It’s like I’m really there.
The Oculus Quest line of standalone virtual reality head-mounted displays has been around for three years now. As one of the only people in my friend group who has a Quest 2, I still get the same exact question every time I bring it up: “Are there any good games on there?” The answer, of course, is yes. There are plenty of great games on the Quest 2. However, there are also plenty of bad games on the Quest 2, and separating the wheat from the chaff can be a bit of a challenge.
Virtual reality is still a bit of a niche market, so it’s tough to get a sense of which VR games are actually worth playing. Since so much discussion is centered on PC VR, it can be even tougher to figure out which Quest 2 games deserve your attention. I’ve been tooling with this thing for a couple of years now, and I’m pretty happy with this list of five, but it’s by no means definitive. There are a lot of great games on Quest 2, and I’ve excluded some for reasons that are, quite honestly, a little silly. That’s the cost of whittling a list down to five, but it’s also a good reason to explore other corners of the platform’s library. After you’ve played these five, of course.
5. Beat Saber
This one is kind of a free space. If you’ve played one game on Quest 2, it’s probably Beat Saber. It’s the game that Quest 2 owners love to bring out to demonstrate the potential of the hardware to neophytes, and it’s the game that most non-VR people I’ve talked to mention as soon as I bring up VR. There’s a good reason for that: Beat Saber rules.
Beat Saber is a fairly simple rhythm game. You simply stand in place and swing two copyright-proof things that look like lightsabers but definitely aren’t lightsabers to the beat. Beat Saber‘s simplicity is its secret sauce – it’s readable and immediately playable for everyone, regardless of their level of VR literacy, and it makes excellent use of the Quest 2’s limited hardware.
4. Superhot VR
Superhot has been a favorite game of mine ever since the original Game Jam prototype was released in 2013. It’s got a pretty straightforward conceit: it’s a first-person shooter where time only moves when you move. That means moving slowly allows you to pull off incredibly slick bullet-time stunts, while moving quickly turns the game into a hectic first-person bullet hell.
Superhot is always great, but it’s at its greatest in VR. Having full control over your body makes the game feel even more like an incredible action movie. Like Beat Saber, the simplistic graphics and limited use of color provide full immersion without pushing the hardware beyond its limits.
3. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted
Listen, I get it. It’s 2022. You’re tired of Five Nights at Freddy’s. But I really need you to hear me out on this one – Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is great. The Five Nights at Freddy’s formula is kind of perfect for virtual reality. The first three games in the series are all about sitting still in an unsettling environment. The control scheme is incredibly simple and the scares are ultra-effective.
Help Wanted lovingly recreates all three of those original games, and it also includes some neat mini games based on later entries in the series. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means, but it’s still a pretty scary wheel, and it’s made even scarier when you’re right in the middle of it. If nothing else, Help Wanted is a great way to remember why everyone was so entranced by FNaF in the first place.
Is VRChat a game? Kind of! It’s more like a virtual reality Roblox, a platform for hobby developers to deliver a whole bunch of miniature games of their own. It’s also a virtual reality social media platform, and one of the only places where you can watch Rei Ayanami and Pickle Rick furiously debate over the best Shrek movie. It’s an outlet for creative expression in the absolute rawest sense. Everyone is exactly who they want to be in VRChat, for better and for worse.
For some people, VRChat will be unbearably annoying. It doesn’t look very good, and its player base is roughly 75% young children who haven’t learned mic etiquette just yet. Still, there’s nothing else quite like it, and it’s absolutely worth trying at least once. Who knows? maybe you’ll find that SSJ3 Goku avatar that makes the whole thing click.
1. Resident Evil 4
What is there to say about Resident Evil 4? It’s Resident Evil 4. It’s one of the greatest games ever made, and absolutely nothing has been lost in the transition to virtual reality. In fact, there’s a very real case to be made that Resident Evil 4 in virtual reality is the best version of Resident Evil 4 ever made.
Resident Evil 4 fans have extolled the virtues of the Nintendo Wii version of the game for years. RE4 just feels right with a light gun. Now imagine, if you will, playing the Wii version of Resident Evil 4… but in virtual reality. It’s honestly a pretty breathtaking experience. For me, as a devout Resident Evil 4 enjoyer who owns the game four times over, it’s an incredible way to recontextualize an experience I’ve had more times than I can count.
For a newcomer, it’s probably the most accessible and immediately enjoyable version of the game. If I could install one game on every single Quest 2, it would be this one. It’s the perfect version of an already perfect game, and it’s hands down the best experience you can have on the platform.