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Retro VR Games: Top 12 Retro Virtual Reality Titles in 2023

Retro VR Games: Top 12 Retro Virtual Reality Titles in 2023

Let your VR headset transport you back in time as we dive into the amazing world of retro VR games! Since its introduction as Oculus Quest 2 in 2020, Meta Quest has undergone several name changes and significant upgrades to its software and firmware capabilities – providing users with quick and budget-friendly entry into virtual reality gaming.

Software collections continue to expand and become better over time, offering you access to an assortment of games and genres available for download.

Join us as we search for the pinnacle of retro VR games (this list will be updated regularly).

12. Fruit Ninja VR (2019) – One of the first retro VR games

retro vr games

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Fruit Ninja was one of those ubiquitous iOS games back in 2010, seemingly loved by everyone! Not only was its intuitive touchscreen controls ideal, but it even fit seamlessly in VR!

But wait a second if Fruit Ninja sounds retro to you. Time really has flown by; consider that its release thirteen years ago on iPhone and iPod Touch alone was groundbreaking at that time; now even MP3 players are considered obsolete!

So, what’s all the fuss about Fruit Ninja VR? In essence, in this game you must slice up fruits that fly by and, with practice and skill, slice through multiple fruit in one swipe – creating sweet combos along the way! But be wary of bombs; accidentally touching one will end your game forever!

Fruit Ninja makes an effortless transition to virtual reality (VR). The game’s first-person perspective and physical act of swiping fruit make this transition seamless, drawing you in for an intense experience. Be prepared for more physical exertion than simply flicking your fingers on a touchscreen – instead, in VR you’ll need both hands at your disposal to cut through all those colorful fruits!

Fruit Ninja VR’s three gameplay modes – Arcade, Classic and Zen (for an easier experience without bombs) – reinvents an entertaining yet immersive casual gaming classic.

11. Angry Birds: Isle of Pigs (2019)

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As one beloved mobile classic after another, Angry Birds made waves of mobile gaming-induced excitement across our lives for quite some time. Even its fame made an appearance on big-screen animated movies – although much later after mobile game frenzy had subsided.

Back in 2009, when iPhones and Nokia’s Maemo operating system were all the rage, Angry Birds made its debut. These feisty feathered creatures took on mischievous piggies in a game that was both simple and addictive; players could launch birds of various sizes, shapes, and special abilities at these piggies to destroy their carefully constructed structures with the use of an irresistibly realistic slingshot on touchscreen devices for maximum impact! The addictive nature of this game made playing it irresistible!

Fruit Ninja VR’s approach of not trying to reinvent its own wheel also rings true with Angry Birds: Isle of Pigs’ design philosophy: if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” when translating its classic showdown between birds and pigs to virtual reality. As with its predecessor, your main goal remains knocking pigs off their ever more intricate setups to clear stages with minimum shots; more chaos you create = the higher your score becomes and scoring three stars becomes increasingly possible for each stage!

Through VR, you are given the chance to approach structures from different angles, turning your choice of firing position into a strategic decision. Not just strength or trajectory of shot; rather it’s all about finding that sweet spot where launching attacks is most successful. While still offering its trademark charm and vibrancy, now with structures collapsing underfoot while flying pigs soar through space, Angry Birds VR brings with it an element of novelty that no other game offers.

Though it might only offer short-lived entertainment, no one can deny that this VR adaptation of an iconic mobile game manages to capture its spirit so brilliantly!

10. Puzzle Bobble VR: Vacation Odyssey (2020)

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Following in the footsteps of Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs (2019), Puzzle Bobble VR takes the classic arcade tile-matching concept and gives it a virtual twist. Instead of neat rows, you’ll have a bubble cannon at your disposal, transforming bubbles into 3D globes.

Your goal is to burst all bubbles in each level by shooting matching colored bubbles and ultimately destroying the puzzle’s core. Most levels have time or bubble limits. Aim for high scores to earn coins, unlocking special abilities like bombs, color-changing swatches, and a mechanism to physically rotate puzzles. This matters because the puzzles have a mind of their own, and the only way to adjust them in 3D space is by shooting a bubble at their core axis mid-air.

Like Angry Birds, a single star is enough to advance, though gathering coins for power-ups helps with tougher puzzles that appear occasionally.

On paper, this promises casual fun, and it does deliver at points. Yet, slogging through numerous easy puzzles to reach the strategic challenge feels tedious. The initial gameplay might seem gradual and methodical, but as new bubble modifiers emerge, the game’s pace improves. If immediate challenge is your goal, be prepared to put in the effort.

9. Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! (2021)

Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! (2021)

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“Space Channel 5,” an incredible Dreamcast game, never received the recognition it deserved back in 1999. Though sequels were released and it migrated onto various gaming platforms (including PC) it never received enough credit from its audience to truly stand out as something special.

But here’s some seriously exciting and unexpected news: this unsung hero has just taken an amazing leap into virtual reality, all wrapped up into the delightful “Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funk News Flash!” package. And I promise, Tetsuya Mizuguchi – its creator – will become an indelible part of your memory forever for all the right reasons.

Back in its prime, “Space Channel 5” was an exhilarating blend of retro futurism and artsy pop camp – and that infectious, bubblegum vibe lives on in this brilliant VR version. Fans who were fans back then will delight at seeing it back on television while newcomers will find this an unexpected but welcome sequel on a hot summer day – who knew we would ever see this day come?

8. Pixel Ripped 1995 (2020)

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Although not directly inspired by any particular retro game, I’d like to introduce you to Pixel Ripped (1989 and 1995): two games which provide an incredible trove of all things awesome from 80s/90s video gaming era.

Now it’s time to explore Pixel Ripped VR, set in 1995. Be prepared for an unforgettable journey through a world full of games within games as your character dives deep into console and arcade machines found ‘outside’ of videogames in “real” life – though the way that they have recreated classic titles to avoid copyright issues will likely come as something of a shock! But wait it out because experiencing them as part of a greater Pixel Ripped story can only add depth.

Pixel Ripped 1995’s brilliance lies in its precise reproductions of 16-bit and early 32-bit games that will make you believe you have entered another era – it even makes use of DLC from Pixel Ripped 1989 to make this experience complete! And how incredible it that both versions can be purchased!

7. Myst (2020)

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Back in 1993, playing this classic was an experience like no other: both critics and players raved about it! More than just an ordinary videogame, playing this timeless piece left an indelible mark; many credit it as helping popularize CD-ROM drives during that era.

Now, here we are with a VR remake that manages to capture both its soothing ambiance and immersive world through virtual reality technology. It is remarkable how this recreation showcases Myst’s timeless brilliance as it stands as proof of unparalleled audiovisual and mechanical craftsmanship that transcends time.

The essence of Myst remains true to its roots in its VR adaptation, although its visuals have seen significant enhancement over its static predecessors – adding new depth and allure.

Experienced Myst players may welcome this delightful twist: you now have the option of randomly choosing puzzle solutions, keeping even dedicated Myst fans on their toes by rediscovering its mystery and mystique.

6. Void Racer Extreme – One of the best racing retro VR games

Void Racer Extreme

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The original Void Racer could be seen as the early version of a VR game, laying the groundwork for Void Racer: Extreme. Now, in this new version, it feels like a complete game and performs much better than I would have expected. However, it still needs more substance to fully recommend it.

Void Racer: Extreme gets a lot of things right, especially if you’re into the blend of Tron, F-Zero, and WipEout styles. It perfectly captures those vibes. If the multiplayer community were stronger, Career mode had more diverse goals, there were additional bikes, and the overall presentation was a bit more polished, this game would be the ultimate VR racing experience. But for now, it provides a solid foundation to build upon.

In this game, you’ll find over a hundred diverse levels, a range of tracks to race on, and some really cool bikes to choose from. Just remember, this game is all about sci-fi fun, so it’s not your typical realistic racing simulation. Instead, it’s a fast-paced arcade racing game that holds its own quite well.

5. Walkabout Mini Golf (2020)

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You know, the game of mini golf, also known as Crazy Golf in the UK, brings a touch of nostalgia. But let’s talk about Walkabout Mini Golf VR, which stands on its own and isn’t tied to any specific retro game.

Now, here’s the exciting part. There are two DLC packs that truly make Walkabout Mini Golf a paradise for retro lovers – we’ll dive into that in just a moment!

First and foremost, Walkabout Mini Golf is a simple and easy-to-pick-up version of, you guessed it, mini golf. What’s great is that anyone can enjoy it, and the “walkabout” in the title means you’re free to explore the beautifully designed courses with multiple levels at your own pace.

There’s something oddly satisfying about hunting for lost golf balls on each and every hole in the game. And guess what? There’s a whopping number of nearly 200 unique balls waiting to be discovered, collected, and put to use – and that’s just in the main game!

This game is like an addiction in the best possible way, offering a soothing and leisurely adventure that you can’t help but get hooked on. Let me tell you, Walkabout Mini Golf has become one of our top picks for the Meta Quest 2. And guess what makes it even more amazing? The cleverly designed DLC courses that are an absolute game-changer!

4. Tetris Effect Connected (2020)

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Can we really call it an exaggeration to claim that Tetris completely revolutionized the gaming world? Especially when you consider its debut bundled with the original Game Boy – that’s when Tetris truly became an unstoppable force.

Despite the limitations of the first Game Boy’s green-on-green screen, Tetris emerged as the perfect showcase for the hardware. It didn’t rely heavily on color or extreme clarity. Instead, its line-clearing puzzle gameplay was an absolute must-have for gamers in the early 90s, all in a portable format.

Sure, there have been countless sequels and variations of the original formula, but very few managed to recapture the enchantment of that basic version on the Game Boy. That is, until Tetsuya Mizuguchi worked his magic on Tetris.

Furthermore, Mizuguchi’s mastery in creating immersive and all-encompassing rhythm-based games was the perfect match for giving Tetris a modern twist. And let me tell you, this rendition stands as the finest entry in the series in years.

Prepare to be mesmerized by a stunning electronic soundtrack that lifts your spirits and audiovisual effects that hold you captive. Tetris Effect Connected VR is an experience you simply can’t afford to miss, no matter where you play it.

While you can enjoy it on traditional consoles without VR, the VR version takes things to an entirely different level – it might just be the best reason ever to grab yourself a virtual reality headset!

3. Galactic Rangers VR – One of the best space retro VR games

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Are you a pro at arcade shooters? Want to prove your skills in virtual reality? Well, DGMA’s Galactic Rangers VR is here for you. This game throws you into an action-packed wave-based adventure that’s all about shooting down foes and having a blast. And guess what? It’s tailor-made for getting your heart pumping fast.

Strap on your VR headset because Galactic Rangers VR is exclusively available for virtual reality. Imagine zooming through space, obliterating enemies and debris that dare to get in your way. Armed with various weapons, you’ll wield two at a time, taking down everything that floats or stands before you. The storyline revolves around an enigmatic threat that spells doom for humanity. But hold on – you’re humanity’s last hope.

As you plow through waves of adversaries, lightning-fast reflexes and nimble dodges will save your skin. Picture this: a laser cutting weapon lets you swing your arms to slice through incoming rocks with a quick flick. Vital to dodge those hits and stay in the game, so build up that stamina for victory.

And guess what? Boss fights are on the menu too, serving up an extra helping of challenge, along with some nifty power-ups. One of these goodies lets you hit the slow-motion switch – a breather before you dive back into the action and unleash havoc on those bad guys.

As you get into the groove of the game, an electrifying electronic soundtrack will have you grooving along. And don’t think your legs get off easy – they’ll be working too. With enemy waves coming non-stop, your arms might just be begging for a break.

DGMA’s Galactic Rangers is their second game to hit Steam. They launched Let’s Go! Skiing VR earlier this fall. Mark your calendars for November 5th because that’s when Galactic Rangers drops for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality. No word on the price just yet, so stay tuned!

2. Rez Infinite (2020)

Rez Infinite (2020)

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Let’s dive into another exceptional creation by Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Now, the term “masterpiece” can sometimes be tossed around too casually by zealous fans and reviewers, but it’s absolutely fitting when we talk about Rez. This game made its debut on the Dreamcast in 2001 and left a lasting impression.

Imagine a journey into a retro-futuristic cyberspace, a realm that seemed to exist only in the imaginations of writers like William Gibson in the mid-80s. Rez, seemingly a straightforward on-rails shooter, wove sound, color, and intricate details into its stages as you advanced through them, heading towards each boss encounter.

Back in 2001, it blew minds – including mine – and remarkably, even after more than two decades, it hasn’t lost its timeless appeal. It remains as fresh as the day it arrived, as if it’s immune to the passage of time.

In its VR incarnation, with a special stage designed explicitly for virtual reality called Area X, it’s almost as if Rez was always meant to be experienced this way. It’s a testament to the game’s ageless design that it has sustained its relevance, and interestingly, it still feels like an underrated hidden gem. In fact, we’ve given it a place on our list of underrated PS2 games.

Now, Rez Infinite VR had all the potential to claim the number one spot on our best retro Meta Quest VR games list. Almost had it, that is, if it wasn’t for a very recent title that came out of nowhere and took the crown!

1. Resident Evil 4 (2021) – One of the best retro VR games

Resident Evil 4 (2021)

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Let’s talk about Capcom’s Resident Evil series – a franchise with its share of highs and lows. Now, this fourth installment, though it marked the onset of a more action-centered middle trilogy that’s often considered a dip in the series, has always stood out as one of the finest.

Originally exclusive to the GameCube, Resident Evil 4 has since found its way onto numerous consoles, spanning generations. Yet, who could have anticipated its venture into the realm of VR?

It’s a bit like Myst and Rez Infinite – games that effortlessly slipped into virtual reality. Resident Evil 4, too, fits so seamlessly into VR that it’s almost as if it was custom-made for the format right from the start.

Even though the series is renowned for its third-person perspective (at least until Resident Evil 7 & 8 came along), Resident Evil 4’s VR adaptation wisely shifts the action to a first-person view. And here’s the thing: it’s not a watered-down version of the original game, which tends to happen with many VR ports or conversions.

This game is an absolute marvel from beginning to end, setting a prime example for other VR developers aiming to bring existing titles into this immersive format.

Without a doubt, our ultimate choice for the pinnacle of the best retro Meta Quest VR games list is none other than Resident Evil 4.

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