With Facebook rebranding to Meta in late 2021, most individuals have heard about virtual worlds and the exciting possibilities they offer. If you’re looking for virtual world games to explore and interact with, this article is the perfect fit for you!
Online virtual world games offer users an opportunity to immerse themselves in the digital realm. Users are also provided tools to harness the potential of their creative skills to shape their own experiences. The virtual world gaming experience is further enhanced by the use of Virtual Reality (VR).
The Rise of Virtual World Games
Gaming enthusiasts have been aware of the immersive experiences provided by VR for quite a while now, with over 11.2 million VR headsets sold in 2021.
Even though virtual reality games and headsets cost significantly more than consoles, statistics show that the VR industry will be earning over $2.4 billion annually by 2024.
Online virtual world games have become extremely popular, as they transform the entire gaming experience into a more realistic experience from the first-person perspective. Individuals utilize avatars to navigate through virtual life games and with most games offering a 360-degree view, gamers truly feel like they’re within the game itself.
Virtual world games, thus, offer users an opportunity to step into a completely new world, where they could be anything they want to be. Gamers can even look however they want to by customizing their avatars and can explore new landscapes, complete quests, and more.
Also, virtual life games that offer storylines and a roleplaying experience allow users to embody a completely new character and live a new ‘life’. Virtual Reality makes this entire experience even more surreal and allows users to completely immerse themselves in the stunning visuals that the game provides.
To learn more about Metaverse Virtual Worlds, check out this post.
What are Virtual World Games?
Imagine stepping into a virtual ‘world’ where you can move about freely, without any physical restrictions. The virtual world gaming space offers players a chance to interact with 3D social spaces and fully immerse themselves in the game. The technology behind VR makes this all possible, and many games have been remastered to meet VR requirements.
Modern technology has now made it possible to jump into these interactive virtual world games using an avatar, and gamers can now interact and complete challenges with other online players. Each game follows its own storyline, which helps make it a unique experience for the players. Players can communicate with others using voice, text, and gestures.
Some of these games allow users to create super realistic avatars, have incredible experiences, shape environments, and also make money!
But in this article, we’re not talking about regular VR games, we’re going to compile a list of “Virtual World Games”, where you can explore and interact freely.
8 Best Virtual World Games Online
1. Second Life (Most Realistic Virtual World Game)
Although this virtual world game has been around since 2003, it is still massively popular. In 2019, the game reported over 200,000 users daily from all across the world VR has played a huge role in bringing the avatars within the game to life, thus sparking a massive increase in users. The avatars within the game are extremely lifelike and offer numerous opportunities to interact, share experiences, and mold landscapes. You can visit concerts, join clubs, have parties, and even develop real estate using their builder to start making money.
While you can play the game for free, you get loads of interesting features if you opt for their premium membership plan. The game utilizes ‘Linden Dollars’ (L$) and using their marketplace, users can buy and sell services or goods such as Avatar accessories and more. You can also use Linden Dollars to visit amusement parks within the game, attend concerts, and more! To sell Linden Dollars for real-life currency, you can utilize the Lindex Exchange.
2. IMVU (Best Social Virtual Life Game)
This incredible virtual life game has over 200 million registered players and over 4 million active monthly users. If you’re looking for a virtual world game that emphasizes social connections, this is the one for you! Users start off by customizing their own avatars according to however they desire. You are then initially provided with a run-down apartment that you can improve and customize by utilizing credits from within the games. The game’s virtual store has over 30 million items, each can be purchased using the game’s digital currency ‘VCoin’, which is built using Blockchain technology.
You can also go out and explore the vast world, from nightclubs, theme parks, skyscrapers, deserts, and much more! The virtual life game offers endless opportunities to socialize, have fun and relax with friends. All these spaces are created by users, thus giving users the ability to shape their own experiences on the platform. Users can ‘create’ their own customizations using IMVU studio which can be downloaded. Imagine creating your own outfit for a party, and then making your avatar wear it. User-generated content allows platforms such as IMVU to become much more engaging, as the users tend to come up with unique items that the developers may have not even fathomed.
By listing unique creations within the game’s virtual store, users can easily earn money. VCoins can be cashed out into fiat currencies, thus making this platform perfect for having fun while making money!
3. Grand Theft Auto (Best Driving Virtual Game)
This childhood classic has been a long-time favorite for many. Driving through the streets of San Andreas, stealing cars, driving people over, running away from the police and much more were the favorite past times of many young gamers. However, the game has evolved into a much more immersive experience with GTA V.
GTA V initially did not support VR, which gave an opportunity to talented developers such as ‘LukeRossoo’ to create a mod, which allows users to use VR within the game. Users can explore the exciting world of GTA from a first-person perspective. While you still have to use a mouse and keyboard, or a joystick to move around, the visual aspects of the game are just incredible.
Pair that with their Roleplaying servers, and we’re sure you’ll have trouble putting the game down! These roleplaying servers allow you to escape your mundane daily lives and step into the lives of someone else, who could be a police officer, a criminal, a nightclub owner, or a shopkeeper! VR and these incredible servers make this an amazing choice for gamers, as they can lose themselves within the storyline.
4. Minecraft (Best Multiplayer Virtual World Game)
This popular game was released in the year 2011 and has amassed over 141 million users to date. It is a sandbox virtual world game that allows multiple players to build items using ‘blocks’. The game is even played by popular celebrities such as Mila Kunis and Deadmau5 on a regular basis.
Minecraft also came up with MinecraftEdu to help foster creativity and promote learning. The game has its own inbuilt mechanics where mathematical concepts, physics, and chemistry come into play. Many teachers who have tried utilizing Minecraft’s ‘game-based learning’ approach in the classroom have stated that the biggest takeaway was the enhancement of problem-solving skills and team building. This virtual world game allows users to shape their environments according to their specifications and also explore vast places. The Minecraft community also hosts music festivals from time to time such as Coalchella, which users have described as ‘incredible’ experiences within the 3D space. Imagine attending a whole music festival in VR within this exciting virtual world game!
Some servers are customized for specific gaming modes, while some allow users to step into a world with a storyline. For example, If you’re a Pokémon fan, you’d love to play on the ‘Pixelmon’ server. The talented team behind Pixelmon Craft has recreated Johto and Kanto from the original Nintendo versions and has also changed the dynamics so that animals can be caught and used in battle – similar to the Pokémon concept.
5. The Sandbox Game (Best Virtual World For Making Money)
This virtual world game is becoming increasingly popular due to its ability to help users make money. The Sandbox Metaverse allows users to purchase ‘LAND’ and build their own Metaverses on top of it. The game uses $SAND as its in-game currency and $SAND can be purchased from centralized crypto exchanges such as Binance.
The game allows users to create, buy and sell assets within their marketplace. Since the transactions are stored on the Blockchain, each asset has its own NFT. You can explore the vast world, and build incredible skyscrapers using their VoxEdit and Game Maker tools. By buying land, users can rent it out or use it to do whatever they’d like, i.e. create mansions, host parties, and concerts, use it as a billboard for marketing, or even create a gallery to display their NFT collection. The possibilities are endless, and you can utilize VR to make all of these experiences much more immersive!
Famous rap artist Snoop Dogg, recently released “House I Built”, a music video that was shot within his “Snoopverse”. Paris Hilton also announced that she was planning on building ‘Paris World’, within the Sandbox Metaverse. This clearly goes to show that even though the game is currently under development, there are numerous individuals who recognize the potential it has to offer!
6. World Of War Craft (Best Battle Virtual World Game)
If you’re into folklore and want to explore a world filled with warriors and wizards, this virtual life game is the perfect fit for you! Users have the option to create their own avatars and add more accessories as they move through the game. This multiplayer game allows users to complete campaigns or battle with others within the game.
This virtual world game offers intricate visuals and is extremely popular amongst gamers. With its engaging storylines, challenging quests, and active community, this is definitely a virtual world that you should explore! Although the game is not natively built for VR, users can play World of Warcraft with Vorpx, a custom-built 3D driver.
Level up and explore dungeons, while fighting monsters, all in VR with your friends! This is an experience that you definitely do not want to miss.
7. Upland (Best Real Estate Virtual World Game)
If you’re fascinated by the virtual real estate market, this game offers an extremely interactive virtual world where users can buy and sell properties that are mapped according to real-life versions in the physical world. Think of it as an exact replica of today’s world in the digital realm, where properties are affordable.
The virtual world game utilizes its own in-game currency called ‘UPX’, which can be utilized to make purchases. Imagine buying a beautiful home by the seaside in this virtual world. While buying it may not be possible in real life due to exorbitant prices, the virtual world offers users an opportunity to experience things that they never could, in real life. You can also become a real estate agent or a landlord, which also provides a great deal of entertainment.
8. AltspaceVR (Best Virtual World Game For Events)
The primary goal of this virtual life game is to be the perfect place for live events, and for users to have incredible experiences. Users can join by creating avatars, and can also host music festivals, small intimate gatherings, comedy shows, and more!
This virtual world game aims to change the way people interact online by enhancing social connections. The biggest advantage of this space is that users can even join without a VR headset, so all of your friends can join too!
The game also allows users to customize their environment by building their own ‘worlds’. These worlds can also be built by using the apps installed within VR headsets. Users can shape their own experiences and can have a great time attending concerts and more!
Factors to Consider When Choosing The Best Virtual World Game
With so many choices out there, you may find it difficult to find which virtual world game is the best fit for you. The choice ultimately depends on what you’re trying to achieve while playing the game.
- Ability to Earn Money: For example, if you’re just looking to enjoy your time and play an immersive roleplaying game, GTA V may be the best fit for you. But if you’re looking for a way to generate additional cash while also enjoying your experience, virtual world games such as The Sandbox, Second Life, and IMVU might be the best choice.
- Useful Tools and Benefits: While some of these games have been around for a long time, such as Second Life, each game offers its own benefits. Such as the Sandbox offers buying Land as NFTs and registering purchases on the Blockchain. With tools such as VoxEdit and Game Maker, users can easily build NFTs and list them for sale within their inbuilt marketplace!
- Community: While selecting a virtual world, it is extremely important to understand community values and see if they resonate with your own. For example, IMVU is primarily targeted toward a younger audience with an emphasis on social connections. The Minecraft community for example is incredibly innovative. New servers are being created on a regular basis and you’ll never get tired of exploring this virtual world game.
Pros & Cons of Online Virtual World Games
As is the case with any other technological innovation, there are pros and cons of playing virtual world games. These are explained in detail below.
- New Experiences: By stepping into the exciting realm of virtual world games, users can interact and engage with new individuals, and can shape experiences to however they would like them to be. For example, attending concerts in virtual reality is an incredible experience in itself.
- Opportunity to Earn: What’s better than earning through what you love doing? By creating new items in these virtual world games, users can list them for sale in marketplaces and can set up virtual businesses.
- Escape Daily Lives: Our hectic day-to-day lives have a way of bringing us down from time to time. Imagine kicking your shoes off after a long day to step into World of Warcraft and become a Wizard for a couple of hours while playing with your friends. It is a great way to unwind.
- Can Be Addictive: This is perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of virtual world games. Once users realize the exciting opportunities these worlds provide, they might become addicted. Since you can be anyone you want to be, exploring new worlds has a charm of its own.
- Can Affect Social Lives: Once you’re used to the simplicity of virtual interactions, many users can find it difficult to engage in real-life social interactions. This may be due to the fact that they can exhibit the best versions of themselves online while hiding their flaws.
- Can Be Expensive: Although there are a wide variety of headsets that are affordable and also games that are free to play, there are also several in-game purchases that you might want to make. This can be extremely expensive in the long term.
All things considered, the games mentioned in this article are definitely worth a try. Each virtual world game offers a whole new set of experiences, and we’re sure you’d love playing all of them!
For additional information on the best metaverse games, have a look at our list!