The time has come. We’ve discussed all kinds of genres and shades of games here at the site, but it’s time to talk about one of the really big ones. A genre that’s going to help determine whether or not we really kick off well as an industry. It’s time to map out the landscape of role playing games in virtual reality, and what titles we believe, deserves the title as an awesome VR RPG worth checking out. Buckle up, folks.
That’s right – Today we’re going to feature some of the best, most intuitive and thematic role-playing games for virtual reality, currently available. It doesn’t matter whether you have an Oculus Rift or a HTC Vive. Either one will do though. Arm yourself with some patience and explore what the landscape of immersive role-playing games look like in 2018. Before we get to the meat of it all, we’ve got to start out with the basics. The question that will likely divide the opinions of our dear readers – what makes a great RPG?
- Is it the in-depth story line that keeps you spellbound for hours on end during a three-hour long session of The Witcher?
- Could it be trying to unmask villains and uncover hidden plots in the depths of a game of Baldur’s Gate?
- Might it be the prospect of hundreds of hours invested, on an endless loot-induced World of Warcraft frenzy?
- Could it be the perfectionist Skyrim-resident residing within you, constantly aiming at total quest completion and world exploration?
Whatever it is, it’s time to take a look at some of the finest RPG VR games out there for you headset-wielding warriors.
Today’s list is full of so much amazing content, that ranking them would be something close to impossible, so for the first time in a while – enjoy the non-biased joy of an unranked list.
Without further ado, let’s get to it:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim VR is first up on today’s list. As a first mention, we’re happy to have the fifth chapter in the iconic Elder Scrolls series, taking place in the fictitious realm of Tamriel.
Originally published for PC, PlayStation and Xbox back in 2011, this award-winning grand gem of RPG’s rose to fame as one of the most detailed, rich and hyper-modded games of the 21st century. In the game you get to live the life of a legendary warrior, whose draconian heritage dwell of the edge of mythology and tall tales.
The deep lore, intricate storytelling and massive open world is what makes Skyrim what it is. Exploring this roleplaying RPG game in virtual reality is, while a bit clunky on the motion controls, a great return to one of the most memorable RPG’s in modern history. Surely, Skyrim VR deserves a shining place on today’s list, and all other lists popping out all over the web, as virtual reality makes strides towards becoming a main stream phenomena.
- Platform: PlayStation VR
The Mage’s Tale is up next, and it’s an incredible addition to our list. If you have any place in your heart for hurling fireballs at enemies and conjuring up the power of the elements to your aid, you’re going to want to have a look at Mage’s Tale VR. While Mage’s Tale is not a traditional story-driven RPG with plethora of dialogue options like we know them from the good old days of Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment, it surely has some of the same ambient vibes, as you hack, slash and shock your way through the game in stunning immersive visuals.
- Platform: Oculus Rift
The Soulkeeper VR
The Soulkeeper is another title we have carve out room for on today’s list of the best RPG games to try this year. The cool thing about Soulkeeper, and the reason you might want to take it for a spin is that it’s just so wonderfully dark. There’s a thematic link to the Dark Souls universe, while simultaneously keeping the awesome first-person controllers known and loved by all fans of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. The quality reviews for The Soulkeeper VR over at Steam are mixed, and whatever negative feedback is there, seems to revolve around the mechanics of the game being a bit too unfinished. Still, with the visuals being what they are, and the thematic feeling of the game, it manages to stay on our list as a title for you to try this year, if you are any kind of fan of first-person RPG’s.
Vanishing Realms: Rite of Steel
Vanishing Realms is one of those games that you just instantly know is built for VR. The game itself packs a very Diablo-like feel to its dark and dank fantasy realm, and fans of Blizzard’s “Sanctuary”, will definitely feel quite at home here. When you stand up tall and pick your fight against terrifying, life-sized monsters in heroic combat, you will feel just how realistic, a semi-cartoonish 3D game in virtual reality can be. Vanishing Realms features everything a good old hack-and-slash RPG would need – Mystical artifacts, ancient enemies, might and magic.
Preta: Vendetta Rising
Preta: Vendetta Rising is up next, and is a VR RPG game to be reckoned with. Like other titles on today’s list, the developers behind this dark and forsaken game have taken their inspiration from high-selling franchises such as Dark Souls, The Witcher and Diablo. Preta features a vast array of quests, crafting, dungeon-crawling and like the traditional grand RPG’s of yore (Yes, we’re looking at you, Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate), there’s hours of content for you to explore and enjoy. Another great feature of Preta is its multiplayer feature for co-up, making it a social experiment as well.
The Left Hand Path
The Left Hand Path is the first RPG VR game today to feature horror as a sub-genre, and it’s a very welcome addition indeed. The game is a solid mix of what you’d get if you introduced spells, medieval weaponry and virtual reality to the Amnesia Franchise. The game itself opens up, as you awaken, a resident in an abandoned castle full of terrifying beasts. As you make your way deeper into the corners and dungeons, you’ll get to utilize your entire range of motion to make gestures, cast spells, duck and dodge as hordes of monsters head your way on a determined mission to end your life. Prepare to die!
Chronos VR is both an RPG and a platform game that you have to consider taking on if you happen to be the lucky owner of an Oculus Rift. The game is challenging, explorative and far from repetitive. The story driving the game is captivating and as you make your way towards the end of the game you feel a strong sense of connection to it. Apart from all of these, it also happens to be incredibly beautiful. So much so in fact, that it seems almost impossible to think the developers behind this piece of art managed to pull off something this great, so early in the lifespan of virtual reality.
- Platform: Oculus Rift
VR Dungeon Knight
VR Dungeon Knight is a community favourite VR RPG game worth its weight in gold. There’s nothing experimental or flashy about it, though. It relies on the good, old, tried-and-tested recipe. A dungeon crawling masterpiece that, despite being an early access launch manages to really reel you in hard before you know it, you’ll be an HMD full of sweat, a mind full of awesome experiences and a bag full of loot. If you have ever found pleasure in looting something awesome in any kind of MMO/RPG game yet somehow fail to pick this up, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. Strap up your HMD, pick up that sword and do the right thing!
Acan’s Call: Act 1
Acan’s Call is a role-playing VR game that packs a lot of action early on, and (being originally built by and for Cyberith) it certainly makes full use of the fact that you can move around freely in VR with an omnidirectional treadmill. While in the very early stages of development, it’s a good introduction to the motion controllers, for those of us out there whose hearts beat to the drums of war, RPG’s and dungeon crawlers. It’s a bit of a shame that there’s only Act 1 available, but if the quality remains the same as more acts are released, we’re in for one heck of a ride. Great work Cyberith!
- Platform: HTC Vive
Karnage Chronicles is next up on today’s article on the best RPG games to try for VR this year. The game itself has a very high-end feel to its graphics. Of all the games tonight, this is certainly the most beautiful visuals. While a very recently published game for sure, we can’t downplay just how incredibly thematic this one is. One thing worth noting, is that the developers didn’t bite over more than they could chew, and has secured a few hours of genuinely enjoyable gameplay. Imagine, a Skyrim-like first person perspective, and models that could have been taken straight out of a Blizzard game.
Bonus Mention: Waltz of the Wizard
If you can compromise the dialogue options of traditional role-playing games, we have an atmospheric gem for you.
Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to wield the mysteries of the arcane? If that’s the case, then we’re happy to tell you that you can do so right now by heading over to Steam and pick up a copy of Waltz of the Wizard for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. In the game you get to live the life of a mighty mage with all of the benefits that title entails. Master the elements and unleash your powers while basking in an iconic fantasy-like ambiance. Explore a new kind of VR-based locomotion through the use of Telepath.
Telepath is a new approach to VR locomotion that combines elements of teleportation and linear movement.
Waltz of thee Wizard has it all – a dark tower, delightful controls, powerful elixirs and the off chance of transforming the environment with magic. What else could you need? Being one of the most well received titles for the Vive, this is one you wouldn’t want to miss.
For more awesome games for the HTC Vive, head over to our list of our favorite games to play right now.
Deadly Hunter VR
Deadly Hunter brings you an action-packed RPG game that is sure to bring any Skyrim-fan out of the gates to see if the controls are comparable, or the ambiance the same. The verdict would have to be that while the content is nowhere near as immense as a freaking Bethesda game, this game excels for what it is. A free VR RPG game that gives you some 1st person, heart-racing action for a few hours. A solid pickup we think!
The Wizards manages to pull of a weird combination of qualities. If you are a fan of the environments and aesthetics from traditional RPG games like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights or any of the recent Pillars of Eternity games, and wonder what it would be like to feel that ambiance up-close in first-person mode and virtual reality, you should definitely check The Wizards. Get up-close on the action, and stand in awe as you live out some of the most carefully conjured mythic encounters in VR history. An absolutely solid launch by Carbon Studio.
Withblood is a tragic story, wrangled into what feels like a great example of what VR can be made to be, even on mobile devices and entry-level headsets like the GearVR. One of the most incredible parts of the game is how well made and integrated the audio and voice acting is. Listen for it, as you make your way through the game – it really is something special, and when blended into the very atmospheric game design, it wraps up quite nicely. A solid #1 pick if you’re on the Samsung GearVR.
- Platform: Samsung GearVR
OrbusVR is a massive game for the Oculus that should be considered for any serious fan of the roleplaying genre due to its vast portfolio of content. While it doesn’t have the compelling visuals of a game like – say, SkyrimVR or anything from The Witcher series, it does go well about exploring an open world with so much VR RPG content that it’s going to make your head spin. As of the time of this article, there’s several 5-player group dungeons, world bosses and even a new, 10-person raid. Orbus is going strong, and with its current flow of updates and improvements, you’re in for one heck of a game. With expansive quest-based content offering 20+ hours of rich and solid game play, Orbus leads by example. Content is king.
Fallout 4 VR
Fallout 4, is without a doubt the most popular VR game out there of the genre. Do you love guns? A meaningful dialogue? An out-of-this-world soundtrack? Then picking up a copy of Fallout might be just what you need. Keep in mind though, that this one is Vive-exclusive for now.What Bethesda did here, was that they managedto successfully grab a title that has been cared about and loved for decades, and then weaved it into the realm of VR without the collective community of veteran playinjg losing their minds over a once-great-but-now-unplayable game. There were so many ways in which this adaptation could have gone awry, but here we are. Bethesda sets the bar for what level of quality an established franchise ought to aim for, when launching for VR. With that being said – maybe launch with scopes next time!
- Platform: HTC Vive
A quick note on RPG’s and what they are
While RPG’s are one of the most universally loved genres, there are still some confusion around the genre. What exactly defines a role-playing game?
Some fans of the original Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, swear that if you don’t hold a hit die in your hand prior to making a decision – then it isn’t a role playing game. that it simply isn’t a role playing game at all anymore. Yet others have made the case that if there are no elements of mythical beasts or magic involved, then it isn’t a role playing game.
At the end of the day, if you are playing a game, and making choices on behalf of someone you’re not, chances are good that it’s a role playing game you’re playing, and that would give it a chance to be on our list.
Critical Role – a perfect intro to role playing and D&D
If you enjoyed today’s list of our favorite games for VR, and would like to learn more about exploring role-playing games off the screen, we highly recommend that you head right over to Geek and Sundry where you will find a show called Critical Role. Critical Role is a modern and exciting intro the concept of role playing. The concept is quite simply a group of nerdy voice actors playing table-top Dungeons and Dragons every Thursday.
We all know an adrenaline-induced session of VR-based dragon slaying is awesome, but don’t forget that its also rewarding to do so off screen with friends during a good old session of pen and paper.
Summary: 15 Best RPG Games for Virtual Reality
The games on today’s list are of various themes, lengths and quality, and we’re excited to see that there’s already such a diverse portfolio of RPG-based content available out there, for the Vive-wielding warriors of VR RPG games. While the prospect of having AAA-titles like Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights or Fallout game in fully-immersive VR and flawless controls sounds awesome, we shouldn’t expect it to pop up and show its face anytime soon. The industry has yet to mature to its full height, and we’re still figuring out just how the combination of immersive controls, RPG content and the VR medium works best. The golden formula is surely yet to be uncovered. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, our swords wielded and trusted HMD’s by our side as we see what’s next for the realm of RPG-based virtual reality gaming.