"Virtual Reality is a gimmick" is something only said by people who haven't used VR outside of on their phones. Real talk. Anyone who has actually played it extensively can tell you; there are game experiences in VR that easily trump any game experience that can be had on a flat screen. Virtual reality presents a level of immersion nobody has ever been able to experience in games before, and with that, VR fans have gotten some truly unforgettable gaming moments that non-VR gamers have no clue about.
Related: The Best VR Games For Parties
And to say PlayStation VR won the year (beating out Oculus and Samsung exclusives) would be an understatement. PSVR won this year, hands down, with some of the best gaming experiences ever. And with Virtual Reality gaming set to really blow up in 2019 and reach its full potential, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to mention some stellar PSVR games from 2018, as well as a few to keep your eye out for in 2019.
10. Beat Saber
While this is by no means a PSVR exclusive, it is still one of the best VR games yet released The fact that PSVR got it this month has been an awesome addition to the already badass library of virtual reality games on the beloved console.
Beat Saber, for the three of you who don't know, is a rhythm game where you use lightsabers to slash musical notes. It's like Guitar Hero, but about 9000 times more fun and addictive, believe it or not. And you can rock the Darth Maul double sided saber. Not much has topped the cool factor of that yet in VR.
9. Pixel Ripped 1989
To explain Pixel Ripped to people in detail sucks some of the genuine fun and charm out of this wholly original game. In short, you are a kid in a classroom in the '80s trying to play your Gameboy without getting in trouble. So while you are playing a handheld console in a classroom, you also have to distract your teacher so you won't get busted. So you have a headset on and you are playing a game where you play a game inside another game. Yes, it is some Inception level sh*t when you stop to ponder it.
I won't give away much more than that, but the originality of Pixel Ripped is gonna inspire some other brilliant game directors and creators to take more chances with this medium, which is just what it needs to grow organically.
Transference is made by Elijah Wood's production company and it does something very unique. It uses the medium of virtual reality to essentially make a film that you are part of and interact with. And they way they blend these two mediums is genius. This isn't just any kind of film, either, but a psychological horror film, and the way it implements the use of VR is something you WILL see mimicked in the future. VR is the future of all mediums, period.
That said, we refuse to actually tell you anything about this game because the experience is short and so self-contained, so you need to just buckle up and take the ride. We can tell you this, it is about family and regret and technology. But how it all comes together is staggeringly original. Let that whet your whistle, then let Transference take you for a ride you won't soon forget.
7. Firewall: Zero Hour
While the premise may not seem mind-blowing, the execution of this virtual reality multiplayer shooter is where the game truly shines. While some VR games have been a blast for multiplayer (looking at you, Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes), none have made a PVP game quite to this level on PSVR, though many have tried.
While on the surface, the game seems simple, once you set up with a team and start taking on other opponents you realize this might just be the best multiplayer experience you've ever had. When your team TRULY gels and you just dominate a match over other actual humans, you kind of legit feel like a member of Bravo Team, and not just someone who got lucky. If you like online shooters and have not played Firewall, your mind is gonna be blown (out of your head in virtual reality by other players who are better, but still SO worth it).
Whoever plays Moss even once (and PS knew this as they released a free demo) realizes within 2 minutes that this experience truly transcends gaming. The minute the lead mouse, Quill, runs up to you and waves, you will feel a part of your frozen gamer heart melt.
Moss is best described as many as the Redwall, the game. It's an action-puzzler that just exudes charm and beauty, as well as very tight gameplay and gorgeous, lush visuals. This was the game that marked the PSVR's rise this year, and the games that followed it somehow managed to be just as good as this one.
5. Astro-Bot: Rescue Mission
Gonna say it now; Astro-Bot Rescue Mission is the best platformer since Mario 64. No game in the last decade has managed to capture that exact magic in a bottle, but this game does. From being utterly in awe of the visuals, to the constant, nagging urge to go out of your way to search for another collectible, Astro-Bot will reignite your long-forgotten love of the platform game, and is pretty much without flaw or rival.
It's cool to see PSVR finally get a mascot! We love that little bot. Might be impossible not to. Also, shout-out to some of the best boss fights in VR yet (Resident Evil 7 excluded, as that game is also flawless but too old to place here).
4. Tetris VR
People who are writing this off as just a "flashy Tetris" have no clue. You can bank pieces, freeze time, and there are thousands of user made levels already supported. There are even "moves" and "combos" now. A PerfiTetris, anyone? yup, it's a thing. There are even levels where the pieces fall up, so anyone thinking it is an old-school cash grab are legit insane.
But outside of just the fun of it, Tetris VR does something kind of impossible and unfathomable in gaming up to this point. It provides a near-spiritual experience. When some of these original songs are playing in surround sound and fireworks are blowing off around you and your moves are affecting the soundtrack, something in your soul just lines up. You forget about your bills. You forget about how crappy you are at relationships. You forget about the boss whose guts you hate. You let go.
Yeah, it is that intense. This is enough of a reason to buy PSVR, truly. You will sink thousands of hours into this game, and with new levels dropping daily, you will never get bored. Also, where else in your lives do you get to swim with dolphins and giant, glowing, jellyfish on a daily basis?
3) Coming Up: Borderlands 2 VR
Disclaimer: This isn't a 2019 game and will most likely be out by the time you read this, but every PS fan is losing their mind about this right now, and with good reason. Borderlands 2 is one of the highlights of recent gaming. Sick action, cell-shading, a wide variety of memorable characters, thousands of guns, and toilet humor that was genuinely side-splitting.
Most VR games clock in at 1-4 hours, so the prospect of having a VR game that players can sink 100s of hours into has us all chomping at the bit to get back to Pandora. Tiny Tina in VR? Yes please?!! That is a win for all.
2) Coming Up: Vacation Simulator
Vacation Simulator, WHERE ARE YOU?
With Job Simulator being one of the games that helped make VR popular, the main inquiry people have about this game is where is it? We have been getting teased for literally years, yet no has actually seen it in person or played it yet. Not trying to talk smack, but how hard can it be to make a game that relies mostly on jokes? Gonna be fun, but the longer they take, the less traction the final game is going to have. But if it is half as funny and enjoyable as Job Simulator, it will be well worth the wait.
1) Trover Saves the Universe
Squanch games (led by Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland) make the best VR games. Accounting+ might be the best game in Virtual Reality, as it really screws your brain. Your head is smoking by the time you finish it, and its replayability is insane. On top of that, Virtual Rickality is a great deal of mindless fun, too, especially for those who enjoy that show's humor.
That said, their next project, Trover Saves the Universe (a meta platformer) looks like their best yet. Playing a person who is playing a game, you can expect Trover to have a lot of metagaming humor as well as some mindf*ckery, as that is what Squanch does best. Easily the VR game people with any common sense are most excited for in 2019.