So, you've just given in and picked up an Oculus Rift. It's an expensive investment, but trust me when I tell you that it's worth it. There are a ton of fantastic games available in VR, some of them well-known, while others that flew under the radar.
But if you're new to VR, then it's likely you're still getting your “VR legs” steady. Most people, myself included, definitely have a period of time where playing almost anything in VR makes you feel like you're about to die, and it can be difficult to spend money on a game that you don't know if you can play right away.
Thankfully, there's plenty of free games out there that can help accustom you to playing things in VR, and are great games in their own right. There are definitely more to check out than just these ten, but these are a good starting point:
10. FACE YOUR FEARS
I could make a full list of ten horror games here, but for the sake of keeping a mix of games on the list, I'll just list Face Your Fears. There's a lot of short experiences here, some are more light-hearted but a lot are made to especially scare people with specific phobias.
If you're a fan of horror games then this is an absolute must-play.
It's most definitely not for the faint of heart, and be warned: there's nothing that can really prepare you for a horror game in VR.
9. THE RED STARE
If you've ever wanted to be a special agent in 1950's New York then 1) that's a strangely specific desire, and 2) The Red Stare is the game for you. In The Red Stare, you're in the aforementioned time-period/place on the lookout for Red Spies. You'll be staking out in your apartment getting info via phone and fax, tasked with taking pictures, obtaining clues, and ultimately, figuring out which of your neighbors is plotting behind your back.
Aircar is a very, very simple game with some absolutely stellar atmosphere. In Aircar, you pilot a flying car around a futuristic, cyberpunk-esque city. There really isn't another experience like this anywhere in gaming right now, and while there isn't much content besides flying around, it's worth a look, especially if you're a fan of the cyberpunk aesthetic. This is also a good game to get you used to games in VR with movement; it will probably make you super-sick at first, but if you keep at it, it'll start to get easier to stomach.
Farlands is an incredibly cute little game that has you visit an alien planet each day to research the life there. There are a few different creatures, all of which seem to have a pretty distinct personality and different traits. This is a supremely chill game that's very enjoyable to just relax and take in. If you're looking for something with complex content then this isn't going to be your thing. But for a free title, there's a lot of great atmosphere here, and for me, that's one of the most important things for a VR game.
6. DRAGON FRONT
If you're looking for a more tactical game with a lot of replay value, then Dragon Front is a great one to check out. With a mix between fantasy and WWII items, Dragon Front has an interesting aesthetic that is, obviously, even cooler in VR.
While there are complaints to be made about the advancement system and the price of in-game items, there is quite a bit of content to check out without spending a dime.
If you want some high-octane action, then you absolutely have to check out Echo. Echo is a PvP-centric game featuring three teams, zero gravity, and objective-based combat.
I mean, I don't think I could name a game outside of VR with that kind of gameplay.
Echo is hugely dynamic, rewards creative tactics and teamwork, and is an absolute blast to play; especially if you have some friends able to play with you.
4. LUCKY'S TALE
Another pretty chill and cute game, Lucky's Tale is a 3rd-person platformer built for VR. While that might seem like a truly weird choice for a VR game, somehow it just... works. There's just something very enjoyable and relaxing about jumping around in this world. I'm a big fan of the graphics style, and having the ability to surround yourself in all its glory is awesome. It might not be the most engaging game on this list, but that's the great thing about VR; sometimes you just want to hang out in a cool place.
3. WALTZ OF THE WIZARD
One of the most popular and beloved games on this list, Waltz of the Wizard allows you to mix a slew of ingredients into a cauldron, and then wield magic with your hands in an entirely interactive world. This game has a ton of things going for it; for one, there are plenty of objects to interact with, which is honestly just a blast to play around with in VR. The atmosphere is superb and has a highly-detailed game world that is fun to hang out in. Plus, the most important thing: the magic is an absolute blast to use. The game elicits the perfect mad scientist, or in this case, mad magician feeling, and it works beautifully.
2. HOME – A VR SPACEWALK
There's nothing quite like VR in space. That stomach-dropping feeling of looking around and seeing absolutely nothing for literal light-years is quite the (harrowing) experience. Home – A VR Spacewalk is definitely a short VR game, but it does exactly what it sets out to do, and it does it perfectly. It's a great showcase of what VR can really accomplish, and experiences like this one will stick with you for quite a long time.
1. THE LAB
Developed by Valve, The Lab is a collection of superb VR minigames set in a “pocket universe of Aperture Science”. There are a big variety of things here, from defending a castle with a longbow to visiting exotic far-off lands to absolutely wrecking a lab with a slingshot to fixing a robot in dire need of repair. Valve's signature polish is really something in VR, and I cannot recommend this one enough.