Many people thought the battle royale genre was a fad, expecting the hype and popularity to die down as interest fell quickly. However, that could not have been further from the truth, as the genre proved to have tremendous staying power, having the ability to engross its player base for hours on end, having “one more drop” turn into dozens.
Xbox One was one of the first consoles to embrace the genre with its exclusive deal to bring Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds to its platform. From there, several other heavy hitters in the industry decided to take a crack at the genre with either spin-off games or incorporating it into the core multiplayer experience.
Updated November 24, 2022, by Seth Parmer: The Battle Royale landscape is consistently changing and evolving, with some titles falling off more than others and even getting canned entirely. This update has removed the Battle Royales that are no longer playable on Xbox and added all the new ones that you should be paying attention to. We also rearranged some of the rankings!
10/10 Realm Royale: Reforged
Originally titled Paladins: Battlegrounds and later renamed to Realm Royale before getting overhauled until what is now Realm Royale: Reforged, an early access battle royale title and a spin-off from Hi-Rez’s hero-shooter Paladins. This 100-player battle royale has players select their favorite Champion from the Paladins universe and battle to become the last one standing.
While Realm Royale: Reforged can be a blast to play from time to time, its early access phase is constantly being changed, and the player base isn’t nearly as extensive as it used to be, which can make finding matches difficult, increasing your likelihood of running into bots, which isn’t the best experience. It has potential, but as for now, it’s positioned firmly at the bottom.
9/10 The Darwin Project
The Darwin Project is a battle royale game that trades in the traditional high player count for a stronger emphasis on survival. Along the way, you’re fighting nature and the elements as much as you are the other players. This adds another layer of survival and emergent gameplay that fans of the genre love and crave.
It’s able to carve out its own tiny niche in the market for players looking for something a little more unique with less emphasis on aggressive gun-skill competition found in most of the top games in the genre. The name is also pretty fitting for the battle royale genre as well, and the overall world of the game is fascinating and gorgeous to take in.
8/10 Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds was once the most popular and most played battle royale game on the market nearly six years ago. However, it has since lost a significant chunk of its player base, despite remaining faithful to what made it so beloved to begin with. While PUBG still maintains its high skill ceiling and slower playstyle compared to its competition, it can still be a bit rough around the edges for some players.
Overall, PUBG is still an excellent battle royale title, but it lacks the polish, replayability, and overall drive that some of the titles that have followed while also improving upon what it brought to the table. Compared to some of the other juggernauts available, PUBG is a hard sell, showing how competitive this genre is and how fast the player base can come and go the moment something new releases.
7/10 Naraka: Bladepoint
Naraka: Bladepoint is a perfect example of there still being untapped potential in the battle royale genre, as it is a 60-player action-adventure game that has players duke it out with melee and range-based weapons, allowing them to scale buildings, fight bosses, and much more than they try to be the last one standing.
There’s no denying that Naraka: Bladepoint needs some work, but it has great potential and can hopefully continue to grow in popularity as its universe, characters, and gameplay are stellar and hook you almost immediately. Unfortunately, other battle royales nail their take on the genre more convincingly, which is why this is relatively low on the list.
6/10 Hunt: Showdown
Hunt: Showdown is a sleeper hit slowly being discovered by more and more fans of the genre and makes a compelling argument for PvPvE battle royales. In this game, you are a Hunter tasked with taking down monsters via bounties, with the twist that other player-controlled Hunters are gunning for the same targets as you, that will attempt to dispatch you the moment you cross their path.
You can play solo or with a team, but there are only a few monsters on the map, making the race to find, kill them, and survive exhilarating and tense every match. As you trudge through the sprawling areas, you will constantly look over your shoulder for other Hunters while simultaneously trying to push forward to reach the target. This battle royale is excellent and deserves much more attention.
5/10 Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Perhaps on the complete opposite side of the spectrum of Hunt: Showdown is Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, a 60-player platforming battle royale that essentially has you battle your way through randomly selected mini-games that involve teamwork, precise platforming, and lots of thank you It’s like Mario Party but cute and equally as frustrating. But, you know, in the ‘fun’ sort of frustrating that only Mario Party seems to have.
Fall Guys is a unique take on the genre that deserves the praise it gets, and now that it’s free-to-play on every platform, giving it a shot should be mandatory if you are a fan of the genre. It’s quirky, colourful, adorable, exceptionally fun, and blood-boiling all at the same time, which is why you should not sleep on it.
Speaking of a unique take on the battle royale formula, Rumbleverse may be the biggest curveball in the genre, offering a full-fledged brawler-based game packaged neatly into a 40-player battle royale. After you drop in, you will be able to equip unique power-ups and wield mele-based weapons that range from baseball bats to steel chairs, making for exhilarating and chaotic moments.
In addition to weapons, you can deliver devastating elbow drops, kicks, and punches. Furthermore, most attacks can be blocked or evaded, drastically opening the moment-to-moment combat. Rumbleverse is always exciting and pure fun to play. There’s nothing quite like it, and it stands as another prime example of what this genre is still capable of all these years later.
3/10 Call Of Duty: Warzone 2.0
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Warzone 2.0 takes what its predecessor has more or less perfected and improves upon it in almost every capacity, combining the fun, fluent, and engaging shooting the series is known for and combining it with the battle royale genre, complete with a satisfying loot system and intricately designed map.
With a whopping 150-player count, Warzone 2.0 will have you constantly engaging in combat and scrambling to survive as you drop into areas that are recreations of fan-favorite maps from the franchise’s beloved past. Despite some glaring launch and server issues, which is why this isn’t even higher, Warzone 2.0 is a fantastic upgrade to an already exhilarating battle royale experience that deserves your attention.
2/10 Apex Legends
Apex Legends has had its ups and downs throughout its career, but it is currently on a significant upswing, bringing in a fantastic new hero, map, and much-needed weapon balancing and adjustments, making it feel good to play again. Not that it has ever felt bad to play, it just lost what made it once so special with either broken characters or poor weapon balancing, making it frustrating to play.
As it currently stands, Apex Legends is in an excellent place and still has room to grow and continue in the right direction, recapturing the spark that made this arcade-shooter battle royale so special and fun in the first place. The characters, universe, gunplay, and overall experience of Apex Legends are phenomenal and should be experienced by anyone that is a fan of the genre.
Fortnite, despite its earth-shattering popularity, always seems to get the short end of the stick or is often frowned upon by the likes that view it as a child’s game. However, Fortnite rules, actually, and is one of the most influential games of all time, sporting unique gameplay, fantastic visuals, and a surprisingly high skill ceiling if you’re into building. And, if you aren’t, you can now play modes that disable building, making it play more like a traditional battle royale, which is excellent.
Also, what other game offers you the ability to shoot an RPG at Chun-Li as Sasuke Uchiha or beat Chris Redfield down as Indiana Jones? The answer is simply no other game, and that’s why Fortnite is so special to many people. It also helps that the gameplay is engaging and fun to play, making it clearly the best battle royale currently available.
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