Ask around, and a lot of people will tell you that the HTC Vive is the virtual reality champion right now. The Valve-powered system had the benefit of launching with both room-scale tracking and controllers, giving it a head start on the Oculus Rift.
These days there's more parity between the two, but there are still a few games that can only be played on one or the other. There's a pretty extensive library on the Vive, and while not all of the games are entirely complete or worth your time, there are still some great titles to dive into.
Read this: The best VR headsets
Below, we've rounded up what we reckon are the best Vive games you can play right now, along with some titles that are still on the way. Whether you're after dogfights, zombies, or, err, drug tennis, there's something here for everyone.
VR needs more social games, and a lot could be learned from Rec Room, a title that's all about hanging out with other people. Think Wii Sports with a bit more attitude and a lot more immersion. As you hang out with other players in a social club, there's a bunch of activities for you to participate in, from paintball to dodgeball to disc golf, while character customisations and quirky interactions with other people help bring the game to life.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Ubisoft and Red Storm Entertainment's Star Trek game really showcases the cooperative possibilities of VR. You and a group of friends get together and command the bridge of a starship that's definitely not the USS Enterprise. You'll battle with Klingons and work together to boldly explore the final frontier.
Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality
Take Job Simulator and swap in the characters and humor of the very popular Rick and Morty and you have this game. If you're a fan of the animated show, then there's no way you're going to want to pass this up. If you're not, then you may be better off getting vanilla Job Simulator.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul
The first Paranormal Activity movie was terrifying enough in a dark theater, so you can probably imagine how terrifying this VR game is. And, well, it's super terrifying. You're placed in a terrifying realistic house and let to explore and avoid whatever goes bump in the night. Maybe play this during the day though.
Batman: Arkham VR
Originally for the PlayStation VR, it has since come to HTC Vive. Batman: Arkham VR puts you in The Dark Knight's cowl and has you solving a mystery in the heart of Gotham City. While this experience is almost absurdly short, it'll still be one of the best single player experiences you have in VR.
To the Top
Movement might be one of the tough sticking points for most VR games, which may make you think twice about playing To the Top, a game totally about movement in VR. But once you sink your teeth in, you'll find yourself on an exhilarating ride
Initially released as an exclusive for the Oculus Rift, the unique first-person shooter Superhot VR is finally making its way to the HTC Vive. If you haven't played it, Superhot's twist is that everything plays out in slow motion, but any time you move, time speeds up. It makes for some incredibly neat bullet-time action, and the Vive game comes with the recent Forever update, which adds more challenges to try.
A first-person shooter from Vertigo Games, Arizona Sunshine throws you in the middle of blistering Arizona during a zombie apocalypse. Yeah, it's wave-based, but there's a bit of exploration on offer, while co-op multiplayer gives it another dimension. It's tense, violent, and more fun than you can wave a sawed-off shotgun at. Get some.
Nvidia's first title for Vive and though it's simple, this is still an absolute blast. If you like the mix and match style of the The Lab (below), then you'll know what to expect from Funhouse. Really, the game is a showcase for Nvidia's physics tech, but that doesn't stop it being a lot of fun. Plus, it's totally free.
The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
Cloudhead Games' The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is a fantasy adventure game that takes you on a mission to find your missing sister. It's designed to take full advantage of room-scale gameplay with the devs even creating their own Blink locomotion tech and putting MoCap actors inside the headsets. It's beautiful, mysterious and kind of creepy sometimes, showing that Cloudhead really found a perfect balance of ambiance and intrigue. Right now you can only play the first episode, but the second is set to arrive in September.
Fantastic Contraption started life as a popular Flash physics puzzle game in 2008, was repurposed for mobile and has now completed its journey in VR – which is where it really belongs. The game tasks you with building weird and fantastic contraptions to solve little puzzles. It's simple to build yet difficult to get your creations moving right, which is more fun than it sounds. Also, your building materials are conjured from a creepy cat. Standard.
Now this is how we wish we could have played Command & Conquer back in the day. AirMech Command is a fantastic demonstration of the RTS (real-time strategy) genre working with VR. You've got single player, multiplayer and co-op modes to choose from, across a bunch of different maps, and some intuitive controls that let you grab and deploy troops using the wand controllers.
Frontier's multiplayer space sim Elite: Dangerous is more of a traditional, seated game, but that's ok, because it's also superb. Venture through space, trading and battling, in this modern sequel on the original BBC Micro classic. If you're looking for a massive multiplayer VR game, this is it.
The Brookhaven Experiment
If you want a game to terrify your friends with, you can't go wrong with The Brookhaven Experiment. The zombie shooter offers a campaign and survival mode, the latter of which sees you blasting away the increasingly-tough undead - perfect for when you're hankering for a quick horror fix. Remember, when you wet your pants in virtual reality, you wet them in reality too.
A game of tennis with yourself… on drugs. Or at least that's the best way we can describe this game from studio VRUnicorns, which is weird, but a lot of fun. As you hit the ball towards the other side of the court the game will immediately switch perspectives, allowing you to return it, so you're essentially playing a game of tennis against yourself. Or, if you get bored of that, you can try and hit the giant tennis-headed people hanging around the court.
Combine exercise and gaming as you hit blue and red glowing orbs racing towards you, all played to your favourite tunes. There are different difficulty settings, various kinds of shields and you can even upload your own music, all of which makes this game incredibly addictive.
If you've ever wanted to sword fight with skeletons then look no further, friends. The undead don't really lunge at you, rather wait around for you to make the first move. But once that happens, it's on. We got genuinely sweaty with all the slashing and shooting, and we expect you will too. While a bit too short – it's a Steam Early Access game – it continues to be added to.
Straight out of Valve HQ itself, The Lab is a combination of eight mini games and experiences. Though short, each one is whimsical and entertaining in its own right. Plus, Aperture Science robots are everywhere - look out for the little robot dog that loves belly rubs. We can't wait for Valve to make more VR games, and it sounds like they're on their way.
A stalwart of the HTC Vive demos, the Google-owned Tilt Brush is a 3D illustration tool that lets you walk around your creations. More of an app than a game, it's still massively fun making art in VR; it's Microsoft Paint on steroids. There are so many options, colours, types of brush etc to choose from that it's almost overwhelming.
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
While it's not a proper sequel to Serious Sam 3, this gives you something to play while developer Croteam gets to work on the full follow-up. It's also a hell of a lot of fun, putting a VR twist on the shooter, and even though it's still in Early Access we thoroughly recommend it. And if you can't get enough, there's also The First Encounter and The Second Encounter to keep you going.
Job Simulator: the 2050 Archives
One of the funniest games on the Vive, Job Simulator plonks you in a world where robots have taken over all human jobs. But don't worry, this isn't a case of doing a 9-5 in VR, it's much more entertaining than that. Jobs range from office worker to chef, but you'll have to work out most of it as you go along. This is also a fantastic game for when you're introducing people to virtual reality for the first time.
Fallout 4 VR
First revealed a year ago at E3 2016, Fallout 4 VR has become one of the most anticipated VR games on the way. A full version of the original game in VR, you'll trade in your controller for Vive wands. Yes, you'll either have to teleport around or use the touch pad as a d-pad, but in our short time with the game it worked better than we expected.
There's no set release date yet, but you can expect it by the end of the year.
Doom VFR isn't exactly the same as the non-VR version you might have already experienced. This one sports a whole new story. It also will utilize a hybrid control scheme that combines teleportation and regular movement, which makes sense given how fast paced the action in a Doom game is. You can also expect this one out by the end of the year.
A spy thriller for VR, Budget Cuts is based around motion controls, using a teleportation gun to move you around the game (and get around those moment limitations). It's all about stealth as you play a robotic spy infiltrating a corporate complex at night.
Everyday Golf VR
Love golf but can't get out - or afford - a trip to a golf course? Everyday Golf VR wants to fix that by putting a realistic golf game in VR. It's simple. You take your HTC wand and use it as a club or a driver, you can select other clubs via the touch pad. Take your shot, pass it along to your friend and hope they mess up on the green.
Out July 2017
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