The best battle royale games

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(Image credit: Epic Games)
Best of the best

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Battle royale games have come a long way in eight years, growing from a collection of niche mods to one of the biggest genres in all of gaming. Blockbusters like Fortnite and PUBG have been joined by Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and dozens of other battle royale games over the past several years, catapulting the genre into the mainstream. Too many to count have entered the ring, but a scant few have reigned supreme.

Battle royale may be on its way out as the "trendy" genre to pursue (it seems for now that honor belongs to the BR offshoot, the extraction shooter), but it remains a fun and distinct way to compete on a massive scale. As battle royale has expanded, many games have introduced their own twists, like hero powers, magic spells, and the ability to revive fallen teammates.

Here are the best battle royale games you should be playing in 2024.

Apex Legends

(Image credit: Respawn)

Release date: 2019| Developer: Respawn | Steam, Origin

 Respawn's popular battle royale just turned five, and of the battle royale games that have stuck around through the years, Apex Legends might be the most consistent. Years of updates have seen some large rule changes, like how shields are generated, and every season shifts weapons around a bit, but rarely has Respawn upended its core loop of outlasting, sharp aiming, and skillful mobility. Respawn continued its tradition from the Titanfall series of excellent player movement and exciting weapons, and the roster of heroes keeps on growing.


(Image credit: Epic)

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Epic Games | Epic Games Store

No game is better at evolving with the times than Fortnite. Epic's battle royale sensation doesn't always make the headlines anymore, but for the millions still logging on daily, Fortnite's evolving sandbox of gadgets, weaponry and interactive map elements are still unmatched. It speaks to Fortnite's flexibility that it has become a platform for other games: the Fortnite package now comes with a fully-fledged survival game in Lego Fortnite, a Rocket League racing game, and a Harmonix-developed rhythm game. 

Call of Duty: Warzone

(Image credit: Activision)

Release date: 2020| Developer: Infinity Ward| Steam, Battlenet

Warzone has seen a lot of changes for only being around four years, but it feels like Activision is finally settling into a groove. After sunsetting the original Warzone in 2023, Warzone 2 lost its "2" and we're back to square one. Raven and Infinity Ward spent much of the past year undoing unpopular changes to Warzone 2's guns and movement. It's stable now, and the studios made the wise choice to make sure players can always choose between traditional battle royale and the popular respawn-friendly variant, Resurgence. 

PUBG: Battlegrounds

(Image credit: PUBG Corp)

Release date: 2017| Developer: PUBG Corp | Steam

The battle royale that put the genre on the map is still wildly popular, even if you stopped hearing about it. Despite becoming the most-copied game of its time, there's still no surviving battle royale that plays quite like it. If you like milsim-aligned gunplay with unforgiving bullet drop, high recoil, and a realistic art style, PUBG is where it's at these days. Along the way, Krafton has experimented with rule changes and map variations inspired by other stapes of the genre, like a gulag second chance system, respawn opportunities, and arcade modes.

Naraka: Bladepoint

(Image credit: 24 Entertainment)

Release date: 2021| Developer: 24 Entertainment| Steam

The most popular battle royale game you're not playing. Naraka: Bladepoint is a martial arts battle royale that represents a fresh and much-needed twist on the genre. 60 players, all armed with grappling hooks, clash in melee combat using swords, spears, fists, and sometimes a massive chainsaw. The animations are fast and weightless, the movement is frenetic and fluid, and unlike just about every other battle royale out there, the character creation tools are top notch.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.