VR finally feels real in 2017. With PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift out alongside cheaper headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream View and Cardboard, you have yourself a huge selection of both high-end and mobile games to choose from.
There are more game developers than ever before learning the ins and outs of VR development, meaning there's an influx of games hitting the arena. After playing our fair share across the different headsets, we've rounded up the most exciting VR games you must check out now. Keep checking back – we can barely keep up with all the new stuff.
For our full list of picks for HTC's headset, check out our comprehensive best HTC Vive games round-up. Here's some highlights below with a range of free and paid for titles to try.
A fantastic multiplayer game, Rec Room puts you in a social club where you can join other players in partaking in a range of activities from paintball to disc golf. The lively animations and customisation options make this feel like the Wii Sports of VR games right now.
Already a classic VR game, The Lab from Valve is a showcase that lets you choose from various slick and delightful minigames that are simple yet addictive. Even the VR menu screen is fun. The best part? It's free.
Fighting off robots with pistols, shotguns, katanas and a buddy in VR – what more could you ask for? There's even a new character and missions to choose from, making this already highly rated Steam game even more fun.
More to read: Raw Data proves VR is best played with friends
This multiplayer flying and combat game looks slick and makes nice use of the roomscale controls. You choose a ship based on the size of your room, then design its defences and physically duck behind them. It's fast, fun and retro-futuristic. A must download for new Vive owners.
Originally a game from 2008, it was repurposed for mobile and now Fantastic Contraption also lives in VR which is where it really belongs. You're essentially building well, weird and fantastic contraptions to solve little puzzles. It's simple to build yet difficult to get your creations moving right, which all makes for a really good time.
Audioshield combines exercise and gaming as you hit glowing orbs racing at you, played to your favourite tunes. There are different difficulty settings, various kinds of shields and you can even upload your own music, making this one addictive game.
Check out our best Oculus Rift games list for a whole bunch of options or have a read of a few choice picks below.
I Expect You To Die
A really awesome 'escape the room' puzzle game, I Expect You To Die makes nice use of the Oculus Touch controllers and just the VR medium in general. A must download for Rift wearers, this one is also on Steam and the PlayStation Store.
$24.99, Oculus Store
Feral Rites is a VR adventure-brawler set on a mystical island that has you exploring a surprisingly large amount of jungle while on a quest to avenge your father's death. Oh, and the powers are awesome – case in point, you get to turn into ferocious beasts.
$29.99, Oculus Store
You should already know what Minecraft is. But you haven't really played it until you've strapped on a VR headset. It's still the same blocky world of course, except now you really get to wield a diamond sword while killing bad guys in the Nether.
Free beta, Oculus Store
Edge of Nowhere
Another third person VR game from Insomniac Games, except this one is intense for very different reasons. It's downright spooky as you make your way across the frigid environment to rescue a missing expedition. The story is more like a traditional Uncharted or Tomb Raider-style console game with its epic snowscapes, eerie caverns and supernatural creatures flying overhead.
Love Bioshock? Then you might love Damaged Core too. Written by Drew Holmes, one of the minds behind the Bioshock series, you get over 10 hours of campaign mode, which will see you battling robot armies trying to save humanity. A solid first person shooter.
$29.99, Oculus Store
The Climb, a Rift exclusive from Crytek, is well, VR climbing. It's a fantastic, first person game that combines gorgeous, hyper-detailed scenery with immersive thrills so well worth checking out. It's compatible with both Xbox One and Oculus Touch controllers.
$49.99, Oculus Store
Chronos is an atmospheric RPG where you're on a quest to save your homeland from great evil. There's a labyrinth and monsters, all rendered in a beautiful world. Add VR and it's one hell of a good time.
$39.99, Oculus Store
If you love board games or card games, Dragon Front is one to look out for. Modelled after traditional card collecting games, this title is all about strategy -–and leaning in to experience your cards coming to life.
Free beta, Oculus Store
You know the drill, have a gander at the games below but for the full shebang, head on over to our best PlayStation VR games piece for more recommendations.
This space marine arcade shooter isn't the longest, considering the price, but if you're about quality not quantity, just do it. Farpoint is the launch game for the new motion sensing, haptic feedbacking PS VR Aim Controller, which is pretty rad too if you're totally fed up with the Move controllers.
Resident Evil 7
Capcom brings the scares in the latest episode of the Resident Evil franchise, and with a VR mode now in the mix it's quite possibly the scariest one yet. The game can be played from start to finish with the PS VR headset on, and unless you're worried about ruining your new pair of pants, we thoroughly recommend you do.
If you want a 'quick go' of something and you're into football/soccer, you'll probably quickly get addicted to Headmaster. It's a simple task of heading balls at or around (sometimes moving) targets, bombs, 'goalies' etc that gets trickier and is one of the easiest to pass around to play.
Super Stardust Ultra VR
Now here's a VR port you won't be able to stop playing. The premise is simple since it's an arcade shooter, but you'll find yourself drawn back again and again to beat your high score.
Rigs: Mechanized Combat League
This multiplayer first person shooter was PSVR's darling demo at E3 2015 – you play three-on-three future sports with weaponised mechs for your characters to climb into. Sound awesome? It is. And now you can play it at home.
Shoot at your opponents to slow them down in the real task – collecting yellow orbs around the arena to reach Overdrive mode. Left thumbstick controls are joined by head tracking which takes care of aim and orientation in the game. Only small head movements are needed, though, to minimise nausea.
London Heist: Getaway
This VR on-rails shooter has made the rounds on many show floors and now everyone gets to play for themselves. Sure, it's basic gameplay – you're in a moving car shooting at burly Londoners on motorbikes chasing you – but it's a good tactic to solve the problem of 'moving' in VR space.
The game also allows you to use the PlayStation Move controller in both hands, for instance using your second hand to reload ammunition in your gun. Thanks to the immersion of VR and how intuitive using the Move controller feels, your brain is tricked into thinking you really are part of a high speed chase and that's no bad thing.
Super Hypercube is a 3D puzzler that was in development way before the VR headset turned up. Rotate complicated sets of neon 3D blocks to fit through fast approaching holes in walls ahead in this VR version of Tetris on steroids – blocks are added, walls rotate, it's mayhem in there. Super Hypercube is abstract, it's tricksy, plus you've got to love those 80s-style graphics.
Samsung Gear VR
We have compiled a pretty epic list of the best Samsung Gear VR apps and games so don't miss that. If you just want a flavour of what you can do with Samsung's mobile headset, check these out.
Micro Machines VR Racing
An addictive table-top racer from a god's eye view, Micro Machines comes to VR with this Gear VR port. Race over everything - and we mean everything - with five modes: classic race, escape, overtake, countdown and time trial. Much fun.
$9.99, Oculus Store
A thriller that's part Cluedo mystery, half haunted house, Dead Secret has players investigating the murder of a one Harris Bullard. There are cryptic clues, puzzles and lots of reading material. Great for using your brain rather than your reflexes. Also out for PlayStation VR.
$9.99, Oculus Store
Our only criticism of ustwo's first Gear VR game is that we wish there was more of it. Without spoiling too much, you play through a series of puzzles in blocky but beautiful environments and will end up in a kind of lovely VR trance as a result.
$5.99, Oculus Store
This strategy/puzzle game shows that not all VR games have to be about monsters creeping up behind you or space shooting. With arcade-style gameplay, gorgeous visuals and a 360-degree view of the nodes you are hacking to get Bitcoins, it's a real VR treat.
$9.99, Oculus Store
VR Karts: Sprint
This cartoony Mario Kart-alike has nine racing tracks and single player, championship and online multiplayer modes. VR Karts: Sprint is made by indie studio Viewpoint Games and contains the standard fast-paced action plus weapons and power boosts of this style of racing game. Also out on Cardboard and Daydream.
$4.99, Oculus Store
The newest kid on the block, devs are still getting onboard with Google's second VR platform. Still, we've rounded up the best Google Daydream apps and games here with a taster below.
Like Minecraft? Like Monument Valley? Right that covers everyone. Now go download this charming puzzler for Daydream that will definitely remind you of one of those two smash hits. Use your handheld controller to guide the bot named B, around the obstacles.
$3.99, Google Play
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
It's embarrassing how much we recommend this but it's also embarrassing how goddamn fun it is. A true multiplayer, get the family gathered round VR game, one person wears the headset and has to diffuse a virtual bomb, the rest frantically try to give them instructions. Also for Rift, Vive, Gear VR and PS VR.
$9.99, Google Play
Is coloring a game? If it isn't, we don't care. This is a seriously relaxing Daydream title that does what you expect. It's no 3D, futuristic Tilt Brush but then again you won't want it to be. Designed for adults.
Free, Google Play
Try this dungeon crawler if you're in the mood for some demon killin'. You play as a gunslinger or a mage (natch) with plenty of spells, kits and weapons as upgrades. The game uses the Daydream controller's trackpad to move but if you prefer, you can aim by turning your head. A bit of a bargain.
$5.99, Google Play
Before you head on over to our best Google Cardboard apps and games, here's a couple of downloads, from horror to arcade, to get going.
VR Crossy Road
Yes, that one. Crossy Road makes the leap to Cardboard - no judgement from us if you spend hours playing this one. For the uninitiated, you've got to get across a bunch of road without getting hit. Just try it.
Wizard Academy VR
Learning is fun amiright? This nice download combines well, wizarding with educational games. Plus as a bonus you can make a DIY controller (by downloading the free kit) to act as your wand - a fun weekend activity for the family.
Chair in a Room
A nice little horror game for Cardboard users, Chair in a Room is a clever indie title in which you only have a torch in a dark room to make sense of the objects coming into view. Scares aplenty.
Essential reading: The best Google Cardboard apps and games
Free, Google Play
50 levels of arcade-style brick-breaking gameplay is what you get for your $1.99 with Proton Pulse. It's a slick, fast-paced 3D game of paddleball with a few neat mechanics like the Space Time Dilator which slows the action down.
ZeroTransform is also working on a VR title called Vanguard V, available as a demo, so they're charging for Proton in order to help fund the development.
$1.99, Google Play
Additional words by Henry Winchester.
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