The Top 17 Best Survival Games for PC 2019 (NEW!)

Best Survival Games for pc
The Best Survival Games to Play This Year

Survival games have been all the rage in recent years and developers are finding new ways to keep the genre fun and interesting. With so many games and so little time, it’s difficult to narrow down which titles to invest your hours in. Here is our list of the top 17 upcoming or recently released survival games to consider.

17. SCUM

SCUM Gameplay

SCUM is an upcoming zombie survival game projected to release sometime in 2019, but early access has been available since late August. The game features an open world with highly customizable character options for different play styles. Essentially, your character is a prisoner on a survival reality show competing to escape from the deserted island they’ve been placed on, with potential to gain viewer favor and sponsored gifts along the way.

At a time when open world survival games are booming, SCUM separates itself from the competition with its hyperrealism. Tracking your character’s vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, digestive needs, and more becomes all-important to success. Customizing your character’s body type, age, flaws, and skills will all affect the gameplay, which gives players an impressive amount of control. Some might find the metabolism tracking system overwhelming, but taking the time to understand the intricacies of this game rewards players with an amazing gaming experience.

Your character must survive long enough to remove their BCU (Body Control Unit) and escape the island.

Players have an immense amount of data to keep track of, which is all presented on the metabolism screen.

16. Mist Survival

Mist Survival Gameplay

Mist Survival’s early access has been available since August 15th, and it has received overwhelmingly positive reviews since. The game is a solo zombie (or “infected”) survival game revolving around a mist that has spread an apocalyptic virus, turning most humans into ferocious creatures. Luckily, your character is immune to the virus, but must deal with the monsters that have come about because of this disaster.

This survival game has a great crafting system with fun abilities, like being able to repair and drive cars and meet friendly NPCs to cooperate with. Mist Survival is still very much in development, but it has great potential to become a noteworthy game.

Mist Survival has a day and night cycle, as well as random “mist events” where fog takes over the region and infected creatures are likely to attack.

Players can gather enough resources to repair a broken-down car and travel the map by driving.

15. Dead Frontier 2

Dead Frontier 2 Gameplay

Dead Frontier 2 is a new MMO survival game based in a post-apocalyptic world that is free to play through Steam. As one of the few survivors of a recent zombie outbreak, your character must fight through the terrifying world to complete quests, improve skills, and find loot.

For fans of the survival horror genre, this game is a great experience with traditional horror elements and atmosphere. The game also boasts a well-developed, player-driven economy for trading, buying, and selling. For having such a small development team (Creaky Corpse Ltd is a one man show), Dead Frontier 2 is quite impressive.

Players must travel through dimly lit buildings and streets to fight off zombies at every corner.

Character creation in Dead Frontier 2 allows you to change basic aesthetics of your character.

14. Green Hell

Green Hell Gameplay

Say hello to our first non-apocalyptic game on the list. Green Hell is an open world survival game set in the Amazon rainforest. The tropical surroundings are beautiful, but soon turn into your character’s worst nightmare as he is persistently threatened by what awaits in the deep South American jungle. Find food, craft weapons, create shelters, and fight off the predators of the Amazon to sustain your character’s life.

The narrative of this game provides wonderful commentary on our mental capacities and what surviving through such extremely traumatic conditions can do to an individual’s psyche. With a gorgeous atmosphere, Green Hell shows us the connection between the human body and mind, while also providing fun gameplay and a well-developed story line.

Green Hell’s beautiful setting provides for a truly awe-inspiring gaming experience.

Learn how to heal your own wounds and care for your tropical illnesses in order to survive. 

13. Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles Gameplay

Conan Exiles provides players with single and multiplayer experiences revolving around the decades-old story of Conan the Barbarian. Your main character is rescued by Conan after being crucified in a desert, and now must explore merciless biomes as an exile. Surviving against harsh weather events, vicious animals, NPCs, and other players is a tough, but rewarding task.

Exploration in Conan Exiles provides breathtaking views of fictional landscapes, making it a fascinating component of the game. Gathering resources and crafting elaborate, complex shelters can be tedious, but ends up feeling massively rewarding. The multiplayer update allowing for co-op also enhanced the game’s playability. Overall, Conan Exiles is a brilliant survival game of warfare and domination.

Fight terrifying creatures in the desert landscape.

Explore the beautiful and expansive scenery in Conan Exiles.

12. The Forest

The Forest Gameplay

As a player of The Forest, you begin as a sole plane crash survivor on a deserted island, only to discover that you are not entirely alone. Searching for food, creating weapons, and building shelters will keep your character alive long enough to realize that a tribe of cannibalistic creatures are present on the island and have noticed your arrival.

The Forest offers single and cooperative play, with a riveting narrative that can be found through discovering key items in the region. It strikes a perfect balance between horror and survival, while adding complexity to the “plane crash on deserted island” cliché. Players of The Forest will find its survival-horror atmosphere and diverse gameplay wonderfully satisfying.

Horrifying creatures with erratic behavior threaten your character’s survival as they navigate the island.

Gathering resources and building strong shelters can be an important aspect of the game, but any playstyle is accommodated by The Forest.

11. State of Decay 2

State of Decay Gameplay

Here we have another post-apocalyptic zombie survival game. State of Decay 2 encourages gamers to play as an individual character who is a part of a wider, unique community. The developers emphasize that your actions as an individual will shape your community and the rest of your gameplay, so no two playthroughs should ever be alike, strengthening this game’s replay value.

State of Decay 2 has a distinct and fun combat system and RPG style progression. This game’s interesting focus on community and cooperation sets it apart from its predecessor and its contemporaries. It’s sure to hold the attention of survival horror fans for quite some time.

Like many other survival games, players in State of Decay 2 must navigate a zombie-infested open world.

The character creation menu allows players to customize their gaming experience to coincide with their playstyle.

10. Don’t Starve & Don’t Starve Together

Don't Starve Gameplay

With its Tim Burtonesque animation style and dark humor, Don’t Starve is one of the highest rated indie survival games of all time. The goal of Don’t Starve is to last as long as you can in its randomly generated, dangerous world full of monsters and magic. While it has a simple premise, Don’t Starve’s charm and gothic style keep players coming back for more. Don’t Starve Together was released in 2016 and provided a multiplayer expansion to the game.

From visual design, to music, to gameplay, Don’t Starve has it all. While the difficulty level can be intimidating to first time players, it encourages gamers to continually try again, rather than give up. There’s no doubt that Don’t Starve surely lives up to the hype.

Don’t Starve’s map is full of different types of biomes, which all have their own unique design, resources, and monsters.

The world of Don’t Starve is full of dangerous monsters, including hounds, which target you intermittently through the game.

9. Starbound

Starbound Gameplay

Starbound’s two-dimensional animation style and procedural animation provides a truly unique experience in this action survival game. Your main character has just graduated from a space peacekeeping organization and adventures to an undiscovered planet. In this sandbox game, players can explore the entire universe while completing quests and story-driven missions.

Starbound’s exploration elements never cease to keep a player on the edge of their seat, and the charm of its nostalgic feel never gets old. With its beautiful music and interesting design, this side-scroller is sure to keep any gamer happily occupied for hours.

Equipped with your own spaceship, the exploration possibilities in this expansive galaxy are endless.

Navigate the difficult terrain of habitable planets around the universe. 

8. Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Gameplay

The Tomb Raider reboot series has deviated from its traditional settings and is exploring South American jungles in the new Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The previous two games of this Lara Croft narrative received high praise, and this third installment lives up to its predecessors. Carrying on the traditional elements of the Tomb Raider franchise, this game is all about stealth and using the environment to your character’s advantage.

The incorporation of historical Mayan and Incan mythologies throughout Shadow’s storyline brings the gameplay to life. Players learn more about Lara and see her become a stronger adventurer while navigating the Mesoamerican jungles. When it comes to survival action games, Shadow of the Tomb Raider does not disappoint.

Using the dangerous environment to her advantage, Lara Croft is always one step ahead of her enemies.

The artwork and setting for the game is inspired by indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations. 

7. Terraria

Terraria Gameplay

Selling over 20 million copies by early 2017, Terraria has been an incredibly successful survival adventure game since its release in 2011. Minecraft fans will find an immense number of similarities between it and this two-dimensional sandbox game, but that doesn’t mean that Terraria is without its own unique contributions.

Starting with only three basic tools, players must search for resources and prepare for combat against several types of enemies. While the game is technically beaten by defeating the final boss called “The Moon Lord,” Terraria has no specific way to be played; players are free to set their own goals and play at their own pace, which is a key factor in what makes the game so addictive and fun.

Terraria players can create their own custom structures and focus their entire gameplay on the collection resources for building purposes.

Defeating the final boss, The Moon Lord, completes the game’s progression, but players can still create their own goals afterward. 

6. Fortnite

Fortnite Gameplay

Fortnite has taken the world by storm since its release in 2017, and has attracted more than 125 million players in only a year’s time. This battle-royale game has two game modes, one PVE and one PVP, and is free to play through Epic Games. The gameplay of Fortnite is fast and addictive, and the lighthearted animation style separates its tone from other battle-royale games.

Fortnite is a great game for anyone, no matter their skill level or playstyle. The map is large enough for players to play a stealth and avoidance game, but it is still crafted in a way to accommodate more aggressive players. Add in some goofy dance moves and bunny costumes, and it creates the perfect recipe for an engaging game that’s hard to walk away from.

Players paraglide down to the map at the beginning of the game, strategically choosing which location fits their playstyle and game goals best.

Fortnite provides co-op game modes where teams of up to 4 people can compete to be the last team standing. 

5. Minecraft

Minecraft Gameplay

While Minecraft has several modes, its impressive survival mode is what landed it on this list. While the technical “end goal” in Minecraft’s survival mode is to defeat the ender dragon, the basic goal is to survive and prosper in the procedurally generated environment. Players collect resources, create shelters, monitor your limited inventory, and fight enemies that get in your way.

With fun single-player and multi-player modes, Minecraft is another game that accommodates any playstyle or progression pace. As one of the best-selling video games of all time, Minecraft has something for everyone, and its survival mode is an enjoyable component of the whole game.  

Minecraft’s world is made of three-dimensional blocks that can be manipulated by the player.

Players can collect enough resources to build impressive shelters for themselves. 

4. Subnautica

Subnautica Gameplay

In Subnautica, your character has crash landed on a foreign ocean world while space travelling, and you must explore the uncharted water to find food and resources. The wildlife of the expansive ocean is beautiful, but dangerous, and changes through the game’s day and night cycle. While Subnautica is an open-world game, finding your way back to your home planet is the ultimate goal.

While presenting itself as a gorgeous exploration game, horror fans will appreciate Subnautica as well. Encountering terrifying alien creatures while navigating the seemingly endless ocean is not uncommon. With a fun crafting and building system and intriguing plotline, Subnautica is sure to keep survival-horror fans satisfied.

The magnificent diversity of plant and animal life found in Subnautica is nothing less than remarkable.

Players should beware of exploring the ocean too haphazardly; perilous creatures could be lurking anywhere.

3. Oxygen Not Included

Oxygen Not Included Gameplay

In this simulation survival game, you must care for a group of colonists who have awakened on an unfamiliar asteroid with no memory of how they got there. Direct your colonists to mine resources, find food, and research technologies to help them survive. Developed and published by the same studio as Don’t Starve, Oxygen Not Included has much of the same charm and gameplay feel.

Players of Oxygen Not Included are never in direct control of colonists, rather they give orders to the colonists that are then fulfilled, making the game unique. Psychological aspects of stress and isolation are touched on, but the game keeps its themes light with clever humor. Players can choose to play Oxygen Not Included as casually or as intensely as they like, making the game fun for any playstyle.

Your colonists begin in an oxygen pocket located inside of an asteroid. Make sure your colonists are prepared if they travel to non-oxygenated areas.

Your colonists can build huge structures and grow their population to thrive in their new environment. 

2. Unturned

Unturned Gameplay

Unturned is yet another zombie-infested survival game that is free to play through Steam. Players must collect resources and experience points to upgrade their skills and have a greater chance of survival. The game has developed a large modding community that is consistently releasing their own improvements to Unturned.

With its Minecraft-style animation, Unturned feels much less horrifying than most zombie games, but no less fun. Multiplayer modes can be used for zombie survival or battle-royale arena matches. The game is updated constantly, and with a thriving mod community, Unturned is a great game with amazing potential in any direction.

The game has a simple animation style, but a fun and rewarding gameplay.

Your colonists can build huge structures and grow their population to thrive in their new environment. 

1. Rust

Rust Gameplay

Rust is a multiplayer-only survival game where your sole objective is to survive in the procedurally generated wilderness. While environmental threats such as dangerous wildlife threaten your survival, a player’s biggest concern should be other, combative players. While many of the other players you run into will immediately perceive you as a threat, building alliances and communities within the game is also possible.

Monitoring your food, health, and hydration statistics is a key part of the gameplay. Players can craft weapons, buildings, and even operate vehicles such as cars and boats. Rust is action packed, challenging, and addictive. With an effective PVP style and rewarding combat, Rust is sure to entertain.

NPC controlled helicopters may target heavily armored players from time to time, but can be gunned down with persistence.

Survive the dangerous wilderness, but be even more aware of other players who may be targeting you. 

Bonus: The Long Dark

The Long Dark Gameplay

The freezing Canadian tundra is no friend to players of the first-person exploration-survival game The Long Dark. In the aftermath of what is referred to as a “geomagnetic disaster,” your character must explore the bitter cold terrain around them to survive as long as possible. Monitoring your fatigue, caloric intake, thirst, and temperature are necessary for survival, as is the abilitywell as being able to defend yourself against wildlife and natural disasters.

The Long Dark is a tough, but inspiring survival game that explores the classic theme of man versus nature. It challenges a player’s critical thinking ability and resourcefulness, as a survival game should. For any player looking for an exciting test of reasonability and persistence, The Long Dark is your game.

The deserted Canadian wilderness sets the scene for your experience with The Long Dark.

Players must face whatever dangers that mother nature throws at them.

You may also be interested in:

More on this topic:
Jaci is a walking, talking oxymoron. She's a nerdy athlete, a fashionable tomboy, a fine mess. She reads, she games, she softballs, she dog moms. Her fantasy alter ego is Celaena Sardothien.
Gamer Since: 2012
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overcooked 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:Diablo, League of Legends, SMITE
This article makes me feel:

More Top Stories