Over the past few years, virtual reality has taken a huge leap forward thanks to the hugely popular Oculus Quest 2 and its predecessor the Oculus Quest. Both of these VR headsets are completely standalone, meaning you can take them anywhere you want without having to worry about bulky computers or wires so you can enjoy Oculus Quest games (almost) anywhere you might want to.
The Facebook-owned Oculus Quest headsets are basically wireless VR consoles, and they come with their own storefront for you to buy and play games. With the additional purchase of an Oculus Link cable or by using Air Link over Wi-Fi, you can also hook your headset up to your PC and play VR games that are outside of the Quest’s usual library.
Though the first Oculus Quest headset is no longer available to buy, being totally eclipsed by the Quest 2, it’ll still run most games that are being produced with the Oculus Quest 2 in mind for the time being – even if performance doesn’t quite match up to that of the newer headset. However, some games are starting to be made exclusively for the new headset – such as Resident Evil 4 VR.
Even so, there is still a mountain of games for you to sift through on both the original Oculus Quest and the Oculus Quest 2, so we’re here to lend a hand.
We’ve picked out our absolute favorite games you can play on the Oculus Quest – either natively or with PC support – so that you can enjoy the best that virtual reality has to offer.
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Honourable mention: First Steps
First Steps is a free game on the Oculus Quest 2 that serves as a demo for what is possible in the virtual reality spaces you’ll be playing in. Just because it plays as a sort of tutorial doesn’t mean you should dismiss it outright though, as its minigames are the perfect way to get comfortable in VR and are really fun to boot.
Beat Saber has sold more than a million units across existing VR platforms for good reason – it’s addictive as heck – and simple enough for anyone to jump into. The aim is to slice red and blue blocks in time to music using dual lightsabers while contorting your limbs to duck and dodge advancing walls.
At lower difficulties it’s fun, but things get really interesting on ‘Hard or ‘Expert’. Stick with it, and you’ll eventually enter a ‘flow state’ where your arms operate independently of thought. Suddenly you’re slicing through blocks like Luke Skywalker if he’d drummed for Pendulum instead of becoming a Jedi.
Make sure you have a big enough play space to execute 360-degree dance moves (which is exclusive to Quest), and hooking up external headphones (especially ones with deep bass) is a must so you can enjoy tracks from Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park and LMFAO with the best audio possible.
While this game isn’t readily available on the headset’s library, nor the Oculus PC desktop store, you can hook up your Oculus Quest 2 headset to your gaming PC and play Alyx through Steam VR with a special Oculus Link cable.
Half-Life: Alyx is generally considered to be one of the best VR games out there and it is easy to see why. If you’ve played the original Half-Life games, you know just how much it relies on gorgeous physics in the gameplay and this is cranked up to the max in Alyx thanks to the extraordinary VR technology it uses.
From its outrageously fun mechanics of pulling items towards you with a gravity glove, throwing bottles at hapless guards and the overall exceptional gunplay the game offers, you won’t find a better VR game out there.
I Expect You to Die 2
This game is the perfect James Bond simulator, putting you into the shoes of a bonafide international superspy on a mission to take down a criminal organization no matter what convoluted traps stand in your way.
During this escape room-esque experience, you’ll have to outsmart villains as you deflect hidden lasers installed in a private jet, avoid setting off toxic gas in a secret base and repair an elevator so you can reach the criminal mastermind before their plan comes together. Sometimes you’ll be left feeling a little more like Austin powers than 007, but even if you fail over a dozen times this laugh-out-loud VR title won’t ever leave you feeling annoyed.
With its charming characters – including the brilliant voice acting of Wil Wheaton – and spy-cliché filled story, I Expect You To Die 2 delivers a splendid balance of grand adventure, humor, and puzzles that will leave you feeling like a genius and an idiot in equal measure.
Read our full I Expect You To Die 2 review
Journey of the Gods
Until a Legend of Zelda game designed from the ground up for VR arrives, Journey of the Gods is the closest thing going. Flaunting an attractive cell-shaded art style that brings its giant and grotesque bosses to life, Gods employs clever use of scale as you traverse its large yet linear levels. While most of the action-adventure game is viewed in the first-person, a ‘God mode’ lets you manipulate the environment from a strategic top-down perspective to solve puzzles and gain the upper hand in combat.
A large play space comes in handy in physically sidestepping projectiles or spinning around to face enemies with your sword and shield when surrounded. The most fun weapon in the game, however, is the crossbow, which is manually reloaded using a crank handle and rewards careful judgement of distance and timing.
Jurassic Park Aftermath
Many VR experiences are exciting, but there’s something extremely special about getting to immerse yourself in a world and a franchise that you’ve loved for years (decades even). That’s why we highly recommend Jurassic Park Aftermath, a story that follows the events of Jurassic World. As you’d expect, this is a survival adventure that requires you to uncover sensitive information while avoiding deadly Velociraptors. You need to solve puzzles, find your way around and do a lot of hiding to get out alive.
Lone Echo and Lone Echo 2
Lone Echo and its sequel Lone Echo 2 are Oculus Rift games that are specifically designed to be played through your PC via the Oculus Rift headset. But by using the Link cable or Air Link, you can play these phenomenal space explorers on your Quest or Quest 2, too.
These are by no means the first VR game to put you in space – a number of spaceship fighter sims have already attempted it – but the experience of floating through the environments by pushing yourself, grabbing and climbing, and pulling through zero-G spaces is completely unforgettable and the level of graphical detail is impressive.
Sure they can be a little motion sickness-inducing – so we recommend trying out the free-to-play Echo VR game to get a feel for the movement first – but if you’re a VR veteran these games are some of the best that the medium has to offer.
Read our Lone Echo 2 review
Puzzle-platform fans will feel better about Astro Bot being a PS4 exclusive once they’ve given Moss a go. Developed by former Bungie developers, this cutesy third-person adventure is visually one of the more impressive titles on the Quest, which helps draw you into its immersive 3D environments.
You guide Quill, a swashbuckling mouse who’s on a quest to save her uncle after their kingdom was overthrown by a hot-headed snake. Far from a gimmick, Moss employs a clever use of VR that helps you manipulate the environment and guide Quill around levels, tackling environmental puzzles and engaging in combat with enemies along the way.
Pistol Whip is like Beat Saber but with guns instead of lightsabers. As you run through a range of different environments you’ll finally have the chance to become your own action movie star as you dodge bullets and take out enemies, earning bonus points if you can shoot them in time to the backing track.
The base game was already fantastic, but free campaign updates have introduced stories and levels set in a cyberpunk future and now also the Wild West. The new content means you’ll have plenty to play, and with challenge modifiers to try out and global leaderboards to compete over you’ll have plenty to do.
Pistol Whip is also great if you want to get a little bit more active. Dodging bullets is tiring work and even though it doesn’t seem like the kind of game to make you work up a sweat it definitely will.
Resident Evil 4 VR
Resident Evil 4 VR is not only the best horror game you can play on the Oculus Quest 2 headset, but’s one of the best VR games we’ve ever played.
Capcom’s classic has been carefully reconstructed for this virtual reality experience, putting you into the body of Leon S. Kennedy for some first-person undead-slaying action. Fans of the original will feel right at home while newcomers to the game will be impressed by the updated graphics and textures that make you forget you’re playing a game that’s over a decade old.
Capcom and Oculus have also managed to perfectly blend immersion with comfort. The many comfort options let you fine tune the settings to suit your specific needs without taking you out of the experience at all, while the immersive inventory and realistic gunplay will make you feel like a badass as you take on baddies.
If you can handle a fright, Resident Evil 4 VR is a must-play game on the Oculus Quest 2 platform.
Read our full Resident Evil 4 VR review
Robo Recall: Unplugged
It’s fair to say that few people outside of Drifter, the studio hand-picked by original developer Epic to port Robo Recall to the Quest, expected Unplugged to play nearly identical to the full-fat Oculus Rift version that came out in 2017.
While its graphical downgrades are noticeable, the humorous VR wave shooter is arguably even more exhilarating owed to the Quest’s 360-degree freedom. The ability to teleport behind rogue bots, grab them by the chin and spin round to launch them into oncoming enemies is something that wasn’t easy on the Rift without risking serious ankle injury.
Added to Unplugged’s consistent frame-rate, all of the above makes going for a high-score all the more enjoyable. Everything from dodging (and deflecting) incoming bullets to using crawlers as makeshift rocket launchers feels like taking part in the Robo-recalling olympics. As one of the droids would say: service with a smile.
Room VR: A Dark Matter
If you’re tired of the high intensity VR games or bright and colourful VR games, then Room VR: A Dark Matter is for you. Released in early 2020 from Fireproof Games, Room VR: A Dark Matter is available on both the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets – but many iterations of Room games have been available on other consoles for some time.
What Room VR: A Dark Matter brings you is an escape room, mystery and creepy horror story all rolled into one. There are a lot of puzzles involved, which should be just challenging enough for experienced gamers with clues – you need to activate these, don’t worry, they don’t just pop-up and spoil it – for those who need a helping hand.
The visuals and imagery of this game are truly spectacular. We don’t want to give too much away, as the game is best left shrouded in mystery, but fans of the occult, Ancient Egypt, Lovecraftian horror and early twentieth century detective stories are in for a real treat.
It’s worth mentioning the transitions of Room VR are really great for those with a sensitivity to motion sickness. There’s a gradual fade in and fade out that’s more seamless than you’ll find on most games. You can choose from sitting and standing options too – and change these settings each time you play. As well as intuitive controls that you’re shown in a way that helps you to pick them up quickly without intruding on the story.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge
If you’re a fan of Star Wars, then you’ll love this story that sees some of our all-time favorite characters, like R2-D2, C-3PO and even Yoda, join us on a space adventure to the planet Batuu.
You take on the role of a droid repair technician aboard a starship. But when pirates attack you hit the escape pods and crash land on Batuu where you’ll have to battle enemies and find clues to recover your lost cargo. You can also take part in a couple of Tales – short adventures – from the perspective of other characters in the Star Wars Universe like a Jedi padawan and Bounty Hunter droid.
Thanks to the Last Call DLC this game is much more polished, and while we’ve always liked it we’d now say we absolutely adore it. The DLC expands on all of the game’s stories making it feel like a much more complete package and doesn’t add much to the game’s overall price.
Read our take on Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge
Superhot has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a browser-based tech demo in 2013. The first-person shooter has found a natural home on the Quest, where it makes the most of 360-degree tracking by having enemies flank you from all sides.
Because time moves in slow-motion when you do, Superhot VR benefits from the flexibility of a bigger playspace. As the difficulty ramps up, you’ll need every inch of cover to dodge incoming fire, bullet-time style, while shattering faceless enemies using guns, shurikens, and – most satisfyingly – your clenched fists.
The Star Wars game that finally gives you your own real lightsaber… at least, in VR. Vader Immortal follows a short, episodic, three-part narrative which is nothing to write home about. But the gameplay, which lets you blast things with the force, push Vader’s buttons (literally and virtually) and swing around a lightsaber, lends to an extremely worthwhile and enjoyable experience.
Obviously, motion sickness is a big issue with a lot of VR games but this is mostly with games which make you move around with an analogue stick. Vader Immortal, on the other hand, lets you move by selecting a destination to go to and teleporting there, with an extremely short fade-to-black to illustrate the travelling. This keeps motion sickness kept to the bare minimum.
Vader Immortal does an incredible job at immersing you in the world of Star Wars, which, let’s be honest, is probably something a lot of people wish for.
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