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The 10 Best Survival Games

Are you a fan of adventure titles that test your skills as a survivalist? Perhaps you’re a thrill-seeker who loves challenging games that require strategy and prowess. If so, the best survival games are the perfect way to get your fix.

The survival genre features some of the most thrilling titles on the market, each with its own unique twist and game mechanics. In this article we’ll be checking out the top 10 survival games for various platforms, from the PC and PS4, to Android and IOS. Think you have what it takes to survive? Let’s get going.

Top 10 Survival Games: Options for Casual & Hardcore Players

We’ve curated a list of timeless survival games for all major consoles on the market. Each option has been given a rating, as well as a summary and basic information about its mechanics. Check them out and see if you can find the perfect survival game.

1. Starbound

Starbound Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: PlayStarbound.com

One of the best survival games Steam

Starbound is an explorer’s paradise. You begin the game in a spaceship after your colony of peacekeeping missionaries is destroyed. With few supplies, you eventually make your way to a small habitable planet. You’ll spend your time harvesting materials, surviving the onslaught of enemies, and progressing your way through quests. The open sandbox world is perfect for survival and exploration.

It’s a 2D game that’s easily playable on most machines, making it the perfect Steam game for casual or hardcore players. With exceptional ratings, expect hours of fun and endless worlds to roam.

2. Frostpunk

Frostpunk Gameplay Screenshot 1
Image Credit: FrostPunkGame.com

One of the best survival games PC

Frostpunk, the city-building survival crossover, is one of the best survival games on pc thanks to its exciting gameplay and genre-defining mechanics. The player starts out with a small group of survivors and basic supplies, and goes on to build a small empire. By harvesting materials and setting the rule of law, only the most dedicated players can survive the frosty nights.

Think you have what it takes? Dive into the game and bring your encampment through its ice age. It’s available on Steam at a reasonable price and provides hours of exciting gameplay.

3. Call of Cthulhu

Call of Cthulhu
Image Credit: Callofcthulhu-Game.com

One of the best survival games PS4

Developed by Cyanide, Call of Cthulhu takes place in an open world full of mystery. You begin the game as an investigator known as Edward Pierce, a war veteran and private detective. Set in the early 1900s, the game takes place on Darkwater Island, just off the East Coast of the United States. You’ve been sent to investigate strange activities. And that’s where the adventure begins.

Featuring game mechanics from numerous different styles of games, Call of Cthulhu is one you don’t want to miss. Will the great Cthulhu rise again? It’s up to you to find out.

4. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7 Gameplay
Image Credit: ResidentEvil7.com

One of the best survival games Xbox One

If you’re looking for one of the best horror survival games available, look no further. Resident Evil 7 is one of the top survival games to come out in the past couple years. With its gruesome storyline and challenging gameplay, it’s the perfect title to sink your teeth into.

You start out as Ethan Winters, a man from the southern United States. After being drawn into a trap in rural Louisiana, you’re forced to make a number of painful decisions in order to survive. Resident Evil 7 features thrilling plot twists and frightening encounters, making it one of the best survival games for Xbox and another fantastic addition to the Resident Evil lineup.

5. Subnautica

Subnautica Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: UnknownWorlds.com

One of the best survival games PC

  • Website: https://unknownworlds.com/
  • Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4
  • Genre: Survival, adventure
  • Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment

A unique twist on the survival genre, Subnautica takes place on planet 4546B, and a lot of the gameplay occurs underwater!

Available on a variety of platforms, you’re sure to get your survival fix with two explorable islands and various survival activities to perform. You can expect to harvest resources, forge tools, build bases, and more- all while maintaining your health and oxygen levels. It’s a difficult game with challenging mechanics, but it’s well worth checking out.

6. Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark Survival Evolved Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: SurviveTheArk.com

One of the best survival games PS4

  • Website: https://survivetheark.com/
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Android, Switch
  • Genre: Survival, action-adventure
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard

Survival Evolved is hands down one of the best survival games for PS4. It’s set in an open sandbox-like world inhabited by a number of bloodthirsty creatures. In order to survive the ark, you must build a base, collect resources, and fight your way to the top. But remember- you’re not alone.

In addition to dinosaurs and a host of other prehistoric animals, you must be weary of natural hazards and other humans seeking to build up their arsenal. With the right amount of skill (and a little luck), you may just make it through alive. Survival Evolved is one of the best survival games for PS4 and will provide months of adventure.

7. Minecraft

Minecraft Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: Minecraft.net

One of the best survival games Switch

  • Website: https://minecraft.net/
  • Platform: Various platforms
  • Genre: Sandbox, survival
  • Developer: Mojang, Microsoft

No list of survival games is complete without the mention of Minecraft. As one of the most popular games of all time, this sandbox survival has won the hearts of players across the spectrum.

Known for its exciting building mechanics and changing environment, Minecraft is the perfect survival game for casual and hardcore players alike. With enemy spawns and a randomly generated world, there’s always something to fight and explore. A fantastic title, and one of the best survival games for Nintendo Switch.

8. Don’t Starve

Don't Starve Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: Klei.com

One of the best survival games IOS

Don’t Starve is a survival game through and through. Developed for every major platform, it’s the best survival game for folks seeking an exciting adventure that incorporates roguelike elements and click-and-point mechanics.

The focus of the game is simply to survive as long as you can. While death is a near certainty, it doesn’t have to come without a fight. If you’ve got what it takes, you can explore the world, collect resources, and build weaponry to become a force to be reckoned with.

Incorporating elements of horror and RPG titles, you don’t want to miss the exciting gameplay Don’t Starve has to offer.

9. State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: StateOfDecay.com

One of the best survival games Xbox One

The zombie apocalypse has struck, and now it’s time to fend them off. With you and up to 3 friends, you’ll adventure through the open world environment to hone your skills and make it out alive. Think you have what it takes?

State of Decay 2 is the sequel to the smash hit that originally came out in 2013. Featuring a zombie survival plot with third-person viewpoints, the gameplay is thrilling with lots to explore. Available exclusively for Microsoft platforms, State of Decay 2 is an exciting addition to the survival genre and one of the best horror survival games on the market.

10. Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter Gameplay Screenshot
Image Credit: FalloutShelter.com

One of the best survival games Android

Another smash hit in the Fallout series by Bethesda, Fallout Shelter is the perfect casual survival game for folks on the Android platform.

After a series of nuclear blasts, the player is left with few supplies and a handful of friends. In order to survive, you’ve got to build a shelter and manage resources among the growing population of survivors. But watch out! Technical failures, natural disasters, and the dreaded radroaches are there to destroy and pillage your Vault, eradicating your progress and leaving your people exposed to the radiation.

How will you manage? Download Fallout Shelter on the Google Play Store and try your hands on one of the best survival games for Android.

So, What is a Survival Game?

Survival games are a type of video game that place an emphasis on surviving in open-world, hostile environments. These worlds often feature game mechanics that require the player to build shelters, collect resources, and defend against dangerous enemies. There’s often a storyline that takes you through a series of trials and tribulations to test your skills and affirm your place in the world. And if you manage to survive, you’re usually rewarded with exciting new gear, abilities, and safety equipment.

Most survival games feature health bars or similar mechanics that measure a player’s ability to continue on. So you must be careful! Depending on the game you choose, you may lose some or all of your progress through permadeath or other nasty scenarios.

That said, you’re also likely to encounter friendly NPCs and other helpful situations along your journey. Sometimes you’ll band with these characters and environments, each experience boosting morale and strengthening your resolve. But as you get stronger, the stakes get higher.

Think you have what it takes to survive in the best survival games?

The titles on our list are great for casual players and seasoned veterans alike. Jump into the game world and do what you must to survive.

General Thoughts on Survival Games

While there are other game genres out there, survival games offer players a chance to really hone their skills and develop strategies for overcoming adversity. These titles are always quite thrilling, with so much to do and explore. Plus, with countless enemies and hostile situations presenting themselves throughout the world, there’s never a dull moment.

Minecraft Shelter
Image Credit: hsubea.wordpress.com

To that end, we’ve penned some general thoughts on the survival game genre. Let’s have a look:

1. Surviving is hard.

Just like life, survival games remind us that things can get rough. But it’s what you choose to do with the situation that matters. Progressing through a survival game is so rewarding because you know what it took to make it through.

2. Building cool shelters is a blast.

Survival games are known for their shelter-building game mechanics. After all, protecting yourself from unspeakable dangers is a must if you want to survive. Some people get really creative with their shelters, and many survival games offer any number of building components and modes.

3. Sandbox worlds encourage creativity.

Since the world is yours to explore and even alter, you’re free to let your imagination run wild. Survival games open the imagination up to possibilities.

4. Resource harvesting is a challenge.

When you’re focused on survival, collecting and maintaining your stash of resources is a must. While there are many common resources out there, finding that rare cache of diamonds or similar loot takes a lot of patience and is always worth the payoff.

5. Adventure awaits.

Each survival game has different mechanics and plot twists, making each new game a new adventure. Plus, many survival games offer different modes and stories, so you’re never left without something new to explore.


Thinking about trying one of the best survival games? If we had to choose one, we suggest trying out Starbound!

Thanks for stopping by and happy gaming.


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