There are a lot of fantastic virtual reality games out there—so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to know which games to start with. Each gamer has their own preferences and favorites, and what one person recommends might not be the best fit for your particular tastes.
So when exploring the wild and wonderful options available in virtual reality, it makes sense to start somewhere familiar. While not all traditional games have made the leap to VR yet, often you’ll find a new title that expands or improves on a gameplay formula you know and love.
With that in mind, here are some top picks for VR games, based on the games you already can’t get enough of:
If You Like Uncharted, You’ll Love…
There’s a lot to the Uncharted series. Exploring ancient ruins, shooting guns, and rock climbing are all essential parts of the Nathan Drake brand of adventure.
If you’re a particular fan of the exploration element of the series, check out The Climb. A first-person game about mountaineering, The Climb comes with plenty of terra incognita to explore as you make your way up sheer cliff walls and rock faces.
The game doesn’t have all of the action you’d expect from an Uncharted title, but what it lacks in combat, it makes up for with incredible scenic views.
If You Like Super Mario Bros, You’ll Love…
The pervasive popularity of Nintendo’s beloved mascot is hard to ignore, and recent releases in his game library have really expanded the core platforming element of his main franchise. Between titles like Super Mario Maker and Super Mario 3D World, there’s a lot of exciting jumping and coin collecting to be done as you traverse colorful levels filled with hidden secrets.
If cartoon platforming is your preferred gaming experience, be sure to check out Lucky’s Tale. This Oculus Rift exclusive exists pretty much as a proof-of-concept for third-person games on VR, and while the level of immersion is significantly less than any first-person title, the game is absolutely gorgeous and thoroughly enjoyable.
Until Nintendo inevitably releases a Virtual Boy 2, this is the closest you’ll get to Mario in VR.
If You Like The Last of Us, You’ll Love…
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is a zombie game in all but name. With unique fungus-based infected humans in place of the more traditional gory corpses, the game still boils down to surviving in a post-apocalyptic world filled with superhuman monsters.
Arizona Sunshine is a zombie game that takes perfect advantage of its VR medium. There’s something all the more visceral and intense about facing off against the undead in person, and it provides a real fight-or-flight thrill for fans of the genre.
This game lacks many of the jumpscares and creepy tension of the Resident Evil 7 VR trailer, instead focusing more on the task at hand: there are undead creeps to kill, and that’s all that matters.
If You Like Portal, You’ll Love…
Portal fans have no end of possible choices when entering the virtual reality realm.
With Valve so keenly involved with the HTC Vive, the company has made sure that there are plenty of VR Portal titles. You might like to check out The Lab, a series of minigames set at Aperture Laboratories. Alternatively, check out Portal Stories, a short game that involves testing a new piece of teleportation apparatus.
If you’d like to try something a little different, though, I’d recommend Budget Cuts. This game wears its portal-hopping influences on its sleeve, but comes with a variety of new gameplay elements as you engage in corporate espionage, taking out sentry robots in order to steal company secrets.
It’s a lot of fun, and makes excellent use of the VR medium, as you peer around corners and through portals to see what adversaries might await you on the other side.
If You Like Grand Theft Auto, You’ll Love…
There aren’t a lot of big, sprawling virtual reality games available yet—the kind of budgetary resources needed to make a sandbox, GTA-style game just aren’t available to the majority of VR development teams at the moment.
For a quirky, sandbox-like game where you can be an utter jerk to non-player characters, though, you might want to try Job Simulator. I’ve raved about it plenty of times in the past, and that’s in large part because of how well the game uses virtual reality to create an immersive, colorful, and entertaining world.
Firing staples and paper airplanes at work colleagues isn’t the same as the high-octane action you’d get in a Grand Theft Auto game, but there are still plenty of opportunities to let your imagination run wild as you ruin peoples’ days in virtual reality.
If You Like Borderlands, You’ll Love…
The specific tone and style of Borderlands is something that few games have successfully replicated. Explosive, colorful, and over-animated, the series certainly represents the wackier side of first person shooters.
For those who’d like a similar experience in virtual reality, your best choice is Hover Junkers. This game has a post-apocalyptic setting, and sees you caught in shootouts with teams of bandits riding floating vehicles in a Mad Max-style adventure filled with wit and sarcasm.
It helps that this game also has a pretty distinctive art style, making it a must-have game for anyone who can’t get enough of Pandora.
If You Like Tomb Raider, You’ll Love…
The latest Tomb Raider title pits the player against the elements as Lara Croft explores a frozen wasteland in a desperate bid to survive the harsh landscape.
If you’re looking for a similar experience, you should try out Everest VR, a game which recreates the experience of being stranded in a remote, icy wilderness, and having to overcome the challenges or risk death by exposure.
This is a very pretty game, and fans of the survival aspects of the Tomb Raider franchise will enjoy the added tension that experiencing everything through the immersive first-person viewpoint VR technology provides.
If You Like Mass Effect, You’ll Love…
The Mass Effect series has a lot going for it. With a heroic, player-driven protagonist, explosive supernatural sci-fi combat, and a wealth of politics and relationship simulation on both a galactic and interpersonal scale, the trilogy of games that we’ve seen thus far covers a lot of ground.
For something full of sci-fi shooting and action, try out Raw Data, a game filled with shoot-outs and swordplay that pits your character against hordes of robot enemies.
If romantic entanglements in a science fiction setting are more what you’re craving, however, check out Loading Human. A game about family, relationships, and the quest for eternal life, Loading Human has a strong story at its core that is sure to appease fans of the Mass Effect narrative.
There’s even a key romantic subplot within the game, with bonus scenes to be unlocked if the player does a good job of romancing the primary love interest. She’s not a blue alien, but she’s portrayed in immersive virtual reality—and in many ways, that’s even better.
Good Luck Out There
Hopefully, somewhere among the games on this list, you’ve found something that really speaks to your own personal interests as a gamer.
Don’t stop with these games, though—there are plenty more exciting, innovative titles out there just waiting to be explored! Be brave and browse. You never know what other amazing virtual reality options you might unearth along the way. Feel free to try something different, and discover what new favorite games are waiting for you among the ever-expanding library of VR titles.
Have fun, and good luck!
The first chapter of Loading Human will be released on October 13 as a launch title for the PlayStation VR. The game will also soon be available for other VR platforms. To try the science fiction adventure for yourself, pre-order your copy today!