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Top 13 Games Like “The Forest” Everyone Should Play

Games Like The Forest

Are you tired of constantly being munched on by cannibals? Do you yearn for greener pastures where the apocalyptic ailment is something a little different but still deadly and dark? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 13 games that have the same kinda vibe and gameplay as The Forest but, you know, in a different way. Everything from zombies to animals, there’s a million ways to survive or die here, so let’s get into it with the first one.

1. Scum

Scum is, and I don’t say this lightly, the most unique survival game I’ve ever come across. Maybe I’m biased, but the way it does things is just unheard of and makes for not only a pretty challenging experience but also one that is just utterly hilarious at times!

Kind of like Green Hell, Scum adds a bunch of dietary requirements to your character, which you have to meet, or things will start to go very wrong for you. If you eat too much fat, you get fat and can’t run. If you don’t eat, you become too skinny and have no stamina. If you eat the wrong stuff, you literally get diarrhea. Oh, and the diarrhea isn’t just a passive effect where your orange prison pants become brown; you actually have to stop and let it out, lest it happens in a gunfight with a mech. Did I mention there were mechs?

The premise of Scum is surviving in a battle royale format where you and a bunch of other prison inmates are thrown into the wild. There are robot guards out there that are hunting for all of you indiscriminately, and you have to avoid them all while taking care of your health and making sure you don’t die to a competing player. As a fan of The Forest, if you’ve been itching to try out a BR game, I can’t think of a more fun title for you to try.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows.

2. The Long Dark

This game has one of those really unique art styles where the game looks like it’s an animated movie, but at the same time, it’s a playable 3D game and actually pretty immersive. With The Long Dark, you go into your corner shop and trade in cannibals for some deadly animals and frostbite as the forces working against your survival.

The gameplay here is really versatile and lets you have as much freedom as you want. Initially, you’re probably going to play through the single-player story mode, but if you want, you can also jump straight into co-op with a buddy. In the co-op mode, you get a sandbox mode that’s based around the exact same world, but instead of a story, you get to play and survive however you want – crafting, foraging, scavenging, and hunting as you go.

Everything you love from The Forest is present in The Long Dark. Hell, even the forest is present here, in the place you wake up from your plane crash. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the origin of its story also starts from a plane crash in the most dangerous of wildernesses! You’re spared the cannibals, but is Mother Nature really a downgrade when it comes to deadly force? Time for you to find out when you play The Long Dark.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

3. ARK: Survival Evolved

With ARK, your standard, primitive survival wasn’t going to cut it, so they made it survival evolved. This game is, like The Long Dark, more about animals and beasts than it is about cannibals or zombies. There is an upgrade, though – the animals and beasts include dinosaurs, and the best part is that you can ride them.

As a mostly multiplayer online game, ARK is a pretty grindy game where you’re thrown into a system that requires a ton of time investment in order to keep progressing and, well, even just keeping up. As a fan of the forest, you’ll love that this game has a ton of opportunities for you to gather resources, craft gear, and hunt. All of that comes later, though; first, you need to ensure you can get a stable supply of food and water.

The sense of progression you get here is really amazing because initially, you start in a state where you’re barely surviving, and there are literal dinosaurs around you that could kill you in seconds. But eventually, you start thriving, taming a dinosaur or two, and then eventually taming the whole island! Well, maybe not the whole island, but as many as you can. They’ll guard your base, they’ll help you hunt for food, and it’s also just an overall blast going around riding a dinosaur.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch.

4. Rust

Rust is the game to play if you love socializing, crafting, and surviving. Oh, and shooting. Lots of shooting, too. Rust is a lot like The Forest in the sense that you wake up in a forest or a similar place and have to scavenge, forage, and survive. And, just like The Forest, it’s never as simple as it sounds.

I mentioned socializing at the start, and that’s because, in Rust, the entire game is online-only, where you play in massive servers of about a hundred players, each surviving just like you. First, you focus on getting the basics down, like getting food, some shelter, and a way to get resources. Then, you start growing your empire as you gear up and go raid other people. Unless they raid you first. Or nobody raids anybody – the power of mutual destruction!

If you love the part of The Forest where you get to craft stuff, build shelter, hunt, and survive, Rust is going to treat you to all of that but in a multiplayer experience which is really, really fun. If you can get your party of gamers in with you, this combo becomes that much more fun, and you get to see the game shine in all of its glory.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Mac

5. Conan Exiles

If you thought the world of The Forest was hard to survive in, you’re gonna want to think again with Conan Exiles. It straight up yeets you into a world where not only are you fighting against other (much higher leveled) players for survival, but you’ve also got a bunch of dangerous predator animals to watch out for. It’s actually not uncommon for you to have a day where you’ve taken a gunshot to the chest, a wolf bite to the leg, and a whole mammoth running you over in this game.

If you’re somehow still surviving after all that, you’re dearly welcome to the world of Conan Exiles! The game is definitely one of the more difficult ones out there, and it rarely holds your hand through anything. Plus, it’s a pretty grindy game like ARK, meaning you’ll be putting in a lot of hours just exploring, scavenging, and collecting resources to craft the things you need.

Compared to The Forest, this game takes a while for you to get into the rhythm of it, but once you do, that’s where Conan Exiles is at its best. If possible, you’ll definitely want to bring a friend or two with you to play together in a private server, which is probably the most fun part of this game. 

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC.

6. Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve; that’s all you have to do. Well, actually, let me think about that…okay no. You have to not starve, you have to stay sane, and you have to make sure you don’t get killed by wildebeest or mythical monsters – that’s more accurate. Who would expect something so grim from a game that looks so cheery and innocent on the surface?

Don’t Starve is a lot like The Forest in the sense that you wake up in the wilderness with no clue of what to do except survive. Survival comes from eating food, staying in the light so you maintain your sanity, and not getting beaten to death by a toad or hornet. And it only gets harder from here. As you progress, Don’t Starve really shows you its depth in the variety of things you can craft, the procedurally generated areas you can explore, and the monsters you can fight. You can even befriend creatures!

As far as survival games go, Don’t Starve is one of the most unique ones – especially because of the top-down perspective it offers and the ‘sanity’ element added to things. Coming from The Forest, if you’ve been playing with your friends, this game will be a lot more fun if you get its multiplayer version – Don’t Starve Together. The difficulty definitely scales, so don’t think it’ll be any easier, but it’ll certainly be that much more exciting.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

7. Minecraft

Minecraft is a generational game, and our generation really grew up in its golden age. Compared to The Forest, it may not look very similar, but the way it plays out is really quite similar indeed. Did you enjoy hunting in The Forest? Exploring caves? Building shelter and staying safe through the night? Minecraft lets you do all that and more!

In Minecraft, you start out like in any survival game – with just the basics, and you work your way up from there to eventually start thriving. If you’re someone who likes a challenge and are thinking it’ll be too easy for your liking, try cranking the difficulty up and see what happens. As innocent and cute as it looks, when you’re in the dead of night lost in your mine hunting for diamonds, and a creeper shows up, you really learn what the word ‘horror’ means.

Coupled with a nice shader pack, Minecraft can be one of the most fun survival games to play, where you can do pretty much anything you like – from crafting to hunting to exploring or building your favorite wonder of the world. Coupled with friends, it gets that much better as you explore and gather things together. If you’ve yet to try it out, this is the perfect chance for you to do just that.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

8. Subnautica

Okay, enough about surviving on the land, why not take a plunge into the deep? It’ll be safe though, nothing like the Titan submersible – you’re actually just a scuba diver going for a swim! Wait, now that I think about it that can be very unsafe. How unsafe? That’s exactly what Subnautica is about to show.

Subnautica’s gameplay is one of the very best out there, and there’s a reason it’s loved so much by everyone who plays it. Like The Forest, this game also has a story to boot, except this one is much more in-depth and, arguably, a lot better too. As it’s an underwater game, you’ll note that the survival elements are also quite different here, but the core parts remain – you build a base, you avoid deadly sea monsters, and you generally survive while exploring.

If you were looking for a multiplayer co-op title, you might be disappointed here, but don’t turn away just yet, because Subnautica is one of the few single-player games you might actually have more fun playing than the usual multiplayer shenanigans. Plus, its dense underwater world is packed to the brim with content, so you’ll never run out of things to do or feel like there’s been a lull in the action for too long.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

9. Green Hell

Comparing this side by side with The Forest might make it seem like the best and closest alternative to your favorite game. And that’s partly because it kinda is; the two games are really similar. What you’ll find when you play this game, though, is that it’s a lot harder and punishes you so much more often for the smallest of mistakes.

Green Hell gets into the nitty gritty of things by adding not just a sanity meter but also dietary requirements where you’ll need to balance your carbs, fat, protein, and hydration intake. On top of that, since you’re on a hostile island, you’ll be running into animals that would definitely like to eat you for dinner and also human foes who don’t want you on their island.

Combining everything, you get a game that replaces the creep factor of The Forest with a more punishing, gritty, and challenging overall game. Plus, it’s also got a good story to go along with it, which you’ll definitely enjoy in the cutscenes that it includes. In many ways, it’s like playing a triple-A version of The Forest, and that’s honestly one of the biggest compliments any game can get.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

10. Raft

Right, back to the sea with this one. This time we’re on the surface, though, not underwater, so don’t worry. Wait, let me rephrase that. Don’t worry about the dangers of the underwater ocean; you’ve still got the surface to deal with though. And what does the surface bring? Sharks and other animals. As far as your life is concerned, that’s not very good.

With the threat of being eaten alive constantly there, Raft puts you in a survival situation on the surface of the ocean where you have literally nothing but your raft keeping you afloat. In order to survive, you’ve got a hook with you that you can use to gather stuff from the ocean. With these resources, you’ll find that you can start crafting some pretty good gear that allows you to become even better at surviving.

Raft made the excellent decision during its launch to include co-op multiplayer, which really adds a whole new layer of fun to it. With its building system, you can make your raft look and function in any way that you prefer – as long as it keeps you safe from the man-eating shark that’s always waiting for you to make your first and, probably, last ever mistake.

Platforms: PC.

11. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is an amazingly ambitious game, and though its launch was anything but smooth, it has really become the game it was promised to be in the time since. With multiple patches and heaps of content updates that are still rolling out to date, this is a survival game like no other and will be a ton of fun for you to play as a fan of The Forest.

The game has a storyline that keeps things focused and guides you on what you should be doing next. You initially wake up on a planet with a spaceship crashed next to you that you’re going to fix as your first objective. From this humble beginning, you eventually become a star citizen as you go from planet to planet in No Man’s Sky’s vast procedurally generated universe.

Now, I say universe, and I mean it; it really is that big, and you’re pretty much never going to be able to explore the entirety of it. As you go from planet to planet, you gather new resources and meet new creatures – some of which are hostile – and collect what’s worth something to you to take it back. You can build a base on any of these planets, too, so choosing your home has never been a more free experience. As a fan of The Forest, crafting, surviving, exploring, and storytelling are the main things you’ll enjoy here, but No Man’s Sky is much more than that, and that’s what makes it such a great alternative.

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch.

12. Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2, much like its prequel, is renowned for taking on the zombie genre in a way that no other game has really tried. Paired with its excellent storytelling and AAA status, this game is just an absolute blast to play, no matter what kind of games you usually enjoy.

The premise of the game is an apocalyptic world where the remaining humans have grouped up into factions and are surviving in their own circles. You, as Aiden, don’t really belong to any of them and are going to be surviving mostly on your own as you progress through this game’s story. The thing that makes its gameplay so fun, though, is that you’re a parkour pro! Jumping from building to billboard to building and back to the street while you escape zombies is an experience I never knew I needed until I actually saw it.

With the option to play co-op multiplayer with a friend as well, this is one of the best recent releases for you to try out as a fan of The Forest. What you might miss here, though, is that there isn’t much in the way of crafting. But there is tons of combat, most of it being melee, though you do find the occasional moment to use ranged weapons as well.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, Nintendo Switch.

13. Valheim

This is another game that really was a long time coming and fans were desperately waiting to try it. Having finally come out in 2021, gamers were happy to report that it was everything they hoped it would be, which is good news for everyone! Revolving around co-op gameplay with up to 10 other players, this is a survival game where you have to prove yourself worthy of entering Valhalla.

Set in the world of Vikings, you start out in this game with absolutely nothing, a lot like The Forest. Also like The Forest is the fact that during this time, you’re surrounded by enemies at every corner and getting geared up to fight or defend yourself from them has never been more important. This culminates in you and your party gathering resources as fast as possible, building shelter, crafting weapons, and taking the world on together.

Base-building, exploring, crafting, fighting, and a bit of story here and there are pretty much all you need after playing The Forest. With everything else taking on a distinctly Viking flavor in this game, you’re in for a brand-new experience with the same core elements you’ve come to love so much from The Forest.

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox X/S.

And that’s about it for today! Games like The Forest are aplenty, but not all of them really get the survival-exploration-storytelling combo quite right. That said, I think the thirteen games in this list really offer something unique and, at times, even more fun than what The Forest does. From purely story-focused games to purely multiplayer ones, which do you have your eye on next? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you in the next one!

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Danish Javed

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Danish Javed

Obsessed with everything from Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant to Dota 2 and Rocket League, Danish is a competitive gamer at heart. Committed to creating exciting content about the latest trends in gaming, he is always on the lookout for the next big thing. Learn More

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