The Greatest Survival Games Of All Time

In this article, we take a look at some of the best survival games of all time. In recent years, the survival game genre has exploded. With this huge explosion, we have been subjected to some absolutely incredible titles.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at which games have made the list for the best survival games currently available.

ARK: Survival Evolved

When it comes to content, ARK: Survival Evolved is miles above the crowd. This game is without a doubt one of the most feature-packed survival games on the market.

Typically a multiplayer experience, (Although it can be played solo!) ARK is the only survival game allows you to start with rags and end with a jetpack, sniper rifles, and a tank of pet Megalodons.

ARK is all about progressing in this alternate reality where high tech humans live alongside dinosaurs. One of the main gameplay mechanics that makes it stand out from the crowd is it’s taming feature. With taming, you can make your way up through the world by taming different creatures.

Each creature has different strategies for successful taming and every creature has its own benefit, whether that’s for combat or for building up your army of creatures. Most creatures are based on the age of the dinosaurs, so anything from a giant ant to a Tyrannosaurus Rex.


Rust is the perfect game for base builders. The game is all about collecting resources with a bunch of friends, building an impenetrable fortress and waging war on the other teams in the server.

There have been many updates over the past few years that have made the gameplay between collecting resources and fighting players more interesting, but the core gameplay is still there. Rust is frustrating at times, especially when you’re first starting out, but it gets more enjoyable and more addictive the longer you play it.

In most cases, you’ll often stay up till the early hours of the morning collecting resources to bulk out your base to only find out 8 hours later that you base wasn’t as impenetrable as you first thought.

This constant balance of ups and downs as you and your friends attempt to make your way up in the world is a mix of heartbreak, anguish, excitement and power.

Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve is worlds apart from games like ARK and Rust, but we think it fits into the survival game category perfectly.

Don’t Starve blends gameplay elements from survival games and roguelike games into a randomly generated open world. It has top down 2D graphics and a very dark, gritty art style.

The only objective in Don’t Starve is to survive for as many days as possible. Players must gather resources such as food and firewood, learn new crafting recipes and explore the world in the day, then at night time they must avoid or fend off against hordes of enemies.

Don’t Starve has a similar cycle of gameplay to Minecraft, but there’s much more variation in what happens each day. This can make surviving for longer more challenging as each day passes.


Speaking of Minecraft, we do kinda have to mention it here. Whether you’re bored sick of it now or not, this is and always will be one of the best sandbox survival games in history. If you haven’t played in a while, you may be surprised at how much more content there is in the game now.

The Forest

With so many open world survival games being about surviving against other players, The Forest is a fresh change.

In The Forest, you can play alone or jump in with other players in an attempt to survive against a society of cannibalistic mutants.

What The Forest does well that many other survival games fail to capture is the horror aspect. The overall game environment and main threat from the mutants is fear-inciting. It’s spooky and unsettling at times, but that’s what makes The Forest so gripping.

There is also more of a focus on the story – there’s not much narrative there, but the information you are handed leaves you engaged more so than most other survival games do.

When it comes to gameplay, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a survival game. You start with almost nothing and must scavenge your way to the top. Along the way, you’ll be able to create weapons, armor, build yourself a home and fight back against the mutants.

Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid is one of the best zombie survival games out there. It’s very different to what you’d expect but it still fits in all of the game mechanics you could ever have hoped to see in a zombie survival title.

You can either play Project Zomboid alone, jump into the game with a few friends, or play against or with other players online on persistent multiplayer servers.

Project Zombie has a top down camera angle with an interesting art style. Players start out with pretty much nothing, but as they play for longer they’re able to acquire better gear and build defenses against the zombie invasion.

We’re big fans of the status feature in Project Zomboid. Status effects like Depression, Hunger, Thirst, Boredom and Illness all must be catered to. If they don’t, you’ll start to see negative effects.

The zombies in Project Zomboid are also incredibly spooky. They always remain a threat to you and other players. Taking down zombies exhausts your character and being spooked by large swarms (And there are very large swarms) can send your character into fits of panic and anxiety.

In summary, Project Zomboid is a hardcore experience that gives players little room to breathe. It’s hard to master, and it’s conceptually very close to what we had all hoped DayZ Standalone would be like by now.

Summary – survival games

What are your thoughts on these survival games? Are there any on this list that you’d rate as the best survival game of all time? Would you substitute any of these games for something else?

Here are 10 other survival games which will have you fighting for your life.