30 The top virtual reality games in 2021


19 min read

With the greatest VR games available, you can break free from your keyboard or controller. The games on this list will show gamers why it's worth investing in a headset and possibly risking motion sickness. The ones that showcase experiences you can't get through playing games in the traditional sense.


You may drive Tony Stark's armored suit in Iron Man VR, rebel against an alien civilization in Half-Life Alyx, or fly an X-Wing or TIE Fighter in Star Wars Squadrons with the greatest VR games. We believe that the games on this list will provide you with the next fantastic gaming experience you're looking for, whether you're new to virtual reality gaming or a seasoned virtual reality explorer seeking for something new to try.


What are the best VR games?

While splitting games into genres can be handy, it's better to split the best VR games on this list up into the different ways they use virtual reality. Some of the best VR games are simply existing titles translated into the new medium. Fun examples of these would be The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR or Doom VFR, which are based on existing titles. These are good for beginners who are making their first forays into VR gaming, or franchise fans who want to try their most beloved game in a new way.Then there are the best VR games that wouldn't really work anywhere else. This includes Beat Saber, Iron Man VR or Star Trek: Bridge Crew. One notch down you'll find Batman: Arkham VR, and Super hot VR. We base these on games designed for normal controllers, but these versions change so many mechanics and scenarios, they've essentially become brand new experiences. 


1. Half Life: Alyx

Half Life: Alyx. Credit: Valve.
  • Developer: Valve
  • Playable on: PC VR platforms


Fans have waited years for Half-Life 3, but the series has always been about pushing the boundaries of technology, so it was almost inevitable that Valve's return to the critically acclaimed series would be different. Many players may find Half-Life: Alyx inaccessible because of the requirement for a powerful PC, but even at the lowest settings and without room-scale, the technology is simply light years ahead of the competition. Even before you put on the gravity gloves, the wondrous little details and ways you can interact with simple, mundane objects like drawing on a window are magical. More importantly, Alyx isn't just the best VR game; it's also a fantastic Half-Life game in its own right, with superbly written characters and a climax with far-reaching implications for the series.


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2. Rez Infinite

Rez Infinite. Credit: Monstars Inc, Resonair,


Rez, a cyberspace shooter that combined sound and sense to a whole other transcendental plane, was always ahead of its time at around 20 years old. It begged to be revived in virtual reality. While using head-tracking to shoot at targets makes Rez Infinite a little easier than its predecessor, the experience of sensory overload as you immerse yourself in the wonder of its trippy visuals and thumping techno trance soundtrack is what you're after. The all-new Area X level, which is just 20 minutes of rapturous bliss as Tetsuya Mizuguchi takes us off the rails to a new future in the next evolution of synaesthesia, is what truly elevates Rez Infinite to a modern masterpiece.


3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. Credit: Team Asobi


Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, which began as a mini-game in the free PSVR app The Playroom VR before being expanded into a full game, isn't just the best game on Sony's headset; it's also one of the best platformers in recent years. There have been other 3D games where you are essentially the camera looking down on a virtual diorama, but Rescue Mission takes it a step further by incorporating your head into the game, making you not just a cypher but a full-fledged character alongside the adorable Astro. The platforming is fantastic as well, with thrilling set pieces that transport you to another world. Astro Bot is truly a cosmic delight, and it's no exaggeration to call it the Mario Galaxy of VR games.


4. Beat Saber

Beat Saber. Credit: Beat Games
  • Developer: Beat Games
  • Playable on: PC VR, Oculus, PSVR


There are plenty of VR games that get you moving, but nothing beats dual-wielding light sabers while slashing to the beat in the best VR rhythm game. When you're in the zone, slicing up oncoming blocks or dodging obstacles in every direction while listening to high-tempo EDM, it doesn't matter if you look silly or if you're sweating buckets in minutes. There's no better VR game to get you moving than Beat Saber, whether you're using it to stay in shape, challenge yourself with a variety of modifiers, or even add your own tracks (via PC) to the already large library (which includes Green Day, Linkin Park, and Panic! At The Disco).


5. Blood And Truth

Blood And Truth. Credit: London Studio


Blood And Truth was the first feature-length PSVR exclusive that combined a smorgasbord of playful mechanics within touching distance with a fun rollicking London-set caper inspired by both Guy Ritchie and Bond flicks. It was the closest thing to a VR Uncharted. While it gets around a lot of locomotion issues by having you look to different points to move to, thanks to the way weapons and ammo are mapped around your body, you're more than just disembodied hands. But what fun things you get to do with your hands, whether it's scaling the scaffolding of a gang hideout, picking locks, dual-wielding weapons, or, best of all, mixing behind the decks in the middle of a shoot-out. You'd be a jerk if you didn't take part.


6. Star Wars: Squadrons

Star Wars: Squadrons. Credit: Motive Studios


Sure, Star Wars: Squadrons are perfectly playable in 2D. But when the entire game–both the single-player campaign and multiplayer–supports VR, it'll be your childhood Star Wars dogfighting dreams come true. Flight games in which you are confined to a cockpit have always been ideal for VR, but being in the cockpit of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter takes it to a whole new level. You'll also want to invest in a good HOTAS controller if you want to be even more immersed. While Vader Immortal is a thrilling, if brief, Jedi fantasy, Squadrons is the definitive virtual reality experience for any Star Wars fan.


7. Superhot VR

Super hot VR. Credit: SUPERHOT Team


Originally a standard first-person shooter/puzzle game in which moves only when you move, Super hot VR completely transforms the concept, allowing you to experience The Matrix as Neo. It's a VR game you'll want to play while standing, as having more space will make it easier to reach certain weapons and dodge the slow-motion bullets coming your way. There is no single way to complete the game's levels. You can either wait for your orange assailants to get close enough to punch them out, or you can take their gun from them. You can also sacrifice a weapon to deflect an oncoming bullet, or you can show off your skills by chucking a shuriken at a distant target. Superhot VR is super hot to play because of all the creative solutions at your disposal.


8. Walkabout Mini Golf VR

Walkabout Mini Golf VR. Credit: Mighty Coconut


There's nothing better than a few rounds of Walkabout Mini Golf VR with friends if you're looking for a relaxing casual VR game to play. The ability to play with up to five people makes it ideal for catching up with friends while fostering a little friendly competition, thanks to realistic physics and well-designed courses. As enjoyable as the golfing is, it's perhaps the freedom to teleport around the course in between putts, taking in the relaxing atmosphere of some lovely low-poly environments, or even searching for the many lost balls scattered throughout each course that truly distinguishes this.


9. Budget Cuts

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; Valve index 


Will you let robots take your all-important paper-stamping and document-filing job? In this game, cost-cutting robots try to end your employment by any means necessary. You must fight your way through an office environment to save your job (and your life) using stealth tactics or by resorting to aggressive violence. AI and automation technologies are certainly poised to take over some real-world jobs previously filled by humans, so this game's hook is all too real. Be sure to check out the sequel, Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency.


10. Danger Goat

  • Playable on: Windows Mixed Reality 


As you may have discovered firsthand in the one-of-a-kind Goat Simulator, a goat's life has never been easy. Danger Goat is less bizarre, but with traps, missiles, and robots in your way, your escape is far from guaranteed. Don't be fooled by the pleasant surroundings; danger lurks around every corner.


11. Farpoint

  • Playable on: playStation VR 


Farpoint is the first game to use the PS VR Aim, a gun-shaped controller designed specifically for first-person shooters, and is a showcase title for the PS4's VR capabilities. Sony claims that the VR Aim can track player movements on a 1:1 scale, giving the game's shooting mechanics a realistic feel. In Farpoint, you must navigate a dangerous alien environment while surviving deadly enemy encounters in order to figure out what happened to the rest of your research team. Farpoint is a short game, but it's still worth playing if you have a PlayStation.


12. Ghost Giant VR

  • Playable on: PlayStation VR 


You must assist a young cat named Louis and the other villagers of the fictional town of Sancourt in Ghost Giant. Players take on the role of a ghost-like figure who can solve puzzles and complete tasks by interacting with the game's diorama-like settings. Players of all ages will enjoy the game's cartoon-like aesthetic and endearing character design.


13. I Expect You To Die

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR; Windows Mixed Reality


You play as a spy who must escape from a series of life-threatening situations before time runs out in I Expect You To Die. Your wits, problem-solving skills, and telekinesis are all at your disposal. So grab whatever you can find in your immediate vicinity; it might just save your life. Finally, you can live out your childhood dream of becoming a spy without risking your life.


14. Job Simulator

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR; Valve Index; Windows Mixed Reality 


Why limit yourself to one job when virtual reality allows you to work multiples? PCMag has seen its fair share of bizarre simulation games, but VR elements bring the experience to a whole new level. In Job Simulator, you can try out jobs like mechanic, gourmet chef, and office worker, which is the most coveted of them all. Make the most of the new Infinite Overtime mode, which lasts indefinitely.


15. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR: Valve Index 


16. Lone Echo

  • Playable on: Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S


Lone Echo is a single-player immersive adventure in which you, as an AI named Jack, must assist your captain in solving a dangerous mystery. Photorealistic graphics, freeform movement, and tight VR-tuned controls abound in this game set on a space ship orbiting far out near Saturn. There are also options for interactive dialogue to enhance the experience. A follow-up is in the works.


17. Minecraft VR

  • Playable on: Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; Windows Mixed Reality 


For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a combination of exploration, creation, and survival with a distinct low-poly aesthetic. The game adds 3D audio, a virtual living room mode (for a break from the first-person perspective), VR Turning (which snaps head swiveling motions to increments to prevent disorientation), and VR Controls to the VR platform (makes in-games tasks easier to manage). Multiplayer game modes are also available in Minecraft VR, allowing you to share the experience with your friends.


18. Moss

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR; Windows Mixed Reality 


In this enchanting adventure game, you play as Moss, a mouse who must embark on a journey to save her uncle after accidentally awakening an ancient magic in the forest. You'll solve puzzles, fight enemies, and explore whimsical environments along the way. Players of all ages will enjoy the inviting animated art direction and impressive lighting effects.


19. No Man's Sky

  • Playable on: Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S


No Man's Sky is worth reconsidering because of its consistent, major updates, the most recent of which is a new VR Mode. The game's main goal is to get to the center of the universe, but that doesn't do the experience justice. Along the way, you can visit as many of the game's procedurally generated planets as you want, construct a home base, and engage in space combat with enemy ships.


20. Pistol Whip

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR (Summer 2020); Valve Index; Windows Mixed Reality


If you combined Beat Saber and Superhot, you'd get something close to Pistol Whip. This musical combat experience doesn't require you to match a certain rhythm with your gunplay, but rather gives you the freedom to take out enemies however you see fit. Get ready for frenetic action set to a high-energy soundtrack and flashy, colorful graphics.


21. Jurassic World: Aftermath

  • Playable on: HTC Vive; Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; PlayStation VR (Summer 2020); Valve Index; Windows Mixed Reality
  • The recently updated Aftermath lets you explore the wreckage of the titalur dinosaur theme park between the first and second films of the rebooted franchise. Stuck there while on a mission to find crucial research information from the labs, you've got to solve puzzles and hide from some familiar flesh-eating foes however you can.While being stalked by killer lizards from the past is scary, the game actually looks quite fun with its cell-shaded graphics. It'll a novel experience for fans used to the more realistic look of the main series of movies, but sneaking through facilities and attractions to avoid scary dinosaurs is an exciting premise that'll inspire any VR gamer.

22. Stride

Get Stride on Oculus Quest, PlayStation Store and Steam

Freerunning is a great fit for VR (provided you have the stomach for it), and Stride has arrived to fill the niche. Leap, slide and wall-run across an unlimited city of rooftops in a challenge of how long you can keep going.It's a very physical game, requiring lots of arm movement to control your character. That only gets more difficult as the game introduces gunmen who try to take you out as you're running, but at least you've got a weapon of your own to attack back. With endless, timed and arena modes already in place, and a story mode on the way, this is a game with plenty of potential for virtual thrills.


23. Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC)

Get Thumper for £15.99/$15.99 on Steam, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and PlayStation Store.

Even without a VR headset, the stunning views and meticulously detailed aircraft of this flight sim are simply delicious to experience. But adding a compatible headset into the mix makes it, without doubt, one of the best VR games around.With the first-person viewpoint offered by your helmet, you can examine all the buttons and switches up close, and gain an extra level of immersion as you take off and land at airports around the world, fly through the clouds and admire the landscapes below.If that sounds a bit overwhelming to you, then you'll be glad that the game lets you tailor how much of your plane's controls are automatically or manually controlled. If you want something more relaxing, you can just let the game take care of the hard stuff for you and enjoy flying around. But if you want to feel like an actual pilot, then you can take off the training wheels and tinker to your heart's content.


24. Star Wars: Squadrons (PC, PSVR)

With a first-person view out of your X-Wing or TIE Fighter cockpit, Star Wars Squadrons is the latest and greatest way to experience space combat set in the saga's timeline's original trilogy.Your chosen fighter, out of a list of famous Star Wars spacecraft, can also be customized to make it look and perform more like you want and need, depending on the mission at hand.In classic Star Wars tradition, there's a single player campaign to enjoy too, with the Rebels and the Empire both getting their own sides of the story. But if fighting CPU-controlled opponents isn't satisfying you, there's also online multiplayer where you can assert your position as a flying ace.


25. Star Wars: Squadrons (PC, PSVR)

We were skeptical that IO Interactive could make VR support for Hitman 3 really work given it all relied on the PS4’s DualShock 4. And you definitely do miss out on some of the fun not having two-handed motion controls, but this is still a brilliant, expansive VR playground with plenty on offer, including the last two games in the trilogy too. Here’s hoping PC VR and PSVR 2 ports are in the game’s future.


26. The Climb 2 – Quest

The long-awaited follow-up to The Climb didn’t disappoint, giving us yet more heights to scale in imaginative and thrilling new ways. Visually, the game left a little to be desired, which is why we’re still hoping we might see a PC VR version of the title release later down the line, too.


27. Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife – Quest, PC VR

Fast Travel Games took an unexpected turn for its fourth release, trading in the vibrant worlds of Apex Construct and The Curious Tale Of The Stolen Pets for the horrors of the World of Darkness universe. Wraith is a moody survival horror experience steeped in dread and offers an interesting story that explores the tabletop universe like never before. 


28. Minecraft VR

Platforms: Oculus Quest; Oculus Rift and Rift S; Windows Mixed Reality

Minecraft exists on nearly every platform you can name, including the VR space. For the uninitiated, Minecraft is an exploration, creation, and survival game all rolled into one with a distinct, low-poly aesthetic. The game adds a series of control enhancements for the VR platform, including 3D audio, a virtual living room mode (for a break from the first-person perspective), VR Turning (snaps head swiveling motions to increments to prevent disorientation), and VR Controls (makes in-games tasks easier to manage). Minecraft VR also supports multiplayer game modes, so you can enjoy the experience with your friends. 


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29. Resident Evil 4 VR

Explore the iconic world of Resident Evil 4 in this all-new version, entirely made for VR. Step into the shoes of special agent Leon S. Kennedy on his mission to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult. Find your way through a rural village in Europe, come face to face with challenging enemies, and uncover secrets and gameplay that have revolutionized the entire survival horror genre. Battle horrific creatures infected by the Las Plagas parasite and face off against aggressive enemies, including mind-controlled villagers and discover their connection to Los Illuminados, the cult behind the abduction.


30. Eye of the Temple VR

Eye of the Temple lets you explore a vast and treacherous temple in VR using your own feet. Keep your balance as you step from one moving block to another, dodging traps and solving puzzles with your torch and whip in hand.


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