The 9 Best VR Games Of 2017 So Far

by Jamie Feltham • September 6th, 2017

As hard as it is to believe, we’re over halfway through 2017, and what a year it’s been. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are now a year into their lifecycles and Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) isn’t far behind. We’ve seen developers really start to get much more comfortable with these headsets, and that’s lead to much bigger and better VR experiences compared to what we were seeing this time last year.

Before we get into the holiday rush, though, we wanted to recap on some of the games that have wowed us in the first seven and a half months of 2017.

Honorable Mention: Gorn – Rift, Vive
Read Our Impressions

We’ve got something of a disturbing obsession with Gorn, Free Lives’ ultra-violent, super-hilarious VR debut. It’s a gladiator combat game that caters to the slapstick as mindless meat heads march towards you, begging for a beating with whatever tool of destruction is currently in your possession.

It might be funny, but its combat is genuinely some of the more refined in VR action games right now, and its reward structure has us constantly going back to unlock more weapons. That said, it’s only in Early Access right now, so we can’t give it a proper place on this list yet. Check back later this year.

Lone Echo/Echo Arena – Rift
Read Our Lone Echo And Echo Arena Reviews

Ready At Dawn Studio’s double bill of zero gravity VR is among the most immersive, engaging and downright fun content you’ll find in VR right now. The locomotion system, in which players propel themselves forward using their hands, is the most convincing way to move in VR we’ve yet seen.

With Lone Echo, it’s used to create a deeply atmospheric and engaging sci-fi story that breaks new ground in interaction. When it comes to multiplayer, Echo Arena has quickly established itself as one of VR’s best experiences. As a package, this makes a great case for VR’s best game yet.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – PSVR
Read Our Review

Seven months on from release and Resident Evil 7 remains the best example of AAA gaming in VR. Unfortunately for some, it’s also probably the scariest and most merciless. Capcom’s survival horror sequel makes for a blistering, break-neck VR experience that brings terror to life like never before.

It may not be VR-exclusive, but this is a textbook example of how to design traditional games for VR headsets with controls that actually feel better than the 2D version and, through some form of dark magic, visuals that don’t suffer too much from the conversion. We’re begging for more experiences as good as Resident Evil 7 in VR.

Form – Vive
Read Our Review

Form is an exploration of the fantastical and a VR game that demands to be experienced on a purely sensual level. It overwhelms the senses and may well capture the same feeling of awe you got the first time you put on a headset.

It’s got something new to show you every two minutes and every time its world bends and morphs around you you’ll find yourself giddy with excitement to see what it cooks up. It also helps that this is one of the few VR games that balances the challenge of puzzles with the fun of progression.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew – Rift, Vive, PSVR
Read Our Review

We may all dream of using Star Trek’s Holodeck but, until we get there, we’ll settle for Bridge Crew quite happily. This co-op adventure fulfilled the dreams of fans around the world getting them to work together to commandeer a Starfleet ship, each taking a different role.

Friends need to learn to cooperate in order to defend the ship from threats, save lives, and make important discoveries. This is the sort of game that really only works well in VR, and a great example of how the technology helps us embody the people we’ve always wanted to be.

To The Top – Rift, Vive
Read Our Review

Crytek’s The Climb proved that rock climbing in VR can be a thrilling and terrifying experience even when your feet are stuck firmly to the ground. To The Top, however, takes that concept to thrilling new heights with one of the medium’s best locomotion systems.

This is the VR game for speedrunners, getting players to use their hands to elegantly bound through huge environments with all the grace of the animal kingdom. It’s VR parkour at its finest, and one of the best games out there for those that are light on their feet.

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality – Rift, Vive
Read Our Review

VR is injecting some much-needed life back into the tie-in videogame, and there’s no better example of that than Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality. Job Simulator dev Owlchemy smashes its penchant for humor and interactivity together with Justin Roiland’s beloved animated universe with fascinating and often hilarious results.

The world has been meticulously recreated with an original story and voice acting designed just for VR. With numerous references for fans and an adventure that continues to surprise throughout, this is an absolute must even if you’re not up to date with the show.

Wilson’s Heart – Rift
Read Our Review

Twisted Pixel’s VR debut quickly became one of our most anticipated games when it was revealed last year, and the end product didn’t disappoint. Wilson’s Heart is a lovingly-crafted descent into madness that pays tribute to classic horror movies and yet manages to scare and thrill in much more contemporary ways.

This features some of the most intuitive uses of the Oculus Touch controllers yet and transports you to some unforgettable locations that could only be realized within VR. If you thought VR might mean the end of genre-influenced love letters then you really need to check out Wilson’s Heart.

Eclipse: Edge of Light – Daydream
Read Our Review

We were initially disappointed when we learned that White Elk Studios’ VR adventure game, Eclipse, was making the move from PSVR to become a Google Daydream exclusive, but the developer miraculously pulled the transition off.

In fact, we still think Eclipse is easily the best game on Daydream, pulling us into an atmospheric alien world with a rich history and making great use of the Daydream remote controller. By the end we found ourselves buried in a pile of questions begging to be picked apart. We can’t wait to revisit this world once Google’s WorldSense headsets are available.


What are some of your favorite VR games so far in 2017? Did we leave your picks off the list? Let us know down in the comments below!

[Editor’s Note:] This article was previously published on August 16th, 2017, but has been republished today to continue the discussion. We’ve reviewed a lot of great games this year (some of which have released since this article was originally published) so our final Games of the Year list may not reflect this roundup exactly, but it should give you a good idea of how this year is shaping up.

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  • Rothgarr

    Good list. I think I might have included Farpoint, though. The game was pretty good, but also as important the controller not only made the game what it is, but also breathed new life into other games as well.

  • Graham

    in my opinion Farpoint is as ground breaking as RE7 albeit for different reasons. After having that initial “wow” factor of VR wear off slightly having got a PSVR on day one, Farpoint with the Aim controller meant I got to relive that “wow” all again. No idea why it got such lukewarm critic reviews but gamers generally seem to love it. But you can’t have every game on a list like this. I’m also keen to try PC VR at some point and I thought robo recall was a top pick? – but I’ll take a steer from others who are more informed on that one.

    • GIBBS v2

      Agreed Farpoint has to be on this list. Farpoint is a really solid game but with Aim Controller it becomes an amazing VR experience.

      • Tyler Soward

        farpoint needs a port to PC

    • crazysapertonight

      Robo Recall is much better than Farpoint to be true

    • RFC_VR

      Farpoint was awesome fun on psvr/ps4pro

  • Tenka

    To The Top! .. Hooray! ..definitely the best game imo.

  • Dave Moore

    How is Farpoint not in this list?

  • impurekind

    So, Rift is the winner here then, right, in terms of how many of the best games of 2017 are on it vs the other platforms?

  • TheBusterMan

    Sorry,but Farpoint is quite a bland game.The Aim Controller is great,though.

  • johngrimoldy

    Though not a game, Google Earth VR is absolutely incredible. Why is this list limited to games?
    For games, Alien Isolation has been the best I’ve played on my Vive and it wasn’t even released as VR. Though the UI needs a bit of a nip and a tuck, there’s only so much Nibre can do with his hack, not having access to the source code.

  • polysix

    Form is now on Rift too (update yer article!)

  • impurekind

    6 on Rift, 5 on Vive, 2 on PSVR, 1 on Daydream.

  • etmatrix

    If resident evil is on here Farpoint should be also

  • etmatrix

    Wait RE came out last year?