Art, fitness, multiplayer sports, virtual theater, strange worlds: Here's our list of the Meta Quest 2 games to check out first.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
ExpertiseVR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tabletsCredentials
Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
If you want a one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience, you should look at the Meta Quest 2. While the Quest 3 has already been announced, it is yet to go on sale, so the Quest 2 remains your best budget bet to get into VR. Meta's Quest Store has lots more to play than just Resident Evil 4 VR. The Quest platform brings you the best Meta Quest 2 games, and the VR headsets create the perfect escape to other immersive experiences like virtual painting and workouts. Meta plans to release the updated Quest 3 later this year, but our favorite VR headset continues to be Quest 2 even years after its release. Both for its extensive app library and its accessible price. So clear some play space and try it out for yourself.
After years of testing games and apps across the Meta app store, I love some more than others, and I recommend several to friends and family. Some games also work with the original Quest, but a growing number of apps are now exclusive to Quest 2. Note that to access top PC VR games like Star Wars: Squadrons or Half-Life: Alyx, you'll need to connect to a gaming PC, either wirelessly or with a USB cable.
Note: All these games and apps also work with the newer Quest Pro, a headset that adds eye tracking, color cameras and newer controllers along with better lenses and higher-res displays. However, we still recommend Quest 2 over Quest Pro for its value.
We'll update this list as new options become available.
Watch this: Meta Quest 2 Is Better and Cheaper… With One Facebook Catch
Dreamy, a bit surreal, tactical. randomly generated: The Light Brigade is everything I like in a VR experience. Much like In Death: Unchained, which is archery-based, The Light Brigade keeps changing every time you play. The minimal interface and design keep it feeling mysterious and yet clear to understand. I can't survive very long, but I want to play more.
What The Golf? is one of my family's absolute favorite indie games. Its spiritual sequel has arrived for VR with What The Bat? and it's the type of whimsical, random fun I wish VR had more of. It's about living life with baseball bats for hands, and everything else is best left as a surprise to discover. Expect lots of rapid-fire, clever-weird puzzle challenges -- the average quick experience here is much shorter than the typical hole in What The Golf?
Ever dream of being Iron Man? This game will have you hovering around in a jetpack, using your hands to aim and blast through a series of missions that are surprisingly kinetic and fun. Iron Man was originally a game on the PlayStation VR, but the move to Quest 2 is far more fun because there are no wires to worry about getting tangled in.
Moss was one of my very favorite VR games, and has been a classic on Quest for a while. There's a sequel now, and its graphics look even better on Quest 2 headsets. The gameplay, which involves moving a sword-bearing mouse hero named Quill on a quest to save her world, is mostly the same: Move through massive miniature worlds and solve puzzles. It's a great sit-down-and-play experience, and fun to share with family.
Devolver's adorable VR game turns you into a sea monster living near a seaside town. Your hands are tentacles. The sensation of bodily transformation works wonderfully, and you'll find yourself flip-flopping your sucker-filled arms to grab things and try to help your little cartoony townspeople as you navigate a dollhouse-sized world all around you.
A bunch of wild VR instruments you've never seen before, recording tools and the ability to multitask -- Virtuoso isn't just a toy, it's a music platform in VR. It's soothing and fun to play for fun on the fly, but digging deeper is surprisingly rewarding, too. Setting up drums, a weird VR xylophone, and a Theremin-like music cube side by side to jam with is really cool.
Instead of sculpting or drawing in 3D like many VR art apps do, Vermillion focuses on the canvas. It feels uncanny to paint with a palette and an easel, even more so if you use the mixed-reality mode to make the painting feel like it's sitting in your home. Bringing up video tutorials while you paint feels like a preview of our AR-overlaid future and can feel surprisingly calming.
I had no idea how a VR jigsaw puzzle would feel or whether I'd care to play one. While I don't love this game's limited number of puzzles or its strange interface, its 3D environments that you can piece together (with up to hundreds of pieces per puzzle) are weirdly hypnotic. More, please!
Playing the classic Resident Evil 4 in VR feels like a whole new game. The ability to use your hands, holster weapons and actually walk into creepy settings is transformative. Other than 2D cut-scenes, this feels like a native VR game. Resident Evil 4 is a Quest 2 exclusive, so original Quest owners can't play it. But this is an excellent game to show off how good stand-alone VR has become.
VR is a great format for escape room experiences. I Expect You To Die is a game you can play seated, leaning over desks and flipping switches, using telekinetic powers to control items from afar. The puzzle designs can be as challenging as any escape room I've ever been in. Try the original game and this one for double the challenge.
My overall favorite VR game just might be mini-golf. Walkabout's multiple golf courses are brilliantly designed, with extra-hard challenge modes and hidden golf balls to collect. The game's golf physics are perfect. The multiplayer modes are great for having friends join in online. A number of increasingly-good courses keep arriving as DLC, from one based on Jim Henson's Labyrinth to a series of Jules Verne courses. Every time a new course comes out, I get excited. Seriously, you have no idea how good VR mini-golf is.
Demeo is a miraculous four-player online RPG that captures the feel of collaborative play, but in VR. The 3D map, the characters and your hovering hands, holding cards that can be played in-game, feel like a session of D&D that's animated into reality. A recent update adds more free content; games are randomized a bit each time to keep the excitement going indefinitely.
Sometimes, I really miss Wii Sports. Or real bowling alleys. ForeVR Bowl is the best simulation of both, with online play and solo challenges, and a mix of realistic and weird environments. The ball physics is more realistic than Wii Sports could have ever dreamed of, but it's also forgiving enough to have fun. Just leave some arm room in your home play area... you need a bit more free space than you think.
You have no idea how surprisingly intense VR rock climbing can be until you've tried The Climb 2. This sequel to a classic VR game (also on Quest) uses your hands to reach up and grab ledges, grab ropes and zipline. It sounds easy, and yet discovering ledges, holding the right grip and keeping focus can be a real challenge. It's also absolutely beautiful.
This isn't Overcooked, but Cook-Out is a charming and really immersive cooking game where you race to put sandwiches together using a grill and tools right in front of you. Other players can join in, up to four players at once. At full speed it feels like a theme park attraction created in VR just for you.
Cyan Worlds' new version of Myst is the same game you've probably played a million times, but the environments here are really beautiful to move through. Consider this a puzzle game that doubles as meditative escape. Read our Myst VR hands-on.
I missed my chance to go to Disney and see Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, but ILMxLab's Batuu-themed game is the next best thing. It's not exactly a tour of Black Spire Outpost, but the incredible character acting, world design and intense blaster battles are an impressive feat. It's over too soon, but this Quest game still costs less than most Disney souvenirs. The $10 expansion pack is worth getting to complete the storyline. (Also check out Vader Immortal, ILMxLab's previous lightsaber-wielding adventure involving Darth Vader.)
The multiplayer battle royale experience of Population One is very Fortnite-like. In fact, it's extremely Fortnite-like. That's a good thing. There are few large-scale multiplayer VR games right now, and this is one of the best. Dropping down from above, navigating the shrinking map, climbing and hunting for supplies, and excellent controls make this a must-play team shooter. Plus, there are constant season updates.
It's expensive, and the file size can get up to 8GB on the Quest 2, but this is console-quality VR shrunken down into a portable headset. Saints & Sinners was already an acclaimed PC VR game, and the transition to the Quest keeps its polish and RPG-like feel. It's freaky, but it's also deep. There's a lot more going on than simple shooting.
A lot of Quest games are expensive, but a surprising number are free. Rec Room is a social hub that's also a doorway to tons of social games, with a seemingly limitless set of possibilities. Sometimes it feels a bit like Wii Sports or VR Roblox. There are mini-adventures, paintball games and more. I just want there to be improved parental-control features (there seem to be a lot of parents letting kids into Rec Room lately).
This is the Quest's killer app, and if you want to get moving, love lightsabers, or just want a fun dance challenge, this is it. There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy, the lightsaber tracking is fantastic, and there are extra music packs to buy if you feel compelled. I'm still exhausting myself trying to beat my nephew's high scores.
Bullet time, grab the gun, wait -- the faster you move, the faster everything else moves. Get it now? Superhot was one of the first games that hit the Quest, and it's still amazing. Runner-up pick: Pistol Whip. (Sorry, I still like Superhot more.)
Seriously, ping-pong in VR is so good. The table physics, the size of the play area, the way VR matches what you need perfectly -- who knows? You can play online with real people, and the gameplay is shockingly unforgiving.
If you're up for a creepy dive into mysterious puzzle boxes, this unique VR game from the makers of the hit game series called The Room is a fantastic and spooky mental challenge (it's not great for kids, though). There are lots of other escape room games on Quest, including the excellent I Expect You To Die 2 (listed above), and a ticketed live multiplayer escape-room experience from Adventure Labs, too.
The synesthetic Tetris Effect was one of the best games of 2018, and the Quest version is mostly as good. It's intense, the music is amazing, and even though the levels are frantic, it's also weirdly zen. This is a perfect way to unwind.
With other people in your home, VR can be a solitary disconnect. Keep Talking involves others by having people not in VR handle a bomb-defusing manual while the person in VR tries to communicate and stop the bomb in time. It feels like a weird board game, which is something most VR games never succeed at.
An endless and randomly generated set of castle enemies meet you every time you play, and this roguelike game uses a bow and arrow as your only method of navigation and attack. The mechanics feel great, and being surrounded by enemies you're firing arrows at can be incredibly intense.
Talk about a game that never seems to get old. While Space Pirate Trainer has been around since the launch days of the HTC Vive, the simple arcade design is perfect. You stand still, shoot at aliens and shield yourself. Survive as long as you can. It's perfect.
Want to revisit '90s games, including the experience of sitting on the floor with a controller playing games on a TV? You can do that already with a little retro 16-bit console, but Pixel Ripped pulls it off uncannily in VR. You're a kid in a house, playing games that don't exist. Then you enter the pixel world, and it gets stranger. The original '80s-set Pixel Ripped 1989 is now inside as add-on DLC, too.
VR can turn your sense of reality inside out, and A Fisherman's Tale is the best type of out-of-body experience. A room with puzzles to solve also has a dollhouse, which is a perfect model of the room you're in. You can reach into your own space and as you do, a larger hand from above enters your room. It's like living in your own weird puzzle dollhouse universe, and it's fantastic. FYI: a sequel is coming very soon, so you might want to wait for that. Or play both.
Red Matter was one of the best-looking Oculus Quest games, and an update for the Quest 2 pushes the graphics even further. The puzzle-solving, atmospheric, brooding adventure is set in an alternate-timeline Cold War in space. Your tool-filled space suit glides around and grapples with the brilliantly evoked world, which often has Half-Life vibes. There's also a sequel now, Red Matter 2, which is also worth getting.
There are lots of ways the Quest can be a surprisingly good fitness device, provided you're OK with sweating with a headset on (buy silicone face covers for the Quest 2, or replacement foam inserts). Beat Saber is still a classic, but Supernatural is the best subscription-based Peloton-type experience, and it uses the Apple Watch to track heart rate. Meta's connecting its fitness tracking in VR to Apple Health now, too.
Is the Quest appropriate for kids?
I still wouldn't recommend a Quest 2 for kids unless you're occasionally sharing games with them in a place where you can watch them play and make sure they're playing safely, but Meta is starting to address parental controls in VR. The Quest still doesn't officially allow you to create an account for kids under 13, though, and any game or experience with voice chat should be avoided, or if possible, disable voice chat if the game involves play with strangers.
Is a Quest 3 coming soon?
Yes, it's been confirmed that the Quest 3 is coming this year, probably in the fall. The price is expected to be the same as the Quest 2. New features could include better color passthrough cameras, a more compact design, and better graphics. The Quest 2 is still great, but you might also want to wait a year and see what happens.