Sony and HTC/Valve are stealing some of the limelight but Oculus Rift will still have a great line-up of games when the consumer headset starts shipping in.
First look: Oculus Rift consumer edition review
The indie world has embraced Oculus and its possibilities but big titles from serious games publishers are starting to crop up too. When you get your headset (or if you already have a Dev Kit) you'll want to try these games out: we have split our picks into the best big upcoming games, indie games and existing games with VR support.
Set to launch the same day as Oculus Rift does (whenever that is) and be bundled for free with pre-ordered headsets - CCP Games' multiplayer space dogfighting game is Oculus' darling. Valkyrie has been a long time coming so we're sure the finished game will be a big launch title for the Rift.
It's set in the EVE: Online universe so there's a readymade fanbase and from our brief play - including playing multiplayer with a room full of journos also strapped in - there's plenty to be excited about. One for Battlestar Galactica/Star Wars fans.
Oculus and Harmonix announced Rock Band VR for the Rift with Oculus Touch controllers able to track the Rock Band guitars. Wuuuuht. This is the most Marmite VR game we've seen yet but we'll reserve judgement till we've played it. Plus we now know that Luckey has been working on this game for a long time, signalling that we will see more social VR games from Oculus.
Crytek's Robinson: The Journey (which was originally in this list) has been announced as an exclusive for PlayStation VR but the developer is redressing the balance with The Climb, an Oculus Rift exclusive. Yes.
It's compatible with both Xbox One controllers and Oculus Touch and it sees gamers scaling cliffs and rockfaces around the world. Beautiful scenery meets immersive thrills.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
This is a genius way of making VR multiplayer, with just one headset. One person volunteers to be trapped in a (virtual) room with a ticking time bomb. Then everyone else - the Experts - has to read the instructions to defuse it and help out the VR headset wearer get the job done. There's a different bomb every time and it's developed by Steel Crate Games.
This Oculus Touch shooter from Epic Games mirrors your hand movements to let you experience well, shooting people in a pretty crazy way. More teasers on features include teleportation and time manipulation so it sounds like a damn ambitious game. The first tech demo, built around showing off Unreal Engine 4, was only outed in September so this one might be a while.
This melancholic, first person sci-fi VR game comes from Mindfield Games and sees gamers exploring the moon Titan i.e. deep space. You explore a space base built by the US and the Russians - in this timeline Kennedy was never killed and everyone is working together. P.O.L.L.E.N broke records on Steam Greenlight and is due to arrive in early 2016.
World War Toons
From Reload studios comes this lovely 3D cartoon VR game set on a 20th century battlefield, World War Toons. Everything from the music to the details in the backgrounds to the characters' facial expressions is funny and there's some clever mechanics too. For instance, when you grab a gun or tank you power-up to that class of officer. It's announced for PlayStation VR too but Reload has said WWT is coming to PC with Oculus support.
Edge of Nowhere
This moody, intense third person VR game is from Insomniac Games sees the player following a character on an Antarctic mission to rescue a missing expedition. The story seems more like a traditional Uncharted-style console game but we're excited to see how this translates to VR - epic snowscapes, eerie caverns, supernatural creatures flying over head.
VR Sports Challenge
Something a bit different. This is essentially a bunch of different VR sports including ice hockey, football, baseball and basketball. Early demos have looked promising - the game highlights balls and pucks in green or red to show if you're looking at it. Sanzaru Games is bringing Wii Sports to Oculus Rift and it looks damn fun.
A third-person perspective in virtual reality games should be a big no-no, but somehow Lucky's Tale gets it absolutely right. It's a 3D platformer in the vein of Mario 64, with your face hovering god-like above the titular character as he bounces improbably around a technicolour land. It's the kind of innovation Rift games need, and it's great to see a family-friendly title arriving for the headset.
Jonathan Blow is the megabrain behind breakout platformer Braid, and his latest game, The Witness, looks set to continue his obsession with contorting your mind in ways it really shouldn't.
Set on a mysterious and apparently deserted island, the game features some 440 puzzles to work your way through. Blow has developed the engine from the ground up, and he's stated that the game will have "experimental" support for VR, previously namechecking the Oculus Rift.
One of the more interesting games of the past few years, first-person puzzler NaissanceE tells the story of Lucy, who finds herself in a mysterious complex. It's a game which is at once beautiful and nightmarish. Last September it officially added Oculus Rift support, so its surprisingly vast underground cities can surprise you with their vastness.
Created by indie developer Ana Ribeiro as a love letter to her favourite consoles, Pixel Rift now called Pixel Ripped posits the player as a gamer facing obstacles while covertly playing classic games. Like the best Rift games it builds a familiar sense of place and then completely screws with it - levels end with a merging of the retro game you're playing and the "reality" in which you're playing them. Bonkers.
£TBA, Free demo
Bossa Studios' game has become the stuff of legend, featuring a butter-fingered surgeon named Nigel Burke operating on Bob, his unfortunate patient. It all gets ridiculously silly and gory as you crack ribs and rearrange organs, and Oculus Rift really makes it feel like you're in Burke's blood-filled boots. In September, Bossa announced that Surgeon Simulator will support the Oculus Touch controllers.
Not a single game, but an emulator capable of running a whole whack of Nintendo GameCube and Wii titles in stereoscopic 3D. It takes a bit of configuring, but the chunky, colourful graphics of Super Smash Bros Brawl, Paper Mario and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker really shine on the Rift - even if it might cause some major league vomiting.
This is the one where you're pretending to be a dolphin in an underwater classroom. As dolphins are obviously geniuses their test papers consist of some really hard questions, so you have to cheat by leaning over and copying your neighbours' answers. If you're caught by the dolphins and their cetacean teacher it's game over.
Sitting somewhere between Psychonauts, Mirror's Edge and Just Cause 2, Windlands casts the player as a superhero type who can make improbably giant leaps around the chunky, technicolour world, and swing from tree to tree Tarzan style. It's amazingly smooth and almost dreamlike, but it could definitely do with a few challenges to make it into more of a game.
Superhot has been around as a web game for a while, but it's currently seeking funds for Rift expansion. The stylish first person shooter features a unique way of controlling time – move forwards and the clock ticks, but stop and everything pauses. It means you can take your time, which could prove to be essential as you take your first steps into the disorientating virtual world.
There's a touch of Sega's classic trippy shooter Rez to Vanguard V. It's another third person game, but this time it's taking place in a planet's stratosphere, with occasional dips into the ocean. Vanguard V's beautifully designed with judicious use of colour, and its use of the Rift's head tracking for targeting means that you'll really feel you're part of the action.
Basically a 3D version of classic Atari game Asteroids, Laserface posits you as an unfortunate character who can shoot laser beams out of his face. As you do. Like Vanguard V targeting is achieved through the Rift's head tracking, and shooting objects causes lovely three-dimensional showers of debris. There's a lot of potential here.
Half-Life 2/Team Fortress 2
Steam creator and PC gaming stalwart Valve was one of the first big companies to get massively enthused about the Rift, and it's modded its Source engine to support it. As a result you can catch the 3D train into Half-Life 2's ominous City 17 and blast your way out, or enjoy the frenetic action of Team Fortress 2 from a whole new perspective.
Aaaa! For the Awesome
There wasn't enough ludicrous psychedelic base jumping in games until Aaaa! For the Awesome showed up. The game invites you to plummet through a series of sub-orbital neon skyscrapers and then pull the ripcord at the last minute, racking up the points as you fall. A well-loved indie game the first time round, it's become essential on the Rift – although you will need to have your sick bag to hand.