top-best-survival-games-on-xbox
Image Source: Hello Games

Top 10 Best Survival Games on Xbox

Get ready to die... a lot.

While survival games tend to share similar goals, like eating, fighting, and building, the genre can be just as varied as its brothers and sisters. Some offer merciless enemies or an emphases on combat, while others are more easygoing, but still provide a wealth of content. We wanted to highlight the best survival games the Xbox has to offer, in no particular order. And be sure to share your own!

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10. Valheim

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Image Source: Iron Gate Studio

What makes Valheim one of the best survival games on Xbox is its perfect blend of combat, gameplay mechanics, and surprisingly deep building system. It’s not enough to slap walls together and a roof—you have to be mindful of structural integrity. Even a fireplace needs a chimney, which you’ll need for cooking delicious meals.

With a full belly and a trusty weapon, you’ll head out into the wilds, and then the fun begins. Combat in Valheim has a very similar rhythm to Dark Souls, where you need to time your attacks and manage your stamina. If you get too gung-ho and die, you’ll have to do a corpse run to retrieve your stuff. It gets brutal sometimes, so if you’re looking for a challenge, Valheim will certainly deliver.

9. Vampire Survivors

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Image Source: Luca Galante

Unlike other survival games that have you hunting for resources, Vampire Survivors has you surviving waves and waves of enemies. I know that’s a very simplistic explanation, but the game isn’t trying to be anything more than that. And yet, it’s one of the most addicting bite-sized games you’ll put your hands on.

The fun comes from the wide variety of characters, weapons, upgrades you can combine to dispatch your would-be killers. When you do eventually bite the dust, you aren’t mad; instead, you want to keep pushing with a different build. Failure always feels like an opportunity to try something new!

8. Conan Exiles

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Image Source: Funcom

You don’t actually play as Conan (though that would’ve been awesome) in Conan Exiles, but instead you’re an outcast left to die. As luck would have it, Conan himself cuts you down. He’s not there to hold your hand though, and leaves you behind. After all, if you can’t fend for yourself, then you’re as good as dead, anyway.

It’s another challenging survival game that makes progression rewarding as you unlock more plans, from new weapons and armor to new structures. You can even enslave other NPCs to do your bidding, which is a fitting mechanic if you’re familiar with the movies. Funcom nailed the brutality and darkness seen in the movies, right down to the severed limbs.

7. Minecraft

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Image Source: Mojang

We can’t forget about Minecraft, now can we? Despite being over a decade old, Minecraft has aged like fine wine. Its blocky art style certainly helps keep the game feeling timeless, so if it’s been a hot minute since you last played, you definitely should now. It’s gone through a lot of changes, and there’s so much more to accomplish and build.

Thankfully, Minecraft has retained its easy to learn but hard to master characteristic. For that reason, the game isn’t just one of the best survival games on Xbox, but the best survival games to introduce to your kids. And if they just want to stretch their creativity out (and you could use some too), then Creative Mode is the way to go.

6. Grounded

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Image Source: Obsidian Entertainment

Grounded somehow manages to be both cute and terrifying at the same time. It’s like Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets The Ant Bully, only with a lot more bugs. In other words, you’ve been shrunken down to the size of a bug. Now you’re trapped in your backyard and have no choice but to survive.

It’s a unique spin on the survival genre, and especially fun with friends. Base building is particularly great given all the pieces you have available, like curved walls, palisades, half walls, and triangular sections. What you’ll also love is the perk system, which really lets you play around with different playstyles. It’s also handy for playing with friends as one person can focus on, say, ranged weaponry while another goes hand-to-hand.

5. Don’t Starve

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Image Source: Klei Entertainment

Don’t Starve says it all right on the tin: do not starve. But seriously, as cute as the art style is, the game gets pretty dark at times. This is not a happy world to be in, but what choice do you have? Supernatural creatures are knocking on your door, and they’d love nothing more than feasting on your corpse.

So, you survive, but there’s more to Don’t Starve than finding your next meal. You’ll have to manage your sanity, keep a fire going, build a suitable base, and know when to venture beyond your walls. I find spending the day scouting ahead to be quite helpful for creating future plans, plotting routes, and practicing kiting (where you keep enemies at a distance). If you don’t want to go it alone, you can also try out Don’t Starve Together, a standalone multiplayer version of the game!

4. Subnautica: Below Zero

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Image Source: Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Subnautica was already a top-notch survival game, but then its sequel, Below Zero, showed us there was more to see, to build, and more creatures to be mercilessly killed by. Yes, it’s one of those very unforgiving experiences, but one worth attempting. Subnautica: Below Zero masters the atmosphere and the beauty of an alien ocean.

Due to the game being pretty tough at times, it makes milestones that much more rewarding. You start off small, sticking to shallower depths and collecting what little resources you can. After you’ve upgraded your oxygen and crafted a survival knife, you can start inching your way deeper and deeper. Before you know it you’ve got multiple bases and an overstocked fridge!

3. Scorn

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Image Source: Ebb Software

I’m going to be honest right out of the gate about Scorn: it is weird, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Its horrific art style and themes are front and center, a kind of twisted combination of Zdzisław Beksiński and H.R. Giger. If flesh, blood, and bone make you squeamish, then Scorn isn’t for you.

Furthermore, it isn’t your typical survival game, either. You aren’t gathering resources to build bases and whatnot, but more so surviving this gnarly, biomechanical world you awaken to. There aren’t magical fairies or some disembodied voice to help you along. You have nothing but your wits to solve the many environmental puzzles in order to figure out what in the world is going on and what it all means.

2. No Man’s Sky

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Image Source: Hello Games

Let’s step away from the bizarre and gore and go with something lighthearted. Since we’re talking survival games, we couldn’t leave out No Man’s Sky. What it once was is a thing of the past, a distant memory. Given how much content there is now, it’s the perfect candidate to be your “forever game.” To be fair, No Man’s Sky is built to be just that; exploration is the game’s bread and butter.

There’s always a new star to jump to, another planet to explore, or another galactic center to reach. It feels good just to pick a direction and see what you find along the way. And with some places being more hazardous than others, you quickly fall into this really satisfying loop of reaching the next upgrade so you can visit even more planets. Or you could be like me and spend hours making bases!

1. Medieval Dynasty

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Image Source: Render Cube

Last but not least, there’s Medieval Dynasty. This one snuck up on me because it starts off slow—painfully slow, like a turtle walking through molasses, not to mention a bit of jank. I almost gave up until I realized I was going about surviving the wrong way. You see, Medieval Dynasty is more than a survival game; it’s also an RPG with a town management system.

Once you know that, you get into this mindset of building just the bare essentials so you can spend more time helping nearby settlements. In doing so, you’ll boost your reputation high enough to start recruiting NPCs with their own special skills, like hunting and farming. There are a lot of systems in play that can make you feel overwhelmed, but if you stick to it, the satisfaction of juggling the needs of your town and knowing when to expand is worth it.

And that’s the last of the top 10 best survival games on Xbox. While they all share some similarities, each one brings something different to the table, whether it’s art style or a unique mechanic. There are even a few kid-friendly options, too, like Minecraft and Grounded if you want to involve your kids. For more lists like this, why not check out the top 10 4X games?


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Author
Brady Klinger-Meyers
Brady is a Freelance Writer at Twinfinite. Though he's been at the site for only a year, Brady has been covering video games, and the industry itself, for the past three years. He focuses on new releases, Diablo 4, Roblox, and every RPG he can get his hands on. When Brady isn't focused on gaming, he's toiling away on another short story.