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The best survival games on console 2024

The best survival games will push you to your limits as you attempt to navigate unforgiving environments and brual beasties on PS5, Xbox, and Switch.

Best survival games: a man in a red bodysuit wielding a hammer

What are the best survival games on console? There are few things in gaming that provide the same level of thrill as possibly kicking the bucket in-game because you accidentally stumbled into a cave full of bears. From bitesize backyard adventures to the vast depths of an alien ocean, the genre will take you anywhere you desire, drop you in with some basic tools, and wish you well as you attempt to navigate its numerous environments. With so much variety on offer, trying to pick one of the best survival games to play can be a daunting task – this is where we come in.

Our best survival games guide will entice you with unique options at every turn – they’re some of the best games all-told, after all. Whether you wind up the last person standing in a Rust raid – you best be playing the best FPS games to keep your aim crispy – or find yourself at the mercy of a Creeper in Minecraft – also one of the best co-op games out there – it’s a genre that’s becoming increasingly diverse with ideas. Survival games will always meet in one place though and that’s in the fight to beat isolation and prove you are capable of living, sometimes even thriving, in these hostile worlds.

The best survival games on console are:

Best Survival Games: A man in a green hazmat suit aiming a gun

1. Rust

When it comes to survival games, Rust from Facepunch Studios will, at times, make you want to curl up into a ball and give up. You’ll arrive at this existential crossroads pretty much immediately as you are awake naked, alone, and afraid in the unforgiving terrain of Rust’s servers.

But, you’re not alone. No, far from it. This multiplayer-only title has an abundance of other players waiting to make sure you don’t succeed, steal all your hard-fought loot in devastating PvP, and ultimately straight up unalive you out of the game. If you want to make this a world you can picture yourself living in, or at least surviving, you’ll need to think fast.

As Rust describes itself, “everything wants you to die” from the wildlife, to the environment, to other survivors. It’s not going to be easy. We can’t stress that enough. But, if you invest your time into it and learn the ropes, you could dominate the island, form alliances, and feel the depth of the community that Rust has generated over almost a decade.

You can grab Rust on the PS5, Xbox, and PC right now.

Best Survival Games: An underwater ocean can be seen with a submarine gliding by

2. Subnautica

If you’re looking to feel truly, truly alone, Subnautica is the title to turn to. The sole survivor on a remote alien underwater world, you must explore the depths in a bid to survive whilst the creatures beneath set out to cause you harm. And, since the majority of the game is underwater, you’ve also got the constant battle of keeping an eye on your depleting oxygen, as well as hunger, thirst, and health.

In Subnautica, it can get really dark real quick with the game’s day-and-night cycle plunging you into an abyss. Fortunately, you can sleep through it or, in true survivor mode, use it as a time to hunt fish and work on your base. Subnautica also supports VR headsets meaning you can truly immerse yourself in the oceanic world… if you’re brave enough.

Travel to the depths on PS5, PS4, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Best Survival Games: Multiple people and animals can be seen in Minecraft's world

3. Minecraft

It will come as no surprise that featured in our list of the best survival games comes the best-selling game of all time, Minecraft. The sandbox survival title also has a special place in our best games list thanks to its expansive world and opportunities for creativity. At its core, Minecraft is a survival game that will test your patience.

There are so many Minecraft servers to choose from full of mini-games, exploration, recreation of iconic titles, and much more, which means your options inside the survival game are vast. Or, if you just want to farm and forage, that’s your prerogative. Sure, Minecraft may have been around for over a decade, but even if you’re starting from scratch, you can still get stuck right in.

Minecraft is available on the Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC storefronts. Plus, you can grab it on the Xbox Game Pass if you’ve got yourself a subscription.

Best Survival Games: Multiple dinosaurs can be seen

4. Ark: Survival Evolved

How do you fancy your chances at a survival game set on a mysterious island teeming with prehistoric animals and dinosaurs? It’s not just kill or be killed though as you’re given the opportunity to tame certain wildlife. A wildly fun concept, but also incredibly advantageous to surviving in Ark: Survival Evolved.

You’ll need to build a base, hunt, harvest resources, grow crops, harvest resources, and much more in order to thrive all while living in a land full of other players that are friend or foe. The clever in-game system will have you react according to your environment. So, when it gets hot, you’ll need more water. When it gets cold, you’ll need to build a fire to stay warm. There’s a lot to do to stay alive and starting a tribe might make it a hell of a lot easier. There’s strength in numbers, right?

You can purchase Ark: Survival Evolved on Xbox and PlayStation. Or, grab it with or without the Ultimate Survivor Edition on Xbox Game Pass.

Best Survival Games: Two hunters are sat around a fire

5. Valheim

Inspired by Norse mythology, Valheim is the unforgiving and, at times, downright brutal survival title hinged on the God of War himself, Odin. Taking on the role of a banished Viking in the 10th world, Valheim, you must slay monsters, build settlements, and prove yourself worthy of redemption.

The procedurally generated world is rich with opportunities to explore and the customization mechanic adds layers to this survival game that keeps it very interesting. You’ll need to expand your weapons quickly in order to take on the many ancient adversaries though. Like the other titles on our list, you must spend your time wisely.

Initially, only in early access on PC, the Valheim game preview launched on Xbox back in March 2023 and can be grabbed in the storefront or as a part of Game Pass.

Best Survival Games: Multiple people can be seen on a planet with a giant diamond-shaped construct in the background

6. No Man’s Sky

The infinitely procedurally generated world of No Man’s Sky is quite the setting for a survival title. If a universe abundant with planets to explore floats your boat or flies your spaceship, then this one’s for you. After a mixed reception at launch, developer Hello Games has followed it up with a barrage of updates to meet expectations.

With such an enormous expanse to explore, the opportunities are near endless on how you choose to run your game. Battle space pirates, build colonies, form friendships, race exocrafts, it’s really up to you. There’s also a survival-specific mode inside this survival title which makes for a more challenging experience giving you access to only limited resources as well as upping the ante on hazards and enemies.

Fortunately, No Man’s Sky is available on Xbox, PS5, PS4, with PSVR and PSVR 2 support, and Nintendo Switch.

Best Survival Games: A bearded man can be seen in a walled campsite

7. Don’t Starve

Fancy survival with a whimsical twist? Don’t Starve transports players to a 2D cartoon aesthetic that reeks of magic. You start with nothing and you have to figure it out for yourself. There’s an eclectic mix of enemies too as strange creatures emerge from the darkness, such as the Slurper, Terrorbeak, or Treeguard.

In Don’t Starve, survival hinges on the crafting element meaning you’ll need to busy yourself with collecting and creating resources in order to survive. If you’re not keen to stick it out alone (literally, there are a lot of sticks) then the multiplayer expansion, Don’t Starve Together was released for co-op survival goodness.

Descend into the darkness with Don’t Starve on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

Best Survival Games: The back of a person dressed for cold, harsh conditions can be seen with a quiver slung over it

8. The Long Dark

Up next, there are no monsters here except Mother Nature itself. The Long Dark bases itself in a setting prime for isolation. Following a crash in the northern Canadian wilderness after a storm, you take on the role of pilot, Will Mackenzie, to battle the freezing elements and nature’s dangers.

Eat, sleep, drink, and stay warm in order to survive. Scouring the wild for supplies and avoiding the animals that want to hunt you down. Hinterland Studio’s title includes a multitude of game modes including its impressive five-episode story mode, Wintermute. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to play this with friends, there’s no multiplayer support.

Fortunately, though, you can grab it now on Xbox and PlayStation. It’s also included as part of PlayStation Plus.

Best Survival Games: Multiple rooms of a house can be seen, some with gaping holes in

9. This War of Mine

Amidst a city ravaged by the ongoing war, you must lead a group of civilians to survival. This War of Mine flips the usually-told narrative of war games as combat-driven to tell instead the story of what it might feel like to live through the relentless danger from an everyday perspective.

The goal is to stay alive until a ceasefire is declared at a random point during the game. Throughout the war, the player is in charge of instructing and protecting multiple survivors, hiding and crafting during the day inside a desecrated house, and venturing out to explore and gather resources at night. You choose the path you take with a multitude of endings, meaning you can return to this game, play it all over again, and write your own story of war.

This War of Mine is on Xbox, PC, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.

Best survival games: a person stares down two grotesque creatures with a knife in-hand

10. 7 Days to Die

The Fun Pimps’ 7 Days to Die may still be in Early Access after the best part of a decade, but the pioneering survival horror game has a big update in store for console players. The original PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports have long remained neglected, but fortunately, a brand new upgrade for current-gen consoles is on the way.

If you’re after a sprawling open-world FPS that’s chock-full of zombies and creative ways to dismantle them, then look no further. The best part? There’s a huge tower defense aspect to the game which allows you to construct the base of your dreams, kitted out with everything you’ll need to mow down the undead.

7 Days to Die is available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, with current-gen ports coming soon.

Best survival games: a group of kids in front of a giant baseball

11. Grounded

Creepy-crawlies can be unnerving at the best of times – even more so when you yourself have been shrunk down to their size. Whether you navigate this pint-sized world alone or with friends, Grounded is one of the most innovative experiences you’ll find within the genre.

Filled to the brim with bug-bashing, base-building, contraption-crafting action, Grounded proves you can have an epic adventure quite literally in your backyard.

Grounded is available on PC and Xbox. You can snap it up as part of Xbox Game Pass.

Best survival games: Conan Exiles

12. Conan Exiles

Although Conan Exiles is several years old now, developer Funcom has ensured it’s been well looked after since launch. 2023 saw the game undergo major changes to core systems, as well as periodic content in the form of chapters which is still ongoing in 2024.

Now, you can not only live out your best feral barbarian life in this unforgiving survival sim, but you can also look to magic for guidance, and become a mighty sorcerer. Hunt, gather, survive – those are basic tenets of Conan Exiles’ gameplay, though with an added sprinkling of war on top.

Conan Exiles can be all yours on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. You can also save a pretty penny by picking it up on Game Pass.

Best survival games: a small pixelated vampire in the middle of hordes of undead enemies

13. Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors might not look like much by modern graphical standards, but its dated aesthetic and minimalistic gameplay loop is not to be underestimated – this is truly one of the best survival games out there.

The concept is simple: you are a vampire. You have powers. You must grow them to survive seemingly endless hordes of beasties until the sun comes up. If you die, you start over stronger than before thanks to the permanent upgrades you can invest your hard-earned gold into. Rinse and repeat. It doesn’t sound particularly engaging, but a trial run out of intrigue will quickly turn into hundreds of hours sunk into it, we can assure you.

Vampire Survivors is available on Switch and Xbox, the latter also via Game Pass.

Best survival games: Player leaving their base on a purple planet in Astroneer

14. Astroneer

If the expansive and seemingly endless nature of No Man’s Sky seems daunting to you, then Astroneer may be more your style. Featuring a few planets that are impressive in scale, with beautifully bright visuals, Astroneer requires you to mine and craft resources while building custom bases to survive, both on the surface and underground.

As you progress, you’ll find yourself adding more machines to your base with lots of tethers keeping everything connected. It can seem overwhelming, but Astroneer makes it very easy for everything to fall into place.

Starting as an early access title on PC, Astroneer has had plenty of updates since it was first released, and even better, you can play with up to three friends in co-op as you try to understand the mysteries of this unique solar system, offering at least 20 hours of content, and more if you’re a survival fanatic looking to 100% it.

Best survival games: Player in knight armor holding a pickaxe and torch in Terarria key art

15. Terraria

Releasing back in 2011, Terraria is a 2D survival game that has survived numerous console generations, bringing fans back for more with frequent content updates with new bosses to fight, weapons to get, and more.

In Terraria, you create a custom character as you explore a dangerous procedurally generated world. Fortunately, you can also bring seven friends with you into this difficult adventure, and your character keeps their gear when they join other players’ worlds.

Completing the main game of Terraria can take up to a hundred hours to finish, while the random generation of the world or playing with friends keeps the replayability high. The best bit? Terraria is fairly cheap even when it’s not on sale.

While it’s easy to get wrapped up in a single genre – especially one as diverse as this – great gaming doesn’t start and end with survival titles. So be sure to check out our guide to the best PS5 games, the best Xbox games, and the best Nintendo Switch games of all time. You went searching for survival and you got a whole lot more.

If you want to increase your chances of surviving, then make sure you properly immerse yourself in the survival experience with the best PS5 accessories and best Xbox accessories. You’ll sometimes have to try and decipher whether it’s another player sneaking up on you or just a squirrel, and a good pair of headphones could very well save your buns.