The Oculus Rift was the first real player in this current-day virtual reality arms race. Announced back in 2012, it's what sparked other companies to compete -- bringing in the PlayStation VR and HTC Vive.
With both the competitors launching with motion controls (the Vive using it's own, and the PS VR using the Move controllers), the Oculus Rift was a bit behind, but has recently released the Touch controllers (at $199) for all your reaching needs.
When it finally released to consumers in March 2016, it had a library full of experimental games during its long development process. Thanks to that, some have been formed into fully fledged games, while others provided the groundwork for others. This is a list of 10 games all Oculus Rift owners must play.
By: Three One Zero | $19.99 | Steam
ADR1FT is a virtual reality game played with the Oculus Rift that takes place in zero gravity. It's a game based heavily on exploration, but players have limited resources such as oxygen as they navigate a destroyed space station.
The player must solve puzzles which consist of fixing up/navigating the damaged space station. Audio logs of the incident that destroyed the station can be found throughout the game, as well as artifacts from those who were not lucky enough to survive.
According to the game, there are two main objectives: "to survive and to return home safely."
By: Epic Games | $Free | Oculus Store
We really wanted to put Robo Recall on this list, but it's technically not out yet for the public. So Bullet Train is the next best thing! It's a free game from Epic Games that actually serves as a proving grounds for Robo Recall, the next game from Epic.
The premise is simple: You get off a train and are attacked by futuristic police. Why? We don't know, it's a free tech demo that is actually way more fun than it should be.
You can teleport and manipulate time, much like the next title on this list, but with a few differences. For the price tag of $0.00, it's definitely worth checking out.
By: Superhot | $22.49 | Oculus Store
Man, Superhot is awesome. It originally released as a non-VR title, but has since released to virtual reality. It genuinely feels like it was meant to be a VR title the whole time.
Superhot is a title that questions what's real. The story puts a computer hacker into the chair of a computer before pulling them into a simulation that feels a little too real... Is it real? Or is technology just playing tricks on us?
The world only moves forward when they player moves, making them able to guess everyone's moves and plan accordingly. But remember, one shot is enough to kill you. Health doesn't regenerate, ammo is limited to what's in the magazine, and way too many enemies to plan out a strategy in one go. Good thing restarts are instantaneous.
By: Insomniac Games | $29.99 | Oculus Store
With the Oculus Rift and the Touch controller in mind, The Unspoken game takes it to the limit of what can be done with these peripherals. This is one of the games that makes people think this new virtual reality attempt isn't just another fad.
The developers describe the game as an "urban magic fight club" where players fight friends and strangers in the streets of a city using 25 different spells. These spells can be tuned to either hand too, leaving the creativity literally in your hands.
Spells aren't just offensive skills either. They can also be defensive and traversal! Leaving room for custom strategies.
The Gallery: Call of The Starseed
By: Cloudhead Games | $14.99 | Oculus Store
This game is its own special kind of game. It's not a first-person shooter, but it's also not a walking simulator. It's somewhere in the middle, solving environmental puzzles to progress.
The game draws inspiration from 80's fantasy films and places the hero in a world where he must find his sister through a strange journey and a constant "sinister presence" according to the Steam description. From the Steam page, one can see that The Gallery started as a HTC Vive game, but has recently come to the Oculus Rift as well. It was a bestseller for the Vive, and it can only be predicted to see the same success on the Oculus.
By: Crytek | $33.49 | Oculus Store
Have you ever wanted to go rock climbing, but you're afraid of heights? Same. But with The Climb from Crytek, this goal suddenly becomes much easier.
Become a rock climber without the threat of dying from a fall (in real life anyway) in this beautiful simulation. Seriously, most of this game could probably be spent just looking around. Despite Crytek's recent issues, they still have a beautiful looking engine -- the CryEngine.
The Climb is also tense as hell when you're about to fall off a ledge, but instead of it being a character about to fall, it's you. Don't worry, in reality, the worst thing you could fall on is a carpeted living room floor (unless you have wooden floors).
By: Gunfire Games | 24.99 | Oculus Store
Some have said they don't want VR because they think it's a gimmick; that "real" games won't use VR. Chronos is here to disprove that. The dungeon crawling RPG, aims to be that first Oculus RPG that sets the standard for others. It has a unique mechanic that plays with time. Every time the player dies, they age a year and your skills and abilities also change, making every new attempt at the dungeon different.
The game plays like a fantasy RPG, but the game is actually set in a distant future where an apocalypse has sent humanity back to the days of swords and shields. It plays similarly to a Zelda game in the puzzle solving, but the battle mechanics are something of their own.
By: Playful | $Free | Oculus Store
Lucky's Tale is a Third-person game. Right from the get-go that sounds awful for a virtual reality game. But surprisingly, it works really well.
The player's head is the camera and can look and peak around the game while the controller actually controls the main character, Lucky. It plays like a typical third-person platformer from the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube days, but with some VR tricks up its sleeve. It's free on the Oculus store, so once again the barrier of entry is nonexistent -- assuming you have the headset of course.
For those looking for fun for all ages, Lucky's Tale is definitely a good one for this.
By: Carbon Games | $24.99 | Oculus Store
Just to keep things shaken up, here's another recommended Oculus Rift game that isn't from the first-person perspective.
AirMech: Command is a real-time strategy game played from the perspective of a typical RTS game, but now the camera is controlled with the players head. It makes looking back and forth from different battles and bases easier. The defining concept is where the player is watching from: Their Airmech. It's the ultimate war machine that can be used in-game to turn the tide of battle, but during regular combat, it's the perch from which the player watches and commands the battle.
There are nine Airmechs to control that have varying abilities, allowing different types of gameplay -- shaking up the misconception that virtual reality games can't offer variation.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
By: Steel Crate Games | $7.49 | Oculus Store
If you watch any YouTubers, you probably know about this game. The goal is to disarm a bomb. But you don't have the instructions to make it happen. Your friends, however, do.
This game was originally not on Oculus Rift, but now that it is, it absolutely adds to the tension of the game. You can't peek over at your friend's instructions for one, and on top of that, not everything is right in front of the player, so scrambling for the right tools may easily happen.
The best part of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is that it's multiplayer. There aren't many multiplayer VR games, especially in the couch co-op category, but this game handles it cleverly, by requiring only one headset to play. This is definitely a required Oculus Rift title for anyone who plans to game with friends.
The Oculus Rift went through some strange times between their announcement and release, such as being bought by Facebook. Many people weren't sure that was a good thing for the future of the virtual reality headset, but it hasn't seemed to get in the way of its success.
This was our definitive list of games that should absolutely be played on the Oculus Rift. We made sure to only include games that are available now and not games that are currently being developed, so if there are any you're looking forward to, or any currently available games you feel that we missed, let us know!