Kenshi is a game that not all of you have heard about, and to good measure. The brutal survival RPG came away from 5 years of early access, and finally got released to a few murmurs here and there.
What we are here to tell you, is that Kenshi and some of the games on the list we are presenting, need more attention relative to their quality.
The premise of Kenshi is simple; you are a survivor in an apocalypse-ravaged world, and the only goal you are given is to survive. You could stay in the same area and build a life for yourself or go out into the vast darkness as a nomad, a traveler, or a trader.
That said, here are some of the best games like Kenshi, released or in early access, comparable in terms of gameplay, quality, presentation, story, music, and much more. Read on!
The Best Games Like Kenshi You Can Get Today
Day-Z is a game that takes all of its elements seriously. Born off a mod that was made for ARMA II, Day-Z rocketed to popularity in early access and was hungrily consumed by scores of fans when it was released.
Scouring the entire map until you get to the point where you can take on the hordes is largely satisfying.
Among the number of other innovations that Day-Z brought to the table, it is commendable that the dev team even managed to make this beautiful zombie survival game after the years that it spent in development hell. Don’t miss out on Day-Z.
Perhaps what’s most fascinating about Conan: Exiles is the visceral and brutal nature of the world itself, discounting the scoundrels that inhabit it.
From sandstorms to woolly mammoths, you can encounter absolutely anything, and everything designed to make your gameplay experience a nightmare.
And then you discover what Conan is all about. The journey you go on after being freed by the eponymous main character, and the resources you gather along the way, all of that is preparing you for the harshness of the world itself.
The game derives its challenge from asking you to be prepared. Or die.
One of the more lighthearted takes on the survival genre, Raft is the nonchalant, comedic game that we have on our list. Although being stranded in a vast ocean is not a prospect most would entertain, Raft makes sure that every step of the way is enjoyable either solo, or with friends.
The objective is really simple, you must build a raft to stay afloat. And the base-building aspect of the game takes over, and you are allowed to practically make a yacht or a floating mansion to help you survive at sea.
Developer/Publisher: Redbeet Interactive/Axolot Games
Release Date: 23 May 2018
Although Scum asks to be taken as a PvP game, the survival aspect of it is still there. Thrown into an Eastern European island amidst scores of escaped prisoners, Scum lets you play a survival game with the most dangerous enemy of them all; man.
Much like Death Race, the big bad wants to make the inmates forage and fight for their lives, and you are no different from them while on the ground.
Scum is brilliant, violent, and interesting, with everything from crafting to the hunt-or-be-hunted aesthetic, another top game similar to Kenshi albeit from a more sociopathic perspective!
Platforms: Linux, macOS, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
One of the best survival games, at least on PC, Rust is an open-world adventure survivor which challenges you to go from primitive to modern, during which you will encounter your friends, people who just want to be your friends to backstab you, and some who don’t make any jokes about it; they’re here to kill, and whether it is you or not you, someone is getting killed.
So, the point then is to find a way to survive, maintain your body, and your base. Sounds way too complicated? It’s fun too.
Unless you are dragged into the woods in the middle of peaceful sleep. Then worry. Worry a lot.
Platforms: PC, Android, MacOS, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
10. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
This list is not in any particular order. Just why KC:D makes it smack middle, another medieval simulator, although it’s leagues above the aforementioned in terms of usage of scale, weaponry, lifestyle, gameplay, and surroundings.
Starting you off as a destitute in an initially smallish part of Bohemia, the game kicks things off with a simple tale of revenge that for the most part keeps you grounded throughout the whole campaign.
Along with the great combat and graphical innovations in this sub-genre, KC:D is a great pick for a medieval power fantasy.
Developer/Publisher: Warhorse Studios/Deep Silver
Release Date: 13 February 2018
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Another game heavily compared to older Fallout, Sheltered here is as removed from that game as can be.
Starting off, there are scenarios, which put you inside a sandbox and ask you to survive for a set amount of time.
Sheltered is harrowing, and the number of times that you will be left questioning what just happened to lead to those harrowing moments sticking with you as trauma forever.
Like a pet dying to get converted into food, or the introduction of death in the family turning all other members into gangbangers.
As the name suggests, Ark feels like another cookie-cutter Jurassic Park clone. But as you delve deeper into the game, you’ll feel the mood shift quite early on.
Ark is just a fully-realized open-world monster hunter hidden behind a boring name.
As soon as you boot it up and see the giant scale and variety of monsters present for you to be a part of a hunt-or-be-hunted scenario, and by the time you get to the epic Avatar-Esque endgame, you will have a great deal of appreciation for Ark.
Probably the most peculiar addition to this list, LoZ can be perfectly classified as genreless.
And this goes a long way into making it one of the best games of all time, no matter what genre you want to look at or how long you want to look at it.
The sheer freedom that LoZ gives you as Link can actually involve fighting practically the main boss of the game, Ganon, as soon as you start playing, and we think that is one of the coolest video game experiences that we have ever had.
We insist this is one of the best games like Kenshi or any other video game there is or might be!
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
17. Survivalist: Invisible Strain
A zombie survivor, amongst the many on this list, don’t let Survivalist’s comic book-inspired art style fool you into thinking that this is going to be another Lollipop Chainsaw.
What this RPG lacks in flair, however, it makes up for in functionality. You’re not some hero destined to be the savior of the land, you are the unfortunate bum that landed in a mess with no idea what to do next.
What you can do is forage, kill zombies and explore the land as you see fit! Fun? You bet.
In stark contrast to our previous inclusion, Last Oasis is a visually stunning, and excellently presented survival elements while still being in early access, Last Oasis has a lot of eyes trained on its release.
Despite the survival genre that this game claims to be a part of, Last Oasis is primarily an action-packed romp where combat takes priority over other aspects such as base building and environmental exploration.
In any case, we too, will keep an eye out for Last Oasis once it finally releases, and how soon we can ride our own huge Walkers.
Like in many other lists, we had to mention a veritable clone to some of the games that we have already mentioned.
And no, there are no brownie points for guessing what Life Z Survival takes inspiration from. Although one takeaway could be that the zombie survival game is only $9.99, so it’s got that going for it.
I mean if you want to actually experience a clone and not the original.
All criticism aside, just like a lot of games on the list, whatever Life Z takes from Day-Z, makes a lot of sense, and while they couldn’t replicate the combat of ARMA, doesn’t mean you won’t have fun.
A more well-known addition to this list, State of Decay 2 is a fantastic zombie game, and not because of the brilliant co-op and the permadeath mechanic, State of Decay as a sequel has come out firing on all cylinders to take the zombie survivor top spot.
You are, well, obviously a survivor of the outbreak and must now look for resources and shelter, either by yourself, or in groups of up to 4 people. Sounds straightforward. You’ll be surprised with the steep difficulty gradients.
Back to obscure indie goodness however, and what we have is…..*drumroll* Forager. We know, you’re all asking the same question, but for the aforementioned survival masochists, Forager is the perfect balance between dark humor, a fight for survival, and a conflicting art style.
And all with great combat to boot. No, seriously.
Far too often it’s compared to Undertale in style. Let’s just enjoy this highly addictive romp, combining elements of mobile and console indie hits, and constantly entertaining with little unsettling things such as inanimate objects springing to life when you least expect them!
Even out of early access, Valheim has received immense critical and commercial acceptance, with everything from the overall challenging survival mechanics, the Nordic inspiration, and the grim soundtrack, Valheim does it all, truly among the best games like Kenshi, a top 3 entrant.
Taking video game development into uncharted territory (right into Uncharted territory), Valheim successfully manages to marry both world-building and your presence and importance in the game without having to resort to cutting you out of story heavy bits.
Nothing but praise for this one. Go give it a shot, you will not regret it.
Developer/Publisher: Iron gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing
Release Date: 2 February 2021 (Early Access)
Platforms: PC, Linux
Probably the only other colony building sim in this list, Rimworld is a great addition to the genre. Visually, the game isn’t much to write home about, unless oldie Pixelart is your cup of tea.
Now, instead of having loyal sheep that follow your every instruction like in Fallout: Shelter, Rimworld invites you to experience the challenge of managing an entire populace, each with their own thought processes and opinions.
If you do manage to strike within their hearts that democracy is the only way forward, you might soon have a rebellion on your hands that you won’t see coming. Read that again but slowly before you play this!
The sequel to the widely lauded indie smash hit, Don’t Starve Together takes all of the aspects and challenge of the previous games, cranks them all the way to deafening decibels, and while you are frantically searching for resources and supplies, quietly drops a companion in another player to have you both help yourself, and each other.
Now, if it were that simple, this game wouldn’t be so talked about, would it?
Well, the art style has been revamped, and the soundtrack is now marvelous, cute and funny piano melodies that can turn sour in a moment.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, PC
Now there are loads of other games like Kenshi, but perhaps with less similarities than you would like. True that we’ve tweaked this list to include games similar to Kenshi but not really meant for sacrosanct comparisons. But they are genuine survival genre entrees. If we’ve missed a game, add it in the comments.