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Why are survival games so popular? Because they offer things to gamers that other titles don’t at times. The need to survive right now versus just “going through the motions”. Especially when your life is on the line every second of every moment of gameplay. Here are a few titles that do that well.
We know Minecraft is one of the most popular games of all time, ok? But that doesn’t mean it’s a full-on survival title like some have made it out to be. Yes, there is a Survival Mode, but as we’ve noted on other lists, that’s not the reason people play the game.
They play it because of the ability to get resources and then craft whatever their minds come up with. They even make warehouses to store their materials so that they can build later!
If you want to try out the survival mode, that’s fine, but if you want a true survival challenge, these next 14 games will be better for you.
Now let’s talk about a title that came out recently in Grounded. This title sees a group of kids fighting for their lives in a backyard. What are they fighting? A bunch of insects! As they’ve been shrunk down to the size of one and now have to endure the new world they’re in.
Everything seems peaceful in your backyard when you’re many feet tall, but when you’re a couple of inches? Everything can be a threat. Now, you and up to three friends will have to traverse this new area and find out what happened to you, why it happened, and how you can get back to your normal size!
The insects will come after you, you’ll need to fight them off to ensure your survival!
Rust is a title that will force you to survive under the worst of circumstances and with dangers all around you.
Your character is stranded on a mysterious island with nothing on them, not even clothes. You’ll have to adapt to your surroundings fast to overcome the dangers all around you. Other players will be in the same situation you’re in, and you’ll need to fight them off and get more resources so you can outfit yourself with what you need to survive.
Rust continually updates and has had over 300 content updates since launch, so you’re playing the game at its best when you dive into it.
#12 Space Engineers
If space is more your speed, then Space Engineers will be a survival title to enjoy. In it, you’ll be an engineer tasked with building all manner of craft, ships, stations, and so on to survive all that space has to offer.
You can make whatever ship you want and then head out into the void of space. But be warned, the game is designed to be realistic and adhere to the laws of science and nature. Whatever you make, make sure it’s functional and will last.
Once you go into space, explore multiple worlds and build stations where you can live. Gather resources that you can use and expand your reach across the stars!
At first, DayZ may seem like your typical zombie survival game, but it’s more robust than that. In the title, you’ll create your character and be put in the area known as Chernarus. Here, zombies are everywhere, and survival is the only thing that matters. But how you survive there is up to you.
Unlike other games with other players, the only goal here is survival. That means you’ll need to be aware of your surroundings at all times and decide how to handle other players you meet.
Will you befriend them and form a party to take on all threats? Will you kill them to ensure they don’t kill you first? The choice is yours.
#10 No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is proof that if you do something wrong at the launch of your title, you can make it better over time. The game from the dev team at Hello Games puts you in a massive universe and lets you roam it as you please.
With millions upon millions of planets to explore, you’ll never be wanting for something new and exciting to do. You can go to each planet and just see what is there. Or you can research it and explore the local wildlife. There are missions you can do as well that can keep you occupied, plus you can play the game with friends!
If nothing else? Hop in your spaceship and just take a ride across the stars.
Not unlike a title we talked about before, Terraria is a game that isn’t solely about survival. You can do so much in the title that survival might not be something that comes across your mind.
The reason for this is Terraria puts players in a sandbox environment and lets them do what they want in that sandbox. If they want to go on an action-packed adventure to fight enemies and face off against the threats of the world they can do that.
Or, they can take the simple path and construct a city from the resources they find. The choice is yours. Plus, each world you arrive at the start of the game is different!
#8 Green Hell
If you were to list places you’d never want to try and survive in, what would be at the top? Depending on how knowledgeable you are about the world, you might say the Amazon Rainforest.
That entity is packed with all sorts of wildlife and plant life that can kill you, so be grateful that the only time you’ll likely have to survive there is in the game Green Hell.
Your character wakes up in the middle of the Amazon and must fight to get his way out. Plus, he’ll have to look into his memories for the reason he ended up there in the first place. But the truth you seek might not be the truth you want.
#7 Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Would you like another zombie experience to survive? Dying Light 2 Stay Human takes place many years after the original title and gives you a new location to survive in.
Welcome to The City, where zombies are rampant, and humanity isn’t much better. Your character is trying to get some mysteries of his past solved, and you’ll need to work your way through The City to get the answers you need.
But the zombie horde might have an issue with that. You can scrounge for weapons to use and items to craft with, or avoid them completely with parkour! But you’ll have to also mind your zombie infection so that you continue to stay human!
#6 Conan Exiles
Welcome to the world of Conan The Barbarian. Here, survival is not just something you must do but rather something you will yourself to do.
For in this place, survival does not come easy. Your character must fight for everything that they get in this land. You can choose to fight for your survival on your own or team up with other players and create cities you can live in.
Just know that not all out in the realm is human. You’ll face off against monsters, sorcerers, and even other players who wish to take what you have. Proof your worth over and over until you reign supreme.
#5 7 Days To Die
7 Days To Die is one of the biggest video games out there. The title has been home to millions of players due to the amount of content you’ll find in it. It’s still a survival game, but there’s a lot to do as you survive.
This is a world devastated by a zombie virus, and now whole cities are left empty to explore and get resources from. What will you craft to take down threats you come across? Will you dare to team up with other players so you can live together or die alone? The world is massive, seek out what’s there and use it how you will.
#4 Ark Survival Evolved
On the island of Ark, many things are trying to kill you. You’ll arrive naked on the island with only the urge to survive, and survive you must. For on this island are dangers both natural and prehistoric. That’s right, there are dinosaurs on this island, and they can be your steed to ride into battle or your greatest threat if you’re not prepared.
Slowly work through the island to get the materials you need to craft weapons and resources to survive. Then, take the fight to other players and creatures to show them that this island is your home!
#3 State of Decay 2
In State of Decay 2, you can’t just be concerned with your survival. Why? Because the game puts you in charge of an entire community of survivors, and you’ll guide them to safety as best you can. All the while putting them in harm’s way as zombies will come for you.
Build your new home by getting your community members to do tasks. Build up defenses, start up farms to make food, send people out to get resources, and so on. The better you manage your community, the better the chance you all survive.
Yet, if you make the wrong decision, and they die? They stay dead, and you have to move on.
#2 Don’t Starve Together
Many of you have likely played the Don’t Starve franchise and know just how hard it is to survive those games. If you felt during those runs that you could’ve used an extra hand, then you’re in luck because Don’t Starve Together gives you that extra set of hands to survive alongside.
This is the multiplayer version of the franchise, and you can either play with your friends or others online to survive in the mysterious land you’re dropped in.
Figure out what’s around you, build what you can to stay safe, then prepare to fight off some of the creatures of the land to survive. How long you last will depend on how well you work together.
#1 The Survivalists
Finally, we have The Survivalists, a game that puts you on a deserted island and tells you to survive! How hard can that be?
Quite difficult, as you’ll find out. Because not only will you need to build what you can to survive, you’ll need to endure the day and night cycles, the other creatures of the island, and even mythical forces!
But fear not, you’ll be given the chance to survive as you’ll find resources, play with friends, and you can even train the local monkeys to do the work for you!
Explore the island, figure out its secrets, and see what you will do to survive.