Best Oculus Quest games 2021: a guide to wireless VR gaming and Oculus Link titles

Over the past few years, virtual reality has taken a huge leap forward with the Oculus Quest and the even newer Oculus Quest 2. Both of these VR headsets have no wires, which means you can take them with you wherever you go and step into new worlds home or away.

This is significant because until the Quest was launched you had to have a high-end PC set-up to power a VR headset, like the Oculus Rift. You'd need to attach it to the PC with a wire for it to work. But the Quest headsets are different: they're wireless. 

The Facebook-owned Oculus Quest headsets are basically a wireless VR console that comes with its own storefront for you to buy and play games through. With the additional purchase of an Oculus Link cable, you can also hook it up to your PC and play VR games that are outside of the Quest’s library. 

Though the first Oculus Quest headset is no longer available to buy, being totally eclipsed by the Quest 2, it'll still run newer games that are being produced with the Oculus Quest 2 in mind for the time being – even if performance doesn't quite match up to that of the newer headset. This is good news for anyone with an original Quest who wants access to the latest games.

Of course, no gaming system will gain traction without great games. And thankfully the Quest and Quest 2 launched with an astonishing library of titles that spans genres and serves up a myriad of stellar experiences. 

The Oculus Quest 2 improved upon everything the first one offered, but both share the same of games, meaning our picks below are relevant to both headset generations. Let's dive into the best Oculus Quest games that you can play today, and read on to find out what our picks of the best Oculus Quest games are.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: beat saber

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Beat Saber

Beat Saber has sold more than a million units across existing VR platforms for good reason – it's addictive as heck – and simple enough for anyone to jump into. The aim is to slice red and blue blocks in time to music using dual lightsabers while contorting your limbs to duck and dodge advancing walls.

At lower difficulties it's fun, but things get really interesting on 'Hard or 'Expert'. Stick with it, and you'll eventually enter a ‘flow state’ where your arms operate independent of thought. Suddenly you’re slicing through blocks like Luke Skywalker if he'd drummed for Pendulum instead of becoming a Jedi.

Make sure you have a big enough play space to execute 360-degree dance moves (which is exclusive to Quest), and hooking up external headphones (especially ones with deep bass) is a must. Following a recent update, it's even possible to cast gameplay to mobile devices and certain Chromecast models to show off your moves to friends.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: creed

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Creed is one of the best workouts on Oculus Quest and a must for boxing fans. Whereas its challenging single-player campaign places an emphasis on patience, timed dodging and striking at hit points on the opponent's torso, online multiplayer presents a different challenge – and it's there that Creed shines.

With a big enough playspace, tactics suddenly come into play. Do you pick to play a brawler like Drago and come forward applying pressure? Or choose a fighter with better stamina and fight at the end of a jab while maintaining distance?

As they say, styles make fights, and Creed does an admirable job of making its movie-themed characters translate as yours. It may not be the bona-fide boxing sim we're waiting for, (are you listening, Thrill of the Fight?) but it’s keeping our ring rust at bay for now.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: first steps

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First Steps

It may be free, but don't write it off. Perhaps one of the greatest games available on the Quest 2 is the free demo room you get with the console.

This walks you through the basics of VR and how to interact with items, throw things and familiarise yourself with the controls. It is hard to state just how intuitive and fun this little playroom game is. When you’re inside, you see a desk which progressively fills with more items, from glowing blocks to pick up and throw to pull-cord rockets which will blast off and fly around the room.

There’s also a table tennis bat and ball to mess around with which shouldn’t be as fun as it is. You could easily spend hours trying this small game out and the best part is that it’s totally free and comes with three other mini-games you can play while in the game, one which features a shooting range and another which has a dancing robot (which is legitimately terrifying).

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: journey of the gods

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Journey of the Gods

Until a Legend of Zelda game designed from the ground up for VR arrives, Journey of the Gods is the closest thing going. Flaunting an attractive cell-shaded art style that brings its giant and grotesque bosses to life, Gods employs clever use of scale as you traverse its large yet linear levels. While most of the action-adventure game is viewed in the first-person, a ‘God mode’ lets you manipulate the environment from a strategic top-down perspective to solve puzzles and gain the upper hand in combat.

A large play space comes in handy in physically sidestepping projectiles or spinning around to face enemies with your sword and shield when surrounded. The most fun weapon in the game, however, is the crossbow, which is manually reloaded using a crank handle and rewards careful judgement of distance and timing.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: Jurassic Park Aftermath

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Jurassic Park Aftermath

Many VR experiences are exciting, but there's something extremely special about getting to immerse yourself in a world and a franchise that you've loved for years (decades even). That's why we highly recommend Jurassic Park Aftermath, a story that follows the events of Jurassic World. As you'd expect, this is a survival adventure that requires you to uncover sensitive information while avoiding deadly Velociraptors. You need to solve puzzles, find your way around and do a lot of hiding to get out alive.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: moss

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Puzzle-platform fans will feel better about Astro Bot being a PS4 exclusive once they’ve given Moss a go. Developed by former Bungie developers, this cutesy third-person adventure is visually one of the more impressive titles on the Quest, which helps draw you into its immersive 3D environments.

You guide Quill, a swashbuckling mouse who’s on a quest to save her uncle after their kingdom was overthrown by a hot-headed snake. Far from a gimmick, Moss employs a clever use of VR that helps you manipulate the environment and guide Quill around levels, tackling environmental puzzles and engaging in combat with enemies along the way.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: pavlov

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A word of warning: though Pavlov can be played on Oculus Quest, the FPS is currently an Open Alpha release, so you won't find it in the Oculus Store. However, if you're prepared to sideload it, you can jump into the action early. Join the Pavlov Discord channel for installation instructions and help from its friendly community.

A huge hit on other VR platforms, Pavlov is essentially Counter: Strike in VR. The alpha presents two game modes: Deathmatch, and Search & Destroy, the latter of which involves one team planting a bomb while the other attempts to diffuse it.

Like Onward, Pavlov requires you to reload guns manually – though it's faster-paced than the Mil-Sim and there's rarely a long wait inbetween rounds if you're taken out. Shooting feels satisfying, with a decent amount of weapon recoil and meaty sound effects, while variety in handguns, rifles and machine guns make for varied yet balanced gameplay.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: racket fury

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Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR

A well-received title on the Oculus Go, arcade-styled ping-pong-a-thon Racket Fury is one of the most moreish titles on the Quest. Ideal for quick 10-minute blasts and hour-long sessions alike, you can take on increasingly difficult CPU opponents or attempt to ascend the rankings in online multiplayer.

There's two gameplay modes: Arcade and Simulation. Arcade is faster-paced while making it easier to execute power shots with less accuracy, whereas Simulation demands a deft hand if you want to avoid the ball careering past the edge of the table.

Despite its online mode suffering from a point-scoring glitch, Racket Fury is one of the few sports games on the Quest where we never fail to find active players (at least in the Europe lobby, anyway). So we'll continue enjoying it – at least until Eleven arrives.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: rec room

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Rec Room

Until Pavlov and Onward see proper releases, Rec Room’s Paintball mode remains one of the most playable FPS experiences on the Quest. And that’s just one tiny element of the social VR experience, which remains free-to-play and continues to prove popular on the back of a virtual world that’s constantly growing.

Even without its Battle Royal mode, which is planned to come to the Quest, Rec Room still offers Charades, Dodgeball, and Paddleball, alongside custom user-created rooms and a cooperative adventure called Quest for the Golden Trophy. Rec Room may have its challenges related to the behaviour of its young playerbase, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the amount of content on offer.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: robo recall

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Robo Recall: Unplugged

It's fair to say that few people outside of Drifter, the studio hand-picked by original developer Epic to port Robo Recall to the Quest, expected Unplugged to play nearly identical to the full-fat Oculus Rift version that came out in 2017.

While its graphical downgrades are noticeable, the humorous VR wave shooter is arguably even more exhilarating owed to the Quest's 360-degree freedom. The ability to teleport behind rogue bots, grab them by the chin and spin round to launch them into oncoming enemies is something that wasn't easy on the Rift without risking serious ankle injury.

Added to Unplugged's consistent frame-rate, all of the above makes going for a high-score all the more enjoyable. Everything from dodging (and deflecting) incoming bullets to using crawlers as makeshift rocket launchers feels like taking part in the Robo-recalling olympics. As one of the droids would say: service with a smile.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: room vr

(Image credit: fireproof games)

Room VR: A Dark Matter

If you're tired of the high intensity VR games or bright and colourful VR games, then Room VR: A Dark Matter is for you. Released in early 2020 from Fireproof Games, Room VR: A Dark Matter is available on both the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets – but many iterations of Room games have been available on other consoles for some time. 

What Room VR: A Dark Matter brings you is an escape room, mystery and creepy horror story all rolled into one. There are a lot of puzzles involved, which should be just challenging enough for experienced gamers with clues – you need to activate these, don't worry, they don't just pop-up and spoil it – for those who need a helping hand. 

The visuals and imagery of this game are truly spectacular. We don't want to give too much away, as the game is best left shrouded in mystery, but fans of the occult, Ancient Egypt, Lovecraftian horror and early twentieth century detective stories are in for a real treat. 

It's worth mentioning the transitions of Room VR are really great for those with a sensitivity to motion sickness. There's a gradual fade in and fade out that's more seamless than you'll find on most games. You can choose from sitting and standing options too – and change these settings each time you play. As well as intuitive controls that you're shown in a way that helps you to pick them up quickly without intruding on the story. 

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: space pirate trainer

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Space Pirate Trainer

Having debuted on the Vive back in 2016, Space Pirate Trainer is the OG VR wave blaster. Now on the Quest, it’s one of our favorite games to show off to VR newbies thanks to its simplistic gameplay mechanics, frenetic droid-blasting action and thumping soundtrack.

This golden oldie is almost a whole new experience without a cord tethering you to the spot. Choosing from an assortment of weapons and gadgets, including a nifty shield, the added movement afforded by the Quest’s inside-out tracking system is almost an additional weapon in itself.

It all makes for a physically demanding experience on the Quest – stay rooted to the spot and you’ll be blasted into oblivion. While its gameplay can become repetitive over time, like Beat Saber, it has a magnetic ‘one more go’ feeling about it that seems to pull us back in.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: star wars tales from the galaxy's edge

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Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge

If you're a fan of Star Wars, then you'll love this story that sees some of our all-time favorite characters, like R2-D2, C-3PO (voiced by Anthony Daniels) and even Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz), join us on a space adventure to the planet Batuu. You take on the role of a droid repair technician but when pirates attack you hit the escape pods and crash land on Batuu where you'll have to battle enemies and find clues. If the name sounds familiar, this VR adventure takes place on the same planet as the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge experience at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: superhot

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Superhot VR

Superhot has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a browser-based tech demo in 2013. The first-person shooter has found a natural home on the Quest, where it makes the most of 360-degree tracking by having enemies flank you from all sides.

Because time moves in slow-motion when you do, Superhot VR benefits from the flexibility of a bigger playspace. As the difficulty ramps up, you'll need every inch of cover to dodge incoming fire, bullet-time style, while shattering faceless enemies using guns, shurikens, and - most satisfyingly - your clenched fists.

Best Oculus Quest games 2021: Vader Immortal

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Vader Immortal

The Star Wars game that finally gives you your own real lightsaber… at least, in VR. Vader Immortal follows a short, episodic, three-part narrative which is nothing to write home about. But the gameplay, which lets you blast things with the force, push Vader’s buttons (literally and virtually) and swing around a lightsaber, lends to an extremely worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

Obviously, motion sickness is a big issue with a lot of VR games but this is mostly with games which make you move around with an analogue stick. Vader Immortal, on the other hand, lets you move by selecting a destination to go to and teleporting there, with an extremely short fade-to-black to illustrate the travelling. This keeps motion sickness kept to the bare minimum.

Vader Immortal does an incredible job at immersing you in the world of Star Wars, which, let’s be honest, is probably something a lot of people wish for.

One of the best features about the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 is that you can, in fact, play PC VR games with the headsets.

While this does involve buying a separate cable which doesn’t come with the headset, this allows you to hook either generation Quest headset up to your PC, which means you aren’t solely tied to the library available on the Quest, instead taking advantage of the extra graphical horsepower a PC can bring.

By using the Link cable on a Quest headset, you are given access to a wide range of PC VR games from the action-packed Oculus Rift library and beyond - provided you're happy to tinker with some settings to make the likes of Steam VR play nicely. Just plug the Oculus Link cable into a USB-3 port on your laptop or PC, and then you’ll need to download the Oculus desktop app, which you can find here. Hundreds, if not thousands, more games will then be available to you – here's a few picks to get you started, but make sure to check out general 'Best VR games' round up for a more complete look at what's on offer using this wired method.

(Image credit: Oculus)

Asgard's Wrath

This RPG is an excellent addition to the VR library, with extremely fun combat gameplay and compelling story moments to boot.

You’ll take on the role of a great Asgardian trying to become a god, which is a journey filled with awesome battles and an intense story-driven narrative. The entire game is, as you might expect, steeped in Norse mythology so you can expect to solve intriguing puzzles and take part in epic fights, all of which lends extremely well to an intensely fun game.

The game features five different heroes to choose from, each of whom comes with their own unique play style and abilities. These characters all have different weapons, but you can still pick items up from defeated enemies and use those weapons instead, you are a mighty Norse god, after all, so why limit yourself?

(Image credit: Valve)

Half-Life Alyx

While this game isn’t readily available on the headset’s library, nor the Oculus PC desktop store, you can hook up your Oculus Quest 2 headset to your gaming PC and play Alyx through Steam VR with a special Oculus Link cable.

Half-Life: Alyx is generally considered to be the best of the best in VR gaming and it is easy to see why. If you’ve played the original Half Life games, you know just how much it relies on gorgeous physics in the gameplay and this is cranked up to the max in Alyx thanks to the extraordinary VR technology it uses.

From its outrageously fun mechanics of pulling items towards you with a gravity glove, throwing bottles at hapless guards and the overall exceptional gunplay the game offers, you won’t find a better VR game out there.

(Image credit: Oculus)

Lone Echo

Lone Echo is an Oculus Rift game which is specifically designed to be played through your PC via the Oculus Rift headset. But by using the Link cable, you can play this phenomenal space explorer on your Quest or Quest 2, too.

This is by no means the first VR game to put you in space – a number of spaceship fighter sims have already attempted it, as did the stomach-turning space disaster astronaut adventure Adrift – but it is the first to create such an unforgettable experience.

You play as Jack, an AI bound to a robotic body and you’re on a space station. What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty… Regardless, it’s up to you to figure things out with the help of Liv, a human companion and captain of the ship.

You’ll navigate through the ship by pushing yourself, grabbing and climbing and pulling through zero-G spaces to travel around, which does an excellent job of making you feel grounded and staving off hideous motion sickness you might expect comes with this sort of movement. Not to mention, the visuals are completely breathtaking.

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