Best Wilderness Video Games

Paul Gonzalez
• Thursday, 19 November, 2020
• 10 min read

First up on the list is The Forest, a game that pits you not only against the elements, but also a tribe of mutant cannibals that are intent on getting you out of their territory–one way or another. After your plane crashes on a remote peninsula, you’re forced to immediately get to work crafting shelter, finding food, and getting a fire going.

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If that weren’t enough, your son is abducted by the cannibals, and so begins the journey of getting him back. With fantastic graphics and a compelling story, The Forest is equal parts survival game and slow-burn horror.

Having to survive hunger and thirst as well as the raging cannibals makes for a very good game. Unlike The Forest, The Long Dark is more straightforward survival.

Rather than a tribe of cannibals, your greatest enemies are the biting cold, starvation, and ravenous wolves. A global event has essentially destroyed all electronics, and the game wastes no time.

The first on our list to feature zombies, State of Decay 2 is a game that wastes no time. There is a faint storyline, but the focus is put squarely on surviving an onslaught of walking dead.

One neat feature of the game is that you play as one of four characters, each with their own abilities and stats. There are some bugs to worry about, but overall, the State of Decay 2 is worth your time.

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He is soon reluctantly tasked with transporting a girl who appears to be immune to the zombie virus across the country, where her unique ability might be the key to saving humanity. You need to avoid or sneak up on the zombies because if you go in guns blazing, you’ll get mobbed and eaten pretty quickly.

It doesn’t help that ammo is hard to come by, so stealth and strategy are critical. The gameplay is fantastic, the graphics are great, but it’s the story that really hits home.

Still a PlayStation exclusive, The Last of Us 2 takes place years after the events of the first game. In Days Gone, you play as a grizzled ex-biker in a post-apocalyptic world, filled with–you guessed it–zombies.

The zombies in this game can be truly overwhelming: they’re fast, and they move in huge numbers. The game is fully open-world, so missions and progression are left up to the player.

Of course, as with any post-apocalypse narrative, the real antagonists of Days Gone aren’t the zombies. In fact, one of the hardest things in the game is leaving your base and coming back only to find it ransacked.

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Of course, beyond the survival elements and the world-exploration, Minecraft is essentially a sandbox to build whatever you want. Imagine this: you’re flying in an airplane over the ocean when your plane goes down (a very familiar premise by now).

You end up stranded on a raft, which you can paddle to a nearby island. From there, your job is to find resources, craft items, fish for food, and explore your surroundings.

There isn’t a lot else to it, but if tropical scenery is more your style, Stranded Deep may be worth a look. As with a couple of others on this list, the game is in early access, so there may still be some lingering bugs.

You craft items and build your shelter, and even play with other people online. Again, you could easily find your entire base destroyed by a rival group.

You get all the survival elements from other games, but the added benefit of being able to tame and ride velociraptors. There is a lot of grinding in this game, which can be boring, and there are some bugs to deal with.

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The premise is simple: you’re stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean, and you have to survive. Resources are simply the debris that might float by, which you can obtain by throwing a hook out and pulling them in.

At first glance, Don’t Starve seems like a cartoonish kids’ game (maybe not more so than Minecraft, but still). As with many survival games on this list, you spawn in a world that basically wants you dead.

Unlike the others, Don’t Starve has a more whimsical feel to it–both in art style and in the monsters that are always ready to eat you. The real reason these games get mentioned is because they take place in the wilderness.

Set in 1998 and featuring some of the most gorgeous scenery in a video game, Fire watch tells the story of Henry, a man who takes a summer job watching for fires in Wyoming. It’s pretty linear and there’s no big challenge to it, but the story and the scenery are what make the game great.

Named Tanker, whose tribe is threatened by several others who want to rule the land. Since it’s set in the Stone Age, you’re always surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes and lush green forests.

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It’s a very fun game to play, and as it progresses, you become friends with saber-toothed tigers and mammoths. But I loved playing it because I felt like I was in Glacier National Park the whole time.

They allow players to track wildlife through a number of real-world locations, honing their skills and upgrading equipment, all while never leaving the comfort of their own homes. Continue scrolling to keep readingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.

Fans of the long-running Deer Hunter series should find it true to those roots, as players hunt a variety of species and upgrade weapons and equipment. The game is also free (it has in-app purchases, though), which means newcomers to the hunting genre won't have to invest anything other than their time in trying it out for themselves.

TheHunter: Call of the Wild promises players one of the most immersive video game hunting experiences ever. A new 2021 Edition recently released, which means graphics and load times are even more impressive.

The 2021 Edition includes new locations around the globe and adds even more species to the game's growing roster. TheHunter: Call of the Wild also has two lodges, where hunters can show off their trophies and admire them.

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Although Hunting Simulator 2 received mixed reviews when it released in 2020, it boasts 160 weapons and 33 species, all spread across locations in Texas, Colorado, and Europe. While Deer Hunter 2018 allows players to hunt on the go via mobile devices, the Hunter: Call of the Wild and the Hunting Simulator games promise immersive experiences and breathtaking locations on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

Luckily, you’re a survivor who now has to fend for themselves while staving off a ridiculous amount of ravenous zombies. Manage food, water, injuries, and illnesses in an effort to keep yourself alive.

This massive sandbox adventure throws you onto a random planet that you can terraform and shape to your liking. The only thing is, you’ve basically got to do everything yourself, all the while generating oxygen, creating structures, mining resources, and figuring out where you’re going to live.

Armed with absolutely nothing (not even the clothes on your back), you’re tasked with exploring 53 km2 of the Exiled Lands to figure out a way to redeem yourself and stay alive while doing so. This creepy survival horror adventure takes place in an odd forest in Poland, where players find themselves having been trapped for some time.

The open world allows them to search the area, scavenge for supplies, and cook to get through the daytime. Day pits you against a massive zombie outbreak in the middle of the fictional former Soviet Republic of Cerberus.

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(Source: www.bf-games.net)

There are plenty of places you can hide away in for basic shelter and to scavenge supplies from, but you’ll have to really work at keeping yourself alive. You can even catch diseases like dysentery and hepatitis if you eat rotten food or drink dirty water.

As such, you’re fighting against Don’t Starve as much as its austere environments, supernatural enemies, and the surreal situations you’ll find yourself in. Build up your own city during a terrible volcanic winter, after global cooling has set in.

You’ll have to figure out how to manage and assign resources around your “generator,” which helps keep your city afloat. Build up and out, and figure out any way possible that you can live some sort of normal life while being forced to deal with the biting chill of the cold.

Take to the Amazonian rainforest and see how long you last while you’re searching for your missing wife. Learn how to trap animals, build camps, treat and dress injuries, and even slowly slip into sanity as you create a living space in the unforgiving tropical climate.

Whether you’re finding carbs to consume or avoiding drinking water with parasites, there’s always a new challenge around the corner. Live the life of a master builder and gather resources during the day, but when nighttime falls, make sure you’re in a safe area to get through until daylight returns.

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Eat to stay full, and make sure you’ve got a weapon on you at all times to avoid any unfortunate situations. In Neo Scavenger, you have to live long enough to find your memories come back.

To do this, you must figure out where to go to scavenge for supplies, get food and drink, and keep yourself warm as the game’s turns fly by. This open-world RPG throws you into the vast world of Aura, where you can explore alone or with friends.

Make a modest home for yourself to protect you from hazardous environments, infectious diseases, and general malaise. And Project Zombie ensures there are plenty of them in-game for you to grapple with as you explore a fictional West Point and Murtaugh, two real-life areas in Kentucky.

This sci-fi colony sim is managed by an AI storyteller that helps push things along. Build new shelters, develop relationships with your crewmates and create families with them, fight off pesky pirates and animals, and even capture refugees and make them work for you as your slaves.

Scum is a survival game with an incredibly deep character customization system. You’re a prisoner set on SCUM island as part of a new season of violent, bloody television.

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You’ll fight against other prisoners to the death in a bizarre Battle Royale like that of The Hunger Games as you work to earn more support from viewers. In Star bound, you leave your home world and then find yourself smack dab in the middle of a procedurally-generated universe with a damaged ship.

You and a ragtag bunch of survivors following the zombie apocalypse have to scrape together anything you possibly can to withstand the terrifying hordes. Choose which survivors you want to bring along with you as you recruit for your zombie-slaying team and settle in for the apocalypse.

As you can likely imagine, most of your time will be spent figuring out how to fix your ship, what to eat, and where there’s a viable water source beyond all the salt. But the trade off is the fact that there’s a ton of cool alien sea life to check out.

You might be eaten by swarms of bats or giant crabs, or you might become a cannibal and snack on your crew instead. You’ve got a practically limitless world to explore and make your own, but you also have to take care of yourself while doing it all.

Chop down trees, build fires, and create your own camp in an effort to protect yourself. Explore in the daytime and defend your belongings at night, and then when you think you’re strong enough, fight off the cannibals.

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The Long Dark is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill survival games, but that makes it stand out, too. Fly solo as you explore the frozen wilderness after a disaster befalls the entire world.

This War of Mine places you in the shoes of civilians doing their best to survive in the remains of a war-torn city. Food is scarce, there’s hardly any medicine, and you’re constantly working to keep your family and compatriots out of danger.

You’ll face off against snipers, soldiers, and even other survivors, all the while crafting important materials, managing a shelter, and keeping your hideout in tip-top shape.

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