19 best HTC Vive games of 2017: Dinosaurs, Star Wars, puzzlers and more

2017 is the year of virtual reality, with the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR all available to buy in the UK. It's an exciting experience ordering a HTC Vive, but what about once it arrives? Which games will you play on SteamVR? Here, we round up some of the most exciting virtual reality games available in 2017 for the HTC Vive. Best games for HTC Vive.

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  • Serious Sam VR
  • Eve: Valkyrie
  • Raw Data
  • La Peri
  • Island 359
  • SVRVIVE
  • The Lab
  • The Assembly
  • The Brookhaven Experiment
  • Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine
  • Cosmic Trip
  • FATED: The Silent Oath
  • Time Machine VR
  • Disney Movies VR
  • Project CARS
  • theBlu
  • Elite: Dangerous
  • Space Pirate Trainer
  • Tilt Brush
  • Universe Sandbox²
  • More stories
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2017 is the year of virtual reality, with the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR all available to buy in the UK. It's an exciting experience ordering a HTC Vive, but what about once it arrives? Which games will you play on SteamVR? Here, we round up some of the most exciting virtual reality games available in 2017 for the HTC Vive. Read next: HTC Vive review

Also see: Best Games Deals

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

After years of controlling Serious Sam from above, it’s time for gamers to step into the shoes of the man himself with Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope. The game, while currently still in early access, provides users with a shooter that’s both insanely action packed, and insanely enjoyable. Dual-wield miniguns, rocket launchers, heavy lasers and more to wipe out waves of incoming enemies and stupidly overpowered bosses on Earth and in the universe beyond.

Graphically it’s impressive, but it’s the gunplay that we love the most. You can’t beat mowing down waves of enemies with miniguns, right? While there are only a handful of levels available at the moment, the developers are looking to expand the game as it heads towards its full release.

Release date: Out now

Price: £29.99 on Steam

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2017 is the year of virtual reality, with the likes of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR all available to buy in the UK. It's an exciting experience ordering a HTC Vive, but what about once it arrives? Which games will you play on SteamVR? Here, we round up some of the most exciting virtual reality games available in 2017 for the HTC Vive. Read next: HTC Vive review

Also see: Best Games Deals

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

After years of controlling Serious Sam from above, it’s time for gamers to step into the shoes of the man himself with Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope. The game, while currently still in early access, provides users with a shooter that’s both insanely action packed, and insanely enjoyable. Dual-wield miniguns, rocket launchers, heavy lasers and more to wipe out waves of incoming enemies and stupidly overpowered bosses on Earth and in the universe beyond.

Graphically it’s impressive, but it’s the gunplay that we love the most. You can’t beat mowing down waves of enemies with miniguns, right? While there are only a handful of levels available at the moment, the developers are looking to expand the game as it heads towards its full release.

Release date: Out now

Price: £29.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Eve: Valkyrie

Originally exclusive to the Oculus Rift, Eve: Valkyrie is now also available for the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, with cross-play available between all three platforms. Join the Valkyrie, a gang of galactic pirates, take up arms and destroy the enemy in some of the most impressive deep-space locations we’ve seen. The spaceship dogfighting simulator isn't to be sniffed at, as it’s arguably one of the most polished VR games available at the moment, offering gorgeous graphics and an immersive view that'll make you believe you're sat in the cockpit of your own space ship.

The game features competitive multiplayer, skill-based character progression and ship upgrades and more that should keep pilots engaged for some time. If you’re on the hunt for an amazing dog-fighting game for the HTC Vive, look no further.

Release date: Out now

Price: £49.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Raw Data

Raw Data is one of the most immersive and enjoyable games available for the HTC Vive, despite still being in Early Access stages. Set in 2271, the aim of the game is to hack Eden Corp, a company that essentially owns the world, steal as much data as possible – and to survive. Built specifically for VR, Raw Data fully utilises full-body movement in the game, requiring users to physically dodge incoming punches and bullets, before having to physically return a punch or aim and fire your gun. You’ll need to reload your weapons manually too, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your remaining ammo.

The varying environments and weapons available in Raw Data provide a number of experience, with each differing slightly from the last. Use the environment in interesting ways to battle your way through wave after wave of increasingly-powerful robot enemies that look incredibly real. Trust me, when you see a wave of iRobot-esque robots charging towards you, it’s a pretty intimidating experience.

Release date: Out now

Price: £29.99 on Steam

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Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Firebird - La Peri

La Peri isn’t so much a game, but is instead an intimate and magical experience for the HTC Vive. You play the role of Iskender, a prince searching for the “flower of immortality”. The key is to take possession of flower petals in order to wake La Peri, a feminine figure silhouette covered in light, but with every petal you take, more guardian spirits appear. It’s an artistic experience and one that is very unique to the HTC Vive, with classical music and ballet based on French composer Paul Dukas.

It’s may not be a very long experience at around 15 minutes, but the relatively low price tag should make Firebird – La Peri appealing to many.

Release date: Out now

Price: £6.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: Island 359

Those looking to experience Jurassic Park for themselves should look no further than Island 359. The premise is simple: you’re in the shoes of a mercenary being dropped off in a jungle on Island 359 via helicopter with only one objective – to wipe out the dinos. Once you’ve grabbed your equipment from the loot drop, it’s up to you what you do. You can explore the vast jungle environment for secrets and weapon upgrades, or go straight for the dinos and earn your living. One last thing – you need to make it back to the chopper to bank your cash, because cash isn’t helpful to a dead man, is it?

The game is currently in Early Access, meaning that it’s still in development and as such, it’s lacking the polish of other VR games. The dino animations can sometimes be a little laggy and there’s a lack of weapons and dinos at the moment, but that’s part of the Early Access charm. The game is fun to play and gets the adrenaline pumping, and using the motion controllers is always a bonus. The developers promise a robust collection of weapons and dinos, as well as different maps when the game officially launches.

Release date: Out now (Early Access)

Price: £14.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: SVRVIVE

In the world of SVRVIVE, you’ll find yourself far from Earth. In fact, you’ve been abducted by aliens and forced to join what can only be described as an alien workforce, but for a good reason – to save the Universe. You’re given the ability to travel to many different dimensions of the Universe ranging from the slightly scary to the outright weird, on the hunt for the missing pieces of the Deus Helix.

The game is episode based, with each episode offering more background information not only on the Helix itself, but the alien workforce around you and its origins. If you’re in the market for an immersive puzzle game with a strong storyline behind it, SVRVIVE is a great option. It’s not out just yet, but interested parties can download and play a small demo to get a good idea of what’s to come.

Release date: 2016

Price: Free demo on Steam

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Best HTC Vive games of 2017: The Lab

The Lab is a great starting point for HTC Vive users, as it’s essentially a game of mini-games designed to showcase just what the HTC Vive is capable of. With that being said, The Lab offers gamers the opportunity to perform tasks including archery, using a (huge) slingshot, observing our solar system and even repairing an Aperture Science robot that looks similar to a certain something from the Portal series.

It’s a cool idea that helps people understand the kind of things the HTC Vive can be used for, and the fact that it’s free to download makes it one of the best apps available for the Vive at the moment.

Price: Free on Steam

Read next: The complete guide to virtual reality: VR headsets, VR games, apps and more

Bookmark now: Black Friday deals 2016

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: The Assembly

The Assembly is one of the first console-esque VR games offering a deep storyline and hours of gameplay – in fact, we’ve been waiting for The Assembly to be released since we first went hands-on with it in 2015. So, what is it about? The Assembly is an intriguing puzzle game set in a secret bunker set in a desert, and allows you to play as two different characters – Cal Pearson and Madeleine Stone. It’s interesting to note that we actually noticed the difference in height between the two characters, something that isn’t very noticeable in standard games.

The game offers up a number of puzzles and dilemmas where you decide the outcome, which may not always be pretty. We felt more emotionally involved with what was going on in the game because we felt like we were actually there, making The Assembly a great introduction to VR for new users. There are multiple endings too, providing users with a Butterfly Effect-style game where every decision you make affects the outcome. The movement mechanics take a little getting used to as it’s a combination of standard controls and ‘Blink’ but we adjusted within minutes and found we could play the game comfortably for hours without headache, eye strain or nausea.

Price: £19.99 (VR), £14.99 (Non-VR) on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: The Brookhaven Experiment

The Brookhaven Experiment is exciting because it’s a bit of a hybrid – it’s essentially a wave-based zombie shooter, but the limited light (and battery power) coupled with scary sound effects and, well, massive zombies coming straight for you, it provides a pretty scary experience. There are a variety of weapons and tools available, and the waves of zombies will get both stronger and more terrifying the longer you manage to survive.

As well as a wave-based mode, the game also offers a campaign which is as terrifying as you can imagine. The combination of 3D audio, darkened surroundings and the fact that there is no other 'survivor' in sight gave us a feeling of hopelessness, which was quickly upgraded to terror when playing. In fact, we can hands-down say that The Brookhaven Experiment is the scariest VR game we've played thus far, and successfully made us scream out loud on more than one occasion. 

Price: £14.99 on Steam

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Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine

After showcasing a trailer for the game back in March 2016, ILMxLab has finally released its free VR experience, Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine VR. The idea is that you're based on Tatooine, and get a surprise visit from Han Solo and R2-D2 in the Millenium Falcon. While we're not going to give the whole story away, you're quickly armed with a lightsaber and fighting off the advancing forces, deflecting bullets and generally being a badass. 

It's a fun experience that fulfils the dreams of many Star Wars fans around the world - the only issue for us is that it was fairly short. We can't expect much for a free game, but we'd be happy to pay for a longer version of the game.  Those interested can watch the YouTube video by clicking here.

Price: Free on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Cosmic Trip

Cosmic Trip is an extremely enjoyable HTC Vive game based on traditional RTS (Real Time Strategy) games with a VR twist. Vive users will find themselves on a baron planet where they’re required to not only build machines and structures to mine and harvest resources, but also build your own army of robots to defend your bases from wave-based enemies.

The game features multiple base nodes for you to mine, and are easily accessible by opening and stepping through a portal, an experience that will never get old for us! You’re also armed with two dangerous Frisbees that can be thrown at enemies if your robot backup fails you.  

After a brief tutorial showing you the basics of the game, you’re left to fend for yourself and at first it’s a little overwhelming, but over time you get used to the mechanics of the game. It’s fun making different cartridges and inserting them into machines to produce different robots, and is reminiscent of the incredibly immersive Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives. The game is in Early Access stages at the moment so there isn’t a wide variety of weapons and machines, but they will be coming in future.

Price: £10.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive games of 2017: FATED: The Silent Oath

Frima Studio’s FATED: The Silent Oath is a first-person adventure game available for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on Steam. Set years ago in the age of Vikings, “you” must protect your family from the destruction of the world around you but interestingly, while many VR games are full of excitement and action from the very beginning, FATED takes a slightly different route. Instead of focussing purely on gameplay, Frima Studios developed FATED with a strong storyline in mind that gets the user emotionally involved.

We liked the little interactions where we had to physically nod or shake our head to answer questions and change the course of conversation, as well as other little nuances that show attention to detail on the developers’ behalf. However, while the storyline is strong, we felt that the gameplay element lacked a little… umph. Going from one area to another in-game felt a little boring as the natural pace is quite slow, and the lack of HTC Vive controller support means you can only use a controller to play. With that being said, if you’re looking for a storyline-driven VR game for the HTC Vive, FATED: The Silent Oath is a good option.

Price: £14.99 on Steam

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Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Time Machine VR

Time Machine VR is an interesting game for the HTC Vive, and is one of our personal favourites at the moment. Set in the near future in Svalbard, Norway, you’re tasked with travelling back to the prehistoric era with your DinoDex to collect data from all the creatures that you discover on your travels. But why? Put simply, the human race is on the brink of extinction thanks to the discovery of a prehistoric virus, and your data is invaluable in the creation of an antivirus.

As well as the story mode, there’s also an Exploration mode where you can go back to previously visited destinations for a better look around and possibly to unlock more intelligence. The controls are a little awkward at first when using the HTC Vive controllers, but it makes the experience what it is – that, and the life-size dinosaurs too. Be warned, they do bite and when they do, it’ll terrify you (like it did with us!).

Price: £22.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Disney Movies VR

Disney has launched a new VR app exclusively for HTC Vive owners, offering a number of clips and experiences from the studio's various franchises. However, while this may sound exciting for Disney fans, there are only six experiences available at the time of writing - including one 360-degree video of the Captain America: Civil War film premiere where all you can do is look at the red carpet. 

Other Disney Movies VR experiences include the likes of The Jungle Book and Star Wars: The Force Awakens and while these two experiences are much better, the content is still a little scarce. The coolest thing at the moment is the lobby where you can stand in one of three fully animated environments - Disney, Lucas or Marvel. Disney should produce more VR content in future but as it is at the moment, it's just a place to store its' various VR experiments.  

Price: Free on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Project CARS

Okay, so we know that Project CARS isn't a new game but thanks to the 11.0 patch recently released via Steam, HTC Vive owners can now enjoy the racing simulator in virtual reality - even better if you have a steering wheel and pedals. 

With the recent patch, gamers can sit in the drivers seat of the wide range of cars available on Project CARS with the ability to race around a variety of famous tracks from around the world. It's exciting and feels like a natural step for the hugely popular racing simulator, providing a completely new way to enjoy the game. We felt the adrenaline rushing through our blood as we weaved between the cluster of cars around us, constantly checking our mirrors and looking around to make sure we're not near any of our competitors. Even the (extremely loud) roar of the engine sounds real.

We reviewed Project Cars in 2015 when it was first released, and you can see what we thought here: Project Cars review: Great handling and a wide range of cars

Price: £23.39 on Steam

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Best HTC Vive VR experiences of 2017: theBlu

theBlu is hands down our favourite ‘experience’ for the HTC Vive at the moment and provides something more immersive and more breathtaking than anything else we’ve tried. You’re presented with three varying experiences with theBlu; Whale Encounter, Reef Migration and Luminous Abyss and while all three are equally beautiful, each showcases something slightly different. Whale Encounter is what it says on the tin – you’re on an underwater shipwreck teetering on the edge of an underwater cliff and a whale swims up to you. The environment is beautifully detailed as is the whale, and you really get a sense of the enormity of the mammal swimming in front of you.

Reef Migration places you on the edge of a coral reef with a variety of tropical fish swimming around you, soon replaced by a turtle and eventually a bloom of brightly coloured jellyfish. You can reach out and (try to) touch the fish with the controllers but they’ll swim away when you get near, as they would in real life. Luminous Abyss is our favourite of the bunch, transporting you to the bottom of the ocean where not even light reaches. You’re armed with nothing but a torch, and there is a variety of fish lurking in the deep waiting to be discovered.

Price: £6.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous is a fun-to-play and graphically gorgeous game, and only gets better when experienced in virtual reality. The hugely popular universe-wide sandbox game has seen success after success recently, especially after its well-received Horizons update allowed players to land on planet-size planets. You spend your time in a spaceship (or buggy) cockpit flying through space, dogfighting with enemy players and scavenging with monitors surrounding you displaying various pieces of information about the ship and its environment.

VR makes the experience 100 times better though – with a VR headset on, you are the pilot. You can even look down and see your ‘body’ and if you use a joystick to control the ship in real life, the movements will be mimicked in-game. It’s incredibly immersive, and lets you gaze out of the window to hunt down your enemies or take in some of the no doubt beautiful sights you’ll come across throughout the galaxy.

Price: £19.99 for standard edition, £39.99 for Deluxe Edition on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Space Pirate Trainer

Space Pirate Trainer is, essentially, a shoot-em-up arcade game for the HTC Vive with a space-age twist. Like the old Space Invaders game, gamers face their enemies in a wave-based fashion but unlike the 2D platformer, the invading flying robot enemies will attack from all around them. It provides gamers with a game that’s exciting and keeps them on their toes, always looking around them - and even above them.

Gamers are armed with two pistols with a variety of shooting modes (single fire, burst, etc) but what is cooler is the shield that can be used by physically reaching for it on their back. Using the shield in difficult situations will rebound incoming bullets, potentially saving  a life or three! When incoming bullets are near time around the player will slow, allowing time to perform ‘Matrix-esque’ moves to dodge bullets. This coupled with increasingly difficult waves of enemies brings gamers back time and time again, and is one of the most popular games currently available for the HTC Vive.

Price: £10.99 on Steam

Read next: Best VR headsets to buy in the UK 2016

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Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Tilt Brush

Not everybody will enjoy the same kind of VR games and for those that aren’t interested in shoot em ups or puzzlers, we present Tilt Brush. Developed by Google, Tilt Brush isn’t really a ‘game’ as such but instead provides HTC Vive users with a space to draw whatever they want. While that may not sound exciting as we’ve all had MS Paint on our PCs for years, Tilt Brush offers users the ability to draw in a three-dimensional space, allowing you to create sculptures opposed to 2D drawings.

It’s not just drawing in 3D that makes Tilt Brush exciting though – users have a collection of brushes available, from fairly standard paint brushes to painting in Neon (or ‘Light’ as it’s called), Fire and even Snow. With a variety of backdrops available and an online showcase of other user’s creations, Tilt Brush users are presented with something that essentially will never become boring – unless, like us, you’re terrible at art.

Price: £22.99 on Steam

Best HTC Vive VR games of 2017: Universe Sandbox²

Released back in 2015, Universe Sandbox² isn’t a new game for the HTC Vive but a recent update made the VR headset compatible, and provides something slightly different to other ‘games’ in our roundup. Universe Sandbox² is exactly what it says on the tin – a physics based space simulator that allows you to create, destroy and interact with planets, solar systems and even entire galaxies at a time. It takes elements like gravity, climate, collision and material interactions and provides something that’s beautiful to look at, but also educationally accurate.

Besides the fact that you can cause the death of Earth in an instant by throwing it into the Sun, it’s interesting to see just how different orbits can affect planets. You can even cause black holes with huge swirling gas clouds, or choose from a number of pre-loaded universes or situations. Essentially, if you have an interest in space then this is a must-have.

Price: £18.99 on Steam

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