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5 Best Survival Games on Xbox Series X|S

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In a world where video games are constantly evolving and seeking new genres to absorb, the kingdom of survival endures, always. And not just on any one particular platform, either, but across the whole network, no less. And in all honesty, we'd be lying if we said we hadn't seen a gradual increase in such games on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S these past few years.

As of May 2023, both the Xbox Series X|S and Game Pass share a surplus of fantastic survival games, many of which have gone on to span entire series and award-winning franchises. But as for right now, in the second quarter of the year, these are the IPs that are making the biggest impact on the market…

5. Stranded Deep

Stranded Deep lays the groundwork for a compelling sandbox-survival game right off the bat, giving you all the tropes to kickstart a perilous expedition with nothing more than the clothes on your back. Lost at sea and with only a vivid picture of a remote island beckoning in the distance, you will venture out and learn how to start from scratch and, in turn, leave the confines of your newfound tropical haven and voyage towards unknown lands and unchartered waters.

Like a lot of popular survival games, Stranded Deep begins with an enduring prologue—a three-hour passage that, once completed, offers you the core knowledge and skills to go out and carve a journey on your own two feet. But getting through the first few days, in a typical survival-based fashion, will require far more than chopping down a few palm trees. And with heat exhaustion, starvation, infection, and dehydration all being life-threatening issues from the moment you grace the shores, you'll find that only the fittest are built to survive the trials and tribulations bound to those opening chapters. Best of luck to you, though!

4. Valheim

Valheim, despite being an early access game, is arguably one of the most engrossing survival IPs on not only Xbox, but PlayStation and PC, also. And the reason for its global success, really, all boils down to the fact that it bears the mark of an open world game with limitless potential. It's premise, while staying true to Viking folklore, is set entirely around the Tenth World—a procedurally generated land that's open to explore, build on, and mold into your own home away from hell.

Valheim takes place in the immediate aftermath of your death, a period in which you're given the freedom to explore and prove yourself worthy of the halls of Valhalla. How you go about doing that will all boil down to how well you're able to adapt to a land ravaged by chaos and stripped of the bare necessities. Good thing you're a Viking, then.

3. Subnautica: Below Zero

Subnautica: Below Zero is an ideal alternative to Stranded Deep, and quite possibly one of the best deep sea exploration games ever created. Set in a mysterious nautical realm that stretches for countless miles, players take on the role of a diver—one whose oxygen levels are forever on the decline. It's your role, as said diver, to survive the depths of the ocean blue and learn to endure the day and night cycle.

As well as having to pluck the bones of the seabed for supplies, you'll also have to tackle the creatures that wade through the various biomes. If you can figure out how to become one with the ocean, however, then you'll find that Subnautica, as lonesome and as terrifying as it may be, can actually be rather beautiful. That is, providing you can bash a shark on the nose and live to tell the tale, of course.

2. Conan Exiles

If hunting plump wooly mammoths with a makeshift spear sounds like your idea of a good time, then you'll have plenty to look forward to in Conan Exiles. What's more, if you're something of a dab hand at scavenging supplies and fashioning weapons and armour out of it, then you're sure to find your footing in the Hyborian Age—a prehistoric time period coated in harsh weather conditions and fowl beasts.

Conan Exiles hurls you into the Exiled Lands, a desert landscape that's home to countless vicious entities and calamities. As a target marked for death and left to rot, you are tasked with traversing across the dusty dunes and learning how to rebuild from the ground up. With nightfall on the prowl and only a loincloth to keep you in tow, however, chances are you'll be dead by dawn. Beat the odds, of course, and you'll find a door that leads to copious amounts of hours of content.

1. Rust

If you've just about exhausted all of your options and are on the hunt for something slightly more competitive, then there's no doubt about it — Rust is one of the best options on Xbox Series X|S. It is worth noting, of course, that unlike a lot of single-player survival games that offer a helping hand while you come to grips with the mechanics, Rust instead chooses to plunge its players directly into the deep end without so much as a paddle for support. Make it through the first night, however, and you'll find yourself among the top percentage of players and in with a chance of peeling back the game's various layers.

Rust opens up in a traditional way — with an isolated soul stripped of their rank and inventory, and essentially left to rot in a world swarming with other high-level players. It's your role, beginning as one of these survivors, to seek immediate refuge in the arms of another companion, and in turn learn the ropes for the sake of staying alive, one day at a time. Easier said than done, mind you, what with the Rust servers hosting some of the most morally corrupt users in the world.


So, what's your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five survival favorites at any point this month? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

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.