Best battle royale games: Fortnite, Warzone and more

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

The best battle royale games bring all the fun and thrill of taking on a large group of friends and foes. Will you be the last one standing?

Battle Royale games have been around for longer than you might think – they started out as mods for popular games like ARMA 2, as many great game ideas do. Eventually, it was the big commercial success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, that put battle royales on the map for most of us. PUBG updates keep happening, even with several alternatives out there, it’s still one of the most popular battle royales.

Battle Royales are easily explained – you drop onto a map with nothing to defend yourself with, and its on you to find weapons and armor , preferably before someone else does, in order to take the other players around you down. The last one standing is the winner. In order to have games not go on for too long, some of these games make their map gradually smaller, using outside forces to pick players off.

Many of the best FPS games have since incorporated battle royale modes, and one popular example is without a doubt Call of Duty: Warzone. But there are several games vying for the crown, and we want to help you decide which one to give a go. A great battle royale doesn't always have to involve guns!

So without further ado, get to know all the best battle royale games in our handy list.

Best Battle Royale games

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best battle royale games – Apex Legends character Wraith wearing a face mask and summoning a large blade

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Apex Legends

Truly sits at the apex

Reasons to buy

+
Fun, fluid gameplay
+
inspired many games to use a ping system
+
Stellar lineup of personalities

Reasons to avoid

-
A few weapons still feel overyl strong

Available on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Apex Legends was Respawn's entry to the battle royale genre, and was an entry it was – a complete surprise jon from the studio that had won many fans with the great Titanfall games.

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. 


best battle royale games – view of soldiers in Battlefield 5 in a trench with weapons drawn

(Image credit: EA)

Battlefield V: Firestorm

Battlefield goes Battle Royale

Reasons to buy

+
Great use of Battlefield V's large maps
+
Fun cover destruction mechanic
+
Great array of weapons and vehicles

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly looting system
-
Victory can feel underwhelming

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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. To us that means both of them have deserved their place in a list of the best battle royale games available. 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.

Battlefield 2042, while originally planned as a Battle Royale, has no battle royale mode, and it doesn't look like one is currently in the works, either.

best battle royale games – view on masked shooters with weapons drawn

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Warzone

Your bite-sized CoD playground

Reasons to buy

+
Huge, interesting maps
+
Tight, responsive gunplay
+
Tense Gulag encounters
+
Contracts offer a new way to play

Reasons to avoid

-
Uninventive weaponry
-
Killstreaks can be overpowered

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

Call of Duty: Warzone, the free add-on for Call of Duty: Moden Warfare, isn't the most original battle royale game (see our Firestorm entry), but it certainly is one of the most popular, thanks to the longstanding popularity of the Call of Duty franchise.

In Warzone you hurry along 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 in 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.

With Modern Warfare 2, Warzone 2 has also released and offers a really fun new mode, however, due to persistent technical issues, we wouldn't put the latest version of Warzone onto our list over the original.


best battle royale games – a female Fortnite character hiding from two characters in dinosaur costumes

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite

Addictive and colorful, Fortnite is the arbiter of the modern battle royale

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant world
+
Fun combat
+
Unique building mechanic

Reasons to avoid

-
Constantly shifting world can make it hard to keep up

Available on:  PlayStation5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Mac and PC for free.

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.

Fortnite is everywhere now and it's both truly an excellent game and a pop-cultural phenomenon. While it's hard to say what caused it to be this popular save for a very good marketing strategy, it's still deservedly one of the best battle royale games and a game you should definitely try for yourself.

Fortnite may be free-to-play, but you can buy bundles with include the in-game currency and more. 


best battle royale games – two cars drive down a road towards the camera in the rain

(Image credit: Microsoft Studios)

Forza Horizon 5: The Eliminator

There's a great battle royale on the horizon

Reasons to buy

+
Seasonal races with their own unique rewards
+
Truly unique interpretation of the battle royale formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Can feel unfair

Available on: Xbox Series X/S, PC

If you prefer the sound of a throaty exhaust pipe over gunfire and explosions, you might be surprised to hear that Forza Horizon 5 has its very own battle royale mode called The Eliminator. In this mode, which has been included with the game for free since Forza Horizon 4, 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. 

Forza Horizon 5 is one of the best racing games on PC, from stunning looks to varied racing mode it's a game that's truly got it all. For such a game to go the lengths to offer its own take on the battle royale formula is truly amazing.

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.


best battle royale games – three characters with weapons drawn, a massive explosion behind them

(Image credit: PUBG Corporation,)

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

PUBG is the OG

Reasons to buy

+
Tense and unpredictable experience
+
Massive community

Reasons to avoid

-
Has been eclipsed in many aspects by its competitors

Available on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Android, iOS

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 and PUBG was the first full game dedicated to letting you fight to be the last player standing. This paved the way for the other games in this list of best battle royale games. Just because it's the first commercial game of its kind doesn't mean PUBG has to be one of the best battle royale games, but despite a lot of competition, the game has held its own over the years.

PUBG is arguably much more intense than the likes of Fortnite, relying on combat rather than mechanics such as building and it's not as popular as it used to be. However, if you prefer a challenging and pure battle royale experience, you can't pass PUBG up. 


best battle royale games two colourful worms caught within a larger rainbow-coloured worm with googly eyes

(Image credit: Lowtech Studios)

Slither.io

We just opened up a can of worms by showing this to you

Reasons to buy

+
Simple fun for all ages

Reasons to avoid

-
Skilled players decide the game for themselves early on

Available on: Browser, Android, ioS

What if we told you that one of the best battle royale games was about feeding worms?

Who doesn't want to grow 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?


best battle royale games – a Tetris board with many small opponents' boards to the left and right

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Tetris 99

Alone together

Reasons to buy

+
The classic Tetris experience reimagined as thrilling multiplayer

Reasons to avoid

-
The amount of stuff on screen can cause overwhelm

Available on: Nintendo Switch

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.

That being said, while the sheer novelty and great execution is enough to make Tetris 99 one of the best battle royale games, it's still Tetris – it's almost impossible to keep an eye on what other players are doing.

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. 


Tom Bedford
Deputy Editor - Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.


He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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