Following the rise of VR a few years ago, there's been a steady increase in the number of titles available. The problem is, many of these are simply not up to scratch whether it's the use of the hardware to convey the experience or the gameplay itself. There are certainly other games that could make this list but these are the few that have really stood out for various reasons such as gameplay, immersion, and use of the tech.
With hardware coming down in price as seen with the recent Oculus Quest 2 release, the future of VR is looking brighter but the big problem yet to be fully solved is realistic locomotion. Once that's been fully solved there's no end to what VR will be capable of in the future of entertainment.
Below is a list of the games that really shine on VR headsets in 2020, some new, some not so new,
List updated on 7 November 2020.
Star Wars Squadrons
If you loved X-Wing/Tie Fighter in the nineties this us a must-have. It's also one of the best VR experiences you can have in 2020. The visuals in a divide such as the Quest 2 are sharp and you really do have an advantage playing in VR over other players. Independent head movement allows you to track enemies without having to rely as much on targeting on the HUD.
The campaign may be short but it's enjoyable and needs to be treated as a training exercise with all 15 missions lasting between 15-25 minutes each. The multiplayer is where it's at though and will keep you coming back to improve your piloting skills.
BeatSaberProbably the most important game for VR right now which has helped bring VR to the mainstream. It's a simple concept to smashing blocks with your sabers to music. There's also a load of extra tracks and mods which can be added to enhance the game. It's a must-have purchase for all VR gamers. Late 2020, multiplayer support was added.
Half-Life : Alyx
There's not Half-Life 3 but there is Half-Life : Alyx, a game designed by Valve specifically for VR. The release of Half-Life : Alyx spawned a rush to pick up VR devices such as Valve's own Index. Expect puzzles and of course an ample dose of tense moments.
The Room VR: A Dark Matter
A mystery is waiting to be solved in this VR puzzler from Fireproof Games. There are a few VR puzzle games on the market but this one oozes atmosphere and the developer has made sure all bases are covered with both a sitting or standing option to play the game. Some puzzles are harder than others but there is an in-built tips system that offers cryptic clues if you get stuck. The VR world also looks cracking which is an added bonus.
MossThis is a delightful game for any VR system. You take control of a small mouse called Quill as he makes his way through some brilliantly crafted levels to save his uncle. The player must control the mouse while at the same time offering help from above moving pieces of the levels to help progress through the stages. Even if you're not a platformer fan, this is surprisingly enjoyable and quite stunning to look at.
SuperHot VRThe game concept of stopping time by standing still was made for VR. Even though the non-VR version appeared first, the game really shines when you're placed inside the limited coloured world. It's certainly different and challenging.
Elite DangerousOne of the first games to embrace VR and one that managed to create full immersion successfully as headsets started to appear on the market. Elite Dangerous is also one of the few VR games where you can play for a longer period thanks to being based in a cockpit. It's a must-have for space game fans or fans of Elite.
No Man's Sky
Although the game got off to a rocky start, developer Hello Games has be been adding a lot to the game since release including VR support. If exploring other worlds and space flight is your thing then this is worth a look.
Star Trek Bridge CrewIt's every Star Trek fan's dream to take a position on the bridge of a Federation ship and this game allows you to do exactly that. Play as the captain, control the weapons, or even navigate as part of the bridge crew. The game shines because you're playing with others on the bridge which means working together to reach your mission goals. It's simply great fun and works extremely well.
Skyrim VR / Fallout 4Skyrim was a fantastic game and now you can play it in VR as well as Bethesda's other big release Fallout 4. These come with a word of warning though. If you suffer VR motion sickness this is not a game for you. While the game world looks great, as soon as you start moving around it may make you feel a little queasy.
Raw DataAnother VR release that did extremely well for the developer. It's not exactly new but Raw Data featured some great gunplay and tense moments. Players have to take on the nasty Eden Corp and battle their robotic minions. There's also multiplayer.
I Expect You to Die
Play a secret agent and get yourself out of some deadly scrapes. This is a great puzzler and makes excellent use of VR.
About the author: Paul Younger has been writing about games for 25 years and was the founder of the world's first VR cafe, the IncGamers Network and PC Invasion. He's also covered games for the UK printed press including The Scotsman and The Times.