VR is easily one of the greatest technological developments of the 21st century. Though VR has been around for decades, it remains in its infancy. While many think of video games when they think of VR, the industry actually found more applications as an educational resource (for surgeons, pilots, etc) in its early years.
However, hiccups related to functionality and issues related to affordability are slowly resolving. And with major companies like Microsoft, Samsung, Oculus, and HTC now innovating VR hardware and gameplay mechanics, things are looking up for virtual gamers.
So far, major hits like Beat Saber and Half-Life: Alyx have helped put VR titles on the map. Though developers faced many hurdles related to visuals, design, and mechanics, gamers are now enjoying a seamless experience between their controllers and headsets. But that doesn’t mean they’re playing the right games. In fact, there are dozens of VR titles that have flown under the radar in the past few years.
Think you’re taking full advantage of your headset? Consider trying something new with one of the top-rated titles listed below. They cover a range of categories, from strategy games to simulations to underwater survival.
PokerStars is one of the world’s top poker platforms. Whether a player is learning how to play Texas Holdem for the first time or entering a regional tournament with the hopes of going pro, they’ve probably played at least a game or two on PokerStars. And if they have a VR headset, they can even do that at a virtual table.
The company first released its VR project back in 2019. PokerStars VR allows players to enjoy table games in diverse environments, from futuristic cities to a Monte Carlo yacht. They can also throw virtual items at one another, called Throwables, for fun. It’s layered, social, and immersive—all without compromising on a great VR experience.
VR is great because it infuses casual gaming with a new and engaging element of visual design. In other words, even non-competitive titles are fun—and that’s especially true with Falcon Age. This title lets players handle their own falcon friend, who they’ll explore an open world as they fight to reclaim their native land on an alien planet full of invaders.
The game is a hit for action-adventure fans and particularly those that like a heartfelt story. However, some of its standout features cover aviary physics. In other words, developers did their research when it comes to falcons, and it’s one of the coolest elements in any VR game on the market today.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Above, we mentioned that some of the earliest VR projects were designed with education in mind. The idea was to allow students to learn the ropes of difficult professions in a less stressful environment before advancing to real-world experience. Pilots, unsurprisingly, can benefit greatly from learning the basics of aviation in VR.
However, Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t just for training. It’s actually a cult hit for PC gamers—and an increasingly popular option for VR fans. Back in 2020, MFS took home a few awards for its stunning simulation gameplay. Since then, it’s transplanted that dynamic experience into VR. And it’s absolutely worth a try… so long as you’re not faint of heart.
Titles like Falcon Age and Microsoft Flight Simulator take players into a world above the skies. But let’s not forget about the experience of being underwater. In Subnautica, players are taken to a stunning underwater paradise… that they’ll have to fight their way out of if they want to survive.
This shooter game combines all the intrigue of underwater adventures, from coral to beautiful fish. However, monsters are also interspersed throughout the game. As players venture through an open-world format, they’re met with stunning and unforgettable wonders alongside that ever-present risk of running into a monster. It’s a unique balance that’s not often found in games—and it’s taken to the extreme in an immersive VR world.