It's been a long time coming, but our Oculus Rift review shows that this virtual reality headset lives up to the early hype. That's partly because the game selection is fairly strong out of the gate. Oculus VR's headset ships with 30 launch titles, which run the gamut from sense-shattering space simulations to colorful 3D platformers. If you're wondering which Oculus games you should start your VR journey with, here are the best launch titles we've played so far.
Science-fiction has made space travel appear both simple and commonplace, but the truth of the matter is that it is incredibly hostile to human life. In Adr1ft, you'll take on the role of an astronaut who has to navigate the ruins of a near-future space station with only a limited supply of oxygen and her unshakable will to live. While Adr1ft on the Oculus is not for the faint of stomach due to its zero-G nature, it's an amazingly immersive way to get lost in space, and could make the short, focused game into a much more intense experience.
When Dark Souls meets Resident Evil in a VR headset, you wind up with something like Chronos. This action/role-playing game casts you as a young adventurer who must bridge the gap between a dystopian future and a fantasy otherworld in order to defeat the monsters that have plagued humanity for generations. Unlike many Oculus games, Chronos is a third-person title, mixing a fixed camera with the ability to look around and observe your surroundings. This makes fighting, exploration and puzzle-solving feel like second-nature, and helps highlight the tight combat and gorgeous graphics.
Defense Grid 2 was a great tower defense game when it first came out, and getting up close and personal with the towers only enhances the experience. On the Oculus, you can oversee your towers mowing down alien hordes from the safety of your command cockpit, or zoom in to watch the havoc from a tower's perspective. The tight, strategic gameplay is still completely intact, encouraging you to stymie alien invaders with labyrinthine paths through various types of deadly towers. The VR edition of the game features a whole new set of levels that highlight the game's Oculus features.
Eve Valkyrie lets you live out your intergalactic dogfighting fantasies to the fullest, letting you and your friends freely fly around space in attempts to blow the other team up. While soaring around in Valkyrie feels startlingly real, the game's accessible controls will have you feeling like a young Luke Skywalker in no time. There's still plenty of depth when it comes to properly loading out your ship, however, and you'll unlock better upgrades the more you fight. This visceral combat sim is free for those who've pre-ordered the Rift; everyone else can snag the Founder's Pack for $60.
If you ever wanted to experience Super Mario Bros. in virtual reality, Lucky's Tale brings you pretty close. This charming platformer's airtight controls and vibrant characters channel some of the best games in the genre, creating a fresh experience that makes for an excellent entry point into VR gaming. While Lucky's Tale is a 3rd-person experience, you can use Oculus to soak in every detail of the colorful worlds around you, as well as gain an upper hand in boss battles by using your head to aim at the enemy. There's no reason not to try this joyful adventure -- it comes packaged with every Rift.
In real life, free-climbing is an exhilarating but incredibly dangerous activity where rock climbers court death by ascending mountains with minimal assistance from ropes and harnesses. The Climb gives gamers the thrill of free-climbing with very few of the associated risks. (Vertigo may still be a problem, of course.) The premise of the game is simple: Climb a variety of rock faces using only your hands and legs, through a combination of gripping, jumping and resting. Navigating the tough paths is half of the game's fun; the other half is stopping to look around at the gorgeous vertical vistas.
There are already tons of outer-space adventures available for the Rift, but none that go quite as deep as Elite Dangerous. This hardcore online space sim lets you travel through the entire Milky Way galaxy, as you'll discover new worlds, trade goods with other players, and engage in intense ship-on-ship battles. Elite Dangerous isn't just another sci-fi game -- it's a living, breathing universe you can get lost in with real people, and what better way to do that than in virtual reality?