Survival games can be the most terrifying, satisfying and enjoyable types of game you can play and the potential for fun is multiplied when surviving with your buddies. Along with 2020 being like a survival game itself, what better way to celebrate the year than a list of top tier survival games. From zombies to space travel, we’ve got you covered with a top ten list that covers every spectrum of the survival genre.
First up we have the hit early access title that came from nowhere and surprised everyone. If you’ve seen the classic ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’ movie you’ll have an idea of the premise of this one. In an experiment gone wrong you’ve been shrunk down to miniscule size and awake in a back garden. Blades of grass tower over you and small insects are now an existential threat in your shrunken form. Fun items such as juice boxes and tic-tac boxes can be found littered throughout the garden and can act as important sources of materials for you on your tiny adventure. This game is pretty early in development so the mileage you’ll get out of the game right now is limited but there’s tons of content promised in the future. This game has huge potential and definitely one to keep an eye on if you don’t feel like investing at this early stage.
9. No Man’s Sky Origins
The infamous game known more for its spectacularly underwhelming release in 2016 than any of its qualities is back. On its return its bringing years of updates that almost bring it up to par with the original vision for the game. Almost every part of the game has been improved. While the game still contains the irritating grindy parts, you can’t beat the thrill of exploring a brand-new planet filled with unimaginable wild life that has been generated by the game engine. There’s space travel, base building, resource gathering and a new improved story to uncover. If you’re looking for a time sink and want to go on some epic space adventures it may be time to give this game a second look.
Now on to Raft, an oceanic survival game by Redbeet interactive. While floating across a vast open sea you have to collect floating trash in order to build a shelter and survive. Every so often while harvesting and building a shark will greet you and if you don’t respond with a swift stab, he’ll take a large bite out of your raft. Early on this presents a rather large existential threat, but later on the shark becomes less of a problem and more of an annoying hindrance. Along with building a floating habitat you’ll have islands to explore and a story to uncover too. Compared to the other games on this list, this one is more on the chill side and recommended if you want a casual survival game to play.
7. Long dark
Do you like the idea of struggling to survive in the middle of nowhere during a second ice age, where your only company is the odd deer and pack of hungry wolves? If that sounds like your cup of tea you may be interested in Long Dark. Now compared to the other games here, this is more on the darker side. Packed full of atmosphere you feel a real sense of loneliness and desperation at times. The art style is a beautiful hand drawn aesthetic that really adds to the mood. There’s the usual slew of attribute bars you’ll have to juggle in order to survive plus some added ones such as warmth. If you’re in the mood for something darker and more realistic, you can’t go wrong with Long Dark.
6. Don’t starve
Now we have a survival game that looks and plays completely differently from everything else in this list. A 2D adventure survival game with beautiful hand drawn graphics. You wander randomly generated worlds full of mysterious creatures, ghouls and other dangers. Spotted around the map are a variety of resources that you will have to harvest and use in order to survive your journey. This game can start off a bit rough with multiple restarts due to dying a lot but, in time you’ll learn the ropes and with each try you’ll get further having learnt from your previous deaths.
DayZ is the eponymous multiplayer zombie survival game by Bohemia Interactive. Starting as a mod for Arma 2 the game has continued to evolve since its original inception. You explore the gigantic map of Chernarus that is filled with the remnants of an Eastern European society. As survival games go, DayZ is more on the realistic side of the spectrum with thirst, hunger, stamina bars that you’ll have to take care of. On top of that is a punishing loot system that for some can be quite intimidating to begin with. One of the most interesting parts of DayZ is community and the experiences you’ll have with the players you encounter. One moment you could meet your next best buddy you travel with for days and next you encounter someone who kills you on sight. If you’re in the mood for a challenge and don’t mind investing the time this game could be for you.
Fancy the idea of being dropped in a futuristic Jurassic Park style island full of creatures that you kill, tame and even ride, well that’s the premise of Ark. Over 100 creatures roam the land, sky and sea and all of them are able to be tamed. Along with taming you can farm, fish, craft and explore the expansive landscapes. You start the game barely clothed and for the first few tries will most likely end up dinosaur food. Your first focus will be levelling your stats in order to increase your chances of survival. After that you’ll likely want to build a shelter and this is where Ark shines. Ark features an in-depth building system where you can really let your imagination run wild. If, like me you loved dinosaurs as a kid and you enjoy survival games, you’d be missing out if you didn’t give Ark a try.
This zombie game has completely transformed since its original early access release 7years ago. A mix between crafting and zombie games, 7 days to die has you killing and building your way to survival. You spend the day raiding abandoned homes and businesses, killing the odd zombie along the way. Once night comes that’s when things get taken up a notch. Zombies become much faster and aggressive and if you don’t have a good place to hide you may be in for a bad time. If you like the idea of killing zombies mixed with Minecraft style crafting, you’re bound to enjoy this one.
Just missing out on number one we have Subnautica. If you haven’t heard of this sea-based survival game you’re in for a treat. After a ship explosion you awake in your escape pod adrift in an alien sea. With no land as far as the eye can see you’ll be diving into the watery depths in order to survive. Underwater lurks untold horrors, mesmerising plant life and mysterious sea creatures. Not only is this game beautiful to look at and fun to play but it comes with an absorbing and intriguing story with well voiced dialogue that’ll keep you coming back for more.
What’s worse than crash landing in a small desert island and waking up to find your son being taken? Finding out that the island is inhabited by grotesque flesh-eating cannibals and you’re going to have to fight them to get your son back. You’ll have to learn to live off the land all the while defending yourself to stand any chance of survival here. Around the island there are a variety of clues relating to your sons kidnapping. These eventually lead to you having to enter the Islands cave system, the home of the cannibals and other unspeakable horrors. Are you brave enough to enter and save your son?