Searching for the best PC VR games on Steam and Oculus? We’ve got you covered with our top 25 list.
The PC VR landscape has changed dramatically over the years. It used to be the front-and-center focus on an entire industry, but new headsets across different categories have since seen developers and publishers split their attention. Still, we’re often rewarded with various new gems every year that push the fidelity of VR experiences in ways lesser hardware can't manage.
What’s nice about the list of the best PC VR games, then, is that even some of the oldest games on this list — now some six years old — remain some of the best-looking and playing titles in all of VR today.
You’ll find most of these experiences on both the Oculus Store and SteamVR, alongside a few on Viveport. Take note, though, that we have included a few Oculus exclusives in this list because we felt these games were simply too good to ignore. We’re also including early access titles in the list for the first time, as some of PC VR’s best games are still in pre-release to this day.
If you’re looking for our other lists, you’ll find those here.
Best PC VR Games On SteamVR And Oculus
25. The Gallery Episodes 1 & 2
We’re grouping in the first two installments of Cloudhead Games’ compelling adventure series together as the first episode is on the shorter side and the two together cost about as much as a normal VR game. The Gallery has its roots in Henson-esque dark fantasy, transporting you to amazing worlds of impossible landscapes and crazy characters on the hunt for your sister. The imaginative design makes these some of the best PC VR games despite their age. We’re just hoping Cloudhead one day gets to make Episode 3.
We won't lie – the main draw of this sci-fi action adventure game on PC VR isn't the gameplay, it's the visuals. Hubris features some absolutely stunning vistas and environments that, at times, rival the quality we've come to expect only from AAA titles.
That said, the gameplay isn't quite up to the same standard. That's not to say it's terrible by any means – just closer to an average, enjoyable-enough action adventure shooter with fairly standard-if-repetitive combat and a so-so storyline. Don't go in expecting revolutionary gameplay then, but it's a fun space shooter romp with high-quality visuals that show what high-end PC VR is capable of in 2023.
23. A Fisherman’s Tale
A Fisherman’s Tale remains, to this day, one of the smartest and most striking uses of VR. You’ve undoubtedly heard its premise, which leans heavily on recursive puzzling as you play cooperatively in single-player, passing things between bigger and smaller versions of yourself. It’s a stunning spectacle, a curious tale of fatherhood and a warm visual style anchors the game. It’s still a treat and still one of the best PC VR games to date.
The best thing you can say about Wanderer is that it’s an escape room game that doesn’t always feel like an escape room game. Its puzzles make great use of VR interactivity and its ambitious setup sees you jumping between timezones across (and sometimes off) the world at a moment’s notice. It’s also one of the best-looking games to release in recent memory and a real showcase for the power of PC VR. Don’t miss Wanderer – it’s easily one of the best PC VR games.
21. Song in the Smoke
There have been a lot of decent attempts to bring the survival genre to VR but, with its native mechanics, focused structure, and earthy atmosphere, Song in the Smoke is the best of them by some way. You progress through multiple zones in a prehistoric wilderness, hunting and crafting whilst tackling unique new challenges in every area that teach you new tricks and abilities. If you don’t like the aimlessness of some survival games then you’ll appreciate Song in the Smoke’s focused campaign.
20. Pavlov VR (Early Access)
Valve isn’t bringing Counter-Strike to VR anytime soon but, fortunately, we have a worthy replacement in Pavlov VR. Consistently developed over multiple years, Pavlov has turned into the fast-paced competitive shooter to beat, with tons of weapons and environments spanning multiple eras and new game modes being added at a dizzying pace. The future remains bright for Pavlov and, for multiplayer fans, it’s one of the best PC VR games out there today.
19. Until You Fall
Until You Fall isn’t focused on the realistic melee physics of a Saints & Sinners or Boneworks, and it’s all the better for it. This arcade-infused roguelite uses on-screen indicators to force you to hone your reflexes, blocking and attacking with split-second precision. Developer Schell Games nails the moreish gameplay loop, making Until You Fall a game that’s hard to put down. And that’s a good thing considering the game is a fun workout too.
Third-person VR games might not make much sense at first glance, but Moss shows you why the opposite is the case. This platformer action game is a really solid adventure in its own right, but it’s the bond you build with protagonist Quill over its few hours that shines through. Moss is showing its age a little in 2023, but Moss: Book 2 offers a fine follow-up to the original adventure.
17. Kayak VR: Mirage
Kayak VR is a quiet highlight on this list – a peaceful and serene experience with a stunning visual presentation to match. As you'd expect, the game puts you in a virtual kayak and lets you explore four locations (Papagayo, Antartica, Bjørnøya and Australia) across a variety of modes, including free roam or the more competitive online multiplayer varieties.
There's no fully-fledged campaign or a huge selection of game modes, but Kayak VR sticks out in contrast to the rest of this list as a truly relaxing, meditative VR experience.
16. Star Wars: Squadrons
We still can’t quite believe Star Wars: Squadrons was a thing. A full Star Wars flight action game with both a single-player campaign and a huge multiplayer component… in VR? Are we sure we’re not dreaming? Well, if we are, we don’t want to wake up because Squadrons’ highly immersive cockpits and blistering space dogfighting make for everything we ever wanted out of VR in the first place, making this, in turn, one of the best PC VR games.
Platforms: Steam Store
15. Eleven Table Tennis
There aren’t many sports that current VR technology can perfectly replicate but table tennis is one of them and, for our money, Eleven: Table Tennis is easily the best realization so far. That’s thanks to the pinpoint precision of its physics and robust multiplayer and single-player options, which ensure we’ll never need another VR table tennis game again.
14. Onward (Early Access)
If Pavlov is VR’s answer to Counter-Strike, then Onward is closer to something like Arma, with a focus on hyperrealism that paved the way for the mechanical complexity VR can add to the shooter genre. Though it’s still labeled as early access, Onward has felt like a full game for years now and is easily deserving of its place on the best PC VR games list.
13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Skyrim VR successfully transplants the entire RPG into headsets with full motion controls. It’s not the most in-depth implementation, but just that fact alone makes this something you won’t want to miss in VR. Along with bestowing you with a keen sense of adventure, there are bits of Skyrim that genuinely work incredibly well in VR, like the moment you first encounter a dragon or inspect a sword you’ve worked hard to earn in tireless detail. There are better, more native VR games out there, but Skyrim VR is Skyrim… in VR, and that makes it worth a look.
12. Beat Saber
Beat Saber has become such a sensation on basically every headset that’s it’s easy to forget the games’ humble beginnings as an early-access PC VR title. But, despite Beat Games’ acquisition by Meta years back, the PC VR version of the game remains the sharpest place to play Beat Saber and its ever-growing catalog of songs. Still one of the best PC VR games, then, but Beat Saber is a must wherever you enjoy VR.
11. No Man’s Sky VR
No Man’s Sky went the extra mile with its VR support. Hello Games honed in on what makes VR integration feel seamless and natural, delivering an experience that almost felt like it had been designed for VR from the start. Add to that the frankly enormous number of new features and upgrades the game’s implemented since launch – including recent updates to the VR experience – and it’s impossible to deny No Man’s Sky its place on the best PC VR games list.
10. Lone Echo
You could group in Lone Echo 2 with this pick to get the whole experience but, given that’d be a rather expensive proposition, we’re sticking with the groundbreaking original and its free multiplayer companion right now. Lone Echo paved the way for immersive zero-gravity movement in VR and set a bar for PC VR visuals that arguably still hasn’t been surpassed. It’s slow-paced, but the focus on building a link between your character and those around him pays off, as does the enormous spectacle of it all. We’ll be calling Lone Echo one of the best PC VR games for years to come.
9. Asgard’s Wrath
Asgard’s Wrath might not have Skyrim levels of content but, for our money, the focus on native VR sword fighting and character progression make this the more important of the two VR games. This is an immaculately produced Norse adventure split into three parts that captures the heart of the RPG genre and realize it in its full glory using the power of PC VR, helping it vanquish its opponents in the fight for the best PC VR games.
8. Eye of the Temple
Eye of the Temple is one of the best examples of a game that puts VR-first design front and centre, resulting in a triumphant room-scale platformer. You begin the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure outside a large temple. With a whip in you right hand and a torch in your left, you'll begin to navigate deeper into the temple by completing puzzles and platforming obstacles.
Every movement you make in Eye of the Temple is a real, physical movement through your play space. Some clever design trickery means that you'll always stay within your boundary and never run out of space to move – a bit like Tea for God.
On PC VR, this requires a little bit more cable management than wireless systems such as Quest, but the game is nonetheless a thrill to play and incredibly well-designed. Fair warning though: it does require a minimum 2m x 2m play space.
Of all the physics-driven VR combat and puzzle games out there, Boneworks easily is the most polished and impressive. Its single-player campaign offers plenty of fun sandboxes to experiment with, whether your swinging robotic headcrabs around by their legs or beating up mindless zombies with a broom handle. Or you can just rely on the classics and find a lethally accurate shooter. Boneworks is a great PC VR game and a glimpse of where the future of VR interactivity is headed.
6. Pistol Whip
Rhythm games are a dime a dozen in VR but, for our money, Pistol Whip is the most inventive and overall best of the lot. The focus on firing to the beat as you duck and weave through blinding neon obstacle courses makes the game a joyous assault on the senses that requires genuine skill to master. With new updates arriving constantly, Pistol Whip has a comfortable position in our list of the best PC VR games.
Fancy board game night in VR? Then Demeo will serve up pretty much all you could want from that concept and then some. This is a brilliant cooperative dungeon crawling turn-based RPG played with friends, letting you roll the dice to tackle its fiendishly difficult levels. But you can also scale the game up and down to your liking, adding an extra dimension to a fantastic social VR experience. Plus, since launch there's been a plethora of new content and expansion campaigns added to the base game, so there's more Demeo to play than ever.
4. Superhot VR
We’ll stop ranking Superhot VR so highly in our best PC VR games list when we play a shooter as intricately designed as this. It maintains immersion and utilizes your full body in ways that you simply couldn’t in the flatscreen version. The ‘time moves when you move’ mechanic remains ridiculously entertaining to this day, and the game achieves a perfect balance of slapstick action and stylish stunts.
3. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners from Skydance Interactive is a VR essential, delivering some of the best design and user-interaction you’ll find in VR. Released in 2020, "it’s a zombie apocalypse within your grasp – a living, breathing virtual ruin with player-driven highs that easily outshine its experimental lows." It sets the bar for VR zombie games using Boneworks-style, physics-based combat. The game will have you wrestling with undead hordes, packing its action into a full, meaty VR campaign that sees you trekking through the remains of New Orleans. Add in side-missions and the ability to kill zombies with a spoon, and you have one of the deepest native VR games on the market.
2. Vertigo 2
Vertigo 2 is one of the best PC VR-exclusive experiences available and a masterclass in enthralling, VR-first game design. What's even more impressive is that it's largely put together by one solo developer – Zach Tsiakalis-Brown from Zulubo Productions.
The game pays homage to Valve classics and seminal VR releases, but doesn't fall victim to copying them. Instead, it forges ahead to create an impressive solo gaming experience in the same vein as Half-Life: Alyx. Featuring tactile weapons, creative enemies and an engaging narrative-driven campaign, it's a shining example of what PC VR still has to offer in 2023.
Read more: Vertigo 2 Review / How Zach Tsiakalis-Brown Brought Vertigo 2 To Life
Platforms: Steam Store
1. Half-Life: Alyx
It might not technically be Half-Life 3 but make no mistake, Half-Life: Alyx from Valve is a full-sized adventure worthy of the series’ past releases. Giving it top marks in 2020, we believe that "what it does right, it almost always does the best." Playing as Alyx Vance, you fight through City 17 in a highly polished adventure fully designed for VR, relying on classic series elements and introducing plenty of new features. It’s 10+ hours of immaculate, AAA-level VR shootouts, puzzles and narrative design, features some of the best firefights you can have inside a headset and offers truly memorable moments within. Half-Life: Alyx is arguably the best PC VR game yet, and we hope to see more from Valve.
July 2023 update: Changed formatting. Reordered entries. Removed Wilson's Heart, Compound, Blade and Sorcery and A Township Tale. Added Vertigo 2, Hubris, Eye of the Temple and Kayak VR.
This article was initially published in March 2022. Former UploadVR Editor Jamie Feltham previously contributed entries to this list.