The SteamVR platform can be a jungle of VR games vying for your attention and wallet. So to help you decide what to play, we have compiled our ten best VR games for Valve Index VR Headset for 2023 in no particular order.
The VR games developer Owlchemy Labs became a virtual reality household name with Job Simulator paving the way for VR gaming. Since they have been churning great VR experiences, ranked consistently over 90% on Steam. We particularly enjoyed Vacation Simulator being a heightened version of Job Simulator, while Cosmonious High is Owlchemy Labs’ newest release presenting more of a story with the distinct Owlchemy humor.
At first glance, Disassembly VR doesn’t seem too appealing, but that quickly changes once you boot it up and enter a relaxing flow state. As the title suggests, you disassemble items, from computers to coffee machines to guns. Once the game gets going, it is quite therapeutic, and the Valve Index controllers work remarkably well with it.
Receiving numerous content updates since its launch, the most recent being a dungeon-crawler update, Blade and Sorcery is a medieval-fantasy combat simulator, as it represents the pinnacle of what VR, physics-based combat can be. However, if you seek a riveting narrative, Blade And Sorcery is not it, but if you seek VR combat-galore, Blade and Sorcery is for you. And as a bonus, there is a thriving modding community attached to this title as well.
As pixel art is fading for Super Nintendo’s early 3D graphics, COMPOUND feels like you are replaying Doom or Wolfenstein 3D again but in virtual reality! As a genre, COMPOUND is a procedurally-generated rogue-lite boomer-shooter. Because it is scratching a particular retro-itch, COMPOUND can be unforgiven, but for the audience, it is a challenge ready to be met. However, if you are more in the mood for the boomer-shooter subgenre rhythm shooter, Pistol Whip needs to be on your list!
Famous outside of virtual reality, Elite: Dangerous is a space flight-sim combining RPG mechanics and asteroid mining. So when it received a VR update, a collective cheer from its fans could be heard in the wind. However, Elite: Dangerous comes with a warning: it has a steep learning curve to climb. If you are less inclined to delve into spacecraft manuals, the No Man’s Sky VR edition is for you, with a staggering amount of free content updates since its controversial launch.
The second you read this next sentence, you will know if it is for you: battle royale in VR. Space Junkies is developed and published by Ubisoft Montpellier and is an online, competitive battle royale shooter set in space. As the genre suggests, you are dropped into a level, and it is up to you to find a weapon and hearts to come out on top. Uniquely for the Valve Index, we particularly enjoyed the hand gestures you can make to communicate with either friend or foe.
The fact that it took us this long to feature this game is a disgrace; nevertheless, here it is. Walkabout Mini Golf VR is one of the best VR games made, and Steam users agree with a 10/10 score. It is an arcade(y) mini-golf sim where the colorful settings of tracks are the world you are playing mini-golf. Despite its minimalistic low-poly visuals, this is a game we recommend for anyone with a VR headset, the Valve Index included.
Say hello to Pavlov VR, a polished first-person shooter VR experience either online or single-player with bots. It has realistic shooting mechanics with a solid weapons sound design. So if you are into multiplayer VR shooters, Pavlov should be on the top of your list with modes such
Another first-person shooter but very different from Pavlov is Half-Life: Alyx. This is a story-driven and atmospheric VR addition to the known Half-Life IP and is set between the titular games of Half-Life 1 and 2. What strikes you immediately with Alyx is the beautiful realistic graphics and incredible voice acting. In short, if you have a Valve Index and have played any Half-Life, you probably already have played Alyx, but if not, you should!
The last game to point out is the RTS game with a twist, Comic Trip. Where you are an unknown, Godly entity in most VR RTS games, in Cosmic Trip, you are enmeshed in a first-person view, constructing items from gathered resources to quell the foes coming your way, saving up for new weapons upgrades. While the style is cartoony – resembling that of No Man’s Sky – its gameplay is frantic and fun.
Jakob Pii is Writer at VR Expert and currently lives in the UK. He started his career in VR gaming in 2015 and has stayed in XR since, from exposure therapy in VR to 360-degree video documentaries. He is fascinated by how emerging technologies change how we live, play and work.