fit VR instead. That includes the BAMF system that slows down time and allows you to really bring the pain. Pair that with dual-wielding Move controllers to aim and you feel like a real badass.
24. Thumper – Read Our Review
There probably isn’t anything else in VR as palm-sweatingly tense as Thumper, an immensely immersive exploration of anxiety. You shoot down a course, trying to steer into corners to avoid damage, but the game’s pulsating soundtrack and visuals drum up an uncanny sense of dread literally at every turn.
It may be a VR optional game, but there aren’t many other apps out there that can lose you in their hypnotic style. As the track swerves and the music gently growls, the sudden beat of a drum causes your heart to leap and your nerves begin to shred. There’s nothing quite like it.
23. Dirt Rally – Read Our Review
Against all odds, Codemasters did a fantastic job of porting Dirt Rally over to PSVR. This is one of our very favorite VR racers. Unlike some games that strip back their content in VR *cough* Gran Turismo Sport *cough*, Rally provides the full experience inside a headset.
That means there’s plenty of content ready and waiting in this high-speed, bumpy ride. But it’s just how finely tuned the experience is that really separates Dirt Rally from the pack. No one knows how to do racers like Codemasters. The mechanical precision and campaign depth on display here is fantastic. Other racing sims may offer bigger, more authentic experiences, but none are quite as fun to play as Dirt Rally.
22. Arizona Sunshine – Read Our Review
For some strange reason humanity seems absolutely obsessed with the zombie apocalypse. That makes a zombie VR game a huge no-brainer. It may be a few years old now but Arizona Sunshine is still easily the best zombie shooter out on the market right now. It offers a full campaign in which you trek across the unforgiving desert doing battle with hordes of shuffling undead.
To many, Arizona represents the complete FPS package in VR. The campaign is lengthy and includes coop while the unavoidable horde mode is one of the best in the business. It’s the full embodiment of the zombie slaughter dream. It’s no surprise it’s lasted so long in VR arcades too.
21. Deracine – Read Our Review
Deracine might be the most divisive game on this list. It’s developed by From Software, the team that brought you Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Instead of challenging players with tough-as-nails combat, though, this is something different. It’s got an incredibly archaic atmosphere and strangely quiant story that may put some people off. But if you’re partial to a bit of Jane Austin with a supernatural twist, this might be for you.
This story-driven experience casts you as a faerie in a boarding school housing a small group of children. Things start off lightly as you play games with the kids. But Deracine’s best moments come in the second half in which the game takes a harrowing turn. There are concentrated moments of real connection to characters here that make Deracine a truly odd treat.
20. Creed: Rise to Glory – Read Our Review
Few sports go hand-in-hand with current VR systems as well as boxing, and Creed: Rise to Glory is undeniably the best entry into the genre yet. Developer Survios was able to build upon its three other VR releases (each of which was in consideration for this list) with a game that didn’t just let you live out the boxing champion fantasy but is also smartly made to keep you grounded in VR.
Creed uses what Survios calls the ‘Phantom Melee’ system, which is designed to do away with those awkward spamming issues that many VR boxing games struggle with. It simulates fatigue and places restrictions on your character, forcing you to fight with fairness and strategy. That makes for thrilling multiplayer that isn’t just a chaotic free-for-all. The best thing we can say about Creed is that you could strip the movie tie-in right out of it and you’d still have something every bit as thrilling. The proof is in the punch.
19. Statik – Read Our Review
Years on from its release and we still find ourselves staring out of windows, mentally picking away at its mysterious story. This is easily one of PSVR’s most inventive games, imagining the player’s DualShock 4 as a sort of pair of handcuffs that are laced with a series of puzzles. You need to experiment with what the various levers and buttons of each contraption does and then gradually solve your way out of your current predicament.
But it speaks legions about Statik that its fantastic puzzle design is outdone by the game’s sheer oddness. Supervised by the curious and world-weary Dr. Ingen, you’re left to piece together his seemingly random mumblings and musings into a cohesive narrative. It’s still got people picking it apart today, so much so that we’d love another game to help us fill in a few more blanks. Are you listening, Tarsier?
18. Transpose – Read Our Review
After the bullet-dodging thrills of Blasters of the Universe, Secret Location had its work cut out for it maintaining its standards with Transpose. Fortunately, the game passes the difficult second album test with ease; Transpose is a mind-bending puzzle game in which you record your own actions, store them as echoes, and then work together with your past self in order to solve a series of challenges.
Hyperbole be damned; we were often reminded of Portal as we trekked through the game’s ethereal world, defying gravity and gradually being introduced to new concepts that shift the core mechanics in clever, enlightening ways. This is an example of a VR game that feels demonstrably made for the platform it’s appearing on, providing gameplay experiences you simply won’t have seen on a TV or monitor before. That’s something every VR developer should be considering at the heart of their projects.
17. Bow to Blood – Read Our Review
We hadn’t paid Bow to Blood much attention ahead of its release in mid-2018. That made the arrival of this surprisingly-deep game show-style ship battling (yes that’s a mouthful) experience quite the pleasant surprise. You’re tasked with winning a lengthy tournament in which contestants must complete tasks, then vote each other off based on their current scores.
Bow to Blood’s varied campaigns with enjoyable vehicular combat are reason enough to give this a look, but it’s the complex relationship system that’s the real star. It will have you making enemies and forging uneasy alliances which will not only get people to vote for you but may also find you in the middle of heated battles with people that absolutely hate your guts. It makes this a dynamic, unpredictable affair with hours of content on offer.
16. Downward Spiral: Horus Station – Read Our Review
Rift may have Lone Echo, but Downward Spiral’s methodic space odyssey means PSVR players have an excellent zero-gravity adventure to call their own too. This is an atmospheric adventure in which you explore the remains of a seemingly abandoned space station orbiting a mysterious planet and must learn what transpired. At times it’s ambiguous and explorative, whereas at other points it’s got some of the best action going on the platform.
You can’t help but marvel at how Downward Spiral’s zero-gravity locomotion makes it an utterly immersive experience. And it’s put to use in innovative ways, like letting players take cover behind walls and then use one hand to pop out and return fire. Better yet the game offers full co-op support if you want to see it through with a friend and there’s a pretty entertaining multiplayer mode too. Downward Spiral is pretty much the entire package.
15. Farpoint – Read Our Review
It may be the wonderful rifle-shaped Aim controller that elevates Farpoint from a relatively simplistic first-person shooter to a wholly immersive experience, but the experience is powerful enough to earn it a place on this list. In Farpoint you crash land on an alien planet and must find a way home, shooting your way through hordes of spider enemies as you go.
Yes, spider enemies. It’s a little Starship Troopers, but there’s a genuine thrill to the Colonial Marines-style panic fire battles. Surprisingly, though, there’s a hugely engaging story at the center of Farpoint that manages to strike a chord despite focusing on characters other than the player’s speechless shell. This was a promising start for developer Impulse Gear, but we’re hoping to see more from them next year.
14. Rec Room
Most social VR platforms aren’t really ‘games’, but Rec Room more than earns its place on this list by emphasizing fun activities to share with your friends rather than simply meeting up and chatting via virtual avatars. Against Gravity’s massive service offers an exhaustive number of multiplayer games and a robust creation suite that will mean you rarely run out of things to do.
This is a game that gets free-to-play right. You can decorate yourself with premium cosmetic items if you wish but all of the well-designed minigames, which include some brilliant cooperative quest levels and even a light take on the battle royale genre, are completely free to play. Add to that full cross-platform support and Rec Room is only set to thrive as the VR industry grows ever bigger. Don’t be surprised if, in the year’s to come, Rec Room becomes VR’s biggest and most recognized app.
13. Rez Infinite – Read Our Review
Whoever thought Rez Infinite would take on a transcendent new form inside VR? Well, fortunately, creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi did and he was absolutely right. Rez’s entire original campaign, which is filled with entrancing sights and sounds is on offer here, ready to drown you in its synthy sea of surreal delights. This is the revival that many fans will have been dreaming of.
But Infinite goes one step further with Area X, a free-roaming set of levels that elevates the experience to an entirely new plane. Back around the launch of PSVR this was one of the most powerful experiences you could have on the platform; a visual feast of bright lights and audio wonder. It’s still one of the most uplifting moments you can have in VR today.
12. The Exorcist: Legion VR – Read Our Review
You could basically do a coin toss between putting this or developer Wolf and Wood’s other VR horror game, A Chair in a Room, on this list, but The Exorcist VR more than justifies its place. Unfolding across five chapters that each present the player with different cases, this is perhaps the scariest VR game going right now. Crucially, though, that’s not because it’s simply a collection of in-your-face jump scares.
Instead, The Exorcist VR understands how to use the platform in clever, creepy ways to twist your very sanity and keep you guessing throughout. This is one of those entries in the list that’s going to be only for the very bravest of us but, if you count yourself one of those people, you can’t miss this.
11. Tetris Effect – Read Our Review
Yup, this really is Tetris in VR. You need to clear lines by fitting a never-ending series of falling blocks together, racking up scores as you go. None of that changes in this latest iteration of the puzzling classic. But believe us when we say that this is a genuinely powerful experience when you put the headset on.
Tetris Effect features more than 30 levels with their own themes, each of which manages to find its own sort of hypnotic beauty to marvel at in VR. From the arresting tranquillity of the first level with its unforgettable ‘I’m Yours Forever’ track to the hustle and bustle of a later level’s urban metropolis, there’s something to be amazed by around every corner. Think Rez Infinite with a little more range and scope and you’re there.
10. A Fisherman’s Tale – Read Our Review
A Fisherman’s Tale manages to defy its short run time to become one of our favorite games on PSVR. In this utterly charming little puzzler, you play as a puppet fisherman living inside a lighthouse. In the middle of your cozy confines sits a model of that same lighthouse. Lift off the roof and you’ll find a perfect replica, complete with a smaller version of you imitating your movements. Look outside the window and, sure enough, you’ll find a bigger version of the room and yourself surrounding you.
This gives way to some absolutely mind-bending VR puzzles, the kind that renew your excitement for the platform. It also helps that the game is an utter delight from a story and presentation perspective, with whispy French narration and whole puppetry visuals. Don’t sleep on A Fisherman’s Tale.
9. The Persistence – Read Our Review
Firesprite’s VR debut is a tantalising horror treat. It uses procedural generation to generate a spaceship riddled with horrific enemies that you need to sneak your way through. Think Dead Space in VR. If the very thought of that doesn’t send you running for the hills then this could be for you.
8. Moss – Read Our Review
Moss is one of a handful of 2018 games that proved that third-person VR experiences don’t just work but can make for some of the absolute best content out on the platform right now. You guide an adorable little mouse named Quill through diorama-sized levels, solving puzzles and taking on fearsome critters in sword-based combat.
While its mechanically refined, Moss’ real claim to fame is the bond you build with Quill over the course of the adventure. Playing as a larger companion to the tiny protagonist, you really start to connect with her as you work together to overcome obstacles. It feels very much like a team effort, which is quite a remarkable feeling in itself. Bring on Book 2.
7. Beat Saber – Read Our Review
Who would have guessed that, with everything developers could do, the closest VR has yet gotten to a ‘killer app’ is a rhythm action game with knock-off lightsabers? It seems ridiculous but just one go on Beat Saber and you’ll understand why it’s such a hit; it’s an utterly entrancing experience that makes you feel like the king of the world. That’s all you need VR to be.
You slash notes that arrive on time with a beat. It sounds simple but, in practice, there are few things more satisfying to do in VR. It won’t be long until your throwing your motion controllers around like a ninja, working up a sweat and instinctively dancing to the given track.
6. Skyrim VR – Read Our Review
It turns out that the Skyrim of VR is, well, Skyrim in VR. There are definitely some awkward quirks to Bethesda’s port of its ever-popular fantasy RPG, but we were more than willing to put them to the back of our minds as we explored Tamriel like never before. With hundreds of hours worth of content, full autonomy to make the kind of character you want and an enormous world to explore, Skyrim VR is the closest we’ve come to fulfilling every adventurer’s dreams (outside of taking an arrow to the knee).
Not to mention that this has some of the best Move integration we’ve yet seen in a PSVR game, getting us as close to natural locomotion as possible without those much-requested thumbsticks. The fact that it fits inside the headset at all is simply astonishing Skyrim VR is going to be hard to top for some time.
5. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – Read Our Review
Capcom’s 2017 soft-reboot of its beloved horror franchise hit hard in the scare department. Switching to first-person put the horror right in front of you, daring players to fight their way through the Baker mansion. But on PS4 it went a step further with full PSVR support. To this day it remains probably the scariest thing you can see in VR.
This is very likely still the most high-profile VR game out there. It’s a full AAA production with some of the best visuals you’ll find inside a headset and a full campaign with heaps of variety. It’s well-paced and incredibly tense, harkening back to the series’ roots with a focus on limited resources and genuine scares. If you’re looking for a top tier PS4 game with full PSVR support, Resident Evil 7 is as close as it gets.
4. Wipeout: The Omega Collection – Read Our Review
Since the day PSVR was announced, Wipeout seemed like an obvious fit for the platform. This would be the chance to realize the dreams we’ve all been having since the sci-fi racing series began on the original PlayStation. But even then we didn’t quite expect Wipeout: The Omega Collection to be quite the tour de force for VR it ended up being.
Sony expertly tweaked several of its older games to fit inside PSVR here. The result is a package with heaps of content, all of which you’ll want to see because the game is a flat out thrill to experience. Shooting around circuits, air-braking across corners and letting machine gun fire rattle out in front of you is unbelievably exhilarating. Pair the extensive career modes with online play and you have one of PSVR’s meatiest and most polished games.
3. Superhot VR – Read Our Review
Superhot is, without a doubt, the most instantly rewarding game to play in VR. The flatscreen original was great but, by bringing your whole body into this groundbreaking shooter, the developer completely flips the game on its head. In Superhot (stop me if you’ve heard this before), time moves only when you do. That means that when you’re still, the world around you is too. Every time you raise your arm or duck your head, the world crawls into life. You’re essentially a human video playback device.
Superhot gives you a stark realization of the physicality of VR and what that means for gaming. It’s an experience in which you are aware of every inch of your body. It also makes it effortlessly easy to feel cool in VR; every catch of a handgun or toss of a ninja star comes with an incredible strand of slick satisfaction you won’t find anywhere else. Superhot VR is currently the gold standard for VR shooters and, in our opinion, one of the very best games on PSVR.
2. Astro Bot Rescue Mission – Read Our Review
Sony Japan’s Playroom VR compilation held a lot of delights when it launched on PSVR in 2016, but everyone agreed that the third-person platforming minigame, in which a small robot saved his friends with help from the player, deserved its own title. Astro Bot is the result of those requests, and it’s even better than many had imagined it would be. 26 levels of Mario-quality platforming await you hear.
It sounds like hyperbole but it’s true; each one of Astro Bot’s levels packs new ideas that range from endearingly novel to properly groundbreaking. It’s an absolute joy to play from start to finish that never ceases to amaze you. So why not the top spot? Because, as essential as Astro Bot is, the following games strive to make you truly embody another character. There’s power to the bond you’ll form with Astro on this adventure, but it’s safe ground for VR right now.
1. Firewall: Zero Hour – Read Our Review
Virtual paintball in your living room. That’s the pitch behind a lot of VR shooters these days, but none of them realize it quite as well as Firewall: Zero Hour. It has a few hiccups, but First Contact’s multiplayer shooter is one of the purest expressions of leaving your own body and stepping into the role of someone else entirely that you’ll find in VR. This is the intense S.W.A.T. simulator you’ve always dreamed of experiencing.
It’s PSVR’s excellent Aim controller that makes Firewall a real standout. The unmatched sensation of holding an assault rifle in your hand makes you feel incredibly powerful and draws you back in time and again to recapture the rush. Firewall is one of the best expressions of what VR gaming is all about and, for our money, the best game you can currently get on PSVR.