Minecraft set the gold standard for survival games for over 90 million players globally in 2009 and developers are constantly trying to innovate the genre with unique mechanics, stories and more. If you love punishing games where one mistake can lead to a ‘game over’ screen and do not mind scavenging for every resource you can get, we have some recommendations for that you can try out. You can play these top survival games on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PC, iPhone, Andriod or even online.
12. This War of Mine (2014)
11-bit Studios is a master of their craft, and they have released some beautiful survival games over the years. This War of Mine is undoubtedly the best title on their roster with a fictional war setting and punishing mechanics. You find yourself with a group of survivors in a city under fire and have to depend on your survival skills to make it through one day at a time. During the day when it’s dangerous, you are forced to stay indoors which is when you can manage your hideout and plan resource usage. The other characters have their own demands, and you have to ensure everyone is happy, which can be surprisingly difficult. There are a number of difficult choices involved in-game and do not be surprised if some of the choices you need to make have a fair bit of guilt attached to them.
While most games focus only on the physical health of the survivors, mental health plays a major role in the game, and you have to ensure that you take care of other survivors to prevent them from descending into madness. The gameplay takes a sharp turn when it turns night in-game as you have to choose survivors to go out in the dark and scavenge for resources. Your group of survivors might have to do heinous things to keep themselves alive, and it affects their mental health adversely. If you force the same survivors to go out in the dark, they will slowly lose their will to live which makes it important to keep as many people alive as possible.
One of the most beautiful things about This War of Mine is that it does not glorify war as other games do. Instead, it focuses on the dark side of these horrific events that make humans question themselves over their acts of survival. Unlike other games that have hundreds of survivors and you form no real emotional connection with them, This War is Mine is quite different, as you form strong relationships with the game’s NPCs. It is one of the most bone-chilling experiences you can have as a gamer, and it talks about important issues that everyone should be aware of.
11. The Long Dark (2014)
The Long Dark is one of the most visually stunning indie games ever made, and very few titles manage to make you feel as hopeless as this gem of a game does. You find yourself lost in unknown territory and are constantly on the run from animals and the forces of nature. Every time you feel you are about to reach a safe spot, you only find some brief respite and end up being on the run again. Right at the start of the game, you find yourself in a power station where you find clothes, resources and it seems like a good place for taking shelter, but your hopes are dashed within minutes.