As a person that has always dreamed of playing games in virtual worlds, I’ve been banging the PlayStation VR drum since day one. I love the PS VR, and have been evangelizing they platform’s greatness ever since taking my first trip on Until Dawn: Rush of Blood‘s crazed rollercoaster. While the system got to a slow start, the quality and quantity of games has skyrocketed in 2018.
With awesome games releasing almost every week, there is a huge field to choose from when culling a list of top titles for the past year. I’ve put together a list of my own favorite PS VR games this year. It should be noted that this is a subjective personal list of my own favorites, and is not reflective of any official PlayStation Universe awards. In order to assemble this list, I’ve given myself a few rules.
Top PlayStation VR Games
I’ve played a ton of PlayStation VR games in 2018, but I haven’t played them all. There are some rather sizable holes in my play list (Tetris Effect, Beat Saber), so I have been careful not to include any games that I haven’t personally played extensively. I also wanted to only include games that I’ve played enough to review. For example, I’ve played some Electronauts and I love it, but I haven’t spent enough time with Electronauts to include it on my list.
Additionally, there are some games that I reviewed positively, but they exist a little bit outside of my wheelhouse. Firewall: Zero Hour, for example, is an awesome first person tactical shooter. But after reviewing the game I haven’t gone back to revisit it, as I’m not much of a first person shooter gamer. I can acknowledge Firewall’s strengths on a critical level, but it isn’t really a game for me, you know?
This is not a list of the best PSVR games, it is a list of my favorites. The difference is subtle, but it is there. I went with seven games because I couldn’t bring myself to cut any of these from the list. I had to make some tough cuts in my attempt to get down to five games, but could not bring myself to cut any further.
7. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
There is little that I can say about Astro Bot: Rescue Mission that has not already been said. As PlayStation VR’s new non-official mascot, Astro Bot is almost guaranteed a franchise at this point. With its colorful worlds, spot-on platforming and innovative use of scale, Astro Bot is a game that simply needs to be experienced by every PS VR owner.
When I first heard about Astro Bot, my first thought was “It’s gonna be free, right?”. Due to the history of the character and his origins in the free VR Playroom mini-games, I simply could not imagine a full featured game centered on the little guy.
But from the first moment I entered the world of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, the difference in quality was clear. This is a big budget title on a system of ports and indies, with care and polish that shines through in every moment.
Some of the other titles on my list are genre-based, or specialized in their appeal. Astro Bot is for everyone, and every PS VR owner should have this game in their library.
6. Arca’s Path
Arca’s Path takes a simple (and underserved) gaming genre, and adds in a precise and a unique control system to create a game unlike any other in VR.
Players are tasked with moving a whirring ball from point A to point B through a series of winding paths. The catch? You control the direction and velocity of the ball with your head. Wherever you look, that’s where the ball rolls. The further from the ball you look, the fast the ball moves.
Through a series of diabolical obstacles and twists, Arca’s Path never outstays its welcome. Levels become progressively more challenging, but never unfairly so. Arca’s Path is deeply satisfying, and is unlike any other VR title on the market. The cool comic book-style story is just icing on a cake of delicious gameplay.
5. The Exorcist: Legion VR
On a platform drowning in horror titles, The Exorcist: Legion VR is quite simply the scariest game on PlayStation VR; possibly the scariest game on PlayStation period.
With the license to the third Exorcist film, developer Wolfe and Wood have constructed a game that oozes dread. By focusing on a creeping sense of foreboding and eschewing cheap jump scares, Legion VR creates an atmosphere that feels almost unsafe.
With five episodes to play through, there is plenty of content to explore in The Exorcist: Legion VR, though your mind might balk at some of the environments and situations you find yourself in.
This is a top tier VR title that knows its franchise intimately, and fully captures the cool dry atmosphere of the best films in the Exorcist series. As an added bonus, it will totally freak out your friends.
4. Red Matter
I expected a standard “explore the abandoned base and solve a couple puzzles” adventure title. What I got borders on a masterpiece.
In the days since I played Red Matter, I have returned to the game repeatedly in my mind. I just can’t get over how Red Matter manages to sidestep every pitfall that normally trip up games of this type to deliver an atmospheric story that sticks in the mind.
Thankfully avoiding combat of any kind, Red Matter is 100% exploration based, and what a humdinger of an environment it gives you to explore. With an aesthetic steeped in cold war-era Soviet architecture, playing Red Matter feels like a grounded walk through an alternate dimension.
Red Matter wisely plays up the story and character elements, and is a shining example of environmental storytelling. With a masterful control scheme, perfectly balanced puzzles and a setting that simply knocked my socks off, Red Matter is a brainy treasure of a game.
3. Creed: Rise to Glory
Creed: Rise to Glory is a house-wrecking good time. While the boxing mechanics are easy to learn, the game provides enough challenge that players would be well-served to spend some time in the gym training before taking on some of the more difficult opponents.
Like The Exorcist: Legion VR, Creed knows what makes its franchise tick, and uses just enough material from the films to capture the spirit of the series that spawned it. It doesn’t hurt that you can take Creed himself into the ring against Rocky Balboa (in his prime) for some fantasy match fun.
Developer Servios makes games that are very physical, and Creed is no exception. If you want to move your body around and sweat a lot, then Creed is the game for you.
Not to mention, it is unspeakably fun to punch dudes in the face. Just sayin.
A storybook come to life, Moss is a delight from beginning to end. With character animation that rivals the best output of Disney Studios, Polyarc has created an enchanting secret world that hints at a much larger story. As a tiny player in a giant world, Quill the mouse is never privy to the history in her midst as she passes through the wreckage of an ancient civilization of men and mice.
Quill the mouse is an amazing protagonist, a tiny Nathan Drake that shimmies up walls and battles her way through forgotten tombs. The player is ever present in the world, watching over Quill and guiding her as she battles monsters and solves puzzles.
Charming and enchanting, Moss brought out the inner child in me. This is a game that is a sheer delight from beginning to end, and I heartily recommend it to anyone that is curious as to how VR can elevate a story, bringing imagination to life and making it seem real.
1. Dark Eclipse
As I arranged and rearranged this list, I was surprised to see Dark Eclipse continuously pushing itself into the top spot. Could this dark horse free-to-play MOBA game from Japanese developer SUNSOFT really be my favorite PS VR game this year? Yup, it sure is.
Everything about Dark Eclipse – from its warbling menu music to its eclectic cast of characters – makes me happy. While the game doesn’t have the easiest learning curve (though this was helped significantly with a recently patched-in tutorial), once you are acclimated, Dark Eclipse is pure strategy gold.
With “flat” games, I am not a big competitive multiplayer guy, but in VR I love engaging with another player in a shared space. THis is a great game to enjoy online with friends and family, and even when playing with strangers the battles of Dark Eclipse keep pulling me back in.
Eminently fair and precisely balanced, each player starts on even ground, and only your wits and quick moves will allow you to prevail over your opponent. Controlling three heroes each (and the mini-army that they drag along with them), players jockey for position in an attempt to gain control over the playfield.
Playing on the PS VR allows you to instantly zoom to any location on the map, keeping players checking over their holdings and controlling multiple flanks simultaneously.
With many VR games, I play for an hour or two before needing a short break. With Dark Eclipse, I will remain in VR for hours, tackling match after match. I’m not particularly good at Dark Eclipse, but I absolutely love its engaging living-board-game strategy, regardless of how often I get my ass handed to me.
With continued support from SUNSOFT, Dark Eclipse is only getting better with time. I’m surprised to say it, but Dark Eclipse is my favorite PS VR game of 2018.
What were some of your top PlayStation VR games of 2018? Let us know in the comments. There are no wrong answers!