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.
Arizona Sunshine [Review: 8.5/10]
We were worried PlayStation VR might not be able to handle UploadVR’s 2016 Game of the Year when it arrived in mid-2017, but Vertigo Games pulled off the impossible. Sure, Arizona Sunshine has made some sacrifices to get onto console, but for the most part this is still the same great undead massacre we came to know and love on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
What really makes this version of the zombie shooter shine is support for PSVR’s Aim Controller. Vertigo remastered its campaign with rifle weapons to truly put you in the experience like never before, though there’s support for traditional Move controllers too. The first thing everyone wants to do inside PSVR is shoot stuff, and Arizona Sunshine is the perfect destination for just that.
Sparc [Review: 8/10]
What would CCP Games, creators of the hugely ambitious space sim, EVE Online, know about making an eSport? Better yet, an eSport that’s a real sport too? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot; Sparc is a thrilling tribute to Tron that sees the company stretch its feet in ways we didn’t know possible.
In Sparc you take part in futuristic competitive sports, throwing discs at your opponent while making sure to avoid being hit by their own. Don’t be surprised if you work up a sweat while ducking and dodging as you use two Move controllers to return fire. Gaming has long been considered the enemy of physical activity, but Sparc marks a turning point in that assumption.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew [Review: 8/10]
If you were to ask us what our wildest VR dreams were, the chance to commandeer a Star Trek spaceship with a group of friends would actually be pretty near the top. Hats off to Ubisoft, then, for becoming one of the first companies to deliver a VR experience that really delivers on the promise of giving users a virtual reality.
In Bridge Crew you team up with three other pals and work together to complete missions. Each player has a class that puts them in charge of specific functions like weapons and movement, while a Captain gets to make the tactical decisions for you to follow. Get a good crew together and this is some of the most fun you can have in VR right now.
Superhot VR [Review: 9/10]
Superhot VR is another game we weren’t entirely sure would translate to PSVR so well, but the developers pulled it off almost flawlessly. Despite some tracking troubles, this is still one of the best shooter experiences you can have on your headset right now.
In Superhot, time moves only when you do. This gives the game a wonderful methodical approach, as one bullet will kill you and you have to wipe out all enemies before they get to you. It’s as much a puzzler as it is a shooter; how do you tackle three men with guns when all you have is a knife and a throwing star? The trial and error of working that out is some of the most thrilling gameplay in VR so far.
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.
10/4/2017 Update: Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, How We Soar and Battlezone were all retired from the list in favor of Superhot VR, Arizona Sunshine, Sparc and Star Trek: Bridge Crew
3/23/2017 Update: Driveclub VR has been retired from this list with DiRT: Rally taking its place.