The Best Strategy Games

The Best Survival Games

Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping quite like survival games and we here at Green Man Gaming love them.

Thanks to the introduction of Minecraft in 2009, survival games have gone from strength to strength by putting players into harsh environments and challenging them to survive the elements. Survival games also test players to not only survive their surroundings, but also defeat threats such as zombies, aliens or even cannibals.

We’ve put together a list of what we believe to be the best survival video games out there. So if you’re in the market for a new survival game to play or are looking to dive deeper into the genre then this list is for you.

 
7 Days to Die

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, 7D2D first released into early access back in December 2013. Now in its 4th year of development and 16th alpha build, the post apocalyptic zombie infested world continues to keep players on their toes. Surviving in the world is challenging enough when you're constantly in need of food and water, with the zombie horde ever ready to tear you apart, but when the sun sets the zombies become faster, keener and more aggressive. Then, on the 7th night, the blood moon rises and the true nature of the dead reveals itself.

 

For all their grittiness and brutality, survival games can have a lot of bells, whistles and laser guns these days. Rust, though, takes you right back to basics; each player starts the game naked (and we mean properly naked), hungry, thirsty and equipped with nothing but a lump of rock. It’s a true, punishing survival experience where you must harvest everything from clean water to gunpowder just to make it through the first few hours in a persistent online world full of other, better-equipped players. You can build and upgrade a base to keep rival survivors out, but even the most hi-tech Fort Knox won’t protect your stash of sniper rifle ammo forever. Because if there’s one thing gamers will always work out how to do, it’s blow stuff up. Rust takes perseverance (once you’ve been mauled by a bear or filled with arrows a few times right after spawning, you’ll know what we mean) but it’s one of the most challenging and rewarding survival games out there. Just prepare yourself for a lot of nudity, C4 and smashing bits of rock together.

 
  • Minecraft

Minecraft is probably the most important game ever released. Even though giant wonders are constructed in its cube worlds, it is at its heart a survival game, where living through each day is an achievement. There are few feelings like being placed into its open world, no tools, no resources, and C418’s lonely score in your ears. From tree to cabin, from pig to farm, from mine to castle. Every day you play you’ll learn a bit more, build a bit more, survive a bit...agh, a creeper’s exploded in your face and half your home is on fire. But it’s ok, because you’ll be back and building a tower to the sky in no time. Minecraft not only lets you learn its systems and build edifices, farms, and even basic computers, but you’ll also be praying to Herobrine to make it through each night. Because there are terrors in the dark, and they are hungry.

 
  • ARK Survival Evolved

Some of the shine may have faded from the original, and still the best, dinosaur-infested survival game after its 2 years of early access, but it is still a challenging and rewarding world to visit. As is typical, you start with nothing and must find food, water and shelter if you're going to make it. The twist here is that the inhabitants of the island you find yourself on, range from dodos up to raptors, brontos, tyrannosaurs and more - all of which can be tamed, and used as player vs player combat inevitably occurs. Does your tribe have what it takes to rule the island?

 
  • The Long Dark

The Long Dark

The Long Dark doesn’t feature zombies, cannibals, or exploding creepers, there’s just you, the snow, the cold, and the long freezing night. The Canadian wilderness provides the backdrop in this beautifully atmospheric survival game where your constant struggle to stay alive amid the sub-zero temperatures forms the basis of all gameplay decisions. A hardcore survival experience that accounts for body temperature, caloric intake, hunger/thirst, fatigue and wind chill requires players to manage not only their inventory but also time, as hours of darkness are best spent cosying up to a fire to warm up after a long day foraging in the wilderness. Recently out of Early Access, The Long Dark also features a full on story mode with two chapters playable right now.

 
  • Don't Starve

At first glance, Don’t Starve may look like a cutesy exploration game. Do not fall foul of this trap set by Kley’s beautiful Tim Burton-esque cartoon aesthetic. Don’t Starve is an unforgiving, uncompromising survival game set in the wilderness, a wilderness in which everything can kill you, not least of all losing your sanity. It’s a wonderful world filled with magics and science and eldritch horrors. The wilderness is a dark and curious place and you won’t be given a single instruction on how to avoid dying, what you should craft, how to catch animals, make weapons or what is edible. You will die a lot. But oh the fun you’ll have! It’s a wonderful blend of wicked and whimsical and it’s an enthralling combination. The crafting is enjoyable and it has a high replayability factor with a selection of weird and wonderful survivors that bring their own challenges.The greatest irony is that of all the ways you’re going to die, starving will be the least of your worries.

 
 
  • The Forest

The Forest

As the zombie genre has so thoroughly shown, the thing to fear the most is other humans. The Forest sets you on an island where you must survive by collecting resources and building up your shelter and home. You also share the island with other people. These people want to eat you. You can have as much or as little interaction as you wish; they can be avoided as best possible, but they will come around and investigate if they find your base. However, if you can't beat them, you may join them. Cannibal bases are chock full of resources, and you can take a leaf out of their book and set traps, kill their relatives to anger them, and even partake in a bit of cannibalism yourself.

 
  • Subnautica

Subnautica

An open-world underwater survival game, Subnautica throws players into an alien seascape. Players have to survive this alien ocean by crafting equipment and piloting submarines. This alien water world is full of lush coral reefs, devastating underwater volcanoes and even mazes with fully submerged cave system which are ripe for exploring. Once you have crash landed on this planet it is up to you to manage your air supply and take on the harsh seas. Make sure you explore all that Subnautica has, as you will come across some of the most beautiful environments that video games currently offer. In Subnautica it is you against the harsh seas in this epic survival game.

 
  • Starbound

Starbound

Starbound does exactly what it says on the tin, sending you to explore a vast number of procedurally generated star systems in order to mine, refine, and craft. Loosely following a central narrative arch, Starbound provides players with the freedom to explore almost at will. Following along the main quest provides you with scripted boss battles that will in turn require you to spend time exploring and gathering the necessary resources to upgrade your equipment. For those seeking more peaceful pursuits, the spectacularly large amount of unique items and blocks allow you to build bases and structures that reflect the varied worlds you’ll come across exploring the galaxy.

 
  • We Happy Few

We Happy Few

We Happy Few is the bizarre new dystopian horror game from Compulsion Games. Set in a futuristic drug fuelled society, where the only way to cope with life is a special little pill called Joy. After the successful Kickstarter project entered early access, it became a popular game amongst survival fans, due to it’s unique style and mesmerising art aesthetics. Complete objectives, survive intense conversations and solve puzzles. So can you endure the twisted town of Wellington Wells? Unearth dark secrets kept by the unsettling, deeply disturbed and suspicious citizens. And remember, to always take your Joy!