Ever since buying my Oculus Quest in December 2019, I have been deep diving into VR and I am completely sold. Furthermore, other similar technology, such as the Microsoft HoloLens Mixed Reality headset, has the power to improve numerous industries outside of gaming.
The potential of virtual reality and augmented reality is so great that I predict in five years the number of VR headset owners will match those of traditional consoles. In 10 years, more people will be playing VR than traditional consoles games.
The wireless hardware and user-friendly interface make the Quest a strong catalyst that is helping push VR into the mainstream. But what are the best games on the Oculus Quest? This list will introduce some of the most polished and amazing titles in the Oculus Quest?s library that everyone should try.
Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is a real-time strategy (RTS) game from the creators of Arizona Sunshine. While the game hasn?t received that much attention from the media, it is by far one of the best and most underrated games on the Oculus Quest.
In Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl you take control of the battlefield by placing enemy troops in strategic positions. Your ultimate goal is to destroy the enemy?s main castle. To win the game, you must maintain control of prime areas of the map and activate floating canons which will continuously fire upon your enemy?s castle. However, if enemy troops overtake the position, the canon will begin firing on your castle instead.
To place troops on the field, you play cards from your deck. Each card costs mana to deploy and different troops have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, a dragon has an advantage over infantry troops and can burn an entire platoon to crisps. However, archers and snipers have the ability to shoot those same dragons out of the air.
Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is a fast-paced RTS game with a short learning curve. With that said, the game is all about strategy. Enemies you find online may have a deck that can completely demolish yours. The game is all about finding the right combination of cards and knowing exactly when to play them.
It is definitely one of the few hidden gems on the Oculus Quest and one of the best games that you can comfortably play while sitting down.
Genre: real-time strategyMultiplayer Options: yesComfort Level: comfortable
2. Lies Beneath
Lies Beneath has been called ?The Half-Life Alyx of the Oculus Quest? by other reviewers. While that is a strong statement, after just playing a couple chapters of the game, it becomes evident that Lies Beneath is perhaps the most complete game in the Oculus Quest?s library to date.
Reviewer vr_warehouse puts it into words perfectly, saying ?This game has showed me [that] these devs are finally understanding the hardware.?
It is hard to talk about Lies Beneath without sounding biased. However, the game is honestly just that good. Lies Beneath is a survival-horror game with comic book graphics that has you shooting, hacking away, and fighting for your life, fearing what is behind each door and around every corner.
You play as a woman who is on the road with her father when they get into a car accident. You awaken in the wreckage, but your father is nowhere to be found and trails of blood can be seen in the new fallen snow. You venture out into the dark night to look for him, but things take a terrible turn for the worst.
Strange grotesque monsters begin attacking you. You venture to places from your childhood that have become dark and distorted. Armed with only a lighter, a pistol, and melee weapons, you must fight off enemy monsters and survive long enough to find your father and figure out what has happened to your hometown.
Later on in the game, you find more weapons and discover new items to help you survive. With simple, yet ingenious gameplay mechanics, artistic comic book graphics, and a chilling soundtrack, Lies Beneath is worth every penny and is certainly a must-play game on the Oculus Quest.
Genre: action, shooting, survival-horrorMultiplayer Options: noComfort Level: comfortable
3. Vacation Simulator
Perhaps the most needed game during these periods of quarantine, Vacation Simulator is developed by Owlchemy Labs, the critically acclaimed creators of Job Simulator.
In Vacation Simulator, you arrive in a virtual world created by computers to simulate the classic human vacation. Like in a real vacation, you can choose your outfit, enjoy leisure activities, eat delicious food, and build sandcastles on the beach. However, you can?t experience a true human vacation without all the hassles and downsides that come with it. With Vacation Simulator, Owlchemy Labs creates a fun-filled satire of the traditional getaway.
If you don?t have your VR legs yet, don?t worry. Vacation Simulator is a great VR game for those prone to motion sickness. With teleportation locomotion mechanics, you?ll have no problem traversing the world Owlchemy Labs has created.
MinigamesThe best thing about Vacation Simulator is that it is more than just one game. It is a collection of mini-games brought together to create a satire that pokes fun at common vacation tropes and cliches. Each and every mini-game is enjoyable in its own right and the shear amount and uniqueness of each mini-game shows the creativity of the developer.
For example, on the beach you can play volleyball, run the BBQ, build sandcastles, catch butterflies, and even take a selfie. With a virtually endless supply of things to do, Vacation Simulator is a great way to escape while staying indoors.
Genre: sandbox, simulation, puzzleMultiplayer Options: noComfort Level: comfortable
4. Path of the Warrior
If you?re a fan of beat-em-up games like Streets of Rage and have always wondered what that game would be like in VR, then wonder no more. The answer is Path of the Warrior from Twisted Pixel Games.
Path of the Warrior is a virtual reality fighting game jam packed with humorous dialogue, challenging hand-to-hand combat, and well-polished graphics and sound effects. Every sound effect, from smashing bottles on an enemy?s head to the sound of NPC civilians calling for help is well crafted.
Most importantly, the VR hand-to-hand combat is fun, well-varied, and will help keep you in shape by making you engage in light shadow boxing when you throw punches. There are endless different weapons you can pick up in the game and power-ups that help you through more difficult areas.
Note for those with motion sickness:Path of the Warrior has a variety of settings you can adjust to make movement in the game more comfortable. However, there is no teleportation locomotion available. You can slow down the speed of smooth motion, but there are no cage borders or black fades to block out peripheral vision. As a result, the game may trigger motion sickness if played in long doses, so be careful.
Genre: action, beat-em-upMultiplayer Options: yesComfort Level: moderate
5. Espire 1: VR Operative
From Digital Lode and Tripwire Interactive, Espire 1: VR Operative is a quality stealth-action shooting game with a lot of replay value and future potential. The story is pretty standard, with nothing mind-blowing in the plot. However, where the game shines is in its inventive VR stealth gameplay.
In Espire 1: VR Operative you pilot robots known as Espires. If you die in the game, you can simply load in to another Espire in the area to continue your mission.
In the game, you can take out enemies by shooting them with your tranquilizer dart gun or sneak up behind them and knock them out with a hit to the head. One of the coolest parts of the game is its use of voice recognition. You can approach enemies from behind and say ?freeze?. Doing so will cause them to put their hands up and you can then proceed to knock them out with a strike.
However, if stealth isn?t your style, there are numerous pistols, SMGs, and assault rifles that you can use to go in guns blazing. Espire 1: VR Operative shows large potential to become a popular series of VR stealth games on the Oculus Quest. The developers advertise the game as ?VR?s definitive stealth experience,? and for the Oculus Quest, this is the best stealth-based shooting game currently on the platform.
Genre: action, shootingMultiplayer Options: noComfort Level: moderate
6. Pixel Ripped 1995
Set in the 1990?s gaming scene, Pixel Ripped 1995 is a love letter to retro games. You play the role of 9-year-old David, a young boy living in the suburbs who wants nothing more than to play the latest installment of the Pixel Ripped adventure game series.
The game begins with David playing a 2D Zelda-like adventure game on a CRT television, and the nostalgia factor is strong. With Pixel Ripped 1995, you are essentially playing retro games in VR. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Soon, you realize that the world within the Pixel Ripped game cartridge is corrupted. The evil villain and creatures from the Pixel Ripped game start to bleed into David?s real world. Throughout the game, you continuously switch from playing the Pixel Ripped video game to actual being in the Pixel Ripped game, fighting as the game character in first person.
Pixel Ripped 1995 references some of the largest retro games out there, including Castlevania, Metroid, Mario Kart, Sonic, and many more. Being a die-hard retro game fan, Pixel Ripped 1995 captured my heart and never let go.
Genre: action-adventure, platform, fighting, beat-em-upMultiplayer Options: noComfort Level: comfortable
7. Crisis Vrigade
Amazingly, one of the best games for the Oculus Quest isn?t even on the official library, and that game is Crisis Vrigade. However, that works out in our favor, as the game is available for free on SideQuest.
In Crisis Vrigade you play the part of a crisis response S.W.A.T. team member. It is an on-rails style shooting game akin to and inspired by games like Time Crisis. You must duck behind cover, take out enemies and keep your squad members safe before the time runs out. Throughout the game you can pickup med kits, bonus time, and multiple guns by shooting them as they appear.
The best thing about Crisis Vrigade is the incredibly accurate shooting mechanics. To add to the realism, you must eject empty magazines, grab a new magazine from your holster, load it, and cock the pistol before the gun will fire again. There are various levels of difficulty and multiple maps to complete. Furthermore, the developer added an online co-op feature, giving you even more reason to give this game a try.
If you do end up liking the game, please donate to the developer on Itch.io.
Genre: action, rail shooterMultiplayer Options: yesComfort Level: comfortable
8. Orbus VR: Reborn
If I had to put it in one sentence, Orbus VR: Reborn is the closest we?ve ever gotten to Sword Art Online in real life.
Orbus VR: Reborn took me completely by surprise, as I don?t see it covered very often in the media. However, for RPG fans and people who enjoy open-world games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, this game is a must-play. Orbus VR: Reborn is an incredibly large scale MMORPG. In the game you can craft items, choose from multiple styles of combat, team up with other players online, or go solo. You can follow the main quest line in the game or go off the beaten path. Fight up close with melee weapons, or snipe enemies from afar with your archery skills. You can also play as a support class to help your allies in battle.
The most amazing thing about Orbus VR: Reborn is the scale of the game. You can scavenge for supplies, go fishing, clear out dungeons, and much more. There are also story events and raids that everyone can experience at the same time, which truly makes the world feel alive.
Genre: action, MMORPGMultiplayer Options: yesComfort Level: comfortable
9. Shooty Skies Overdrive
For awhile, it seemed like VR was only a good medium for video game genres that were best played in first person. However, thanks to the incredible creativity of video game developers around the world, it seems like almost any video game genre can be done in VR. With the release of Shooty Skies Overdrive, we now have the first VR shoot ?em up (shmup) in the Oculus Quest library.
Shooty Skies Overdrive is by far one of the most polished games on the Oculus Quest. The level design is well varied and each new setting is masterfully crafted. Furthermore, the graphics are among the best we?ve seen on the Quest. While the game is a shoot ?em up, it is wacky and goofy and doesn?t take itself too seriously. Based on the amazing level design alone, you can get a feel of the personality of the game.
Shooty Skies Overdrive Level Design
While the great soundtrack, retro visuals, and classic sound effects create an amazing atmosphere, what matters most is the gameplay. With a variety of difficulty options, Shooty Skies Overdrive can be fun to play for shoot ?em up veterans or complete beginners.
There is a seemingly endless variety of enemies, all with different attack and movement patterns. To help you out, there are also numerous different power ups that you can pickup throughout each level. In the game, the ship is connected to the Quest controller and you steer by simply maneuvering your hand away from enemy bullets.
The gameplay is intuitive and requires almost no tutorial at all to just jump in and start shooting. At an incredibly modest price of $9.99 USD, this game is a must-play for pretty much every Oculus Quest owner.
Genre: action, shoot ?em upMultiplayer Options: noComfort Level: comfortable
These were just some of the best games on the Oculus Quest that you should try in 2020. This list will be constantly updated, so please be sure to follow me on Medium for future updates.
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