You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

25 games like Minecraft you should try

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 28/10/2018 Alex Avard

Minecraft Minecraft Minecraft isn't just a game - it's a phenomenon, inspiring dozens upon dozens of would-be imitators, clones, and spiritual successors. It grabbed hold of us like few games can thanks to its simple sandbox design that let you build just about anything your imagination could conceive of. It also proved you don't need flashy graphics, as its distinct, blocky look is still a major part of its charm.

Of course, not every game can be Minecraft, and we wouldn't want them to be. But maybe you're in the mood for something that's Minecraft-esque, while not quite being the same as Mojang's famous survival sandbox. If that's the case, take a look below, as we count down the 25 best games like Minecraft for you to play right now.

Download the Microsoft News app for your Android or iPhone device and get news & live updates on the go.

25. The Forest

a person in a dark room © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4

The Forest drops you in the middle of the wilderness (quite literally: you crash a plane) and forces you to craft weapons and shelter to survive against an apparently nocturnal tribe of cannibals. It's totally like playing Minecraft - if Minecraft's creepy hissing spiders were bloodthirsty savages trying to eat you. However, if the screenshot above wasn't clear, The Forest is far scarier than Minecraft would ever want to be. There’s a real Green Inferno vibe underscoring the whole thing, what with you being lost in the wilderness scavenging for food, building shelter from the weather, and fighting off aggressive club-toting mutants. Not for the kids.

24. Roblox

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, iOS, Android

In its ridiculously popular online sandbox, Roblox lets you create just about anything that you can think of. Want to build a massive skyscraper only to watch it blow up in spectacular fashion, or host a disco party complete with flashing lights and an on-stage DJ? Go for it. The world is yours to do what you will with it, and the possibilities are endless thanks to the game's intricate editing tools. Roblox puts a huge focus on the social aspects of building and dismantling with friends, with virtually everything in the world created by the players. Try it if Minecraft is a bit too solitary for your liking.

23. Terasology

a display in a garden © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC

If it wasn't for the realistic in-game water, you'd probably mistake Terasology for Minecraft itself. The game has all of the aesthetic elements of Mojang’s original trend-starter, right down to the blocky hands and punchable cubes of dirt. However, Terasology is an open source game, so if you’re someone who likes to dive right in and contribute to the development and expansion of a community project, it’s a win-win scenario. Aside from world destruction and building elements of Minecraft, Terasology does boast its own unique features, including the ability to build up armies of loyal minions to defend your works. The game is under constant development, too, so there's no telling how it might change and evolve going forward.

22. Terraria

a drawing of a cartoon character © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

As in Minecraft, many a tree will be slaughtered on your way to building shelter when first starting out in the world of Terraria. But it’s a necessary sacrifice, as there are things that go bump in the night in this world - things that would very much like to slay you, actually, even as you try to figure out what to do with your steadily increasing pile of natural (and supernatural) resources. Thankfully, Terraria gives you more options when it comes to disposing of the encroaching evil, and crafting is more than just a means of security against the persistent dangers of the world. Oh, and it's 2D.

21. Castle Story

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC

Although it's a strategy game, Castle Story’s strong focus on tactically overpowering your enemies doesn't mean you won't also be building all manner of structures in the process. The need to partake in mass deforestation is also a shared trait with Minecraft, but it’s all for a good cause; that good cause being an impenetrable castle entirely made out of wooden blocks. The extra spice in Castle Story's gameplay comes from getting to design your own defenses, in what quickly turns into a wonderfully addictive marriage of creativity and tactics.

20. Stardew Valley

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

With all the large-scale construction going on, it’s easy to forget that Minecraft features the chance to indulge in the underrated joys and small victories of owning and caring for a garden, or even a full blown farm. Stardew Valley is an entire game revolved around that very same idea. That said, there's quite a bit that sets it apart. In contrast to Minecraft, players in Stardew Valley can get to know their local community of fictional characters, and even spark up a romance with some of their neighbors if they want to. The game also takes inspiration from the likes of Animal Crossing and JRPGs as much as it does Minecraft, and that hybrid nature keeps it from leaning too heavily into one single genre.

19. Ark: Survival Evolved

a person riding a horse in front of a mountain © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

While “Minecraft with dinosaurs” is probably a little too reductive of a description, it certainly gives you an idea of what to expect from Ark: Survival Evolved. You gain consciousness on the beaches of a mysterious island chock full of Jurassic beasts, but it’s not long before your skills in crafting and combat come in handy in the quest to become king of the jungle. Ark is a game obsessed with Darwinism and the hierarchy of nature. Start as naked prey, become an apex predator. The game slowly becomes less of a survival experience and more of a power fantasy, emulating the concept of evolution in a way that few other titles have. 

18. CubeWorld

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC

Cube World has its roots in crafting and character progression, and takes place in randomly generated worlds full of blocks as far as the eye can see. There’s a strong focus on cosmetic customization, with characters able to modify their armor and other wearables for the sake of fabulous self expression. But Cube World cribs from games like The Legend of Zelda too. Inspired by such exploration-heavy games, Cube World gives players an arsenal of skills to better help them trudge through the endless world. Choosing a class and specialization for combat turns the game from a simple exploration simulator into a meaty RPG adventure, packed with missions, bosses, and creepy caves to explore.

17. Trove

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Trove is a voxel game, so its resemblances to Minecraft are immediately apparent, at least from a visual point of view. Trion World’s action-oriented MMO features mines and caverns crawling with enemies and the promise of untold rewards, letting players team up with friends to progress their character and conquer Trove’s sizeable to-do list. However, Trove is more concerned with being an MMO than a Minecraft clone, with its extensive range of classes designed to facilitate and encourage variation in playstyle. Its employment of loot, bosses and dungeons again draws from the well of RPG tropes to deviate from the conventions of its aesthetic inspiration.

16. Starbound

a screenshot of a video game © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC 

The tagline for Starbound is a pretty good summation of what to expect: "survive, discover, explore, and fight." Beyond that, an infinite universe means there are loads of possibilities in its generous heaps of 2D co-op gameplay, not least when it comes to shaping the world and discovering new locations to set up shop. Exploring the game with friends - whether it's just to farm, try your hand at space exploration, or create weaponry for quests - is designed to be enjoyable in itself, rather than just a means to an end. And while it is an open-ended experience, the addition of quests and NPCs imbues the game with contextual purpose, unlike the narrative-free adventuring of Minecraft.

15. 7 Days to Die

a group of people riding on the back of a horse © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

There are few things associated with survival and scavenging more than the horror of having to survive a zombie outbreak, and 7 Days to Die leans heavily into those apocalyptic sentiments. The realistic, dark world may not look like other sandbox games made in the same vein, but that doesn't mean it shies away from the genre's tried and true gameplay staples. Scavenging, crafting traps, and building shelters are all well represented here, as is the likelihood of catastrophic failure. What turns the proceedings into a real fright fest, though, is when the blood moon rises on every seventh night, which brings a relentless horde of faster, stronger zombies right to your doorstep. 

14. StarForge

a close up of a building © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC 

Survival crafting and science-fiction collide in this world builder that looks one part Halo and two parts Minecraft. Gathering resources for base construction and surviving on an alien planet are just the tip of the iceberg in StarForge - a uniquely ambitious take on the sandbox survival genre. But it isn't just a game about building and survival; it also involves shooting aliens in a persistent world where not even the sky's the limit. There’s looting, defending bases with friends, and connecting your planet to the outer cosmos to build space stations that would put NASA to shame.

13. Kerbal Space Program

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

At its core, Minecraft is all about unleashing creativity and problem-solving. You need a bed, so you gather the materials, arrange them as needed, and construct a bed. Kerbal Space Program is much the same way. No, you're not out in the wilderness building massive replicas of famous locales, but you're using critical thinking skills to help cute cartoon critters survive the harsh reality of space travel. And, like Minecraft, Kerbal Space Program has been used by teachers in schools as an educational tool. See, games can be fun and educational!

12. Block Fortress

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: iOS, Android

Defense is a matter of life and death in Block Fortress, where the strength of your barracks is tested by an endless onslaught of enemy hordes. For the player, that means most of your time will be spent constructing armaments, walls, and other features to make the sturdiest, most robust base possible. The scope of construction is limited only by your intuition… and the ability to mine valuable resources as quickly as possible. If your favorite part of Minecraft is figuring out the best defenses against the world's creepy crawlies, you'll like Block Fortress.

11. Don't Starve

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

The Creeper will always remain the king when it comes to survival crafting scares, but Don’t Starve’s consortium of creatures come pretty close to dethroning that Minecraft icon. The similarities also extends to Don’t Starve’s emphasis on staying alive through the crafting of tools and shelter, despite your incredibly limited resources. However, the game stands apart thanks to its wonderfully gothic aesthetic, which looks like a children's book fused with H.P. Lovecraft. And, as the title implies, Klei Entertainment’s roguelike uses hunger as merely the first challenge for players to race against in a tough-as-nails survival experience. Staying nourished has never been so intense, and fire has never been a greater friend.

10. King Arthur's Gold

a view of a city © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC 

The freedom to design and build a castle is just as fun here as it is in Minecraft. You'll dig into the medieval land around your abode, and generally use the environment to fend off invading players. Both the rewards of construction and hilarity of destruction are where King Arthur's Gold excels. And with up to 32 players in multiplayer, King Arthur’s Gold can become ferociously chaotic, but always in a good way. Players will have to learn how to properly utilize the three classes, while also getting used to the physics of the game’s combat tools, like the catapult. Also, there are sharks, and sharks are awesome.

9. Lego Worlds

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Lego Worlds is based heavily on Minecraft, which itself takes a lot of inspiration from Lego itself, so yeah, you could say these two games have quite a bit in common. You can destroy and build ‘en masse’ in Lego Worlds, tearing down entire environments in one foul swoop to build fantastical structures using its suite of robust crafting tools. But there’s also a campaign mode, collectibles, classic Lego-style gameplay, and a wonderfully theatrical Peter Serafinowicz narrating the whole thing. Lego Worlds brings that classic Lego charm to the genre that it’s partly responsible for creating, which lends the game an infectious quality that manages to constantly charm the pants off of anyone messing around in its brick-based biomes.

8. Rust

a person that is standing in the grass © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC

Get dropped into a cruel world with no direction or instruction. Die. Die some more. Eventually, you’ll slowly figure out how to survive by crafting weapons, gear, and makeshift shelters in your bid to avoid harm from other players, not to mention the radiation and weather hazards of the land itself. That part should sound familiar to Minecraft players, but quite unlike Minecraft, Rust is an experiment in the depravities of human nature. On the one hand, that means your recently-spawned avatar may die a lot by the hands of not-so-nice raiders. On the other, less bloody hand, a helpful group of like-minded players can make the adventure of survival a rewarding team effort. It’s not for everyone, but credit where credit is due to Facepunch Studios for making a game that has no time for kitschiness.

7. The Flame in the Flood

a view of a city street filled with water © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

For anyone who takes satisfaction from the risk-reward dynamic of survival crafting games, but is burnt out on the first-person style gameplay which first originated with Minecraft, there’s a good chance The Flame in the Flood will be right up your alley. Unlike most survival games, you’re constantly on the move in The Flame in the Flood, heading downstream in a washed out USA to find the source of a radio signal. This figurative and literal flow of pace, in addition to the ambient visuals and folksy soundtrack, allows Flame in the Flood to really stand out, making it well worth its comparatively higher asking price. Plus, who doesn’t like the idea of a loyal dog for a companion in these trying times?

6. Craft the World

a store front at night © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, iOS

An underground labyrinth is in need of exploration and mining, and Craft the World leaves a group of dwarves under your command to find what they need to construct fantastic fortresses. Once done with their days-long construction project, it's time to craft weapons, items, ammunition and more via the in-game library of simple recipes. But unlike in Minecraft, where you are but a single presence in the world, Craft the World gives you a group of earth-dwelling homunculi to help with a variety of tasks. Need some extra muscle? Order them to fend off approaching baddies. How about some setting up some traps? Give a couple clicks here and there, and you can send them on their merry way.

5. No Man’s Sky

a screenshot of a video game © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4

If Minecraft first popularised the concept of procedural generation, No Man’s Sky took that idea and launched it sky high into the great expanse. You’re not exploring a single world, but over 18 quintillion planets, though that familiar survival crafting loop is alive and well here; there’s just spaceships and aliens involved now too. The game had a rough start, as it wasn't quite able to live up to the lofty expectations of players. Since then however, it's been completely revamped and reshaped into a truly worthwhile experience bursting with things to do. Bored with a planet? No need to create a new world, just hop into your spaceship and fly to another one.

4. Fallout 4

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

As an open-world RPG from Bethesda, Fallout 4 probably doesn’t immediately strike you as a spiritual spin-off to Minecraft. But take a look at Settlement system, in which you can dismantle structures to acquire resources and build wondrous bases. This feature boasts all the hallmarks of classic Minecraft gameplay, and Bethesda hasn’t been shy of expressing its fondness for that franchise in the past. Of course, the reality is that Fallout 4’s Settlement feature is just a small part of a much larger game, and you can completely ignore it if you want to. But experimentation with Fallout 4’s assortment of crafty contraptions brings its own unique rewards that can’t be found anywhere else. 

3. Junk Jack

a traffic light with a building in the background © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC

Players can join you in Junk Jack for friendly crafting and exploring (or devious killing and trapping) in this pixelated 2D playground. You just never know what's going to happen if you dig too deep or venture far from home, but it usually ends in death. Many games of this ilk tend to plop players down into a new world and let them run wild. Junk Jack takes a different approach. A lengthy tutorial introduces the premise and helps newcomers really understand the nuances of the game, while a simpler crafting system using item recipes also helps usher in less experienced players. That simplicity doesn’t come at a sacrifice to purpose either, which arrives in the form of several in-game goals to accomplish.

2. Fortnite

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

You may be more familiar with its battle royale mode, but Fortnite has a co-op mode too, you know! In Fortnite: Save The World, you start out wielding naught but a giant pickaxe, which you can use to whack against trees, rocks and basically anything else to break down for materials in your quest to build the coolest fortress ever. That fortress will need to be set up post-haste too, as zombies are on the march, and they’re looking to destroy everything within their path. Sounds pretty Minecraft-y to us. And, if you do want to check out Fortnite: Battle Royale, you'll find out what happens when survival crafting meets PvP.

1. Survivalcraft 2

a large green field with trees in the background © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

Platforms: PC, iOS, Android

The voxel world of Survivalcraft and the dangers within it aren't anything unheard of to the average survival crafting fan, and its in-game list of goals will be instantly recognizable, but that doesn't make this slick looking sequel any less fun. Survivalcraft 2 flourishes through its pinpointed focus on dogged survival. Players are dropped off on a deserted chunk of rock to fend for themselves, with factors like stamina and food underscoring the gameplay with a healthy dose of tension. Heck, even getting some shut-eye is important, or else you run the risk of passing out. To put it in simple terms, this game is essentially Minecraft: hardcore mode.

What's mine is yours

© Provided by Future Publishing Ltd.

It may feel daunting to jump into a sandbox game without any sense of direction or specific purpose, but the survival crafting genre appeals through the rewards of player productivity. The strange wonders of exploring the unknown, crafting a useful tool for the first time, and even surviving for an hour longer than your last record is what makes these games so enrapturing and addictive. 

Thankfully, there’s enough variation beyond the Minecraft mania to provide a healthy slice of crafting to anyone willing to give it a shot. Are there any games you think we've missed here? 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from GamesRadar

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon