What a year it has been for the Oculus Quest 2, sorry, Meta Quest 2, with that name change being one of the more defining – and confusing – moments. Whatever you want to call it, the Quest 2 has had a stunning year when it comes to content, with some truly huge videogames making their way to the platform. So if you’ve just picked one up or were very good this year and got one as a present, then these are just some of the titles you should be adding to your library.
Apart from being awesome, one critera for VRFocus’ favourite Quest videogames meant that all of them had to be natively available on the Oculus Store. So titles like Lone Echo II that require a PC connection won’t make this selection.
The Best Meta Quest Games of 2021
Resident Evil 4
Let’s start with probably the biggest exclusive that hit the standalone headset this year, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4. Rebuilt by Armature Studio specifically for the Quest 2, this version of Resident Evil 4 – and there’s been a couple – is the definitive version by a mile. Whether you already love the Resi franchise or are completely new to it, this puts you in the heart of the survival horror, with plenty of accessibility options to cater to all players.
Resident Evil 4 takes you to a remote region of Europe as Leon S. Kennedy who’s on a mission to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter from a dangerous cult called the Los Illuminados. All the action from the original is there, whether that’s dealing with rabid villagers, monstrous mutations or taxing boss fights. Plus all the puzzles and Quick Time Events (QTE’s), the latter is the only real annoyance.
There’s lots of new stuff too. You can physically grab and reload guns, dual wield to mix weapon combinations up, and interact with the environment, opening doors and pushing stuff out the way. Oh, and it’s now entirely in first-person, for that fully immersive experience.
Song in the Smoke
For those that love survival adventures that offer hours of entertainment and a proper bang for your buck game look no further than 17-BIT’s Song in the Smoke. The first VR title from the Japan-based team, Song in the Smoke takes place in a mystical, primordial wilderness where you’re given only basic tools and an understanding of how things work before being let loose.
While there are mysterious, magical elements at play, the gameplay is heavily survival-based, so you’ll need to forage or hunt for food so you don’t starve, make weapons to defend yourself, make cloths so you don’t freeze, and most importantly of all, gather resources to build fires and make it through the night, because when darkness comes the jungle wakes up.
Song in the Smoke is made up of eight biomes, ranging from lush forests and ancient valleys to frozen peaks. Each more inhospitable than the last, it’s easy to get lost in the experience, you can be so engrossed in surviving that unlocking the narrative almost plays second best.
Time for a far more chilled and relaxing VR experience. After a stint on Oculus’ App Lab, Puzzling Places arrived on the official store in September, offering a tranquil slice of 3D jigsaw gameplay.
With 16 puzzles to complete, you can up the difficulty from 25 pieces to 400 pieces for each puzzle. Whilst 400 may not sound a lot compared to traditional jigsaws, the three-dimensional element further helps to scale that difficulty. The charm of Puzzling Places also comes from the fact that each puzzle is a realistic, scanned location using photogrammetry with plenty of detail. And to aid immersion, they each have audio tracks make the setting even more lifelike.
So if you’re looking for a more modern take on a classic, then check out Puzzling Places.
Time for some multiplayer action with Resolution Games’ turn-based board game Demeo. This is a dungeon crawler where up to four players choose their characters and then battle monstrous foes, think D&D but in VR.
Taking on the roles of characters like the mystical sorcerer who can summon area-of-effect (AOE) spells or a knight with loads of armour, each has their own particular specialities to aid the quest. You can pick up your player piece to move the character around the dungeon whilst utilising ability cards to attack opponents.
Originally released in May 2021 with one dungeon, the studio has now expanded that to three, Roots of Evil arriving in December, taking players above ground for the first time. And don’t worry if your mates are busy, Demeo can be played solo to get some practice in before the next team meetup.
After the Fall
Another big blockbuster title that made its way to Quest 2 in 2021 – but not the original Quest at the moment – After the Fall is a co-op shooter in a similar vein to videogames like Left 4 Dead.
From Vertigo Games, the same team behind Arizona Sunshine, After the Fall is set in a dystopian future where a climate disaster has taken place and Los Angeles is now a winter hellscape. Just to make things worse, a large chunk of the population has turned into horrific monsters called Snowbreed, and they’re less than friendly. The core gameplay revolves around going on Harvest Runs to collect valuable supplies to upgrade weapons and such. Up to four players can team up – AI bots fill in if there’s not enough – with the main hub enabling up to 32 players to socialise before each Harvest Run.
Out in the field, it’s a non-stop action fest as you cull hordes of Snowbreed before encountering at least one of four special mutations that can do some serious damage. Or if you want a different challenge, After the Fall has a competitive PvP mode where you can fight other players instead.
Another great title if you have a few buddies into VR.
A Township Tale
Looking for an entirely different multiplayer experience from those previously mentioned? Well, take a look at A Township Tale by Alta. Taking the idea of building a fully-functioning village where everyone can specialise in a particular task, A Township Tale makes co-op gameplay an essential component to truly unlock its potential.
Up to eight friends can team up on one virtual server to build their town and head out on quests. Choose to become a blacksmith, woodcutter, miner, archer or warrior, each essential to the running of the town and to the success of quests. While you can mix and match, professions like the blacksmith require a lot of work, becoming easier if some players collect resources whilst others build tools or other items.
Then you can explore, heading into the forests or mines to collect new, rare resources to craft enhanced weapons to deal with the various monsters you’ll encounter on route. Or you can try and tackle A Township Tale solo, which is when you’ll realise how much there is to the experience. One to lose hours and hours in.
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar
Schell Games’ original puzzler I Expect You to Die has become a VR classic and its 2021 sequel is no different. Continuing the narrative where you step into the shoes of a secret agent trying to save the world from an evil villain, you don’t need to have played the first to enjoy what’s on offer here.
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar is all about foiling the evil plans of Dr. Zor and his Zoraxis empire across six deadly six missions. The title is very literal in its description that death is expected and expected frequently, as any wrong move can result in an instant, elaborate death. Poison gas, explosives, giant swinging axes, a suspicious sandwich or simply just getting shot, death is around every corner, sometimes you can take your time but there are moments where quick reflexes are essential.
Whilst each mission has a plethora of primary and secondary objectives, what makes I Expect You To Die 2 an essential VR experience is the fact that any player should find it accessible. There’s no locomotion whatsoever, so you can play it seated or standing (best seated) with everything within arms reach, ideal for those new to VR but with enough difficulty for veteran gamers.
Resident Evil 4 might be on this list but if you want to really feel chills down your spine then Cosmodread is the place to be. From the indie studio behind Dreadhalls, Cosmodread is a sci-fi horror that evokes atmospheric movies such as Aliens or Event Horizon.
You’re stuck on a dying spaceship completely alone, which you have to explore to find and fix critical systems in a bid to get home to Earth. The only problem, an alien entity is aboard the ship transforming the crew into monsters. Armed with one weapon initially, scouring the ship for resources will unlock new items, oxygen to keep you alive and crafting resources.
However, Cosmodread is a roguelite VR experience just like In Death: Unchained or Until You Fall, where death means returning back to the start. You might be a little wiser but the levels are procedurally generated, so the environment, item locations and enemy spawn points alter for each run. If you love a good scare then give Cosmodread a try if you dare.
The Climb 2
Want a gorgeous looking VR videogame for your new Quest 2 as well as a physical workout? That’s where Crytek’s The Climb 2 comes in. Expanding upon the 2016 original with new locations and features, The Climb 2 for those who love extreme sports but maybe not the death-defying climbing so much.
With locations taking you atop beautiful snowy vistas, up towering skyscrapers, and sun-soaked mountain ranges, The Climb 2 challenges you to find small cracks and ledges to grab hold of and work your way up. You’ll need to chalk your hands to maintain grip and as the levels progress you’ll be offered multiple routes to the top, so you can choose your own route each time.
To make the climbing experience even more realistic, new features include dynamic objects like ropes, containers, ladders, and climbing equipment that react to your weight. There are also customisation options with 32 gloves, 25 watches, and 36 wristbands to unlock along the way. A visually sumptuous VR experience that’ll give your arms a nice workout.
You can’t own a VR headset without owning at least one rhythm action title. One of the best to arrive in 2021 for the Meta Quest was Ragnarock. With a Viking theme, Ragnarock puts you at the helm of a Viking longboat, hammering away at a set of four drums to inspire your crew to row. The faster they row the more likely you are to achieve a gold medal.
Another VR project that arrived by way of Oculus App Lab, Ragnarock’s gameplay is delightfully simple, hit the drums in time with the music to unlock speed boosts and speed those rowers up. Developer WanadevStudio went for a far more rock-themed rhythm action game in comparison to others, with songs from Alestorm, Gloryhammer, Saltatio Mortis, Wind Rose and more.
Offering both solo and multiplayer modes, solo you can race against your ghost once you’ve completed a song. Multiplayer pits you in a race against five other players to the finish line across various difficulty levels.
Its mix of Celtic rock and metal tracks alongside that drumming action makes Ragnarock a compelling VR experience that’s hard to put down.