There are literally hundreds of games that have the "survival" tag, yet only a bunch are really worth purchasing. We've played through many of them and will now run through a select few we feel you should add to your game library.
Terraria ($9.99) is a game that still manages to grab thousands of players at a time on Steam alone, even though the title was originally released seven years ago. What makes this game so popular (and managed to sell millions of copies) is how addictive the gameplay is. We have a stunning pixelated art style, matched with intense and fluid combat, unique bosses and enemies, expansive crafting system, Hardcore and Expert modes to add more of a challenge, and more.
The best of Terraria comes about when you have a few players on a private server. It's even better if you're all bloody useless at the game and continue dying to Cthulhu.
Subnautica ($24.99) is a game that blew me away on first firing up the title. It's a survival game with a twist: You're in the ocean. Not only will you need to go through the usual crafting processes, but there are beasts located beneath the surface that do not take kindly to your presence. It's just a shame you need to construct underwater bases, right?
The story revolves around your ship crashing on a strange planet, and there's a mystery surrounding what caused the accident and what happened to this world. The end goal is to make your way off the planet, but there are many dangers on your path to escape. I'm holding out for multiplayer.
Sure, Minecraft ($26.99) isn't technically a dedicated survival game, nor is it really that difficult to survive. But you have to combat monsters in survival mode, and you are tasked with crafting items and building a home so we figured it was only right we added it to our round-up. Chances are, you already own a copy of Minecraft or already know what it's about, but should you be new to the game it's essentially a Java-based block building simulator and crafting-survival and multiplayer Frankenstein.
Minecraft is now owned by Microsoft and is continually updated with new improvements. Whether you wish to build a recreation of your hometown in a virtual world or gear up and take on the Ender Dragon, the block world really is your oyster.
The Long Dark
The Long Dark (about $35) tasks you with surviving the aftermath of a global geomagnetic disaster. Located in the Canadian wilderness, you need to tackle aggressive animals, deal with blizzards and other dynamic weather patterns, plan for the nights ahead, and spend hours in the crafting system. While the survival elements of the game are pretty good, the story is a letdown in its current state.
It's also a very, very pretty game.
Starbound (about $15) is an interesting and quirky little game that takes the similar formula of Terriara and takes gameplay to the stars and beyond. As well as being able to mine planets for resources, explore ruins, caverns and other points of interest, Starbound sports a story of sorts and quest generation. The game itself makes use of procedurally-generated worlds and other content, making each playthrough a unique experience.
When you've had enough of doing everything on your own, it's possible to fire up a server and invite a bunch of friends to join you on your adventures.
After surviving a plane crash on a remote island, it's of great importance to survey the land, build shelter, hunt for food and craft items. The only problem is you're not alone in The Forest ($14.99), and I'm not talking about local wildlife. There are horrors that will leave you be, should you rather live in peace and not be disturbed (just try to steer clear of them and don't make it obvious you exist on the island) or you can venture into the unknwon.
But beware: A clan of genetic mutant enemies that has beliefs, families, and morals has already made this their home, and you're trespassing.
You wake up as a naked individual, and the aim of the game in Rust ($19.99) is to survive. You'll be tasked with building a home, hunting for food, collecting resources and forming alliances with other players. Rust was released in 2013 but has since been rebuilt from the ground up, had a bunch of improvements implemented, and it still hosts an active community.
From crafting items and weapons, to building a fortress, running a shop and launching all out warfare on an unsuspecting clan, if you need something a little more focused on surviving in a multiplayer environment, this is the game for you.
Don't Starve is an excellent title that really challenges you to make the most of a bad situation, and you will encounter many dire instances in Don't Starve. After the game was released, the community demanded multiplayer support and the developer responded with a separate game that offered online play. This is where the game gets really interesting as you team up with friends or random players to survive the night. And the night is terrifying.
All this is yours for $14.99 a piece (the multiplayer and single-player experiences are different listings).
How do you survive?
What are your favorite survival games? Do you agree with our shortlist? Sound off in the comments.
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