From Edge of Nowhere to Job Simulator, these are the 10 best virtual reality games that released for Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive in 2016.
After successful Kickstarter campaigns, buyouts, and significant technological advancements, 2016 was the year that the three major players in the virtual reality market finally threw their headsets into the ring. While it’s true that VR sales are not as strong as many predicted at the beginning of the year, there’s still no shortage of compelling experiences for early adopters of HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR to try.
From action RPGs to first-person shooters to experimental art games, 2016 had something for virtual reality gamers of all tastes. For those looking to jump into the world of VR and see what all the fuss is about, these 10 games stand as the best 2016 had to offer.
Gunfire Games, a studio comprised of former Darksiders developers, managed to deliver one of the most critically praised games in the Oculus Rift launch lineup. An action RPG that uses a third-person perspective instead of the first-person viewpoint that the majority VR games seem to rely on, Chronos earned positive reviews for its engaging story and challenging gameplay, and for demonstrating how traditional gaming experiences can be enhanced with virtual reality.
Edge of Nowhere
Insomniac Games is an innovator in the industry, and while the studio usually sticks with PlayStation-exclusives, its first VR game is actually exclusive to Oculus Rift. Edge of Nowhere is a departure from Insomniac’s previous efforts in other ways as well, trading the colorful, vibrant world of Ratchet & Clank for a bleak, Lovecraftian horror story set in the harsh landscape of Antarctica. Insomniac’s gamble paid off, though, and Edge of Nowhere stands as arguably the best VR horror game to release in 2016.
While most VR FPS games seem to be on-rails shooters, Hover Junkers instead allows players to physically move around their environment to move the character in the game. This adds an extra layer of physicality to its FPS multiplayer gameplay, making it a rather unique entry in the genre. Compared to the competition, HTC Vive seems to have less must-have exclusive games in total, but Hover Junkers is certainly one of them.
I Expect You to Die
I Expect You to Die for Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR casts players as a spy put into a handful of deadly situations. Each level is a puzzle that players learn how to solve using their wits and trial-and-error. Oftentimes there are multiple ways to solve each of the problems players encounter in the game, which gives them a reason to dive back in even after they’ve completed the story. With sharp writing, an amusing James Bond-inspired aesthetic, and good humor, I Expect You to Die is one of 2016’s standout VR releases.
Set in the year 2050, Job Simulator shows how humans worked in the year 2016, as imagined by robots. The result is a clever game that is funny enough to make menial tasks like working as a cashier or making copies seem fun and interesting. While it may sound boring on paper, Job Simulator is one of the easier ways to sell people on the potential of VR, as the game gives players the chance to fully interact with their environment and experiment to their heart’s content. A goal of many VR games is to make players feel as though they’ve been transported to a new world, and Job Simulator gets the job done better than most.