As gaming evolves, so do the means by which we interact with it. And over the past several years, virtual reality has grown to be one of those ways, one that was once a dream but now is a reality. In fact, virtual reality has changed the way we think about video games.
As of this writing, VR is still very much in its infancy. There are a handful of games that really showcase the technology's power, while others are simply still "experiences." But one way to really get gamers behind VR would be to bring some of their favorite titles to the platform.
So with that in mind, here are some of the games and franchises that should make the jump to VR -- and reshape the way we look at our favorite games.
If there was ever a racing game that needed a VR version -- this is it. By holding the PlayStation Move controllers like handlebars, you could replicate the feeling of piloting a podracer; leaning side-to-side to steer, and pushing forward and pulling backward to accelerate and decelerate.
A complete from-the-ground-up remake of the original game, with updated graphics, would be a fantastic experience for many Star Wars fans. Imagine staring out at the crowd and your fellow racers before hearing the claxon at the starting grid of the iconic Mos Espa Grand Arena.
To add some depth to the game, you could use money earned from winning races to upgrade and customize your cockpit and engine. You could even buy completely new podracers from vendors across the galaxy.
Nintendo Switch VR is totally going to be a thing; it’s just a matter of when it happens. All the tools are there -- a Joycon for each hand and a display just waiting for a headset to slot into.
Now that you’ve definitely accepted that 100% accurate statement, I’ll make my case for Nintendogs coming to the platform.
Ever since the Tamagochi craze, human beings have had a fascination with caring for digital pets. Now I’ll admit, I probably played Nintendogs on a friend’s DS for all of five minutes before I knew I didn’t need it in my life. That being said, caring for a pet in virtual reality is another kettle of fish.
You’d want to be able to move around and interact with your favorite pet, so hopefully, Nintendo will release HTC Vive-like sensors to allow this. You could use the Joycon to pet and groom your dogs with brushes and other accessories. You could prepare food, teach them tricks and give toys to them to play with; get a ball or a stick and use the motion controls to play fetch.
Why stop there? It’s a video game; you could surround yourself with puppies and kittens. And never, ever leave. Ever.
EA has seemingly forgone making a sequel to 2011’s Fight Night Champion in favor of the more robust fighter, EA Sports UFC. It may be a decision I completely agree with, but you can’t replicate MMA in virtual reality like you can with boxing -- and that makes VR the best way to revive the franchise.
The Vive is the perfect platform for this game, as you can use the controllers to throw accurate punches and move around the boxing ring with complete freedom of movement.
There’s already a couple of boxing games on the Vive, but nothing that replicates the grandiose spectacle of boxing matches like the Fight Night franchise. Implement career mode, plenty of customization, and additional features like being able to increase your characters stats by training, and that's a knockout for EA.
As far back as 2014, developer Hello Games teased VR compatibility for No Man’s Sky -- on more than one occasion. Yet even with the latest 1.3 update, they still haven’t confirmed if NMS will ever be made compatible with VR. However, with more updates to come, hopefully, it will be implemented in the future.
The Rift’s Oculus Touch controllers should be just what this game needs. You could use one as a joystick for flying your ship and the other, perhaps, to mark points of interest -- or lock onto enemy ships. The Oculus Touch’s gesture controls would be really handy for differentiating between these mechanics on the fly, or even for communicating with aliens.
No Man’s Sky is an obvious choice to bring to VR simply because of how amazing the art direction is. Regardless of the game’s shortcomings, there are some truly magnificent sights to behold in the galaxy Hello Games created.
Along with my earlier prediction that we’re not too far away from Nintendo Switch VR, I also believe it’ll be an opportunity to change the way everyone plays they’re favorite Switch game -- Breath of the Wild.
The left and right Joycon could be used to control Link’s left and right arms. This means fluid control over handling one and two-handed weapons, shields, throwing items such as bombs, chucking food into a cooking pot, and a feature I sorely miss from previous Zelda titles -- fishing!
They've already dabbled in motion controls for The Legend of Zelda franchise in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Building on the ideas implemented in those games, Nintendo could create a spectacular VR experience.
I can't wait to climb the tallest mountain, take in the beautiful view, and then gracefully glide down onto my horse as I ride off on my next adventure -- all while feeling like I'm actually there.
Pokemon Snap is an on-rails, first-person-photography puzzle game on the Nintendo 64. Take a minute to process that.
Not much would have to be changed about Pokemon Snap for it to be made into a VR title. All you do is look around using an analog stick and take pictures by pressing a button. Replace "an analog stick" with "the headset" and that’s a VR game ready to go.
Pokemon Snap was ported to Wii U, and I assumed it would make use of the GamePad to take pictures. But they completely missed an opportunity and it turned out to be a carbon copy of the original -- lacking innovation. Then the Switch arrived, which is essentially a more refined concept of the Wii U, and Nintendo still hasn't capitalized on a game they made 18 years ago -- which is perfect for their modern systems.
Hopefully, they won't miss the boat when the time comes for them to tackle VR.
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!, you (hopefully) already know where I'm going with this. Standing face-to-face with classic characters and locales from the immensely popular TV show would be an immersive experience only achievable through VR. Having 7-foot-tall ‘holographic projections’ of cards, as well as seeing the monsters and card effects coming to life right in front of your eyes, would be the most definitive way to play the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
I chose Legacy of the Duelist in particular because of the mode that allows you to take part in almost every major duel that takes place in the show. It also contains classic and recent iterations of the game's rules.
This would work best on the Oculus, making use of the Oculus Touch controller's hand gestures feature, which could allow you to use gestures and hand movements for carrying out actions, such as drawing a card or declaring an attack.
Those were my choices for games that need to make the jump to VR, but let us know in the comments below which games and franchises you think should make the jump to VR!