Kenshi is a game that not all of you have heard about, and to good measure. The brutal survival RPG came away from 5 years of early access, and finally got released to a few murmurs here and there.
What we are here to tell you, is that Kenshi and some of the games on the list we are presenting, need more attention relative to their quality.
The premise of Kenshi is simple; you are a survivor in an apocalypse-ravaged world, and the only goal you are given is to survive. You could stay in the same area and build a life for yourself or go out into the vast darkness as a nomad, a traveler, or a trader.
That said, here are some of the best games like Kenshi, released or in early access, comparable in terms of gameplay, quality, presentation, story, music, and much more. Read on!
The Best Games Like Kenshi You Can Get Today
Day-Z is a game that takes all of its elements seriously. Born off a mod that was made for ARMA II, Day-Z rocketed to popularity in early access and was hungrily consumed by scores of fans when it was released.
Scouring the entire map until you get to the point where you can take on the hordes is largely satisfying.
Among the number of other innovations that Day-Z brought to the table, it is commendable that the dev team even managed to make this beautiful zombie survival game after the years that it spent in development hell. Don’t miss out on Day-Z.
Buy it on Amazon!
- Developer/Publisher: Bohemia Interactive/Bohemia Interactive
- Release Date: December 13 2018
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
2. Dying Light
Speaking of zombie survivors, Harran is one of the most picturesque zombified locations in the entirety of the history of game development.
And it isn’t just that its picturesque. It is what Techland did with it that made Dying Light my personal favorite out of all of the games on this list.
From its environmental freedom to the parkour, the weapons, traps, and its endearing characters, Harran has everything.
Although the stakes were a little dubious, to say the least, Dying Light is one of the best survival games ever made.
Check out Steam for a sale on Dying Light.
- Developer/Publisher: Techland/WB Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: 27 January 2015
- Platforms: Linux, MacOS, PC, PS4, Xbox One
3. Black Desert Online
Somewhat equal in likeness to Kenshi, Black Desert Online has been around for what seems like ages now but has entertained a huge fan base for quite a while.
This action survival MMO has everything you could want in an MMO, a vast world, scores of enemies, and fantastical abilities.
One more peculiar thing, and one of the most redeeming qualities of BDO, however, is the build system.
Yes, you have characters and archetypes, but the purpose can be foregone to make each and any a DPS, tank, or healer type.
We recommend this highly if you’re looking for games like Kenshi that really take the survival part seriously!
Get it right now on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Pearl Abyss
- Release Date: 3 March 2016
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
4. Conan: Exiles
Perhaps what’s most fascinating about Conan: Exiles is the visceral and brutal nature of the world itself, discounting the scoundrels that inhabit it.
From sandstorms to woolly mammoths, you can encounter absolutely anything, and everything designed to make your gameplay experience a nightmare.
And then you discover what Conan is all about. The journey you go on after being freed by the eponymous main character, and the resources you gather along the way, all of that is preparing you for the harshness of the world itself.
The game derives its challenge from asking you to be prepared. Or die.
Get Conan: Exiles on Amazon!
- Developer/Publisher: Funcom
- Release Date: 8 May 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
One of the more lighthearted takes on the survival genre, Raft is the nonchalant, comedic game that we have on our list. Although being stranded in a vast ocean is not a prospect most would entertain, Raft makes sure that every step of the way is enjoyable either solo, or with friends.
The objective is really simple, you must build a raft to stay afloat. And the base-building aspect of the game takes over, and you are allowed to practically make a yacht or a floating mansion to help you survive at sea.
- Developer/Publisher: Redbeet Interactive/Axolot Games
- Release Date: 23 May 2018
- Platforms: PC
Although Scum asks to be taken as a PvP game, the survival aspect of it is still there. Thrown into an Eastern European island amidst scores of escaped prisoners, Scum lets you play a survival game with the most dangerous enemy of them all; man.
Much like Death Race, the big bad wants to make the inmates forage and fight for their lives, and you are no different from them while on the ground.
Scum is brilliant, violent, and interesting, with everything from crafting to the hunt-or-be-hunted aesthetic, another top game similar to Kenshi albeit from a more sociopathic perspective!
Grab this one on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Gamepires
- Release Date: 29 August 2018
- Platforms: PC
7. Atom RPG
Around the time that Atom was gaining popularity, people often compared it to the older Fallout top-down survivors. But once we got our hands on the game, it was anything but.
The simple premise is that the eponymous Atom Corp has taken over the world in a bid to stabilize humanity and make sure that it survives the apocalypse.
The opening sequel details how you are an Atom agent and once all your weapons and enhanced gear are stolen; you start to reveal how vicious and brutal Atom is.
This is not Fallout. Fallout lets you live.
- Developer/Publisher: Atom Team
- Release Date: November 28, 2017
- Platforms: Linux, macOS, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
One of the best survival games, at least on PC, Rust is an open-world adventure survivor which challenges you to go from primitive to modern, during which you will encounter your friends, people who just want to be your friends to backstab you, and some who don’t make any jokes about it; they’re here to kill, and whether it is you or not you, someone is getting killed.
So, the point then is to find a way to survive, maintain your body, and your base. Sounds way too complicated? It’s fun too.
Unless you are dragged into the woods in the middle of peaceful sleep. Then worry. Worry a lot.
Also read: 13 Best Games like Rust
Get Rust on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Facepunch Studios, Double Eleven
- Release Date: 8 February 2018
- Platforms: MacOS, PC, Xbox One, PS4
9. Mount and Blade: Warband
Released over 5 years ago, the fact that Mount and Blade: Warband finds its way into conversation today is absolutely astonishing but fully deserved.
The ambition simulator starts you off like a poor man’s Skyrim, and results in you being able to control a whole army if your progression is fair enough.
While visually not the most stunning now, or even when it was released, M&B: W has enough maps, encounters, and mechanics to keep you hooked for more than a while.
M&B does not fall in the same category as other games similar to Kenshi, but it has enough survival, RPG mechanics, and sauce to make it to this list.
Get this on Amazon !
- Developer/Publisher: TaleWorlds Entertainment/Paradox Interactive
- Release Date: March 30 2010
- Platforms: PC, Android, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
10. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
This list is not in any particular order. Just why KC:D makes it smack middle, another medieval simulator, although it’s leagues above the aforementioned in terms of usage of scale, weaponry, lifestyle, gameplay, and surroundings.
Starting you off as a destitute in an initially smallish part of Bohemia, the game kicks things off with a simple tale of revenge that for the most part keeps you grounded throughout the whole campaign.
Along with the great combat and graphical innovations in this sub-genre, KC:D is a great pick for a medieval power fantasy.
- Developer/Publisher: Warhorse Studios/Deep Silver
- Release Date: 13 February 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Another game heavily compared to older Fallout, Sheltered here is as removed from that game as can be.
Starting off, there are scenarios, which put you inside a sandbox and ask you to survive for a set amount of time.
Sheltered is harrowing, and the number of times that you will be left questioning what just happened to lead to those harrowing moments sticking with you as trauma forever.
Like a pet dying to get converted into food, or the introduction of death in the family turning all other members into gangbangers.
Ironic for Nintendo, brilliant for us.
Grab this one on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Unicube/Team 17
- Release Date: March 15 2016
- Platforms: Linux, PC, MacOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
An apocalyptic wasteland setting is nothing new to the overall world of video games, but the way Frostpunk has retold the tale of ages past has to be commended.
In an RTS, Victorian version of Metro, Frostpunk is a valiant attempt at rich storytelling, expansive experiences, and a fight for survival that is largely very believable.
While seeking to repopulate the last city on Earth, Frostpunk takes you on a desolate journey in a ravaged world.
Whether you are into RTSs or not, give Frostpunk a try if you want an experience similar to Kenshi.
- Developer/Publisher: 11 bit studios
- Release Date: April 24 2018
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, MacOS, iOS, Android
13. Ark: Survival Evolved
As the name suggests, Ark feels like another cookie-cutter Jurassic Park clone. But as you delve deeper into the game, you’ll feel the mood shift quite early on.
Ark is just a fully-realized open-world monster hunter hidden behind a boring name.
As soon as you boot it up and see the giant scale and variety of monsters present for you to be a part of a hunt-or-be-hunted scenario, and by the time you get to the epic Avatar-Esque endgame, you will have a great deal of appreciation for Ark.
Survival evolved indeed!
- Developer/Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Release Date: August 29 2017
- Platforms: Linux, PC, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Switch, Stadia
14. The Legend of Zelda: BotW
Probably the most peculiar addition to this list, LoZ can be perfectly classified as genreless.
And this goes a long way into making it one of the best games of all time, no matter what genre you want to look at or how long you want to look at it.
The sheer freedom that LoZ gives you as Link can actually involve fighting practically the main boss of the game, Ganon, as soon as you start playing, and we think that is one of the coolest video game experiences that we have ever had.
We insist this is one of the best games like Kenshi or any other video game there is or might be!
Grab this beauty on Amazon today!
- Developer/Publisher: Nintendo EPD/NIntendo
- Release Date: March 3 2017
- Platforms: Wii U, Nintendo Switch
15. The Forest
If Scum lets you off against prisoners, and LoZ sees you on your way to battle a nigh-unkillable enemy, The Forest is where the environment and all of its inhabitants are let loose against you.
A similar sandbox experience that defined the year it was released in, The Forest is unique in its treatment.
Inhabitants of the eponymous Forest are cannibals, and they, including the world, give you little to no respite.
What is commendable about The Forest is how it balances challenge and reward. This one is a must-play.
Grab The Forest, now on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Endnight Games
- Release Date: 30 May 2014
- Platforms: PS4, Android, PC
16. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Another pretty out of left field inclusion in this list of best games like Kenshi, The Witcher is a series of games that have never disappointed in what they do best, kill time.
You continue Geralt’s story in the best way possible; a fabled land, a distraught father, a protege in distress.
Along the way, various monsters and mythical creatures cross their paths with you, and as the story unravels, you get to roam across a vast land filled with unimaginable variety.
CDPR knocked it out of the park with Witcher 3.
- Developer/Publisher: CDPR
- Release Date: 19 May 2015
- Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
17. Survivalist: Invisible Strain
A zombie survivor, amongst the many on this list, don’t let Survivalist’s comic book-inspired art style fool you into thinking that this is going to be another Lollipop Chainsaw.
What this RPG lacks in flair, however, it makes up for in functionality. You’re not some hero destined to be the savior of the land, you are the unfortunate bum that landed in a mess with no idea what to do next.
What you can do is forage, kill zombies and explore the land as you see fit! Fun? You bet.
Get this one on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Bobblehead Monkey Software
- Release Date: TBD
- Platforms: PC
18. Last Oasis
In stark contrast to our previous inclusion, Last Oasis is a visually stunning, and excellently presented survival elements while still being in early access, Last Oasis has a lot of eyes trained on its release.
Despite the survival genre that this game claims to be a part of, Last Oasis is primarily an action-packed romp where combat takes priority over other aspects such as base building and environmental exploration.
In any case, we too, will keep an eye out for Last Oasis once it finally releases, and how soon we can ride our own huge Walkers.
Get Last Oasis on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Donkey Crew
- Release Date: March 26 2020
- Platforms: PC
Now while the former inclusion on this focuses largely on combat, Planetbase is the other side of the spectrum. Here the enemies aren’t actually humans or humanoid creatures that you will encounter.
On the contrary, your worst enemy is the harsh conditions and natural elements of the planet that you are inhabiting.
So, the game tries to get you to take your foot off the gas pedal and be a little Machiavellian with the population that you have inherited.
Are they going to flourish in this dangerous new world, or are you going to lead them to extinction?
Get Planetbase on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Madruga Works
- Release Date: October 16 2015
- Platforms: PC, MacOS, PS4, Xbox One
20. Tiger Knight
Pretty similar to Mount and Blade, Tiger Knights is a medieval-focused action survival game. You begin as a paltry little civilian, to being the leader of an army, battle-hardened and clever.
The PvE mode and character creation and management aspects don’t disappoint either, as Tiger Knight perfectly uses the ancient Chinese setting and world to great effect.
Every choice that you make can affect the overall gameplay that you are going to have, and every encounter is a throw of the dice. In which case, you have to hope that the roll lands in your favor.
Get Tiger Knight on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: NetDragon Websoft Holdings Ltd.
- Release Date: TBD
- Platforms: PC
21. Life Z Survival
Like in many other lists, we had to mention a veritable clone to some of the games that we have already mentioned.
And no, there are no brownie points for guessing what Life Z Survival takes inspiration from. Although one takeaway could be that the zombie survival game is only $9.99, so it’s got that going for it.
I mean if you want to actually experience a clone and not the original.
All criticism aside, just like a lot of games on the list, whatever Life Z takes from Day-Z, makes a lot of sense, and while they couldn’t replicate the combat of ARMA, doesn’t mean you won’t have fun.
Get it on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Juegos + Ids
- Release Date: 29 March 2018
- Platforms: PC, Linux
22. State of Decay 2
A more well-known addition to this list, State of Decay 2 is a fantastic zombie game, and not because of the brilliant co-op and the permadeath mechanic, State of Decay as a sequel has come out firing on all cylinders to take the zombie survivor top spot.
You are, well, obviously a survivor of the outbreak and must now look for resources and shelter, either by yourself, or in groups of up to 4 people. Sounds straightforward. You’ll be surprised with the steep difficulty gradients.
Get State of Decay 2 on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Undead Labs/Xbox Game Studios
- Release Date: May 22 2018
- Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
23. The Guild 3
As far as most periods of humankind go, one of the most significant was the period of Renaissance.
Not only were drastic social, political and cultural changes, but it also changed the way historians talk about the people that came before them.
So then, how hard can replicating such massive phenomena be?
Ask Guild, because they are probably the only ones insane enough to pull this off, and on the scale that would make most developers baulk.
Developed by THQ Nordic, the Guild 3 picks up right after the second game and will keep you busy for hours on end if you enjoy learning about man’s history, while having a lot of fun of course.
Get the Guild 3 on Amazon!
- Developer/Publisher: Purple Lamp Studios/THQ Nordic
- Release Date: 26 September 2017
- Platforms: PC
24. The Division 2
Okay wait. We know how hardcore survival fans might have their pitchforks up already. Isn’t Division 2 just a strategic fight for survival?
You’ve got the dreaded paper virus, a state of economic collapse, and people scrapping over what is left of humanity.
Along with that, the game is in a very good state right now, has a lot of expansions for you to sift through, and good news is, the third installment is going to be free!
The Division 2 is available on Amazon!
- Developer/Publisher: Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft
- Release Date: 7 February 2019
- Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia
Back to obscure indie goodness however, and what we have is…..*drumroll* Forager. We know, you’re all asking the same question, but for the aforementioned survival masochists, Forager is the perfect balance between dark humor, a fight for survival, and a conflicting art style.
And all with great combat to boot. No, seriously.
Far too often it’s compared to Undertale in style. Let’s just enjoy this highly addictive romp, combining elements of mobile and console indie hits, and constantly entertaining with little unsettling things such as inanimate objects springing to life when you least expect them!
Get Forager on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: HopFrog/Humble Games
- Release Date: 18 Apr 2019
- Platforms: PC, Android
Even out of early access, Valheim has received immense critical and commercial acceptance, with everything from the overall challenging survival mechanics, the Nordic inspiration, and the grim soundtrack, Valheim does it all, truly among the best games like Kenshi, a top 3 entrant.
Taking video game development into uncharted territory (right into Uncharted territory), Valheim successfully manages to marry both world-building and your presence and importance in the game without having to resort to cutting you out of story heavy bits.
Nothing but praise for this one. Go give it a shot, you will not regret it.
Grab Valheim on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Iron gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing
- Release Date: 2 February 2021 (Early Access)
- Platforms: PC, Linux
Probably the only other colony building sim in this list, Rimworld is a great addition to the genre. Visually, the game isn’t much to write home about, unless oldie Pixelart is your cup of tea.
Now, instead of having loyal sheep that follow your every instruction like in Fallout: Shelter, Rimworld invites you to experience the challenge of managing an entire populace, each with their own thought processes and opinions.
If you do manage to strike within their hearts that democracy is the only way forward, you might soon have a rebellion on your hands that you won’t see coming. Read that again but slowly before you play this!
Get Rimworld on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Ludeon Studios
- Release Date: 17 October 2018
- Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux
28. Don’t Starve Together
The sequel to the widely lauded indie smash hit, Don’t Starve Together takes all of the aspects and challenge of the previous games, cranks them all the way to deafening decibels, and while you are frantically searching for resources and supplies, quietly drops a companion in another player to have you both help yourself, and each other.
Now, if it were that simple, this game wouldn’t be so talked about, would it?
Well, the art style has been revamped, and the soundtrack is now marvelous, cute and funny piano melodies that can turn sour in a moment.
Don’t just stare at this. Go buy it on Steam!
- Developer/Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Release Date: 21 April 2015
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, PC
Now there are loads of other games like Kenshi, but perhaps with less similarities than you would like. True that we’ve tweaked this list to include games similar to Kenshi but not really meant for sacrosanct comparisons. But they are genuine survival genre entrees. If we’ve missed a game, add it in the comments.