The 12 finest new and up to date video games for the Oculus Quest 2
At $ 299, the new and improved Oculus Quest 2 headset is likely to attract a lot of new people to VR. And while the Quest platform is much more closed and curated than SteamVR’s Wild West, a lot of things still come out, so knowing where to start with the library can be difficult.
If you’ve just started a Quest 2, here are some new games to get you started. It’s not an exhaustive list at all as we’ve focused on titles that make the most of the new headset’s improved features. But it should give you a sense of the breadth of experiences available on the platform.
The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners
The best known “starting title” for Quest 2 is The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. It’s a first-person horror survival game that originally came out for PC VR headsets earlier this year and for PlayStation VR a few months later.
If you’re looking for a big, lengthy game that’s on par in scope with what you’d find on non-VR platforms – and if you don’t mind extreme graphic violence – Saints and Sinners are a great example. The game is not designed for quick breakouts or quick action, but puts you on exciting missions in New Orleans in which you spend a large part of your time making weapons and managing resources.
The game looks reasonably good on the Quest 2, although some of its darker environments make me wish the headset used OLED displays like its predecessor. However, the resolution and overall graphical fidelity are much higher on the Quest 2, which improves the overall experience on the newer device.
For a headset that Facebook clearly hopes will expand the market for VR, this may not be the most suitable title for the marquee. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone as a first VR game – not only is the controls quite complex, but it also uses the analog stick for free movement, which means you are at a much higher risk of motion sickness. The game also tells you to crouch with a button to hide from enemies, which I really don’t recommend for your stomach, but luckily you can do the same if you’re playing in a standing position.
If you know what you’re getting into, this is an impressively immersive showcase for the Quest 2 hardware.
Population: One thing just came out a few days ago and it’s one of the most ambitious games on the quest: a Fortnite / PUBG style VR battle royale. The action in the final player plays out very similar to these two games, even with a Fortnite-style construction mechanic.
There’s also a pretty big twist in that you can climb any surface and slide off any precipice. It’s a bit like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, except that people try to kill you with machine guns and you have to slide by holding out your arms and pretending to be a bird.
With a $ 29.99 release, it’s hard to tell if Population: One has the chance to build as sustainable a player base as the world’s dominant free battle royale games that already exist. These games only work on a scale.
But from what I’ve played so far, I think it’s worth keeping an eye on. The controls are smartly designed – I find building a lot easier in VR than in Fortnite – and the VR format gives the action an intense edge that I haven’t felt since hiding in bathrooms in the early days of PUBG.
Phantom: Covert Operations
Phantom: Covert Ops is an extremely boring name, but it turns out to be one of the funniest games I’ve ever played – in a great way.
As the name suggests, this is a gritty stealth game based on the Splinter Cell theme. The problem is that it is still difficult for VR controllers to realistically recreate the movements you would make if you were to infiltrate an enemy base on foot. So Phantom: Covert Ops takes place entirely in … a kayak.
It’s really awesome. Getting around is still a problem in VR, and sedentary games played in cockpits or vehicles tend to be much more comfortable. And which mode of transport uses your arms the most while keeping your legs perfectly still? Yes. Kayaks.
Phantom: Covert Ops doesn’t just stop paddling you through the levels. They have a range of devices ranging from night vision goggles to sniper rifles that are within easy reach after you drop the oar. Getting these objects right at the right time is critical to success. The game is pretty forgiving when it comes to jumping you out of situations where something goes wrong, but you won’t score high that way.
I love Phantom: Covert Ops because I rely on an extremely specific design that works so well on its hardware. The Oculus Quest is just as suitable for this as plastic guitars are for Guitar Hero. It’s not the most mind-boggling game you’ll ever play, and the design does feel a little red at some point, but you can’t fault it for the fact that it works as well as it could possibly be within its confines.
Holopoint is one of my favorite games from the early days of the original HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. It was just released on the Quest and now I like it even better. This isn’t the game for you if you’re looking for a visually stunning experience, but it’s still one of the most physically intense VR games out there.
Basically you are in a dojo with a bow and arrow and cubes appear around you and you have to shoot them while dodging their shots. That’s it. This is the game. However, shooting a series of arrows quickly proves to be incredibly challenging and the result is a fun workout.
The Quest 2 version is great. The simple graphics and emphasis on physical movement make Holopoint perfect for the standalone headset. This is highly recommended if you are interested in ultra-replayable arcade action that shows VR games at their best.
If you like the idea of using a bow and arrow in VR, but prefer something with more history, Apex Construct is worth a try. It’s a simple sci-fi adventure with lots of charm and a clear art style that works well on the Quest, although the PC version is much more detailed.
In Quest 2, Apex Construct has been improved to support higher resolutions, more advanced physics, and other visual effects. It’s a good example of a polished, bulky VR title that shows what your headset can do.
In death: Unchained
In Death: Unchained is a dungeon crawler with a neat traversal mechanic that lets you move around the level using a bow and arrow. (Yes, another bow and arrow game for the Oculus Quest.) It was already one of the best looking Quest games when it came out in July, and the developers promised an update to improve train distance among other things.
The update isn’t available yet, but the game is well worth checking out.
Real VR fishing
Real VR Fishing is an extremely chilled out fishing simulator that was already one of the most tech-savvy games from the original Quest and looks even better on Quest 2. Developed by a team in South Korea, it allows you to pull your leash across multiple real-life, near-photo-realistic Korean locations, and you can even listen to your own music or watch YouTube while fishing through a clever window interface.
The visual update for Quest 2 is really good, with more realistic fish and a sharper resolution. Watching YouTube on a riverside may not be the goal in virtual reality, but if you like the idea at all, I definitely recommend Real VR Fishing.
Until you fall
Until You Fall is a roguelite-style dungeon crawler for the quest with a neon-soaked art style and a fun, arcade sword fighting system. It’s not quite Hades, but it’s about as close as it is in VR. There is a lot of leeway to combine weapons to help you get through the world as far as possible.
It can get pretty challenging, but I would also recommend it to anyone who is used to roguelites and new to VR action games. The fight is easy to understand, the graphics are clean, and there are several options to customize the experience to be as comfortable as possible. It’s one of those games that just makes you feel cool playing it.
Dash Dash World
Dash Dash World is a new kart racing game for the Quest that reminds me a lot of the incredible Mario Kart VR experience that was briefly available in VR arcades a few years ago. It’s nowhere near as impressive – and it’s not a real Mario Kart, of course – but it makes the most of it: you can aim and shoot power-ups while racing alongside your rivals.
There aren’t that many quest racing games out there, but this one is my favorite. While the presentation isn’t particularly polished and the art style is generic, this has everything you’d expect from a kart racer: solid drifting, inventive tracks, and the ability to look over your shoulder and take out other racers with ridiculous weapons.
Cant imagine there are many people out there buying a Quest 2 who are unfamiliar with Beat Saber, but just in case you should consider the lightsaber wielding music game as an essential purchase. It’s another VR game that feels a lot better on the Quest than any wired headset. It has only been updated with a multiplayer mode. Also, there’s a BTS music package coming up next month if that’s your thing.
Already part of the VR canon, the VR version of Superhot is another game that shines in search of something. Dodging bullets and throwing coffee mugs in slow motion feels much better in as much space as you can without wires.
It has already been updated for Quest 2 with support for higher resolution and better textures, although this isn’t exactly a game that was known for its structural details. It will also support a 90Hz refresh rate once it’s available in games.
Rez Infinite made its Oculus Quest debut alongside Quest 2, and while it has already been released on virtually every VR platform imaginable, make sure to put it at the top of your list if you haven’t played it before. It is perhaps the only example of a decades-old game that feels like it was always made for VR. Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s techno shooter has always been about enhancing the sensory experience, and there’s no better way to do it than strap it to your face.
Correction: This article previously referred to Population: One as an exclusive Oculus Quest; It’s also available on Steam with cross-play support. We regret the mistake.
Update, Oct. 27, 10:20 p.m. ET: Clarified how The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners’ crouched controls work.