The survival genre is saturated now that many developers have attempted to recreate this popular game type. Survival games are characterized by minimal resources, unforgiving environments, and they might contain zombies. Rust came out in 2013, years before many of the survival games we play today.
While games like ARK: Survival Evolved improved on much of what Rust built, others fall short in terms of content. You start as a primitive human, who could eventually be flying a helicopter or building bridges. Rust is a fight-or-flight type of game where survival is by any means necessary. Make alliances or prepare for battle; the choice is yours.
Updated January 7th, 2021 by Thomas Bowen: The thought of being stranded in a hostile world with very little in the way of protection can be an incredibly daunting one for some. Those who enjoy survival games, however, will instead see this as a challenge that’s just waiting to be overcome. Thanks to trailblazers like Rust, the genre now boasts a plethora of fantastic and original titles that can cater to pretty much every taste imaginable. From relaxing getaways to tense escapes; there’s plenty of top survival games to choose from.
15 Rising World
There’s still some work to be done, but Rising World is shaping up to be one hell of a game. It looks great and features an extensive crafting system that’s both realistic and intuitive. The game shares more than a few similarities with Minecraft, but opts for a more realistic tone and art style which is very reminiscent of Rust. It allows for a wide variety of play styles and can be either tense or relaxing depending on the choices that the player makes.
Whether the game will ever make it out of early access remains to be seen, but, providing it continues on its current course, the sky really is the limit. Even in its current state though, it’s well worth a look and is a great way to while away a few hours. Maybe even a few hundred.
Its graphics may be a little simplistic for the current era, but the vibrant colors found throughout Astroneer make for some truly striking visuals that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. The same could also be said of the game’s melodious soundtrack which will be stuck in players’ heads long after their rigs have been powered down.
Where the game stumbles a little is in its difficulty, or lack thereof, to be more precise. It’s not quite easy, but those hoping for a challenge will likely come away a little disappointed with what’s on offer. It also has a few technical issues that are yet to be ironed out. Those things aside though, it’s a wonderful game that can be enjoyed either solo or with friends. The latter is definitely the best way to experience it, but both can be rewarding and relaxing in equal measures.
13 Stranded Deep
That Stranded Deep remains in early access more than five years after its Steam debut speaks volumes of the developer’s lofty aspirations for the title. There’s still work to be done when it comes to providing a solid multiplayer experience, but the raw materials are all there and have been heavily refined over the course of the game’s lengthy development.
Survival is only a small part of what’s on offer here with crafting and base-building playing a huge role in the overall experience. With its luscious setting, relaxing vibes and sky-high potential; it’s definitely a game worth keeping an eye on. The lack of a full release is a little frustrating, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor was Rust, for that matter.
12 Pathologic 2
While it would be fair to say that the Pathologic games are completely different to Rust, the same could be said when comparing them to just about anything else. They’re bizarre, a little confusing and incredibly enjoyable from start to finish. Those looking for a unique experience need look no further as its staring you right in the face. Just make sure you’re wearing your face mask though!
Its dreary visuals are a constant reminder of the bleak reality of the game’s world whilst the constant threat of infection is enough to ensure that players always remain on their toes. How they choose to approach the game will have a huge impact on what they get out of it at the end, but the games try their utmost to allow and encourage that freedom. At its core though, it remains a story about surviving at all costs.
The post-apocalyptic environment throughout which players can explore in Miscreated is incredibly impressive; as too are some of the game’s visuals. It will likely take new players quite a bit of time to get the hang of things, but surviving in this world is both rewarding and challenging. That’s perhaps to be expected though given the whole mutant situation that’s going on.
As with Rust and DayZ, the game has issues with some players shooting on sight although, compared to the aforementioned titles, it’s nowhere near as bad. The game’s PvP combat can at times be incredibly tense, but that’s all part of the fun. There’s a great community of players out there without whom the game would be nowhere near as enjoyable as it is. For as long as that remains the case, it’s definitely a game worth checking out.
10 ARK: Survival Evolved
Rust might be an excellent survival game, but there are alternatives if you like the style of the game. One of the most notable options is Ark: Survival Evolved. The game was in early access for quite some time but has since been widely released.
The appeal of Ark: Survival Evolved boils down to its satisfying content. You can join public or private dedicated servers, build houses, and even ride dinosaurs. Set in an alternate universe where man and dinosaurs co-exist, there’s never a shortage of things to do. You, as a human species, must evolve to survive.
As one of the best-selling games in history, Minecraft has gathered a sizeable fan base. What began as a single-player game was later given a functional multiplayer. In the survival mode, players are placed in inhospitable circumstances where they must defend against Creepers, spiders, Endermen, and other mobs.
The existential struggle to build a house with limited resources gives this game purpose. Minecraft is a game about building, but it has a survival component along the lines of Rust.
Its world is perilous, but there is much to love about this quaint game. Subnautica is so much more than a generic survival game. It’s set underwater where players can build structures, explore the depths, or relax in its marine setting (without getting wet).
You play as a scuba diver, but you can also do things like drive a submarine. Critics loved Subnautica, and years after its release, players are finding reasons to return to this aquatic adventure.
7 Green Hell
The first-person survival game Green Hell places you on an adventure through the Amazon rainforest as you struggle to survive. From a visual design standpoint, it is very impressive.
Unlike in other survival games, players must complete objectives to progress. A story was added in V. 1.0. of the game. According to screenrant.com, “Green Hell is a challenging survival game that pits you against the elements, the Amazonian rainforest, and your own mind.”
6 No Man’s Sky
There has never been a better time to play No Man’s Sky. The development team at Hello Games has worked tirelessly to please its players. Several promises didn’t make it in the game at launch, yet Hello Games has delivered on most of them post-launch.
Their vision has guided them through bleak times, and the game now lets you interact with the universe like never before. The missions are intriguing, and the co-op multiplayer is delightful. No Man’s Sky is a must-play for Rust fanatics and space enthusiasts.
5 7 Days To Die
7 Days to Die gives you at least 7 ways to die in this epic survival horror game. Despite being a game that hit the Steam Store in 2013, the game is still in its early access stage. Fans might be growing weary, but the game is enjoyable in its current state.
You’ll have to micromanage as you defend against hordes of zombies. 7 Days to Die is a tower defense, sandbox, strategy, role-playing, and survival game. The smart blend of survival and building make this a fun experience.
4 Don’t Starve
The indie game Don’t Starve places you in inhospitable circumstances as you desperately cling to survival. You might wonder at some point what the point of this game is. Well, there is an ending to Don’t Starve, unlike the expansion multiplayer Don’t Starve Together.
The expansion pack added a more robust multiplayer mode, but it’s hard to forget the original game’s leaps and bounds. The art direction is phenomenal, setting the tone for a dreary survival game.
3 The Long Dark
This is yet another survival game that was in its early access stage for quite some time. Unlike other survival games, there are no zombies in The Long Dark. The world’s unforgiving environment is set in places where you might see the Northern Lights.
This is a tough but rewarding game for survival addicts. The frozen tundra proves to be a place where so much can go wrong.
This survival game is much like Rust, aside from being centered around building a raft. Rafts can be multiple stories high, leading to some unconventional fun.
Moreover, this is a multiplayer game, which can lead to the most rambunctious situations. Explore the sea as you construct a floating house. Raft is about collecting loot and building as you desperately avoid hungry sharks!
1 The Forest
If you’re looking for a survival game that’s even more immersive than Rust, The Forest might be for you. The game is set in a heavily forested area after the protagonist and his son survive a plane crash.
The Forest combines horror and survival, bringing together a seamless experience in an open-world. This game was commercially successful, shipping more than 5 million copies. A sequel is in development for The Forest, but the original is hard to beat.