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.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (Review: 9/10)
For a game that wasn’t originally designed for VR at all and has been ported first to the least powerful of the big three VR platforms in the PSVR, Skyrim VR is nothing short of impressive. This really is the Skyrim that you know and love, but now you can enjoy it like never before with the immersive presence of a VR headset. With a large variety of control schemes to choose from and hundreds of hours of content, this is a game that all RPG fans should play as long as you can look past the wonky controls, downgraded visuals, and frustrating UI.
There is just something special about the sensation of walking down the dirt road to Riverwood in VR for the first time, or staring down the throat of a fire-breathing dragon, or even gazing out upon Tamriel from the top of the Throat of the World. Whether you’re a Skyrim-veteran or one of the lucky few that get to see this world for the first time, Skyrim VR is enrapturing.
And if you don’t own a PSVR yet, luckily there’s a new Skyrim VR bundle out there with your name on it.
Firewall Zero Hour [Review: 9/10]
From our review:
“Firewall Zero Hour defies the odds by delivering a multiplayer-focused VR shooter that actually lives up to its potential. If you don’t have a PS Aim controller yet, then you should buy one for this game even though it technically supports DualShock 4 as well. If you don’t have a PSVR headset yet, then you should buy one for this game. With a few improvements and additions, First Contact could turn what is already a must-have PSVR game into a genre-defining one.”
If you have a PSVR and want to play a multiplayer game, then this is the one to get. You should also go buy a PS Aim controller to go with it.
The Persistence [Review: 8/10]
From our review:
The Persistence offers something fresh and engaging by mixing different genres that we don’t often see melded together so well. On a moment-to-moment basis the horrors lurking around every corner keep you on your toes and the give-and-take aspect of its roguelike nature ensures that no two runs are ever quite the same. The lack of Move or PS Aim controller support is a bummer, but it still plays wonderfully just on the standard DualShock 4. This is a dark, challenging stealth shooter that PSVR fans can keep coming back to for quite a while.
Farpoint [Review: 7.5/10]
The PSVR is over a year old now and Farpoint stands as a testament to the fact that fast-paced, intense shooters are entirely possible on VR platforms. Using the comfortable and immersive PS Aim gun controller, Farpoint is a step above the other first-person shooters available on the platform.
Since launch the developers at Impulse Gear have done a great job adding additional content. There are now even more single-player challenge maps, cooperative levels, and the introduction of a competitive multiplayer mode that fully rounds the experience. If you do decide to pick up Farpoint, you really need to play it with the PS Aim Controller because to play it with just a DualShock 4 instead would be an enormous disservice to both the game and yourself.
Bow to Blood [Review: 8/10]
From our review:
Instead of nauseating online battles, Bow to Blood takes a much more considered approach to answering the call for more ‘true’ VR games. Its randomized, permadeath campaign consists of seven events split into multiple matches that hinge upon several interchanging features. That not only means that no two playthroughs are the same but it also has you considering every slightest move, from the fire of a cannon to a simple choice in words.
There’s a lot to learn about Bow to Blood and not all of it’s to love, but what does work elevates the game to soar with all the majesty of its battle-hardened ships. This is a deliciously strategic bit of randomized arena battling that might not make the most compelling case for VR itself but stands as a thrill to play in its own right. If I were to make a bet on what might be one of PSVR’s most beloved sleeper hits in a few years, it’d be this.
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.
The Exorcist: Legion VR [Review: 9/10]
The Exorcist: Legion VR is without a doubt one of the best VR horror experiences available. The slow-building tension is expertly paced, each and every scare feels visceral and dangerous, and the sheer sense of terror you feel while methodically exploring the richly detailed environments is staggering. It honestly felt like I could hear the voices inside my own head and I could feel the heat from my crucifix as I stared down the faces of demon and eradicated the evil within. The Exorcist: Legion VR will turn even the most hardened horror fans into whimpering piles of fear.
However, BEWARE of one major caveat: as of the time of this writing in September, 2018, the PSVR version of The Exorcist VR only has the first three chapters and is missing the final two. They are coming and you can buy the Season Pass to get them all for a discount, but it’s worth stating clearly.
Moss [Review: 9/10]
From our review:
Moss is the hidden gem the PSVR never knew it needed. From the first moment we played the game at E3 almost a year ago until we saw the closing credits roll, Quill’s adventure has captivated our hearts and minds. Moss strikes that perfect balance between tense, action-packed moments of combat with slow, methodical puzzles that require you to rethink the way you interact with video games through the power of VR. Polyarc has crafted one of PSVR’s most essential games to date.
12/27/17 Update: Star Trek: Bridge Crew has been retired from this list to make room for Farpoint.
11/22/2017 Update: Bound and EVE: Valkyrie were both retired from the list in favor of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR and Stifled.
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.