UploadVR’s 2016 Game of the Year Nominations

by David Jagneaux • December 23rd, 2016

The first (almost) full year of full-scale consumer-grade virtual reality is just about in the books. We saw the release of the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, the PlayStation VR, Google’s Daydream platform, the Oculus Touch controllers, and the continued growth of both the OSVR and Samsung Gear VR platforms. Throw in plenty of other advancements from the likes of AR devices and other peripherals and this has been the first true “Year of VR”. We broke down many of the biggest milestones in celebration of UploadVR’s 2nd birthday right here.

But that’s just the hardware.  Since everyone knows that software sells hardware, the more important question to ask is what were the good apps, games, and experiences? Was there anything worth trying out on these fancy hunks of plastic, or is it just cool tech with nothing to do? With over 1,000 pieces of VR content on Steam, there clearly isn’t a lack of quantity, but the lack of quality is a common thread in conversations among VR enthusiasts.

We’ve mashed our heads together as an editorial staff and put together what we think is a relatively thorough list of nominees for this year’s best VR content. We’ve got categories for the obligatory best game of the year, as well as platform specific and genre specific nominations to cover most of the bases. Some of these categories (such as Best Immersive Film) are works in progress because the industry is still trying to figure out terminology, but it should be relatively self-explanatory.


Without further ado, here are our nominations in alphabetical order, for the best games and apps in VR this year in over 20 categories! The images selected are not meant to indicate front runners, but are just meant to be representative of the categories as a whole — often chosen alphabetically, avoiding repeats. That way it’s kept fair!

Arizona_Sunshine_2

Best VR Game of the Year Nominations

Arizona Sunshine

Damaged Core

The Gallery: Episode 1 – Call of the Starseed

Job Simulator

Onward

Rez Infinite

SUPERHOT VR

The Unspoken

Dogfights in EVE: Valkyrie

Breakout VR Game Studio Nominations

CCP Games (EVE: Valkyrie, Gunjack, Project Arena)

Cloudhead Games (The Gallery)

High Voltage (Damaged Core, Dragon Front)

Insomniac (Edge of Nowhere, The Unspoken)

Owlchemy Labs (Job Simulator, Rick and Morty)

Playful Corp (Lucky’s Tale, Wonderland)

Squanchtendo (Accounting)

Survios (Raw Data)

accounting-screenshot-4

Most Innovative VR Game Nominations

Accounting

Damaged Core

Eagle Flight

Fantastic Contraption

The Gallery: Episode 1 – Call of the Starseed

Job Simulator

The Lab

SUPERHOT VR

altspacevr-duncan-drew2

Best Social Variety Experience Nominations

AltspaceVR

Bigscreen

Destinations

High Fidelity

Rec Room

Toybox

battleszone_03_1k

Best PS VR Game Nominations

Battlezone

Bound

How We Soar

Job Simulator

Rez Infinite

RIGS

Thumper

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

brookhaven experiment featured image

Best Vive Game Nominations

Arizona Sunshine

The Brookhaven Experiment

The Gallery: Call of the Starseed

Job Simulator

The Lab

Onward

Raw Data

Vanishing Realms

Chronos_ScreenShot_07

Best Rift Game Nominations

Arizona Sunshine

Chronos

The Climb

Damaged Core

Edge of Nowhere

Lucky’s Tale

SUPERHOT VR

The Unspoken

dark days monster

Best Mobile VR Game Nominations

Dark Days

End Space

Minecraft

Neverout

Sisters

Tactera

Wands

eagleflight

Most Surprising New Game Nominations

The Brookhaven Experiment

Eagle Flight

Onward

Space Pirate Trainer

Thumper

The Unspoken

Vanishing Realms

damaged core featured image

Best Shooter Nominations

Arizona Sunshine

Damaged Core

Onward

Raw Data

RIGS

Space Pirate Trainer

fly-to-kuma-level-completion

Best Puzzle Game Nominations

Fly to KUMA

Hitman GO: VR Edition

Neverout

Please, Don’t Touch Anything

SUPERHOT VR

Water Bears VR

edge of nowhere art

Best Action/Adventure Game Nominations

Chronos

Edge of Nowhere

SUPERHOT VR

Vanishing Realms

Windlands

a chair in a room featured image

Best Horror Game Nominations

A Chair in a Room: Greenwater

The Brookhaven Experiment

Dark Days

Sisters

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

blazerush

Best Racing Game Nominations

Blaze Rush

DiRT Rally

Driveclub VR

Project CARS

Redout

gravitysketch_michaelsmith

Best Creativity App Nominations

Gravity Sketch

Medium

Quill

Tilt Brush

bigscreen rocket league

Best Productivity App Nominations

Bigscreen

Envelop

LightVR

Virtual Desktop

Ctrl1

Best Immersive Film Nominations

Ctrl

Gnomes and Goblins

Henry

KÀ The Battle Within

exterior assembly screenshot

Best Narrative Nominations

The Assembly

Edge of Nowhere

The Gallery: Episode 1 – Call of the Starseed

Obduction

Robinson: The Journey

dab_screenshot_sleeper

Best Online Game Nominations

Arizona Sunshine

Battlezone

Dead and Buried

EVE: Valkyrie

Onward

RIGS

The Unspoken

Werewolves Within

Adr1ft-2-min

Best Art Direction Nominations

ADR1FT

Bound

The Climb

Obduction

Robinson: The Journey

SUPERHOT VR

Thumper

bound-leaping-dance

Best Music/Sound Design Nominations

Bound

EVE: Valkyrie

The Gallery: Episode 1 – Call of the Starseed

Thumper

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

screenshots_0036

Most Anticipated Upcoming VR Game of 2017 Nominations

Arktika.1

Fallout 4 VR

Farpoint

Lone Echo

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Rock Band VR

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Wilson’s Heart


We will officially unveil our selections for the winners of each category next week.

Did we cover things well enough? What are your picks for some of the best games and experiences this year? Did we leave out your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • PK

    nice to see destinations recognized so early in their multi-player implementation, but no vrchat? has anyone at upload seen it lately?

  • Thanks for nominating End Space! We’re so grateful that people are enjoying the game so much and can’t wait to show you all what we’ve got coming in the next few patches!

  • Adderstone VR

    Is Gravity Sketch actually available for VR yet?

  • Chris Braeuer

    I am also missing:
    Audioshild! over 200 hours in and still having a blast each day with it.
    QuiVR! Best Arrow mechanics.
    Blasters of the Universe! Best modern Retro Style balanced game.
    Solus Projekt! Best Adventure
    Elite Dangerous! now words needed
    Fastest Fist! Best workout game
    Google Earth VR! why not?
    Panoptic/Mass Exudus/Keep talking and nobody explodes! Best multishareplayers
    Void Rangers! Best grinder
    Sword Master VR! Best swordfighting( dont tried the new gladius one yet…)

    And why is Vanishing Realms and Job Simulator on this list. Lots speak against theese titles. massivly overhyped

    • Alexander Schick

      Vanishing Realms is my VR game of the year, followed by QuiVR, Audio Shield and Bound

  • CMcD

    Most anticipated- robo recall!!!!!

  • lachlanaa

    What about Anyland???

  • Ben McNulty

    Great lists of quality content for each platform and genre. A perfect starting point for new adopters and evangelists looking for the best experiences.