Superhot is what happens when you take a little John Woo, mix in generous portions of John Wick, a sprinkling of The Matrix, and a can of condensed minimalist aesthetic. The game is set up like most shooters: kill all the bad guys in a level and move on to the next level, but the catch is – as the game’s tagline explains – “time only moves when you move”. So every time you move your arms, fire a bullet, or take a step, time advances. You can use this to your advantage to dodge bullets, plan your attacks step-by-step, and generally look like a polygonal Max Payne-inspired badass with two smoking guns in each hand, laying waste to your enemies.
It’s a wild time, complemented with a great meta-plot about games within games, and eventually being absorbed into that game, then forced to spread the game via social media… you know what, just play Superhot. Makes more sense that way. – Jobert Atienza
9. Beat Saber
The simplest way to sum up Beat Saber is “Guitar Hero with lightsabers,” and good gravy does that mash-up work well. Not only is Beat Saber one of the best VR games regardless of genre, its easy to understand concept has also made it a perfect game to introduce virtual reality to people unfamiliar with it. Hitting blocks in time with the music can be as relaxed or as rapid-fire as you want it to be, and the modding scene has grown its library of available songs to a near infinite list. We gave Beat Saber our award for best VR game of 2019, and all you really have to do is play it once to see why. – Tom Marks
8. Pistol Whip
If Beat Saber is “Guitar Hero with lightsabers,” then Pistol Whip is “Guitar Hero with guns.” Instead of notes coming toward you, your character is walking down a long straight path as enemies jump out from behind cover all around you, similar to classic on-rails arcade shooters like Time Crisis. The twist is that you not only get points for accuracy as you shoot them down, while dodging their shots, but you also get rewarded for firing your weapon to the beat. It’s a strange mix of rail-shooter and rhythm game that works far better than you might expect. – Tom Marks
Boneworks is an action adventure game that gives players a plethora of weapons: guns, swords, energy weapons, a crowbar, a gravity gun (plus plenty more), and right off the bat, it recommends that you have previous virtual reality experience and thoroughly understand VR gameplay mechanics before even attempting it. It’s almost what you’d expect a Half-Life VR game might feel like – even though we won’t have to wait much longer to find out what that’s actually like since we’re eagerly awaiting Half-LIfe Alyx.
Boneworks presents players with puzzles and a mysterious story mode, all the while pushing VR as it can with its unique physics system. You can climb on walls, leap between moving platforms, and grab enemies in midair before slamming them to death against hard surfaces. Boneworks is a game that lets players experiment with things that are totally absurd while also grounding these experiences in the heightened immersion virtual reality affords us. – Stella Chung
The sweet irony of virtual reality is that we, as a society, now finally have the technology to go back into antiquity. And with the ridiculously bloody arrival of Gorn, you’re free to step into an over-the-top, cartoonish take on gladiatorial pit fighting – something we’ve obviously all dreamed of since Russel Crowe asked if we were not entertained.
Gorn is violent, kind of stupid, and bloodier than anything else you’ll likely play on this list. It’s an absurd parody that still supports hours of serious arm-swinging that will most certainly build up a sweat. Each of the dozens of weapons you can virtually wield are in themselves small puzzles, teaching you how best to maim, mash, and murder waves of comical characters that come charging your way with their own implements of murder and mayhem.
Eventually an excellent sub-layer of strategy and tactics bubbles up where you’ve got to put real thought into how you’re going hack enemies apart before they overwhelm you, rather than just relying on the two-armed Windmill of Fury tactic that’s served you so far. Gorn is a blast, a great workout, and liable to cause you to skin a knuckle when things get too frantic and you drift toward a wall. But, hey, the crowd wants blood, so you’ve gotta give it to them. – Brandin Tyrrel
5. Blade and Sorcery
If you’ve always wanted to try and channel your inner Emperor Palpatine, look no further than Blade and Sorcery and its electro-magic abilities it puts at your disposal. Similar to Mordhau’s medieval combat, B&S leans on a unique physics system that gives the weapons and objects you pick up a realistic sense of heft. Throw your enemies into wells, electrify your sword, or use magic to catch arrows midair or hurl your blade. However you want to vanquish your enemies is completely up to you and there are no shortage of possibilities. Blade and Sorcery is an early access game that’s consistently being updated and the community already has a nice collection of mods ready to plug-in – including one (don’t tell Disney) with lightsaber duels. – Stella Chung
Sairento is what happens if you mash Cyberpunk and Ninjas together in a super violent blender. As said cybernetic ninja, you have the ability to triple jump, wall run, power slide, backflip, even slow down time as you explore a futuristic version of Japan in one-off missions or a full campaign. If you get bored of going through hordes of enemies, you can always choose to face other players in a 4v4 pvp mode – though there’s a sword and pistol combo that lets you block bullets while still blasting away at enemies, so… not likely. – Stella Chung
3. Pavlov VR
In a pinch, Pavlov VR could be described as CS:GO in VR, but it’s more than that. Yes, there are ports of the popular maps from CS:GO (including Dust II, Cache, and Mirage), plus all the fan-favorite CS modes like Search & Destroy, TDM and Gun Game. But along with the standard modes, the community has added mods that gives players the opportunity to play loose versions of beloved other games modes from over the years, like Trouble in Terrorist Town (where you need to weed out the enemies in a server or trick people into thinking you’re their ally when you’re really the dirty traitor they’re hunting). Being fully immersed in a game like Pavlov brings a new meaning to first-person shooters, and is a must-play for any CS fan or VR enthusiast. – Stella Chung
2. Arizona Sunshine
We’ve all daydreamed about how we would survive in a zombie apocalypse, and probably talked about our strategies at length. But if you’re curious about how you’d actually fare fighting the undead and have access to a VR headset, Arizona Sunshine is for you. The zombie-infested land of Arizona beckons you to survive using a small arsenal of realistic weaponry – and you’ll need them all to defend yourself while you loot for food and supplies, forced to constantly watch your back and keep an eye on your inventory. However, you don’t have to do this alone. Players can cling together in groups of up to four, to blast through a co-op campaign mode or multiplayer horde mode and fight off waves of zombies that threaten to overrun the grounds. Plus, it’s, like, really hot and sunny. – Stella Chung
1. Space Pirate Trainer
Space Pirate Trainer is what you’d get if you remade Galaga as a first-person shooter. This was one of the first games available for Steam VR/Vive, Oculus Touch, and Windows Mixed Reality. It’s a VR wave shooter that will have you dodging and blocking incoming lasers while destroying enemies dancing all around you. The objective and gameplay is less complicated than, something like Boneworks, but it’s easy to pick up and a great way to ease uninitiated players into virtual reality since SPT doesn’t require any locomotion – you’re strapped to a platform and all you have to do is duck, aim, and be the best Space Pirate you can be. – Stella Chung
Hopefully these ten action games help you decide what to try the next time you slip into virtual reality, and especially if you’re new to VR! Let us know if we missed any Steam games you think should’ve made the cut. And while you’re at it, let us know if you’d like to see another list of VR games on other platforms! -For more on realities virtual or otherwise, everything else, stay tuned to IGN.
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