To celebrate the final few weeks of 2023, we thought we’d take a step back and take a well-needed gander at some of the best survival games on PlayStation Plus to date. And not just the long-standing IPs that have called the subscription platform home for several months, but the ones that have only very recently set up shop on the catalog, too. Needless to say, as far as fan favorite genres travel, the survival and survival-horror category is arguably one of the most prominent of the bunch — which means, when it comes to sanding down the woodwork and choosing just five of the best ones, our work is certainly cut out for us.
If you are on the hunt for a new survival game, and have a bit of time to spare, then be sure to read on. Here are the five best survival and survival-horror games on PlayStation Plus this month.
5. The Long Dark
The Long Dark does an absolutely sensational job of hurling you into the thick of the wilderness with little more than the clothes on your back. Much like a great deal of nonlinear sandbox survival games, your responsibility is to brave the wilds and learn how to adapt to the elements and maintain basic needs, such as hunger and warmth. There's plenty of crafting, customization, and more than enough exploration to keep you trucking forward for days, weeks, and even months on end.
In a similar vein as Stranded Deep, The Long Dark begins with a geometric storm causing your plane to crash into a remote location. However, rather than being in the vicinity of a tropical island, The Long Dark transports you to the Canadian wilderness—a world in which resources are scarce, foes are tough, and nights, as the title suggests, are mundanely long. Alone, and with only the bare necessities to call your own, you must venture out and defy the odds — even if it means facing your deepest, darkest fears.
4. Fallout 4
If you're been longing to take another plunge into the radioactive pool of bullets and post-apocalyptic poison that is Fallout, then perhaps now's the time to return to Fallout 4, Bethesda's critically acclaimed survival RPG. Although it isn't your traditional survival-crafting game by trade, it certainly features a good amount of such features, including building, scavenging, and the need to keep on top of certain things, such as hunger and hygiene.
Fallout 4, like its previous entries, revolves around a post-apocalyptic catastrophe—a world-changing event that, in the aftermath of its arrival, caused its remaining targets to flee from the underground vaults and start anew. As one of the vault-hugging citizens, you will set out to reclaim small portions of the world, piece by piece, all while working to reconnect with former residents, and put key landmarks back on the map. Sure, there's a lot more depth to it than that, but we'll refrain from posting any spoilers here.
3. The Dark Pictures' House of Ashes
Supermassive Games' The Dark Pictures Anthology has a long-standing history of coughing up some of the most influential choice-based survival-horror games on the planet. As it turns out, House of Ashes isn't any different, as it more or less features all the same hallmark qualities that made the likes of Until Dawn and The Quarry the acclaimed hits that they were way back when.
House of Ashes transports you to the sub-zero levels of an ancient world—a forgotten temple-like realm in which creatures roam freely, and things often go bump in the night. As a close-knit militia, you must work your way through the regions of the sunken world, and do all in your power to survive the curveballs as they come. There's combat, camaraderie, and a whole boatload of quick-time events to chew through. So, if you're feeling that post-Until Dawn blues, and are looking to scratch that particular itch, then be sure to submerge into the third tale in the episodic timeline the next time you're scraping the barrel.
2. Frostpunk: Console Edition
I'm not going to beat around the bush and say that Frostpunk is an easy game, because it isn't. Needless to say that, when you're placed in charge of an entire colony out in the frozen wilderness, you're going to stumble upon your fair share of molehills. And that, unfortunately, is exactly what Frostpunk is: a steady flow of unsurpassable molehills, bolted to an excruciatingly difficult series of events and unsolvable issues. But don't let that put you off; Frostpunk actually had some pretty nifty rewards for those who, you know, stick with it.
In short, Frostpunk is a city-building game in which you assume control over the governor of a frozen canyon. With only a few days on the clock and a life-threatening winter storm on the horizon, you must gather your people, and learn how to withstand the elements, even if it means burning your only assets to remain warm. It's unforgiving, sure, but arguably one of the most rewarding survival games you'll play this year.
If you're on the hunt for a survival game that'll satisfy your hunger for crafting, then you needn't dig any deeper than DYSMANTLE, a survival-crafting game in which you must battle hordes of zombies, build bases, and explore vast areas swarming with opportunities to flex your creative muscles. Think State of Decay, but from a top-down perspective, and you’ll have a vague idea of what it aims to accomplish.
Of all the things that DYSMATLE has in its casket, it’s the enormous amount of craftable items that make it the standout survival game that it is. So again, if you’re in need of a full-fat building sim that also happens to incorporate a post-apocalyptic setting, then be sure to give this one a shot.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five survival games on PlayStation Plus this month? Let us know your thoughts on our socials here.