Virtual reality makes sports so much more accessible. Fishing in South Korea only runs you an Oculus Quest 2 and the price of Real VR Fishing, and combat to the death in VR isn’t quite so lethal in Ironlights.
I was never much of a sports kid in school. I was too afraid of my face making contact with the pavement.
Since it’s much safer to slap a VR headset on, here are my top 4 favorite VR sports titles you should consider adding to your library:
#4. The Climb 2
If I had to pick only one game on this list to really sell someone on VR, it would be this one. In The Climb 2, you play as a mountain climber with an unreal amount of upper body strength, whose sole purpose in life is to get as high as possible. "High" as in up mountains and skyscrapers and stuff like that.
Each level is beautifully crafted, complete with musical ambiance, wildlife and sometimes paragliders, multiple ways to make it to the top, all set to stunning backdrops that hopefully you won’t fall to see close-up.
The gameplay is pretty varied too. Experienced climbers can tackle professional mode and try to clear the level as quickly as possible. For me, this involved using my newly found infinite upper body strength to fling myself from one foothold to another.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your time though and really getting immersed in your adventure. This game works perfectly on the Quest 2, with my only gripe being the conveniently placed ladders I find when climbing remote mountains. Who left these here?
#3. Eleven Table Tennis
Out of the hundreds of VR titles I’ve played in my life, Eleven Table Tennis is easily the one I’m the absolute worst at. The game is stunningly realistic, to the point where professional table tennis players have 3D printed their own paddles, so that their Quest 2 controllers carry the same weight as a real one.
Eleven Table Tennis has a robust ranked system for you lunatics who actually know how to play table tennis and aren’t just smacking a ball around, and training minigames where you don’t have to go around collecting ping pong balls when you’re all done.
My personal favorite mode is the beer pong mode, which is exactly what it sounds like.
If you’re looking for some light exercise or to become that person in the friend group who’s questionably good at Table Tennis, this is the game for you.
#2. Real VR Fishing
No joke, the first time I picked up Real VR Fishing I sat there for two hours just catching fish.
Each scene is a real place in South Korea, where the developers took a 360 camera and faithfully rendered that body of water into VR!
The game has a total noob mode, which equips you with a literal X-Ray fish finder, and more realistic modes that remove all of the game’s UI. Whichever you choose, you can choose to release each fish for XP rewards that unlock more places to fish, or sell them for money to upgrade your rods and lures.
Real VR Fishing boasts leaderboards, a fish tank for you to hold hostages in, and my personal favorite, a built-in music player! That’s right, you can even use the in-game web browser to slap on a podcast or YouTube playlist to listen to while you fish, no extra headphones required.
I backed Ironlights on Kickstarter a long time ago, before there was ever even a mention of a Quest 2. And I do personally consider VR gladiatorial combat a sport.
Ironlights is a 1-on-1 player-versus-player fighting game that also has training and single player modes if you want to hone your skills before going online.
The devs set out to solve one of VR’s most challenging game-design issues: how to deal with melee weapons in VR. You’re not actually wielding a 9-foot tall 600 pound hammer, so how do you stop players from flinging around their Quest 2 controllers and immerse them in the weight of the weapon?
E McNeill, one of the developers of Ironlights, found a solution that’s very different than other melee-based games. All close quarters combat in the game takes place in slow motion, and if you swing your weapon too fast, you’ll lose control of it. The game encourages wide, deliberate, flowing strikes, which gives people without flash-like reflexes a chance to dodge or block. This solution turns out to be insanely satisfying, making combat more like dancing, but with a winner.
The in-game stamina system forces players to take turns exchanging blows, and by default players start standing on opposite ends of the arena where they can use ranged attacks to create an opening.
Ironlights recently came out with their Ultimate update. Back in my day, the game only had 5 classes and now brings to the table 10 distinct fighting styles that force players not only to master their own, but be able to fight off all of the others.
This epic gladitorial simulator has recently exploded on the Quest 2, and one of the most underrated VR experiences on the Oculus store. Its satisfying melee combat, PvP and PvE modes, and gigantic roster of classes and abilities make it my current favorite VR sports game.
Do you think there are any games I missed? Are you planning on picking up any of these titles? Let us know on our Twitter, or join our community of VR Creators, game developers, and nerds in our Discord!