The 10 best games to play on the HTC Vive

The HTC Vive headset is cheaper than ever thanks to a new price-drop, and (as of publication of this article) it's also sold out at many major retailers. If you're lucky enough to have picked up one of the VR headsets, you're probably looking for the best virtual reality experiences to enjoy on your new hardware. We've played the good ones (and plenty of not-so-good ones too) and are happy to report that the gaming landscape is much stronger now than it was when VR headsets first launched. 

Here are the 10 best games you can play on the Vive as of August 2017. 

Rez Infinite

Although Rez Infinite is a recent addition to the VR genre, the standard title more than made its mark on gaming history with its unique blend of visual and auditory stimulation that turns what might otherwise be a challenging on rails shooter into a virtual orchestra manned by the most talented DJ in the cyberverse.

The VR variant of Rez Infinite delivers on everything that made the original game great, while building on the magic of VR to deliver an incredibly immersive experience that leaves you hopelessly addicted to Rez’s exemplary neo-futuristic gameplay.

If you’re interested in learning more about this virtual feast for the senses you can find out more by checking out our full review.

Raw Data 

It’s hard to imagine a world where Raw Data isn’t one of the best experiences on the Vive. If you love sci-fi shooters, slashing bad guys with katanas, or taking your skills to a multiplayer arena, you’ll find something to love about this VR classic.

Although originally released as a primarily PvE experience, Raw Data has come a long way since the beginning of its early access career, adding PvP game modes, cooperative adventures, and two new heroes. It’s the kind of game that proves that early access can work for both consumers and developers alike, and we can’t wait to see what Raw Data becomes when the developers consider it “finished.”

You can read more about the single player experience and our hands-on impressions of the multiplayer.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

So, you want to man a starship with nothing but a ragtag crew of misfits, a pile of missions, and the moxy to think that you can fly a trillion-dollar ship with absolutely no training or certification. Star Trek: Bridge Crew gives you that opportunity and many more, allowing you to step into various roles aboard the USS Aegis as you work with several other friends or random players online to accomplish missions pulled right out of the Star Trek universe.

Although Star Trek: Bridge Crew doesn’t have any level of revolutionary gameplay, there’s a certain amount of satisfaction to learning each role and working together with players of various skill levels that makes each mission feel unique and engaging, especially if you’re a fan of everything Star Trek.

If proton torpedoes and system overloads sound like your cup of tea, be sure to check out our VR Spotlight on Star Trek: Bridge Crew, where we go hands on with the USS Aegis.

Arizona Sunshine 

As far as classic zombie slaughter goes, Arizona Sunshine has the VR market cornered, offering fully explorable levels, desperate scavenging, and visceral zombie murder. 

Although not exactly revolutionary in the zombie survival world (you won’t find exo-suits, Tanks, or impossible maze-like levels) Arizona Sunshine is great at what it sets out to do, which is putting you in a world where you have to carefully scrounge for ammo, blast zombie brains with the utmost precision, and fight for survival as you traverse through a series of levels littered with the undead.

Which, at the end of the day, is all the setting you really need for a good time, and if you enjoy it enough you can even do it with friends. That is, if co-op zombie murder is an activity you would like to check off your bucket list.

You can read more in our VR Spotlight on Arizona Sunshine.

Superhot VR

Superhot is great, like crazy good, delivering some of the slowest high-octane action you’ll ever see in a neo-futuristic-polygon style. It manages to question reality and the nature of human perception in a way that’s both engaging, mind-bending, and ultimately a lot of fun. It’s a blend of time stop mechanics and a challenging narrative that forces you to be better, faster, and slower than you’ve ever been before.

Superhot VR takes that experience a step further, and manages to improve on the formula. There aren’t many non-VR games that seem like an obvious choice for VR that also manage to improve on the vanilla game’s high points, but Superhot and Virtual Reality are a match made in heaven. Stepping into Superhot VR is stepping into a brutal and challenging world, which forces you to take into account even the slightest movements as you dodge and weave through bullets, knives, and your own limitations to complete each level. It’s VR shooting at its finest, and one of the best ways to get a workout in VR.

Check out our full review of the original, non-VR Superhot.

The Lab

It’s hard to list off quality Vive games without talking about Valve’s own entry into the race. Although not a massive singular adventure, The Lab is easily one of the most well-known collection of smaller VR minigames, giving you a chance to play with everything from longbows to solar systems all with Valve’s distinct style as you progress through Aperture’s best and brightest VR experiments.

It’s several quality VR experiences bundled into a single package, and it’s packing an extremely attractive price tag for even the tightest penny pinchers on the steam market.

Knockout League 

Knockout League is living proof that boxing in VR can be a lot of fun, there’s something charming about the rhythm and balance of dodging, weaving, blocking, and punching your way through each opponent as you learn their combos and special moves that’s ridiculously reminiscent of Punchout and DDR that makes Knockout League an addictive boxing adventure.

Knockout League might not be the serious MMA-style boxing some die-hard fans are looking for, but the wacky art style, quirky opponents, and satisfying gameplay will get your heart pumping, and leave you glistening with the sweet smell of victory.

For more info on Knockout League’s VR Boxing extravaganza be sure to check out our hands-on impressions.

The Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed 

The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed is an episodic modern fantasy title that takes you on a mysterious adventure with plenty of puzzles, atmosphere, and in general quality storytelling that demonstrates just how much potential interesting narratives have in the VR genre.

You’ll step into the shoes of Alex, a young man searching for his missing sister, a setup that seems run of the mill for about the first twenty minutes of the game, after which you find yourself sliding faster and faster down a rabbit hole of mysterious artifacts, an almost Metro 2033 atmosphere, and a level of VR immersion that captures your imagination and stimulates your senses. It’s the kind of VR game that gives you that moment of confusion when you remove your headset and your hands just don’t look like “your” hands.

Check out our full review of Episode 1, and stay tuned for Episode Two: Heart of the Emberstone which is set to release this September. 

Vanishing Realms

Quality VR dungeon crawls are few and far between, and Vanishing Realms is easily one of the best implementations we’ve seen so far, This is a VR RPG at its best as you step into a world that’s deceptively friendly, right up until a skeleton warrior tries to slash you in half.

Featuring simple but effective sword play, the ability to block attacks and projectiles in real time, a boatload of puzzles, and a clear upgrade path as you stockpile gold and other loot you scrimp and scavenge from hidden alcoves and under golden plates, Vanishing Realms scratches that dungeon crawling itch in the best possible way, while also demonstrating the absolutely insane potential of sword and board VR adventures. If you’re a fan of fantasy adventures, it’s an absolute must-play.

If you want to learn more, check out our full impressions piece.

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality

What is virtual reality if not the perfect opportunity to step into your favorite worlds alongside characters you've come to know love. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is a perfect example of the wish-fulfillment potential of VR, as it transports you through dimensions and straight into Rick's cartoon garage. 

As one of Morty's clones left to mind the shop while Rick and Morty are off adventuring, you'll perform various Job Simulator-style tasks that include everything from household chores to experimenting with Rick's many dangerous inventions. And of course because it's Rick and Morty, you'll inevitably be tasked with questioning your existence as you blast through every conceivable task available. It's a good time. 

If you're curious but not entirely hooked, be sure to check out the video below where we tackle the tough questions of existence and the many uses of some of Rick's greatest inventions. 

Did we miss your favorite Vive game? Let us know in the comments below.