Although it doesn’t get as much attention as Grand Theft Auto or God of War, the survival genre is one of the most popular genres in video games. From Minecraft to Valheim, survival games have always attracted large, enthusiastic fan bases eager to build their own worlds. They’re driven by rough challenges, endless content, and the sheer satisfaction of building everything from axes and campfires to towns, settlements, and even entire cities.
All entries are unique, but share a common element of inviting you to create your own survival in a hostile world, whether filled with monsters, dinosaurs, or giant ants. We picked our tools and created our own list of the best survival games and picked the ones with the most vibrant communities. The most interesting mechanics and the most exciting worlds. Here is the list of top 10 survival games.
If you have a high pain tolerance, Rust may be for you. That said, if you’re looking for a survival game that can keep you on your toes, Rust is equally exhilarating and extremely difficult. Did I stress enough that this game isn’t easy?Rust’s main objective is touted as he’s only one. It’s about surviving where the terrain, wildlife, weather, and other players all want to kill you.
The game is multiplayer only, so if you were thinking of building a rustic house in peace, you’d be wrong. FPS elements are completely different. Factions, raids, electrical systems, a wide variety of vehicles including hot air balloons and a massive train network, several types of highly moddable servers, a robust player base, and fairly frequent improvements and updates make Rust ” “You wake up naked and alone in a deserted area” concept. Bring a friend if you want to get the most out of it.rust intention consume a lot of time intention wreck.
Read Rust reviews.
When Grounded released into Early Access in 2020, it was an incredible concept that didn’t exist yet. The movie “Honey, Shrunk the Kids” had already established that there are small worlds that our normal human eyes can never grasp, so it makes sense that the idea would be incorporated into a video game. It works. Grounded has taken advantage of it to build a fully realized survival game. Honestly, if you were suddenly shrunk to the size of an insect and thrown out in your backyard, you’d want to survive the ordeal.
The bones that Obsidian built in Grounded are typical, but solid in a survival game. Enemies are all sorts of creepy crawly creatures and everything else is used to keep yourself alive.
You can make clubs out of sticks, build bases out of blades of grass, and wear armor made out of the corpses of your slain. Grounded has a lot of features and is in early access only. We can’t wait to see what Obsidian cooks for this micro-sized beast of the game when it’s fully released.
Read the Grounded review.
Valheim’s semi-impressionist aesthetic and diverse biomes allow players to explore and loot the tenth world of Yggdrasil. In contrast to the serene and idyllic base building in the early biome, starting from the center of the world, you’ll find heart-wrenching battles between giant trolls and deadly mosquitoes. Valheim provides hours of entertainment for warriors, farmers and architects. Progress in this game depends on defeating bosses in each biome. This increases the variety of resources you have access to, crafting recipes, and special abilities such as reduced damage and increased stamina.
If you have the spirit of a warrior, Valheim is the perfect game to fight as Odin’s champion and claim your place in Valhalla.
Read the Valheim review.
7. This War Of Mine
This War of Mine is a survival game that will stay with you long after the campaign ends. From a gritty, realistic war-torn setting, diverse and meaty characters, and a story that doesn’t punch. This War of Mine is one of his most heartfelt portrayals of what it is like to be a civilian trying to survive in the midst of a brutal and unforgiving civil war.
Its intuitive gameplay makes it easy to get lost in the morally ambiguous narrative and tough decisions you must make to ensure your party’s survival. Even if you like to play as a survivor, This War of Mine is a game that will keep you coming back and discovering something new.
Read our review of This War of Mine.
6. No Man’s Sky
In 2016, no game was more enthusiastic than No Man’s Sky. Moving out of the gaming space and into the mainstream, developers talked about their games on late-night talk shows before their release. It all seemed to crash when it was released in August.
However, if 2016 was the last time you thought about No Man’s Sky, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s more than just that. You can choose between scientific research, culture and language research, sentinel tracking, flora and fauna taxonomy, or a combination of all of them. The game is massive and a whole different journey for everyone to boot.
And yes, not only can you find strangers in the game, but really only in mysterious anomalies, you can also invite your friends to join you in your adventures. It’s one of the most exciting survival games on this list.
Read our review of No Man’s Sky.
Few survival games capture the horror and isolation of its environment quite like Subnautica. Featuring a lone survivor stranded on an alien world, travel deep into an extraterrestrial ocean filled with monsters large and small (but mostly large, sometimes outright gigantic). Along the way, build submarines, undersea bases, and other equipment to unlock the mysteries of the planet.
First released in 2016, Subnautica is now available on nearly every major platform and even supports VR headsets. Despite its stage, its haunting underwater visuals are still very well maintained, and no survival game can match the anxiety of seeing depleting food and oxygen gauges as you dig deep trenches and underwater caverns. Almost never. When he finally makes it back to the safety of Cyclops, most of the time he lets out a sharp sigh of relief. This is the ideal survival game experience.
Read our Subnautica review.
4. Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve Together is a challenging game that’s as addictive as its engaging art style. Don’t Starve Together’s Sanity meter sets this spooky gothic adventure apart from its contemporaries. If you spend too much time in the dark or neglect mental health treatment, fear begins to manifest in the shadow creatures and it ends you. Run faster than hungry.
Don’t Starve Together’s challenging yet intuitive gameplay loop adds tremendous value and replayability to the game. Add your friends and have fun. Stay away from the dark.
3. Long Dark
If you’re looking for something aside from science fiction and magic, buckle up and get ready for an adventure in the Canadian wilderness. The Long Dark came out in his 2017, but continuous updates keep it fresh for new and old players.
There’s a story mode called Wintermute (the final episode hasn’t been released yet), but the real gem of the game lies in both the endless survival mode and the variety of challenges you can choose from. There’s no multiplayer, but it’s endlessly fun to challenge your friends and see who can survive the longest in unrelenting winter storms with wolves, bears, elk, and more.
If you’re looking for something more casual, you can open Survival Mode on Pilgrim difficulty to discover parts of the map and enjoy the variety of items you can discover along the way. Long Dark remains a snowy delight after all these years.
Like most horror-survival games, The Forest lets you know what’s going on in the land before monsters plague you. What makes it different, however, is that it subverts your expectations of how these cannibals will react to your actions. is not aggressive enough to commit suicide. They’ll run up to you, stop out of your reach, study you, and then sprint away to avoid being seen again.
Endnight’s clever AI-driven tactics require you to guess every move. Should the statue made by the cannibal be destroyed? Should the body of the slain be burned? I don’t know for sure, but what I can trust is that the forest creatures are always watching.
Aside from its awesome AI, The Forest offers a sizable island to explore, with wild animals to skin and eat, berries and flowers to forage, and of course, an almost endless amount of trees to cut down to build bases at will. Offer a tree of numbers. Match only in the next game on the list. With a fully interlocking cave system, tons of collectibles, and a gripping story with an insane twist ending, The Forest is an absolute must-play for survival fans.
Read our review of The Forest.
It’s easy to dismiss Minecraft, but it’s easy to forget how good a survival game it is. With literally a decade of updates and an almost immeasurable level of success, he’s expanded from creative servers to role-playing his platform to classroom teaching tools.
But the variety of experiences it enables doesn’t take away from the consistent fact that Minecraft is one of the deepest and most accessible survival games ever made. You can do everything from hiding from zombies and chopping down apples to building a computer that literally works out of Redstone his mechanics without changing the server.
Few games have done so much to open up this traditionally challenging genre to such a wide audience, but the potential it enables is nothing short of remarkable.
Read Minecraft reviews.
Here are our picks for the top 10 survival games of all time. Which games do you think will be on the list? Let us know in the comments below. Check out our lists of the best fighting games, best open world games, and more. For everything else in gaming, stick with IGN.
Collectively selected list: Tayo Oyekan, Kim Horcher, Alan Wheeler, Nick Maillet, Chelsea Miller, Tom Marks
Claim authors: Kim Horcher, Alan Wheeler, Nick Maillet, Chelsea Miller, Tom Marks, Kat Bailey