Since it’s launch in late May 2019, the Oculus Quest has received fantastic success amongst existing VR fans as well as newly adopted users who were popping their cherry in the VR space for the first time.
The Quest has only had six months in 2019 to release all of its 100+ apps and games onto its portable VR platform, which is pretty good going. We’ve also seen some big hitters get ported over from the PCVR Rift platform, whilst the Quest has had a number of its own exclusive titles also release in 2019.
The untethered nature of the Quest has given existing ports on the Quest a new lease of life. Even though the quality of graphics has had to take a hit on the Quest, many players have reported that the Quest version of the same game has been more fun to play whilst being untethered.
In December Oculus released its hand-tracking and Oculus Link updates early on the Oculus Quest, both under the guise of Beta. Oculus Link allows Quest owners with a decent PCVR rig to use their Quest headset, albeit tethered, with a PCVR machine. This has expanded the Quest’s library of playable VR titles to include the many additional PCVR titles across Oculus Rift Store and SteamVR. On the flip side, this move also questions the future of their PC only Rift platform.
With the hand-tracking SDK only being released to developers in December, it will still be a few months before we begin to see games utilise it in any new or existing games. Early demos on SideQuest seem a little rough. Whilst tracking still needs to be improved, none of the demos so far have shown me that they are not are ready for prime-time just yet.
Best Oculus Quest Games of 2019
So having played through a number of Oculus Quest titles in 2019, I thought it would be good to summarise my top titles in each genre on the Oculus Quest. These games bring lots of value to your Oculus Quest experience, be it longevity, depth, or just a sheer awesome game that’s worth experiencing.
Superhot VR is one of those must-buy titles for the Oculus Quest. If you have already owned it on the Rift I think you will enjoy the game’s refreshing gameplay whilst being wire-free. If you’re yet to own this game, do so soon as ‘Superhot’ certainly lives up to its name.
Red Matter is reasonably priced and for the few hours of gameplay, your experience is highly rewarded. If you’re looking for a deep and immersive sci-fi experience with an interesting narrative and jaw-dropping visuals, I recommend you download Red Matter right now!
Ultrawings remains as one of the first, and best, flight simulator on the Oculus Quest. There is plenty of depth here in this game if your VR legs can stomach it. Unlock runways and aeroplanes with cash that you earn by completing the many challenges in the game. If you are sim nut, this game is for you if you’re prepared to put in the time.
Best Sport & Fitness
The Thrill of the Fight
Before picking up The Thrill of the Fight during this month’s festive sales, I had other sports games in mind for this award. However, playing TTOTF has smashed through its competitors as the best sports game on the Quest. The combat within VR is on-point, it looks good, and after a few bouts in the ring, you will certainly feel it in your arms the next day!
Best Music & Rhythm
Many have tried to topple the Beat Saber crown, but there is no doubt that this game is smashing it on the Oculus Quest. With its wire-freedom, plenty of music tracks and the ability to add custom songs and mods if you dare to SideQuest, Beat Saber is without a doubt the game that just keeps on giving.
Space Pirate Trainer
There are a few hours worth of fun to be had in Space Pirate Trainer. It’s underlying gameplay feels relatively simple on the surface, yet its variety of weapon modes, challenging unlockables, great visuals, online leaderboards and an awesome soundtrack all keep you coming back for that ‘just one more go’, as you desperately attempt to reach the next Wave milestone. If you’re into your arcade shooters (and who isn’t?), if you’ve yet to pick up this classic launch title shooter, make sure it’s the next thing you do.
Shadow Point does not disappoint with its asking price. There are plenty of hours to be had solving each story puzzle in this game – more so if you try to 100% it by completing all of the optional moon puzzles. There aren’t many story-driven puzzle games on the Quest, yet if you are craving for something that not only challenges your mind but it also looks and sounds great, you’ll be over the moon when you download Shadow Point.
Best Multiplayer & Social
Rec Room is the best place to hang out with friends from all around the world! There are plenty of intense multiplayer games to play, like Paintball, Laser Tag, Quest, and Rec Royale, with more games and experiences added regularly thanks to the thousands of player-created game and event rooms ready for you to discover. The best thing is it is free, so it is a no brainer to try it out and mingle with like-minded Questers.
With 11 levels to play through, each with three difficulty levels, along with the number of modifiers that also help to adjust the gameplay in each scene, there is a lot of fun to be had in Pistol Whip. If you like the frantic gameplay of Superhot, powered by a pumping EDM soundtrack, all whilst feeling like a total badass and giving your thighs and arms a damn good thorough work out, then I recommend you pick up your pistol and whip some enemies into a bullet-laden frenzy in Pistol Whip.
Arizona Sunshine is a worthy game of being in your Quest library. There aren’t that many games like this at the moment that gives you the sense of being in a fully-fledged game. In normal mode, you’ll get through the story mode in a few hours, but ramp up the difficulty or have a go at the instant death Apocalypse mode, and you will lengthen the game’s lifespan with its added difficulty. For me though, normal difficulty was just about right, and I had probably the most fun in any horror zombie game on the Oculus Quest.
Best Oculus Quest Accessory
VR Cover Facial Interface + Slim Foam Replacement + 17mm Foam Head Strap
I have been lucky enough to cover a lot of accessories for the Oculus Quest, and it was hard to pick out just one accessory. Each accessory adds its own individual improvements to the overall comfort of the Oculus Quest.
There are three items that have never been replaced or swapped out since I have had them, and these are the VR Cover Facial Interface along with the VR Cover Slim Foam Replacement Cover and the Rear 17mm Foam Head Strap Cover also from VR Cover. With all these three attached, you have a very comfortable Oculus Quest that gives less ‘Quest Face’, reduced front-weight drop and improved Field of View with the slim cover.
This year we’ve seen a number of great titles, so it was hard to narrow them down to just one per genre. I wanted to mention the following games on the Oculus Quest that are all close to, or equal to, some of the winners listed above.
- Moss – Adventure
- Vader Immortal Series – Adventure
- The Climb – Sport & Fitness
- The Under Presents – Adventure
- Gadgeteer – Puzzle
- Kingspray – Art / Social
- Robo Recall: Unplugged – Shooter
- Gun Club VR – Shooter
- Job Simulator – Simulation
- Journey of the Gods – Adventure
- Apex Construct – Shooter
- A Fisherman’s Tale – Puzzle
- I Expect You To Die – Puzzle
- Box VR – Sport & Fitness
- KIWI Design Q1 Knuckle Strap – Accessory
- Spectrashell OQ9 Earbuds – Accessory
- Official Oculus Quest Case – Accessory
Oculus Quest in 2020
I am sure 2020 will see some fantastic new titles for the headset. As we see VR adoption continues to grow through the year, I hope we will see even some more mainstream franchises make their first appearance on VR in 2020.
With Half-Life: Alyx leading the charge for VR mass adoption, I look forward to seeing franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell from Ubisoft appear on a VR platform and I hope many of these begin to filter down to the Quest or become a leading platform for such titles in its own right.
I also hope Facebook / Oculus continue to develop and evolve the platform into new and greater things. Hand-tracking and Oculus Links are great first steps, however, these and many more new features on the horizon (including Facebook Horizon in fact) need nurturing and feedback from the communities in order to fine-tune and make them a better experience for all, more importantly, new adopters of this technology.
Happy New Year Questers, and I hope we all have a cracking 2020 in VR!