Battle Royale games haven’t just dominated the sales charts; they’ve made last-man-standing gameplay incredibly popular again, so much so that its elements have spilt over into non-battle royale games. Tetris 99, a “free-to-play” game that’s only available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, is a prime example of that. That said, it’s not quite a battle royale game.
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What Is a Battle Royale Game?
If you aren’t hip to the gaming category but have somehow stumbled across this article, you’ve probably asked “what is a battle royale game?” Simply put, a battle royale game is a title that combines the aforementioned last-man-standing shooter gameplay with weapon gathering and a shrinking playfield that drives player characters ever closer together.
That shrinking playfield also eliminates those who find themselves on the wrong side of it. A battle royale game needs these three elements, otherwise, it’s your standard multiplayer pew-pew title. So, all the critics who hold Fall Guys or Pac-Ma 99 aloft as the “best battle royale game” in order to knock the genre need to slow their roll a bit, even if these off-kilter entries do borrow a lot from the formula.
That said, recent releases like the melee-focused Naraka: Bladepoint prove that the genre can explore other weapons beyond guns.
1. Best Battle Royale Game CRSED: F.O.A.D.
It may have started out as a joke, but the game formally known as Cuisine Royale is still pulling in steady player counts more than a year after its initial launch. The secret to their success? PUBG-like gameplay, steady updates that bring fresh content to the game, and a cosmetics-only free-to-play model.
2. Call of Duty: Warzone
Warzone deviates from the standard battle royale games formula in pretty much every area… save for the fact that there’s still an ever-shrinking circle of death forcing all 150 players into conflict until only one team remains. There are respawns in the form of a bizarre 1v1 duel in the Gulag.
You can collect cash and spend it on respawning teammates or killstreaks at Buy Stations, and you can even set up your best Warzone loadout before a match and call it in as a reward. All of this helps make Warzone a BR game where losing one teammate really isn’t a big deal, meaning you’re free to play as aggressively as you want.
3. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Fall Guys borrows elements from the battle royale genre and the hit Japanese game show, Takeshi’s Castle, to create something completely unique. Bringing together 60 contestants, each player must defeat their fellow jelly beans in a mad dash for the finish line, but only the top number of players can progress through each round to eventually be crowned victorious.
The challenges aren’t always obstacle courses either, they range from memorisation games, clinging to a platform for dear life, and even an oversized football match which splits players into two separate teams.
4. Apex Legends
With the dystopian charm of Titanfall’s mech-ravaged world and the intense gunfights that make PUBG so gripping, it’s no wonder that Apex Legends’ player count reached over 25 million players in its first week. Respawn’s battle royale game came out of nowhere and surpassed genre stalwart Fortnite on Twitch in viewership figures in its first seven days.
Apex Legends zips along at an astonishing pace. Sure, it may not be the parkour and wall-running we’ve come to expect from Respawn’s famous robot game, but this battle royale moves in its own way. Sprinting is swifter than you’d expect and sliding takes you a greater distance – especially with the mountainous terrain considered. Movement sets the tone of the gunplay, too: if your team successfully flanks another in a well-timed push, you earn their bounty.
5. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
There’s a reason PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds regularly boasts hundreds of thousands of concurrent players and has sold millions of copies: it’s the basic battle royale premise done right. With frequent PUBG updates and new PUBG maps, the chart-conquering sensation is replete with features and is addictive beyond belief.
PlayerUnknown isn’t just a cool-sounding title either, it’s the pseudonym of Brendan Greene: the creator of PUBG, and the man responsible for the incredibly popular Arma 3 Battle Royale mod. That experience shows in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which forgoes complications like crafting and a complex melee fighting system, and instead focuses on razor-sharp firefights, tactical play, and scavenging.
Want some poppy, comic book visuals with your 100-man massacres? Fortnite Battle Royale takes the perfectly poised match structure of PUBG and ditches all the gritty realism for colours and soft edges. On top of that, Epic Games continue to outdo themselves with each new Fortnite season, changing the map, adding heaps of new Fortnite skins, and overhauling gameplay mechanics.
It’s no wonder Fortnite player numbers continue to swell: this is the current king of battle royales. You’re also able to harvest resources and build structures like houses to camp in, walls for cover, and ramps to help you climb up mountains. This is a battle royale game for those who like to get creative.
Battlefield 5’s take on the battle royale genre took a while to come to fruition and conjured up very little buzz on release but boasts plenty of smart revisions to the formula. For example, capture points are dotted around the huge Scandinavian map, helping draw all 64 players into the fray as they vie for high tier loot.
Just when you thought we’d seen it all in the battle royale genre, a free-to-play game like Spellbreak comes along to remind us that there’s still plenty of new ideas out there. Spellbreak gives players six battlemage classes to pick from, each with their own set of skills and abilities.
Picking a class doesn’t limit you to just one set of abilities either; you can wield different magical gauntlets to create spell combos. Mixing Pyromancer spells with Tempest gives you fiery tornadoes, whereas a Conduit and Toxicologist hybrid can create electrified gas clouds.
You’ll likely already be familiar with ZombsRoyale.io if you’ve played some of the best ide games or online games as it borrows plenty of mechanics from Zombs.io and Surviv.io. This is a free-to-play browser-based battle royale game that you can play on practically anything with an internet connection, and it’s superb at showing just how versatile the BR genre really is.
10. Super Animal Royale
Super Animal Royale is a top down 2D battle royale where 64 players fight to the death. Yes, you read that correctly, the game is called Super Animal Royale. These cute animals may look innocent and sweet, but they’re capable of wielding an array of weapons
11. Totally Accurate Battlegrounds
What started development as an April Fool’s Day joke turned into one of the most inventive battle royale games of 2018, and developer Landfall can claim three million Totally Accurate Battlegrounds downloads in four days as proof. Totally Accurate Battlegrounds (TABG) boasts countless melee and ranged weapons, attachments, and gear to ensure every gun battle is as unpredictable and messy as the ragdolling character models.
12. Unturned: Arena Mode
One of the most surprising things about the free-to-play Unturned is that it boasts some remarkably polished and realistic gunplay. Where that really shines is in Arena Mode, an official game mode that borrows the core mechanics of PUBG, cuts the player count to 16, and takes place on one of four small maps.
13. Minecraft Survival Games
Owing to the total freedom afforded to players by Minecraft, particularly on PC, it was only a matter of time before somebody made a version of The Hunger Games in Mojang’s family-oriented sandbox. That creative freedom means there are hundreds upon hundreds of maps, arena styles, weapon and armour setups, and rules to keep the experience varied depending on which Minecraft server you decide to play on.
14. Naraka: Bladepoint
Naraka Bladepoint was the most anticipated battle royale game of 2021, with over 160,000 concurrent players joining the fray during its second open beta period. Though the game does include traditional weapons, you settle most fights by melee combat. This is where Naraka Bladepoint separates itself from the rest of the competition. Combat plays out like a fighting game – players need to consider every move to avoid being punished by their opponent.
15. Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodhunt
Vampire: The Masquerade is probably the last series you’d expect to have a battle royale game, but it works surprisingly well. Despite the initial hesitation from the VtM community, the devs have proven they know how to introduce battle royale to the World of Darkness series. It turns out playing as powerful vampires with supernatural abilities makes for a fun time.
Q1: Which is the No 1 Battle Royale game?
The most-played battle royale games include PUBG: Battlegrounds with 600 million players, Fortnite Battle Royale with 350 million players, NetEase’s mobile game Knives Out with over 250 million players, Rules of Survival with 230 million players, and Garena Free Fire with over 180 million players.
Q2: Is battle royale free?
Play Fortnite in a totally new way, in Fortnite: Battle Royale, the free-to-play spinoff of Epic Games’ builder/shooter. Like other classic BR games, you’ll be dropped into the world and forced to scavenge and survive.
Q3: Is battle royale a game?
What Is a Battle Royale Video Game? Battle royale video games are multiplayer games that involve a large number of gamers, typically around 100, controlling characters who parachute onto a virtual map, where they will battle until there is only one person left standing.
Q4: Which is best PUBG or Free Fire?
Free Fire is the clear winner when it comes to performance across all kinds of devices. This Garena offering, which has shorter, 50-player matches, also has more simplistic graphics than PUBG Mobile.
Q5: Is Fortnite free right now?
Fortnite is now available to play FOR FREE streaming to web browsers on iPhone, iPad, and Android via Xbox Cloud. No subscription required, no 30% Apple tax