Like it or not, the battle royale craze doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Commanding an incredibly large and rabidly dedicated base of fans all across the globe, gaming studios have been cranking out a near-endless stream of titles revolving around the concept, and established gaming cornerstones like Call of Duty and Battlefield have kept up by adopting battle royale game modes into their multiplayer suites.
But which ones are actually worth your time? With such a remarkably lengthy catalog of battle royale titles looking to cash in on the fad, the sheer number of options can be just a little overwhelming. Just dive into the list below to see the top five battle royale games that are definitely worth checking out (if you haven't already), alongside five that should be avoided at all costs.
10 WORST: Fallout 76 - Nuclear Winter
To be perfectly clear, Nuclear Winter is a great thing in the context of Fallout 76. It manages to breathe a little bit of life into a title that most gamers had given up for dead after its perfectly disastrous launch, and it's fun in its own, incredibly strange, signature Bethesda brand of utter lunacy.
However, in the context of battle royale titles as a whole? Gamers certainly won't be missing much by passing it up. It could get better with time; as of right now, it's clunky, inconsistently paced, and is running on an engine that clearly wasn't meant to support a battle royale experience.
9 BEST: Battlefield V - Firestorm
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Battlefield pulls off the battle royale shtick incredibly well. With its celebrated core multiplayer revolving around squad-based combat on huge, richly detailed maps, there really wasn't much embellishment necessary to fit into the format.
However, that's also precisely why Firestorm doesn't climb higher on the list. While it fits into the Battlefield series perfectly, it fails to really push the envelope in terms of gameplay. There's not a whole lot Firestorm does that other battle royale games aren't doing, outside of providing much more fulfilling vehicular gameplay than most of them.
8 WORST: CS:GO - Danger Zone
Accompanying Valve's controversial decision to push CS:GO into the free-to-play market was Danger Zone, a Counter-Strike flavored battle royale game mode that approximately zero people ever asked for.
Counter-Strike is synonymous with highly competitive, close quarters gunfights between two small opposing teams, a fact that is well showcased by this attempt to break it out of the mold. Beyond how incredibly awkward the whole thing feels, it's also limited to a scant eighteen players per match.
7 BEST: Player Unknown's Battlegrounds
PUBG may be having a rough time keeping up with its leading competitors, but it still sticks out as one of the first games to successfully stand alone on the merit of its battle royale format. A great deal of the genre's popularity and success can be traced back to it.
Of course, the core elements of the battle royale genre were well established long before its release, but PUBG pulled the essential experience together and delivered it to a much bigger audience. The fact that it's still the go-to solution for a more grounded, realistic battle royale experience today is a strong testament to its worth.
6 WORST: The Culling: Origins
The Culling has a troubled history, to put it mildly. It preceded even PUBG, hitting the market in early 2016 and launching to significant praise. However, it would squander all of this initial goodwill over the course of barely a single year, halting development on the freshly released title in favor of a new game, The Culling 2. Fans were less than enthused.
After severe backlash over The Culling 2 and its following closure, developer Xavient would attempt to reboot The Culling as The Culling: Origins, billing it as a free to play title in 2018. By then, the market had been taken over by immensely popular titles such as Fortnite and PUBG, and it would announce its impending cancellation in March of 2019.
5 BEST: Black Ops 4 - Blackout
In the event that anyone was missing out on the fact that battle royale was a really big deal, the Call of Duty franchise making an overly enthusiastic leap onto the hype train should have totally sealed the deal.
Needless to say, with the power and reputation of Activision's golden child behind it, it was practically impossible for Blackout to fail. It's definitely one of the more well optimized and frequently updated battle royale titles on the list, and those merits alone do a great deal to carry it. Nevermind the fact that it's a blast to play.
4 WORST: Z1 Battle Royale (H1Z1)
Subject to one of the most famously terrible and convoluted development cycles that the industry has ever borne witness to, the failure of Z1 Battle Royale is definitely one for the history books. Initially released as H1Z1, it was essentially a Day Z knock-off cashing in on the survival craze.
After its tremendously underwhelming and buggy launch, it first attempted to split into two separate games, swapped developers a time or two, and then reconciled, rebooted, and rebranded itself as an unremarkable free-to-play battle royale title. Players that managed that hang on during those four grueling years clearly deserve some sort of medal.
3 BEST: Fortnite
Fortnite somehow manages to be one of the most staggeringly popular releases of the past decade, while doubling as one of the most immensely polarizing entities to exist in modern gaming.
Whether it's loved or hated, it can't be said that this record-setting battle royale title doesn't wield an absolutely titanic amount of influence on the industry. With more than a quarter billion players registered as of March 2019, to say Fortnite is still going strong would be a massive understatement.
2 WORST: Radical Heights
Radical Heights is offline as of the writing of this article, so that should go a long way towards to explaining why it rates as the absolute worst. This '80s nostalgia-themed spin saw some initial promise when it released into early access on Steam, with gamers charmed by its neon-retro aesthetic and gimmicky game show presentation.
This initial charm wore thin quick on the obviously unfinished product, with the player base tanking by a hurtful 80% within two weeks. Developer Boss Key Productions would shutter a mere month later, setting the game adrift. Another studio has claimed the rights to the title, but for now, Radical Heights is totally dead.
1 BEST: Apex Legends
While it's taken some shots for its sluggish content delivery, Apex Legends has consistently shown the sort of innovation that could keep it on the map for a long time. Developed by industry veterans Respawn Entertainment and hooked thematically into their storied Titanfall series, Apex is certainly made from the right stuff.
In addition to its hero-shooter elements, Apex brought a lot of new tricks that were quickly emulated by its competitors, namely Fortnite. If Fortnite has seen fit to take notes, well, it should be clear that Apex is doing it right.