Taking on the Empire in an X-Wing

The free VR games you need to play

© EA
Virtual reality headsets may not come cheap, but these awesome games certainly do.
Written by Adam CookUpdated on
From the crazy stuff to moving, emotional moments, VR is capable of delivering experiences that even the very best console games on a plain old flatscreen TV can't muster. And right now, we need as many of those immersive experiences getting us out in the great (VR) outdoors as we can.
But we can appreciate that getting set up with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or PlayStation VR isn't a cheap proposition. So rather than spend even more on games you don't know the quality of, here's our rundown on the best free experiences you can get on a variety of those headsets.

Epic Roller Coasters (Oculus Rift)

Nothing quite like the G-force thrills and yoyo-ing altitude of a rollercoaster to show off what makes VR a whole new medium for gaming. This free game on the Oculus storefront is the perfect taster for that, with several on rails experiences, as well as a shooter mode and a multiplayer one – can you make it round in the fastest time? Keep a brown paper bag nearby.

Robo Recall (Oculus Rift)

Robo Recall is a free to play game for VR consoles such as the Occulus Rift
Smash those robots in the face!
Robo Recall is a free shooter from Epic Games (yes, the people originally behind Gears of War and Unreal Tournament). Here, you'll find a game that's absolutely bonkers, but one that also pushes your graphics card thanks to the graphical grunt of Epic's engine. This is a must download right now, so get it done and go shoot some robots.

Rec Room (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive)

Rec Room is virtual reality hangout for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive available on Steam
Have fun with random people
Social spaces for games are nothing new – even Sony tried it with the popular PlayStation Home on PS3 a decade ago – but Rec Room is something else. Cartoony visuals give a colourful feel to this recreational room that contains mini-games for you to play, like Paintball, Disc Golf, or Dodgeball. Or, if you fancy it, you can just chill out and talk to people in the rec room. We guarantee you'll get some laughs out of this one.

Accounting (HTC Vive)

Accounting is a weird VR video game for HTC Vive from the makers of Job Simulator
Madcap, NSFW VR fun
Much more interesting than it sounds, we swear. Accounting is the incredible NSFW adventure game that asks you to grab things in a not entirely obvious way. This is a very strange game that is also, in part, developed by Squanchtendo, which includes Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty, so if you like that kind of humour, this one will be right up your street.

Google Earth (HTC Vive)

When it comes to moving experiences, there are few gaming moments like the first time you zoom out in Google Earth VR and see the world in high definition. The glowing orb we all inhabit looks incredible in VR. By turning off some of the safety options (to keep you from, er, being sick) you can even get down into street view and find your house, or office. Test your fear of heights by zooming to the top of the alps and looking down – go on, we dare you.

Portal Stories: VR (HTC Vive)

We wonder if GLaDOSwill appear?
We wonder if GLaDOSwill appear?
Unsurprisingly exclusive to Vive (though you can use a Rift with Steam now), this is a Portal fan game that was so good Valve gave their blessing for it to go on the Steam store. If that's not a good enough endorsement, then consider its "very positive" rating on Steam. Note, though, you'll require a copy of Portal 2 to play this one, but then, everyone in the world owns a copy of that by now, right?

Star Wars: Battlefront VR Mission (PSVR)

Who wouldn’t want to fly an X-Wing?
Who wouldn’t want to fly an X-Wing?
Okay. So. This isn't entirely free. But if you own Star Wars: Battlefront it's a free download, and you should own that game already, because it's excellent. It probably speaks for itself, but in this short add-on you'll be piloting an X-Wing, which is pretty cool by itself. Despite not being a PC-based VR game, this one really pushes the PlayStation 4 to its limits, with some incredible visuals.