If you want to try out VR, you might be discouraged by the price of investing in a proper PC-based system, or indeed underwhelmed by the graphical capabilities of less expensive standalone headsets.
That’s where Sony’s PlayStation VR comes in – it’s one of the best ways to get into VR without needing all that kit. It’s an add-on for your Playstation 4, and handily will also be fully compatible with the Playstation 5 when it launches in late 2020.
But what should you play after you finally make the plunge and pick up PSVR? The headset comes with a demo disc with tasters of several titles, but you’ll need more than that to make the most of the system’s talents.
Thankfully, we’ve been been playing PSVR games avidly for years now, and have whittled down the now-massive selection available to just a handful of must-play titles. These represent the very best experiences available, from immersive rhythm games to full-throttle shooters.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
Astro Bot Rescue Mission is a perfect example of how to develop a great VR game — it would likely be a lovely platformer with invention and a real sense of fun even if you didn’t have to don a headset to enjoy it.
But its developers have seamlessly integrated VR play into it, letting you look around the level more freely and with your Dualshock controller being part of the game world. It’s a vibrant, joyful game that’s suitable for all ages and is a blueprint for more games to follow in the future.
As you guide the little robot around you through the levels, you’ll shoot grappling hooks, shurikens and more to get him through to his goal. It’s brilliant fun, and a must-play for PSVR owners.
Another game that works really nicely without VR, but takes a big leap when you’re fully immersed in its world is Superhot. This shooter is framed around the ingenious premise that time only moves when you yourself do, and plays out like a puzzle game as much as an action one.
In VR, though, its world becomes even more starkly attractive. The bleached white backgrounds and red enemies are crisp and distinct, and being in direct control of your movements using Move controllers takes things up a notch. It’s a mesmerising experience, and one that you won’t soon forget. By the time you’re into the swing of things you’ll feel like Neo after he realises he’s the One. It’s that convincing.
Batman: Arkham VR
Batman: Arkham VR, is one of the best VR games for the PlayStation VR and really shows what is possible.
Constructed of several mini-games that make up the chapters in a puzzle-adventure, Batman: Arkham VR really gives you the feeling of what it must be like to be Batman himself.
You start as Bruce Wayne and then descend into the Batcave in order to don the entire Batman get-up. Each item, such as gloves and cowl, has different actions to perform and it’ll make comic fans giddy with excitement.
Throughout the course of the rest of the game, you get to visit a grubby Gotham alleyway and meet several classic villains along the way. It’s jaw-dropping at times. To be honest though, just being able to step into the Batshoes is enough for us, everything else is a bonus.
Some of the very best VR experiences out there are those that effectively convert an existing game into virtual reality. This is perfectly exemplified by Skyrim VR, which is very literally just the fifth Elder Scrolls game, but in VR.
That means you’ve got a huge, sweeping story to play through alongside countless side quests and worthy distractions. It’s one of the best, and most popular games of all time, so being immersed in its world once more is a total pleasure. Just remember to come up for air every now and then.
Ah, Tetris — you might be surprised to see such a venerable name on a list of VR titles, but the most recent outing for the block puzzler was a surprise success for immersive play.
It’s Tetris as you’ve never seen it before, vibrant, ever-changing and with a soundtrack that defies belief. If you’ve got PSVR, though, it becomes something else altogether, a trippy journey into another sort of world. It’s transporting and relaxing, and the best way to play one of the most unique games of recent years.
Farpoint is one of the best VR experiences we’ve ever had. Paired with the PS VR Aim Controller, it’s a fully immersive first-person shooter – but that gun peripheral makes all the difference, because it’s so much more comfortable to use than a smaller Move controller trigger.
The game itself pairs shooting with exploration, in a vast land that’s beautifully crafted. You’ll spend as much time looking around as you will frantically shooting acid-spitting spiders and legging it about all over the place.
Described by Sony as an unnerving VR space adventure set on a hostile alien planet, your mission is to to pick up scientists studying an anomaly near Jupiter, before a rupture transports you to an unknown alien world.
Battlezone is based on the classic Atari arcade game from the 80s but ramps up the action considerably. It feels almost like being inside Tron. With guns. And tanks.
We think Battlezone works a treat as an arcade-style game to casually dip into and play, although there’s plenty of progression and great depth too. You command a tank, using your head’s position to target, and the DualShock 4 controller to fire and manoeuvre around the various arena types.
It’s got great style and floaty movement that works a treat for a virtual reality experience – we didn’t feel queasy like we have in some VR games before now.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard VR
Resident Evil 7 is pant-wettingly scary stuff. Put it in VR and it’s even more so. We were reluctant to give it a go, to be honest! Anyone who’s seen the trailer will know the dark style and jump-out moments. You’re locked in a creepy house, where there are dead crows in the microwave, burnt dolls in the hallway, and all manner of other creepy, evil things on show. The goal is to get out, with a variety of ways available to do so.
If you’re the remotest bit squeamish you could find that a full-on horror game in VR tips you over the edge, but for the strength of the experience it’s almost unmatched.
If, like us, a Lamborghini is a little out of reach in real life, why not see how it would feel to drive on in VR? Driving is perfect for the platform since it doesn’t involve moving around yourself, and DriveClub VR is the perfect demonstration of that.
Driving in VR works beautifully, and we’ve found that we even make an extra effort to avoid other cars and race correctly when you feel more immersed. When we first played it, we used a steering wheel and race seat combo, which are ideal to enhance the experience, but we’ve also had great fun playing the game with just a DualShock 4 controller since.
Indie game Headmaster has been one of our favourite PSVR titles so far, even though it’s incredibly simple. You literally use your head (and shoulders, to avoid whiplash) to perform headers on footballs fired your way.
There are different stages, goals and targets to hit, but the best part of the game is that it is genuinely funny. The comedy reminds us of games such as The Stanley Parable, with excellent narration and amusing events. You won’t find too much else to do in Headmaster, but it is one of the games we’ve found ourselves coming back to over and over again.
Blood & Truth
Sometimes, even in VR, you just want a bit of silly action fun, and that’s where Blood and Truth excels — it’s got great graphics and non-stop fun gameplay.
Its gangster story won’t set the world alight with its sophistication, but it realises the dreams we all had of what VR gaming could offer compared to old-school arcade cabinet shooters. For a story-driven adventure that’s a little more mature, it’s a great option.
Rez Infinite isn’t just any old game, it’s up there with Tetris Effect as quite possibly the most mesmerising experience you can have in virtual reality.
Anyone familiar with the original Rez will understand the concept. It’s essentially a rail shooter, where enemies travel at speed towards your floating, disembodied self. You have to aim a reticle at them to dispatch them in time with some incredible thumping beats.
In VR though it takes on another life. You can play it normally on a PS4, but you’ll be missing out on the kind of immersion only a headset and an incredibly well-thought out game can provide.