Best Survival Games for Xbox One Windows Central 2021

There is a wealth of survival games on Xbox One, with gameplay that revolves around hunger, thirst, and often, finding shelter (or even building your own). The survival genre exploded in recent years, partially on the back of games like Minecraft. Survival games with multiplayer have also become incredibly popular, often emphasizing brutal PvP mechanics, but many orient themselves around creative play instead. There are some single-player gems in there as well. Here are our picks for the top ten Xbox One survival games on the market right now.

The Long Dark

Ultimate survival sim: The Long Dark

Staff pick

The Long Dark is the best survival game on Xbox One today, set in the deep Canadian wilds. During a freak meteorological catastrophe, you have to brave the freezing cold, scavenge for supplies, and fend off wild animals driven mad by the strange events. The Long Dark also has an episodic story mode that is as engrossing as it is moving. Every budding survivalist should play this.

$30 at Microsoft

Into The Depths: Subnautica

Subnautica is a gorgeous survival game set in a watery alien world. You crash land with few tools at your disposal and must work with what you can scavenge nearby and out in the depths to survive. The smaller critters can be cute, but the ocean harbors predatory leviathans as well, so beware.

$30 at Microsoft

Survive in Space!: Astroneer

Astroneer is a space-faring survival game with an emphasis on crafting, research, and open-world exploration. Research the local flora, 3D print parts, and ultimately move on to the next planet for colonization.

$30 at Microsoft
A zombie pigman

The classic: Minecraft

Minecraft is known for its creativity, but it's the survival mode where the true challenge lies. Starting punching trees for essential wooden tools, you'll eventually have the weapons and armor to navigate the hellish Nether realm itself. And hey, maybe do some farming along the way.

$27 at Microsoft
Flame in the Flood

Survive the flood: The Flame in the Flood

The Flame in the Flood is a travel-oriented survival game set in a flooded America. Sea levels have blanketed much of the world in dangerous rapids, starving beasts, and abandoned settlements. The Flame in the Flood takes on you a journey on a rickety raft that you must upgrade along the way, scavenging food and supplies from the remains of civilization.

$20 at Microsoft
Conan Exiles

Build a civilization: Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles is an ambitious multiplayer survival game with RPG mechanics and deep building systems. Starting naked in the desert (literally), you have to make your way inland and begin to build up your own civilization. Enslave the locals, hunt giant monsters, and build massive castles, Conan Exiles is an impressive and addictive game with continuous updates.

$50 at Microsoft
Surviving Mars

Colonize Mars: Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars is an excellent city-builder with sci-fi survival elements. Set on the Red Planet, you take on a space-faring corporation intending to colonize Mars. Armed with a spaceship and a handful of robots, you have to mine minerals, grow crops, and eventually import colonists who will live in your growing space city.

$30 at Microsoft
This War of Mine

A brutal war: This War of Mine

This War of Mine is an incredibly brutal game that is not for the faint of heart. In This War of Mine, you manage a small community of refugees stuck in a fictional war-torn state. Without access to any sort of infrastructure, you must scavenge to survive, which may occasionally include some dire consequences.

$20 at Microsoft

Frozen planet: Frostpunk

Frostpunk is an award-winning survival city builder set in a bleak ice age. You and your colonists cling to the edge of life at every moment, as you race to keep your civilization warm in rapidly decreasing temperatures. Complete with steampunk-style tech, you can carve out a successful city in the wastes, but what kind of civilization will you build?

$30 at Microsoft
Surviving the aftermath

Post-apocalypse city-builder: Surviving The Aftermath

Surviving The Aftermath is a post-apocalyptic city-building simulator set in a Mad Max-style apocalypse. Various disasters wreak havoc across the land, with bandits, radioactive storms, and meteor showers hindering your colony's growth. The game is currently in early access, but it's being updated with new features frequently and holds a ton of promise.

$20 at Microsoft

Survive 'em up

Survival Xbox GamesSource: Paradox, 11Bit Studios, Hinterland, Funcom

Survival games are a personal favorite, offering oddly relaxing gameplay at times, interspliced with tense moments. Many of the games rely on procedural generation and random events, adding a level of dynamism unique to the genre.

The Long Dark remains our pick for top survival game on Xbox One, for its deep and evocative episodic campaign, and hauntingly lonely survival gameplay. Seeing a bear emerge from the mist, mauling me to within an inch of my life, remains one of the most tense and memorable experiences I've ever had on Xbox. Managing to survive and ultimately get revenge on said bear also simply felt great.

If you have a strong emotional disposition, please consider This War of Mine too. It's a very uniquely visceral survival game that emphasises the psychological trauma of being in such dire situations. Frostpunk is another excellent pick, with gorgeous art and designs, with unique moral choices that add a slant of choice and consequence.

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