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VR Games With Some Meat On Their Bones

Meaty Virtual Reality Games

The lack of long-format AAA content is one of the biggest criticisms of the current state of virtual reality industry, but we don’t believe that is a valid complaint. Here’s a list of full-length VR titles that you can sink some time into. Some of these games come from indie studios, and some of them are big budget AAA titles from established developers. They all share one thing in common, though; they all offer a meaty VR experience. You won’t find any glorified tech demos on this list.

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Elite Dangerous

Elite Dangerous came out a full year before consumer VR hardware hit the market, but that didn’t stop Frontier Developments from embracing the new medium. In fact, Elite Dangerous was among the first games we tried on the HTC Vive at the Steam VR Developer Showcase that Valve hosted leading up to the Vive’s launch in 2016.

Elite Dangerous translates well to VR for the same reasons that racing games are well suited for VR: The first-person cock-pit view helps to reduce potential motion sickness by giving you a constant point of reference within the game environment.

Elite Dangerous features a vast recreation of the universe for you to explore. The game has been available for nearly two years, and just in recent months, someone discovered an alien race that appears to be preparing to attack explorers who venture too deep into space. The alien threat adds a whole new element to Elite Dangerous that makes the adventure more exciting and unnerving.

Elite Dangerous supports the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Both VR versions of the game connect to the same servers as PC players, which makes Elite Dangerous one of the biggest cross-platform titles around. The game is also available on PlayStation 4, but the console isn't powerful enough to bring the game to PSVR.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 99+ Hours
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift, Steam VR
  • Input: Gamepad, H.O.T.A.S., Keyboard/Mouse
  • Publisher: Frontier Developments
  • Developer: Frontier Developments
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Store Page: Oculus Store, Steam


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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of Bethesda Softworks' most beloved titles. Skyrim is an open-world RPG filled with giants, dragons, and magic. It offers a vast world to explore and countless hours of quests to take on. Skyrim came out several years ago, but VR just breathed new life into the title.

Bethesda released Skyrim VR on PlayStation VR first as a timed exclusive. The publisher has not yet revealed when Skyrim VR would be available for Steam VR. We don’t expect the game to support Oculus Rift any time soon.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 30+ hours main story, 100+ hours with extras
  • Platforms: PlayStation VR
  • Input: Motion Controllers, Gamepad
  • Publisher: BethesdaSoftworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Store Page: PlayStation Store


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Fallout 4 VR

Bethesda is one of the few big name publishers that has embraced virtual reality. Last year at E3, the publisher revealed that it would be porting the beloved Fallout 4 to virtual reality.

Fallout 4 VR isn’t just a VR tie-in, and it’s not a short-form side story to complement the original game. Bethesda recreated the entire game for immersive VR with support for tracked motion controllers for the combat, crafting, and building systems.

Fallout 4 VR comes to Steam VR with exclusive HTC Vive support on December 12. The game does not support the Oculus Rift headset, likely due to the ongoing legal battle between Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax and Oculus. Bethesda has not confirmed that it would bring Fallout 4 VR to PlayStation VR, but a leaked image allegedly from a GameStop flyer suggests that PSVR owners would eventually be able to open the doors to Vault 111 and explore post-apocalyptic Boston, too.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 35+ hours main story, 75+ hours with extras
  • Platforms: Steam VR (Vive)
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Store Page: Steam


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Payday 2 VR

Overkill Software recently released the Payday 2 VR beta, which is a free update for anyone who owns Payday 2 on Steam. The new version of the game adds support for the HTC Vive and allows for cross-platform play between VR players and desktop players.

Overkill Software said that VR players would have access to everything that Payday 2 has to offer with the exception of a handful of guns that aren’t compatible with the wand controllers. Currently, you must opt in to gain access to the Payday 2 VR beta. However, the developer said that it would patch the VR update into the main game in 2018.

  • Hours to Complete: 20+ hours for main story, 90+ hours with extras
  • Platforms: Steam VR
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Starbreeze Studios
  • Developer: Overkill Software
  • Multiplayer?: Yes, cross-platform between Vive and desktop
  • Store Page: Steam


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Project Cars 1 & 2

Project Cars offers one of the best driving experiences ever portrayed in a game. Slightly Mad Studios went to painstaking effort to recreate real-world race tracks with stunning precision, and it recreated well over 150 iconic race cars and road cars with the highest level of detail found in any game.

Project Cars started off as a PC game, but the developer always intended to support any hardware configuration that would enhance the driving experience. The game supports triple screen setups with up two three 4K displays, it supports almost every racing wheel that’s ever been on the market, and soon after the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive hit the market, the developer embraced VR as well. Oculus Rift support came first, but the game now supports the Vive as well.

Project Cars is still widely popular, though its successor, Project Cars 2 is now available and it offers a new lineup of cars to race and a variety of new motorsports classes, including IndyCar, Rallycross, and off-road Oval Racing.

  • Hours to Complete: 30+ hours career mode, 55+ hours to complete all races
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift, Steam VR
  • Input: Gamepad, Racing Wheel, Keyboard
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Store Page: Project Cars - Oculus Store, Steam
    Project Cars 2 - Steam


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Dirt Rally

Few game developers have as much experience building racing games as the folks at Codemasters and Dirt Rally is one of the company’s best examples of a properly sorted racing title.

Shortly after the Oculus Rift hit the market, Codemasters released Dirt Rally VR, which is a complete overhaul of the original PC and console Dirt Rally game. Dirt Rally VR lets you experience the entire game from your Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR. For unknown reasons, the game does not support the HTC Vive, despite being available for Steam VR.

Dirt Rally VR is a visceral experience that will get your heart pumping. If you’re a timid driver, you may not want to steer clear of this game. Crashing over the edge of a mountain is not a good way to gain confidence behind the wheel.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 25+ Hours career, 95+ hours of races
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
  • Input: Gamepad, Racing Wheel, Keyboard
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Developer: Codemasters Racing Studio
  • Multiplayer?: Leaderboards, no live multiplayer
  • Store Page: Oculus Store, Steam, PlayStation Store


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Assetto Corsa

Assetto Corsa is yet another high-budget racing game that supports virtual reality. Assetto Corsa came out before VR was a thing, but the developer didn’t waste time adding support for this immersive technology so that you can experience what it’s like to drive at breakneck speeds on the world’s best race tracks.

Like Project Cars, Assetto Corsa features accurately scanned real-world tracks and highly detailed vehicles to drive, including Vallelunga, Monza, Imola, and of course, the Green Hell – Nurburgring, Nordschleife. The game also has dozens of manufacture licenses, which some of the most famous car brands, such as Alfa Romea, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Mclaren, and Porsche.

Assetto Corsa supports the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and you don’t need a special version of the game to enjoy it in VR.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 70+ hours career, 120+ hours of races
  • Platforms: Steam VR
  • Input: Gamepad, Racing Wheel, Keyboard
  • Publisher: Kunos Simulazioni
  • Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Store Page: Steam


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Chronos

In Chronos, you must guide your hero on a quest to save his homeland from an evil force. The knowledge that your young hero needs is hidden away in an ancient magical labyrinth which opens but once a year. If you fail to navigate through the maze, the gateway will close, and you must wait for another year.

The leveling system in Chronos is built around the concept of the gate opening but once a year. Each time you enter the labyrinth, your hero will have aged one year. When your hero begins his quest, he is nimble and quick. In later years, your hero will gradually lose his agility, in exchange for wisdom and magic abilities. You must change your playstyle to adapt to your character’s ability as he ages.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 20+ hours campaign
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift
  • Input: Gamepad, Touch as gamepad
  • Publisher: Gunfire Games LLC
  • Developer: Gunfire Games
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Store Page: Oculus Store


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The Solus Project

The Solus Project is a first-person survival exploration game. You and a small crew of fellow space explorers were on a mission to find a new habitable planet for the few human survivors after Earth was destroyed in a cataclysm. The human survivors are sitting in spaceships awaiting your signal, but they may never receive it. Your spaceship crash landed on Gliesse-6143-C, and you’re the only survivor. The fate humanity is in your hands. You must find a way to send a message.

To survive, you must explore this alien world in search of shelter to protect you from the elements. The planet has an extreme climate with regular lightning storms, tornadoes, and it often gets hit with crashing meteors. The planet has a vast cave system for you to explore, with more than 200 secrets to uncover. As you go deeper into the caves, the history of this alien world will begin to unravel before you.

The Solus Project is a seated VR experience that you can play with a gamepad or motion controllers. The title supports Oculus Rift, but it is not available in the Oculus Store. The developer recently updated the PS4 version of the game to support the PSVR headset.

  • Hours of Gameplay: 15+ Hours campaign
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift, Steam VR, PlayStation VR
  • Input: Motion Controllers, Gamepad
  • Publisher: Teoll Studios
  • Developer: Hourences, Grip Games
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Store Page: Steam, PlayStation Store


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Serious Sam VR: The First & Second Encounter

Last year, Croteam brought the Serious Sam franchise to VR for the first time with the release of Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope. Croteam’s first VR title is a standalone VR game that offered a glimpse at what it’s like to be Sam “Serious” Stone and protect the planet from Mental’s plans.

A few months after releasing The Last Hope, Croteam announced that it would release VR remakes of the classic Serious Sam titles. Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter and Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter are complete rebuilds of the action-packed FPS games from Croteam’s early days. The Serious Sam franchise is known for its fast-paced action and frantic battles, and Croteam stayed true to the original games with the VR remakes by enabling you to choose smooth locomotion to keep the feeling of the original game intact. If you don’t enjoy smooth locomotion in VR, Croteam also offers Teleport, instant teleport, and Blink modes. 

Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter and The Second Encounter offer a variety of multiplayer modes including co-operative with up to 16 players, beast hunt, survival, deathmatch, and last man standing modes. It also supports cross-platform multiplayer, which means you can play in VR with others who are not in VR.

  • Hours of Gameplay: First Encounter: 5+ hours, Second Encounter: 7+ hours
  • Platforms: Oculus Rift, Steam VR, PlayStation VR
  • Input: Motion Controllers, Gamepad
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital, Croteam
  • Developer: Croteam
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Store Page: First Encounter: Steam, Second Encouter: Steam


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  • demasiaduh.pt
    You guys forgot "Lone Echo". Best single-player story driven VR game IMO.
    Reply
  • Realist9
    Hey guys. Good info, and thanks for collecting the list. However...

    8/24 games are 5 hours long. 6/24 are 12 hrs long. I don't consider that "meat on it's bones", although that is better than a 30 min tech demo I guess.

    Of the remaining 10 games, 6 are not a racing sim. Those 6 games are split as platform specific, meaning I can only play them on one of the VR headsets.

    There's 2 for the Vive, 1 for the Rift, and 1 for the PSVR. Only 2 games can be played with your choice of headset.

    So I can pick a racing sim and 1 or 2 other games, unless I'm buying a Vive, Rift, AND PSVR.

    Do you see the problem now? I think, based in part on the above, the argument that there are VERY few games available for VR is still quite valid.
    Reply
  • gergguy
    I agree with Demasiaduh.pt. Lone Echo should have been on the list. It probably should have won VR/AR game of the year. Although Resident Evil 7 VR (the winner) is a fantastic game.

    You may have noticed many of the games on this list are regular games converted to VR. Until prices come down on the headsets and there is more adoption of the hardware, not many game companies are going to spend money making larger titles for VR because they will never realize a return on their investment.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    20465077 said:
    Hey guys. Good info, and thanks for collecting the list. However...

    8/24 games are 5 hours long. 6/24 are 12 hrs long. I don't consider that "meat on it's bones", although that is better than a 30 min tech demo I guess.

    Of the remaining 10 games, 6 are not a racing sim. Those 6 games are split as platform specific, meaning I can only play them on one of the VR headsets.

    There's 2 for the Vive, 1 for the Rift, and 1 for the PSVR. Only 2 games can be played with your choice of headset.

    So I can pick a racing sim and 1 or 2 other games, unless I'm buying a Vive, Rift, AND PSVR.

    Do you see the problem now? I think, based in part on the above, the argument that there are VERY few games available for VR is still quite valid.

    5 hrs is typical AAA game single player campaign time. Why should it be different for a VR title?
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    20465077 said:
    There's 2 for the Vive, 1 for the Rift, and 1 for the PSVR. Only 2 games can be played with your choice of headset.

    There are no Vive exclusives. Those games can be played on a Rift.
    Reply
  • Bluemax
    Nice article, I would have liked to see Windows Mixed Reality Headset included in the analysis. I own one and it has steam integration. Regardless, nice to have a list to check for availability.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Don't get me wrong... the technology is pretty cool, but I don't see many people wanting to wear anything on their heads for too long; only a select few. This is the same reason 3D-TV never took off. I'd consider myself more than a casual gamer and this hardly appeals to me. The mixed reality seems appealing from a learning/training standpoint, but I wouldn't want anything on my noggin for too long at any sitting.
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    20471574 said:
    Don't get me wrong... the technology is pretty cool, but I don't see many people wanting to wear anything on their heads for too long; only a select few. This is the same reason 3D-TV never took off. I'd consider myself more than a casual gamer and this hardly appeals to me. The mixed reality seems appealing from a learning/training standpoint, but I wouldn't want anything on my noggin for too long at any sitting.

    I usually play for about an hour, then take a break from 10-30 minutes. That's more because I'm worn out from running around my VR room than headset irritation. Room-scale VR is pretty good exercise.
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    20468200 said:
    Nice article, I would have liked to see Windows Mixed Reality Headset included in the analysis. I own one and it has steam integration. Regardless, nice to have a list to check for availability.

    I would love to add Windows MR support to the list. However, few games have officially embraced WinMR through steam yet, and almost none had done so when I put this list together.

    Look for a Windows MR game list coming soon. A list of Steam games that work on Win MR is a good idea for a list. I'll keep that in mind.

    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    20465018 said:
    You guys forgot "Lone Echo". Best single-player story driven VR game IMO.

    That's a good point.
    Complete oversight on my part.
    It's harder than it might seem to compile a comprehensive list without some things slipping through the cracks.
    Reply