It was a hard decision, but you’ve decided to go with the HTC Vive as your first ‘serious’ VR headset, a room-scale device that released early 2016 as a result of a decisive collaboration with Valve. Here we take a look at our top 5 games for Vive, and a little more information you might need to get you started.

The Vive is a powerful ally in the fight against marketplace fragmentation, as it draws content from Steam, Viveport—and with the help of Revive, a software hack that lets you play Oculus exclusives. Right out of the box, you’ll have a room-scale setup, something that the Rift requires at least one additional sensor to claim, all the while delivering comparable standing and seated experiences as well.

Before we go any further though, you’ll find that you have access to a number of games on our Best 5 Games for Oculus Rift list thanks to the Revive hack, so make sure to check out some of the guaranteed fresh Oculus exclusives, and all the games that support Rift and Vive equally well. In any case, all of the games below are natively supported for Vive and purchasable through Steam.

5 – Moss

Once a PSVR exclusive, Moss (2017) has now made its way to PC VR headsets, letting you control your cute little mouse buddy, Quill, on your adventures through a large and dangerous world. Stylistically, Moss hits a home run with its impressive diorama-style visuals and interactive elements that lets you, the player (aka ‘The Reader’) move puzzle pieces around and also take over the minds of enemies as Quill slashes through the world to recover her lost uncle. Puzzles may not be the most difficult, but Moss has effectively set up a universe begging for more sequels to further flesh out the enticing world Polyarc Games has created.

While Moss is primarily a seated game, you’ll enjoy it just the same regardless of the Vive’s room-scale abilities.

‘Moss’ on Vive

See why we gave it a [7.9/10] in our review on PSVR.

4 – Budget Cuts

Budget Cuts (2018), the first-person stealth VR game from Stockholm-based indie studio Neat Corporation, first released came into the world via a free demo in 2016. The demo, which quickly became a breakout success in the early days of consumer VR, demonstrated a unique portal-teleportation mechanic, that, when married with the ability to throw knives at robot guards, spelled an instant hit—at least from a basic gameplay perspective. Two years later, the full release of Budget Cuts is here and it’s definitely been worth the wait.

At the time of this writing, it still suffers from some bugs. Although when everything goes right, Budget Cuts makes the top 5 cut for delivering Vive players a uniquely room-scale stealth assassin game that will have you cowering for your life underneath virtual filing cabinets.

‘Budget Cuts’ on Vive

Find out why we gave Budget Cuts a [9.2/10] in our review.

3 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Bethesda’s Skyrim VR (2017) was once a PSVR exclusive, but ever since it made its way to Steam (Vive, Rift, Windows VR), the game has really come into its own on PC VR platforms. Thanks to the average VR-ready gaming PC’s ability to render the open world at a much higher resolution, you’ll really feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Skyrim, replete with trolls, dragons, and a seemingly endless list of things to do and places to explore.

‘Skyrim VR’ on Vive

See why we gave Skyrim VR a solid [8/10] in our review.

2 – Beat Saber

Created by Prague-based indie team Beat Studio (ex-Hyperbolic Magnetism), Beat Saber (2018) is a funky and incredibly stylish rhythm game that will have you slicing blocks to the beat of high-BPM dance music. While the idea is simple, the execution is magnificent. Beat Saber gives you 10 songs, each with four difficulty levels to master, the highest being expert which will have you feeling like a 21st century techno-jedi.

‘Beat Saber’ VR on Vive

Beat Saber is still in Early Access, and awaiting updates such as multiplayer and official track editors, so we haven’t given it a grade yet. Check out our Early Access review here though to get a better idea of what Beat Saber has to offer.

1 – SUPERHOT VR

Based on the PC/console version of SUPERHOT (2016), the strategy-based first-person shooter was re-imagined from the ground-up for VR headsets in SUPERHOT VR (2016). As an entirely new game in the same vein as its flatscreen counterpart, the iconic red baddies (and their bullets) move only when you do, so you can line up your shot, punch a guy in the face, dodge a bullet, and toss a bottle across the room, shattering their red-glass heads in what feels intensely immersive and satisfying—because you’re doing it all with your own two hands. That and you’ll feel like a badass no matter whose basement you live in.

‘SUPERHOT VR’ on Vive


Honorable Mentions

  • Fallout 4 VRFallout 4 (2015), the post-apocalyptic adventure from Bethesda Game Studios is here in its entirety in VR. Like Skyrim VR, it gives you a vast open world to explore, but suffers from some optimization issues that require the user to tweak before really enjoying it.
  • The Gallery: Heart of the Emberstone: It’s a longer, stronger and more immersive experience than the first in the series, The Gallery: Call of the Starseed (2016), and shows that Cloudhead Games has put in the hours producing a visually and emotionally adept story that feels like it hasn’t outworn its welcome. Puzzles are innovative, and while they aren’t particularly difficult, they always reward you with something worth pursuing.
  • The Mage’s Tale:  Crafting elemental magic, exploring foreboding dungeons, battling giants and stealing their treasure. There’s all of this and more in The Mage’s Tale. Although story-wise the game comes too close to campy and played out for its own good, it’s still a solid investment for the enterprising young wizard among you.
  • Vanishing Realms – Letting you battle an army of skeleton demons through an archetypal fantasy world, Indimo Labs’ sword-swinging adventure game is likened to ‘Zelda in VR’ by pushing the boundaries of what VR is capable of and delivering that much sought after sword and shield combat experience.
  • Raw DataRaw Data is a heavy-hitting, fast-paced game that’s more than just a simple wave shooter. While it presses all the right buttons with atmosphere and feel, the game is on the bleeding edge of virtual interaction, which sometimes doesn’t work as well as it should. Despite its technical flaws, it’s one of the best VR shooters for HTC Vive and Oculus Touch out currently.
  • Arizona Sunshine – Vertigo Games’s Arizona Sunshine (2016) puts you in the midst of the archetypal zombie apocalypse, and even though we gave it a [7.5/10], it proves to be a solid entry into the FPS genre. Suffering some finicky controls and an even more finicky multiplayer, this zombie shooter almost made our list.
  • Subnautica Out of Steam Early Access this year, Subnautica lets you pilot your own submarine, craft your underwater base, explore lush coral reefs, volcanoes, cave systems, and survive the harsh realities of the deep by out-smarting the game’s sometimes dangerous fauna.
  • GORN – Games that require you to use hand-held weapons don’t seem to work as well as shooters in VR. Maybe it’s the lack of haptic-feedback, but that certainly doesn’t stop them from being immensely fun just the same. Set in some barbaric future where floating heads look down as you smash topsy-turvy, weapon-wielding gladiators, Gorn proves to be charmingly ridiculous.
  • Onward – A fan favorite with a hardcore playerbase, the OD green of mil-sim shooters Onward gives you that VR battle you’ve always wanted, including tactical team-based gameplay and plenty of guns. The game itself is still fairly early in development, as it doesn’t have ranked matches yet, making it a bit intimidating from a beginner’s perspective. It’s creation is a true feat of will as it’s amazingly maintained by a singular developer.
  • Pavlov VR – Incorporating classic maps from games such as N64’s Goldeneye and Counter-StrikePavlov serves up a slice of familiar gameplay in a new VR setting. Featuring bots, and several modes including search-and-destroy and casual fast-paced solo play, Pavlov is the CQB death match standard FPS fans have been waiting for.
  • Project Cars & Project Cars 2 – You probably don’t have access to a garage full of super cars, but even if you do you’ll probably appreciate the ability to practice speeding around the track without ever having to leave home. The second in line, Project Cars 2 has a completely overhauled physics and tire models, making it a more true to life racing experience. You certainly can’t go wrong with either though!
  • Windlands – Originally developed in the early days of the Oculus development kits, Windlands has since added motion controller support to its fantastical ‘castle in the sky’ setting that lets you naturally grappling hook your way across what ultimately plays out as a giant parkour puzzle. It’s an intense experience, but well worth the feeling you’ll get from conquering the highest reaches of this beautiful and unique game.

If you didn’t see your favorite game here, let us know in the comments! This is a continually evolving list, so check back for the latest in Road to VR’s top Vive games.

Update (July 7th, 2018): We’ve done a long-due overhaul of the list, and bumped a few previous games to the honorable mentions list.

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  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Glad I bought the Oculus, This list is making me yawn.

    • Poron

      Yeah, same reaction I had when I saw rift’s list.

    • johngrimoldy

      What’s your list of best games on the Rift? (No snark, honest question)

      • Jean-Sebastien Perron

        Solus Project
        Adrift
        Narcosis
        Alien Isolation
        Mage s Tale
        Project Cars 2
        Wildon s Heart
        Affected Manor
        The Climb
        Windlands
        Lone Echo

        • johngrimoldy

          How do the others on your list compare to Alien Isolation? For me, that game alone would serve as a huge motivator to invest in a rig. (Amusingly, not even released as VR – thanks for the hack, Nibre!)
          Narcosis, Lone Echo, and Wilson’s Heart compare well to Alien?

          • Jean-Sebastien Perron

            Alien Isolation was made for VR right from the start, then abandoned at the final stage. Does that mean you are crazy enough not to have already a VR? Alien Isolation is worth it because it is a long game with plenty of replay value with tons of add-on and dlc. It is also immersive and scary to a point you ask yourself why you are torturing yourself with it. My main complain with Alien Isolation is that you play with a controller on a chair. That is not as good as room scale using your hands to pick up objects and shoot. VR is the best thing that exist on earth get it now sell your house if you have to, thank me later.

            The solus project is also very scary, immersive and profound. Many times I sat on a rock or laying on my back in the grass admiring the waves, the giant moon in the sky, the trees moving in the wind, not even playing just living in that world.

          • johngrimoldy

            I picked up a Vive last December. Thanks for the heads-up on Solus Project.

        • Travis Cameron

          Glad to see someone else list Solus Project. That game was amazing on the Vive.

      • Rob

        Lone Echo
        Elite Dangerous
        Subnautica
        Project Cars
        Adrift
        Google Earth
        Altspace
        And I just love the picture and video app in Oculus Home. Viewing all those countries is just awesome.

        • johngrimoldy

          You and Jean-Sebastien both list Lone Echo and Adrift. I’m going to need to check them out. I agree that, though not a game, Google Earth is incredibly compelling. I have spent countless hours in that app.

          • Eric Hoareau

            Once you’ve tried Lone Echo perfect motion system, you won’t be able to play a such badly designed game like Adrift in VR anymore ! ;)

    • wheeler

      Except the Rift’s content “advantage” is pretty much irrelevant since people with SteamVR-compatible hardware can play any Rift game with Revive and with minimal hiccups.

      And to be honest, even within the context of games specifically developed for SteamVR HMDs, the above list is making me yawn as well (with the exception of Raw Data but I’m not even sure if I’d put that in my top 5)

  • nasprin

    No Sairento VR, GORN, Arizona Sunshine, Vanishing Realms, Onward or Pavlov? I know this Lists are usually not really objective, but seems like at least one of these Titles should’ve been there – especially since The Lab is not really a game – more of an introduction to VR possibilities, really.

    • Spitfire

      I agree, Arizona sunshine was awesome! Onward is epic for fps fans, I once played a few rounds against actual Russians, listening to them plan a breach while I was hiding behind the door pulling the pin on a grenade is one of my all time favourite gaming moments. SPT is probably the only one of these I would agree with.

    • doug

      Also Dead Effect 2 VR

  • Sch@dows

    I must say that this list is quite disheartening, it looks like Top5 VR experience instead of Top5 games. As a Vive owner, I play several other games, and only 2 from this list : SPT and The Lab.

    More puzzling is the fact that games in the Rift Top5, also available on Vive natively, aren’t listed there.

    By the way, I wouldn’t ptut DiRT Rally as an honorable mention since the game doesn’t support the Vive natively. You have to use ReVive. Otherwise, all Rift exclusives could also be mentioned.
    Project CARS 2 would make more sense.

  • JesperL

    What a crappy list. zzzzzzz
    Raw Data I understand, but the rest? They are demos.
    Arizona Sunshine + Superhot should be on there!
    Project Cars 2 also.

    But to be honest – there is not much good games for Vive – only short ok experiences. Im just waiting for Skyrim and Fallout4, the only bright lights on the VR horizon I see.

  • M Rob

    Not the best list I would have chosen and 3/4 of your honourable mentions are not games.

  • Timothy Bank

    Really??!! Did you actually do any research or play these games?? I am shocked that Vanishing Realms is not on there. And The Lab is not a game, it is a compilation of demos.

  • dogtato

    I think of “roomscale” as a game where I move in the game by moving in real life. That definitely means SPT and Rick and Morty. Raw Data, Rec Room, Onward, Bullets and More, and Pavlov aren’t particularly roomscale because you mostly play them by standing/sitting in one spot.

    Tilt Brush and Google Earth are good roomscale examples.

    Dirt Rally, though? Unless you’re driving a hover junker, driving games are the furthest from roomscale there is.

  • Rob

    I personally do not think any of their top 5 are worthy of being on a top list. Where is Elite Dangerous? Where is Subnautica? Where is European and American Truck Simulator?
    Where is Project Cars? Where is Arizona Sunshine? Google Earth is amazing in VR, so I am glad it was mentioned. VR owners deserve full games, not tech demos. The time of demos is past.

  • Ryan Moore

    so… Launch games? No I’d say there are easily 20 better games that came out in the last 6 months than this list.

  • Tien Thai

    What is it 2016 again? I guess we are still perpetuating the myth that the Rift can’t do roomscale. *shrugs*

  • 1 – Raw Data, I play this game whole time. Glad you highlighted and put it on the top Scott. I guess Subnautica should be on No. 2. Yeah, just my opinion. I respect others choice. Many great choices, only the best game remain and remembered.

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  • gothicvillas

    It is obvious, person who put together this top 5 doesnt own a VR headset.

  • Michael Jervis

    While I agree with the great experience of Raw Data, Super Hot VR and Vanishing Realms (I have not played SPT or Rick and Morty to have an opinion yet – though Job Simulator was fun – just wish someone could add content or have a free play mode) Also wish more content for Vanishing Realms would be released soon.

    You should also consider:
    Bullet Sorrow VR – Really used the play space, I was ducking behind virtual containers, diving to the ground, having a great time trying to fight my way out.

    Sairento VR – Another great sword and shooter

    Serious Sam Series – Great first person shooter in my opinion although it is more nostalgic for me. I feel brought back into the FPS of old with this game.

    Escape the Room games like Abode, Alcatraz

    Final Approach – Love the feel and look of this game. Feels like I am playing with matchbox planes or other toys. Pilot Edition adds the element of radio controlling the planes directly.

    Hopalong: The Badlands – Cute Western themed shooter riding on a wooden horse

    Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shooting Gallery – The ambiance, the controls, and elements of this game have me keep going back. Of course I used to love shooting galleries of old so just going in and playing with the shooting gallery element

    Elite Dangerous – Actually being in the cockpit of a straighter is a dream come true. Combine this with a HOTAS and you have the actual feel of being there.

    Pinball FX2 VR – Great pinball simulation game where you are standing at the pinball machine whilst other virtual elements based on the theme of the table are going on around you.

    Vivecraft for Minecraft – I know this is a plugin but it changes the game of Minecraft like no other. To actually be in the Minecraft world was truly astounding.

    Smashbox Arena – Great dodgeball type game can play single player or online

    Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Should be a list category for party games where someone is in the hot seat while others direct them

    I will definitely have to check out some of the other games mention in the forums here.

  • Kevin Brook

    I really don’t see why we continue to have separate lists for best Vive and best Rift games any more. Both systems are Windows PC and can run all the same games. I have a three sensor Rift setup and there isn’t a single Vive game I can’t play perfectly and from what I hear the same is true with Vive users playing games from the Oculus store using Revive. These lists are as pointless as having a best Intel processor PC games list vs a best AMD processor games list.

    • benz145

      In time it’s likely that these lists will merge together, but there still are marked differences in the types of games you find on each platform. Rift users, for instance, seem more tolerant of seated and/or gamepad games. And while the majority of SteamVR games work fine with the Rift, there are those that don’t work as well without a 360/room-scale Rift setup (which not everyone has). And when crossing the boundary between Oculus / SteamVR platforms, the controls don’t always translate well, which can sometimes make a great game on one platform not so great on the other.

      • Kevin Brook

        Good points Benz I just feel that having separate lists fosters division and contributes towards all the Rift or Vive hating posts by owners of the other headset. Just seems to me like both headsets offer the same experience potential and it’s just misinformation to label Lone Echo as a rift game or Space Pirate Trainer or Raw Data as a Vive game when you can get pretty much the same experience on both. My most played games on my rift are Thrill of the Fight, Audio shield and BoxVR, all bought on steam!

        • benz145

          It’s a weird situation since both headsets can access content on the opposite platform, but obviously neither company wants to draft attention to that fact lol. We always try to spread the word when relevant, but it’s always surprising to find that there’s still plenty of people who still don’t know that both headsets can easily play content on the other side of the ecosystem.

          • Kevin Brook

            Yes I do understand that. I bought my Rift in the beginning of July and didn’t access the steam store for a couple of months, and then only really started buying games from there once I’d bought my 3rd sensor. As it was only £59 delivered, along with a 5 metre extension cable straight from Oculus themselves I’m left wondering why they don’t sell a 3 sensor complete version for £449 as that would then eliminate all the criticism they get for not offering roomscale experiences. I guess it matches with what you say that many rift users prefer seated or gamepad experiences anyway so including the third sensor by default might be less of an incentive to buy than a sub £400 price point. Thanks for taking the time to explain your decisions on this site btw, nice to get direct feedback from site publishers.

  • Skippy76

    Seriously?
    Rick and Morty is total garbage.
    Onward is early access but its better than most games on this list!
    Heck Rec Room is better than most of those games!
    The only one I would agree with are SPT and Raw Data

  • Rob H

    Not sure why they get someone who clearly hasn’t played much in VR to write these types of articles on this website – How are any of these above the likes of: Talos Principle, Project Cars 2, Elite Dangerous, Arizona Sunshine, Onward, Vivecraft etc.?

    • benz145

      There’s a degree of personal preference of course. Personally I think Superhot is well deserving of this list even though it doesn’t seem you agree. Have you played it?

      Project Cars 2 is no doubt great (which is why it’s #1 on our Top 5 VR Racing Sims list!), but of course you enjoyment will depend not only on how much you like racing games but what kind of gear you have.

      • Rob H

        While Superhot is a decent game, I still don’t see how it could be considered better than any of the ones I’ve listed. But more importantly, how you think any of your “top 5 games” compared to the ones I’ve listed are better than the likes of Elite Dangerous, Project Cars 2 or Vivecraft which don’t even feature on your list. And that’s just from my experience in VR as I haven’t really played a lot of titles either e.g. Star Trek: Bridge Crew, Gorn etc. that others are suggesting beat everything on here. If these really were the top 5 games that could be played on vive it’s safely say I wouldn’t play it very often, which isn’t the case. This list is frankly offputting to anyone looking to pick up a Vive if they think these are the best it has to offer.

  • gothicvillas

    Obviously, author who wrote this article havent really played VR. I guess the author tried some games in the office or maybe at the friend’s place. Anyone who owns VR headset will never understand this top 10.

  • Eric Hoareau

    Well, i have to desagree with SPT beeing mentioned in this game list. It’s not a game yet, that’s a very well polished DEMO with only ONE single location !
    I agree with people calling for The Talos Principle VR or The Solus Project instead. That’s real games, i mean full well polished ones with a plot line and enough content within diversified and rich worlds that you can enjoy for more than 30 hours of play through.

  • ale bro

    Superhot number 1 game for Vive? WTF!! It’s a port that has one hour of game time with no replay value.

    Moss is in there in the top 5 as well – that’s fine if you’re 12 years old, but not really for anyone else.

    I know I shouldn’t fall for these recycled posts, but still RTVR could have made an effort with this….

    • benz145

      Doesn’t matter if it’s a port if it’s done well — Superhot VR is one of the most unique and most ‘VR-first’ games out there. You’re right that it would be nice if it was longer, but it’s still very much worth playing.

      Moss is a game of rare polish in the VR space, whether you’re 12 or 60.

      • ale bro

        it’s worth playing, but that is enough to warrant best game on Vive.

        • JJ

          right since when does “VR-first” make it qualify for best game, those are irrelevant at this point. Should we all include pac-man then in every top 5 games list

  • JJ

    it’s pretty clear from the comments, the general consensus is that whoever made this list does not play vr…. Which tells us as readers a lot about the writer/s of RTVR. I guess we should all take these articles from RTVR with a large grain of salt knowing the writers aren’t actually involved in vr and are more so writing from an outside perspective on the industry. I think we should reconsider who we get our vr news from, because this list kind of sums it all up for us. RTVR writers never go into the HMD.

    • benz145

      Rather than asserting that “whoever made this list” (the author is clearly listed) doesn’t play VR, perhaps consider that not everyone has the same taste in games?

      Aren’t actually involved in VR? Road to VR was founded in 2011, a year before Oculus was founded. We’ve all been using VR headsets and playing VR games since the DK days.

      • JJ

        OK, then why not title this Scott’s favorite vr games? This way we know it is just Scott’s preferences and not a thought out list from the RtoVR writers. Which is what we’d expect when a front page post is titled the way this one is. Because when a reporting website lists top fives usually its more of a bigger deal and goes through a multi-leveled deciding process looking at various topics or aspects of a game, not just one persons feelings on games.

        • JJ

          I meant to say from ALL the roadtoVR writers, I dont want you to think it was a jab at Scott’s writing because it wasn’t. His individual opinions are just fine. Usually though, top 5 lists aren’t made from one persons preferences.

  • No mention of Star Trek Bridge Crew? My second most played VR title after Elite dangerous.

    • JJ

      While budget cuts the glorified delayed demo, a game that I acn think of over a dozen vr games that out perform, is still on there

  • NooYawker

    I’m seeing more anger than most top lists. I think people like and want different things in VR. Some people really only like sitting experiences, others want deep immersion, others want to kill shit, some want anything as long as it’s different.

    Because I have superhot and I think it’s the most over rated game, and I’m surprised Arizona Sunshine still isn’t on this list.

  • oompah

    skyrim vr 10/10

  • Michał Krukowski

    Article which contains “top5” games for Vive, and does not contain Sairento VR, seems not to be very accurate.

  • doublefrag

    I´m missing Elite Dangerous. This is, with a large distance to Sykrim VR & Raw Data, my favorite VR Game since the DK2 till the HTC Vive Pro!