Battle royale games have become one of the biggest and most popular genres in gaming. With most of them free to play, they offer an easy route for anyone to jump in, then monetize their success by having skins or extra goodies players can get for their avatars.
Plenty of developers have jumped on the battle royale bandwagon, but which of these many battle royale games comes out on top? If they were put in a big arena, who would be the last man standing? We’re ranking the best battle royale games of all time and stacking them against each other.
10 THE CULLING
Battle royale games are seemingly inspired by The Hunger Games. People go into an arena and are forced to survive. One person comes out. Of the battle royale games, The Culling seems to take the most inspiration from the popular book series.
Only sixteen players are dropped into each match for this game, and as they complete certain tasks, currency is awarded that can be used to get equipment or specific upgrades. Unfortunately, the game didn’t have the polish or originality that other battle royale games that came before it did, which led people to play this one less. It eventually went free-to-play and remains that way.
H1Z1 is one of the newer battle royale games on the list, and it hasn’t made a huge impact. It’s clear that it is largely based on the popularity of PUBG, having a similar art style and structure. What rubbed many people the wrong way was that the original version of the game was a zombie-shooting exploration game.
However, the developers shut it down to turn it into a battle royale. The game has been criticized for losing what made it unique in favor of trying to cash in on the trends of the gaming industry. That said, there are some things that it does well.
8 DYING LIGHT: BAD BLOOD
Dying Light: Bad Blood takes the mechanics and formula from Dying Light and applies them to a battle royale game. The spin on this one is that there are only 12 players. However, the environment is another obstacle that they’ll have to overcome to get on top.
Zombies populate the world, meaning that players will have to take them on. On top of that, the movement is much faster than some of the more popular battle royale games, including a parkour system and much more visually dynamic colors. However, it hasn’t quite managed to break the bigger games in the genre.
7 SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
ARK: Survival Evolved isn’t the greatest game, but this buggy action game has managed to find its audience. Developer Studio Wildcard would later introduce a battle royale mode in the form of Survival of the Fittest. While it’s more ARK, bugs and all, the game does have a competitive edge over the competition.
As the player count dwindles, the battles get much more intense, with players using massive dinosaurs and dragons to wage epic battles until the last man is standing. It’s downright exciting to watch. If you manage to play with the right people, it can be one of the more memorable battle royale games.
6 RING OF ELYSIUM
Ring of Elysium is still in early access, but it has potential to grab a big portion of gamers. It’s still a battle royale game, but it offers some new ideas into the mix.
The island players fight on is riddled with natural disasters. They’ll have to adjust to those as well as watching their backs. The goal in this game is not to be the last man standing. Instead, it’s to get off the island by making it to an evac helicopter. However, the chopper can only save four people. It then becomes a race to make it off the island.
5 REALM ROYALE
While Hi-Rez is mostly known for SMITE, they have a few other games in the mix as well. Paladins is their attempt to get in to class-based shooters, and Realm Royale is their attempt at getting into battle royale games.
Realm Royale is fun, as it plays around with different abilities, but it has received criticism for being too derivative of Fortnite. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had with this game, but be careful. It’s possible to glitch the game, making it so you’re just a sitting target until someone takes you out or the storm gets you.
PUBG was the first big battle royale game. When released in early access, it took the internet by storm with many Youtubers and streamers giving it a shot. PUBG has since gotten excellent support and was even picked up by Microsoft to be a timed exclusive for the Xbox One (when not including PC).
PUBG had its fair share of flaws over the years, namely with graphical issues, but it has since ironed them out. PUBG did lose a lot of its players to other battle royale games, but it is quickly rising upward to claim its old spot on the gaming throne again.
3 CALL OF DUTY: BLACKOUT
Call of Duty: Blackout was Activision’s way of getting into the battle royale scene. When the game first released, the game actually had a lot of good ideas with solid gameplay. Adding in zombies was a great option, especially when it was a feature people had been asking for in Fortnite for quite some time.
However, the game has since been monetized poorly by Activision months after the game released. Microtransactions are plenty now, and crazy things like red dot sights can only be obtained by meeting a price tag. Had it not been for those additions, Blackout might’ve been the best battle royale game.
2 APEX LEGENDS
Apex Legends was the new battle royale game from developer Respawn that came out of nowhere. However, this approach seemed to work for the better. With class-based mechanics based on games like Overwatch, Apex Legends is quickly finding its audience.
A more squad-focused battle royale game, Apex keeps teammates in the game by giving players a chance to revive them. This means that players won’t have to sit around for the rest of the match until everyone in their team gets knocked out. Movement is also more fluid and intense in this game, with plenty of maneuvers traverse the world and dodge opponents. It still has a bit to go before it gains a serious identity, though.
Right now, Epic Games still knows what they’re doing. When it turned Fortnite into a battle royale game, it turned out to be for the better. With constant support, a Battle Pass to monetize the game in a fair way, and more modes than just taking on 99 other players by yourself, there’s a lot of reason to try this game out.
Perhaps most impressive about Fortnite is its cross-platform and cross-progression support. You can play with anyone who has the game regardless of what system you’re playing on. Oversaturation might cause it to become stale for many, but there’s no denying that it’s fun at least for a good time period.