The best PSVR2 games to play in 2023
The PlayStation VR2 has landed. Sony’s next-generation VR headset arrived on March 22, bringing with it a bundle of games from a range of talented developers. As with any hot hardware launch, we’ve been working through the roster, determined to bring you a list of the best PSVR2 games to inform your spending habits as you get to grips with this brand-new piece of kit.
Read on for a curated list of our early favourites, with a focus on offering you a wide variety of experiences that cover the main VR genres and exemplify the best features of the PSVR2. Some of these games are available elsewhere, but they all work great on the headset, and give you a few different options for something to play, whether you’re craving a multiplayer shooter, intense single-player challenge or even just a chill float along in a Kayak. Read on to see what you should be playing on your new headset.
Best PSVR2 games to play in 2023
- The Light Brigade
- Kayak VR: Mirage
- Cosmonius High
- Zenith: The Last City
- The LAst Clockwinder
- Pistol Whip
- Tetris Effect Connected
- Horizon Call of the Mountain
- Pavlov VR
The Light Brigade
One of few ‘new’ games to launch alongside the PSVR2, Funktronic Labs’ The Light Brigade feels appropriately fresh. A moreish roguelike shooter with a Dark Souls difficulty twist, you gun your way through procedurally generated environments, collecting souls and praying at altars to purify them and level up a series of classes. Die though, and if you don’t get to your ghost, you lose everything. Full of smart ideas and copious loot, you’ll slowly reveal a veritable Firelink Shrine of NPC vendors, as well as stumble upon gun attachments, permanent upgrades and even a collectible ability card system. This one is something you’ll keep returning to, as the complex enemy AI couples with the randomised arenas and airtight controls to offer stimulating combat challenges at every turn.
Kayak VR: Mirage
Boasting the best, and certainly the most immediate realistic visual jaw-drop on PSVR2, Kayak VR: Mirage is a simple but formidable game where you paddle through stunning hi-res environments, from Australia to Antarctica. The haptic paddling controls take a healthy amount of time to master, but once you’re out on the open water with the soothing soundtrack in your ears, the experience quickly becomes meditative. For the best experience, take a mindful approach. Move slowly, feel the weight of the water in your hands and appreciate each jagged rock you push off from, as well as the Sense Controller rumbles that follow. Beware though, it’s still a solid upper arm workout, and even more taxing in the thrilling race modes.
Very few game studios have made multiple solid VR games, which is why Owlchemy Labs’ pedigree is so impressive. Coming from the creator of Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator, Cosmonius High is the studio’s most cohesive outing yet, building on the hilarity and nonsensical interactivity of the studio’s previous games. You play as the new kid at an intergalactic high school, imbued with puzzle-solving elemental and psychonautical superpowers that gush out of your palms. As well as busting open lockers, eating snacks and collecting ‘Blebs’ (yes, really), you’ll make friends and enjoy a quirky curriculum that includes ‘Astralgebra’ and ‘Visualetics’ (art mixed with athletics, of course). This is a playground the whole family can enjoy, where pretty much every asset in the game can be picked up and played with. It’s a hotbed for untethered imagination that everyone should try.
Zenith: The Last City
If you’re looking for a long-term investment, Zenith is a remarkably intricate and quickly-growing VR MMO which takes healthy inspiration from Final Fantasy 14 and Sword Art Online. Choose between the sleek dual swords of the Blademaster or the wrist-mounted blasters of the spellcasting Essence Mage, and set off upon a grand adventure in a gigantic, beautiful world. With dungeons, guilds, crafting, puzzles, raids and creature collecting, there’s plenty to get your teeth into as you climb through the levels, unlock new skills and maybe even find some friends to form a party with. Being able to climb and glide your way through its varied, immersive biomes is the cherry on top of this wish-fulfilment cake.
The Last Clockwinder
Puzzle fans rejoice, as the PSVR2 already has a brilliant brain-teaser for you to get stuck into. The Last Clockwinder plays with the concept of automation by making you record your physical inputs to form the strata of an interconnected system. To take an early example, you can record yourself picking and throwing fruit, and then record yourself catching and storing it — then you can step back and watch your feedback loop play out, beaming with pride. It’s a genius and tremendously unique way to use the medium, and the complexity grows with every level. Even better, it’s all underpinned by a moving story set in a charming, cosy world.
Do you want to feel like John Wick? Pistol Whip tees up this enticing premise and then confidently delivers on it, turning soundtracked action movie shootouts into rhythmic euphoria. This is one you might have played before if you’ve owned other VR headsets, but even so, Pistol Whip VR stands very tall on the PSVR2 thanks to its immersive controller haptics and headset rumble. You can feel the crunch of each shot as you pound goons full of lead, while ducking and weaving to dodge their attacks. With a cavalcade of content to get through and a customisable suite to tailor your style, you’ll be coming back constantly to feel the gratifying rush of this legendary VR game, which, above all else, never fails to make you feel extremely cool.
Tetris Effect Connected
If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the vision of virtual synaesthetic maestro Tetsuya Mizuguchi, then the PSVR2 is the ultimate platform for you to take your first step into the emotional unknown. Regardless of what it says on the tin, Tetris Effect Connected is so much more than an arcade puzzle game. Arriving from the minds behind Rez and Lumines, each level is an audio-visual odyssey where every twisting tetromino and line break is reflected in your palms (and now your head, thanks to the PSVR2’s headset rumble) with careful vibrations that tease out goosebumps and feelings of frisson, as you lose yourself to the driving beat of its soundtrack. If you’re looking for something profound that can prove the power of the medium to take us into uncharted experiential territory, then look no further than this work of art.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
Call of the Mountain is the only bespoke first-party game on PSVR2 right now, so it’s an easy recommendation for a full-game experience, even if it doesn’t quite reach the high heights of something like Half-Life Alyx. Call of the Mountain does, however, harbour the best traversal mechanics in a VR game to date, as you work your arms climbing up gorgeous mountains, clambering up ice walls with picks, leaping across gorges and swinging through vistas across a series of death-defying set pieces and puzzle box environments. All your tools blend together perfectly in the late-game, making exploration feel consistently exciting and fluid. Combat is more linear as you circle around the robot beasts, crafting and hurling arrows and bombs at their exoskeletons, but it’s still a lot of fun, and fans of the Horizon series will certainly get a rise out of its story and characters across its six-hour runtime.
If you’re a Counter-Strike or Valorant veteran, you’ll feel right at home with Pavlov VR. With its tactical multiplayer gunplay and realistic weapon simulation, it’s easily the best FPS on PSVR2. Thanks to its immersive haptics and high-fidelity assets, you can lose hours playing Trouble in Terrorist Town or Gun Game, learning recoil patterns, sneaky hiding spots and flexing your cunning ability to trick and dominate online opponents. There’s always the Zombies mode too if you’re looking to hone your shooting skills against the horde.
PSVR2 headsets are available now.