The Oculus Rift is amazing. And this month it got even more amazing. Oculus Touch released on December 6 and boy, oh boy, did it bring some fantastic games along with it. In the face of such an incredible innovation we realized we had to update our top Rift games list to include these new offerings.
We’ve got nine games in particular 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 headsets. We’re also not including simplistic free experiences such as Farlands, First Contact, or Oculus Dreamdeck.
Titles on this list are in no particular order, they’re all recommended equally. Let’s get started!
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.
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.
And always remember: don’t cut.
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.
Before The Unspoken we were skeptical how real-time, online multiplayer would work for the Oculus Rift. After, The Unspoken we know the answer: it freaking rocks.
The Unspoken is the third game in Insomniac’s trilogy of VR titles for Rift this year. It puts you in the Chuck Taylor’s, scarf, and trench coat of a modern sorcerer trying to evade a shadowy cabal in the dark streets of Chicago. Despite its loose story, The Unspoken is entirely an online multiplayer game (with the exception of a few, limited, offline practice modes).
You’ll spend your time choosing between three unique classes, customizing a load out of spells and artifacts, and perfecting your technique on the battlefield. The Unspoken is addictive and fun with a fantastic use case for the new Touch controllers. Whether you’re hurling a fireball or levitating a police car, it all feels natural and exhilarating on Oculus’ new platform.
Matchmaking also happens within seconds rather than minutes which was a major pre-launch concern for this game. Dive in, master your magic, and see if you’ve got what it takes to be named the greatest VR wizard in the world.
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.
Once upon a time Epic Games had a small tech demo called Bullet Train that it was developing for the Oculus Rift and Touch motion controllers. The game studio took that idea and expanded upon it into a full game that’s free for everyone and anyone with Touch controllers. There is a large futuristic city to explore and tons of weapons to modify and enhance as you rack up combos and kills against countless evil robots.
Stepping to the side, plucking a bullet out of the air, and throwing it back at an enemy only to watch their torsos explode and their gun float through the air into your hands to shoot the robot to your side is exhilarating. Few games make you feel as powerful as Robo Recall does and it’s easily one of the most exciting and beautiful VR games to look at.
Dead and Buried
Let’s move from a metaphorical Ghost Town to a literal one. Dead and Buried, the first full game developed outright by Oculus Studios, is a multiplayer, online shooter with a twist: you’re already dead. You’ve been brought back to life by a mysterious specter to, as he puts it, “take out some bad guys…or some good guys.”
D&B has a wealth of game modes for you to explore including team shootouts, quick draw contests and cops-and-robbers style heists. There’s a variety of weapons and cover strategies to play with in each mode so grab a few friends and settle the ghostly west with your brains, your brawn, and plenty of hot lead.
Edge of Nowhere
Insomniac is one of the most prolific gaming studios operating today with massive hits like Ratchet & Clank, Spyro, and Sunset Overdrive in its catalog. Edge of Nowhere is Insomniac’s first foray into the world of VR gaming and represents one of the few titles for the Rift developed by an established AAA developer.
Edge of Nowhere is a psychological, third person thriller that will take you to the limits of not only the freezing arctic, but of your own sanity as well. Expect a few frights and an unforgettable VR experience when playing this one. It’s not to be missed.
In Damaged Core you play as an artificial intelligence who’s job it is to possess enemy robots and use their unique weapons and skill to defeat the evil “Core” and save the human race. In my opinion, it’s very nearly a masterpiece, and it is the best reviewed game on UploadVR to date. Despite requiring a gamepad to play, the game’s core robot-jumping mechanic (pun intended) creates a deeper sense of freedom and immersion than most “room scale” titles I’ve tried.
Combine that with incredible visuals, an engaging story, and interesting characters and you get one of the most complete and impressive VR titles on this or any platform.
Now stop reading and start playing!
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.
This article was originally published on 05/03/16.
Tagged with: oculus rift