The age of consumer grade video game console-powered virtual reality is finally here with the PlayStation VR (PSVR). Sony’s headset isn’t as powerful as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, or as portable as the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream View, and it doesn’t really offer fully-featured roomscale tracking, but it brings VR into the living rooms of over 50 million PlayStation 4 owners at an affordable price with a strong lineup of software.
There are dozens of games already available for the PSVR and it can be overwhelming to look at the PSN Store or gaming store shelves to see so many options. Which games are the best? What if I want a shooter and a music rhythm game, or an adventure title and a horror experience? We’ve compiled our definitive list of the 9 best PSVR games that you can play right now to alleviate those concerns.
The video embedded below is from the 1/30/17 iteration of this list, which has since been updated (on 3/23/17). For more details about past changes, you can view the running list of updates at the end of this article.
There’s something for everyone on this list — guaranteed! The Playroom VR, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Jack Assault, and other free experiences are not included. You should be downloading those regardless.
The following games are listed in no particular order and several awesome titles were left off that we wanted to include. Make sure you check the footnotes at the bottom of the article for past entries on this list that were retired to make room for newer games. The PSVR has plenty of great games already, these are just what we deemed as the very best so far.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League [Review: 8/10]
If the PlayStation VR is here to prove that capable virtual reality is possible on a home video game console, then RIGS is here to prove that VR gaming can deliver a fast-paced, intense, competitive multiplayer shooter unlike anything else on any of the headsets. It combines the intense action of games like Unreal Tournament with the mechanized combat and spectacle of a futuristic sports league.
What RIGS lacks in non-competitive content it more than makes up for with depth and breadth within its core game modes. The variety of ways to blow other mechs up, as well as the variety of the mechs themselves, make it an addictive experience worth coming back to over and over again. More maps, mechs, abilities, game modes, and features are planned over the coming months ensuring this game will get the support that it deserves.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood [Review: 7/10]
If you’re looking for something to get your pulse pounding in a slightly different way, then look no further than Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. This fright fest is based loosely on the same world of Until Dawn, a narrative-based adventure horror title for PS4. In this spin-off, you are descending down into the metaphorical, and quite literal, depths of hell fighting off crazed clowns and creepy monsters.
I won’t lie and say that this is anywhere near the best that VR has to offer — there are higher scoring PSVR games I left off of this list, for example — but it scratches a very specific itch so incredibly well. The 360-degree audio does an incredible job of immersing you and the jump scares are so well-timed it becomes addictive to see what’s around that next corner. This is one trippy on-rails shooter that’s unlike anything else out there and it lasts a hefty 3+ hours for a single play through on Normal difficulty, which is great for the price tag.
Battlezone [Review: 8/10]
After you’re done blasting away enemies in rival mechs and wetting yourself from spooky thrills, it’s time to get behind the controls of a futuristic tank in the revamped and revitalized Battlezone. The series made its debut decades ago when games were mere lines and pixels, but now, with the power of VR, Battlezone is back at it again with a fresh coat of 3D immersive paint.
Other shooters in VR will pit you against one another, but Battlezone is instead a celebration of cooperative strategy. If you have a few friends that got PSVR headsets as well, then this should be your go-to buddy game that lets you roll out as a squad of super-powered neon death machines.
How We Soar [Review: 8/10]
This isn’t a game for everyone and it’s hard to fully appreciate without trying, but for gamers that enjoy a more esoteric gaming experience from time to time — something that evokes a calming sense of relaxation mixed with gorgeous vistas — there is plenty here to enjoy.
It lacks the action-packed gameplay of something like Eagle Flight, instead opting for a more slow-paced and deliberate design that’s beautiful to behold. It feels more in line with something like a walking simulator adapted for the immersive space, but for those that find pleasure from these sorts of experiences will discover one of PSVR’s most uplifting journeys.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard [Review: 9/10]
This is the game that PSVR fans have been waiting on ever since it was announced back at E3 2016. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard does so many things it’s hard to believe Capcom actually pulled it off. First and foremost, it reinvents the stagnating Resident Evil series with a swift kick in the pants moving it from the third-person to the first-person perspective. However, while undergoing that change, this new game also serves as a return to form for the series as its survival horror roots are reintroduced to great effect.
But the most impressive feat by our record is the fact that it delivers a 12+ hour long campaign that’s fully playable in VR with a multitude of comfort options. The atmosphere is haunting, the story is memorable, and the gameplay is rewarding enough to easily make this rank among the top of the pile for the entire horror genre in recent years.
EVE: Valkyrie [Review: 9/10]
In our original review of EVE: Valkyrie from back when it launched on the Oculus Rift, we called it the game that VR headsets were designed to play. Now, it’s available on both the HTC Vive and PSVR as well and features fully-operational cross-play multiplayer between all three major devices and that vision is even more realized.
With a variety of game modes released for free since launch, as well as new maps and ships, there is a ton of content in the package now. Competitive multiplayer dogfights are still the heart of the experience and this offers some of the most intense multiplayer matches you’ll find in any game.
Thumper [Review: 9/10]
Trust me: you need to play Thumper. This game is so hard to properly articulate that even watching a video won’t do it justice. But, alas, that’s what I have here, along with my words, so that will have to do for now. To put things simply, it’s one of the most viscerally satisfying and visually enthralling experiences you can have inside of any VR headset on the market.
Described as a rhythm-violence game, Thumper pits you on a track and asks you to time your button presses, turns, and evasions across a series of dozens of tracks to the beat of a thumping soundtrack geared to make your face melt. It’s dark, twisted, and at-times infuriating, but it’s also simply fantastic.
Bound [Review: 9/10]
We’d forgive you if you wrote this off as a non-VR title, because at first, that’s what it was. But a free update to the game adds VR support and helps separate this from the pack as one of the most unique and breathtaking experiences you can have on the PSVR.
Bound tells an emotional and intimate story unlike anything else you’ll see in the medium and its beautiful world of bright visuals and evocative dance is worth exploring even for the most jaded of gamers.
DiRT: Rally [Review: 9/10]
DiRT: Rally on the Oculus Rift quickly became one of the best VR racing games on the market, period, when it launched last year. The fast-paced intensity of the tracks, the visceral environments, and the pitch-perfect gameplay felt like a revolution for the genre. Now that it’s on PSVR, the action is being shared on a more affordable and accessible device. It’s also pretty much identical to the Oculus Rift version of the game.
The new co-op mode that was built for PSVR feels oddly out of place and like a shadow of what it could have been, but it doesn’t ruin the core of the experience. Despite it all, DiRT: Rally is a rock solid racer that roots you in the experience, piling on the life-risking rush of putting your foot down and sliding a car through a muddy Welsh forest as if you were intent on smashing into something. It’s one of the few VR experiences that can completely immerse you and makes you forget you’re sitting in your living room.
3/23/2017 Update: Driveclub VR has been retired from this list with DiRT: Rally taking its place.