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5 Best Games Like Stranded Deep



Stranded Deep, like a lot of survival games you'd typically find on the shelves these days, centers its universe around a single objective: to see the break of dawn, either with a beating heart gasping for a few more minutes of freedom, or atop of a cascading waterfall with a stockpile of kindling and a hand-me-down dishcloth. Much like its lookalikes, the nonlinearity that Stranded Deep employs often means that there isn't ever really a story to be told—unless it's one that you and you alone are writing for yourself. And that's fine, so long as you don't mind giving yourself away to the grind and quill.

Of course, Stranded Deep isn't the only game that lets you run amok and build a world from the sandy roots up. In fact, there are plenty of alternatives that strike all the same boxes, meaning you won't ever need to look all that far to get your sandbox-survival fill. But if you're curious to know which of the many are the closest to being unofficial DLC for Stranded Deep, then read on.

5. The Forest

The Forest – PSX 2017: Multiplayer Trailer | PS4

A survival-horror game that immediately springs to mind when we think of Stranded Deep is The Forest, an unpredictable yet astoundingly addictive sandbox-focused tale that puts you in the center of a nightmarish island paradise in which cannibals and otherworldly beasts reign supreme. Similar to Stranded Deep, the primary objective is to learn how to survive without any lengthy tutorials or hand-holding to usher you towards the conclusion.

On paper, both Stranded Deep and The Forest are one of the same, as both rely on crafting, foraging, and developing skill trees to expand on the overall narrative. There isn't a whole lot of story to go on here, either, which means the world truly is your oyster as you learn the fundamentals of surviving the day-to-day in a brutal and unforgiving tropical paradise. Is it tough? Absolutely. Is it rewarding? A million percent, yes.

4. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die - Gameplay Trailer "Available Now"

7 Days to Die is a lot like Stranded Deep, in the fact that you're given 24 hours to learn the basics, before ultimately losing any form of assistance to a stubborn world that only wishes for your imminent failure. That's really all there is to it, and it's as frustratingly difficult as it is surprisingly memorable. And if it's zombies you want, then it's an absolute win-win.

In 7 Days to Die, you enter a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which the zombies have taken over, and all that remains are the vacant memoirs of a broken civilization and nation. To survive it, you must find a suitable place to hone your skills and build on your soon-to-be empire. Craft, construct, and compete against the undead for a stake in the future of the newfound world. Be yourself, and above all, be the survivor that stares the outbreak in the face and

3. Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles - Official 2019 Trailer

Conan Exiles plays out in a similar fashion to Stranded Deep: as a stowaway in an uncharted land, you're ultimately led to believe that all hope is lost, and that, moving forward, your only goal is to survive on the bare bones of a barren world. Unlike Stranded Deep, a game in which you start with enough essentials to get the snowball rolling, Conan instead exiles you with nothing but the clothes on your back.

Granted, Conan isn't the easiest game in the world. If you're not familiar with crafting, scavenging, and building, then a lot of Exiles' hallowed ground will come across as more threatening than friendly and bursting with opportunity. If you're able to get your head around the first few hours and build a settlement to work from, though, then you'll definitely have the tools to build something great—beautiful, even. But let it be said that this tough-as-nails survival sleeper hit certainly isn't for the fainthearted.

2. Subnautica

Subnautica Teaser Trailer

Subnautica, like Stranded Deep, begins with your plane crashing into the middle of the ocean. Rather than washing up ashore, though, you instead find yourself lost in the center of a watery grave, and one that has no evident signs of life above the shoreline whatsoever. And so, you're primary objective is to suit up, adapt to the harsh conditions on an unknown alien planet, and dive deep into the shadowy abyss below.

Similar to Conan Exiles' progression style, Subnautica starts you off with an empty inventory, an open world, and an endless log of craftable items, with which you will need to utilize in order to dive deeper into the unknown. It's beyond replayable, and a fantastic adventure that any survival-loving gamer will want to soak up if time isn't an issue.

1. The Long Dark

The Long Dark - Launch Teaser Trailer | PS4

The Long Dark is a ruthless, lonely, and effortlessly hearty survival-horror game that lets you feel the wrath of isolation as the world around you shuts down and forces you to adapt to the, well, long dark. In order to do so, you will need to face the icy winters with nothing but the clothes on your back and a one-track mind locked on surviving through the nights as they continue to grow darker, fiercer, and far more dangerous.

Like other games that put a harsh focus on surviving the four elements, The Long Dark invites you to fend off the seasons one by one, giving you only the bare essentials in order to craft, innovate, and protect what's yours before it falls to the Canadian wilderness. Question is, can you survive the The Long Dark long enough to see so much as a glimmer of light?


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games like Stranded Deep you'd recommend picking up? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.