The 9 Best Oculus Rift Games That You Can Play Right Now

by David Jagneaux • November 23rd, 2017

The Oculus Rift is amazing. And as more and more times passes, it just gets more and more amazing. We do our best to update this list every few months with the best and most amazing VR experiences money can buy for your shiny new Oculus Rift.

We’ve got nine games in particular right here for you that we think are the absolute best games this system has to offer in the post-Touch era. Before we get started there are just a few caveats. We will not be including the original pack-in titles like Lucky’s Tale and EVE: Valkyrie for consideration — even though both are great games — because they already came with most initial headsets. We’re also not including simplistic free experiences such as Farlands, First Contactor Oculus Dreamdeck, or free art apps like Quill.

Titles on this list are in no particular order, they’re all recommended equally. Let’s get started!

Onward (Tips Guide)

This is the hardcore VR shooter for hardcore VR gamers. If you grew up playing games like Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, SOCOM, and other similar tactical military shooters, then you’ll feel right at home in Onward. It has much more in common with the grueling teamwork of those games than the run-and-gun hip firing found in modern shooters like Call of Duty, and it was all created by one guy.

From holding your rifle with both hands and using your walkie talkie on your shoulder, to pulling out your knife to sneak up on an opponent, Onward is the visceral, realistic VR game many people have been waiting for. It uses full roomscale tracking with motion controllers and artificial locomotion attached to the thumb stick— no teleporting here. The community is healthy and fun, making this one of the clear standout titles for VR gamers thus far.

Get it on Oculus Home or Steam.

2855343-dirt1

DiRT Rally (Our Review)

D1RT Rally is officially bumping Project Cars off of this list as our number one racing game for the Rift. Don’t get me wrong, Project Cars is beautiful and impressively immersive but DiRT edges it out with grittier gameplay that feels perfectly suited for the unique benefits of a VR headset.

The white-knuckle turns and moment-by-moment decision making that take place in DiRT Rally‘s off road races translate beautifully into VR. Every last second hairpin turn or horrifying rollout is felt inside that headset. This makes every victory feel satisfying, electrifying, and hard won. Combine this with a steering wheel accessory and you’ve got yourself a recipe for never seeing your children again.

Lone Echo (Our Review)

Lone Echo is a landmark achievement in three key areas of the VR experience: locomotion, UI, and interaction. The winning blend of intuitive movement, discovery-based gameplay and character-driven storytelling create a compelling sense of presence that few VR games could hope to match, while the considered pacing gives it a fresh identity — although, it does end a bit prematurely. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I expect its sequel to be one of VR’s very best.

You absolutely must experience this emotional story that only VR can tell.

The Mage’s Tale (Our Review)

For many intrepid dungeon crawlers out there, The Mage’s Tale is a bit of a dream come true. Instead of being forced to sit behind a computer screen, managing a party and slowly drudging through the depths of deep, dark dungeons, you can instead immerse yourself in the dangerous worlds themselves.

The Mage’s Tale is actually developed by inXile Entertainment, the same folks behind the Wasteland and Bard’s Tale franchise, so they know a thing or two about immersive RPGs. With over 10 hours of gameplay, this is one of VR’s beefiest games and has tons of replayability with a smart spellcrafting system and lots of secrets hidden within the world’s nooks and crannies.

Superhot VR (Our Review)

SUPERHOT VR is a pure, distilled, injection of unadulterated adrenaline that will get your blood pumping just as quickly as time stops in the game itself. With every movement you make, time creeps forward ever so slightly, and everything from the level design to the way it feels to dodge a series of bullets in slow-motion is orchestrated to reinforce the core ideals of the experience. From start to finish it plays out like a fantasy ripped from the screen of every action movie; an indulgent cacophony of visual and gameplay excitement.

This is easily one of the best titles available for Rift with Touch and the recent Forever update makes it even better with expanded game modes, more challenges, and an improved sense of replayability.

Echo Arena (Our Review)

This is the multiplayer spin-off to single player standout title, Lone Echo. You and and your teammates are tasked with throwing a glowing disc into goals in a zero-G game of soccer meets Quidditch. The fast-paced and intense gameplay is unlike anything else we’ve ever seen and the sheer skill required to nail the timing of group coordination is immensely satisfying. Once you’re on a roll with a team you like it’s hard to stop playing.

This is truly the only multiplayer VR game that I find myself continually coming back to over and over. After I play this game I can’t stop thinking about it for days. It’s addictive, exciting, tiring, and downright exhilarating.

arizona-sunshine-highway

Arizona Sunshine (Our Review)

If you’ve ever sat around with your friends and played, “How would we survive the zombie apocalypse?” then Arizona Sunshine is a must play. Developer Vertigo Games transports you directly into the sun bleached deserts of Arizona. The landscapes would be quite beautiful if they weren’t crawling with legions of the undead.

Armed with only a handful of firearms you’ll need to scavenge for food, ammunition, and shelter as you make your way through the infested landscape in search of refuge from the endless hordes. Arizona Sunshine‘s gameplay is visceral and satisfying with a wonderfully voiced protagonist and a story that makes you feel the desperation that comes at the end of the world.

There are also difficulty modes that scale the zombie damage and ammo scarcity. These culminate in the almost impossible to beat “Apocalyptic Mode” which will make you think hard before taking every shot. The online horde mode is a blast with friends and the gunplay and reload mechanics keep you feeling actively involved in your own survival.

In a market flooded with Zombie shooters Arizona Sunshine stands a decapitated head and shoulders above the rest.

From Other Suns (Our Review)

In From Other Suns you and up to two other friends fly a spaceship through the galaxy going from node to node looting, trading, and battling your way back to Earth. The game is procedurally generated to ensure that no two playthroughs are the same as there is a seemingly endless amount of gun variety to find across your journey.

From Other Suns is an ambitious VR title that gets a lot right. Fans of sci-fi are going to find a lot to love here and it’s some of the most fun I’ve had playing cooperative VR to date. There is an immense amount of content and enough variety to mostly prevent things from feeling too stale.

Killing Floor: Incursion (Our Review)

Take control of a combat-ready soldier in virtual simulations gone awry. You’ll hack off limbs, shoot off heads, and blow up giant creatures over the course of the varied campaign and addictive cooperative multiplayer game modes.

Killing Floor: Incursion isn’t the best zombie game I’ve played in VR (that would still go to Arizona Sunshine) but it does a lot right. The unsettling atmosphere is pervasive through each level and the excellent gameplay mechanics between melee and gun combat feel visceral and satisfying. I absolutely recommend that you grab a buddy for some insane co-op fun and lop off a few zed heads for a good time.

Now stop reading and start playing!


11/23/2017 Update: This list has been updated by adding Lone Echo, Echo Arena, From Other Suns, and Killing Floor: Incursion. To make room for the new additions we’ve removed The Unspoken, Robo Recall, Wilson’s Heart, and Star Trek: Bridge Crew.

7/10/17 Update: This list has been updated by adding The Mage’s Tale, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and Wilson’s Heart. To make room for the new additions, we’ve removed Edge of Nowhere, Damaged Core, and Dead and Buried. The author on this list has been changed to David Jagneaux as well to reflect the majority of the updates being by him. 

3/27/17 Update: This list has been updated by adding Superhot VR, Onward, and Robo Recall. To make room for the new additions, we’ve removed Windlands, Obduction, and The Climb.

12/26/16 Update: This list has been updated by adding DiRT Rally, Arizona Sunshine, Obduction, The Unspoken, and Dead & Buried. To make room for these games, we’ve removed Technolust, Project CARS, Blaze Rush, Air Mech Command, and Defense Grid 2.

8/30/16 Update: The list has been expanded from 7 games to 9, opening up 2 new spots. Edge of Nowhere and Damaged Core are the two newly added titles. 

Original: The first version of this article was originally published on 05/03/16.

Tagged with: , ,

What's your reaction?
Like
Wow
25%
LOL
0%
Dislike
0%
  • Andrew Barrett

    No Elite Dangerous or Chronos? Shame on you! 🙂

  • it still bugs me that review sites like to use videos and screenshots that don’t reflect the true quality of what you see with a VR headset – it’s a lot more blurrier and lower res than people realise. The Climb is a prime example of misleading consumers with game quality.

    • Patrick Ding

      I don’t think anyone is trying to mislead consumers on game quality. I’d argue that it’s impossible to properly show a VR experience with videos/pictures. It must be experienced to be understood. There is really nothing that can be done to emulate immersion through picture/video, short of creating a 90Hz 360 degree panoramic video.

      A similar (but less obvious) issue happens with game reviews. Most videos on Youtube are 30fps–the experience is much different when running it on your 120Hz monitor. The purpose of a review is to give a taste of the game and evaluate its pros/cons, not to demo an exact replica of what you’d get.

      • I agree to a point but to me VR games need to have demos more than ever. If I had played a demo of The Climb before purchase I wouldn’t have bought the full version as it looks terrible in VR (and you can’t even enable super sampling). Its rare in reviews that the quality of the graphics (in terms of AA) are even mentioned so to me it’s not giving the consumer a real indication of a VR game.

        • Jona Adams

          The setting make a difference, and The Climb was done in the Cryengine. So, it’s not the game, it’s the headset, and maybe your graphics card.

  • Art Sin

    Chronos is the best overall.

  • Mark Rehm

    alomost agree, but imho Chronos ist missing and one of the best

  • WIllWallace12

    I have had oculus for about a month, I can tell you without a doubt, if you want a knock your socks off experience, get DCS world and buy the lock on Flaming cliffs 3 mod. If you ever wanted to have the experience of flying in a fighter jet, this comes pretty close.

    • Pistol Pete

      Wow!

  • xGryfter

    Yeah, Cronos was a really fun game, the VR was just icing on the cake. I really, really hope we see more couch VR games like Cronos.

    Dirt Rally was okay but it looks soooo bad, even at max settings it’s hard to get into when I can play Forza Horizon 3, Forza Vista (even though they are not in VR) or Project Cars.

    As of now I can’t get enough of Unspoken, I’m praying that we’ll see many updates and additions to the game in the coming year, especially some kind of single player campaign.

    Dead and Buried is pretty cool as well but the lack of any single player game modes (outside of target shooting) really hurts it.

    I’ve heard nothing but bad things about The Climb so unless they release a demo for that won’t be playing it.

    Damaged Core isn’t bad but it’s not all that great either. The levels are way too long without enough variation and your possessed robot dies way too quickly making it difficult to really get into a groove before having to jump again.

    Edge of Nowhere is cool but I’m not really feeling the urge to finish it.

    I’ll try Arizona Sunshine next time it goes on sale.

  • wheeler

    Does this only backup the games/software purchased on the content store? Or can it move an Oculus Home installation too? The latter is what I’m having trouble with.

  • CMcD

    Since you guys at uploadvr have every game on everything can you let’s us know if there is any difference with playing Windlands the steam version vs. the oculus store version or are they exactly the same??

  • Schorsch

    While Chronos (up until just recently) was the ONLY actual full AAA title for VR, I absolutely disagree that it should be in this list.
    Why? Because it is ultimately a VERY old-fashioned game and really doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s a very good game nevertheless, but should not be in this list IMO.
    Elite D. is also not exactly “the best Rift game”, most people don’t even play it with Touch. (I am not even sure, I think it doesn’t even SUPPORT touch, so why should it be in this list? I played ED back in the Beta but became utterly bored, it’s ultimately only hauling stuff from A to B and the pseudo “multiplayer” aspect of it is horrible and a total turnoff.

    • Andrew Barrett

      Chronos is absolutely a great game in it’s own right, that could easily be enjoyed without VR. But, in my opinion, playing it in VR adds a whole lot more. The way it plays with scale is amazing. When I got to the cyclops fight, I sat there with a big dumb grin on my face as it played out in front of me. 🙂

      • Schorsch

        Yes, it “adds a whole lot more” but IMHO, these types of games don’t even remotely take advantage what VR really can offer. While being a great game, it’s ultimately an old-fashioned game brought into VR. To see what I mean…do me a favor and check out “The Unspoken”, or any of the “smaller” titles like SuperHot or SpacePirate Trainer. I mention The Unspoken since it’s one of the (still very few) titles which I’d consider AAA titles, and a game which really makes clear what incredible potential there actually is for VR. I mean, you *ARE* that guy in the VR world hurling fireballs etc….you are not an “observer” which sort-of contradicts the entire VR philosophy of immersion etc. As said it’s not a bad game by a long-shot but for me personally those “experiences” are the best which can offer me something which is impossible in normal games. (I don’t think everyone would give a game like The Climb, Eagleflight etc. in 2D a second look, but in VR these games turn into amazing experiences.)

        As for the topic of this blog…yeah thinking about it now I’d personally nominate The Unspoken for the currently “best” Touch title..but of course it’s all a matter of preference 🙂

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    I don’t have children so I’m cool to play Dirt Rally. Besides, I think once you have children you forfeit your right to play video games and especially VR. You have to devote all your time to the heady responsibilities of being a parent. Besides, you’d end up fighting with your kids over who gets to play next and if they played, they’d probably break it anyway.

    • Mike Washburn

      I can’t tell if this is serious or not but the fact that you don’t have children suggests that you don’t actually know how games and VR are affected by parenthood. I would also warn against making such blanket statements. Every family is different, every child is different. In addition to having a new baby, I have an 8 year old and easily the single greatest way we spend time together is sharing our love of games, and VR.

    • JSM21

      rofl

    • KHele2k

      Lol if you’re fighting with your kids over who gets to play your time would be better spent with a therapist.

    • ChristianWilliamson

      Or, you know. You could act like you put your big boy pants on and balance your work life, family life, and play in a responsible manner.

      You know, like adults that don’t suck and fail miserably at this whole living life thing.

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    Don’t support Oculus. Google Oculus Trump.

    If you are thinking about buying an Oculus Rift headset, Google Oculus Trump before giving your money to a company whose founder supports the alt-right. Thanks for reading.

    • xGryfter

      Fuck off! Leave your bullshit political propaganda at the door.

      • jlschmugge

        It’s easier to block them, then they can yell in the dark like a crazy person.

        • JSM21

          Well you know basements are rather lonely places I hear…guess he has to vent and get attention somehow. IDK why he doesn’t just use a broom stick to hit the ceiling so his parents will let him out…..

      • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

        Please read
        http
        ://www
        .wired.co.uk/article/oculus-palmer-luckey-deletes-reddit-account-trump-shitposting-links

      • Herbiv0re

        meh, I was just about to buy an Oculus, but that’s a deal breaker for me. It’s not “propaganda” to not want to support the alt-right.

        • It is stupid to believe in a load of basically made up rubbish though. Anyone who really digs into the facts will see that any claims about Oculus supporting Trump and the alt-right are a load of junk. But most people just accept whatever they are told and are too lazy to do any proper research themselves.

          • Matt

            It’s related to Trump? Sign me up to buy three.

          • paul

            Ha. Maybe the guy doesn’t known that half of America supports Trump. Also a founder supporting a super Pac against Hillary doesn’t make Oculus alt right.

        • Eric Pipedream Leisy

          I’ve gotta say that is a pretty sensationalist and illogical reasoning for not buying a cool piece of technology. I mean, is that REALLY a deal breaker? It seems pretty unreasonable to not buy something because one person employed at the company has different political views than you. I’m a liberal, and not for trump- but this is just silly. There is probably also a lot of democrats that work at Oculus. I’m sure there are many republicans at valve too.

  • Rich K

    I have to say I bought Super Hot because of the hype! Wow, what a huge bummer! Only spent $20, got it on sale, but still! I just don’t get the attraction to that game. I guess if you like puzzles, it would be fun. But it is NOT a shooter, which i kinda thought was!

    Guess I’m just getting old, but really people, that game stinks! To each his own!

    • jlschmugge

      Thanks for that. I’ve heard a lot about this game, but I was worried about getting it because I don’t need another point-a-gun-at-something VR game.

      • xGryfter

        Don’t listen to just one guy. There is a reason so many people love this game, it’s not just another point-a-gun-at-something VR game. It’s more puzzler than shooter.

        • Wojciech Kałużny

          I agree, Superhot is one of the best games I played on Oculus. And I play like 30 of them including almost all in this list. I just felt that im NEO in matrix almost all the time.

      • Mk.82

        Just look enough videos about it and you will get what kind it is.
        The Super Hot wasn’t interesting as FPS to be for full price, but now for VR just standing there it is even less.

        I am waiting that someone would bring the nice walking/running with a stick/touchpad instead teleportation for games like Super Hot. Teleportation works very well for the Robo Recall…

    • Bundy

      Yeah it’s not a shooter. It’s a puzzle game.

  • Ted Joseph

    I sold my Vive, and kept the Rift once the controllers came out because they felt much more immersive! I also like Oculus home much better, the side speakers, and the lighter feel of the headset. The Vive is an awesome headset as well, but couldn’t justify two. I am having a blast playing Raw Data, Arizona Sunshine, Rock Band VR, VR Sports, Robo Recall, Rec Room, and Poolnation VR. Can’t wait for Star Trek, and the newer shooters to arrive.

    • Haoyang Zhao

      Which game is your favourite so far?

    • Yeah, I think Rift really is the best all-round solution at this point in time. And, at $200 cheaper (or a little over $100 if you fork out for a third sensor), it’s by far the better value proposition (especially considering you also get an additional Xbox One controller and remote for that cheaper price). I’m just a little worried about the drop in new Oculus specific games of late (as opposed to games made for Stream VR but that you can unofficially play on Rift); or at least that’s how it seems to me. Hopefully we get to see a decent amount of new games made to properly work on the Rift at E3.

      • paul

        Steam just wants to sell games on both headsets because they want a 30% cut of sales. So they made up the idea that Oculus is being evil with content that is exclusive. It is actually just steam being dicks, not Oculus being evil, almost all VR content work fine on both headsets.

        • Konchu

          Pretty sure this is pretty standard across most of the store fronts so I don’t feel steam different that Oculus here. Oculus just wanted to be the goto place for VR and I cannot blame them. But the hate they got they earned by some of their early DRM practices which they have thankfully backed off of. As well as their Walled Garden approach, it may not always be a walled garden but we don’t know that. I know Steam will be here in 10 years not so much Oculus so I prefer to even buy my Oculus titles on Steam. Hell I would be happy to buy them on GOG or even Origin just due to the fact I don’t know what headset I will have in 2 years so i don’t want to be in a closed ecosystem. Oculus could fix this by offering some 3rd party headset support. I think its pretty Conspiracy theory like to think Steam made this up to sell games I think most people came to this conclusion on their own I know I did.

          I do like to see the prices drop on Oculus and if Vive doesn’t respond it could hurt them I think this Christmas we are going to have even more options with the MS headsets and by the Christmas after most options will be sub 400 dollars except the “Cadillac Experiences”.

        • SeatleGuy

          I prefer Steam Market place to Oculus. I like thier if I don’t like it, return it policy. It has saved my butt numerous times on games that got great reviews… but for some odd reason I did not like it.
          Plus it has my hundreds of desktop game tittles in it.

          Steam is the market leader with workshop platform to allow the community to create for a software title. I can literally go on and on why steam is by FAR the superior marketplace. Oculus has its work cut out if it wants to compete.

    • Ragbone

      How much did it cost for your guitar to use in Rockband VR? Is the gaming experience worth it for buying the game and also the guitar? Did you try Star trek?

  • I like how you have the updates at the bottom so we can easily see a history of all the older games that once made the list. Nice touch. 🙂

    PS. I think making it the 10 best games would make more sense. 9 seems like such a random/arbitrary number.

  • EliteEmissary

    Surprised you guys don’t have Chronos on there. That’s one of my favorite games. I’ve beaten it like 5 times now and still go back to it once in a while.

  • dan bryant

    I’m a massive fan of Dirt Rally but it doesn’t touch Assetto Corsa when it comes to VR implementation if you have a wheel and a Rift it’s a must have.

  • KHele2k

    I’m kind of surprised Raw Data and Project Cars 2 aren’t on this list.

  • KHele2k

    I’m a little surprised Raw Data isn’t on this list. Maybe next month they’ll make it ten best and add it?

  • Tom blazey

    Having great fun with Elite Dangerous. This game has a steep learning curve but once you get it, its addictive. Completely open game play with quests, mining, dog fights exploring the galaxy and all with amazing graphics. I’ve played most the games on this list and can concur that these are great games as well.

  • Muhammad Jihad ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    What a terrible list – over half these games are guaranteed to make half of the audience motion sick. Dirt Rally is one of the most vomit inducing games you can buy on the Rift, again, another terrible recommendation for a general audience. Go watch the IGN video they did for Dirt Rally on the Rift, it’s hilarious as after a single lap half of the people that tried the game are sweating and look like they’re about to puke.

    While I get the idea of the list is to go after stuff you can get from the Oculus Store, the best racing game is iRacing – in that it won’t make you want to hurl due to the fact it runs so well.

    Also Arizona Sunshine is not better than Robo Recall.