1. The Living Image
In this sim, the user experiences a variety of recognizable environments—like city streets and skyscrapers—but in ways you’ve never seen before. Not only does the immersion feel almost like the real thing, but you can go to places you know but have never seen before IRL.
2. De Proxémica (Personal Space Simulator)
Ever wanted to try out some of the uniquely uncomfortable scenarios in Curb Your Enthusiasm? Well, now you can! In De Proxémica, the sim puts you in a variety of situations where you can experience how human sims react to your social curiosities. So it’s like the real thing, without any of the consequences!
3. Oculus Rift
A publicly funded Kickstarter project, the Oculus Rift promises to take many popular videogames and make them visually immersive (your depth perception is spot on!)—starting with Doom 3, as seen above. It’s like the Virtual Boy, except, like, cool? It’ll make you feel like you’re actually IN the game.
4. 3D Experience Simulator
“3D Experience,” as in, you wander around in environments that look like they were ripped straight out of Tron. This one’s probably best described as completely unlike the real thing—in the best way possible.
5. Skyrim Overworld Simulator
Skyrim’s environments already look so real that it’s unreal, but imagine experiencing them while wearing virtual reality goggles. It’s basically like exploring the Middle Ages as closely as possible to the real thing. (But, you know, with like, dragons and mages and stuff. NBD.)
7. Knee Surgery Sim
With a variety of applications, this simulation can mimic many different surgeries, and while you still get to feel like you’re performing them, you don’t have to worry about any malpractice suits. It’s basically an immersive version of Operation, and without the annoying buzzer!
8. Cave Automatic Virtual Environment
Though the glasses still look like a relic of the ’80s, CAVE is one of the most advanced virtual reality sims around today. CAVE can recreate everything from expansive natural environments to the cellular levels of the body—and it’s all incredibly accurate, despite the unreal color scheme.
9. Dental Surgery Sim
While this sim’s perfect for dentists, even if you’re not interested in a career in dentistry, it’s pretty cool nonetheless. You can work on some pretty messed up mouths, and either fix them or make them worse. And it’s even better than the real thing because you don’t have to smell anyone’s tuna breath!
10. Rise of Flight
Although Rise of Flight: The First Great Air War features planes that are more than a few years old, it’s widely regarded as featuring the most realistic physics and controls of any commercially available flight sims. (Not to mention that the military is known to base parts of its own flight sims around it!) And, frankly, those planes still look real cool, despite their age.