Puzzles are The Witness’ focus. You progress through the game by learning the rules of each puzzle type, often staring at one board for what seems like hours as you try to work it out.
Testing solutions and using trial and error are what you’ll spend most of your time doing, but the puzzles aren’t what immediately stands out as you start playing.
The world of The Witness is beautiful. Each vastly different area is incredibly vibrant, with you walking through everything from vast desert areas to a dense autumnal forest, and the colors are accentuated.
Not only would playing in VR increase your focus on the puzzles, just as Tetris Effect does on its own board, but simply wandering around the landscape between attempts would be incredible, immersing you in the mystery of the world as well as the puzzles.
Horizon Zero Dawn
We’re probably more than a few years from being able to jump into a huge open world title in VR, especially those on the scale of Horizon Zero Dawn, but we can always dream about how incredible it’d look.
Away from the satisfying gameplay and engaging story, Horizon’s world is one of the best we’ve seen in the last few years. There are huge open plains, dense forests, snow-covered mountains, and detailed towns, all of which bring something different to the gameplay. It could be incredibly immersive in VR.
Then there are the robot dinosaurs; what else more is there to say? Imagine creeping through the auburn grass, stalking one of the smaller creatures when all of a sudden, Thunderjaw leaps out to steal your kill. With most of them towering over you, it would as amazing as it would be terrifying.
Walking sims are often the first kind of game that comes to mind when thinking about what would work in VR. Not only have we seen it in action with the likes Deracine and the excellent The Invisible Hours, but the focus on exploration sees it make a lot of sense.
Therefore, it’d be great to see virtual reality be brought to some of the best in the genre. Firewatch stands out due to its setting. Rather than houses that are full of history and environmental storytelling, Firewatch sees you explore the beautiful Shoshone National Forest.
Your watchtower feels like home but the forest floor is as intimidating as it is gorgeous. The particular art style puts the colors in the limelight, adding perfectly to the affecting story.
Spending time with Henry and Delilah while exploring is a lot of fun, and doing so in VR would only improve it.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Much like Horizon Zero Dawn, being able to play Red Dead Redemption 2 in VR is all but a dream. However, everything that made us vote it our game of the year in 2018 is exactly why we’d like to play it that way.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s world is more immersive than any other we’ve ever seen. It’s full of realistic characters, genuine interactions, and the landscape is stunning.
Even if it was just to roam the plains on horseback, maybe dabbling in a little fishing or poker, VR would only make it better. The clunky mechanics that hampered gameplay a little would have to be tinkered with to make the game smooth enough for VR, but Rockstar’s world is the perfect place to get lost in.
The worlds that 2K have created in the BioShock franchise are some of the more unique and immersive we’ve ever seen. From the mysterious and cramped corridors of Rapture to the vibrant streets and incredibly detailed buildings of Columbia, VR would be the perfect way to experience two of the best stories of the last two generations.
Playing the first two games that way would only heighten the intense creepiness of the underwater city and being able to wield the unique powers would make you feel unstoppable.
Imagine using a Move Controller to fling a flock of crows at an enemy, it would feel amazing.
Infinite would feel pretty different. While the fast-paced action would remain, the scale of the sky city would be overwhelming. The memorable moments, from the time you descend to your first glimpse of the city at the start to exploring the detailed history museum, it could look amazing in VR.
Beyond experiencing the series’ past settings again, 2K could make the powers a huge part of any potential VR experience. Even moving away to new locations, the tracking systems could be used to make players feel more powerful than ever before.
Virtual reality racing games have been a bit hit and a miss over the last few years. Gran Turismo Sport’s VR component was lackluster, Driveclub’s suffered significantly in the visuals department, but more arcade-y titles have been successful.
Microsoft’s Forza series has become the leading racing franchise in the last few years, overtaking the likes of Need for Speed and Gran Turismo, with the success and quality of the Horizon spin-offs being a huge part of that.
Whether it be the more restricted racing of the Motorsport series or the varied and celebratory open world Horizon games, Forza has the potential to be spectacular in VR.
The racing mechanics have already been nailed down and hurtling along some of the world’s most famous tracks would be great in the core titles. Horizon’s transition would be a little trickier, with it being more unpredictable, but if they can nail the lighthearted, party tone of the games, it could be even better in VR.
Just imagine the spectacle of the showcase events in VR as hovercrafts fly over your head in slow motion or a fleet of jets rush past the side of your head.
Gone Home’s setting may not be as immediately striking as those in other games on this list, but it more than makes up for that in atmosphere and environmental storytelling.
Gone Home’s appeal all comes from exploring the empty Greenbriar house, searching for clues about what’s happened to Samantha, all while a storm rages outside. The flickering lights, rumbling thunder, and creepy corridors all make it initially seem like a generic horror game.
As you explore further, you learn that there’s more to Gone Home than meets the eye and you get truly invested in the emotional story.
Combing every nook and cranny in VR would make the game more immersive than ever, even if it might highlight some rough edges, and you’d be crying into your headset by the time the credits roll.