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5 Best Base-Building Games of All Time, Ranked

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Base-building games

There's a good reason why survival games and base-building frequently go hand in hand. Finding a place you can call home again is the ultimate goal when you're starting from scratch. What begins as a small desire to survive develops into an aspiration for a place you can call your own—a base, fortress, or even a community. It is, however, taxing, tedious, and excruciatingly difficult work. Even the most gifted architects will be challenged to create the ideal safe haven by going beyond their wildest dreams. And if you're on board with that, you can best experience it with our picks, for the top five base-building games of all time.

5. Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica: Below Zero Trailer

Crash-landing on an alien planet, that's almost entirely water at sub-zero temperatures, is nothing close to an ideal situation. However, that's how you start out in Subnautica: Below Zero; the excellent follow-up to Subnautica. The game's emphasis on underwater exploration and base-building is what initially caught people's attention. But Subnautica: Below Zero submerges you in a larger, deeper ocean with more monstrous sea creatures than the original. As scary as that may sound, it also makes the game's atmosphere a mesmerizing spectacle of wildlife and vegetation.

This can make finding the “perfect” spot for your base, a difficult choice to settle on. But the ability to build some pretty exotic underwater metropolises within the game's environment is what makes Subnautica: Below Zero one of the best base-building games. And the second game really improved on this by allowing you to customize and personalize your underwater hub so that it feels more like home. So venture outside of your comfort zone and test your base-building skills in Subnautica: Below Zero's depths.

4. Grounded

Grounded Official 1.0 Full Release Trailer

Inspired by movies like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” Grounded takes survivalism and base-building to a microscopic level of someone's backyard. The concept of the game is how we'd fare if we had to live with insects the size of insects. And from our review, we can confirm that everything is a threat and out to eat you. Due to that, and the fact that nighttime insects are undoubtedly the most terrifying, it is imperative that you get to base-building.

The base-building, however, is where Grounded really shines. That is, because of your tiny stature, you can build your base wherever and however you choose. Build it on the side of a tree, under a picnic table, or even on top of lily pads on a koi pond. You can quite literally build a towering fortress in between steps off a back porch. The possibilities are quite endless, and it's perfect for someone who wants to get creative with their architecture. So if you really want to stretch your base-building imagination, Grounded is one of the best games for it.

3. Ark: Survival Evolved

ARK: Survival Evolved Announcement Trailer

In contrast to Grounded's miniature base building, Ark: Survival Evolved pushes base-building to towering heights. But that's mainly due to the fact that you'll need some pretty big walls to stop primeval creatures like T-Rexs' from getting in. You guessed it, Ark: Survival Evolved is all about surviving in the prehistoric age. And the bigger the threat, the bigger and more extensive you'll need to get with your base. Thankfully, base-building is Ark's bread and butter, and why it's one of the best games to do it.

You can literally construct a fortress or even a castle-like kingdom in Ark. That is, however, much easier said than done because base-building in Ark is, to put it mildly, a grind. Everything from gathering resources to preventing other players from stealing yours can be a constantly diminishing experience. That's why taming some primeval creatures of your own makes for great base defenders. But before you think about that and designing the ideal prehistoric palace, just concentrate on making it through the first night.

2. Rim World

RimWorld Launch Trailer

RimWorld is widely renowned as one of the best base-building games that also doubles as a story generator. Beginning with a crash landing on an unidentified planet with only three survivors, You then need to establish a base and develop it into a highly advanced colony. But in this game, fortifying your walls is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to look after your people's relationships, health, and, of course, the challenges the AI storyteller will throw your way.

The AI story generator in the game will hit you with random events as you make progress on your colony. Such as pirate raids, mad animals, extreme weather conditions, and even ancient killing machines. All of which you must combat in order to prosper your colony. For players who want to take base-building to a strategic level, RimWorld's base-building is among the best. So, battle the elements, build your dream base, and write your own story in Rimworld.

1. Minecraft

Official Minecraft Trailer

We've taken base-building to the ocean's depths, miniature sizes, prehistoric landscapes, and even a sci-fi world. However, there's nothing that beats Minecraft's simplistic block-style base-building on our very own Earth. Granted, most of you could of expected we have Minecraft as the best base-building game of all time. But it is by far the game that deserves it the most. When it comes to base-building, we want to let our imaginations run wild, and Minecraft gives you the most freedom to do so.

In reality, nothing in Minecraft can't be built. By this point, the majority of real-world locations, structures, cities, and even landscapes have been replicated in the game. We can even confidently say that for our favorite fictitious movies, books, and other games as well. Just take a look at the best Minecraft builds of this year for example. Therefore, Minecraft is one of the only video games that offer base-building without any restrictions. All you need is a vision and you can conceptualize your dreams.

So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other best, base-building games, that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Riley Fonger is a freelance writer, music lover, and gamer since adolescence. He loves anything video game-related and grew up with a passion for story games such as Bioshock and The Last of Us.