Long gone are the days when the best battle royale games were all about picking up colourful guns in an ever-shrinking safe zone. There are still plenty that fit that description, of course, but now we have battle royales about swinging swords, wobbly beans, and wrestling, too, giving us a huge variety to choose from. The best battle royales all have one thing in common, though: they're all about being the last person (or people, for team games) standing. Oh, and you usually battle it out in weird and wonderful costumes.
The 10 best battle royale games
Since we last looked over this list of the best battle royale games, we've tried out a bunch of newbies. Those that didn't make the cut this time include sucking blood in Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodhunt and becoming super soldiers in the aptly named Super People. A few newcomers did make the list, though, and we've also reshuffled the order of some past favourites to reflect their current state.
If you think something else should've earned a place on our list, or you just want to lump more praise onto our picks, then let us know in the comments. Below, you can find our list of the best battle royale games:
- CSGO: Danger Zone
- Minecraft Hunger Games
- Naraka: Bladepoint
- Rocket Bot Royale
- Super Animal Royale
- Call Of Duty: Warzone 2
- Fall Guys
- Apex Legends
10. CSGO: Danger Zone
None of us ever expected Danger Zone to be as good as it is. I was a Counter-Strike novice, so I was expecting an extremely tough time even figuring out what was going on in Valve's take on the battle royale genre. But oh boy, did Danger Zone grip me. It gripped me in the same way Apex Legends later did: with a handful of such exquisitely good ideas, honed to near-perfection and all working together to create an entirely new experience and a unique take on the genre.
In Danger Zone the map is miniscule, and you've less than 20 enemies to outlive with each 10-minute match. But let me talk about the tablet and the drones, because they're just amazing. You carry a tablet with you from the start, which you can use a) to buy weapons and equipment, and b) to view a hex-based representation of the map, which highlights all hexes where a player is present. It's absolutely ingenious. It leads to faster, tenser fights as players have the ability to seek one another out; but it never feels unfair because you're never given precise positions, only general vicinities.
And everything you buy is flown in by drones, which is amazing because enemies can use your drones to track your position, or even shoot the drones to intercept your equipment. If that doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will. Check out our Danger Zone guide for tonnes more info on this excellent and free-to-play battle royale mode.
9. Minecraft Hunger Games/Survival Games
This was my first ever experience with battle royales, and I still think upon my time in the Minecraft Hunger Games servers with great fondness. Y'know, once upon a time I was about as competitive a Minecraft player as you can get. I was a regular name in UHC (Ultra Hardcore) PvP matches and tournaments, and to hone my skills between matches I'd often head over to the Minecraft servers.
As you can imagine from the name, these servers are very much based on the battle royale format as laid out by the Hunger Games books/films, right down to all of you starting off next to each other around a cornucopia filled with high-tier loot. The maps are small, the loot is frequent, and the combat is, well, Minecraft. Of course, combat in Minecraft nowadays is very different to my time, with shields and attack speeds and all that jazz. But still, Minecraft has a much higher skill ceiling, and much more competitive PvP potential, than you might have thought. If you're interested in giving a completely different style of battle royale a go, you might want to consider logging into one of these Hunger Games servers and seeing how you get on. It might surprise you how intense and enjoyable a match can be.
For many, PUBG is where the battle royale genre truly began. The first major standalone BR to be available, PUBG is still enjoyed by thousands of players every day. Its popularity is what prompted the rise of Fortnite and many other battle royales, and for that it will forever command a certain respect.
Games of PUBG are much slower-paced than Fortnite, with far more of an emphasis on realism. There's no building, no hitscan, no potions or launch pads. It's a very grounded and more mature experience, despite also featuring some of the silliest moments of any battle royale I've played thanks to its (at times) famously janky physics and collisions. This is the go-to battle royale for those who can't get into Fortnite because they don't like the building, or because it's too vibrant or busy or cartoonish. In many ways PUBG's much larger maps, extended matches, and shorter time-to-kill generate more dramatic and tense anecdotes than Fortnite's much more focused and action-packed matches.
For a good starting point on this titan of a battle royale, you'd best check out our PUBG guide for weapon stats, beginner's tips, map overviews, and much more.
7. Naraka: Bladepoint
If pulling triggers isn't really your bag in a battle royale, then Naraka Bladepoint might be your best bet. It's the usual fight to survive, but you control a magical martial artist, instead of a bloke holding a gun. This means fights to the death aren't decided by bullets, but by who can string together the sickest combo. Not that it rewards wild behaviour. Oh no, you'll need to be patient when it comes to fights. Economy of movement is king.
Now-occasional RPSer Matt Cox really likes Naraka Bladepoint and calls it a "punishing battle royale that frustrates before it elates" in his Naraka Bladepoint review. I'd give it a read for the full lowdown on this action game meets battle royale if I were you. And as an extra note: it has a grappling hook.
6. Rocket Bot Royale
I first found Rocket Bot Royale thanks to guides editor Ollie's posts on it, and cor is it good. You play as a lil tank thrown onto a Worms-style 2D arena that's highly destructible. And, with 35 tanks rolling around and tearing it up with their cannons, you're sure to destroy the hell out of it.
Movement is an important thing in battle royale games, and Rocket Bot Royale makes it the most fun. You don't just roll around in a tank (that'd be boring, obvs). Instead, you bounce around, propelling yourself with each blast of your cannon. If you need to cross a gap, you can just aim behind you and BOOF! you're across.
The real joy comes from the kills that you manage to get while rocketing through the air. Midair kills are Rocket Bot Royale's equivalent to a cheeky quickscope in Warzone, but it's even more satisfying because of how it chains into your movement. Blasting a baddie while soaring through the air might send you flying in a completely different direction, and you'll be sure to find more enemies to kill when you land.
5. Super Animal Royale
Super Animal Royale is a 2D take on the battle royale genre, with 64 very cute critters parachuting down onto a very flat island. It's a refreshing change of perspective, but it should otherwise feel very familiar. These adorable animals spread out across the island, gathering guns and grenades galore to prepare for the fights to come. You'll find yourself armed to the teeth in no time, and then the chaos kicks off. Gas overwhelms the island, everyone starts charging towards the centre, and only one animal is left standing.
Don't let the cuteness lull you into a false sense of safety. Super Animal Royale is fast and ferocious, with the 2D perspective forcing you into close quarters. You can't snipe people across the map as you might in Fortnite, Warzone, or Apex, so you need to be ready to fight at every corner. As soon as you spy someone coming onto the edge of your screen, it's time for a scrap.
4. Call Of Duty: Warzone 2
Warzone 2 was always going to have a tricky time convincing people to move over, but the new Al Mazrah map is too good to pass up. This sprawling landscape captures the feeling of the original Warzone's Verdansk in its prime, with a balance of urban and open locations that constantly force you to change tactics. I even think it goes one step further than Verdansk, offering clean environments that are much easier to read, so that you can easily pick out enemies while on the move. It's hard to fully put my Verdansk nostalgia aside, but Al Mazrah is a far better follow-up than I expected.
There were some issues at launch that perhaps would've made Warzone 2 rank lower on this list, but things have been patched up fairly quickly. My biggest gripe, for example, was the backpack looting system, which dramatically slowed the pace whenever you wiped an enemy squad. Fortunately, Season 2 provides a major overhaul to looting, reverting back to the simple loot 'splosions of Warzone 1, with items dropping from an opponent when you kill them.
There are other small changes that significantly improve the experience to note too: you can now use armor plates while sprinting, for example, and the Gulag has gone back to a simple 1v1 experience. Pairing these changes with the December update, which reintroduced loadout drops to buy stations, has made Warzone 2 feel far better to play now than it was at launch.
3. Fall Guys
Cute beans wobbling around in frantic races might not be what we all expected the battle royale genre to become, but it's exactly what we needed. Gone are the arguments about broken metas and slide cancelling. You don't need to worry about that in Fall Guys. Instead, you can just relax as your little bean charges forward, bouncing on blocks and slipping on slime in a desperate bid to win the crown.
While new rounds were infrequent in the early days, Fall Guys is now rammed with countless courses that'll have you battling to be the last bean standing. You'll find yourself racing through swinging axes, hopping over poles, leaping around in low gravity, invading castles, and snatching fluffy tails to become the champ, and it's all very creative. And very adorable. If shooting guns has you stressed and you want something that's frantic in a funnier way, Fall Guys is the battle royale for you.
Fortnite has taken over the RPS treehouse as of late. Many of us have fallen oddly in love with its maddening cacophony of IP crossovers. Spider-Man swings by as Ariana Grande whacks Destiny's Zavala with a lightsaber. John Cena is in the background, weaving a Segway between some Among Us imposters who are busy chasing Eminem. Goku and Harry Kane are in a synchronised dance. And then the klaxon sounds, you all board the battle bus, and the battle royale begins.
Okay, we're not actually here for the crossovers, although they are very funny and I'm pretty sure we've all caved once or twice. Fortnite's famous for its speedy building, but it's the recent no-build mode that got us back in. While it started as a limited-time event, no-build is now a permanent mode that makes Fortnite better than ever. If you're like us and don't have the thumb dexterity to keep up with the kids and their incredibly fast building, then no-build mode is probably for you. It strips away the player-constructed forts and allows you to focus on chugging shield potions between bursts of snappy shooting.
When you take away the building, Fortnite is a battle royale full of tense, tactical gunfights, and those willing to give it another go are in for a terrific time.
1. Apex Legends
If there had to be one battle royale left standing, it'd be Apex Legends. It combines so many elements, including quick, satisfying traversal, a focus on playing as a team, and an ever-changing array of interesting ground loot, to highlight the genre at its best.
That's not to say it doesn't do anything different, though. Over the almost four years since launch, Apex has added a vast roster of its titular Legends, each with unique abilities and passives that make every game feel different. Sure, you'll still slide down hills and scoop up ammo, but learning and adapting to different ultimates and powers keeps things feeling fresh.
The lack of a dedicated solo mode does hurt whenever I want to quickly hop on Apex, but finding time to get a group together is so worth the effort. Rushing around with pals across the varied rotation of maps is a blast, and the speed of gameplay and movement means you rarely find yourself waiting for something to happen. One thing that isn't so fast is the time to kill, which is often forgiving in Apex. You'll usually have time to recognise you're being shot and dash away to reposition for a fight, which isn't always the case in Fortnite or Warzone. This also gives everyone a chance to activates those ultimates, which adds an unexpected burst of chaos into every gunfight.