Ever wanted to just be in the game, experiencing everything like your character would be? Thanks to innovations in VR technology, now you can! Well, sort of, at least, because you can get pretty immersed in these games without realizing it. At some points, you’ll even believe you’re there, though whether that’s a good thing is a whole other question.
Whether it’s horror (my personal favorite), a shooter, or just a chill walking simulator with some puzzles, there are plenty of great games to lose yourself in.
These are some of the most realistic VR games when it comes to actually feeling like you’re in the game.
6. Hitman 3 VR
Technically with Hitman 3 you can play all three modern Hitman games in VR, but all the same it’s a fantastic package. Playing as Agent 47 from the first-person POV is one hell of a changeup from normal Hitman gameplay, though, be warned.
If you haven’t picked up any of the trilogy yet, they’re all fantastic innovations to the assassination genre. You’ll move through huge open maps to find your target, set up the perfect kill, and escape as quietly as possible. The VR transition isn’t just some cheap add-on either, but fully built-in and immersive.
Peek around corners and sneak around while only seeing what 47 does, which makes things MUCH harder, as it turns out. The incredible freedom in how to play and carry out your missions is incredibly diverse, and I’ve had tons of fun just trying different approaches to see how they play out.
The show stealer, in this case, though, is the graphics and sound design. Getting a headset on places you in the middle of a crowded New York Street or even a Formula 1 race. Everything is spatial audio, and just hearing the rumble of cars that pass while trying to track my target in a crowd was a rush like no other.
In the wide world of train and travel simulators, I’ve never found anything quite like Derail Valley. Take a business sim campaign to run freight or just run a nice little commuter line through the countryside. Either way, your train conductor days might just end in a terrible accident if you’re not careful.
By terrible accident, I mean TERRIBLE accident. Your train in Derail Valley could be carrying hazardous chemicals or combustible gas cross country. Maybe something happens on the track ahead, or proper care wasn’t taken, and something breaks on the train, but once something sets a derail in motion, it’s done.
The graphics for Derail Valley are fantastic, which makes derailing your train and seeing the wildfire that comes from it even more terrifying. Ever wanted to know what it’s like to cause a widespread ecological disaster? Now you can!
I’ve only played this game casually because train sims aren’t really my thing, but the chaos factor makes it awesome. Realism is on point as well, with accurate to life train models, maps, and physics behind the locomotives.
All you need is to stay on track. Or don’t, because it’s honestly really impressive to see the crashes. Maybe I have a problem.
I spent hours on my dad’s computer as a kid playing the original Flight Simulator on Windows. Seeing the incredible evolution into satellite-imaged landscapes and even more in-depth controls today is amazing.
Even though it took almost twenty years, Flight Simulator really came back with a bang.
This game is constantly updating too, but the real-time map updates using Microsoft’s satellite imaging are wild to see. It’s stupidly detailed, to the point where I’ve done a low flyby of my own neighborhood. Thankfully, there’s a good tutorial for how to fly the various planes, too, because I definitely wouldn’t have gotten off the ground otherwise.
This game could get you legitimately trained in the basics of flight, although you’ll need to get some real wing time in if you want your pilot’s license. Everything from sound to physics is so fine-tuned here that you’ll find yourself forgetting you’re not in a pilot seat sometimes.
Personal recommendation: throw on a good album and take a sunset flight across the ocean. Break the cloud cover and see the sunset between the seas for some of the best views you’ll ever see without having to pay for a plane ticket.
Just a caveat for Dirt Rally: it’s much better in the realism department if you have a whole racing sim rig set up. That said, it’s still fantastically fun and immersive without all that. This game will have you almost throwing yourself IRL when you roll your car.
Graphics are the real standout in Dirt Rally 2.0, with the immense attention to detail on not only the tracks but cars as well. The physics system behind the car has fantastic weight, reacting to every grain of dirt you’re driving over with such precise accuracy it gave me hardcore vertigo.
Growing up in a dusty southern town, though, this is the closest I’ve felt to pushing my crappy Chevy down a dirt road at speeds my mother would have locked me up for. You’ll get addicted to speeding through dirt courses with a rotating weather system, getting the full experience of cross-country racing.
Again, just be careful with the vertigo factor. You’re going to hit some high speeds and drive through a lot of wilderness, which can be slightly overwhelming. Maybe I’m just not meant for speed, though.
First thing, if you’ve never played Myst, then oh my god, am I so happy to be introducing you to Myst! The original was a formative PC game for a lot like myself, and it’s really one of those gaming experiences everyone needs to have at least once.
You’ll arrive on the island of Myst, moving through different Ages of the island as you go. There isn’t any combat or danger, and the game is purely adventure/puzzle-based. The game was recreated by the original studio from the ground up, and the VR was like experiencing the original with fresh eyes.
It’s Myst in the sense of puzzles and story, but the immersion, thanks to the graphics, sound design, and atmosphere, is just beautiful. It’s like transporting yourself back into the living room PC in the 90s, discovering the island’s mysteries all over again.
I’m being incredibly vague about everything for story purposes because it’s something you need to experience yourself. This game just excels in everything though, whether played in VR or not.
Is this game going to be terrifying to play in VR? Absolutely. Is it also one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in VR? Also yes. Seriously, if you’re looking for any VR horror experience, it gets no better than this entry to the horror giant.
Take the place of Ethan, journeying to the Baker estate to find your wife Mia, who went missing three years ago. The run-down Baker plantation is amazingly rendered in VR. Trying to run from Jack in the main house is somehow scarier than when I played the regular game on Madhouse difficulty.
Do you realize how hard that is? Turns out all you need for a game to give you a real-life anxiety attack is looking around a corner just to get grabbed by an angry swamp man. Of course, the game falls into the Resident Evil trappings later, but the experience of being kidnapped by backwoods murderers is way too real for my liking.
Have fun, but also know that this is one of the most stressful games you’ll ever play in VR. Just be warned.
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