Best survival games for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Series S in 2022

Survival Xbox Games
Survival Xbox Games (Image credit: Paradox, 11Bit Studios, Hinterland, Funcom)

The Xbox One and Series X|S have no shortage when it comes to survival games, with gameplay centered around gathering food and water and building a shelter to survive the elements. Thanks to the success of Minecraft, the survival genre is booming with new games attempting to make their mark on the industry. Many survival games are multiplayer-focused where players have to join forces to survive or relax in creative play modes. There are also single-player-oriented survival games where you must learn how to survive on your own and explore a dangerous world to uncover its mysteries. Here are our top picks for the best survival games you can get right now for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

The Long Dark

Source: Hinterland Games (Image credit: Source: Hinterland Games)
The Long Dark (Xbox Series X|S)

The Long Dark (Xbox Series X|S)

Ultimate survival sim

The Long Dark is the best survival game on Xbox 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.

Survive 'em up

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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, 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 tensest 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 is a very uniquely visceral survival game that emphasizes the psychological trauma of being in such dire situations. It is scarce to see a video game war story where we experience the civilians' perspective instead of the soldiers fighting on the front lines. This War of Mine conveys that feeling wonderfully and made me shed a tear for all the poor souls ruined by this war they were in.

Frostpunk is another excellent pick, with gorgeous art and designs, with unique moral choices that add a slant of choice and consequence. Trying to maintain the stability of my city's ability to produce heat while keeping the well-being of its citizens intact is an intense and engaging balancing act I have rarely felt before or since Frostpunk.

Grounded is another fine example of a survival game you can play with your friends. It has a huge and intriguing setting, a delightful cartoony art direction, gripping gameplay, and many cool bugs to hunt. Grounded is currently in early access, but with every update it is receiving, this game's potential to be one of the best Xbox games in the survival genre is growing exponentially, and I cannot wait to see it realized.

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a gaming veteran of 30-plus years, primarily covering PC and Xbox games here on Windows Central. Gaming since the 8-bit era, Alexander's expertise revolves around gaming guides and news, with a particular focus on Japanese titles from the likes of Elden Ring to Final Fantasy. Alexander is always on deck to help our readers conquer the industry's most difficult games — when he can pry himself away from Monster Hunter that is!