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Getting a VR headset is exciting. A whole new world of compelling gameplay experiences opens up in front of you, with vast virtual worlds to explore.

Image of VR

But where to start? There are a lot of quality VR experiences out there, and finding the best ones to start with can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we put together this list of some of the most compelling VR experiences we’ve uncovered, broken down loosely by genre. We’re sticking with the Oculus Quest 2 for now, and therefore the Oculus storefront, though many of these options are available for other VR headsets as well.

We’re also including Oculus Rift games. The Quest 2 headset allows you to play Rift games via the Oculus Link software and a USB-C cable. This opens up options considerably and allows access to premium VR experiences that might be beyond the capabilities of the integrated hardware of the Quest 2 headset. 

With that in mind, we’re going to choose one game of each for each genre. Just note that you'll need a long USB-C cable and a sufficiently powerful gaming desktop or laptop to play Oculus Rift games with your Quest 2.

This probably goes without saying, but the only metric for “Best” here is personal experience. If you’ve found alternatives you prefer, we’d love to hear about them in the comments. 

Best RPGs For The Quest

RPGs are all about inhabiting a character, and VR excels at enhancing the fantasy of living a fictional character’s experience.

Best RPG for Oculus Quest 2: Journey of the Gods

Journey of the Gods is a surprisingly ambitious first-person RPG that has a serious Zelda vibe. The unique art style, fairly in-depth combat mechanics, and compelling story help Journey of the Gods stand out from the RPG crowd.

Journey of the Gods

Journey of the Gods is pretty movement heavy, so those with motion sickness issues in VR might want to try it out first. Fortunately, there’s a demo available, so no reason not to take a look. It also supports cross-buy on the Quest and Rift, so if you buy it on one you can play it on the other, which is a nice feature for those with access to both.  

Best RPG for the Oculus Rift: Blade & Sorcery

While technically in Early Access, there’s no question that Blade & Sorcery is taking advantage of VR in a way few other titles are. While this game does focus almost exclusively on combat in a variety of medieval and fantasy inspired arenas, it’s so well handled that it’s easy to recommend it despite it only focusing on one aspect of the genre. 

Image of Blade & Sorcery

With remarkably accurate hitboxes, excellent visuals, and a huge selection of weapons and spells to choose from, it’s hard to imagine what the finished product will look like when the Early Access is so ambitious. If you want to see the future of VR melee combat, here it is. It’s also extremely violent, so keep that in mind. 

If you’re looking for a more traditional, if slightly less ambitious Oculus Rift RPG with more of a story, check out Shadow Legend VR as an alternative.

Best Music And Rhythm Games For The Quest

Music and VR are a surprisingly compelling combination. VR allows you to interact with sound and movement in a unique way and can result in some interesting auditory experiences.

So what’s the best music game in VR? Well, the obvious answer is the immensely successful Beat Saber, which is available for just about every VR platform. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so, there’s a reason it’s so universally loved. To avoid the obvious answer though, we’re going to dig a little deeper and check out some other great music options that are out there.

Best Music and Rhythm game for the Oculus Quest: Electronauts

We’ve written about Electronauts before, and called attention to its ability to make any music the player creates sound like it was expertly produced. Using proprietary technology to allow the player to constantly be on beat no matter what is quite an accomplishment, and results in every player feeling like a rockstar DJ, even if they know nothing about music production.

Captured on game Electronauts

Electronauts is more music creation software than a traditional game, but it’s absolutely worth taking a look at if you’re interested in any aspect of music.

Best Music and Rhythm game for the Oculus Rift: Dance Collider

Captured on Dance Collider

Like some of the best rhythm games, Dance Collider forces you to move.

This is a pretty high-intensity rhythm action experience, where you have to work hard to pass each level. Fortunately, the extensive collection of songs makes it easy to get lost in the colorful world, and as with the best rhythm games, it’s easy to not even notice how much you’re exercising until you take off your headset.

If you’d rather dance than slice, Dance Collider is an excellent alternative to Beat Saber. 

Best Shooters For The Quest

This is one of the most popular VR categories, as the first-person perspective is such a natural fit for the medium. And what’s an easy way to interact with a virtual world from a first-person perspective? Shoot stuff.

There are many creative takes on the shooter in the VR space, but we’re going to talk about some of the less well-known entries. Much has been said about titles like Super Hot VR or Robo Recall, and though those are easy recommendations, there’s other options too!

Best Shooter for Oculus Quest 2: Phantom: Covert Ops

Captured on Phantom: Covert Ops

Have you ever wanted a stealth experience where you’re silently dispatching people from a kayak? Have I got the game for you. 

While the premise of Phantom: Covert Ops might sound a bit odd, and it is, this is a very polished and unique VR experience that does a great job of making you feel like a professional sniper and soldier handily dispatching your foes. It also uses stealth to great effect. The fact that you're in a boat actually works very well for the movement limitations of VR, and the game looks and runs quite nicely on the Quest 2.

Phantom: Covert Ops is a unique stealth/boating experience, and one well worth checking out. 

Best Shooter for Oculus Rift: Pistol Whip

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Talk about empowerment. 

Pistol Whip is designed to make you feel cool and succeeds like few other VR titles do. It achieves this with a compelling combination of gunplay and rhythm mechanics that masterfully emulates the vibe of movies like John Wick, making you feel like an unstoppable action god as you dodge bullets and take down foes in highly stylized environments. 

If you like action, shooters, rhythm games, or just good old-fashioned fun, Pistol Whip is an excellent option. 

Best Sports/Competitive Games For The Quest

While there aren’t many ports of traditional sports sims into VR, there are still some very interesting options for the inner jock in all of us. 

Best Sports Game for Oculus Quest 2: Sports Scramble

Image on Sports Scramble

The wireless nature of the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 allows for a level of movement that’s still relatively new to VR, and Sports Scramble does an excellent job of taking advantage of that freedom. It’s a fun and lighthearted mix of different sports, with a wide variety of different options set against an aesthetically pleasing colorful backdrop. 

This game isn’t realistic, nor is it trying to be, but its playful mashup of sports and different competitive modes is compelling nonetheless, and online play adds some great ways to compete against other players from your living room.

Best Sports Game for Oculus Rift: Echo VR/Echo Arena

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Echo VR is a spinoff of the excellent space adventure Lone Echo. One of that games’ hooks was the elegantly implemented zero-g movement, which made for a unique and compelling experience that used VR in a profoundly inventive way.

Echo Arena takes that same movement and adds a competitive sports element that works just as well as the single-player experience. Between the combat arena and goal-oriented competitive modes, Echo Arena is a one of a kind competitive VR experience that is a serious must play for anyone with access to an Oculus Rift.

Best Horror Games For The Quest

Horror and VR are an excellent mix, as the increased intimacy provided by your headset make you feel like you’re really experiencing whatever nightmare you have selected. We’ve already covered some of the best horror available for Quest 2, which is a great place to start your horror journey.

Best Horror Game for Oculus Quest 2: Dreadhalls

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Dreadhalls excels in terms of not only being terrifying but also by offering a significant amount of replayability due to its procedurally generated dungeons. As you explore the gloomy crypts and encounter all manner of horrifying monsters, you’ll never have the same experience twice. This lack of predictability results in a truly novel horror experience every time you drop in.

Best Horror Game for Oculus Rift: Narcosis 

There’s a lot of great horror on the Rift, but Narcosis is one entry that doesn’t get talked about enough. This isn’t the most gameplay-heavy VR adventure, but in terms of tone and atmosphere it stands out as a really polished and thoughtful horror experience. Most of the game takes place underneath the ocean, with all the crushing oppression and loneliness that setting imparts. The story is a slow burn but ends up being quite fascinating, and the scares, while used sparingly, are all the more effective when they do occur.

Image of game Narcosis

If you’re a fan of how VR can create a sense of place, Narcosis is an underwater journey well worth taking. 

It’s impossible to cover every genre or subgenre in the Oculus store, or every stellar experience that deserves to be played. The idea of this list is to give you a place to start your VR journey, and to find some less talked about entries that you’ll hopefully enjoy.

There’s no shortage of other incredible VR experiences out there, and now that you’ve taken a plunge into the world of VR, there’s no doubt you’ll find plenty more. When you do, let us know some of your favorites in the comments, so others can share in your experience.

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