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Best VR games 2022: All game highlights of the year

Best VR games 2022: All game highlights of the year
logoUPDATE

December 27, 2022:

The article was updated one final time as the year comes to a close.

Added:

  • Compound
  • F1 2022
  • Gorilla Tag
  • Into The Radius
  • Townsmen VR

A number of other interesting titles have been added to the end of the list.

The VR gaming year is over. From Among Us to Zenith, we’ve rounded up the best VR games of the year for you.

The following VR games appear in alphabetical order. At the end of the list, you’ll find titles that didn’t make it into the list because they didn’t quite reach the level of the other VR games or weren’t tested more thoroughly by us, but are still worth a look.

Among Us VR

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR, Playstation VR 2.
Release: November 10, 2022, Playstation VR 2: February 22, 2023

For those who don’t know the original: Among Us, you take on the roles of crew members who need to restore a malfunctioning spaceship. This wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t traitors among the crew who want to sabotage the work and assassinate the remaining crew members from behind the scenes. They win by finding and turning in the impostors or getting the spaceship ready for takeoff despite all obstacles.

The VR version was developed by the renowned VR studio Schell Games (I Expect You To Die 1 & 2, Until You Fall) and is a standalone version of the game that you play in 3D and from the first-person perspective.

Bonelab

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR
Releases: September 29, 2022

The spiritual successor to the cult PC VR game Boneworks is, like the original, a highly polarizing piece of game design and certainly not to everyone’s taste. However, it has definitely made VR history, especially since, unlike Boneworks, it was released for the Quest platform and became one of the best-selling VR games on it within days.

Bonelab offers a fighting and shooter playground full of physics experiments, mods, and challenges for single players. Unfortunately, the cool new mechanic of changeable bodies only comes into play toward the end of the campaign.

The character change doesn’t bring a completely new body feeling, but a welcome change to the game. It is praiseworthy that arm movements are not implemented exactly, but relatively. Only when the hands reach my shirt, for example, do the virtual fingers also touch the well-fed belly of the massive warrior.

Thanks to these tricks, the last campaign hours are much more entertaining than the tough start. Small detours into hidden ventilation shafts or over fast treadmills create nice little aha moments again and again. The excursions are usually accompanied by appropriately fast-paced dubstep and synthpop sounds.

You can find the complete Bone Lab review behind the link.

Compound

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC-VR
Releases: Meta Quest 2: December 8, 2022, PC-VR: July 20, 2022

Compound is an old-school first-person shooter reminiscent of classics like Doom (1993), but developed from the ground up for virtual realiy with great attention to detail.

For six years, the PC VR game was in Early Access. In the summer, solo developer Bevan McKechnie released version 1.0, followed by the standalone version for Meta Quest 2 at the end of the year, which barely differs from the original graphically and offers wireless freedom of movement.

Compound is a rogue-lite, so you shoot your way through procedurally generated levels at high speed and with a wide arsenal of weapons, always accompanied by a cool synth-wave soundtrack and gradually unlocking new shooting weapons. From the simple blaster to the double-barreled shotgun to the rocket launcher. Here you’ll find everything your shooter heart desires.

A customizable difficulty level and game modifiers provide constant motivation.

Cosmonious High

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR, Playstation VR 2.
Releases: March 31, 2022, Playstation VR 2: 2023

Following Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator, Cosmonious High is another VR game from legendary VR studio Owlchemy Labs. The setting is a space high school.

You take on the role of a new student attending the namesake alien high school. The school has to deal with all sorts of technical defects and it’s up to you to find their cause. In the process, you meet whimsical alien characters and gradually unlock superpowers that will help you fix the catastrophic defects.

Cosmonious High is Owlchemy Labs’ largest interactive VR playground to date. You can interact with characters via new gestures as well as emojis, and cast fire and ice with your hands thanks to your superpowers. The studio’s colorful graphics and wry humor are back.

F1 22

Platforms: PC-VR
Release: July1 , 2022

Once you have fought your way through some bugs and cumbersome menus in F1 22, the driving fun can begin. With a reasonably up-to-date gaming PC, you get the currently most impressive racing game scenery in virtual reality. Despite the omission of a story, there are motivating career modes around Formula 1 races and team management.

The scope of F1 22 is also convincing. Among other things, the very extensive and multi-layered careers as a driver or team owner as well as a two-player career are included. Also available are Formula 2 (2021 season), online races with rankings and weekly events, solo modes like time trials or an own race weekend.

The improved driving physics and the authentically adjustable surround-sound mix ensure a great racing experience already in front of the monitor. If you have the choice, however, you should definitely race in virtual reality! The recommendation also applies to newcomers. Despite the lack of comfort options, the nausea potential is noticeably lower than in other racing games.

Read more about the VR game in our review of F1 22.

Gorilla Tag

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR
Release: December 15, 2022

Gorilla Tag is not just a VR game, it’s a VR phenomenon. More than 5 million VR players have tried it, and on the Meta Quest Store it has now surpassed the most successful VR game Beat Saber in terms of ratings.

Gorilla Tag is a multiplayer title in which you play tag with other gorilla avatars in the body of a virtual gorilla. The locomotion is as unique as it is unusual. Instead of using teleportation, button presses, or analog sticks, you use your arms to push off surfaces, climb trees, and swing through the virtual jungle.

Currently, Gorilla Tag has six levels and four game modes. The fact that it has become a viral hit is also due to the social aspect. Gorilla Tag fascinates with its social space as a meeting place combined with simple competition. It is a free VR playground where players can let off steam together.

Into the Radius

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC-VR
Release: Meta Quest 2: September 8

Into The Radius from CM Games combines a supernatural survival shooter with careful maintenance of weapons and equipment. Your task is to survive in the chaos of the remote Soviet mining town of Pechorsk, through which ghost-like creatures walk after an accident.

It’s especially fun to use the VR controllers to reload shotgun ammo or stow it on a mount. A jammed pistol slide causes nasty surprises if you don’t pull it back in time.

To prevent this from happening in the first place, good preparation is necessary even in the base. Here you even have to spray weapon parts with oil regularly and clean the barrel with a brush and paper towel. This will ensure reliably functioning guns in the zone.

The survival fight develops a not to be underestimated addictive effect even in its first hours, despite some problems like the sometimes choppy controls.

You can read more about the VR game in Jan’s Into The Radius review.

Iron Man VR

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Playstation VR
Release: Meta Quest 2: November 3 , 2022

Ben had quite a struggle with the original from the previous year. The reason: The outdated technology of the Playstation VR hindered the gaming fun more than it promoted it. Accordingly, the review of Iron Man VR was negative.

With Meta Quest 2, the tracking problems and long loading times are a thing of the past. Iron Man can rise to his full superhero dignity on the stand-alone platforms and delivers a late-year highlight for the VR platform.

Kartoffl

Platforms: Meta Quest 1 & 2, PC VR
Release: November3 , 2022

Kartoffl skillfully brings the game principle known from Lemmings to virtual reality. Instead of lemmings, in this title, you have to save so-called Spuds, cuddly potato creatures, from certain death.

The game offers 60 levels in which you have to bring the cute, but stupid and clueless potato creatures safely to their destination with the help of various tools. For this, you’ll often need skill as well as brain power.

Fortunately, Kartoffl doesn’t put any obstacles in your way. With the help of a gripping mechanism familiar from VR games like Demeo, you move intuitively, quickly and precisely through the 3D geometry.

Don’t let the cuddly comic look fool you. Kartoffl is a challenging VR game for all ages. Thanks to good game design and a well-thought-out and intuitive interface, it is fun right away and well-suited for short VR rounds.

Little Cities

Platforms: Meta Quest 1 & 2
Release: May 12, 2022

Little Cities is a tranquil city-building simulation for all ages that shines with accessibility rather than excessive complexity. The game is excellently implemented in virtual reality and is regularly updated with new features (hand tracking!) and content.

“Little Cities comes without micromanagement. I don’t have to adjust balances, lay pipes, or power lines. Instead, the system is simple, relying on building spheres of influence and intuitive, mostly top-notch VR controls… the game shines with an occasionally addictive flow: Building the city is so easy, and the islands fill up so quickly and smoothly that only the battery of my Quest 2 forced me to take a first break after a good two hours,” Ben writes in his Little Cities review.

Lost Recipes

Platforms: Meta Quest 1 & 2
Release date: January 27, 2022

In addition to Among Us VR, Schell Games gifted us with Lost Recipes – a cooking simulation of a somewhat different kind this year.

You visit three different historical epochs and cultural areas, where you prepare dishes according to centuries-old recipes with the ingredients, utensils, and techniques of the time. This is not only fun, it’s also educational.

Another special feature of the VR game is that cooking is about precision rather than speed. The more precisely you follow the recipes, the better your cooking will be rated. This makes cooking feel structured and relaxing, unlike other genre representatives.

You can learn more about the VR game in my Lost Recipes review.

Moss: Book II

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR, Playstation VR
Release date: March 31, 2022

The original Moss is already one of the best VR games to date and has sold over a million copies. And rightly so. Controlling the little mouse wanderer Quill through a pretty diorama landscape, solving puzzles and defeating enemies with her is tremendous fun and creates an emotional relationship between player and protagonist. The second book continues the adventure seamlessly and goes one better in terms of gameplay and design.

“Even if you’re not that much into the genre, the details, animations, and excellent VR craftsmanship show you what’s possible with virtual reality. The sceneries are real jaw-droppers and never cease to amaze.” writes Ben in his Moss 2 review.

The VR game was named Best Game at the 2022 VR Awards.

Red Matter 2

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR
Release date: August 18, 2022

The sequel to the sci-fi title offers the most technically impressive backdrops for Quest 2 and, for long stretches, a delightfully immersive VR adventure that draws gamers all around into its mystical space stations.

After the protagonist Sasha Riss’s consciousness is freed from a simulation, he finds himself in the body of a guard on a base of the hostile Atlantic Union. Cool mechanics puzzles, exciting sneaking tours, and somewhat bland shootouts follow.

The design of the planetary stations is a pure feast for fans of old sci-fi movies full of flashing mainframes and brutalist concrete buildings. Even ray tracing is used, for example for reflections on monitors or laser beams like from the scanning tool. It’s a real pleasure to examine even the smallest, nicely shimmering detail or to translate volgravic writings with the scanner.

Read Jan’s Red Matter 2 review if you want to learn more about the title.

The Last Clockwinder

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC-VR
Release date: June 2, 2022

The Last Clockwinder offers an interesting new game concept that can only be implemented in virtual reality. You awaken in an ancient, mysterious machine built in the middle of a colossal tree. Your task is to get the complex mechanical clockwork running again. The only problem is that you can’t do it alone.

The tide turns when you find a pair of magic gloves that allow you to clone yourself. You perform a movement or an action and a mechanical alter ego is created that imitates you in a continuous loop. If you skillfully connect your clones in series, you can build complex contraptions. The mechanical helpers will assist you with tasks like farming and harvesting and are the key to repairing the machine.

Read more about this fabulously beautiful puzzler in my review of The Last Clockwinder.

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Pico 4, PC VR, Playstation VR 1 & 2
Release date: Meta Quest 2: December 1, 2022, Pico 4: December 23, 2022, PC-VR & Playstation VR 2: 2023

The predecessor was one of the best VR games ever. The sequel follows the story of the first part but is also a standalone VR game.

The journey once again takes you to New Orleans, which has been devastated by a zombie apocalypse. The studio promises a new story campaign, new city areas to explore, new weapons and tools, and new gameplay mechanics. Your antagonist is the Axe Man, a mysterious, post-apocalyptic slasher whose actions and intrigues should keep you constantly on your toes throughout the campaign.

The new arsenal will not merely consist of variants of already known weapons but will be designed to let you use unique and new combat techniques. Among the new additions, you’ll find the silencer, new weapons such as the submachine gun and the sawed-off shotgun, as well as a chainsaw.

Ben played the PC VR version of Saints & Sinners 2, which won’t be released until 2023, at Gamescom 2022 and found it “bloody good.”

Townsmen VR

Platforms: PC VR
Release date: March 24, 2022

After years in Early Access, version 1.0 of Townsmen VR was released this year. Our construction game fan Ben liked it extremely well. In his Townsmen VR review, Ben wrote:

“If you’re a construction game fan playing Townsmen VR, you don’t want to go back to the monitor – at least that’s how I feel, and I have a hard time imagining you feeling any different. It’s a difference like night and day because I’m in the middle of it, not just in front of it. I see a whole microcosm of virtual life scurrying around me. Of course, the studio’s craftsmanship has played a crucial role in this. Townsmen VR is nothing less than a playable work of art. I thank the studio from the bottom of my heart for producing this VR game in such outstanding quality.”

Ultimechs

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR
Release date: September 15, 2022

Ultimechs is the latest game from VR hotbed Resolution Games, responsible for titles like Demeo and Blaston. In this VR variation of the 2D classic Rocket League, you’ll slip into a chrome-steel flashing mech alone or with a friend and take on human opponents in a futuristic arena.

The goal is to launch a metal ball into opponents’ gates using rocket-powered fists that you can launch every few seconds and control in mid-air. Lightning-fast movement, coordination, and special abilities of your mechs are the keys to success.

Ultimechs is a free-to-play title. Learn more with our full review.

Ultrawings 2

Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC VR
Release date: February3 , 2022

The sequel to the arcade flight simulation kicks it up a notch in all areas.

You’ll control five unique aircraft, including a helicopter over four brand-new islands. During the day, night, dusk and overcast skies. Ultrawings offers more than a dozen mission types and, since the summer, multiplayer dogfights.

If you’re looking for a more realistic scenario, take a look at Warplanes: Battles Over Pacific, also released in 2022.

Wanderer

Platforms: PC VR, Playstation VR
Release date: January 27, 2022

In Wanderer, you take on the role of Asher Neumann, who must travel through time with the help of a chattering wristwatch to prevent the destruction of human civilization. Along the way, you’ll meet Nikola Tesla, find yourself on the moon, decipher ancient symbols, and drum in front of a huge audience at the famous Woodstock festival.

The title relies on a combination of escape room puzzles and action interludes. Asher must also connect objects from different times in innovative ways to advance the story.

Zenith: The Last City

Platform: Meta Quest 1 & 2, PC VR, Playstation VR, Playstation VR 2.
Release date: January 27, 2022, Playstation VR 2: 2023

Zenith is an MMORPG inspired by Japanese role-playing games. The stylized fantasy world was designed by hand and ranges from vast forests to paradisiacal coasts to the futuristic city of Zenith itself.

Zenith offers maximum freedom of movement. You can climb any object by hand, from skyscrapers to mountains. You can then glide through the air to reach distant areas of the map, attack enemies, or simply enjoy the view. The combat system is motion-based and uses intuitive mechanics like throwing, blocking, and dodging instead of pure button mashing.

The social aspects were also important to the team. Thus, Zenith offers plenty of group content, including epic world bosses, events, and dungeons. Two major content updates were released during the year: Celestial Throne and Legends Untold. A new player class, the Ninja, is coming next year.

Also worth a look