You know it well that how much the gaming technology has grown and playing survival games on high-tech consoles literally keep you on toes. The urge to stay alive throughout the gameplay is no less than experiencing a horror movie in reality. And for this love towards this genre, I think you should know about some of the best survival games.
I personally think that Survival games are the most underrated genre of gaming as it has somewhere lost behind the fame of MMORPGs. But this is the genre which inspire players to push their limits and discover something new about the game. And this is why you should definitely check out this section given below.
10 Best Survival Games of All Times
The genre of survival games is really crowded. In fact, it is growing rapidly in the current times and hence there was a huge list in front of me to choose from. So, after going through a lot of them, I decided to pick these 25 best survival games for you. It has everything from mutants to zombies to monsters to keep you awake at night.
1. The Long Dark
The Long Dark’s gameplay is set from first person perspective and incorporates single player gaming mode. This makes a great pick under the category of best survival games where the player assumes the role of a crash-landed bush pilot.
Now, as a player you must have to survive as the world is struck with a global disaster and you find yourself lost in the Canadian wilderness.
The game features an open world environment and the gameplay depends on various stats like calorie intake, body temperature, fatigue, hunger/thirst, wildlife etc. There are two gaming modes i.e. story mode and survival mode where the later one is divided into 6 regions. The player needs to survive as long as possible through hunting and utilizing any resource possible.
2. 7 Days to Die
Next addition in the list of best survival games is 7 Days to Die which also comes with the element of horror. It is set in open world and can be played in both single player and multiplayer modes. The plot is set in current day Arizona where the player needs to survive as long as possible.
The main issues in front of player are the constant need of food and water and extreme vulnerability towards injuries and illness.
While keeping up with all these things, player needs to fight with zombies and other life-threatening elements too. Apart from this, continuous crafting also matters a lot through the materials gathered from the surrounding.
3. Don’t Starve
An open world survival game mixed with the elements of action and adventure. The player assumes the role of a scientist named Wilson who needs to survive in a dark and dreary world for as long as possible. This next mention amongst other best survival games mainly focus on combat.
As a player, you come across a lot of troubles like surreal and supernatural enemies, everlasting darkness and many other horrific elements.
The gameplay can be operated in both single player and multiplayer modes and mainly resembles to roguelike process. Combat is handled by pointing and clicking on the mouse while other major activities and movements are controlled through the keyboard.
4. ARK: Survival Evolved
The next in the row for the list of best survival games is Ark: Survival Evolved which is mixed with the elements of action and adventure. The game belongs to island survival theme where the player is stranded on an unknown island filled with dinosaurs, natural hazards and other troubles.
Now, the player needs to survive here fighting and defending himself against these prehistoric creatures alone or in multiplayer mode.
The game features an amazing open world environment and there are over 29 species of dinosaurs used in the game along with 40 other creatures. The gameplay is observes through first person or third person perspective where the player can even tame and feed the dinosaurs too.
5. Dying Light
This is the time to include some zombie survival games in this list and what else than Dying Light can be perfect for this category. Other elements used in this game are horror and action and adventure. Like most of the games here, it also features an open world environment governed by first person perspective.
In Dying Light the player assumes the role of an undercover agent Kyle Crane who needs to survive in a quarantine zone filled with zombies and other cannibals.
Apart from fighting with these creatures, crafting weapons is a really big element of the game. The game also follows parkour mechanics where player can perform functions like sliding, jumping from roofs to roofs, climbing ledges and many more.
And the next game in the list of best survival games is Subnautica which is mainly an exploration based video game. This single player game is all about adventure and hence the creators have set it in an open world environment where the gameplay is governed from first person perspective.
According to the plot, the player assumes the role of a lone survivor in a spaceship crash on a fictional planet and from this moment, the survival spree begins.
The player needs to follow the story of the game which is mainly all about exploration and fighting with the unknown dangers coming across. Collecting resources and constructing tools out of them remains important throughout while interacting with planet’s wildlife is also necessary.
7. The Evil Within
How can someone be not aware of The Evil Within which is one of the best survival games made ever. Mixed with the elements of horror, it keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The game is controlled from third person perspective and can be played in single player mode.
The player takes the role of the protagonist Sebastian Castellanos where he goes through chapters to progress in the story.
The player needs to survive in a world full of dark and nightmarish locations and also somehow remain alive amongst the horrid creatures. For weapons, a player has guns and melee weapons and he can also use the stealth feature to collect resources.
Unturned is one of the few free to play best survival games in this list featuring both single player and multiplayer modes. The entire game is based on the zombie survival theme and also features various difficulty settings too.
There are various types of gaming modes in Unturned having different objectives. The player can use game map to proceed further.
However, the main requirement is to find suitable weapons and supplies in order to survive in the game and to kill zombies. Unturned adds the feature of experience points which are earned through the process and then can be used for buying upgrades. The survival mode in available in multiplayer and others are in single player mode.
9. Oxygen Not Included
Oxygen Not Included gives more realistic feel as compared to other best survival games mainly because it uses simulation to proceed along with survival element. The plot features the story of three colonists with no clue about their past and identity.
Now, the player’s task is to manage and take care of these colonists and along with it make a space colony good enough to survive.
There are things to be taken care of like their hunger, oxygen level, waste etc. in order to keep three of them alive. Mining, collecting resources, crafting things are important and done by colonists whereas, taking care of these colonists in oxygen-deprived areas is the task of the player.
Rust is counted amongst the best PC survival games and it is mixed with the elements of action and adventure too. The game only features multiplayer modes and the main objective of the game is to survive through crafting weapons by the items gathered or stolen.
So, in this way, the game proposes the elements of crafting and stealth too. You can also join other clans in order to raid.
The game is set in an open world environment which is quite harsh as every player is in the fight with one another in order to survive. The constant threats are animals like beard and wolves which can be fought through craftable guns, melee weapons, and bows.
11. This War of Mine
The next one to try out for this series of best survival games is This War of Mine. This single-player game is inspired from Bosnian War and is way different from other war survival game as they mainly focus on civilians’ experience rather than frontline combat.
The game can be played in single-player mode only and also features the element of strategy in it where the player needs to control a group of civilians in the game.
The player needs to gather tools and material throughout the game which can be proved to be a great aid for survival. The player also needs to check on facts like hunger, health and mood levels of the civilians in order to keep them alive as long as possible.
12. State of Decay
State of Decay is a combination of various types of genres mixed with survival like active-adventure, horror, and even stealth too. It is actually kind of versatile as compared to other best survival games mentioned here.
This version of the game features only single player mode while its sequel also features the cooperative mode too.
The game is controlled from third person perspective and mainly focuses on combat and simulation. The player controls a group of survivors and needs to perform a task related to their survival. The game features 16 sq. km. and only 8 sq. km. is playable. Interacting with these survivors is really important as it binds you with them.
Moving on in the category of best survival games, the next one to join us is Darkwood. The game is mixed with the genre of horror and proceeds in top down perspective. It can be played in only single player mode and the game features a semi-open world environment.
All the regions and areas of the games are not shown at once. As you proceed in the game further, new areas tend to get unblocked with it.
The gameplay progresses with day/night cycle and elements like exploration, crafting materials, stealth and combat, interaction with NPCs, trading etc. remains important throughout. The more you go through the gameplay the more complexities start to unveil making the game mysterious as hell.
Compatible with: SteamOS, Ubuntu
14. Resident Evil 4
It demands no formal introduction for this shooter survival game. Also called Biohazard 4, this one is an epic entry into the list of best survival games and if you do not believe it then you should totally play it for once at least.
This 6th installment of the series focus on the character of Leon S. Kennedy and the player can control it from third person perspective.
The entire gameplay is based upon action and timely shootouts. In fact, the game keeps on giving the glimpses of horror elements timely keeping the gamers stuck to their seat. There are no dull moments and player is given more option of shooting as compared to previous installments.
15. Alien: Isolation
I think horror and survival are the kind of genres which goes hand in hand and it can be seen clearly in such good survival games. The game focuses on the character of Amanda Ripley who is on the investigation of the disappearance of her alien mother Ellen Ripley.
Apart from horror, the game also uses the element of stealth in the gameplay and requires the player to avoid and outsmart enemies.
The protagonist can be controlled from first-person perspective and to proceed further, it is required to explore a space station and complete various objectives defined. As you keep on progressing, the objectives keep on changing. However, the game mode is restricted to single player only.
16. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Call of Pripyat is the third installment of Stalker series and this inclusion in the list of best survival games also uses the elements of horror and shooter games too. The plot is based in the city of Pripyat in Ukraine where the player must manage to survive in a post-apocalyptic situation.
The player is controlled from first-person perspective and most of the exploration and story revolves around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone.
It can be played in both single-player and multiplayer modes where the player can also use the element of tactical role-playing to proceed further. Apart from the main gameplay, the player can also enjoy in Free Play mode where he is allowed to complete the missions that ware not finished earlier.
Miasmata is kind of different from other best survival games mentioned here as it is based on the indie theme. The player takes up the role of Robert Hughes in the game who is a plague-stricken scientist. He is stranded on an uninhabited island and trying to find a medicinal cure for his condition.
The game is infused with the genre of adventure too as the main element is exploration and it can be played in single played mode only.
The game is controlled from first-person perspective and apart from it there are some island creatures the player needs to fight with. The continuous supply of water and food remains important as the player is ailing and it causes a big life threatening situation too.
18. Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead is a survival horror game which is controlled from first person perspective. Apart from the single player mode, the game also features a cooperative multiplayer gaming mode too. Other elements found in the game are first person shooting and adventure.
I found this one a package and it surely stands out amongst the rest of the best survival games mentioned here.
The game is set after a zombie-apocalypse where there are four survivors left and a player takes control of one of them. The main focus remains on teamwork and there are four gaming modes i.e. single-player mode, four-player survival mode, co-op campaign mode and eight players online versus mode.
19. Metal Gear Survive
The next pick for the list of best survival games is Metal Gear Survive which also exhibits the features of the action-adventure game too. So, you are going to find this game as a combination of major tower defense mechanism and minor stealth elements.
The game is set in an open world environment and the player controls the character from third person perspective.
Apart from playing in single player mode, the player can also join 3 other players to play in cooperative multiplayer mode and complete missions together. However, the large portion of the game is all about exploration and discovering new areas only. Gathering food, crafting weapons, checking oxygen level is the other important part of the game.
20. Corpse Party
Corpse Party is counted amongst the top survival games in Japan and even has a cult fan following too. This is a survival horror game mixed with the genres of adventure and Dojin soft video games too. This is the only game series which I have mentioned here.
The game follows a very linear pattern where player experiences the characteristics of monster adventure video game.
In fact, you get to enjoy role-playing elements too. The character is controlled from the third-person perspective as well top down too. The task is to explore the haunted school grounds and find a mean of escape as soon as possible.
Compatible with: PS Portable, PS Vita, NEC PC-9801
21. Outlast 2
And the next pick for the category of best survival games is Outlast 2 which also possesses the traits of horror game too. It is controlled from first person perspective and runs only single player campaign mode.
The player takes up the role of a journalist Blake who gets separated from his wife in a plane crash and now has to find her.
The main character cannot fight and hence highly relies on the movements of running and hiding from the enemies. He can also crouch, vault, slide, jump, walk etc. However, the running is limited by a stamina meter as when it goes down, the player can only walk.
22. The Thing
The Thing is a third person shooter survival horror game and set as a sequel to the movie of the same name. The player takes up the role of Captain Blake, member of US SFT who is sent to the Antarctic outpost in order to investigate some events.
The character of Blake can run, shoot, crouch and can interact with NPCs and environment too. The player can switch between first person and third person modes.
The Thing is kind of fun to play and keeps the player involved through various aspects which is a prime reason for listing it amongst other best survival games. However, you can play it in single player mode only.
23. Dead Island
Dead Island is the next pick for this category of best survival games. It features an open world environment along with the elements of action role-playing too.
The plot focuses on life after zombie-apocalypse where major emphasis lays on melee combat. The player can select a character from given four survivors and tasked with escaping the fictional island of Banoi.
The game is played from first person perspective where players need to complete several quests. Experience points earned throughout the gameplay also matters and can be used for upgrades or be investing in one of the skills from skill tree.
24. Friday the 13th: The Game
A survival horror game by nature, this game is based on the movie of the same name. The game features a very unique gameplay system which is way different from other best survival games mentioned here.
It is called asymmetrical multiplayer mode where 7 players fight against one and trust me this fight is legit so damn interesting. The game features a semi-open world environment but player is allowed to explore it further too.
The game is controlled from third person perspective and the plot is centered arround some camps. The objective of the game where the player controls the lone character of Jason is to kill as many counselors as possible.
25. The Forest
The final pick in this list is a type of island survival games and it is called The Forest. This game features an open world environment where the player must survive on a forested peninsula after being survived in a plane crash.
The player controls the character from first person perspective and the game follows a very non-linear gameplay without any set missions or quests.
The player needs to create shelter, craft tools, inhabit island and while doing so needs to fight with the weird creatures and cannibals in their forest too. However, main focus remains on exploration only.
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The genre of survival is pretty interesting as it can be mixed with other genres easily like open world, fantasy, horror, RPG and many more. I personally liked the combination of survival and horror coming together because such best survival games keeps you on the edge of your seat.
One more thing about survival games is that you never get tired of playing them it is because of their hidden paths. Every time you get to discover something new and adventurous which ultimately leads to a different ending of the game.