The Battle Royale craze started back in 2017. I’m sure there were other Battle Royale-type games or game modes before then, but the version we know today became popular in 2017. Battle Royale is a genre that has taken over the video game world where a large group of players are all fighting to be the last one standing.
It all began with one game — PlayerUnknown’s: Battlegrounds (or PUBG). People went crazy for this game. I remember when it first came out in early access in early 2017. My buddy bought it for me, so I would play PC games with him and his crew. It worked for a little while, but I eventually went back to playing mostly console games by myself.
Many tried to imitate PUBG and the Battle Royale formula. Others tried to make it better and many games failed along the way. Some of the Battle Royale-style games that are still around today found a unique spin on the genre. Other games are just complete rip-offs, and that works too.
I’ve compiled a list of the Battle Royale games I’ve played and enjoyed since PUBG was released to the world in 2017.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
- Up to 100 Players
- Solos, Duos, Squads (Other Modes)
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) may not be the first ever Battle Royale game, but it was the one that became so popular that it created a Battle Royale obsession around the gaming industry. The game was basically one giant map where 100 players would fight to be the last one standing — who would be awarded the “chicken dinner.” This was the first Battle Royale game I ever played. It was insane to me that they could fit up to 100 players on a single map. Since its first release, the game has added new maps and new features along the way. They’ve moved from PC to almost every platform, including smartphones with PUBG Mobile.
This game always looked pretty wonky to me, but I played it anyway since it was the only one of its kind at the time, and my friends were playing it. It wasn’t a graphic marvel at the time and still isn’t today. It was fun though, especially while communicating with a squad (of friends) over my headset. When playing alone in solo mode the gunshots were too realistic and loud. They would freak me out. I spent most of my time running from building to building crouching and searching for weapons and items. Hiding from the dangerous world outside.
As more Battle Royale games became available I moved away from PUBG to try out some of the others.
- Up to 100 Players
- Solos, Duos, Squads (Other Modes)
Before Fortnite was the biggest game in the world thanks to its pivot to a Battle Royale game, it was a totally different game. It started off as Fortnite: Save the World, a Co-op PvE action building game. I’m not sure what that means, but when that game failed and EPIC saw the success of PUBG they switched up their whole game plan. Fortnite became a free-to-play Battle Royale game and is now one of the biggest games in the world.
I always thought of Fortnite as a clone of PUBG for a younger crowd, but there are some other differences. For one, you can build forts, walls, towers and pretty much anything in Fortnite. There are also tons of quests going on behind the scenes, but the main purpose of Fortnite is the Battle Royale game, which has pretty much the same modes as PUBG. Start off in the air, pick a landing zone and search for weapons to take out your enemies and be the last remaining player to earn the Victory Royale.
Artists have performed full concerts in Fortnite, movie trailers have been revealed. Events and seasons include characters from everywhere: DC, Marvel, Star Wars and more. The Epic Games Store was created due to the massive success of this game. And now Epic is having an Epic war with Apple over Fortnite on iPhones.
Of all the Battle Royale games I’ve tried thus far, this is definitely the easiest one. And I can say this because I have won (Victory Royale) about 10 times in Fortnite. It’s also the least spooky of the Battle Royale shooters with its cartoonish design. I think the reason it’s so easy is that many people are playing Fortnite on tablets and smartphones which makes aiming extra hard, especially when playing against someone with a controller or mouse and keyboard. I wasn’t really into this game at first, but lately I have been playing it more and more (Thanks to Mando and purchasing the latest Battle Pass).
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Warzone
- Up to 150 Players
- Solos, Duos, Trios
Call of Duty games are already one of the best-selling franchises on the market today. They release a new iteration each year and have been doing so for close to 20 years. Call of Duty is on the same track as big sports games (Madden, NBA2K, FIFA). They release a new, updated version each year keeping fans playing as much as they can before they feel obligated to buy the new, updated version.
Of course, they had to get greedy and add a Battle Royale mode. A FREE Battle Royale mode (called Warzone) that would give people a taste, enticing them to purchase the full game. Or, if they didn’t want to purchase whatever current Call of Duty game was out, they could just purchase a Battle Pass for Warzone instead.
Call of Duty: Warzone did some things differently from the other Battle Royales that existed. One of those things is that up to 150 players can be on the map in one match. That’s an insane number of players (especially after thinking 100 was too much). I’ve never won a Warzone match, but I can imagine it would take well over 30 minutes to make it to the end with that many people on the map. They also added the Gulag, which gives players a second chance after dying if they are able to defeat another player in a small, quick gunfight.
Each year, Call of Duty games get more and more realistic. In Battle Royale mode, with that many people it gets spooky. It’s extra scary because you are hyper aware of your surroundings as you try to stay alive. There are also strange, loud Cloverfield noises coming from the skies. Planes are flying by, dropping boxes and making loud noises. There’s loud intense music that plays to distract you every few minutes. It’s just an insane environment. There’s definitely way too much going on. But, because it’s Call of Duty the controls are great and it just feels right.
- Up to 60 Players
- Duos (30 teams) or Trios (20 Teams)
Apex Legends was released by the creators of Titanfall 2, another FPS with smooth controls. They also did something different, keeping the matches to teams of two or three. It’s best to stick with your team in this one, so that when someone gets taken out you still have a chance to revive them if you can grab their player card. They also have a few different characters with unique abilities, and you can unlock and purchase more as you level up. This game takes place in a futuristic world, so the weapons and items are a bit more technologically advanced than the others.
I haven’t played too many hours in this game, but I did enjoy it while playing, especially with friends since it is a team game. Anytime I’ve played Apex Legends with strangers I usually muted them, making me the worst teammate since I couldn’t hear what the others were saying to me. If this game had a solo Battle Royale mode I would have chosen it over some other Battle Royale games more often. I will most likely give it another chance when it’s finally released on the Nintendo Switch.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- Up to 60 Players
- Multiple Game Shows
Released in 2020 as a Free PS Plus game, and for PC on Steam Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout continues to be huge among the streaming community. This game is just great, silly fun. We’re currently on the third season of Fall Guys which is cool to see them add new content, levels and more with each new season (and mid-season). This is definitely the most goofy of the games on this list, it’s also the most fun to me.
This game is so much fun, because you can go for the crown and hope to be the last Fall Guy standing, you can also just go around trying to do epic, silly stuff like get yeeted into the next level or you can mess around with other Fall Guys and ruin their chances at advancing. It’s also a quick moving game. Once you lose a game show you can just quit and search for a new match fairly quickly. I’m excited to see what else they do with this game, it’s just stupid fun. It’s even fun to watch your friends continue to go for the crown and cheer them on once you’ve been eliminated.
- Up to 99 Players
Tetris has been around longer than I have (since 1984). We’ve definitely seen many new takes on Tetris throughout the years, but this is one of the most creative (after Tetris Effect, of course). Everyone thinks they are really good at Tetris, so being able to play against another human in Tetris is always a good way to see if that’s true. Playing against 98 other humans is an even better way to see how good you actually are. I didn’t even know about T-Spins until this game came out.
This is just a nice, quick Battle Royale game. Each round takes a few minutes. I love that they found a way to let you attack other players in Tetris using your achievements. Anytime you mess up one block in Tetris that’s where the mistakes begin, now imagine you just messed up a row and a huge dump of someone else’s tetriminos comes your way. This game becomes very chaotic, very quickly.
The Battle Royale genre isn’t something that will be going away any time soon. I’m excited to see where other games take it. Especially the strange ones like the last two on my list (Fall Guys and Tetris 99). We have already seen Super Mario Bros 35. Will we get some sort of Star Wars Battle Royale now that pretty much anyone can develop a Star Wars game? Some people are annoyed by developers implementing some sort of Battle Royale mode into their games, but I think it’s great. This way we can all find the best Battle Royale for us.
The Battle Royale shooter that I’ve spent the most time in lately is Fortnite. I definitely jump into Call of Duty: Warzone from time to time (when my PS4 Pro has the space for it, at over 100 GBs). Fall Guys is just a silly fun and different type of Battle Royale game, which I also spend lots of time in. PUBG was definitely the game that got me into this genre, but I quickly moved on once other games were released. Apex Legends was another one I played with friends for a bit.
I enjoy playing Battle Royale games while I’m playing them, but ultimately I feel that there is no real progression in these games. It makes me crave a story game that I can move closer and closer to an ending. There are still many days where I just want to play something with no point, something mindless and these days are perfect for some Battle Royale. Many of them are also the perfect games to play with friends online.
Now please enjoy my embarrassing death after jumping back into PUBG for the first time in over a year…