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Ian's top 11 PSVR2 launch games that you should play right now

Magic Eye pictures.

The PSVR2 is finally here and by now, hundreds of thousands of gamers out there will be sporting lovely red imprints on their faces from the headsets visor, and/or brand new wounds on their hands from accidentally punching furniture and walls in VR. And I should know because I’m currently the proud owner of both of those things.

I’ve been lucky enough to try out pretty much every single one of the 40 plus PSVR2 launch titles that are out for the system so far and I’ve whittled those experiences down to my top 11 PSVR2 launch games that I just can’t stop putting my face inside.

You can hear me talk about those games and watch a load of gameplay in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner (above), or you can read the words below instead (the boring option).

11 - RUNNER

Runner won’t be for everyone and to be honest with you, I’m not sure how long it’ll keep me interested as it feels like it’ll be quite samey all the way through. For now at least, I’m really digging this 90s anime inspired action game, which is part on rails shooter, part racer.

The concept for Runner is pretty simple, you straddle what basically amounts to Kaneda’s bike from the movie Akira as you race down a neon highway with police cars, bikes and drones hot on your wheels. This is arcade simplicity at its finest and, once you get accustomed to the slightly awkward control scheme, the feeling of rocketing along a road blasting battle bots out of the sky as you swerve to avoid approaching vehicles is pretty damn awesome.

It’s not perfect though, the rate of enemy spawns is very inconsistent so sometimes you’re left twiddling your thumbs for ages while other times you get swarmed. It’s also fairly janky with enemies vanishing in front of you or missing the track when they jump in from spawning. That said, I’m still very much enjoying jumping in for 10 to 15 minutes at a time for a quick burn of the rubber and a shoot of the guns and as such Runner just scraped its way onto this list.

10 - The Light Brigade

I only recently started playing The Light Brigade and whilst initially I wasn’t impressed, it’s now really growing on me and I reckon with a few more goes it’ll be one that I return to time after time. Like Runner this won’t have a wide appeal but, if like me you loved playing In Death on the original PSVR, I’d definitely recommend giving this brutal rogue-like shooter a go.

Set in some kind of dreamlike scenario and featuring WW2 era weapons that are weighted and reloaded in realistic manners, The Light Brigade is almost incomprehensible when you first play it. The foggy, low-res visuals make it hard to work out what’s going on around you, the weapon trinkets and tarot card unlockables are confusing and ill explained and there’s quite a few performance issues in regards to framerate.

Even with these negative points though, there’s something really morish about The Light Brigade and, after my first couple of runs when things had clicked and I started to unlock extra weapon upgrades, character classes, and magic wands, I felt that familiar ‘just one more go’ urge that I get from all my favourite roguelikes. If you can see past its faults, some of which could be solved with a patch, some from repeated play, this challenging shooter will give you one of those uniquely immersive PSVR2 experiences that you’ve been praying for.

Watch on YouTube
9 - Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge: Enhanced Edition

Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge: Enhanced Edition is a game of two halves. On one side it’s a dull 'talk-at-you-fest' where you have to twiddle your thumbs whilst a Star Wars character with a cheesy voice spouts nonsense at you for ages. On the other it’s a gorgeous Star Wars fantasy made real, which allows you to run rampant with a bunch of movie authentic blasters by your side.

Its Quest roots are on full show with the simplistic gameplay and puzzles but the visual enhancements allowed by the PSVR2 make certain moments in the game look absolutely gorgeous and this, along with all the haptics and adaptive trigger fuctions, makes it one of the best Star Wars VR games I’ve ever played.

If you’re looking for a great introduction to the world of VR that transports you to an out of this world experience, you can’t do wrong with Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge. It does get a bit repetitive so I doubt there’ll be much want for a replay, but when you make your way through it for the first time, you’ll certainly feel the force.

Watch on YouTube
8 - Moss Books 1&2

Get the double pack of Moss Books 1 and 2 in your life and you’ll soon be having the family friendly adventure of your lifetime. I’ve played Moss on both PC VR and PSVR1 before but in my opinion, the PSVR2 version is the definitive edition.

The haptics add some great little touches and the accuracy of the headset and Sense Controller tracking means that you won’t experience any of the drift-based aggravations you might remember from playing with a Move Controller. All of Moss’ little dioramas look incredible in 4K HDR too. Don’t get me wrong, they looked stunning on the original PSVR, but here they’re much crisper and more detailed and this just brings the magic of Moss' world to life even more.

The puzzles are imaginative, the combat is fun and not too challenging and the story is as sweet as my sweet cheeks and it all comes together to create an experience you’ll remember for ever. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Moss is a Moss-t buy for all PSVR2 owners, and the same can be said for its squeakquel, Moss Book 2.

7 - Tetris Effect: Connected

Everyone knows how Tetris works but not everyone knows how Tetris works in VR. And how does it work in VR, Ian? You may be thinking. Well it works by transporting you to a series of transcendent trips through space and time and nature and science and basically everything else in between. All while you affect the sublime soundtrack with every little movement of your tetrominos.

I’ve heard a lot of people say the word 'Zen' in my lifetime but it wasn’t until I played Tetris Effect in VR for the first time that I truly experienced Zen for myself. With some Pulse 3D headphones on, the volume up loud and the headset on your face, you will not fail to be absorbed by this game’s magnificent vibes. Oh, and it also gets really bloody tricky too with some incredible seat of your pants moments as the speed of the block drops increase and your towers near the top of the screen.

I honestly think that if you can play Tetris Effect in VR without feeling something wonderful inside you then, well, you should maybe call a doctor because you’re probably dead. Actually, a doctor wouldn’t be much use to you if you were dead. A mortician maybe?

6 - Kayak VR: Mirage

Kayak VR: Mirage is like going on holiday except for you don’t have to pack anything and you don’t have to fanny around in an airport and then wait hours for a delayed plane.

The photorealistic visuals brought by this cracking Kayak sim are some of, if not the best VR visuals I’ve ever experienced and it’s incredibly easy to lose yourself in its chill vibes as you paddle amongst some of the most serene scenery I’ve ever seen.

There’s not a huge amount to this game beyond some time trials and a free roam mode that lets you soak up the atmosphere, but believe me when I tell you that you’ll still cherish every moment that you’re inside it. The paddling mechanics are easy to pick up, the views are spectacular and with real time multiplayer and open world updates planned, there should be plenty of reasons to come back to it too.

Watch on YouTube
5 - Horizon Call of the Mountain

If you were to ask me which game I think new owners of the PSVR2 should get over any another, I’d probably say Horizon Call of the Mountain.

I’ve already covered Horizon Call of the Mountain in multiple live streams and a review video so I don’t really need to say much more about it now, other than; this game has been tailor made to show off the PSVR2 headset and Sense Controllers in the most spectacular ways possible and it achieves that and then some!

Sure, the gameplay gets a bit dull and repetitive after a while and the combat feels a bit too restrictive too, but even so I had more wow moments during my first hour of playing this game than I probably had playing standard flat games during the entirety of 2022.

Watch on YouTube
4 - Resident Evil Village

I’ve played through Resident Evil Village more times than I can count now but the PSVR2 version still blows my tiny mind.

It’s leagues ahead of the flatscreen to VR mod that I played on VR Corner a year or so ago as it adds so many extra features like dual wielding, manual reloading and the ability to physically interact with objects (albeit in a slightly limited way). What really makes Resi Village stand out amongst the crowd is its incredible visuals, which are some of the best you can get in PSVR2 at the moment.

This is a AAA game, lovingly ported to VR and literally nothing has been lost in the process. If anything it’s been improved massively and it all goes to show that, if they wanted, video game developers could give gamers the best of both worlds by creating both flat and VR versions of their titles.

If you’ve never played Resi Village before you’re in for a terrifying treat for the senses and it’ll be one of the most immersive horror games you’ve ever played. If you have already played Resi Village though, going through it all again in VR will only enhance the experience for you. And of course you’ll also get to meet Lady D in VR as well, which is a sight that’ll make anyone weak at the knees.

3 - Pavlov VR

Pavlov VR is one of the PC’s best selling VR games of all time, and for good reason. It’s a hell of a lot of fun if you’re into ultra realistic multiplayer shooter games!

There’s a rather steep learning curve when it comes to playing Pavlov VR because it prides itself on realism so every gun in the game is accurately modelled and therefore needs to be reloaded physically in the exact same ways that you’d do it in real life. This leads to a lot of fumbling at first, but experimenting with all the weapons in the shooting range before you go online helps a lot and most importantly it’s a lot of fun.

Seriously, sometimes I’ll just pop into the shooting range to mess around and do a bit of target practice rather than play any of the game. The realism of it all makes even this simple area so much fun to mess around in. Online multiplayer is where Pavlov shines though and there are loads of modes to try including standard deathmatches, search and destroy, gun game, a fully fledged zombie survival mode and even a WW2 tank vs. tank deathmatch mode.

This is definitely one for the more hardcore VR heads amongst us but if you’re after some visceral, blood pumping combat in VR, you won’t get better than this until maybe when Firewall Ultra releases sometime later in the year.

Watch on YouTube
2 - Pistol Whip

Pistol Whip is such an unfathomably cool experience to me and it’s by far my favourite rhythm action game out there. I even prefer it to Beat Saber which is like the king of VR games so that’s saying something.

I've played countless hours of Pistol Whip on the Quest since I recorded the Let's Play video above, but on the PSVR2 with the added headset haptics and adaptive triggers it feels like the best this game has ever been. I just can't get enough of shooting my way through my favourite tracks with the new dual wield mode activated and feeling the bullets whizz by my head thanks to the headset haptics makes near misses feel even more exhilerating.

To score the big points in Pistol Whip you have to shoot in time to the beat whilst also dodging incoming bullets and obstacles that lie in your path as you slide along some very stylish retro-futuristic environments. This turns what could have been a standard arcade shooter into something akin to the Matrix mixed with a music video and, once you start to feel the groove, pistol whipping nearby enemies will make you feel like the ultimate badass.

When I first played Pistol Whip there were about 8 music tracks on offer but now there’s around 18, plus a couple of 5 level campaigns thrown in there too, both which have some wonderful little twists to them. I love playing this game, it’s incredible value for money and it gives you an experience, and feeling, that only VR could provide.

Watch on YouTube
1 - Gran Turismo 7

When it comes to delivering pure, forget the real world immersion, no other game on this list comes as close as Gran Turismo 7. Even though I’m in no way a racing game fan, I can’t stop myself from diving into this one whenever possible. Just so I can feel the incredible sense of speed and place that Gran Turismo 7 brings.

From the lush, ultra-detailed vehicle interiors to the gorgeous recreations of real-world race tracks, GT7 is a visual treat, and thundering around its racetracks and speedways is a thrill that every PSVR2 owner should experience. I’ve only played the game with the DualSense controller and even then I get totally lost in the experience so God only knows how immersive this game would be when sat in one of those fancy racing chair things with the pedals and steering wheel and stuff. I’d probably cry.

While Kayak VR: Mirage makes you feel like you’re paddling a real kayak in the real world, once you’ve paddle one kayak, you’ve paddled them all. GT7 on the other hand makes you feel like you’re able to drive almost every car in the world ever, be they a crappy little mini or an ultra futuristic supercar. Gran Turismo 7 really is the definitive PSVR2 experience and, whether you’re a fan of doing a drive or not, this game will take your breath away, 0 to 60 style, in under 6 seconds.


And those were my top eleven PSVR2 launch titles! But which ones are your favourite to stuff in your eye holes? If you've spent the last few days face-deep in VR shenanigans, let us know which ones you've enjoyed the most in the comments below and stay tuned to Ian's VR Corner for plenty more VR coverage every Sunday, right here on Eurogamer!