Best Survival Games Of All Time


  • A good survival game features an interesting premise that lets you explore the world and make choices that impact your gameplay.
  • Minecraft is an iconic survival game that millions have played.
  • No Man’s Sky lets you explore the universe, with thousands of ecosystems and randomly-generated solar systems, mine resources, build, and trade for money on your journey.

Sometimes the struggles associated with the real world get a bit too complicated and overwhelming for you, so finding the right video game to unwind is the perfect remedy. And what better game genre to dive into than survival?

Related: The Best Survival Games For Beginners

You get the opportunity to worry about your avatar’s environmental risks and struggles, keeping an eye on food, water, or stamina levels. Not only that, though games may emulate a sort of realism they still don’t lack in terms of providing you a foreign setting you might have fun conquering over the course of your playthroughs. Check out some of the best survival games that have distracted us for ages.

10 Unreal World

A map in UnReal World showing the player surrounded by silhouettes of trees with a side menu showing the player's portrait and stats

An old open-world survival video game for hardcore enthusiasts looking for the perfect escape from reality. Watch your life unfold in a matter of minutes over the course of one playthrough as you go from point A to point B in a manner of unexplainably chaotic ways.

As archaic as the game’s UI seems initially, it’s an interesting narrative-driven game that lets you explore anything. The map’s open world, you can practically travel anywhere and interact with anything you see along the way. Your choices make all the difference.

9 Kenshi

Midkick paused screen in Kenshi Training

A game where you can do anything you want, any way you want to. Kenshi is a survival game that focuses on letting the players explore their surroundings on their own terms. It’s a grueling game that’s hard to master but with a satisfying overworld and freedom at the forefront.

Kenshi doesn’t push any morality down your throat nor does it anchor you down with an overarching narrative you’re supposed to complete, it’s just a hostile world where your only goal is to successfully thrive on your own terms.

8 No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky: A Player Created Sqaudron

The sky’s the limit, or maybe not with this game about universal exploration. With thousands of ecosystems and randomly-generated solar systems to explore, No Man’s Sky is an endless reserve for people looking to emulate life as an astronaut space explorer.

Mine, examine and collect all sorts of resources in order to build your own materials and bases. You can even trade off what you find in exchange for money. Visit several planets on your way to conquering the new horizon.

7 Minecraft

An image from Minecraft of a classic Wooden Mansion. This house combines the different wood types in minecraft, and adds a large tower, to create an appealing home.
Lex The Builder

Perhaps one of the most successful survival games of all time, Mojang’s Minecraft is a visual masterpiece that throws you smack-dab into the middle of a randomly-generated world with distinct biomes, all sorts of wildlife, and enemies.

Related: Best Open-World Survival Games

You can craft virtually anything in this sandbox game, and there are tons of places to explore all around you. Gather resources, construct fortresses, and carve out your own destiny with a game dedicated to providing you with a worthwhile escape from reality.

6 Valheim

A warrior holding an axe in a forest and staring at a looming troll in Valheim

For folks with a will to live out their Nordic fantasies, Valheim’s world is a rich and complex one that lets you do virtually anything. Fulfill quests, level up your character as you see fit, and explore the lands in order to gather resources or interact with the locals.

It’s also got co-op capabilities, and you can upkeep a base with your friends without any fear of losing your gear since all of it is recoverable. Velheim is a game that knows what it is, it doesn’t try anything new, but it does focus on perfecting the already-established tropes you’d expect from any online survival game.

5 Darkwood

Darkwood Gameplay stick figure cross in dark

Navigate through a dense fog without knowing what horrors lurk behind you, hiding in the shadows ready to get you. Darkwood is a splendid horror game with survival elements that keep you on the edge of your seat.

Even though the game features a top-down perspective for the player to work with, the thrills aren’t dull. The story is fairly engrossing too with subtle twists and turns meant to lull you into a sense of false comfort at times. Survival is your only option, good luck with that though.

4 Escape From Tarkov

eliminating a Scav in Escape from Tarkov

As the name suggests, your mission is to survive and escape an area full of other players ready to mow you down. Escape From Tarkov stands out from the rest of its competitors since it delivers a realistic FPS experience with guns that function the same way they would in real life.

It’s an unforgiving hellscape; you have to master the mechanics of in order to make any traction and evacuate the premises successfully. You accumulate the best loot you can in order to stay on top of the rest of the playerbase. Looting and surviving are your primary concerns.

3 Hobo: Tough Life

Gameplay And Inventory Image From Hobo Tough Life

Who ever said hobos had it easy? Whether in real life or within the confines of this game you’ll realize their lives are quite the struggle. Emulate living on the streets of a central European city either solo or with a team of your friends and try to collect enough resources to manage to survive the cold harsh winter.

Related: Best Mobile Survival Games

Nobody could’ve imagined begging NPCs for food, stealing from strangers, and scavenging dumpsters would end up being so much fun in a virtual setting.

2 Green Hell

Crafting tools in the jungle in Green Hell VR Mode

One of the most realistic survival games you’ll find on Steam, Green Hell is an aptly named title that throws you in a jungle and your only means of survival is to get familiar with the local plant life around you.

You lose health quite a bit in this game, and it’s not so much focused on exploration as it is on barely scraping by alive. With so many enemies ready to pounce at you or your friend around every corner, it’s a grueling unforgiving experience truly worth its merit.

1 Subnautica

Subnautica Diamonds

Imagine getting deserted on a water world chock-full of monsters in the abyss ready to gobble an unsuspecting diver like you up at any minute. The lore and the exploration elements in this game are top-tier, as well as the crafting system.

Subnautica pulls no punches when it comes to throwing creatures from hell at you even though it’s not a horror game and survival is fairly tough under the circumstances. Luckily, the game’s not too hard to progress through and the scenery is absolutely captivating at times.

Next: Most Realistic Survival Games

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