You choose your character and hit the start button. Your screen goes dark, then a countdown appears. Three, two, one, and you shoot from the plane, catching your first glimpse of the island below. You spiral downwards, but manage to steady yourself about a hundred up. Acting on instinct, you aim for the high ground and launch your parachute seconds before touching down. Your feet hit the ground. Your heart trembles in anticipation. You’re playing one of the best battle royale games, and it’s go time.

The battle royale genre is booming. This is all thanks to their competitive last-man-standing mechanics, as well as titles like PUBG and Fortnite which cemented the genre in popular culture. Naturally, the best battle royale games have also become an eSports staple, and they remain undeniably popular among players and developers alike. We’ve written this article to help you navigate the industry’s top titles and catch a glimpse of the most promising upcoming games. Ready to fight your way to the top? Let’s dive right in.

5 Best Battle Royale Games of 2019

We’ve curated this list of the top 5 battle royale games to give you a look at the best options available.

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PUBG

Our pick for one of the best battle royale games Android

  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • Developer: PUBG Corporation
  • Release: 2017

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, commonly abbreviated PUBG, is an online battle royale game where 100 players duke it out on a sandbox-style island. Players drop in, parachute down, and get to work! You only have a few minutes to collect gear and situate yourself before the map shrinks and you’re boxed in. The premise? Last one standing wins. PUBG incorporates true-to-life graphics and its playstyle is much more realistic than many of its competitors. Dive in and test your skills today.

2. H1Z1 Battle Royale

H1Z1

Our pick for one of the best battle royale games PS4

  • Platform: Windows, PS4
  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • Developer: Daybreak Game Company
  • Release: 2015

H1Z1 is widely regarded as one of the first official battle royal games— as in, not a mod to a pre-existing title. It introduced to the genre game-changing mechanics like a shrinking map, looting, and even a crafting system! Like many of its successors, H1Z1 features 100+ players per game and a one-man-takes-all approach. Moreover, it allows players to group up in teams of 5 players for epic squad-based shootouts. Overall, it’s an incredible game with a dedicated community of casual and eSports fans.

3. Apex Legends

Apex Legends

Our pick for one of the best battle royale games Xbox One

  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Release: 2019

Apex Legends is an overnight sensation that managed to garner millions of players in its first week! How so? Aside from Respawn’s masterclass marketing campaign, we imagine it has to do with its Titanfall roots. The game is built atop the hit series core engine, and it features the same beautiful graphics, fast-paced mechanics, and exciting abilities. Hop into the game world alongside your 2 squadmates and see if you can emerge victorious. The game introduces many exciting features into the battle royale scene, including a unique communication system later adopted by Fortnite, as well as unique classes and special abilities. Best of all? It’s free to play on Windows, PS4, and Xbox.

4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Blackout

Our pick for one of the best battle royale games PC

  • Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: FPS, Battle Royale
  • Developer: Treyarch
  • Release: 2018

Call of Duty is back, and this one comes loaded with a custom battle royale mode known as Blackout. Each game takes place on an island filled with various terrain and challenging obstacles. Evade or engage your enemies and see if you can make it to the top of the 80 player match. Blackout is an exciting addition to the battle royale genre, and the game is accompanied by your traditional team-based matches. Overall, it’s an excellent deal and an exciting title.

5. Fortnite

Fortnite

Our pick for one of the best battle royale games iOS

Platform: Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
Genre: Battle Royale, Shooter, Sandbox
Developer: Epic Games
Release: 2017

Few games reach the epic levels of success that Fortnite has achieved. This is largely thanks to its free-to-play multi-platform appeal, as well as its playfulness and groundbreaking building mechanics. The premise? Players begin the game on a small island just off the coast of the main battle arena. Hit the 100 player count and hop aboard the battle bus, a flying machine that carries you over the main arena. Pick a location and drop in to begin collecting items, gear, and resources. But be wary! There are enemies everywhere, and only one player can reach victory royale.

Upcoming Battle Royale Games

The battle royale genre is still in its infancy, and there are many new games slated for 2019 and later releases. We’ve picked 3 of the most promising upcoming titles to give you a sneak peek at what’s ahead in the industry.

1. Spellbreak

Spellbreak

  • Platform: Windows
  • Genre: Battle Royale, RPG
  • Developer: Proletariat
  • Release: TBA

Spellbreak is gearing up to shake the industry with a groundbreaking role-playing/battle royale crossover. One of its core features is an epic magic system that features various spell combinations and strategic character building. It’s an incredibly ambitious task, but developer Proletariat thinks they’re up for the challenge. The game is currently in Alpha testing, but initial results are incredibly promising. Keep an eye on this one.

2. Planetside Arena

Planetside

  • Platform: Windows
  • Genre: FPS, Battle Royale
  • Developer: Daybreak Game Company
  • Release: Summer 2019

If you’re a fan of sci-fi shooters, Planetside Arena may be the best battle royale for you. What’s it like? Well, players are dropped into a giant battle arena and left to fend for themselves. Armed with nothing but a jetpack, a unique class ability, and your wits, you’ll have to scavenge for items while scratching and clawing your way to the top. Only one player or team can achieve victory, and it’s up to you to wipe out the competition.

3. Out of Reach: Treasure Royale

Treasure Royale

  • Platform: Windows
  • Genre: Battle Royale
  • Developer: Space Boat Studios
  • Release: 2020

Treasure Royale is a spin-off of the Out of Reach series developed by Space Boat Studios. The premise is simple— you’re matched up against an armada of enemy pirates and tasked with holding down the high seas. There is a huge variety of gear and weapons to choose from, and gameplay is incredibly immersive, taking place both on the water and across various nearby islands. It’s definitely another title to keep earmarked.

What are Battle Royale Games?

A battle royale game is a video game that pits player versus player in a last-man-standing sandbox world. While mechanics vary, players are often dropped into a large arena and tasked with collecting supplies while surviving an onslaught of hostile players and other challenging obstacles. Games usually feature an assortment of special abilities, tactical weaponry, and unique gear to help players achieve victory. Should they manage to come out on top, players are awarded experience and gear for their character.

The genre is heavily inspired by the Hunger Games franchise, with games like Minecraft and Arma 2 releasing battle royale mods after the launch of the first movie. The mods were an instant hit, with both casual and pro gamers hopping on board. But it wasn’t until a couple years later when H1Z1 was introduced, followed closely by PUBG and Fortnite, that the genre began to peak. All three games achieved incredible commercial success and launched the genre into the upper echelons of gaming and pop culture. The outlook? It remains one of the hottest game genres on the market, and there are dozens of new titles on the horizon.

Battle Royale

General Thoughts on Battle Royale Games

We’ve penned our thoughts on battle royale games to give you a closer look at the genre.

1. Battle Royales are popular in eSports.

Many of the top eSports champions play battle royale games. Moreover, every time a major new title is released, the game is heavily scrutinized for its eSports viability.

2. They don’t have to be FPS.

While the majority of current generation battle royale games are either FPS or third-person shooters, there are other types out there. In fact, you can find RPG, vehicle, and even puzzle battle royales!

3. Minecraft changed the game.

You read that right- Minecraft played a huge role in launching the battle royale genre thanks to a mod called The Hunger Games that was released in 2011.

4. Player count varies.

There are varying numbers of players dropped into battle royale arenas. Player counts ranges from 10 in games like the Darwin Project, to 100 in hits like Fortnite and PUBG.

5. Strategy is required.

Battle royales require a great deal of strategy and creative maneuvering. With hundreds of possible dropping points, item spawns, and game mechanics, it takes a well-rounded tactical arsenal to come out on top.

Further Reading

If you enjoy battle royale games, chances are you’ll love our other roundups as well: