The PSVR 2 is a ticket to VR experiences that feel a significant step above what Sony’s original PSVR offered. It is in fact, one of our favorite VR headsets this year. The PSVR 2 is expensive, and it doesn’t include any free games (unless you bought the $600 Horizon Call of the Mountain bundle). Still, with the dozens of PSVR 2 games already available, you’ll want to find the best to spend your time and money on.
We’ve created a short list of the best ones you should get at launch to make the most of your experience. These are all games we’ve actually played; we’ll update this list as we get more games in hand.
One problem with PSVR 2 games is that some of them are as expensive as regular console games. Odds are you won’t buy that many, unless you have free or lower-cost upgrades to games you already own. Some, like Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky, are free VR add-on modes to the existing PS5 games, and they’re all must-haves.
Sony’s premier flagship PSVR 2 exclusive is an immersive adventure set in the world of the futuristic post-post-apocalyptic Horizon Call of the Wild and Horizon Forbidden West games. Call of the Mountain is more linear, and focused on actions like climbing, using a bow and arrow, and exploring vast mountain ranges. The graphics are amazing. It’s a clear must-get to show off what the PSVR 2 can do. There are even some subtle uses of eye tracking and in-headset vibrations.
Wow, this racing sim looks good in PSVR 2. Sony’s acclaimed game got a software update that adds VR support in-game, although keep in mind that GT7 doesn’t work with the Sense controllers, oddly: You need to use the DualSense controller (which has some pretty great haptics and force feedback anyway) or one of a number of supported steering wheels. Also, only the races are in VR; the rest is in 2D. But the races look so, so good — this is a must-have to show off how impressive PSVR 2 games could look.
Getting scared in VR isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it usually isn’t mine, either. I’ll make an exception for Resident Evil Village, which transforms its entire survival-horror gothic game experience into a first-person PSVR 2 standout with a free PS5 update. This game uses the Sense controllers well for shooting, grabbing items and opening doors and latches; everything looks shockingly vivid in the PSVR 2’s rich HDR OLED display. Next to Horizon: Call of the Mountain, this is the PSVR 2’s most cinematic experience at launch. And yeah, you’ll probably freak out a bit.
No Man’s Sky has been an ever-evolving infinite space exploration game that’s been a standout on PSVR before. The free PSVR 2 update for the PS5 version of the game feels much the same in spirit as how No Man’s Sky worked in VR previously — it’s pretty great. The whole game is VR-playable, including the latest Fractal 4.1 update, which offers an absurd amount of game for the money. The Sense controllers feel well-adapted to the game, too. Getting inside a ship for the first time and flying into space is reason enough to try it.
Step into a surreal puzzle game that involves guiding hordes of people to goals without causing them to tumble over cliffs like lemmings. This is in fact like a VR-enabled remake of Lemmings, in the weird and brilliant indie style of classic PlayStation games of the past. It’s VR-optional, but VR is a great way to take in the 3D puzzle-scapes.
One of our favorite Quest 2 games got a remastered update for the PSVR 2, and it sometimes feels like a whole new experience. Expect a first-person shooter that drops you into the wilderness of Batuu, the planet where Disney’s Star Wars theme parks are set. Weapons and tools reverberate realistically with the PSVR 2 haptics and force-feedback triggers, and the environments look great in higher-contrast HDR.
These adorable and challenging puzzle platform games have been on our VR best list for years. You control a mouse hero as she adventures through dollhouse-sized worlds that unfold all around like dioramas. On the PSVR 2, these games play similarly, but look even sharper. The sit-down-and-play style is less physically demanding than other PSVR 2 launch games, and could be a great pick for kids to try out if they’re VR-curious — and you’re nearby to keep an eye on them. (The price below is for Moss Book 2, the newest game in the series.)
A ridiculously long name for a great game, which looks better on PSVR 2 than Quest 2. Yes, it’s more survival horror — a genre that seems to be over-represented in VR these days — but the dynamics of the story and shooter action give this a different feel than Resident Evil Village, and it’s arguably better designed for VR as well, as a VR-native game.
Visit a cartoon island where the villagers are friendly, and you are… a giant tentacled sea beast. Devolver Digital’s wonderful game makes your arms feel like tentacles as you grab and throw things to solve puzzles. It’s funny and charming, and the PSVR 2’s stellar haptics make the tentacles feel even more real. It’s also fun to just toss things around.
Yes, this is Tetris, in VR. Tetris Effect Connected has been around for years (including VR versions), and it long since won us with its hypnotic music and visuals. That’s the reason to try this on PSVR 2: The HDR display makes these ambient effects shine like never before. Worth a try for some immersive meditative Tetris, with some new bonus modes that have been added too. It’s a $10 upgrade for anyone who already owns the game.
More on the PlayStation VR 2
More on virtual reality and VR gaming