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It’s a great time to be a fan of survival games right now. The genre is still massively popular, and although it isn’t quite at the same level it was a few years ago, you still don’t have to search very far to find excellent survival gaming experiences.
One of those great survival games is, of course, Raft, the open-world survival game set on the wide open ocean. If you’ve played your fill of Raft and you’re looking for games to scratch the same itch, you won’t have to look too far. Here are 12 great games like Raft.
If it’s the water element of Raft that appeals to you most, then Subnautica should already be on your must-play list. Unknown Worlds’ game offers a vast ocean biome to explore, and unlike many other survival games, its beautiful, hostile world is entirely hand-crafted. There’s a story to discover, but if you prefer, you can simply try to survive for as long as you can. The story is well worth experiencing, though.
2. Subnautica: Below Zero
In essence, Subnautica: Below Zero is an expansion pack for Subnautica rather than an entirely new game. It uses many of the same systems and assets as the original game, but transposes the action to an icy snowscape (hence the name). The story is a much clearer presence here, but otherwise, it’s the same addictive survival gameplay and exploration you know and love from the first Subnautica.
Neither Subnautica nor Below Zero offer any kind of multiplayer experience, so if that’s the element of Raft that floats your boat (hem hem), you should definitely look to Valheim. It’s a multiplayer Viking survival sim set in the titular Norse realm, and you and your friends must find a way to survive out in the harsh wilderness, fending off wildlife and building a home for yourself in the process.
4. The Forest
Like Raft, The Forest can be played solo, but is perhaps best enjoyed alongside other players. Its survival gameplay can get a touch grindy on your own, but if you don’t mind that, there’s a supremely creepy world and story to discover in The Forest. Imagine Subnautica crossed with Blair Witch and a healthy dose of STALKER injected into the mix as well, and you’re not a million miles off.
5. Don’t Starve Together
Rarely does a game come along with a simpler and more straightforward premise than Don’t Starve. It’s right there in the title: the objective is, well, not to starve. Of course, you’ve also got to stave off the terrors of the night by keeping your surroundings well-lit, and there are other things to tend to if you’re going to survive the horrors of Don’t Starve. Both the solo experience and the co-op game are worth checking out.
As a developer, Obsidian is well-known for story-based RPGs, so Grounded was something of a pleasant surprise. It’s a sort of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids-style survival experience in which you and your friends are shrunk down to insect size and must battle with giant spiders and other hitherto-unthreatening predators for dominance in a garden setting. This is a creative and imaginative survival game.
Raft can often have a pleasant, sedate feeling to it, as you construct whatever ambitious building projects you’re currently working on and take in the majesty of the open ocean. Minecraft offers a similar feeling, albeit a stripped-down one with a voxel aesthetic. If you haven’t already played Minecraft and you’re a fan of survival-style experiences, you’re missing out.
Remember what we just said about Minecraft? Take that and flatten it, and you’ve essentially got Terraria. It’s Minecraft but 2D, offering extremely similar gameplay based around gathering resources and building structures to keep you safe from what lurks outside. There’s a healthy dose of exploration and making your own fun thrown in there, too, so fans of Raft should enjoy it.
9. Ark: Survival Evolved
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Well, after several hours spent in Ark: Survival Evolved, that love might be tested to its limit, as dinosaurs are just one of the many creature types lining up to kill you in this game. You must build a shelter, forage for resources, and survive in a world in which mythological creatures (and dinosaurs) are alive and hunting you actively.
10. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves isn’t a classic survival game, but if it’s roving about on the ocean and feeling like a pirate that makes Raft fun for you, then Rare’s pirate-’em-up will provide. You play a salty sea dog with your very own ship, and you can customise it however you like as you sail across the ocean, looking for other crews to pillage (or work with to overcome the game’s many islands of peril).
We’re venturing out into slightly unknown territory for this one, but bear with us. Spiritfarer is a game in which you must sail a ship around what is essentially purgatory, looking for spirits who need to “cross over” to the other side. You’ll need to build homes and facilities for them on your boat to keep them happy. It’s got Raft’s sense of a mobile home floating across the ocean, and a beautiful story to boot.
12. Stranded Deep
We close with a game that’s perhaps much closer to Raft in tone and spirit, albeit more realistic and inspired by classic castaway movies (like, well, Cast Away). After your plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean, you’re left stranded and alone with no-one to call for help. You must learn to survive as best you can, foraging for food and trying to avoid being eaten by the Pacific’s nastier inhabitants.