A vital element to any survival video game is immersion. Those of you who have invested precious hours into The Long Dark, a beautiful post-apocalyptic title from Hinterland Studios, will understand the joy and satisfaction that comes with a properly made survival game.
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The Long Dark features realistic temperature dynamics, calorie tracking, and even parasite-infested uncooked meat. Truly great survival games pull you into the shoes of your character, make your heart race, and fear for your life.
10. Green Hell
Savages! Savages! Savages!
Green Hell is a jungle survival adventure that tests your fortitude and survival knowledge. The complete polar opposite of The Long Dark, Green Hell takes you to the tropics. So if you prefer mosquito bites over frostbite, this title is for you. Green Hell places you in the Amazon rainforest, where you are on an expedition with your wife to make peace with a hostile, reclusive tribe known as the Waraha. You awaken at camp, your wife gone, and desperately begging for help on the radio. You suit up, grab your gear, and make your way towards the comforting sound of your wife’s voice and imminent danger. Evade the hostile tribe that’s out for blood, craft weapons, tools, and healing items from the world around you, and traverse the rainforest on your journey to rescue your wife.
Yikes! That’s going to hurt in the morning! Better throw an ash bandage on that.
Use your handcrafted weapons to fend off terrifying wildlife.
9. The Forest
Delve into the forest and fight hellish mutants!
If the arctic cold of Canada and the itchy-scratchy heat of the Amazon are too much for you, perhaps a more temperate climate is in order. The Forest is an interesting survival title that places you in the shoes of a father traveling with his son to an undisclosed location via plane. The plane crashes due to mysterious circumstances (always check your turbines for stray clowns, they tend to hide there for warmth in the winter). Upon regaining consciousness, you witness your son being kidnapped by a greasy, naked mutant. You decide that this is indeed a problem, and begin your journey to find and rescue your son. You will be hunted, stalked, and taught quickly that the only way to survive is to fight back. Night time is not your friend. When the sun goes down, shelter and something sharp are the only hope you have. Camp, farm, gather, craft, and fight monsters along the way as you try to find out why they would possibly ever need your son.
As if two swinging, clawed hands weren’t terrifying enough! Now there’s seven! Encounter countless variations of terrifying mutants.
Sorry, I’ll just turn around! Have a nice day! It’s rude to enter a village without knocking.
The ocean is a beautiful, mystical, and terrifying place!
Subnautica begins with your spaceship malfunctioning and exploding out of the sky. You awaken in an escape pod, your crew dead, and most of your resources on fire. To top it all off, the ocean you’ve found yourself floating in is on an alien planet full of hostile wildlife. The ocean is infested with something trying to kill you around every corner. Explore the ocean to find clues about the previous race that inhabited this strange planet before your crash landing.Discover ancient alien secrets to find out why the planet is dying, along with everything on it. Build a base and discover the mysterious reason behind your spaceship’s crash and the death of your crew, all while exploring a beautiful ocean filled with terrifying and wacky alien marine life.
The majestic, the enormous, the terrifying: Reaper Leviathan! They hide in the depths, waiting for the stray, unprotected diver to let down their guard.
Build bases that’d make your momma cry. Each base is completely unique and customizable!
Space and comedy go pretty well together. Breathedge does a great job of combining these two into a wacky interstellar adventure!
You awaken in the presence of a robot mobster, being interrogated for an unnamed crime. You’re taken back in time via storytelling and flashbacks. From there, you are free to explore the vastness of space, while enjoying dark and dry humor along the way. It has crafting and exploration elements with unique mini-games. Explore the great unknown with your trusty chicken sidekick!
If you think being trapped in space with no gear, no ship, and nowhere to land is terrifying, you’d be correct!
At least you’re not alone in this adventure. You have a lovely chicken friend to follow you wherever you go! And you can go very far, because you’re in space!
6. METRO EXODUS
Look at how beautiful Metro Exodus is! The attention to detail is absolutely sickening!?
Metro Exodus begins with our character Artyom, who is attempting escape of the Moscow Metro system. He is on a mission to prove that not all of humanity has succumbed to this new, violent way of life. Make your way across the wastes to find the Aurora, a locomotive train that is said to carry you to a better life. Survive in this post-apocalyptic hell by scavenging for parts to create your own weapons to fend off hostile enemies. Find the promised land and prove that not all hope is lost.
Stave off the cold, craft your own weapons, and fight off rampant mutant creatures!
Discover beautiful, dynamic environments. Enjoy the somber beauty of the rebuilt post-apocalyptic landscape.
5. No Man’s Sky
Explore the limitless universe in No Man’s Sky. Find new elements, learn new languages, meet aliens, engage in space battles and more!
No Man’s Sky has evolved into a multiplayer space exploration game where you can wander aimlessly as you please, travel the universe with friends, or follow the story-driven path that is available to you. You are placed in a randomly selected space in the universe. Your task is to discover everything you can about the ever-expanding space that you live in. Quests in No Man’s Sky include learning alien languages, identifying and recording different planets and elements, and establishing a reputation with the alien races spread across habitable planets. It is up to you whether you want to make friends or enemies with planetary locals.
Explore and indulge in the bounty of space! Be careful though, some races may not be happy about you encroaching on their territory and may commence battle!
Find and document fantastic creatures with randomly generated genetics. There is never one creature like another! The landscapes are ever changing and shifting, constantly revealing new elements to discover.
4. Far Cry: Primal
Become the Beast Master! Possess animals, defeat your enemies, and conquer the prehistoric era!
Far Cry: Primal begins with the main character, Takkar, on a mammoth hunting expedition with his pack. Takkar and his group are ambushed, leaving him as the sole survivor. Takkar sets out for Oros, land of the Wenja, his tribe. He soon comes to learn of his destiny, bestowed upon him by a mysterious shaman. Takkar takes on his role of The Beast Master. Blessed with the power to control any animal of his choosing, Takkar uses this power to defeat his enemies who have enslaved his tribe. Take on the role of Beast Master, craft primitive weapons from scratch, and defeat the enemy tribe to regain peace in Oros!
The power of beasts is in your hands! Sabertooth tigers, bears, wolves, you name it. Every animal bends to your will!
Accept your new found power and dominate the primitive world. Return peace to your tribe and claim your rightful place on top of the enemy’s corpses!
Live the good life on the ocean. No one’s stopping you.
Raft is a funny game in itself. You start off on one itty bitty piece of driftwood. You’re at the mercy of the ocean. Resource farming in this game is as easy as casting a line. Literally. You fish your resources from the ocean, randomly floating by. As you accumulate resources, you can build onto the base of your raft. Your building potential is limitless. The main antagonists in this game are all of the sharks in the ocean. Their life mission is to tear your raft apart and eat you. Throughout the game, you must fight off the sharks with spears and maintain the condition of your raft in order to survive. You must also maintain proper levels of hunger, hydration, and health. Cook fish and boil your water to prevent sickness. Updates to the game have also added farming and multiplayer.
Raft features an easy and simple crafting system. Scavenge parts from the ocean to build your raft however you want.
Beware of sharks! Sharks will randomly appear to tear apart your precious raft. If you find yourself with only one piece of your raft left, it’s game over!
2. 7 Days to Die
7 Days to Die is a heart pumping, anxiety-inducing crafting game where you race to beat the clock on the zombie apocalypse countdown!
Multiplayer enabled, temperature and hunger gauges, day and night cycle, this game has all of the basics of a good survival game. What makes this game worth playing, however, is the seven-day countdown that induces deadline-oriented anxiety, but in a fun way. You have seven-day intervals to gather resources and weapons and build your base. This time clock pressure adds substance to the game by giving you something to be afraid of and work towards. In the meantime, you can relax, talk with your pals, and enjoy the environment while you resource farm. As the night falls on the seventh day, though, you’d better be ready.
Don’t get caught out after dark. When the night comes on the seventh day, you must hide, fight, or run to survive!
Explore the dead, grey, zombie-free wasteland while you can to collect supplies to barricade your base and prepare your strongest weapons against the coming hoard!
1. Stranded Deep
Your plane has crashed. You have nothing to survive. Use your wits to survive on the vast, endless, and unforgiving ocean.
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You begin on your private jet on your way to an unnamed destination. Suddenly, something malfunctions (those damn clowns, I tell you) and you spiral down, crashing into the ocean. In a heart-pounding intro sequence, you must swim your way to the surface from inside of the plane before you run out of air. Once surfaced, you witness the wreckage of what was once yours. You are now completely alone and at the mercy of the ocean. Hop on the raft, and figure out how to survive. You have to face some of the most realistic aspects of island survival: hunger, dehydration, and sunburn. Fight off sharks from flipping your raft, defeat secret bosses hiding in the depths of the ocean, and try to survive another day.
Spear hunt fish and sharks for food. Watch out for poisonous fish and giant squids!
No time is safe. Beware of the darkness. Snakes, sharks, poison starfish, and deep sea creatures are all waiting for you to make one wrong move into the shadows.