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Best battle royale games: Fortnite, Warzone, Apex Legends and more

best battle royale games
best battle royale games (Image credit: EA / PUBG Corp / Epic Games)

There are plenty of battle royale games out there, with the genre quickly gaining more and more entries since its popularity burst in the mid-2010s, so it can be hard to know which to play.

Battle royale games generally consist of players dropping into a map, either alone or in teams, scavenging weapons, armor and gear randomly scattered throughout the area, and battling others players in an attempt to survive. This is made considerably more difficult as the map closes in, gradually limiting the play area by more and more. The goal is simple: be the last team (or player) standing.

The battle royale genre is named after the 2000 film Battle Royale, but the general rules and concept can be traced back to ancient Roman gladiatorial fights and possibly even earlier.

There are variations on this theme, of course, and the different games have different mechanics, map features and rule variants to make them unique, but you're not going to have a hard time understanding the rules of one if you've played another.

So if you're looking to get into battle royale games, or know one or more well and want to find others that might pique your interest, these are the best battle royales available right now.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Apex Legends marked a huge moment in the lifespan of the battle royale genre. It marked first person shooter (FPS) masters Respawn entering the ever-closing arena, with expertise in the genre going back to Call of Duty 4 and Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and infusing Apex Legends with the best combat and movement seen in the genre. And they dropped it out of nowhere, for free. It was a huge moment.

While Fortnite has set unrealistic expectations about how quickly these games should be reinvented and refreshed, Respawn has stuck to high-value seasonal changes, and a steady trickle of new heroes to keep the meta changing. It's an incredibly generous game, too, allowing you to unlock all of its heroes with in-game currency so you don't have to spend anything, though it might take you a while. 

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for free.

Battlefield V: Firestorm

Battlefield V: Firestorm

(Image credit: EA)

The Firestorm mode in Battlefield V is a battle royale mode added to the game months after its release, that sees teams of four or fewer running about a Scandinavian island scavenging weapons, ammo and extras as a ring of fire closes in. It’s Johnny Cash’s perfect game.

In terms of mechanics, Firestorm is very, very similar to Warzone, and a less forgiving gamer would call Call of Duty’s version a rip-off of Battlefield’s. The gun ranking tiers, armor mechanics, and even look and feel of the map are rather similar, although being set in World War 2 Firestorm in a quaint isolated area give Firestorm a more distinct feel.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

You need Battlefield V to play Firestorm, check out the latest prices for it below:

Call of Duty: Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone isn't the most original battle royale game (see our Firestorm entry), but it certainly is one of the most popular, with its March 2020 release seeing huge download numbers.

In Warzone you hurry about a large map full of locations familiar to anyone who's played any Call of Duty multiplayer, fighting in teams of three or fewer in massive 150-player skirmishes, which of course means there are loads of other teams to stumble across. There are a few unique features about Warzone that make it interesting, like its Gulag which offers you a second chance and its alternative modes that see you scramble to collect money instead of kills.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for free.

You don't need Call of Duty: Moden Warfare to play Warzone, but the free-to-play add-on might get you in the mood for the base game, so check out its prices below:

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite

(Image credit: Epic Games)

It wasn’t the first battle royale, but Fortnite made the genre a household name with its successful free-to-play model. Fortnite’s base concept is simple (and similar to a lot of other battle royales) where you’ll be fighting against 99 other players, but it has one killer selling point: building.

When you’re running around Fortnite’s map, you’ll be picking up materials as well as weapons that allow you to build walls and ramps. This allows you to traverse the map quicker, protect yourself during firefights and generally get the advantage over the enemy to allow you to become the last survivor.

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Mac and PC for free.

Fortnite may be free-to-play, but you can buy bundles with include the in-game currency and more. Check out the prices of them below.

Forza Horizon 4: The Eliminator

Forza Horizon 4: The Eliminator

(Image credit: Microsoft Studios)

If you prefer the sound of a throaty exhaust pipe over gunfire and explosions, you might be surprised to hear that Forza Horizon 4 has its very own battle royale mode called ‘The Eliminator’. 72 drivers compete against each other in frantic head-to-head races where only one driver can be victorious. It shifts gears on the popular last-man-standing formula as you’ll need to challenge (and often avoid being challenged) by other players in the game to win. 

Every driver starts out with a modest 1965 Mini Cooper and needs to secure better cars as quickly as possible, which periodically drop into the world. Reach the drop before another player and you’ll be able to swap out your banger for a faster ride, which will significantly increase your chances of beating any opponents who challenge you to a race.

Races take place in the middle of Forza Horizon 4’s wonderful recreation of Britain, so expect plenty of drywall to smash through, trees to avoid, and some spectacular scenery as you career to each zone – pedal to the metal. 

Available on Xbox One and PC.

You need Forza Horizon 4 to play The Eliminator mode, check out the best prices below:

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

(Image credit: PUBG Corporation,)

Created by the father of the Battle Royale genre Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was arguably the first fully-realized Battle Royale game. Greene had previously made mods for other games based on the Japanese film ‘Battle Royale’, however PUBG was the first full game dedicated to letting you fight to be “the last player standing” and it paved the way for the other games in this list.

PUBG is arguably much more intense than the likes of Fortnite, relying on combat rather than mechanics such as building, but if you prefer a challenging and pure battle royale then PUBG will likely be right up your street. 

Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS and PC, and as an APK on Android, for free.

Slither.io

Slither.io

(Image credit: Slither.io)

What if we told you that the best game of all time had nothing to do with Witchers or fire plants, portals or space operas?

What if we told you that, instead, it had everything to do with feeding a tiny worm, until it grew into the largest, most powerful worm that has ever lived? A king among annelids, the Genghis Kahn of nematodes, eating other, smaller, weaker, pathetic worms until all the kingdoms of worms bowed down to your singular mighty worm? One worm to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them. 

What if we told you that game existed? What if we told you that it was free to play, with hundreds of other competing worms online, on everything from a desktop browser to a phone app? What if we told you that that game was called Slither.io?

Available via browser and on iOS and Android for free.

Tetris 99

Tetris 99

(Image credit: Nintendo)

You wouldn’t think Tetris and battle royale should be in the same sentence, but developers of Tetris 99, Akria, sure showed us. Tetris 99 is one of the few games on this list where you won’t be shooting your opponents, and it entirely reinvents the way you play with those colorful tetrominoes.

It’s the game you know and love, but instead you’re playing against 99 other players. The aim is to stay in the game as long as possible, and when you clear a line of tetrominoes you’ll be firing them off to one of your opponents to try and mess up their game. 

Available on Nintendo Switch

You need to buy Tetris 99 to be able to play it, check out the best prices below:

Honorable mentions

There are plenty more battle royale games or modes we didn't list, either because we're not familiar enough with them to suggest them, or because they aren't as good as the ones listed.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has its own battle royale mode called Blackout which you can also play on Call of Duty Mobile, and that serves as a predecessor to Warzone.

If you want something different, Mordhau is a medieval-themed PC game with a battle royale mode.

Two other fairly well-known titles are Realm Royale and Cuisine Royale, relatively new names that could well be up-and-comers that replace some of the others on this list.

Finally, there are plenty of battle royale-themed iOS and Android games that you can find by searching 'battle royale' into the App Store or Play Store. Check out the star rating and reviews of them to see if they're for you.

Best battle royale games at a glance

  • Apex Legends
  • Battlefield V: Firestorm
  • Call of Duty; Warzone
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4: The Eliminator 
  • PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
  • Slitheriio
  • Tetris 99