After existing in relative obscurity for a number of years, the Battle Royale genre has exploded in popularity thanks to the likes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.
So what exactly is a Battle Royale? In essence, its a massive multiplayer mode where 100 people drop into a map with no equipment and must gather weapons, resources and survive by eliminating others. The last person standing will emerge victorious. It’s all about massive numbers of players competing for survival in matches where they have just one shot at victory.
Since the emergence of PUBG and Fortnite, the genre has only grown further with developers striking while the iron’s hot and coming up with some genuinely innovative ideas. E3 2018 saw the likes of EA and Activision add the mode to massive AAA franchises like Battlefield 5 and Call of Duty Black Ops 4, and we’re sure they won’t be the last.
Trusted Reviews has compiled the best battle royale has to offer with a list of best battle royale games newcomers will want to check out. Stay tuned for later in the year when we’re sure to have many more games to add to this list.
Related: E3 2018
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
This is where it all began. What was once a simple mod for Arma 2 has evolved into an international phenomenon on PC and Xbox One. Bluehole has done a tremendous job since launch by adding new maps, weapons, and refinements to how every little mechanic works.
For example, the act of vaulting was transformative to how players approached towns and terrain. Combine this with the frequent addition of new equipment and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds constantly keeps you on your toes. In terms of atmosphere, the tension elicited from hiding in a bunker for 20 minutes only for things to erupt into all-out-war in unparalleled.
Fortnite: Battle Royale
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Epic Games
Fortnite: Battle Royale is not only probably the best battle royale game, but the biggest game in the world right now. It’s reached such a level of pop culture significance that world-renowned celebrities and mainstream media are eating up what it has to offer. And why is this? Well, for starters, it’s absolutely free.
Unlike PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite boasts a more cartoony aesthetic with characters that feel pulled from a Pixar film. It also boasts an excellent crafting system where players can construct complicated pieces of shelter in mere seconds.
Epic Games has done a tremendous job of keeping things fresh with new events and content updates that subvert player expectations. The latest of which is an Avenger’s Infinity War crossover starring Thanos himself.
Related: Best PC Games
Platforms: PC (early access)
Developer: Boss Key Productions
After the underwhelming performance of LawBreakers, Boss Key Productions has decided to tackle another popular genre with Radical Heights. Boasting a bright, colourful 1980’s look, Radical Heights is all about pulling off gnarly BMX stunts and picking off enemies with equally stylistic means.
Set inside a fictional game show, you’ll need to collect money from across the environment and fallen enemies to cash in at machines spread across the map. You can save up funds for the eventual victory or splurge on resources right away. This lends an element of strategy its competitors don’t have, so we’re eager to see it grow in early access
Platforms: PC, PS4
Developer: Daybreak Games
This free-to-play battle royale has been doing the rounds since before PUBG and Fortnite surfaced, deeming itself the “original standalone battle royale” game. And, to its credit, H1Z1 has done a tremendous job during its period of early access development by listening to players and improving upon the full package.
It even boasts a mode where players must use vehicles to eliminate other teams by any means necessary. It’s a chaotic blast that works brilliantly with friends willing to coordinate and wreak havoc. H1Z1 is coming to PS4 if you’re not in possession of a beefy PC.
The Darwin Project
Related: Call of Duty Black Ops 4
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Developer: Scavengers Studio
The Darwin Project throws players into a frozen wilderness as they’re forced to survive as part of a dystopian research programme. Unlike other battle royales titles, it isn’t dependant on a circle to draw players closer to each other. Instead, you can track others by following footsteps in the snow and other subtle clues.
After launching to an underwhelming reception, The Darwin Project is now reaping the rewards of a free-to-play model and is definitely worth checking out.
Standout: Battle Royale VR
Developer: Raptor Lab
While it obviously comes with the visual compromise you’d expect from sprawling environments in virtual reality, Standout: Battle Royale VR is an admirable attempt on translating battle royale to the medium. The act of dropping in and gathering resources is intact, and doing so with motion controllers adds an extra depth of realism to proceedings.
Related: Best VR Games
Having to manually reload weapons and manage equipment in the heat of the moment can be genuinely thrilling, and can literally make you sweat if things get a bit too hectic. It’s still in very early access at the moment but shows so much promise if the small community remains engaged.
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Linux
Developer: Xaviant Games
Xaviant Games’ battle royale effort only features 16 players tearing each other limb from limb, but The Culling is equally as brutal and arguably benefits from the smaller scale. Set in a dense jungle, players must collect a range of murderous melee weapons to hack others to pieces.
The combat is clunky yet satisfying with swings making a recognisable impact on enemies. Upon completing certain tasks you’ll also be rewarded with a currency to spend on purchasing tools and buffing up your avatar. This extra layer of strategy is appreciated, undoubtedly using the lower player count to its advantage.
Ark: Survival of the Fittest
Developer: Wildcard Studios
Described as a MOSA (Massively Online Survival Arena) by Wildcard Studios, Survival of the Fittest takes the mechanics of Ark: Survival Evolved and gives them a battle royale makeover. This means you can bring the smackdown on other players while riding a pterodactyl. If that doesn’t sound badass, we don’t know what is.
It’s worth noting that this is one of the only battle royale efforts that can boast showdowns between colossal reptiles and giant apes, leading to closing moments that feel truly epic if a tiny bit messy. Starting off as a caveman also puts everyone on an equal playing field, so you’d best start punching trees to build some shelter!
Rust: Battle Royale
Related: Upcoming PS4 Games
Developer: Facepunch Studios
Rust has been hanging around the survival genre scene since 2013, and so it was only a matter of time until the popular PC exclusive took on battle royale. Well, that time has come and it’s proven to be an absolute blast.
This rendition of battle royale sees all players spawn on the edge of the map with nothing but a torch, bandages and a map to help them gather resources and survive. You must stay alive at any cost, and spawning with almost nothing to your name really emphasises the dog-eat-dog nature of battle royale so many players adore.
Platforms: PC (early access)
Hunt: Showdown is bloody terrifying. You and another player are one of many duos across a vast, boggy swamp filled with zombies and countless other alien monstrosities. Your objective is to eliminate a specific creature before other teams do so, although be careful they don’t opt to hunt you instead.
The map is gigantic, meaning several minutes can pass before you hear a peep out of both the prowling monster and other players. Tension is palpable as you creep through the swamp with rudimentary weapons to defend yourself. Picking between killing other players, monsters or opting to flee with what little spoils you have is a legitimately scary endeavour, and one I haven’t seen the genre replicate.
This is our roundup of Best Battle Royale Games, which is your favourite? Or do you have a great one that’s not on our list? Let us know on Facebook and @trustedreviews.