Best VR Games in 2023: Half-Life: Alyx, Beat Saber & more

Joel Loynds
best vr games

VR might have an ever-growing library of games, but what is the best, and why? We break down the games you should play on your VR headset.

Looking for the Best VR games? We’ve assembled a list of some of the best experiences out there. As big companies, like Meta and Apple, try to figure out the best course of action for professional use, gaming remains the only one bringing immersive fun.

VR has tonnes of unique games, with plenty of major titles being released over the years. However, very few manage to live up to expectations, and actually deliver something new and groundbreaking.

It’s also a time of growing pains, as mixed-reality headsets start to seep into the norm. The Meta Quest Pro, 3, and Apple Vision Pro seem determined to combine augmented reality with the traditional VR headset, but gamers won’t reap the rewards of that just yet, outside of titles like Demeo.

Instead, we’ve compiled a list of the best games you can play in VR right now. These are games that aren’t throw-away experiences like Star Wars: Vader, or yet another shooting gallery. We wanted to ensure that you get the best of the best.

Half-Life: Alyx

In 2007, Valve left us in the lurch after a cliffhanger ending in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Alyx’s father, Eli Vance, had died and the promise of flying off to find the missing Borealis ship was just mere months away.

13 years later, we got Half-Life: Alyx, a prequel to the events of Half-Life 2, and playing as the companion to Gordon Freeman. Three years later, this remains to be one of the only VR games that Valve has released.

Everything from its well-documented and thorough design seeps deep into bringing Half-Life from a traditional style of play to the world of VR. Firefights are intense and visceral, with that classic Half-Life challenge from managing the variety of enemies coming at you all at once.

The best thing about Half-Life: Alyx, aside from the fantastic VR design? It adds exponentially to the world of Half-Life. While we won’t divulge too much, it sets the stage for the third game in a way not many of us were expecting.

Superhot VR

Superhot is one of the best first-person puzzle games, as well as one of the best action games to hit gaming in the last few years. Now take the concept of slowing down time, dodging bullets, and whacking the baddies around you into VR. That’s the good stuff.

Superhot VR converts an exhilarating puzzle action game into an absurdist Matrix game that they never had the stones to make. Every aspect that made the game cool in our regular world is exemplified by the addition of doing it all in virtual reality.

Beat Saber

Rhythm games are our guilty pleasure. Not in that they’re bad, but that we’re bad at them. Beat Saber brings a similar idea to Guitar Hero, of hitting blocks in time with music. More blocks you hit in sequence, the better the score. You know the deal.

However, Beat Saber pulls from a severely underrated game, Audiosurf. Players can create their own maps and upload them for anyone to access, as well as integrate new songs for people to enjoy.

It takes a simple idea and gives an infinite possibilities angle, which makes it one of the only VR games to stand the test of time. It’s also one of the only VR games to routinely be asked about whenever another platform launches.

Rez Infinite

The majestic Rez is a cult classic, reborn as Rez Infinite. It takes the glorious action of on-rail shooting and encases you within the VR headset to soak it all in. Rez’s sights and sounds are unparalleled since it launched on Dreamcast, and hasn’t been usurped just yet.

Rez Infinite is a joy, offering a deeply captivating experience. It’s abstract nature lends itself well to the on-rail shooter core inside.

Tetris Effect VR

Tetris is great. Now take Tetris, but make it look spectacular. Then take it again, and put it in VR. Tetris Effect was fantastic when it originally launched, but the VR edition takes the game to immersive highs.

It’s fascinating to play something you recognize in such a unique environment, and Tetris Effect doesn’t disappoint. The combination of music, varying locales, and visualizer effects make it just a pure pleasure to be within for huge lengths of time. If it looks or feels a lot like Rez, it’ll be because it’s the same producer behind it.

Horizon: Call of the Mountain

Aiming at a flying creature with your bow in Horizon Call of the Mountain

While a PS5 and PSVR 2 exclusive, Horizon: Call of the Mountain deserves a mention for being a killer app for Sony’s headset. Taking the world of Horizon into VR is already cool, but we called it the “ultimate VR spectacle” and lauded its simple learning curve.

The whole game is really a brilliant showcase for the headset. You really get to see how Sony has developed its PSVR 2 to benefit from the improved capabilities. It also helps then, that the game is a lot of fun at the same time.

Taking on robot dinosaurs that can come up close to your face will never not be cool.

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