By Cody Perez
May 26, 2019
The battle royale genre is still relatively new to the video game scene compared to other more established genres. However, that hasn’t stopped battle royale games from becoming the hottest thing right now in the game industry.
Streamers are playing the games, gamers are playing battle royale games, and even “casual” gamers are playing them on their mobile devices. It’s not just a phenomenon in the west, either, as it has caught fire across the world.
Needless to say, there are plenty of battle royale games out there for you to check out and play. In fact, there are more on the way as we speak. Just about every major shooter that comes out these days has to address the crazy-popular genre in some way.
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which game to play, but that’s where I come in. I’ve played a bit of each major battle royale game that has come out in recent years because of my love for the genre.
While my list for the top 10 battle royale games isn’t definitive by any means, it is what I think are the best ones around. You may disagree with my placements of these games, but no matter where they are, all 10 of these battle royale games are worth taking a look at.
I placed these games based on their gameplay (of course), innovation within the genre, popularity, and impact on the video game industry as a whole. As always, the “fun” factor is an important feature of all of these games. Without further ado, it’s time to take a look at what I think are the top 10 battle royale games.
Kicking off my list of the top 10 battle royale games is an odd choice because you can’t really play it right now. At least not easily, anyway. Spellbreak is a unique battle royale game that is currently in closed alpha with a full release expected in the future.
Since it isn’t available to everyone just yet, I decided to put it at the top of the list. However, it is a game that you absolutely should not ignore. Spellbreak takes the tried and true battle royale formula and turns it into a magical spell-based game instead of a shooter.
Gone are the guns and bullets of other games on this list, and in their place are fireballs and ice spells. The spells that you utilize in the game can make it similar to a first-person shooter in a way, but I do think that it is unique enough to stand out.
There are spell combinations, different classes, RPG elements, and so much more to find in this battle royale game. You can stun your enemies and make yourself leap to higher points, and it all works seamlessly in the gorgeous cel-shaded game. Don’t let this game slip off your radar.
Ah, Firestorm. It took so long for Battlefield V’s battle royale mode to finally launch, but it’s still worth checking out regardless. Featuring 64 players on the largest map in the franchise’s history, there is a lot of variety to experience within the mode.
Battlefield V’s take on the mode doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does inject that signature Battlefield feel into it. It does seem weird that there aren’t 100 players like with other games, especially given its large map, but there are tons of vehicles and places to explore instead.
All the while, a ring of fire (as the name implies) brings everyone closer together until there is one squad remaining. You can fight in the air, on land in vehicles, and on foot, offering a very broad sense of gameplay.
The one main problem with Firestorm is that it’s currently locked behind owning the main game. This is a problem since most other games on this list are standalone and even free to play to boot. This makes it slightly inaccessible to some players and also the number of players places it at number nine.
Z1BR is a weird game, and I’m not talking about the actual gameplay. It’s been known by several different names, most notably H1Z1. It is back as Z1BR (at least until the next name change), and it still offers the pure battle royale gameplay that players know and expect.
What’s interesting about this iteration of the game is that it harkens back to its King of the Kill glory days, offering nostalgia for players who have missed the peak time for the title. It’s a pretty standard battle royale game, offering the gameplay you would expect.
Perhaps the biggest issue with Z1BR and the reason why it’s this high on the list is that it doesn’t really do anything super unique or different. Its gameplay is fine and good, but what does make it a little interesting is the ability to play in squads of five rather than four like most games.
What makes Fear the Wolves stand out is that players are not just dropped onto a large map and forced to kill one another; you must survive against the wastelands as well. This game places players in a radioactive Chernobyl map where other players aren’t the only problem.
Players have to contend with the radiation and other deadly anomalies in order to make it to the end and be the winner. It certainly bears a lot of resemblance to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games and for good reason. If you liked those games, it is likely you’ll enjoy this unique take on battle royale.
The only problems with this game really are that it still feels like it’s in early access and that it falls on the paid battle royale side of things. I do think that this is a genre that, at this time, needs more free to play games rather than paid ones. In addition, there are plenty of fixes that need to happen still before the game is truly ready to say it’s a full release.
Another early access game, but this time free, is Ring of Elysium from Tencent, the company who has a hand in both PUBG and Fortnite (more on those in a bit). This is currently a PC-only battle royale game that takes the tried and true PUBG formula and adds some interesting remixes to it.
For starters, it removes the more RNG elements of other battle royale games. You can select where you want to start the match and even what loadout you begin with. This makes sure that basically everyone is on the same playing field at the start.
What’s better than that, though, is that the map is a cool snow map that allows for awesome traversal using snowboards and so on. Ring of Elysium lets you have more of a part in deciding how your match goes without having to worry about unfair events happening. It is still in early access, though, so there are a lot of kinks to work out still.
Realm Royale feels like the most blatant Fortnite copycat on this list, right down to the map you’re on and even the graphical style of it. Originally starting out as a Paladins spin-off battle royale, it soon became its own dedicated free to play battle royale game.
While it isn’t enough to dethrone Fortnite for sure, it does rightfully stand on its own two feet as a competent and interesting battle royale game nonetheless. The general details are all what you would expect from this type of game, but it does have a couple of interesting twists.
For one, there are abilities and classes that you can select for each match, something it can claim it did long before the next entry on this list. These abilities like shields and the like allow you to mix up your gameplay and not just do the standard shooting.
You can also have a mount to quickly move across the map at any time. It is worth noting that it is still in early access, but it does have more improvements over most of the other early access games on this list. It is also available on most consoles and PC, so it makes it more accessible than previous entries on this list.
Apex Legends takes the PUBG style and formula and injects Realm Royale’s abilities and classes. It’s essentially a more serious Overwatch battle royale. What makes it even better is that it features the expert shooter gameplay from the Titanfall games.
It makes it so that Apex has varied gameplay, and each character you can play as is different from the others. It is a team effort, too, since the only mode currently available is having a team of three players. This itself is one of the biggest problems with the game.
The teams of three have to be different characters, so it creates this nice synergy as players have to work together to defend, search for, and attack the other enemy teams. But not all things are great about Apex Legends. In all honesty, it’s my favorite battle royale game on this list.
In fact, it has the potential to be number one on this list but not at this time. There is literally only one mode, which is an outrage, the content is limited, and updates aren’t frequent enough to address issues. Things can change and it can improve, but in the meantime, it’s still worth checking out.
Now it’s time for the top three battle royale games on this list. The one thing that the three of these games have in common is that you will find a game that is nearly guaranteed to be a quality experience. What’s important about PUBG is that it is the battle royale game that inspired almost every game on this list.
It wasn’t the first battle royale game at all, but it did lay the foundation for making the genre the popular thing it is today. If you’ve played basically every game on this list, you will know PUBG. It has the serious, numbers-centric gameplay that makes a battle royale game what it is.
What is good about PUBG is that it’s had a long time to fix its issues and expand it to more maps. There are large maps, small maps, and so on to fit each player’s preference. You really can’t go wrong with PUBG at all, but it is worth noting that it isn’t without its issues.
There is still the prominent issue of having to deal with cheaters and hackers in the game, despite efforts to reduce this. In addition, this is also one of the games on this list that isn’t free to play, so that does make its barrier to entry a little harder than most on consoles and PC. Thankfully, it is free on mobile.
Like PUBG, Blackout is a mostly paid battle royale game. You currently need Black Ops 4 in order to access it, but, hopefully, that changes in the future. There are many insane similarities between PUBG and Blackout, but I would argue that Call of Duty’s battle royale experience is better in every way.
It all starts with the fact that it uses the same Call of Duty first-person shooter formula that you likely know well if you’ve ever played one of the games in the past. Say what you will about the series, but its gameplay is still as good as ever.
In addition, it features a map that is just the right size without being too big or too small. Its battle pass is also a worthwhile feature that offers some great cosmetic rewards to players who dedicate time to playing it. There are vehicles, too, that feel much better than most of the battle royale games on this list.
While I do wish Blackout was a standalone free to play mode, it doesn’t stop this battle royale game from being one of the very best. In fact, there’s only one game that I think can truly beat it at this time.
Fortnite. You probably know this name well and have heard it many times, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see it at the number one spot on this list. It wasn’t the first battle royale game. Heck, it wasn’t even meant to be a battle royale game originally.
But it is one now, and it’s become a global phenomenon for a reason. It’s a mainstream experience that attracts people of all ages and even celebrities, and it deserves every player’s attention. No, it’s not for everyone, but it is worth trying out regardless.
It’s the most accessible game on this list, available on every platform from mobile to console to PC and completely free, too. It doesn’t stop there, though, as Epic Games has mastered the battle pass and cosmetic model, too.
There’s a reason that the skins and emotes have become so famous around the world. It is honestly not even a fair contest since it’s become more of a social experience rather than just a battle royale game. There are live events, an ever-changing map, and more.
But that isn’t to say that everything is perfect with Fortnite. It’s quickly becoming stagnant and seriously needs some changes soon or else it could be overtaken by a game that does everything better.
Regardless, there is no doubt in my mind that it is the best battle royale game around at this time.