Survival games are one of the most popular genres out there. It’s no surprise—they’re highly addictive and offer players a strong sense of accomplishment. With the thousands of good survival games out there, it can be hard to find just one to play. Here are five fan favourite survival games that both beginners and seasoned veterans alike can enjoy.
- 3-Word Highlight: thrilling—magical—terrifying
If you’ve ever wanted to play a game that’s thrilling and relaxing at the same time, Subnautica is the game for you. In this game, you play as the survivor of a spaceship crash on an alien planet. You must craft a base and gather resources and food all while fighting off the underwater world’s merciless fauna. Even basic tasks like killing fish for food is quite difficult, and maintaining your hunger and thirst bars in a good place can prove a tough task.
This game is especially addicting because not only do you have to survive but you also have to solve the mystery of what happened to the other passengers of your ship. Tracking their last coordinates, investigating their pods, and listening to their voice recordings will leave you desperate to find them—or what’s left of them.
Though the game is intense and can be quite difficult, the extremely beautiful world leaves you feeling strangely calm and relaxed. There are many different regions of this ocean world to visit on your quest to survive. The crafting is quite enjoyable as well, as many of the items you craft aren’t those typically found in a survival game but rather are unique to this futuristic world.
But no matter how much you play, your heart will probably still skip a beat every time a shark chases you.
- 3-Word Highlight: nostalgic—creative—endless
Minecraft is one of the most beloved survival games out there. It’s recently experienced a rather large comeback, and many who played the game years ago are returning to this well-loved block world.
Reminiscent of a Lego world, Minecraft offers players the ability to focus on what gets them most excited. Some may choose to focus more heavily on the survival aspect and build efficient farms and food processing to keep them alive indefinitely. Others enjoy the technical and sometimes complicated Redstone engineering—building complex working machines to automate various tasks. Still, others love the building aspect and focus on making incredibly creative and beautiful buildings, maps, statues, and more.
Minecraft really has something for everyone. It’s a game parents can enjoy alongside their kids and casual gamers can enjoy alongside veterans. There’s a reason it’s maintained its popularity for so many years. If you haven’t tested it out, it’s a classic that is certainly worth a try.
- 3-Word Highlight: unforgiving—zombie—PVP
After a five-year-long open-access period, DayZ finally released in December 2018. Dropped into the fictional post-Soviet Republic of Chernarus, the player begins with only simple clothes, a flare, and a rag. Like any survival game, players must search for food, water, and supplies to survive. What makes this game rather unique is the player communication system. The game features an in-game voice and text chat system as well as a “whisper” chat system in which players only communicate with those in the direct vicinity. Playing with friends will surely make this game even more exciting to play.
Running into another player or players can be a stressful moment. Communicating with them in chat or putting your hands up can show them you mean them no harm—but you could very likely just be shot on sight. This PVP element makes the game even more intense and exciting.
If you want to play it a bit safer, you can build a base with a security system to store your items. But that doesn’t make the game easy by any means—it’s known as one of the most brutal survival games ever for a reason.
4. The Long Dark
- 3-Word Highlight: harsh—winter—basics
Unlike many survival games that add in important survival mechanics and objectives, The Long Dark goes back to the basics: water, food, warmth. You must pay attention to the temperature, your energy levels, and the weather in order to survive in this brutal wilderness. Even basic tasks like going outside require you to be vigilant.
The game features a detailed map of the Canadian wilderness, full of wildlife to hunt (and to avoid), shelters to find and explore, and resources to find. If you can manage, take a break from the intense game to enjoy the beautiful graphics.
But beware—this game features a permadeath mechanic; you die and your game save file is deleted.
5. Don’t Starve
- 3-Word Highlight: dark—supernatural—aesthetic
Inspired by both Tim Burton and Minecraft, this unique survival game offers players both a different survival experience and an interesting new setting. Playing as a scientist named Wilson, you must survive in a dark, spooky world full of supernatural creatures. Not only do you need to be concerned with keeping Wilson well-fed and watered, but also mentally sane.
The game allows you to upgrade to different characters, each giving you specific perks to help you survive.
If you prefer to play with friends, Don’t Starve Together may be a good option for you. This version of the game is co-op and features three different game modes depending on how you prefer to play. Regardless of which mode or version of the game you choose you play, you’ll likely enjoy the unique style of the game and its interesting characters.