Skip to main content

25 games like Minecraft to play that will let your imagination run wild

Minecraft
(Image credit: Mojang)

There are no shortage of games like Minecraft out there in the world, and for good reason! Mojang's creative hub is one of the most popular games in the world, designed to leverage imagination and ingenuity to let you build new worlds and explore them with your friends. There are plenty of imitators, but only a few of the games like Minecraft really deserve your time and attention. 

In this ranking of the 25 best games like Minecraft, there really is something for everyone. From the survival leaning nature of games like The Forest to the infinite possibilities of No Man's Sky to the peaceful farming of Stardew Valley, if you're looking for something new to play after years of playing Mojang's adventure game, you'll want to play one of these 25 games like Minecraft.

25. The Forest

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4

The Forest drops you in the middle of the wilderness (quite literally: you crash a plane) and forces you to craft weapons and shelter to survive against an apparently nocturnal tribe of cannibals. It's totally like playing Minecraft - if Minecraft's creepy hissing spiders were bloodthirsty savages trying to eat you. However, if the screenshot above wasn't clear, The Forest is far scarier than Minecraft would ever want to be. There’s a real Green Inferno (opens in new tab) vibe underscoring the whole thing, what with you being lost in the wilderness scavenging for food, building shelter from the weather, and fighting off aggressive club-toting mutants. Not for the kids.

24. Roblox

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, iOS, Android

In its ridiculously popular online sandbox, Roblox lets you create just about anything that you can think of. Want to build a massive skyscraper only to watch it blow up in spectacular fashion, or host a disco party complete with flashing lights and an on-stage DJ? Go for it. The world is yours to do what you will with it, and the possibilities are endless thanks to the game's intricate editing tools. Roblox puts a huge focus on the social aspects of building and dismantling with friends, with virtually everything in the world created by the players (and there are a lot of them, with over 100 million active users as of 2019). Try it if Minecraft is a bit too solitary for your liking.

23. Terraria

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

As in Minecraft, many a tree will be slaughtered on your way to building shelter when first starting out in the 2D world of Terraria. But it’s a necessary sacrifice, as there are things that go bump in the night in this world - things that would very much like to slay you, actually, even as you try to figure out what to do with your steadily increasing pile of natural (and supernatural) resources. Thankfully, Terraria gives you more options when it comes to disposing of the encroaching evil with a greater emphasis on combat and unique items; and crafting is more than just a means of security against the persistent dangers of the world, conquering the world’s bosses and dungeons along the way. With the game’s last major update, Journey’s End, scheduled for release in 2020, there’s probably no better time to play.

22. Castle Story

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC

Although it's a strategy game, Castle Story’s strong focus on tactically overpowering your enemies doesn't mean you won't also be building all manner of structures in the process. The need to partake in mass deforestation is also a shared trait with Minecraft, but it’s all for a good cause; that good cause being an impenetrable castle entirely made out of wooden blocks. The extra spice in Castle Story's gameplay comes from getting to design your own defences, in what quickly turns into a wonderfully addictive marriage of creativity and tactics.

21. Stardew Valley

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

With all the large-scale construction going on, it’s easy to forget that Minecraft features the chance to indulge in the underrated joys and small victories of owning and caring for a garden, or even a full blown farm. Stardew Valley is an entire game which revolves around that very same idea. That said, there's quite a bit that sets it apart. In Stardew Valley, players can get to know their local community of fictional characters, and even spark up a romance with some of their neighbors if they want to. The game also takes inspiration from the likes of Animal Crossing and JRPGs as much as it does Minecraft, and that hybrid nature keeps it from leaning too heavily into one single genre. 

20. Ark: Survival Evolved

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

While "Minecraft with dinosaurs" is probably a little too reductive of a description, it certainly gives you an idea of what to expect from Ark: Survival Evolved. You gain consciousness on the beaches of a mysterious island chock full of Jurassic beasts, but it’s not long before your skills in crafting and combat come in handy in the quest to become king of the jungle. Ark is a game obsessed with Darwinism and the hierarchy of nature. Start as naked prey, become an apex predator. The game slowly becomes less of a survival experience and more of a power fantasy, emulating the concept of evolution in a way that few other titles have.

19. CubeWorld

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC

Cube World has its roots in crafting and character progression, and takes place in randomly generated worlds full of blocks as far as the eye can see. There’s a strong focus on cosmetic customization, with characters able to modify their armor and other wearables for the sake of fabulous self expression. But Cube World cribs from games like The Legend of Zelda too. Inspired by such exploration-heavy games, Cube World gives players an arsenal of skills to better help them trudge through the endless world. Choosing a class and specialization for combat turns the game from a simple exploration simulator into a meaty RPG adventure, packed with missions, bosses, and creepy caves to explore.

18. Trove

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Trove is a voxel game, so its resemblances to Minecraft are immediately apparent, at least from a visual point of view. Trion World’s action-oriented MMO features mines and caverns crawling with enemies and the promise of untold rewards, letting players team up with friends to progress their character and conquer Trove’s sizeable to-do list. However, Trove is more concerned with being an MMO than a Minecraft clone, with its extensive range of classes designed to facilitate and encourage variation in playstyle. Its employment of loot, bosses and dungeons again draws from the well of RPG tropes to deviate from the conventions of its aesthetic inspiration.

17. Starbound

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC 

The tagline for Starbound is a pretty good summation of what to expect: "survive, discover, explore, and fight." Beyond that, an infinite universe means there are loads of possibilities in its generous heaps of 2D co-op gameplay, not least when it comes to shaping the world and discovering new locations to set up shop. Exploring the game with friends - whether it's just to farm, try your hand at space exploration, or create weaponry for quests - is designed to be enjoyable in itself, rather than just a means to an end. And while it is an open-ended experience, the addition of quests and NPCs imbues the game with contextual purpose, unlike the narrative-free adventuring of Minecraft.

16. Colony Survival

Games like Minecraft

(Image credit: Pipliz)

Platforms: PC

At first glance, Colony Survival is another game which could easily be mistaken for Minecraft (albeit Minecraft with some very nice shaders), but it’s actually a very different beast. An unusual blend of tower defence and survival strategy, you’re tasked with building a colony from scratch (or assigning your various colonists to build it for you) and defending it against the hordes of monsters that attack your settlement each night. The colonists are the core of the gameplay, able to be assigned by you to different roles including guards, farmers and miners, and generally being a lot more clever than your average mumbling Minecraft villager. 

15. Kerbal Space Program

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

At its core, Minecraft is all about unleashing creativity and problem-solving. You need a bed, so you gather the materials, arrange them as needed, and construct a bed. Kerbal Space Program is much the same way. No, you're not out in the wilderness building massive replicas of famous locales, but you're using critical thinking skills to help cute cartoon critters survive the harsh reality of space travel. And, like Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program has been used by teachers in schools as an educational tool. See, games can be fun and educational!

14. Don't Starve

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

The Creeper will always remain the king when it comes to survival crafting scares, but Don’t Starve (opens in new tab)’s consortium of creatures come pretty close to dethroning that Minecraft icon. The similarities also extends to Don’t Starve’s emphasis on staying alive through the crafting of tools and shelter, despite your incredibly limited resources. However, the game stands apart thanks to its wonderfully gothic aesthetic, which looks like a children's book fused with H.P. Lovecraft. And, as the title implies, Klei Entertainment’s roguelike uses hunger as merely the first challenge for players to race against in a tough-as-nails survival experience. Staying nourished has never been so intense, and fire has never been a greater friend.

13. Dragon Quest Builders 2

Games like Minecraft

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC

Another game which wears its Minecraft inspiration on its sleeve is survival-craft action RPG Dragon Quest Builders 2. The game drops you into a charming block-based fantasy land being oppressed by an evil cult. The cult’s aims? To eliminate all those who dare to be creative. As a result, the world is falling to bits, and it is your job to defy the cult and help the people reconstruct their destroyed land. Building on the decades-long success of the Dragon Quest series, the game differs from its inspiration with the inclusion of a variety of RPG-style quests, as well as familiar series elements such as slimes, quirky dialogue and an enchantingly retro soundtrack by series regular, composer Koichi Sugiyama.

12. King Arthur's Gold

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC 

The freedom to design and build a castle is just as fun here as it is in Minecraft. You'll dig into the medieval land around your abode, and generally use the environment to fend off invading players. Both the rewards of construction and hilarity of destruction are where King Arthur's Gold excels. And with up to 32 players in multiplayer, King Arthur’s Gold can become ferociously chaotic, but always in a good way. Players will have to learn how to properly utilize the three classes, while also getting used to the physics of the game’s combat tools, like the catapult. Also, there are sharks, and sharks are awesome.

11. Lego Worlds

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Lego Worlds is based heavily on Minecraft, which itself takes a lot of inspiration from Lego itself, so yeah, you could say these two games have quite a bit in common. You can destroy and build ‘en masse’ in Lego Worlds, tearing down entire environments in one foul swoop to build fantastical structures using its suite of robust crafting tools. But there’s also a campaign mode, collectibles, classic Lego-style gameplay, and a wonderfully theatrical Peter Serafinowicz narrating the whole thing. Lego Worlds brings that classic Lego charm to the genre that it’s partly responsible for creating, which lends the game an infectious quality that manages to constantly charm the pants off of anyone messing around in its brick-based biomes.

10. Factorio

Games like Minecraft

(Image credit: Wube Software)

Platforms: PC

Survival meets resource management in this time-eater from Wube Software. After crash landing on an alien planet, it’s up to you to build the machines to survive (and potentially escape) this hostile new world. The developers have made it no secret that they were inspired by Minecraft mods such as IndustrialCraft, and the spirit of building and surviving is no secret in Factorio. The game is one of the more complex ones on this list, but with time to invest and careful organisation, you could soon be the owner of a shiny new industrial sprawl. However, beware: The alien wildlife has been taking lessons from the zombies and creepers, and will grow increasingly hostile to you the more you build and pollute their planet!

9. The Flame in the Flood

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

For anyone who takes satisfaction from the risk-reward dynamic of survival crafting games, but is burnt out on the first-person style gameplay which first originated with Minecraft, there’s a good chance The Flame in the Flood will be right up your alley. Unlike most survival games, you’re constantly on the move in The Flame in the Flood, heading downstream in a washed-out USA to find the source of a radio signal. This figurative and literal flow of pace, in addition to the ambient visuals and folksy soundtrack, allows Flame in the Flood to really stand out, making it well worth its comparatively higher asking price. Plus, who doesn’t like the idea of a loyal dog for a companion in these trying times?

8. Craft the World

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, iOS

An underground labyrinth is in need of exploration and mining, and Craft the World (opens in new tab) leaves a group of dwarves under your command to find what they need to construct fantastic fortresses. Once done with their days-long construction project, it's time to craft weapons, items, ammunition, and more via the in-game library of simple recipes. But unlike in Minecraft, where you are but a single presence in the world, Craft the World gives you a group of earth-dwelling homunculi to help with a variety of tasks. Need some extra muscle? Order them to fend off approaching baddies. How about some setting up some traps? Give a couple of clicks here and there, and you can send them on their merry way.

7. No Man’s Sky

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4

If Minecraft first popularized the concept of procedural generation, No Man’s Sky (opens in new tab) took that idea and launched it sky-high into the great expanse. You’re not exploring a single world, but over 18 quintillion planets, though that familiar survival crafting loop is alive and well here; there’s just spaceships and aliens involved now too. The game had a rough start, as it wasn't quite able to live up to the lofty expectations of players. Since then, however, it's been completely revamped and reshaped into a truly worthwhile experience bursting with things to do. Bored with a planet? No need to create a new world, just hop into your spaceship and fly to another one.

6. Fallout 4

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

As an open-world RPG from Bethesda, Fallout 4 (opens in new tab) probably doesn’t immediately strike you as a spiritual spin-off to Minecraft. But take a look at the Settlement system, in which you can dismantle structures to acquire resources and build wondrous bases. This feature boasts all the hallmarks of classic Minecraft gameplay, and Bethesda hasn’t been shy of expressing its fondness for that franchise in the past. Of course, the reality is that Fallout 4’s Settlement feature is just a small part of a much larger game, and you can completely ignore it if you want to. But experimentation with Fallout 4’s assortment of crafty contraptions brings its own unique rewards that can’t be found anywhere else. 

5. Space Engineers

Games like Minecraft

(Image credit: Keen Software House)

Platforms: PC

A classic space-based sandbox, Space Engineers lets you engineer spaceships, vehicles, and planetary outposts in both survival and creative modes. With its unusual volumetric physics engine, you can dig, build and destroy absolutely everything you see (and if that isn’t in the spirit of Minecraft, nothing is). Technology in the game is designed to be realistic and accurate to what could be created in real life in the near future, so it’s educational (kind of) too! Multiplayer lets you play with up to 16 players per world, allowing you to work together or fight each other for control. And the game’s healthy modding community gives you access to new ships to fly and planets to explore. 

4. Junk Jack

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC

Players can join you in Junk Jack (opens in new tab) for friendly crafting and exploring (or devious killing and trapping) in this pixelated 2D playground. You just never know what's going to happen if you dig too deep or venture far from home, but it usually ends in death. Many games of this ilk tend to plop players down into a new world and let them run wild. Junk Jack takes a different approach. A lengthy tutorial introduces the premise and helps newcomers really understand the nuances of the game, while a simpler crafting system using item recipes also helps usher in less experienced players. That simplicity doesn’t come at a sacrifice to purpose either, which arrives in the form of several in-game goals to accomplish.

3. Fortnite

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

You may be more familiar with its battle royale mode, but Fortnite (opens in new tab) has a co-op mode too, you know! In Fortnite: Save The World, you start out wielding naught but a giant pickaxe, which you can use to whack against trees, rocks, and basically anything else to break down for materials in your quest to build the coolest fortress ever. That fortress will need to be set up post-haste too, as zombies are on the march, and they’re looking to destroy everything within their path. Sounds pretty Minecraft-y to us. And, if you do want to check out Fortnite: Battle Royale, you'll find out what happens when survival crafting meets PvP.

2. Subnautica

Games like Minecraft

(Image credit: Unknown Worlds Entertainment)

Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox One and Playstation 4

Subnautica’s unique brand of underwater, futuristic survival leaves you stranded on the mysterious and watery Planet 4546B, an ocean world teeming with hostile life. Like Minecraft, your task as a lone survivor is to explore the world, overcoming its dangers, and collecting resources to build bases, submersibles, and new tools. Unlike Minecraft however, as well as staying fed and healthy, you’ll have to keep an eye on your oxygen levels as you plunge the depths of the ocean! Also, unlike its block-based precursor, Subnautica also has a proper plot, which players will unearth (or un-water) as they discover their home. The game also benefits from VR support, giving you a truly immersive experience. A standalone expansion, Subnautica: Below Zero, is also now available for Early Access on Steam.

1. Eco

Games like Minecraft

Platforms: PC

Eco takes the top spot on our list because it takes the foundations laid by Minecraft and builds upon them to form something that feels like a significant progression of those ideas. Like Minecraft, Eco has been used as a teaching tool as well as a game, and for good reason. In this world, everything is connected, and you need to build a civilization from the ground up. That means not only are you chopping down trees to build a place where you can craft your various recipes, but you're also chopping down trees in places where doing so won't erode the soil, and keeping the waste byproduct of your crafting limited so as not to pollute the water. While there are many modes of play, arguably the most challenging is to build up a society with other players that is capable of stopping a meteor from destroying everything. Yeah. Good luck with that!

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet! 

With contributions from