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Best VR experiences 2022: Explore, learn, and be entertained in virtual reality

Best VR experiences - National Geographic Explore VR Machu Picchu_National Geographic
(Image credit: National Geographic)

We've explored the far reaches of the virtual world to bring your our round up of the best VR experiences.

VR has expanded in ways we never would’ve imagined thanks to the technology that has made it possible like the Oculus Quest 2 and Valve Index. Whether it’s for gaming, watching movies, or education, VR technology continues to grow to become a multipurpose system and factor into our daily life.

There are so many experiences that allows VR to become a space where anyone can immerse themselves into what’s happening in front of them, especially when using the best VR headsets. There are many VR experiences that promise users an amazing journey into the virtual world. The technology has been changing every year as VR continues to make new strides with tons of experiences around the world that take users into something unimaginable.

With virtual reality becoming more accessible, it has broadened the field in many different circles like cinema, theater, and even art. There’s a growing landscape of possibilities as many developers continue to utilize this technology to give users a way to experience things that we they may not be able to do live and in-person.

The number of VR experiences keep on growing, so the only question is which one to try? To give you an idea of what you can take part in, we’ve narrowed down some of the best VR experiences that will help take you out of this world and get lost in an entire new space of reality.

1. Space Explorers: The ISS Experience

Space Explorers: The ISS Experience VR

(Image credit: Headspace Studio)
  • Platforms: Oculus
  • Price: $2.99 for each of the 4 episodes (via Oculus Store) 

If anyone is looking to experience the wonders of space, this VR experience may be close to what you’ll get to seeing what its like aboard a space station. Shot over two years, the VR experience was filmed at the International Space Station. It’s a gorgeous look at life aboard the station, told through four parts as you follow eight astronauts on a journey through some missions. It’ll give viewers an intimate look at living the life on orbit. 

There won’t be much interaction, but the experience does dive deep into space exploration through the eyes of these astronauts. With these extreme close-ups of these workers in space together, you’ll feel like you are with them during the joys and dangers of their profession.

2. Star Chart VR

Star Chart VR

(Image credit: Escapist Games)
  • Platforms: Oculus, Steam, Google Play
  • Price: $9.99 

Speaking of space, this VR experience is also out of this world as it allows you to explore the solar system in a beautiful rendering of a real-time space simulation. You can take a closer look at all the planets in our galaxy whether its Saturn’s rings or the moons that orbit it. This is a great way to educate yourself in what the solar system has to offer and see how these constellations are formed in the night sky. Choose from different Star Chart modes to give you some choices in your star gazing activity. 

There’s also tons of experiences like Moments in Time that take you throughout history in space expedition like the moon landing and the rover’s exploration in Mars. No matter what you choose, you’ll enjoy what our solar system has to offer thanks to this one-of-kind VR experience.

3. Within - Cinematic VR

Within VR - cinematic VR experiences

(Image credit: Within)
  • Platforms: Oculus, Steam, Google Play, Apple
  • Price: Free

For those in need of a cinematic experience at home, Within VR can make that happen. Get immersed in some amazing stories in different genres like documentaries, horror, music videos, animation, and so much more. What’s great is that these are viewed at no charge at all. 

You can catch the best from indie filmmakers and studios from around the world. These videos are also available to download in high-resolution, so you can take it anywhere you go if you don’t have an internet connection to stream it. If you’re up for some video content, then you’ll find plenty of that through Within.

Best of all, there are no platform limitations, as the Within website proudly states that it's "available everywhere fine VR is served".

  • Check out Within VR on Steam (opens in new tab),  Oculus, Google Play (opens in new tab), or Apple (opens in new tab).

4. National Geographic Explore VR

National Geographic Explore VR_National Geographic

(Image credit: National Geographic)
  • Platforms: Oculus
  • Price: $9.99

There are plenty of discoveries to be made in this world, and National Geographic help make this possible with their app called Explore VR. There are countless experiences to uncover and it’s a nice educational tool to see what this world has to offer regarding culture and exploration. 

Users can explore the old ruins of Machu Picchu or even scale the icebergs in the far-off region of Antarctica. It’s perfect for the whole family to travel the world without ever leaving the house. The main goal is to capture photos on these exhibitions, so the National Geographic Explore VR experience is a nice way to discover these vast locations to get to know the landscape and learn its history.

5. All Kinds of Limbo XR

All Kinds of Limbo_National Theatre

(Image credit: National Theatre)
  • Platforms: All
  • Price: £6/$8

Live theater still draws in a big crowd with the likes of Broadway shows, concerts, and other types of entertainment. If you would rather see live entertainment from your own home, look no further than the performers behind All Kinds of Limbo. The musical performance is developed by artists Raffy Bushman and Nubiya Brandon alongside the NuShape Orchestra in the U.K. 

Using just a VR headset on a mobile device or PC, audiences can take part in this immersive experience that brings the Caribbean culture to life in a story of a life in limbo across different genres of music. Called All Kinds of Limbo XR, this special production from the National Theater utilizes VR technology to create a place for audiences to watch these musicians perform with the tunes of the Caribbean.

Mufsin is a freelance entertainment writer who covers movies, games, and VR. For all things pop culture, he's the guy to ask. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University. When he's not writing for LiveScience, you'll find his words on All Ages of Geek & TanTV Studios. He has also previously worked for The Huffington Post & The Gamer.