Putting together these sorts of lists can be both good and bad. They can be a major headache as they can’t be infinite, so there’s alway’s going to be a few people disappointed that their favourite wasn’t included, while on the flip side they can help you pick out some choice virtual reality (VR) offerings. With more video games than ever, choosing the favorites has been very difficult, getting that balance between variety and just sheer awesomeness – and the fact it had to launch in 2018. So here we go, if you own an Oculus Rift then these titles should be in your library.
The Best Oculus Rift Games of 2018
Beat Saber – Beat Games
Of course, this had to feature in VRFocus’ list, it has been one of the most talked about VR titles since launch. It’s simple and addictive controls are what have made this experience what it is, who would have thought slicing away at coloured blocks in time to music would catch on like it did. There’s a version for all the main headsets, but if you’re on PC then you can make use of the modding community to greatly increase that track roster. And that would be VRFocus’ main gripe, the lack of official tracks is still very small.
Brass Tactics – Hidden Path Entertainment
An early release at the beginning of the year, Hidden Path Entertainment saw a gap in the VR market for a tabletop real-time strategy (RTS) experience and created the rather enjoyable Brass Tactics. Featuring some gorgeous graphics, lots of troops choices and upgrade options, the title was well received in VRFocus’ review, saying that it was: “a well-tuned VR RTS that fans of the genre should be easily impressed by.”
Creed: Rise to Glory – Survios
It seems that at times LA-based VR developer Survios can do no wrong when it comes to the quality of its videogames. The most recent to come from the studio, Creed: Rise to Glory shows that movie tie-ins can work when approached correctly. One for those VR players who love to work up a sweat, the energetic experience will make you feel those shoulder muscles in no time, whether that’s in the ring or training with Rocky Balboa himself.
Echo Combat – Ready at Dawn
After the successful release of Lone Echo and Echo Arena in 2017, Ready at Dawn returned in 2018 with its multiplayer followup Echo Combat. A team-based zero-g combat experience, Echo Combat pits up to 4vs4 in an array of modes such as Capture Point, with players armed with both offensive and defensive capabilities to help win matches. The frantic, high-octane gameplay makes this title a must for fans of team-based videogames.
Electronauts – Survios
The only developer with two titles on this list, Survios released this musical gem during the summer. If you love electronic music but never had the turntable skills for DJing, then Electronauts is a great place to employ your musical passions. Thanks to its ‘Music Reality Engine’, Electronauts allows anyone to perform and produce music that’s always on key and never skips a beat. You don’t so much as make your own original tunes, instead, Electronauts gives you the ability to heavily remix tracks from some top music artists.
In Death – Solfar Studios
A roguelike first-person shooter (FPS) for those that enjoy a challenge, Solfar Studios’ In Death is a procedurally generated dungeon crawler set in the afterlife, where you have to battle demons and angels alike. Gorgeous to look at, this is a pure bow shooter, with the weapon used for not only killing enemies but also movement. The difficulty comes from the fact that there are no checkpoints, and dying means going right back to the start. When this happens any progress made in terms of the number of enemies killed or bonuses achieved will be added to your character, improving stats such as health and damage. Of course, there is a flip side. Enemies will also improve just to make sure it’s not a walk in the park.
Pixel Ripped 1989 – ARVORE
Brilliantly original in its concept, Pixel Ripped 1989 was the brainchild of solo developer Ana Ribeiro. In development since 2014, there were times when it didn’t look like the title would ever see release, that was until Ribeiro joined Brazilian studio ARVORE. Mixing retro gaming with the immersive worlds of VR, Pixel Ripped 1989 is a homage to those old-school mobile platforms, where you play the role of young videogame fan Nicola, who needs to beat several classic-style videogames in order to thwart an invasion of the real world by the evil Cyblin Lord. The title will have you playing 2D videogames whilst at the same time interacting with the world around you to keep you on your toes. There’s lots of fun to be had here.
Red Matter – Vertical Robot
One for those who love a good puzzle experience mixed with a thriller storyline, Red Matter is not for the faint of heart. One of only two titles on this list that might make your spine tingle, the narrative-driven experience set in an alternate future where an ongoing cold war ensues between two superpowers. You play as Agent Epsilon, an astronaut dispatched to an abandoned base on Rhea, one of Saturn’s moons to recover top-secret information. You’re very much alone on this base, which makes the hallways and cavernous rooms even more intimidating. Red Matter isn’t overly long, but it is engrossing throughout.
Transference – Ubisoft Montréal and Spectrevision
Horror is one of VRFocus’ favourite VR genres as some of the best titles can be so intensely scary. One of the surprise’s of 2018, Transference is a mind-bending, psychological story that blurs the lines between live-action movies and videogame dynamics. The story which involves a brilliant but troubled scientist and inventor called Raymond Hayes. He has been collecting data from himself and his family which then congeals into a dark and twisted consciousness of its own. In doing so this new entity forms its own digital world which starts to alter the perceptions of Raymond, his wife Katherine and their son Benjamin. Weird and surreal right from the outset, there’s a lot to take in, and should only be attempted by the bravest.
Vox Machinae – Space Bullet Dynamics Corporation
Another online multiplayer, Space Bullet Dynamics Corporation’s giant mech fighter Vox Machinae is still in Early Access, but for those wanting to engage in vehicular combat then this is worth a look. Vox Machinae puts you in charge of enormous walking robots called GDRs or “Grinders”, bristling with weaponry. You choose a chassis then customize it with a selection of powerful weapons including lasers, missiles, cannons and more to take down enemies. With detailed cabs stuffed with levers and switches, the gameplay is very ‘hands-on’, where you have to actually handle the controls, really making you feel in control of this massive war machine.