The best survival games are notorious for being relentless. They will push you to the limit by thrusting you into chaotic situations. Your main goal: to stay alive. You can do this by crafting tools, seeking shelter, and collecting resources. You must do everything in your power to survive until the end.
These elements are why survival games are so popular. When browsing lists of the best PS4 games or even your own Steam library, it won’t be surprising to find at least several survival games on them. The appeal of this genre stems from our very own innate goal to stay alive and fend for ourselves.
Regardless if you’re fighting swarms of zombies with a friend or escaping the woods alone, we have all the best survival games to challenge your fight-or-flight response.
Best Survival Games To Play Alone
The Long Dark
- PLATFORM: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One
- DEVELOPER: Hinterland Studio
The Long Dark is one of the best single player survival games. It will have you battling starvation, dehydration, and hypothermia in a post apocalyptic frozen wasteland. The Long Dark has three game modes to choose from: Story, Survival, and Challenge. In Story mode, you take on the role of Will Mackenzie, a bush pilot. As Will, you’re tasked to transport Dr. Astrid Greenwood and a mysterious package to a remote area in the Canadian wilderness. Unfortunately, the cargo plane crashes during a geomagnetic storm. From here, Will must endure the harsh environment while looking for Astrid and the unknown box. This mode allows players to delve deeper into the world of The Long Dark while completing story-driven missions.
In Survival mode, you don’t have to worry about any restrictions or story quests. All your focus goes into surviving. This mode features four different difficulty levels that will determine how harshly the world will treat you. These include the abundance of supplies to how hostile the wildlife will be. Meanwhile, Challenge mode gives you exactly what you’re expecting. Players must complete special tasks in order to obtain rewards. Oftentimes, they will also need to race against the clock in order to win.
If you deconstruct the main story plot of this game, you’re left with a simulator that has you fighting against Mother Nature. The Long Dark gameplay has no zombies or supernatural beings trying to get you. It’s just your character against the snow, wolves, and bears. However, it does this so well that it has earned the title as one of the best survival games.
Courtesy: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- PLATFORM: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch
- DEVELOPER: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Subnautica manages to juggle an engaging story set in a unique setting while being an absolutely terrifying experience. This first person survival game submerges you into the underwater world of aliens. Here, you crash onto the planet 4546B, which is completely covered in water. You must collect resources, craft gear, find food, and build shelter. All of these, while seeking a way to eventually escape the planet. The deeper you venture into the depths of the Subnautica map, the rarer the resources you’ll find. These resources will eventually aid you in crafting more advanced items. But of course, like all top survival games, you need to fight off fierce predators.
Most of the game is set underwater, and it’s evident how much thought and effort the developers put into this underwater world. The biomes in this game range from colorful to unsettling. From the lush coral reefs, to the dark and eerie cave systems, every aspect of this game’s underwater setting is stunning. With that in mind, we have to say that the dry land sections of the game are not as eye-catching. It is the only source to obtain certain edible plants, though. Fortunately, the Subnautica game doesn’t require you to explore much on land. The main focus of the story is still set beneath the sea. However, it’s still a pleasant option if you want a breather from the depths of the ocean.
Subnautica is a fantastic single-player survival game. It certainly won’t hold its player’s hand, but it isn’t overly difficult. So, you won’t have to worry about giving up due to frustration.
Courtesy: Ludeon Studios
- PLATFORM: PC, macOS, Linux
- DEVELOPER: Ludeon Studios
How would you run society if given the chance? In this sci-fi video game, you have to manage your own colony and make sure every member survives. At a glance, RimWorld is just your regular construction and management simulation. However, what makes it different from other games of the genre is its colonists and their backgrounds. They don’t feel like mindless robots. Each person has their own moods, needs, and opinions. Their background story affects how you play the game.
This game isn’t just about you fighting off enemies to fend for yourself. You also have to ensure the survival of each member of your colony. You must manage their survival against external factors like pirates and environmental forces like natural disasters. On top of that, you also have to resolve conflict within the community. This involves clashes between members within the society.
RimWorld does such a wonderful job in projecting emotions and the thoughts of its characters. They respond to stress and hunger, injuries, and even complicated human emotions. Characters even have their own views on politics!
The events within the game are generated randomly by an artificial intelligence storyteller. Additionally, you can choose from three different storytellers: Randy Random, Cassandra Classic, and Phoebe Chillax. These storytellers determine the level of difficulty in the game, and even the story’s progression.
Undoubtedly, RimWorld is one of the best PC survival games if you want to play alone, but don’t want to feel alone. It’s so popular that fans are always on the lookout for games like RimWorld!
ARK Survival Evolved
- PLATFORM: PC, Linux, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, and Switch
- DEVELOPER: Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efecto Studios, and Virtual Basement LLC
ARK: Survival Evolved is an action packed video game that offers a realistic structure to survival. It will certainly appeal to people with love for the elements that typical survival games possess. You can craft and build your own weapons and shelter, as well as forge items and harvest for food. All the while immersing you in the world of both prehistoric and mythical creatures.
This dinosaur survival game offers both a single player and a multiplayer option. However, if you truly want to challenge yourself, you can always stick with offline single player mode. Moreover, it’s understandable if you want to delve into the game’s world at your own pace. When you’re in single-player mode, you set your own goal. Admittedly, you will still need to follow the game’s campaign. This involves traversing across the variety of locations to collect artifacts that will summon three boss characters. Nevertheless, you are still free to do so at your own speed.
In terms of difficulty, the ARK Survival Evolved game offers one of the most difficult gameplay out there. This is especially when playing alone. When battling against giant spiders and a fire-breathing dragon, you not only need to worry about losing your armor and equipment, you will also have to worry about the artifacts you’ve gathered. Once you’ve lost them during battle, you will need to redo challenges in order to obtain them once more.
- PLATFORM: PC, Mac, Xbox One, and Playstation 4
- DEVELOPER: 11 Bit Studios
Frostpunk takes you into an alternate post apocalyptic 19th century timeline wherein you take on the role of “the Captain.” Yes, this game features the basics of survival building games: you’re building cities, maintaining an economy, and managing resources. Amidst these, though, you are also leading a group of individuals during a worldwide volcanic winter. Once you’ve fully immersed yourself into Frostpunk, you’ll see why it’s one of the best survival games on Steam and on consoles.
The game tests both your management and leadership skills when you’re presented with various issues. You must resolve them while choosing from a variety of incredibly difficult choices. Every single course of action you take will ultimately affect your progress within the game. Besides this, you’re also battling external factors such as the extreme cold and strong blizzards in order to keep you and your people alive.
Additionally, it’s notorious for being brutally difficult. This is especially if you’re diving into the game’s world for the first time. Frostpunk does not offer an extensive tutorial for first timers. Of course, the game’s intro covers the basics, but players still get lost in-game. That’s why many players tend to look for Frostpunk cheats online. You’ll most probably end up watching gameplays on YouTube just to progress in the game. However, if you like a challenge, then you’ll be glad to know that this survival strategy game doesn’t hold anything back.
Best Multiplayer Survival Games
- PLATFORM: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch
- DEVELOPER: Re-Logic
This 2D survival game takes inspiration from classic Super NES games such as the Metroid series. Its sandbox-style gameplay will have you unleashing your creativity as you build and craft your way to your in-game goals.
Terraria offers players the building and mining aspects that Minecraft is known for. It also does a great job incorporating elements from classic side scrolling action role-playing games (RPGs). These include looting, the combat system, and equipment. Exploring caves will lead you to metal ores that you can melt into bars. You will eventually use them to forge swords and other weapons with.
The game follows a day and night cycle and once nighttime falls, you will need to fight off dangerous monsters and Terraria bosses. But this isn’t always the case. Some nights may have zombies attacking you, another night may have you finding a treasure chest with helpful resources. There’s no telling what the game will throw at you, and this is why the game is so addicting. You will want to continue exploring to see what lies ahead in the world of Terraria.
All of these elements are fun when played on your own, but it’s even more fun when playing with your friends. However, you will need to join Terraria servers to battle it out with other players and form teams to loot other bases.
Although, what if you’re not in the mood for such things? Well, don’t you fret because Terraria also features several recreational activities you can do in-game. You and your friends can even play golf when in multiplayer mode! Overall, it’s certainly among one of the best Switch games you can play right now.
- PLATFORM: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- DEVELOPER: Funcom
After the Conan Exiles release date back in 2018, the game initially received mixed reviews. This was primarily because the game was riddled with technical issues and a rather bland world design. Fortunately, it received several updates and bug patches. After that, it garnered a name for itself as one of the best multiplayer survival games to play with friends and foes. You can create clans with up to 10 players on the game’s official servers. But you can always assert your dominance on public servers that can host up to 70 players.
Set in the lands of Conan the Barbarian, Conan Exiles takes a few pages from another popular game, Ark: Survival Evolved. Although, instead of getting trapped in a prehistoric land filled with dinosaurs, you must navigate and survive a harsh desert landscape.
This online multiplayer game starts off with your character getting rescued by Conan. You’re left with no clothes and weapons in a desolate desert. From here you must hunt down resources to craft tools and weapons. You also need to build your own structures that can range from your very first hut to building a fortress. Until eventually, you become the master of your very own army and defeat your enemies.
The current Conan Exiles gameplay and combat system are both solid and robust. It’s definitely a step up compared to its initial release. Albeit, there are a few complaints that the movement is still a bit clunky.
All in all, Conan Exiles may not be perfect. Nevertheless, if you enjoy brutal and bloody games set in the Hyborian Age, then this historical fiction survival game should be right up your alley.
- PLATFORM: PC, macOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
- DEVELOPER: Facepunch Studios
Another game that will have you naked and afraid is Rust. At the beginning of the game, you have nothing but a rock and a torch. As you progress within the game, you get the chance to craft more advanced weapons like guns and other firearms.
In order to survive in this game, you will need to join others and build alliances. The Rust game offers only a multiplayer mode, and you have no other choice but to form and join clans. But, if you are someone who prefers working as a team, this shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s a rather brutal game that will have other players trying to kill and eat you on sight. However, once you manage to survive to the point you’ve gathered resources and built your own shelter, you’ll have the chance to make alliances. Another prevalent factor of the game is the raiding. You will need to join a clan to participate in organized raiding and looting to find certain items. It’s also important to note that the game doesn’t stop when you go offline. So, you’ll appreciate having a friend defending your base and belongings when your attention is on the real world.
Sadly, this intense player vs player (PvP) game isn’t the kindest to new players. Looking for potential teammates on public servers can be daunting. This is unless you already have experienced friends and teammates to join.
Overall, Rust is undoubtedly one of the best survival games PS4, Xbox, and PC gamers will experience. This is especially if you’re into competitive combat survival games and are not afraid to meet and work with new people.
- PLATFORM: PC, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch
- DEVELOPER: Mojang
The general aesthetics of Minecraft will lead you to believe that it’s just another game for children. Even more so due to its popularity with the younger audience. However, don’t be so quick to overlook one of the most popular sandbox building games. It can still hold its own as one of the best survival games PC users will experience.
Minecraft offers its players several game modes: Creative, Adventure, Hardcore, and Survival. There are also custom game modes available on specialty servers. In this article, though, we will be discussing the Minecraft survival mode. When playing in survival mode, you will need to gather resources to craft tools needed to build shelter with as fast as you can. Otherwise, once nighttime falls, roaming monsters like zombies will come after you.
Building, destroying, and fighting off monsters on your own is easily a fun way to pass time on your own. Yet, the game’s survival multiplayer mode makes it more interesting. Connecting to Minecraft servers will allow you to interact with other players. From here, you can either work together or against each other in order to achieve your in-game goals.
Once you dive into Minecraft survival servers, you’ll never want to leave. It perfectly executes all the addicting aspects of the best survival games out there! It’s simple, it fosters creativity, it’s challenging, and most importantly, it’s addictive.
- PLATFORM: Android, iOS, PC, Switch
- DEVELOPER: Innersloth
Among Us certainly isn’t a game you think of when discussing the best survival games in the market right now. But this Game Awards 2020 winner will have you testing your deduction and teamwork skills in order to survive.
It’s a multiplayer video game that you and up to nine of your friends can play. All of you are in an alien spaceship, and you take on the role of either a Crewmate or Imposter. The main goal as a Crewmate is to identify the Impostors and eject them off the ship, while still completing tasks. Meanwhile, the Impostors must sabotage the crewmates from completing their tasks and covertly kill them in the process.
Once the first death occurs, this is where the fun and deceit begin. From here, all members on board must convince others they are innocent. All members of the spaceship have to vote in order to eliminate suspected Impostors. This is a continuous process until Crewmates correctly determine who the Impostor is, or until Impostors eliminate enough Crewmates.
Initially released on mobile, Among Us has earned a reputation as one of the best survival games Android and iOS users can play. It even beat Genshin Impact during the Game Awards 2020 for best mobile game. Looks like deceit and betrayal are more fun than exploring the world of Teyvat with your Genshin Impact characters.
Additionally, thanks to its unexpected rise to popularity during the summer of 2020, the game is now also available on different gaming platforms. Sadly, there isn’t any final word if we will get Among Us PS4 console port soon.
A Way Out
- PLATFORM: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
- DEVELOPER: Hazelight
Designed for two players, A Way Out is exclusively a cooperative (Co-op) survival game via either local co-op or online. This narrative-driven game tells the story of two convicts who don’t know each other. You and another player take on these roles as you make your daring escapes from prison.
It features a clever camera system that allows both players to see what the other player is doing. With a shared storyline like this, you and another player must work together in order to break free. Thus, you will need to team up to bust down doors and coordinate combat against other inmates and police offers.
A downside to the A Way Out game though, is that it will very much hold your hand. It directs players specifically towards the next challenges and solutions. Because of this, there’s not much room for critical thinking and puzzle solving. Overcoming certain obstacles won’t feel as rewarding compared to others. It makes up for this though by challenging players’ communication and strategizing skills. Both characters have polar personalities. As such, each character will have different approaches to dealing with situations where you almost get caught.
If you’re a fan of story-driven video games with a good pal, then you should definitely check out how the A Way Out ending plays out.
- PLATFORM: PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.
- DEVELOPER: Sloclap
In this martial arts-based RPG, players take control of warrior characters known as Prospects in the fallen Adal Empire. Absolver features a complex yet customizable fighting system that will allow you to conquer the game’s world.
There’s very little dialogue in the Absolver game, which makes it difficult in figuring out the true plot of the game. However, there are a few fragments of a solid story about proving your sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat skills. Your main goal is to defeat other Prospects and survive until you earn a spot in the elite corps of Absolvers.
You can team up with up to two other players in this RPG survival game. The Absolver gameplay encourages teamwork and communication. When in multiplayer mode, you and your friends can go on quests together. You can also go head-to-head with other players in PvP matches. Additionally, teammates can also spar with one another for skill training. The more moves and weapons you possess, the more chances you have of winning the game.
Take note that if this is your first time playing the game, you might not find your ground so easily. There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the basics of Absolver. The game can be rather unforgiving at times, especially if you’re playing alone. It isn’t the most laid back game to play.
Nevertheless, with its cinematic art style and cooperative gameplay, many fans still consider it one of the best PC survival games available on Steam. On top of that, the game is renowned for its soundtrack that adds intensity to every battle.
Best Zombie Survival Games
World War Z
- PLATFORM: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- DEVELOPER: Saber Interactive
World War Z is a third-person shooter game that will have you facing massive swarms of the undead. You and three other players have to survive the zombie apocalypse in this video game based on the novel and Brad Pitt movie of the same name.
It will take you to different parts of the world to complete missions and challenges. Your main enemy in this zombie survival game are the Zekes, who rely on strength in number. Individually, they are relatively weak and easy to defeat. Sadly, they travel in overwhelming hordes that make them harder to kill. On top of this, there are several special zombies that you will encounter that are tougher to defeat. Throughout the game, players must work together to overcome these zombies.
The World War Z game is certainly fun to play with friends that feature great character models and lively background graphics. Although, the zombies’ reactions could do with an upgrade. No matter how you shoot or swing at them, they easily fold like paper. There are a few stragglers that you need to monitor, though, or else they could easily kill your character. The zombies in this game behave like real crowds that can get stuck in narrow areas or climb on top of each other to form zombie pyramids.
Admittedly, World War Z doesn’t stray from the other zombie outbreak simulator formula, except for the sheer volume of the enemies. But then again, completing campaign missions with friends while killing rotting corpses has always been a tried and tested way to get a bona fide hit.
- PLATFORM: PC, PS4, Xbox One
- DEVELOPER: Bohemia Interactive
DayZ is, by all means, not for the light-hearted and the easily frustrated. It has no checkpoints or saves. Thus, once you die, you’re back to square one and left with nothing. Players will need a high skill level and patience in order to survive this zombie apocalypse video game.
It’s not only the zombie outbreak that players need to look out for, though. The environment itself poses several threats to players. From unpredictable storms to fierce wildlife that could attack you at any moment, everything is your enemy. There is a range of diseases that can infect players by simply drinking polluted water or eating spoiled food. These include cholera, dysentery, and hepatitis. If not cured immediately, will lead to your untimely death.
Since it is a sandbox-style survival game, you will be spending the majority of the time hunting down resources. You can either team up with other players or stay a lone wolf to avoid conflict while exploring the DayZ map.
Moreover, if you’re looking for ways on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, DayZ surely has something useful to offer. After all, not only are you killing zombies, you’re also helping in rebuilding this post apocalyptic zombie-infested world. This game will teach you skills in health preservation, resource management, and even large-scale farming. So, if you’re looking for one of the best zombie survival games on Steam to play right now, why not try DayZ out for yourself?
State of Decay 2
- PLATFORM: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
- DEVELOPER: Xbox Game Studios
State of Decay 2 is a zombie apocalypse survival game set in a fully navigational open-world. It features impressively detailed survival mechanics such as teamwork, scavenging for items, group trust, and even group morale. It will keep you looking over your shoulder while you forge for supplies. All the while, you also establish and manage a community of survivors amidst the zombie apocalypse. You will need to fulfill these people’s needs while trying to survive yourself.
The original State of Decay video game received mostly positive reviews. Fans of it even claimed it’s one of the best zombie survival games they ever played. That’s why it’s no surprise that its sequel did so well. State of Decay 2 took everything great about the original and amplified to greater heights.
The game finally included the much awaited co-op gameplay feature, which works cross-platform between PC and the Xbox One console. Thus, it’s easier to invite friends to mow down the undead, while bringing back all your loot at the end of the day. Because of this, it’s easily one of the best survival games Xbox One and PC players will ever get the chance to play together.
Sad to say, though, State of Decay 2 lacks a variety of game modes. Thus, this makes it seem like the game is too one dimensional. That’s why we’re hoping that the upcoming State of Decay 3 will fix this issue.
Left 4 Dead 2
- PLATFORM: PC, Xbox 360, macOS X, Linux
- DEVELOPER: Valve
If you’ve been in the gaming community for a while now, you surely know about Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2). This zombie apocalypse survival game is a co-op first-person shooter that will take you to the deep south of Savannah and New Orleans. Its action packed gameplay will have you and three other players taking on Left 4 Dead 2 characters as you complete five campaigns against hordes of zombies. All of these campaigns feature their own unique themes that contribute to the game’s replayability.
You can choose from four different characters with different voice acting. Sadly, you cannot customize any of them. At the time of its initial release, this wouldn’t be such a big issue. However, nowadays, more and more games are adding character creation systems. Nevertheless, if all you’re after are guns and gore, Left 4 Dead 2 is definitely one of the best zombie survival games ever made.
Despite L4D2 being released in 2009, it still has a pretty active community nowadays. So much so that it even warranted Valve to release a massive Left 4 Dead 2 update in 2020.
The Last of Us Part II
- PLATFORM: PlayStation 4
- DEVELOPER: Naughty Dog
The Last of Us Part II is the second installment in the high-popular The Last Of Us series. It fast-forwards its players five years after the events of the first game. Set in a post apocalyptic version of the United States, the game follows Ellie as she embarks on a journey in a pursuit of vengeance.
In The Last of Us Part 2, players’ control intermittently switches between two playable characters: Ellie, the sequel’s main protagonist, and Abby, a new character in the series. Although, players do also get the chance to control Joel during the opening sequence. The gameplay of The Last Of Us 2 plays out similarly to the original. It involves stealth sequences, as well as scavenging for items and weapons, to fight off the zombies. Unfortunately, this gets monotonous after a few hours in the game. This is especially if you become desensitized to the sheer brutality and violence that the game features.
But the game makes up for this with its wonderful world-building and unsettling moments. Players must make unbearable choices that put into question your own beliefs and sense of morality. Undoubtedly, it’s the storyline and The Last Of Us characters that truly makes the sequel shine. It certainly is one of the best survival games PS4 players can get their hands on.
Best Survival Horror Games
Resident Evil 4
- PLATFORM: GameCube, PS2, PC, Wii, iOS, Zeebo, PS3, Xbox 360, Android PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.
- DEVELOPER: Capcom
The Resident Evil games redefined the genre of survival horror games. However, it’s Resident Evil 4 (RE4), that many consider as one of the best survival horror games in the series. It follows the story of Leon S. Kennedy, a former rookie police officer. Now a special agent, he is on a mission to rescue the President of the United States’ daughter after getting abducted by a mysterious cult.
Over the course of the game, players kill just about anything and everything in vicinity. These include a mob of pitchfork-wielding, brain-washed villagers and evil monsters. There are also several puzzle elements in the game that allow players to take a breather from the intense atmosphere of killing enemies.
Unlike the three previous titles, RE4 departs from the traditional fixed camera angles and over-the-shoulder perspective. Instead, it’s a third-person perspective shooter game that placed players directly in the action. It was one of the first video games in the genre to do so at the time.
Admittedly, there are a few minor faults in the game. This is mostly due to its old age. After all, it was released in 2005. Maybe that’s why so many fans are demanding for a Resident Evil 4 remake. Unfortunately, there’s still no confirmation if there will ever be one. For now though, you can still enjoy the original RE4 in all its glory and other games in the franchise. There are also several Resident Evil movies for you to watch until then.
The Evil Within
- PLATFORM: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One
- DEVELOPER: Tango Gameworks
From the creator of the Resident Evil series and father of the best survival horror games, Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is another high-tension survival game.
This haunting video game follows the story of detective Sebastian Castellanos. While investigating the scene of a gruesome massacre, he gets ambushed and left unconscious. He later finds himself in a world filled with unimaginable horrors. From supernatural creatures and gruesome monsters, to even a chainsaw-wielding man.
The story campaigns of The Evil Within are more story-driven, with a few elements of action mixed in. The chilling narrative of the game, combined with the highly crafted environments, makes it one of the scariest video games out there. This is especially with the use of light and shadow and the menacing soundtrack.
This third-person shooter game has three game modes that will test all your skills. Survival Horror mode pays homage to old school survival horror games. It will only give you limited resources to survive the various terrors within the game. Meanwhile, Traps and Puzzles mode adds dangerous traps and mechanisms into the mix. One wrong move can lead to your character’s instant death. Lastly, Alternating Environments mode will have you playing the game with more uncertainty than ever. Your environments will change with no prior warning based on your in-game actions.
- PLATFORM:PC,PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Linux, macOS X, Switch
- DEVELOPER: Creative Assembly
Alien: Isolation is a horror survival game that perfectly captures and recreates the absolute terror that the 1979 movie evoked from its audience. Players of this game take on the character of Amanda Ripley as she investigates her mother’s disappearance. The game is told through a first-person perspective as players navigate a space station while completing in-game challenges and objectives.
Throughout the game, Amanda takes on several enemies, including hostile humans and androids. Meanwhile, the main enemy in the game is an Alien creature that cannot be defeated. With a villain like that, your only goal is to survive. However, it’s the constant fear, tension, and dread that this game evokes that make it more challenging than it seems. On top of that, balancing gunplay and stealth while on a spaceship is another difficulty that players need to face. You might benefit from watching Alien Isolation walkthrough videos before diving headfirst into this game.
Nevertheless, Alien Isolation is surely one of the best survival horror games that’s based on a movie.
Courtesy: Klei Entertainment
- PLATFORM: PC, Mac, Linux, Playstation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android and Switch
- DEVELOPER: Klei Entertainment
With a title like Don’t Starve, it’s no surprise that one of your main objectives is to hunt for food in order to stay alive. Although, starvation isn’t your only enemy in this survival building game. You play as Wilson, a scientist trapped by a demon in a mysterious world with its equally mysterious inhabitants.
There is no Don’t Starve guide nor any type of instructions on how the game’s world works. From the get-go of this horror survival game, you’re on your own. You start with nothing and must build, hunt, learn, and fight in order to survive and eventually escape. Additionally, the way you interact with the Don’t Starve characters will affect your progress. With that said, it’s important to note that the game features a permadeath mechanic. Thus, this means that if you’re not careful and observant, you could lose hours of progress permanently. You will need to start again. Stakes are much more severe with such an unforgiving game.
However, you do get the ability to generate new worlds and maps at random. This at least makes it seem like you have a sense of control over the game. Of course, the level of difficulty is still out of your hands. If you do create your own maps, you might just be creating more challenges for yourself.
Its quirky Tim Burton-esque design mixed with haunting gameplay makes it a rather unique horror survival game out there. It won’t bombard you with overly ghastly creatures. So, it’s perfect if you want a breather from the typical survival horror games available on the market.
Best Open World Survival Games
- PLATFORM: PC and Switch
- DEVELOPER: Creepy Jar
Green Hell is an open world survival game that will take its players to the Amazonian rainforest. You will struggle for survival as you set on a journey with no food or equipment. It will test both your physical and psychological strength as you try to find your way out of the jungle.
You must also play attention to your diet by keeping track of it via a smartwatch. Your goal is to maintain enough sleep, nutrients, and overall health. Otherwise, this could lead to serious concerns and lead to your character’s death. The game also has wild animals and poisonous food thrown into the mix.
The Green Hell game also focuses on the psychological aspects of survival. Being left alone in a vast unknown location in extreme conditions will test your character’s sanity. The threats against you are very much constant in this game. Will it be the furious animals or accidentally eating spoiled food will get you? Maybe it will be your own mind during hallucinations that will cause your untimely death?
Take note that when playing by yourself, the game has a permadeath feature. Thus, once you die, you are back to square one on the Green Hell map. However, when playing the Green Hell multiplayer mode, you can be reborn in the last safe point, but with reduced health. You will also lose all equipment you’ve gathered from that point after your death. Your death will also affect your companion’s health during multiplayer mode.
- PLATFORM: PC and Switch
- DEVELOPER: Smartly Dressed Games
If you’re a fan of Minecraft but wish it had more zombies, then you should certainly check out Unturned. This open world sandbox survival game will have you taking on the role of a survivor in the middle of a zombie outbreak. It features generally simple controls. Thus, you won’t have to worry about fumbling if you’re new to the game.
Similar to other sandbox-style games, you will have to scavenge for resources like clothes, food, weapons. You also need to craft your own equipment with the supplies you’ve gathered. All the while avoiding the undead and other players on the game’s extensive map. You can travel by land, sea, and air, but you have to make sure to maintain your vehicles.
Unturned players can either play alone in offline mode or form alliances with friends in online mode. Both modes offer the same experience, except you’re interacting with non-player characters during offline mode. You can even progress the story by completing quests while offline.
During online mode, you will need to join Unturned servers to raid enemy bases for supplies. You can also enable PvP and battle against them until you’re the last man standing.
Unturned follows the basic dynamics that all survival games have. However, it’s also one of the more child friendly survival games out there. Sure, there’s blood and zombies, but they’re nothing extremely graphic. You can even turn off the bloody imagery if you have a little gamer in your midst. Thus, it’s one of the best open world survival games with zombies that isn’t too gorey. It’s also one of the best Steam games you can play for free!
- PLATFORM: PC
- DEVELOPER: Iron Gate AB.
Valheim is still in Early Access on Steam. However, in just a short period it’s already making rounds in the gaming community as one of the best open world survival games 2020 has seen.
Based loosely on Norse mythology and Viking culture, it will have you taking on a role of a ferried warrior. Tasked by Odin to slay his ancient rivals, you must also bring peace to the realm of Valheim.
The game features a vast open world, wherein you can craft, battle, and conquer your way to victory. You first start your adventure at the center of Valheim, but the further you travel, the more difficult the game progresses. However, this is where you can find more valuable materials that you will need to build weapons and armor. On top of these, the game features other popular survival elements like cooking and base-building. You will eventually build your own vessels to sail the great oceans and discover new lands.
Valheim features RPG elements that will have you exploring a massive fleshed out world. But you can always take your own time accomplishing quests if you’re on your own. You can certainly spend your time cooking and building shelter instead of participating in combat if you want to.
Wit that said, playing this game alone is incredibly satisfying. However, you and nine other players can take on the world of Valheim. It’s perfect for accomplishing tasks faster. Take note, though, that the end goal of the game stays the same regardless of the number of players.
Despite it still being in Early Access, Valheim is already an impressive open world survival game. One can only imagine how amazing it will be during its full release.
- PLATFORM: PC, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS
- DEVELOPER: Techland.
Released in 2015, this open world zombie survival game still has a massive and active community to this day. This is thanks to its perfect mix of a vast open world, creative combat system, and of course, flesh-eating zombies. Its day and night cycle also adds an intriguing and exhilarating twist that will have you going from the hunter to the hunted.
Dying Light is a first-person game that will have you roaming a vast city in a post apocalyptic world. By day you will be hunting down zombies and searching for equipment. Meanwhile, once nighttime comes, you’ll say goodbye to scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons. Instead, you go into full-on horror mode as you sneak your way past zombies. If stealth fails you and you get discovered, it’s then a race to the nearest safe point before they get to you.
Its fast-paced parkour-style gameplay component blended with truly terrifying monsters are the reasons why Dying Light is so successful. It even warranted an expansion pack titled Dying Light The Following and a spin-off game called Dying Light Bad Blood. However, these did not quench the thirst of fans. There’s also a Dying Light 2 in the works. Although, there is yet to be a final Dying Light 2 release date due to several delays in production. Until then, you can still immerse yourself in the world of the original and the other games in the franchise.
Why You Should Play the Best Survival Games
Admit it, we’ve all wondered how we would survive being left alone in the wilderness or searched for zombie apocalypse survival tips online. In the depths of our brains, we’re all curious about what would become of us if these events truly happened. Despite being works of fiction, survival games feed off our own curiosity and challenge us to stay alive. From scraping by with limited resources to the complex health systems that add a realistic touch, these are the reasons we are so drawn to playing the best survival games.
The market is saturated with hundreds of options of top survival games you can choose from. There’s even a common belief that all of them share the same blueprint. Then again, maybe that’s why the genre is so immensely successful? After all, why fix something that isn’t broken?