The 9 Best PSVR Games to Play Right Now

by David Jagneaux • January 30th, 2017

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.

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.

Driveclub VR [Review: 7/10]

This is the racing game that you’ve been waiting for. If you already played the original Driveclub on PS4, there isn’t a whole lot here that you haven’t seen before, but it does add a few new tracks, cars, and game modes to give you a bit of a new experience mixed with the old.

For those that missed out the first time around, or simply want a realistic racing game to enjoy on the PSVR, then this is a no-brainer. Paired with a full-size racing wheel, the PSVR can quickly become a portal to the car of your dreams instead of just a hunk of plastic on your face.

1/30/2017 Update: Job Simulator and Robinson: The Journey have been retired from the list to make room for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and How We Soar.

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  • Seth Rogaine

    replace driveclub with rez, and your list is set… rez is just amazing in vr. right up there with thumper.

    • That is actually the exact decision I agonized over most when making this list, but I decided that Driveclub scratched a pretty specific itch that wasn’t represented on the list yet. Thumper fulfills a lot of the same urges a game like Rez does, so it edged it out. Rez is absolutely an awesome game though.

      • Hairy BizRat

        I must be alone because I found thumper and Rez quite boring to be honest and the driveclub demo left me not wanting to purchase it due to poor graphics. Is the full game any different? Because I did play job simulator demo which had poor motion tracking but still purchased the full game and the motion tracking is almost perfect in the full game

    • Nate

      Yeah, I agree with Seth about replacing Driveclub with Rez, but I also understand what David mentions about diversifying his picks for this list. In all fairness, I haven’t even played Diriveclub yet and it’s the only game that I am actually hesitant to play due to so many people and reviews saying it gives them motion sickness (I’ve had zero motion sickness on all other games that I’ve played thus far on the PS VR). Rez has an incredible level of immersion and awesome gameplay (at least for me) that I think should have put it on this list. For the PS VR, this is a good problem to have… where we’re all speaking our minds to the author saying ‘you left off this game or that game’.

      • If you’re not prone to motion sickness, you’d probably do just fine with Driveclub.
        I’ve had the game for over a month now, and it’s one of my favorites I have (for PSVR, anyway).

        • Nate

          Thanks Stygian. Nah, I’m not really prone to motion sickness and I have a firm pair of VR legs now, so I may give it a try on the demo disc.

          • The demo was what convinced me to go buy it. 🙂

            I loved the feel of the SCART racer that you get in the demo. It had just the right balance for being the first vehicle to get your feet wet in the game.

            That car is also in the full version, and it can be played across a couple of courses where its the default, but otherwise you have to unlock it and it’s unlock-threshold is a bit high. I have yet to unlock it for freely using it anywhere. Anyway, the SCART racer is nice because its cockpit doesn’t at all impede your view and the rear-view mirrors are angled just right to be actually useful. With some of the more traditional sports cars, especially ones with a British style of layout, seem easiest to drive in ‘bumper-cam’ perspective, but there are a few that using an internal perspective works really well with. It seemed to help a lot when I started using a high-back office-chair to sit in when I play, instead of using my couch… I think it’s because the desk-chair feels more like a bucket-seat from a sports car.

            It’s definitely got me looking forward to more *good* racing games. I haven’t gotten into traditional racers since Ridge Racer and Daytona were new releases… aside from the Need for Speed series… I played a lot of those. But mostly I’ve been more into combat racers, especially the Wipeout series. I’d really like to see a new Wipeout with VR support throughout all stages, and a VR release from the Burnout series. Burnout was always badass because it’s just as much a crash simulator as it is a racing game.

            In VR, the crash-sim components of Burnout would be freakin’ mind-reeling!

            Speaking of which… just for fun –once you’ve gotten used to the feel of Driveclub VR, do a spinout at high-speed on purpose. It feels pretty real! 🙂

            Anyways, if you get it, I hope you enjoy it. As much as I’ve loved my VR hardware, it pleases me to hear that others are having good experiences with theirs too. The way I see it, the more of us that there are that are giving positive feedback about PSVR, the more we’ll see 3rd party devs get involved and help to grow out the number of titles available.

  • Travis Rehl

    I’d personally drop Eve a peg to a 8/10 and bump RIGS a peg to 9/10.

    I feel like RIGS is ‘killer app’ for PSVR thats not given enough credit.

    • I’d argue that the updates to EVE: Valkyrie have been enormous as well ever since it launched on Rift and now being on all three headsets leaves it as the most diversely played and robust one of the bunch. Of course, this is all my opinion, and I do think RIGS is one of the best, if not the best, exclusive on the PS VR right now. At least for multiplayer.

      • Travis Rehl

        I do agree that the cross-platform play in EVE is a game changer. For me however – and this is opinion – the gameplay does feel to get a little stay after a while.

        Since the article is about ‘best PSVR games’ and your last comment is “I do think RIGS is one of the best, if not the best, exclusive on the PS VR right now. At least for multiplayer.” I would have thought that the review would have been separated singleplayer/multiplayer and RIGS been given a higher score is all.

        EVE deserves praise, mostly as a good cross platform flight sim. But PSVR specifically, RIGS is a stronger game.

  • Fab Z

    Yep, that’s an excellent list. I’ll get to some of them (a few of which I already own) as soon as I can stop playing Battlezone. 50 hours in and still totally loving it. I wonder how the announced “Campaign mode” is coming along…

  • Ozzy waffle

    Spot on list! A lot of people unsure of Driveclub, personally I didn’t get any sickness. You have to love cars to enjoy this though, casual gamers just won’t be able to look past how merky everything is, the lack of detail outside of the car is the worst of any game I’ve played in VR.

    EVE: Valkyrie is one of 2 on this list I’ve not played but have been so close to pick it up. I enjoy playing online but I also need there to be an offline option to really push me towards a purchase. Is there actually a campaign in this game ?

    • There *is* some single player content, and really… I guess if you were to add up all of the game’s features in total, the single player stuff would be about in equal amounts to the multiplayer modes. But, it’s still primarily designed for multiplayer…

      Like me, you’re probably really wanting a game that’s more like Freespace1/2, Freelancer, or Elite:Dangerous (coming later this year). That’s my preference anyways… zero-G combat sims that are missions and story driven, or at least mission driven… to be honest, I think too much cinema and cutscenes actually waters down a lot of these games.

  • Sryche

    A lot of it obviously depends on what style game you prefer. My favorite so far is still Robinson: The Journey as I love adventure/exploration games. Still waiting on a killer FPS game…can’t wait for Farpoint!!

    • I’ve been holding off on getting Robinson, but now that you’ve endorsed it, I might have to check it out when I get paid.
      I had read a poor review of it right after it came out and at first I didn’t think much of it, but decided to skip it for a while. Then last weekend, I watched a video of someone playing it… and I must admit that I was a bit intrigued. It reminded me right away of two other games: Grow Home and No Man’s Sky.

      Personally, I love Grow Home (and Grow Up, it’s sequel), but NMS… wow…. I bought that one via prepay for PS4, and was pissed when it landed and turned out to be boring as hell. I guess my taste in exploration games needs a balance of action to satisfy it, and NMS just doesn’t cut it for me, at least not so far… if they patch it for VR, I might actually get into it, but without VR it feels really mediocre to me.

      Robinson, what I’ve seen of it, looks absolutely amazing. Though, from the video, it looked like the character was doing a bunch of cataloging of lifeforms… and that’s probably the main thing about NMS that I don’t like –all of the cataloging bores me half to death.

      Now… Resident Evil 7’s exploration… that’s a different animal altogether… a very scaring, satisfying animal. Ever since I picked that one up, I can’t wait to get home from work to play it some more.

      I hope Farpoint is good, too. I’ve been following the development of that one, and plan to buy it zero-day. I just hope like hell that some other 3rd party devs will support the PS-Aim controller, and… if we’re really lucky, hopefully we’ll see the Aim gain support in Doom VR and Fallout 4 VR in the coming months.

      All things considered, I think this coming summer is going to kick off a seismic shift toward more advanced VR software. But I also strongly believe that we, as both gamers and customers, need to give as much feedback as possible to let the devs know that they need to standardize on allowing the player to either enable or disable any built-in VR-Sickness protections based on their own VR Acclimation. My wife and son use the protections, while I don’t and personally hate it when I can’t kill it all the way off… ‘Here They Lie’ has a little bit of that problem, in that you can *almost* turn off all of the protections to get a silky smooth play style, but it leaves this VR Goggle pattern around the edge of the screen that’s kind of annoying when you’re wanting to react swiftly to a noise coming from just outside of your line-of-sight.

  • Hairy BizRat

    I heard DriveclubVR looks bad is that true ? The demo looks pretty bad