Thanks to Steam’s hardware agnostic approach, it’s become the defacto repository of all things PC VR (excluding Oculus exclusives, of course). Every major PC VR headset is supported through the SteamVR platform, including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Pimax, and Windows VR headsets; not to mention Oculus Quest, which thanks to Oculus Link lets you play PC VR games from the Oculus Store, Steam, and Viveport.
So you may be wondering, what are the best VR games for SteamVR headsets that came out this year? You may find a couple repeats from our 10 Best Rift Games of 2019, but there’s still plenty of top-scoring games to dig into here. Now, in no particular order, our top 10 best games for SteamVR headsets.
Note: Below you’ll find links pointing to Steam and Viveport, as the latter also offers support for many of the major VR headsets.
The 10 Best SteamVR Games of 2019
Road to VR’s Ben Lang calls Fujii’s lack of instructions “a testament to the intuitive VR game design skills of developer Funktronic Labs,” noting that players learn to interact with the world almost exclusively by doing, exploring, and testing the limits of the world in way that makes it a truly unique and personal experience. Check out why we gave Fujii an [8/10] in our review.
It feels like Cloudhead Games took a slice of Beat Saber (2018), a little dusting of Smash Hit (2015), a few shards of SUPERHOT VR (2017) and mixed it all together to create Pistol Whip, a VR rhythm shooter that engages your body in a very unique and compelling way.
You’re constantly moving forward through a levels where enemies appear and shoot at you, and it’s your job to not only return fire, but dodge incoming bullets too. Flow state is the name of the game here (ok, it’s Pistol Whip, but you know what I mean), and although we are still technically waiting for more music to fill out its 10-song library, it’s a game you’ll be able to pick up easily but have a hard time mastering. Check out our preview to learn more about why we like it so much.
VR and music clearly go great together, so Guitar Hero series creator Harmonix released Audica to tickle our brains, a rhythm shooter that’s attempted to tap into the success of Beat Saber by tossing a little bit of Space Pirate Simulator in there for good measure; here you’ll need to focus on timing, accuracy, and hitting those shot combos.
It got off to somewhat of a rocky start during its Early Access period, but Harmonix has managed to refine it for its full release, garnering it a ‘Very Positive’ rating on Steam and a full [5/5] on Viveport.
Until You Fall (Early Access)
Until You Fall arrives to us from Schell Games, the studio behind the super successful VR puzzler I Expect You to Die (2017), making this hack-and-slash melee adventure a bit out of left field for the studio.
Nonetheless, it offers up what Road to VR’s Ben Lang calls “a surprisingly rich combat experience which successfully fuses meta-game elements in a way that no other VR title has yet managed.” It’s still in Early Access, so we haven’t given it a score in our EA review; if we had to, it would certainly be high up there.
Trover Saves the Universe
Justin Roiland has creatures living in his brain, and his head will explode if they don’t come out. Anyway, that’s at least some explanation for the co-creator of Rick and Morty creating this ludicrous 3D platformer for VR and flatscreens. Trover Saves the Universe uses gamepad, but we don’t hold that against it.
Although we haven’t officially reviewed Trover Saves the Universe, it’s a remarkably fun game that definitely justifies its crude humor with solid gameplay, as it’s currently sporting an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ user rating on Steam.
No Man’s Sky (New VR Support)
With No Man’s Sky (2016), Hello Games has gone the full hero’s journey. With one of the biggest hype cycles for an indie studio to weather, the worst releases in video game history, and nary a sign of a light at the end of the tunnel, No Man’s Sky easily could have slunk away into the darkness, never to be heard from again. Instead, Hello Games persevered and ardently improved No Man’s Sky, eventually even adding VR support with its free ‘Beyond’ update.
Its VR support didn’t exactly wow us when it first released; Road to VR contributor Gabriel Moss called it “a wonderful, deeply flawed space odyssey,” giving it a still pretty respectable [7.5/10]. Quality of life updates have gone a long way of keeping us coming back for more since it first launched though—Bethesda could learn from.
Job Simulator (2016) wasn’t an easy act to follow, considering it was likely people’s first VR experience when it arrived as a launch title on basically all VR headsets. No fear though, because the owls at Owlchemy Labs hashed out a slightly new direction with its more relaxed little bro, Vacation Simulator, which includes a story line, a more open environment and a ton of vacation-style activities to explore and play.
Some fans of the original may not exactly gel with the new direction Vacation Simulator takes, but we’re willing to bet many people will have a blast going through the gads of activities. Anyway, we did, which is why we gave it a resounding [8.8] in our review.
Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs
Angry Birds in VR? Pffft. That sounds lame! But no! It’s actually really fun, and not at all a diseased microtransaction-riddled mess like its mobile forbears have become. Here, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs actually hits on some seriously fun gameplay by letting you not only knock down complex creations overrun by evil little piggies, but now you can even make your own block fortresses in creative mode.
Angry Birds just works in VR thanks to an intuitive shooting mechanic and a good mix of difficulty levels, which were big factors in why we gave it a [8.5/10] in our review.
Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted
Five Nights at Freddy’s in VR could have been a mediocre port; after all, not every developer is great at recreating their flatscreen game for VR. But that’s where Steel Wool Studios shines, as the jump-scare-tastic horror game was recreated specifically for VR headsets, which includes classic levels and original mini-games.
Sporting an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ rating on Steam, FNaF VR really taps into what makes horror games work in VR; let’s just say you’re guaranteed to get caught by a shrieking animatronic monster, so savor that quiet sense of dread you feel before the neighbors eventually come knocking due to all the screaming.
Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!
It feels like Resolution Games took a bit of a gamble with Acron: Attack of the Squirrels, and it also didn’t really get the recognition it deserved simply because it’s a multiplayer game that basically requires you to already have a room full of people willing to play video games—not an easy task after you turn 30. Although it’s only rated as ‘Positive’ on Steam, you definitely shouldn’t sleep on this awesome party game.
Don’t own a PC VR headset? We’re going through all major VR platforms and rounding up the best games from this year, so check back soon!