Top 10 Must-Play Steam VR Games of the Year

Virtual reality has transformed the gaming landscape, offering immersive experiences that draw players into their favorite virtual worlds like never before. With the ever-growing library of VR titles on Steam, it’s challenging to sift through and find the gems that truly stand out. As we delve into the top Steam VR games of the year, we’ve curated a list that not only captures the essence of what makes VR gaming so captivating but also includes titles that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a fan of heart-pounding action, intricate puzzles, or expansive adventures, our roundup of must-play Steam VR games promises to offer something for every virtual reality enthusiast.

Key Takeaways

  • Half-Life: Alyx sets a new standard for VR gaming with its engaging storyline and groundbreaking mechanics.
  • Beat Saber remains a fan favorite with its addictive rhythm-based gameplay and extensive music library.
  • Boneworks showcases impressive physics and interactivity, offering a sandbox experience that rewards creativity.
  • The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners provides a gripping narrative and survival gameplay that immerses players in the zombie apocalypse.
  • Superhot VR’s unique time-control mechanics and stylized graphics create a distinct and thrilling action experience.

1. Half-Life: Alyx

1. Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx not only revives the legendary Half-Life franchise but also sets a new benchmark for virtual reality gaming. Released on March 23, 2020, by developer Valve, this first-person shooter (FPS) immerses players in a sci-fi horror adventure that’s both familiar and groundbreaking.

Half-Life: Alyx delivers an unparalleled VR experience, validating years of anticipation and showcasing Valve’s commitment to innovation in gaming.

The game’s Metascore of 93 reflects its critical acclaim, with its VR gameplay bringing the series’ infamous aliens to life in a way that’s both terrifying and exhilarating. Players find themselves steadying their aim in VR to fend off these creatures before they get too close, adding a visceral layer to the combat.

Platform Release Date Genre Developer Metascore
PC March 23, 2020 FPS Valve 93

Half-Life: Alyx is not just a return to form; it’s a leap forward, reminding us why the Half-Life series has been so influential and why its return was so eagerly awaited.

2. Beat Saber

2. Beat Saber

Dance Dance Revolution meets Star Wars, Guitar Hero meets Tron; Beat Saber stands out as the best VR rhythm game, offering an electrifying blend of music and motion. Players wield glowing sabers to slice through colored blocks to the rhythm of an expansive tracklist, including hits from Billie Eilish to Skrillex.

The game’s appeal is undeniable, having achieved mainstream notoriety for its engaging gameplay. It’s a title that continues to dominate the VR space with its ever-growing library of DLC tracks, ensuring that the experience stays fresh and exciting.

The immersive experience of Beat Saber is further enhanced by its compatibility with a range of platforms, making it accessible to a wide audience of VR enthusiasts.


  • Meta Quest 2
  • Valve Index
  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Rift
  • PSVR

For the optimal audio experience, it’s highly recommended to use external headphones, which can elevate the enjoyment of Beat Saber’s dynamic genre mixtapes to new heights.

3. Boneworks

3. Boneworks

Boneworks, developed by Stress Level Zero, is a physics-driven VR adventure that has set a new standard for interactive environments in virtual reality. The game’s intricate physics model and realistic weapon handling make it a standout title in the VR space.

Players navigate through a mysterious facility using their wits, physical manipulation, and an array of weapons. The game’s puzzles and combat are designed to take full advantage of the VR medium, offering an immersive and challenging experience.

  • Realistic physics-based interactions
  • Engaging puzzle-solving mechanics
  • Advanced combat system with a variety of weapons

Boneworks is not just a game; it’s a glimpse into the future of VR gaming, showcasing what’s possible when developers fully embrace the potential of the medium.

4. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

4. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

In the immersive world of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, players are thrust into a post-apocalyptic New Orleans teeming with the undead. The game is a thrilling mix of survival horror and role-playing elements, delivering an experience that’s both eerie and captivating.

Reloading a gun inside a crumbling dark house, the game’s atmosphere is thick with tension. Unlike other zombie games, Saints and Sinners relies more on tension and spooky vibes than pure jump scares. The parkour mechanics allow for fluid navigation of the city, adding a layer of strategy to encounters with zombies and other survivors.

The game’s narrative is a standout, offering players moral dilemmas and a chance to influence the fate of other survivors. It’s a testament to the game’s depth that your choices genuinely feel impactful.

While the game doesn’t shy away from the gruesome realities of a zombie-infested world, it also offers moments of quiet introspection, where the weight of your decisions can be as heavy as the survival gear you carry.

5. Superhot VR

5. Superhot VR

Superhot VR takes the innovative mechanics of the original Superhot and translates them into a visceral VR experience. Time moves only when you do, creating a unique blend of strategy and action that feels tailor-made for VR. With its minimalist art style and intense gameplay, it’s no surprise that Superhot VR has become a staple in the VR gaming community.

In Superhot VR, every level becomes a deadly puzzle, where players must navigate a ballet of slow-motion bullets and melee combat. The satisfaction of dodging an incoming round, grabbing an enemy’s gun, and returning fire is unparalleled.

Available on multiple platforms, including Meta Quest 2, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and PSVR, Superhot VR’s accessibility is a strong point. The game’s requirement for a larger play space is not just a recommendation but a necessity as the challenge increases, demanding players to utilize their environment to survive.

  • Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, PSVR
  • Gameplay: First-person shooter with time manipulation
  • Unique Feature: Time moves with the player
  • Play Space: Benefits from a larger area

6. No Man’s Sky VR

Embarking on an interstellar journey has never been as immersive as it is in No Man’s Sky VR. The game’s transition to virtual reality has transformed the experience, allowing players to truly feel the vastness of its procedurally generated universe. With the ability to explore planets, fight aliens, and build bases, the freedom offered is both daunting and exhilarating.

In VR, the sense of scale and adventure is unparalleled. Hello Games has not only expanded the boundaries of their universe but also the expectations for VR gaming. The game’s continuous improvements have earned it a place among the top VR experiences.

No Man’s Sky is an epic science fiction adventure set across an infinite universe, where the potential for exploration and discovery is limitless.

Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or a new recruit to the cosmos, No Man’s Sky VR promises an adventure that’s as boundless as the universe itself.

7. Arizona Sunshine

7. Arizona Sunshine

Dive into the heart of the zombie apocalypse with Arizona Sunshine 2, a game that stands out as an essential experience for VR enthusiasts. The sequel to the acclaimed original, Arizona Sunshine 2 offers a blend of intense action and immersive environments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

With its tactile gunplay and hordes of undead, the game delivers a fast-paced frenzy that’s both challenging and satisfying. The addition of being able to interact with elements in the environment, such as petting a dog, adds a layer of engagement that enriches the overall experience.

Here’s a quick look at the platforms where you can enjoy this zombie-slaying adventure:

  • PSVR 2

Whether you’re a veteran of the first game or new to the series, Arizona Sunshine 2 is a must-play title that showcases the potential of VR gaming.

8. Pavlov VR

8. Pavlov VR

Pavlov VR stands out in the VR gaming landscape for its intense, fast-paced gameplay that captures the essence of classic shooters in a virtual reality environment. The game is renowned for its realistic weapon mechanics and tactical gameplay, offering a deeply immersive experience for VR enthusiasts.

Pavlov VR is not to be confused with Pavlov Shack, which is available on the Meta store. While they share a name and some gameplay elements, they are distinct titles, much like the difference between "PUBG" and "PUBG Mobile".

For those new to Pavlov VR, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Realistic shooting mechanics and weapon handling
  • A variety of game modes including deathmatch, search and destroy, and gun game
  • Community-created maps and mods that expand the game’s content
  • Active multiplayer community with frequent updates and events

It’s important to note that VR gaming is becoming more accessible, with improvements in headset ergonomics and measures against motion sickness. If you’re new to VR or prone to motion sickness, Pavlov VR offers settings to help ease you into the experience without compromising the thrill of the game.

9. Blade and Sorcery

9. Blade and Sorcery

Blade & Sorcery stands out as a pinnacle of VR combat realism, offering players a sandbox experience where every action has weight and consequence. The game’s full physics-driven melee, ranged, and magic combat system allows for an unprecedented level of interaction and immersion.

In this medieval fantasy world, you are not just playing a character; you are embodying a warrior, ranger, or sorcerer with the power to control the outcome of each encounter.

With a variety of weapons and spells at your disposal, the game encourages experimentation and mastery. Whether you prefer slicing through enemies with a sharp blade or incinerating them with a flick of your wrist, Blade & Sorcery provides a visceral and satisfying experience that keeps players returning for more.

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Stepping into the snowy peaks and lush valleys of Skyrim is an experience that has captivated gamers for years. With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, that immersion reaches new heights as you wield magic, battle dragons, and explore an expansive world—all in virtual reality. The game not only includes the full base game but also enriches the journey with the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn DLCs.

Skyrim VR may not be the pinnacle of VR on a technical level, but it’s a testament to the enduring allure of its world. The dated graphics are a minor trade-off for the depth of adventure it offers, especially for fans of the Elder Scrolls series.

Compatibility with a range of platforms ensures that whether you’re on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, or PSVR, you can embark on this epic quest. Here’s a quick glance at the platforms:

  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Valve Index
  • PSVR

While Skyrim VR has been released multiple times in various forms, its VR rendition stands as a unique and expansive experience that shouldn’t be missed.


As we wrap up our journey through the top Steam VR games of the year, it’s clear that virtual reality gaming continues to evolve, offering more immersive and diverse experiences than ever before. From the adrenaline-pumping action of first-person shooters to the intricate puzzles of adventure games, there’s something for every type of gamer in the VR realm. Remember, the best VR game for you is the one that matches your personal tastes and playstyle. Use this list as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to explore further into the expansive world of VR gaming. Whether you’re a seasoned VR veteran or a newcomer ready to strap on your headset, the adventures awaiting in these top-tier games promise to transport you to worlds beyond imagination. So, adjust your headsets and prepare for liftoff—your ultimate VR gaming experience begins now.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes these Steam VR games a must-play?

These games have been curated based on their immersive experiences, innovative gameplay, positive reviews, and compatibility with a range of VR headsets. They represent the pinnacle of virtual reality gaming, offering players a chance to step into vivid and engaging worlds.

Can I play these games on any VR headset?

While many of these games are compatible with various VR headsets, it’s important to check each game’s specifications for compatibility with your particular headset model, such as the Meta Quest 2, Valve Index, or PSVR 2.

Are there any free VR games worth playing?

Yes, there are several high-quality free-to-play VR games available, such as Echo VR and Pavlov: Shack. These games offer great experiences without any upfront cost.

How do I know if a game is compatible with the Steam Deck?

Look for the ‘Great on Deck’ badge on the Steam store, which indicates that a game is compatible with the Steam Deck and has been optimized for a great handheld gaming experience.

What criteria were used to select the best VR games?

The selection process included hours of testing, expert reviews, user ratings, and overall game quality. The list represents a diverse range of genres and experiences, ensuring there’s something for every type of VR enthusiast.

Are there any upcoming VR games I should look out for?

Definitely! Keep an eye on VR gaming news and updates for announcements of new releases. Upcoming titles often bring innovative gameplay and improved graphics, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in VR.