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25 Survival Games To Play If You Like Rust

25 Survival Games To Play If You Like Rust Image
  • Posted on 01st Apr, 2022 06:40 AM

Years before the survival genre was so prominent, Rust became a staple. These are the games to check out if you miss the fight or flight feeling.

p>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.

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Updated March 26, 2022 by Ritwik Mitra: Rust is one of the most popular survival games of all time. It integrates the mechanics found in this genre to great effect, refining them to a T in an amazing universe that makes for a memorable gameplay loop indeed. Most people would assume that this game is a pretty unique experience, but that's far from the truth. After all, the survival genre is full to the brim with new and innovative titles that are worth checking out, with the best ones similar to Rust being mentioned below.

25 This War Of Mine

This War of Mine is one of the most thought-provoking survival games out there. It depicts the lives of refugees during a war and is downright harrowing to play at times due to how emotional the entire experience is.

The stories that form in this game are pretty memorable in their own right... although they can be a hard pill to swallow at times too. Thankfully, players shouldn't take too long to grasp the mechanics of this game so that they can keep casualties to a minimum.

  • Release Date: November 14, 2014
  • Steam Rating: 94% positive
  • Developer: 11 Bit Studios
  • Platform(s): Mobile, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

24 Terraria

Most people consider Terraria to be nothing more than a 2D version of Minecraft, which is a huge discredit to the game. After all, there are several things Terraria executes that make it such a unique game in its own right.

Terraria is an amazing game with deep survival mechanics and engaging gameplay. It's a brilliant title that deserves all the praise in the world, and is a fitting recommendation for fans of survival games like Rust.

  • Release Date: May 16, 2011
  • Steam Rating: 97% positive
  • Developer: Re-Logic
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, Mobile, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia

23 RimWorld

The survival aspects of RimWorld are just a small part of the overall experience. It's one of the most complex and engaging simulation titles around, with fans of the genre absolutely loving what's on offer here.

At a glance, RimWorld seems like an exceedingly complicated game. However, a few playthroughs are all that players need to get a grip on the mechanics and enjoy one of the greatest games ever made.

  • Release Date: October 17, 2018
  • Steam Rating: 97% positive
  • Developer: Ludeon Studios
  • Platform(s): PC

22 Sunless Sea

Sunless Sea is a Lovecraftian survival-action game that is simply brilliant. Words can't describe just how amazing this game really is.

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The sheer number of engaging narratives and an amazing aesthetic are two of the best parts of this game. Its survival mechanics might not be the most fleshed-out of all the games on this list, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  • Release Date: December 3, 2014
  • Steam Rating: 80% positive
  • Developer: Failbetter Games
  • Platform(s): PC, Mobile, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One

21 Project Zomboid

For a game with such a troubled development history, it's great to see Project Zomboid reach the heights that it deserves. It's an amazing title that deserves a ton of praise for having a unique take on zombies and survival gameplay.

Project Zomboid's visuals are far from what makes it the best experience on this list. Rather, it's the amazing gameplay that carries this entire experience.

  • Release Date: Early Access
  • Steam Rating: 941% positive
  • Developer: The Indie Stone
  • Platform(s): PC

20 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. While the game shares more than a few similarities with Minecraft, it 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.

  • Release Date: December 3, 2014
  • Steam Rating: 81% positive
  • Developer: JIW-Games
  • Platform(s): PC

19 Astroneer

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.

  • Release Date: December 16, 2016
  • Steam Rating: 90% positive
  • Developer: System Era Softworks
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, PS, and Android

18 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.

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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.

  • Release Date: January 23, 2015
  • Steam Rating: 76% positive
  • Developer: Beam Team Games
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, and PS

17 Pathologic 2

While it would be fair to say that the Pathologic games are completely different from 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 to look no further as it's staring you right in the face. Just make sure to wear a 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.

  • Release Date: May 23, 2019
  • Steam Rating: 92% positive
  • Developer: Ice-Pick Lodge
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, and PS

16 Miscreated

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.

  • Release Date: Dec 18, 2018
  • Steam Rating: 63% positive
  • Developer: Entrada Interactive LLC
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows)

15 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.

  • Release Date: June 2, 2015
  • Steam Rating: 80% positive
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard, Efecto Studios, Virtual Basement LLC, and Instinct Games
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, PS, and Switch

14 Minecraft

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.

RELATED: Minecraft: 10 Best Biomes For Survival

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.

  • Release Date: November 18, 2011
  • Metacritic Rating: 93% positive
  • Developer: Microsoft Studios
  • Platform(s): Essentially all conceivable platforms

13 Subnautica

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.

  • Release Date: December 16, 2014
  • Steam Rating: 96% positive
  • Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, PS, and Switch

12 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."

  • Release Date: August 29, 2018
  • Steam Rating: 87% positive
  • Developer: Creepy Jar
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows) and Switch

11 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.

  • Release Date: August 9, 2016
  • Steam Rating (recent): 88% positive
  • Developer: Hello Games
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows), Xbox, PS, Switch, and Android

10 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.

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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.

  • Release Date: December 13, 2013
  • Steam Rating: 86% positive
  • Developer: The Fun Pimps
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, and PS

9 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.

  • Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • Steam Rating: 96% positive
  • Developer: Klei Entertainment
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, PS, and Switch

8 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.

  • Release Date: Aug 1, 2017
  • Steam Rating: 91% positive
  • Developer: Hinterland Studio, Inc.
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox, PS, and Switch

7 Raft

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!

  • Release Date: May 23, 2018
  • Steam Rating: 92% positive
  • Developer: Axolot Games
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows and Linux) and Android

6 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.

  • Release Date: May 30, 2014
  • Steam Rating: 92% positive
  • Developer: Endnight Games
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows) and PS
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