The battle royale craze picked up in 2017 and has yet to let up, leading to multiple variations ranging across numerous genres. It’s primarily designed around shooters, but has been cleverly implemented into party games and even puzzlers - proving that almost anything can be considered one of the best battle royale games.
Battle royale is an effective foundation for which to build a game, as it encourages competition, while lending itself to varied gameplay that can fit well in almost any style. And if supported correctly, battle royale games can be highly lucrative for its creators, making it a win-win for all involved - the player and developer. This holds true, especially since most of them are free-to-play and are available on many platforms.
But there are a lot of battle royale games. So much so that it can be hard to narrow down which ones are the best. Fortunately, we’ve zeroed in on the 10 best battle royale games so you don’t have to scour the internet, yourself. These games run the gamut and are ideal for players of all types, from experienced, to beginner.
10. Ring of Elysium
Available on: PC
Kicking things off is a game that capitalized on the popularity of the battle royale, but with enough flavor to set it apart. Its main standout feature is how you get around the map, implementing snowboards, hang gliders, and even grappling hooks to help you get from point A to B.
The game’s first season was snow-themed, but each subsequent season has focused on a different weather type and setting for you to overcome such as storms and even volcanic ash. The other interesting aspect of Ring of Elysium is that up to four players can make it onto the rescue helicopter at the end of a match - leading to some tense, yet satisfying moments during the final stages. It’s a little rough around the edges, but we can’t deny what a blast it is.
9. Totally Accurate Battlegrounds
Available on: PC
Next up is a silly take on the formula, and it’s one that we’re so glad exists. Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is a comedic experience that aims to parody the likes of serious shooters like PUBG (hence its name). Your goal is of course to be the last squad or person standing in lobbies of up to 60 players. In this game, the physics play a major role and add to the humor, as players are ragdolled into oblivion when shot.
The artwork is crude, the weapons and items are sublimely over the top, and the entire premise is wonderfully chaotic. Though, tying the entire thing together is first-person shooting that feels expertly designed, making it hard to put down. Despite humor and silliness being at the forefront, the gameplay never feels like it takes a backseat to the jokes, which says a lot about its design.
8. PUBG Battlegrounds
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Stadia
Price: Free - $29.99 / £29.99 depending on platform
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds - or PUBG Battlegrounds as it’s called now - was immensely influential in the battle royale space. Sure, some might argue that other games simply copied from it, but innovating upon existing ideas is nothing new. Aside from PUBG Battlegrounds’ ridiculously redundant name, it still holds up as a battle royale shooter.
It’s aimed towards a more mature audience when compared to something like Fortnite, with weapon customization serving as one of its highlights. Sure, it’s got some jank - some of which is endearing - but it’s hard to ignore the importance of PUBG Battlegrounds, even if it’s not as popular as it once was.
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The idea of a battle royale might sound appealing, but not everyone wants to use guns to eliminate other players. If that sounds like you, perhaps Spellbreak might be up your alley. This is a game that features various classes with different abilities, but instead of utilizing firearms to take out other players, you’ll use magic spells.
This is enough of a change to keep things fresh, especially when you consider the various buffs and debuffs you have at your disposal to change the way spells work. The other nifty thing about Spellbreak is that it has other game modes aside from battle royale, allowing you to learn the ropes of the mechanics first -- or to simply change up the pace. This fantasy battle royale game is gorgeous, as well, with colorful visuals that are hard not to gawk at while you play.
6. Tetris 99
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Price: Free (With Nintendo Switch Online membership)
Tetris 99 is one of the best examples of cleverly turning a battle royale on its head. While most battle royales are violent shooters, Tetris 99 borrows some of the most beloved ideas from the last-person-standing formula, while mixing in arguably the best puzzle game of all time. In Tetris 99, your goal is -- unsurprisingly -- to outlast the other 98 players by sending “garbage” blocks to the other competitors.
If they fail to clear a line quickly, they’ll be eliminated, so it’s a game that constantly balances offense and defense. The other nice thing is just how easy it is to pick up and play. Most players are at least mildly familiar with how Tetris works, so it’s an accessible battle royale game that provides fun for all skill levels.
5. Forza Horizon 4 (Eliminator mode)
Available on: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Price: $59.99 (Also available via Xbox Game Pass)
Speaking of unique twists, Forza Horizon 4 has an Eliminator mode that effectively plays out like a battle royale game. In it, there are 72 racers who compete with one another to be the last driver standing (or sitting) -- all while the map gets smaller and smaller. Players eliminate one another by winning races, but the premise is surprisingly more complex than you’d expect. You can challenge whichever players you’d like, but you must be aware of the car your opponents are driving. If theirs is better and faster, it’s probably not a good idea to challenge them, so there’s an element of strategy that you must take into consideration while playing.
As the match progresses, cars drop around the map, motivating you to stop and swap to something better. It’s impressive how well this game mode works, as it simultaneously feels exactly like Forza Horizon, while also implementing battle royale mechanics nicely.
4. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Available on: PC, PS4 (Coming to Android, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch in the future)
The best thing about Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is how inviting it is to all players. You don’t need to be a pro gamer to enjoy this one, and that’s partially why it’s been so successful. In it, up to 60 players battle it out to be the last one standing, as you’d expect. Each round, your goal is to qualify for that particular mini game and as the match goes on, fewer players make the cut until there’s only one left.
Beyond the delightful gameplay that sends you running, jumping, and climbing across obstacles is a quirky presentation that makes the entire thing so digestible. The colorful Fall Guy characters combined with the exciting music and gameplay all make for one of the most fun battle royale games out there.
3. Call of Duty: Warzone
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Few video game experiences are as exhilarating as Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s a game that is highly skill-dependent and isn’t the easiest to get into, especially if your goal is to come out on top. But if you can learn the ins and outs of complex weapons, their attachments, perks, and mechanics, you’ll have a great time with Warzone. This is a game that feels wildly satisfying, most notably when things go according to plan.
Executing a well-planned maneuver or technique feels incredible, made even better by arguably the best military shooter gameplay in the medium. We’d rank this one higher, but the game’s overabundance of cheaters are hard to overlook. Hopefully an anti-cheat solution is in the cards. But the fact that we’re still fans, despite its issues, is a testament to how fantastic this game is at its core.
Available on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Fortnite is one of the most ubiquitous and influential games of all time. It has everything going for it, from engaging in-game events, references to all facets of pop culture, frequent content drops, and fun gameplay that feels rewarding to master. Fortnite might be a turnoff to those looking for a more mature experience, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a battle royale game as balanced as this one.
But aside from the actual gameplay, Fortnite is one of the leading examples of in-game events done right. From in-game concerts like the recent Ariana Grande performance, to the Galactus event which drew over 15 million concurrent players, Fortnite has cemented itself as a pioneer of implementing engaging content. Top all of that with an ever-changing map that constantly reinvents the wheel and it’s easy to see why this game is so popular. Plus, you can play as Batman, Master Chief, Kratos, and even a cute cat named Meowscles in Fortnite, so it gets automatic points for that.
1. Apex Legends
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Coming to Android and iOS in 2022)
Topping off our list is Apex Legends, a battle royale game that has garnered success from the moment it launched. It certainly borrows many ideas from its contemporaries but has its own things going for it, such as its Legends -- which all have their own backstories, personalities, and gameplay mechanics that set them apart. Apex Legends takes several pages from the Fortnite book by implementing engaging seasonal content, along with in-game events that draw a crowd.
But one thing Apex does to stand above the rest is focus on top-notch, fast-paced gameplay that feels unlike anything else. Running, jumping, and utilizing parkour to traverse the map never gets old, and frankly, it’s hard to play some of the other slower-paced battle royale games after getting used to the movement in Apex Legends. It’s emphasis on storytelling and slick, fluid gameplay are enough to make it the best of its kind.