No other genre balances challenge with absolute freedom like survival does. And let us tell you that in 2024, it truly caters to all players’ preferences!

You find yourself in a vast world of threats and crafting opportunities. The direction of this adventure is entirely up to you. What to do first, build, or fight? Whatever you choose, this list of top survival titles explores all themes, from fantasy to shooters! And since a varied selection increases your chances of spotting that one (or more!) perfect game, all you have to do is consider your favorite setting.

Fear not – each recommendation provides a brief description, so you won’t have to browse the web for more information.

The Forest

Release date:2018-04-30
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Endnight Games Ltd

This game allows you to explore the wilderness as a jet crash survivor. But there’s a plot twist – cannibalistic mutants do everything to make this task deadly difficult!

Welcome to Hell! The Forest focuses on chopping down trees, building shelter, avoiding confrontations with enemies, fighting, and taking care of your basic life needs. The best part is you decide what to do first and how to deal with the ever-present threats. Plus, there is cop-op multiplayer for up to 8 players available!

Key features
  • Survive in a forest inhabited by bloodthirsty cannibals
  • Explore, acquire food, and collect resources
  • Sneak or battle
  • Play solo or in cooperative multiplayer for up to 8 players

ARK: Survival Evolved

Release date:2015-06-02
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Studio Wildcard

Although this game features dinosaurs, its highly realistic setting makes it one of a kind. ARK: Survival Evolved is a must-play for any genre enthusiast since it’s packed with unforgiving mechanics, including hunger and temperature.

You find yourself on ARK – an unfamiliar island inhabited by prehistoric reptiles. Hunt, tame mighty beasts, ride on them, and construct a reliable shelter. Crafting and resources also play a crucial role in this game, so expect some multitasking, especially during sessions against other players.

Key features
  • Survive on an island inhabited by unpredictable dinosaurs
  • Collect resources, craft, and build a base
  • Enjoy realistic factors affecting your adventure
  • Play solo or in multiplayer for up to 64 players

State Of Decay

Release date:2013-11-05
Genre:Simulation
Developer:Undead Labs

Survival zombie titles spring up like mushrooms after the rain, but this one is different. In the State of Decay video game, every action has consequences – some are extremely brutal!

SoD 2 offers a post-apocalyptic world overrun by various types of zombies. Merging survival with RPG, the game allows its players to lead a group of survivors gifted with their own backstories and personalities. Build a base, develop your skills, explore, and try to see another day – solo or in a fun co-op for up to four players.

Key features
  • Lead your team through the world of ever-multiplying zombies
  • Develop skills, collect essential gear, and make choices
  • Enjoy realistic graphics thanks to Unreal Engine 4
  • Have fun solo or in cooperative multiplayer for up to four players

Grounded

Release date:2020-07-28
Genre:Action
Developer:Obsidian Entertainment

What would you do if you shrunk down to the size of an ant? This game allows you to experience that fantasy!

If you have seen the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ movie, you may know what this game has to offer. Play as a tiny person exploring a typical American backyard. But be careful – other insects are bigger, and many would love to have you for dinner. Unlock progressively better weapons, collect resources, fight, and complete missions. Grounded is especially fun in a 4-player co-op!

Key features
  • Explore the backyard being the size of an ant
  • Enjoy the insect opponents’ realistic behavior
  • Craft increasingly better equipment and fight
  • Play solo or in an intense 4-player co-op

DayZ

Release date:2013-12-16
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Bohemia Interactive Studio

This iconic online FPS is excellent for anyone seeking ultimate freedom in a post-apocalyptic world. Try to survive on 225 square kilometers of Chernarus, where not only zombies await your slightest mistake.

In DayZ, you are constantly on your own, as no human is worth your trust. Other players will do anything to see another day, so prepare yourself, monitor an unforgiving nutrition system, and search for the best gear. This game represents a highly realistic take on the genre, and each death means starting over without any equipment.

Key features
  • Play the most realistic post-apocalyptic MMO
  • Find some companions or trust no one
  • Have fun with many factors affecting your experience
  • If you die, try again!

Terraria

Release date:2011-05-16
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Re-Logic

For those craving fantasy adventures, we have Terraria – a procedurally generated 2D world you can shape however you desire!

Explore the pixel-art realm to collect resources, fight, and build. You can dig deep into the earth or construct massive fortresses surrounded by impressive cities, but watch out for enemies who can ruin your plans in a split second. Terraria offers different difficulty levels, so you decide how hard this experience should be.

Key features
  • Expect hundreds of hours of engaging adventure
  • Choose the difficulty level and explore the procedurally generated world
  • Build, craft, battle, and terraform your surroundings
  • Play solo or in multiplayer

Green Hell

Release date:2019-09-05
Genre:Sanbox, survival
Developer:Creepy Jar

Finding yourself alone in the Amazon jungle, you can only rely on your primal instincts, especially since everything in this place wants you dead.

Wildlife, diseases, wounds, hunger, and fragile mental health – this is what Green Hell is about. Learn to craft, find food, build as fast as you can, and you might survive these highly hostile conditions. Everything around you lives according to the time of day and ever-changing weather conditions – adapt to these rules or die.

Key features
  • Play a realistic simulation of the Amazon jungle
  • Learn to craft to survive hostile conditions
  • Control your physical and mental state
  • Manage resources and build yourself a shelter

This War Of Mine

Release date:2014-11-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:11 bit studios

This unique war game does not focus on brutal combat on the battlefield, instead featuring a group of ordinary civilians trying to survive in a besieged city. Will rescue ever arrive?

Expect a whole host of contrasting feelings as this game will see you grieving the death of anyone in your team of desperate survivors. It’s time to prepare a solid plan! During the day, you must stay in your shelter, improving it and taking care of your people because snipers kill anyone wandering the streets. At night, you can explore for food and equipment. But what will you do if you have to sacrifice someone’s life so that the majority can live?

Key features
  • Play a unique war game unfolding around a group of civilians
  • Plan your strategy for different times of the day
  • Explore the area to obtain essential equipment and food
  • You are the only one to decide what is ethical

No Man's Sky

Release date:2016-08-12
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Hello Games

This sci-fi recommendation combines space exploration with survival on the surface of various planets. Will you be able to reach the very center of this mighty galaxy?

Traverse an open world packed with secrets and alien life forms to travel as far as possible. Collect resources, craft, trade, explore, fight, and maybe you will survive in this unpredictable, procedurally generated galaxy. No Man’s Sky offers different difficulty levels, so it’s up to you how challenging this space adventure will be.

Key features
  • Travel to the galaxy’s core
  • Explore an endless procedurally generated world
  • Decide who you want to be and try to survive
  • Play solo or in multiplayer

Minecraft

Release date:2013-11-19
Genre:Action
Developer:Mojang Studios

This sandbox classic allows its players to fully spread the wings of their creativity in the blocky world brimming with opportunities. You don’t have to play it in survival mode, but we recommend trying.

Minecraft is a gigantic open world where you can do whatever you want. Explore, collect resources, build, and learn complex mechanics to design increasingly better tools. Players can choose from several game modes to tailor the adventure to their needs. It is fun in both single and multiplayer!

Key features
  • Pick a game mode and explore a massive procedurally generated blocky world
  • Collect resources and craft increasingly better equipment
  • Build, be creative, and confront your enemies in the most challenging modes
  • Play solo or in multiplayer

Frostpunk

Release date:2018-04-24
Genre:Simulation
Developer:11 bit studios

See an alternative version of the 19th-century world conquered by endless winter. Your job is to make the city thrive!

Frostpunk is a unique society survival game allowing you to manage your city in extremely unpleasant weather conditions. Sounds like fun? Select a game mode and try to keep your people alive! Decisions and management skills play an essential role in this game, so immerse yourself in this brutal world and try to survive.

Key features
  • Explore an alternative version of the 19th-century world
  • Develop technologies and manage resources
  • Try to balance the citizens’ mood
  • Make instant decisions and experience their consequences

Dying Light

Release date:2015-01-26
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Techland

This award-winning first-person survival horror puts its players in the role of lone survivors traversing a city infested by bloodthirsty zombies. For this reason, it is always better to play with friends!

Dying Light gives us a desperate fight for survival in a city ruled by a zombies. They let you explore during the day but become especially brutal at night, so prepare for an unforgiving race against time. Use your parkour skills to escape a chase or fight and hope you survive.

Key features
  • Play the phenomenal zombie game from Dead Island creators
  • Explore during the day and try to survive at night
  • Expect surprising dilemmas
  • Play solo or in cooperative multiplayer for up to four players

Project Zomboid

Release date:2013-11-08
Genre:Indie
Developer:The Indie Stone

This indie survival title doesn’t care about being pleasant or understanding. Prepare for an ever-increasing struggle!

You are a lone survivor living in a post-apocalyptic city of undead, and more and more zombies appear each passing day! Explore the place from an isometric perspective, collect equipment, take care of your character’s fundamental needs, and do whatever it takes to survive. In this game, even the weather wants you dead!

Key features
  • Explore the post-apocalyptic city overrun by zombies
  • Monitor your character’s needs
  • Acquire equipment, food, and weapons
  • Play solo or in multiplayer

Valheim

Release date:2021-02-02
Genre:Sanbox, survival
Developer:Iron Gate Studios

Only the worthiest can enter Valhalla. You can’t unless you prove your value in Valheim – the mysterious tenth world of challenges and omnipresent threats.

Explore the procedurally generated land of Nordic myths to earn your place in Valhalla. Search for resources, learn to craft weapons, produce food, and travel further and further into this unforgiving land. The longer you go, the more powerful beasts appear, so expect a truly Viking adventure!

Key features
  • Try to survive in Viking purgatory
  • Explore the tenth world in search of food and resources
  • Battle mythical beasts to earn your place in Valhalla
  • Play solo or in multiplayer for up to 10 players

Subnautica

Release date:2018-01-23
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Water is fun as long as it doesn’t want to kill you!

Crash on an alien water planet to discover its secrets and find your way home. It is a gorgeous underwater world inhabited by realistically behaving creatures of various sizes. Explore its mysteries, craft stuff, and upgrade your base to endure any threats. The game offers four different gameplay modes, so shape your adventure however you desire to thoroughly enjoy this breathtaking experience!

Key features
  • Crash on an open-world water planet and try to survive
  • Build a base, collect resources, and craft
  • Learn the rules of this alien realm
  • Explore and unravel unimaginable secrets

Face the ancient leviathan living on the ocean floor. Confront zombies, cannibals, and your deepest fears. Or build! Top survival games offer so many opportunities to encounter unimaginable challenges in customizable environments that you don’t even have to be a genre enthusiast to have fun with their finest features. Our recommendations differ in themes, difficulty levels, available game modes, and potential threats. But they also have something in common – the ultimate freedom put into players’ hands.