[Top 15] Best Hunting Games To Play

Best Hunting Games To Play Right Now on PC and Consoles
Alone with nothing but your thoughts, the quiet sound of your own breath, and the sight of your prey down the barrel of your rifle, these fifteen games will let you know exactly why it’s called “the thrill of the hunt”.

One of the great things about video games is that they allow us the ability to perform actions and experience circumstances that we could never, and sometimes would never, be able to do in the real world. Personally speaking, I’m not the kind of person who could ever recreationally hunt animals for sport in real life, but through the medium of video games, I can experience that strange blend of tranquility and challenge that comes with hunting for myself without, y’know, actually shooting other living creatures. Of course with these being video games, the things that you’ll be hunting won’t always be helpless deer or rabbits, or even animals at all, and sometimes you won’t even be the one doing the hunting, despite what you may think. But what you can know for sure is that this list of games will always keep you on your toes, and it kicks off with…


#15: Deer Hunter Classic (iOS/Android)

Deer Hunter Classic Available Now on Google Play

Kicking off our list is a game that gets right into the point of today’s article, Deer Hunter Classic. This charming mobile game brings you gameplay that’s reminiscent of those fast-paced hunting game arcade machines and combines it with elements similar to the Sniper Elite series, and it brings that experience right into the palm of your hand. Though the name makes it obvious that you’ll be shooting deer, the game also features several other animals for you to take down, ranging from elusive foxes to territorial bears, and even towering elephants and prowling lions.

Despite its age and the fact it’s a mobile game, Deer Hunter Classic captures the essence of the great outdoors with over 60 individual regions across numerous geographies that are brought to life with striking visuals. From the mountains of the American Rockies to the roaming plains of Africa, you’ll be able to hunt several beasts that range from prey to predator, with over 100 different animal species at least present in the game. You’ll be able to track down these animals in a variety of game modes, which include slower-paced tracking missions, missions that require you to take down a certain animal by shooting it in a certain organ, and even a classic arcade hunting mode. You can even track your stats against other players worldwide thanks to your stats being tracked online, so you can fight to become the world’s best hunter.

You’ll start small, but continuous play will let you unlock new hunting regions around the world where you can hunt the all-new animals located within, and even collect digital trophies of your accomplishments along the way. You can even go on hunts alongside a canine companion, go on daring underwater exploration hunts to track down sharks and other dangerous aquatic life, and there’s even a historical hunt mode that takes you back to a time before fancy scopes and the other equipment you’ll unlock through gameplay. Though it is a free-to-play mobile game, Deer Hunter Classic gives you a whopping amount of free content and combines it with surprisingly beautiful graphics to boot, which is why this game is a more than fitting opener to our list that’s worth checking out. You never know, those mobile games really know how to sink their claws into you after all.

Travel from North America’s Pacific Northwest to the Savannah of Central Africa to hunt the world’s most exotic animals in Deer Hunter Classic.


#14: Russian Village Simulator (PC)


#14 on our list is for those reading who want to experience the simplistic joys that a small-town village has to offer. In Russian Village Simulator you are, shockingly enough, put into a small Russian village where you will live out the days performing daily tasks that not only include hunting, but also include gardening, woodcutting, and an assortment of other activities. You might not be going across the globe searching for trophies and glory, but whoever said there was anything wrong with being happy where you are, eh?

Russian Village Simulator immerses players in the enriching atmosphere of real Russian village life, both in terms of its modest visuals and through the gameplay that you’ll experience. Labeling this game exclusively as a hunting game is a bit limiting, as while you can go and hunt local wildlife when necessary, you can also foster animals like ducks, sheep, and cows so you can feed them and gather the appropriate materials from them. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to build farm plots to grow a wide range of vegetables that you can sell off to the local villagers in return for money, which you can both spend on new equipment and you can spend on more seeds that are sold by the local grandmothers. You’ll also be able to go about activities around the village itself in return for money and to grow your reputation, such as delivering wood or hay bales to villagers who need them, scrapping old electronics at the metal yard, and even putting out house fires with a firetruck if need be.

Russian Village Simulator is more of a jack-of-all-trades type game than a strict hunting game, but it still does offer plenty of casual entertainment that makes it a fitting addition to our list. So if you’ve ever wanted to experience the simple joys of life in a Russian village, or you’re just looking for a new game to put a few hours into, Russian Village Simulator will give you the keys to your small-town Slavic kingdom.

In Russian Village Simulator you will experience the joys that come with peaceful living in a close-knit community, where you will be able to hunt wild animals, grow your own crops, and even go fishing by the riverbank in your leisure time.


#13: Hog Hunter 2021 (PC)

(This game doesn't have a trailer)

Hog Hunter 2021 is, by design, a shorter experience than every other game on this list, one that will lull players into a false sense of security under the simple premise of hunting wild boars. This free-to-play title comes to us from a solo indie developer Moth Interactive, where you can explore two atmospheric forest locations that feature a stylized, VHS tape retro look to the world around you. The premise is simple enough, you’re a hunter who’s recently gotten his license to go and hunt wild hogs in the nearby woods, but what you don’t know is that there are far worse creatures than mere hogs waiting for you in those woods…

After finally being approved for your new hunting license, you take your rifle and head deep into the woods in search of some hogs to hunt, and even though there have been warnings of increased bear activity you set out to hunt some game regardless. The fog rolls in over the forest as you arrive and begin to explore the forest around you in free-roam hunting gameplay, where you’ll need to use a stealthy approach to best approach your prey. But the longer you stay out here in the forest, the more you begin to notice the strange ongoings happening around you, like discovering strange masks deep in the forest, finding puddles of blood that weren’t there earlier, and even encountering unnatural creatures that see you as the prey rather than the hunter.

Hog Hunter 2021 isn’t the next Uncharted or anything else on that scale, but for what the game is and how it was designed by a single developer, it does its job perfectly well of offering a surprisingly unnerving experience that knows how to get under your skin. If you’ve got time to let yourself be immersed in this deceptively pleasant-looking world, then Hog Hunter 2021 is a short but sweet experience that you can get entirely for free that will give you the quick fright you’re looking for. Unless you’re just looking for an authentic hog hunting experience, which in that case… Well, you’ll probably be alright.

You head into the nearby forest with your rifle in hand after finally being granted your hog hunting license. But as the fog rolls in, you’ll quickly find that the hogs aren’t the only creatures waiting for you in the dark.


#12: Hunting Simulator 2 (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S/Nintendo Switch)

Hunting Simulator 2 - Overview Trailer

Hunting Simulator 2 takes us back to a sense of normalcy within the hunting genre, as well as taking us across a handful of locations across the United States and Europe where you will be able to hunt over 33 varieties of animals, ranging from big and small game to deadly predators and even waterfowl. Each animal variety includes both its male and female equivalent, as well as juvenile and older varieties of each species, further adding to the realism that comes with each in-game setting. The game also features over 160 items that you can equip, which of course includes a variety of real-life hunting rifles and other weapons that you can equip, along with clothing items and other wearable accessories that are from real-life brands as well.

In Hunting Simulator 2 you’ll be able to explore the plains of Colorado, the Texan desert, and the forests of Eastern Europe, with each setting having two distinct nature preserves for you to explore in open-world gameplay. Along with a hunting arsenal that includes all of the big-name brands, such as Browning, Winchester, Bushnell, and more, you will also have a canine companion accompany and help you during your hunts, which can sniff out fresh tracks and animal droppings to help lead you along the animal’s trail, among other useful abilities that can vary depending on the breed of your dog, options for which include the Labrador Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer and Beagle breeds. The animals you will be hunting use realistic animal behaviors when roaming free across their natural habitats, such as deer roaming in herds and bears tracking down prey of their own, meaning that you will need to plan accordingly when you’re on the hunt.

Hunting Simulator 2 might not have the most content compared to other games on this list, but that also means that what it does have is well-developed in the sense that there isn’t any bloat or rough corners on what you’ll find in-game. You’ll be able to experience thrilling hunts alongside your helpful hunting dog, where you’ll be able to explore exceptional-looking environments while tracking creatures big and small that belong to those natural habitats, which when hunting you’ll need to be extra cautious if you want to get the best quality trophy you can from them. In short, when it comes to simulating the thrill of the hunt in exceptional fashion, Hunting Simulator 2 is filled with enough content to keep you coming back for many enjoyable hours ahead.

Joined by your loyal hunting dog, set out to track dozens of animal varieties that realistically react to you, each other, and the natural habitats that you’ll be hunting them in.


#11: Witch Hunt (PC)

Witch Hunt - Gameplay Trailer

You will soon find that wild beasts like the wolves living in these woods have become the least of your worries because your new prey is a being far more sinister. The name of the game is as appropriate as ever because in Witch Hunt you’re put into the shoes of a professional witch hunter in the 18th century, only instead of burning innocent women at the stake, your job is an entirely real and entirely terrifying reality. You will need to place your shots carefully, as your 18th-century musket and pistol can only hold one shot at a time and reload slowly to boot, further adding to the risks that you must bravely face once you’ve set out into the darkened woods in pursuit of the horrific abominations plaguing the townsfolk.

In Witch Hunt you will explore large, non-linear environments that will challenge your patience as well as your perseverance, environments that are filled with both helpful townsfolk and deadly monsters alike. In the local village, you’ll meet the Trader who sells you additional ammunition alongside skill books and stat upgrading perks, a Doctor working in the church who can heal your wounds, and the Mayor who provides you with rewards for slaying the deadly assortment of monsters in the woods, so you can go and buy what you need from the other two locals. When you’re out hunting you’ll most commonly encounter undead monsters like multiple varieties of reanimated zombies and packs of wild hellhounds, alongside even more powerful monsters hiding in the dark like an enormous shaggy black wolf that walks like a man, a cedar tree brought to life by the sacrifices of the innocent which now hides in the woods, and of course the wraith-like Witch who is responsible for the evil plaguing these lands. There are also hidden treasures to be recovered across the sinister forests, along with a handful of additional monstrosities.

Solo developer Andrii Vintsevych is most widely known for his creation of Witch Hunt among a handful of other horrifying indie games, and his expertise in this field is what helps make Witch Hunt the heart-pounding horror experience that it is. If you think you have it in you to go from hunting oblivious deer to hunting terrifying forces of evil that want to burn the world as you know it to the ground, Witch Hunt will give you all the tools and the means you’ll need to do just that. You just need to make sure you’re actually brave enough to face The Witch…

Take up your rifle, your pistol, and your crucifix as you alone venture out under the shadow of night, searching for the evil creatures that now plague the nearby forest so you can put an end to them once and for all.


#10: Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360/Nintendo Wii/Nintendo Wii U)

Cabela's Dangerous Hunt 2013 Announcement Trailer

The title “Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013” is an entirely too fitting title for this game, because this game takes whatever sense of security you might have in being the hunter and throws it out the window by putting you up against waves upon waves of nature’s deadliest animals. Cabela's Dangerous Hunts is definitely the most unique game on this list simply because you’re able to play this game with the “Fearmaster Light Gun” controller, which not only lets you accurately aim at the animals charging you in real-time but also features sensors in the controller to detect the player’s heart rate, which allows for certain gameplay bonuses to be applied if you’re able to keep calm. If Cabela's Dangerous Hunts succeed in doing one thing, it’s taking the most vicious beasts from the animal kingdom and making them feel like monsters, which only makes it all the more satisfying if you can manage to survive their rampages.

Cabela's Dangerous Hunts features three game major game modes for you to play, starting with the game’s story mode which focuses on brothers Jacob and Luke Marshall on two separate hunts, with one being in the past during a hunting trip in Alaska where their father was killed by an unusually aggressive scar-faced grizzly bear, and one in the present where Jacob and Luke reunite for a hunting safari in Uganda on their father’s birthday, only for old memories to start returning to the surface when reports of a black lion, a creature previously thought to be mythical, starts attacking the locals. The other game modes include “Maneater”, which features arcade-style arena combat where you will need to hold your ground against waves of enemies, and “Shooting Gallery”, an on-rails shooter mode where you’ll travel on a fixed path while shooting big game animals that pass by while simultaneously defending yourself from multiple attacking predators. The entire game is played through a first-person perspective and features a handful of firearm options that include the default desert eagle pistol with unlimited ammo, alongside a pump-action shotgun, a scoped bolt-action rifle, and a crossbow. Both the Maneater and Shooting Gallery modes can be played in co-op alongside one and up to three additional players respectively.

From tracking down elk and moose while defending yourself from gray wolves in the frozen fields of Alaska to encountering zebras, elephants, and even African Lions in the wilds of Uganda, Dangerous Hunts features 38 different animal varieties across the two biomes and three playable game modes. The game’s Prowler animal AI engine realistically simulates pack social hierarchies among the animals, along with allowing predators to coordinate complex group tactics and take advantage of their surroundings to set up deadly ambushes against you, meaning that you can never quite be sure of where to look while you’re out hunting. If you want to make it out of the wild alive, you’re going to need to keep calm and always watch your back, because Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 doesn’t hold your hand or pull any punches, which makes its gameplay all the more entertaining to experience for yourself. And if you can’t get the light gun, don’t worry, regular controllers work too.

Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 will challenge you to master your fear if you want to hold your own against the most vicious beasts the animal kingdom has to offer.


#9: Skinwalker Hunt (PC)

Skinwalker Hunt beta - Gameplay trailer

Andrii Vintsevych returns to this list with his latest hunting-horror hybrid, Skinwalker Hunt. Instead of hunting for sadistic witches in the 18th century, this time around you’ll be playing in more modern times where you take control of a Native American monster hunter who has tasked himself with hunting down the legendary monster known as the Skinwalker. This pursuit of the Skinwalker will take the player character to numerous forest locations around the world, where you will encounter strange secrets, possessed animals, and other unnatural elements that will leave you questioning if that shadow in the corner of your eye was just a shadow, or something far worse.

The overall gameplay of Skinwalker Hunt is similar to Witch Hunt, in that both games feature non-linear open-world exploration gameplay in a wilderness setting that’s just as atmospheric as it is unsettling. With this game being set in modern times you’ll also have access to more modern weapons like the bolt-action sniper rifle and double-barrel shotguns, which require you to find multiple broken shotguns to craft a working one, alongside more unconventional weapons like tomahawks and a handful of other discoverable items. Throughout these forest regions, you will mostly face off against wild animals that have been possessed by the unnatural forces at play and sent to attack you, such as packs of wolves and deer, bears, boars, and even the occasional snake and owl, all of which and more are likely being controlled by the cult of Skinwalker worshipers who roam the forests in their strange robes and unsettling wooden masks, hunting down and murdering any unfortunate soul who happens to be in their territory. Of course, we can’t forget the Skinwalkers themselves, who will be just as elusive as they are deadly until they decide it's their turn to hunt you down instead.

Skinwalker Hunt was released in August of 2022, four years after the release of Witch Hunt, and the level of quality improvement that solo-dev Andrii Vintsevych has achieved between the two games is quite clear. The overall quality of the graphics and enemy animations has improved, and the gameplay offers plenty of new challenges and discoverable secrets throughout the multiple maps that can be unlocked through gameplay, expanding on the previously established formula in all the right ways. If you’ve conquered the witches of the past and are still looking for a new series of twistedly evil challenges to overcome, you’ll be pleased to know Skinwalker Hunter is the perfect next chapter to this story. Just don’t think that you’ll be immune to the terrors that await you just because you’ve got a bit of extra experience.

Travel to multiple forests around the world as you enter the role of a Native American monster hunter, who is hot on the trail of the illusive Skinwalker and the sadistic group of cultists who kill innocent people in the name of the monster they worship.


#8: Way of the Hunter (PC/PS5/Xbox Series X/S)

Way of the Hunter - Gameplay Trailer

Developed by Nine Rocks Games and published by THQ Nordic, Way of the Hunter prides itself on offering an authentic hunting experience cemented in realism, which extends not just to the animals themselves, but from the way you hunt them and the entire world around you. Way of the Hunter puts a focus on the challenges of ethical hunting and does so alongside a compelling story about the struggles of a family hunting business, and the rivalry and friendships surrounding it, but still offers you the ability to simply enjoy hunting in the game’s rich environments freely. With dozens of strikingly detailed animals to hunt in-game, you will need to take into account realistic ballistics and bullet physics if you want to not only bag your kills, but want to be able to sell their meat to purchase new weapons, gear, hunting licenses, and even taxidermy for your trophy stands.

Not including the Aurora Shores and Tikamoon Plains DLCs, Way of the Hunter by itself features two expansive in-game locations to explore in the forms of the Pacific Northwest and the forests of Transylvania, both of which feature a 24/7 day/night that comes with dynamic wind and weather effects, and both cover a terrain of 144 square km/55 square miles each. The deer, bears, moose, ducks, and every other animal type you can encounter are built with sophisticated natural animal animations and reactions to the player’s presence, which combines perfectly with both the highly detailed models of the animals and of course the hunting gameplay itself. When you leave your cabin and choose to drive to an area with a herd of deer, for example, you’ll need to ensure that you park far enough away as to not spook the deer, then track their prints and use your binoculars to locate the herd, before finally accounting in the previously mentioned realistic weapon physics to make sure that your shot earns a quick, clean kill. Alongside tracking prints and other marking, the in-game hunting mechanics also feature being able to analyze the color and quality of an animal’s blood and to review the quality of your shot with the rewindable bullet camera.

Though the game isn’t plot-heavy, what plot it has involves running a small hunting business, which ties into gameplay elements like selling off the meat from the animals you take down in return for profits. These profits will be used to purchase new hunting licenses so you can hunt even bigger and badder game, to purchase A broad selection of firearms and equipment, including licensed gear from Bushnell, Federal, Leupold, Primos, Remington, and Steyr Arms, and taxidermy animals to put on trophy stands around your cabin. Along with the incredible level of detail that’s gone into the models and animations of the animals, the game also uses a complex Trophy system that generates unique antlers and horns for each appropriate animal based on multiple factors like the fitness and age of that specific animal.

Way of the Hunter is one of the most detailed games on this list when it comes to the level of realism it strives to put into its animals, making for one of the most immersive real-life hunting experiences you can get. On top of giving you all of these in-game features and abilities that help you during your hunts, the game also gives you the option to turn off all HUD support altogether, which only further adds to said immersion when you’re walking through the beautifully designed in-game locations with nothing but the game world in front of you. Among the many “straight-up” hunting games that are true to life on this list, Way of the Hunter thrusts itself forward as a standout star that deserves some attention.

From the Pacific Northwest to Transylvania and beyond, use expert tracking tactics and realistic firearm physics to hunt dozens of animal species so you can further help support your family’s struggling hunting business.


#7: Folklore Hunter (PC)

Folklore Hunter | Intro Theme (OST)

From abandoned campsites, old watchtowers, decrepit cabins, and even vast cave systems, your hunt for the supernatural will take you across every inch of the eerie wilderness locations you’ll find yourself if you want to take down your target. Folklore Hunter puts players in the shoes of a hunter who’s world renowned not for hunting common animals, but for tracking down and slaying supernatural beasts. In this game, you will take on monster-hunting contracts that will take you all over the world to hunt down and eliminate dangerous cryptids, meaning that you will need to prepare the appropriate traps and equipment, and most importantly, use your hunter’s instincts to take down the beast your after before it has the chance to hunt you instead.

Whether you go in alone or play alongside a hunting party with your friends in online multiplayer co-op, Folklore Hunter features several vast, fully handcrafted open-world environments that have a story to tell, as each hunt location is not only filled with supernatural monsters, but many other secrets to uncover, be they abandoned cabins where you can find extra bullets, batteries, and other useful supplies, or something far more mysterious. Whether or not you choose to stick to the beaten path, you’ll still need to rely on your equipment to help you hunt down the beast you’re after, such as the placeable traps and cameras that can be set up anywhere you want across the map, though be warned, you never know what might be looking at you from the other side of those cameras. After you’ve completed each hunt you’ll head back to your home base, the Fortress, where you can unlock, upgrade, and purchase new gear to help you in the next hunt. Be careful though, if you die in a hunt, you don't always bring everything back…

Folklore Hunter offers plenty of replayability even after you’ve discovered every variety of cryptid that the game has to offer. Because in a world filled with monsters, there is always someone out there willing to hire you to put what you've learned to use, meaning that you’ll be able to take on contracts from the notice board in the Fortress that offer completely randomized hunts for you to complete, with each one being different than the last. Though this game is still only in Steam Early Access, there is already plenty of content for you to play around with, and in turn, there is still plenty of upcoming content that you can look forward to as Folklore Hunter continues to grow into an even bigger, better, and more monstrous game as time goes by. Hopefully, you’ll be there to see it for yourself instead of being torn limb from limb by supernatural creatures in the dead of night.

Take on the role of a world-renowned supernatural beast hunter, track down deadly cryptids across the world, and use your hunter’s intuition to make sure that it’s not the beast who’s hunting you instead.


#6: theHunter Classic (PC)

theHunter Classic | Official Trailer HD

Whether playing alone or with up to 7 friends at once, theHunter Classic proudly boasts its status as being “the most realistic hunting experience” that you can play, and it can be hard to argue that point. In theHunter Classic you’ll be able to traverse 12 vast and varied environments, ranging from the sub-arctic Alaska to the swamps of Louisiana, with each location being complete with a full day/night cycle and immersive weather effects on top of the detailed graphics that make each setting all the more beautiful to look at. But what really makes the world feel alive are the 45 lifelike animal species ranging from waterfowl to big game animals, which you will be able to hunt in several game mode varieties using over 100 selectable weapons, from state-of-the-art rifles to bows and beyond.

From Whitetail Deer to Rocky Mountain Elk to Gray Wolves, Bobcats, Polar Bears, and many more animals to potentially hunt, theHunter Classic has a specific hunting mission for each animal type that can be encountered, along with offshoot missions for hunting with specific weapons, and league competition events about hunting certain animals and certain areas. As a hunter, you will need to take into account the realistic behaviors of the animals you’ll be hunting across the various in-game locations, and while simply killing an animal is one thing, you’ll need to take on specific challenges of hunting certain species and using certain items in the game to increase your in-game skills and improve as a hunter, which in turn will also unlock new abilities. The game also features extensive online content, which not only includes things like achievements that increase your online “HunterScore”, but also allows you to go on trophy hunts and unlock new items to show off in your own personal hunting lodge.

Though this game was released all the way back in 2009, the Hunter Classic still sees community engagement from the developers over a decade later here in 2023 via quality of life and bug fix updates, and league competition events centered around hunting certain animals. It should be mentioned that the game does involve a bit of in-game grinding when it comes to unlocking new weapons and items to use, which otherwise can be purchased with real-life currency. But if you’re able to look past that particular hurdle, then you’ll be able to enjoy what in the end is an ultimately well-made hunting simulation experience.

From the desolate Australian outback and the overgrown swamps of Louisiana to the dramatic landscape of the Austrian Alps, travel around the globe to 12 expansive nature reserves where you will be able to hunt 45 animal species with lifelike levels of detail.


#5: Stranded: Alien Dawn (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S)

Stranded: Alien Dawn

After a group of interstellar travelers find themselves marooned on a hostile alien world, it’s up to you to guide and lead this new group of make-shift settlers to survival as they seek to brave a new world in Stranded: Alien Dawn. Though hunting is an aspect of the gameplay, it takes a step back from being the major focus to being just one piece in the large puzzle that makes up the core aspects of this compelling, immersive, and strategic survival game. You will need to make vital decisions as the leader of this new makeshift colony to protect your survivors from starvation, disease, extreme weather, and many more looming threats that seek to snuff out any hope your people have of not only surviving but thriving on this hostile planet.

Stranded: Alien Dawn takes clear inspiration from similar games like Rimworld, in that you are suddenly given control of a colony of survivors who are now left stranded on an alien world, with each survivor having their own unique backstory and varying levels of ability in key skills along with both positive and negative character traits, and gives that inspiration a new spin through a unique 3D environment rather than a top-down 2D one. You will need to guide your group of survivors to ensure they can gain a foothold on this hostile world, by first building shelter to protect them from the planet’s unpredictable weather, then building farms so they won’t starve, and most importantly, defenses like walls and guns, then eventually automated turrets and even advanced mech suits to help them fend off the massive swarms of hostile, bug-like aliens that come skittering out from the mountains come nightfall. Once you have the necessities for survival, you’ll be able to move on to turning your hastily made shelter into a full-fledged, high-tech outpost using the game’s modular building systems, where you will be able to develop new technologies that range from much-needed entertainment to hot-air balloons to survey the planet from high above, among other useful technologies.

Though keeping your group of makeshift survivalists in one piece is the main priority, if you spend enough time developing your colony and its equipment you’ll be more than able to set out on hunting expeditions to take down swarms of giant alien bugs before they have the chance to get the jump on you first. And for that fact alone, Stranded: Alien Dawn earns its position as a unique entry on this list of games, one that I think is well worth a playthrough for fans of hunting, alien planets, survival games, or all of the above and beyond. Just don’t get ahead of yourself and wind up getting your colonists eaten before they’re ready, or at the least before you have someone to replace them with. There’s still plenty of work that needs to be done around here after all!

After a crash-landing leaves them marooned on a hostile alien world, it's up to you to lead this group of survivors from merely scraping by to thriving and fending off every hostility that this new world throws at them.


#4: Hunt: Showdown (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S)

Hunt: Showdown I Dark Sight Trailer

In Hunt: Showdown, you play as one of many specialized bounty hunters who has been hired to track down various nightmarish monsters that have infested the Louisiana Bayou in the year 1895. The problem is, you aren’t alone with the monsters in the Bayou, because there are up to a dozen total hunters who are all looking to cash in on that same bounty, but only one of you can actually walk out with the proof of kill that will get you your payday. Whether you’re fighting alone or in teams of two or three, you will first need to track down the lair of the monster you’re hunting, then kill and banish it, collect the bounty, and finally, the best part of it all, you will need to show no mercy as you fight off every other bounty hunter team in the game and make it out of the Bayou alive if you want to earn your hard-earned rewards.

Hunt: Showdown features two main game modes for you to play, with the primary mode being “Bounty Hunt”, where up to twelve players either by themselves or in teams will have to search for clues that will lead them to one, or sometimes even two, of the five in-game monsters that you’re hunting, where along the way they will have to kill not only enemy players but also NPC enemies that spring up around the map if they want to be the ones to get their bounty to the extraction zone. The “Soul Survivor” mode, previously just called Quick Play, focuses on shorter rounds without teams or enemy NPCs where you will need to gather gear from around the map to help you find and close four rifts hidden around the map, where you can either focus on closing the rifts to absorb their energy or to kill the enemy player who has and to steal their reward, making for a fast-paced competition for a diminishing pool of rewards. Playing both of these modes will earn you experience points and gold for your Bloodline, the in-game progression system that will unlock various traits, equipment, and other rewards as you level up the various Hunters you’ll be playing in both game modes.

Hunt: Showdown’s competitive, match-based gameplay combines PvP and PvE elements to create a uniquely tense PvEvP experience, and gives us an all-new twist on the “hunting” formula for this list. The stakes only increase when you factor in that, besides the top-tier Legendary Hunters, the generic Hunters you’ll mostly be playing as always have the potential to die and lose all their equipped gear during a match, which is permanent. So if you want to come out on top when playing Hunt: Showdown, you need to remember that it fully is you against the world out there and that you’ll have to show no mercy to your many opponents, be they human or otherwise. Because we both know that they don’t have any sympathy for you either, and they won’t hesitate to take that first shot.

Track down the nightmarish creatures that are infesting the Bayou and outwit the other hunters who are after the same bounty in a high-stakes PvPvE bounty hunt where the winner takes all, and the losers go straight to hell.


#3: Ranch Simulator - Build, Farm, Hunt (PC)

Ranch Simulator - Build Anywhere - Official Trailer

The ranch that was once the pride and joy of your grandfather has fallen on hard times in recent years, which is why it’s up to you to turn things around by rebuilding the entire property from the ground up. It will take time and money to restore the place to its former glory, as you will need to buy tools and even vehicles to renovate the main house and build various barns, pens, and other structures that you’ll need if you want to get your business off the ground. But for as much hard work as you’ll have to do, eventually the profits will come rolling in thanks to your efforts around the ranch, and soon you’ll be able to take a step back and enjoy not just the beautiful natural scenery around you, but also the fact that you’ve turned this dilapidated homestead into the most prosperous ranch in the valley.

In Ranch Simulator you will first need to rebuild and refurbish what’s left of the old family farmhouse so you can have a place to rest and plan the rest of your construction efforts, then you’ll move on to constructing barns and digging out farm plots so you can begin acquiring livestock and growing crops. Like any ranch, you have a number of livestock options to choose from, including cattle, swine, and poultry, which will require you to build the appropriate barn or pen so you can house your new animals. From there you will need to ensure regular feeding and watering on a day-to-day basis to keep them healthy, along with successfully breeding further livestock and careful rearing of the young to help boost the numbers of your herds and flocks. And of course, you’ll also be able to take a breather from daily ranch work and go out into the open-world wilderness of the surrounding valley with your rifle in hand to stalk deer, hunt dangerous bears, and sometimes you’ll even have to defend your livestock pens from packs of hungry wolves that will turn your off-grid dream into a nightmare.

Ranch Simulator gives you the ability to become not only a hunter, but also a trader, a builder, and a farmer. Either you can shoulder the responsibilities of running a ranch alone, or you can be joined by up to three friends in online co-op to help you turn this run-down piece of property into a full-fledged rancher’s paradise. Just remember, the wilderness lives by its own rules, and you’re going to have to put your skills and abilities to the test time and again if you want to prove you have what it takes to prosper in it.

Once your grandfather’s pride and joy, it’s now up to you to restore your family’s rundown homestead and turn this land into the most prosperous ranch in the valley.


#2: MONSTER HUNTER RISE (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S/Nintendo Switch)

Monster Hunter: Rise - Official Trailer

In the sixth mainline installment of this award-winning and top-selling series, you are a citizen of Kamura Village who has been recently promoted to be a Hunter as warning signs of a mysterious calamity known as “The Rampage” have begun occurring once again, an event where a large horde of monsters attacked your village in a frenzied rage. With these warning signs that the monsters of the region around you are growing more hostile than normal, you must rise to the challenge and join the hunt that will lead you to explore brand-new maps, use a plethora of weapons, and hunt down ferocious monsters with unique ecologies, be it alone or alongside up to four friends in multiplayer. If you thought hunting for the predators of our world was challenging enough, you haven’t seen anything yet.  

In Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll be tasked with hunting down a plethora of giant, deadly monsters that come in various shapes and feature distinct behaviors that will always keep you on your toes during a hunt, as you can never be quite sure what to expect when fighting the roster of both returning monsters and all-new beasts to conquer. You’ll be able to use 14 different weapon types that each offer unique gameplay styles for both up-close and long-ranged attack styles, such as using the Great Sword to charge up devastating attacks, slicing and dicing through monsters at rapid speeds using the Dual Blades, or taking aim from afar using both the Bow and Bowguns, along with many more available weapons that can fit whichever playstyle you like. Along with being able to craft upgrades or entirely new weapons and armor by defeating monsters, Monster Hunter Rise also includes a litany of additional in-game tools, including the Wirebug, an item that uses special silk that allows you to travel the world faster and initiate special attacks, the cat-like Palico and wolf-like Palamute companions that help you when you’re playing in single-player, and the newly introduced Wyvern Riding mechanic that allows you to control monsters by hopping on their back and having them deal massive damage for you in battle.

The Monster Hunter series has always excelled in taking the theme of “hunting” and delivering it to massive new heights, and Monster Hunter Rise isn’t an exception to this rule. The massive open world that you’re able to freely explore paints a beautiful background portrait that only adds to the monstrous battles you’ll find yourself engaging in as you fight to hold back the forces of The Rampage from destroying your home of Kamura Village. If you want to take your hunting skills to an all-new level, Monster Hunter Rise has all the tools you need to hunt on a scale like never before. So long as you have the skills to survive your battles against these enormous foes, that is.

Take up the role of a Hunter and protect the citizens of Kamura village by hunting down a wide range of dangerous monsters that are just as massive as they are ferocious, either by hunting alone or hunting alongside your friends.


#1: theHunter: Call of the Wild (PC/PS4/Xbox One)

theHunter: Call of the Wild | Announcement Trailer

Closing out our list at #1 is an atmospheric hunting experience like few others, where we return to the stunning visuals and grounded realism of our own world in theHunter: Call of the Wild. This 2017 sequel to the 2009 original, which we of course have already looked at back at #6, continues to uphold that promise of being the most realistic open-world hunting experience that you can get in a game, and it lives up to that claim in fantastic fashion thanks not only to its beautiful graphics but also the extensive details put into the animals you’ll be hunting. With 96 different animals to hunt across 14 different reserves, including DLC, and dozens of different weapons across 4 different weapon classes, Call of the Wild doesn’t hold back on giving you the premiere hunting experience.

From wetlands and dense forests to lush valleys and open farm fields, there are over 50 square miles of explorable terrain across the distinct hunting reserves in-game that take place across America, Europe, and even South America and Russia, among a handful of other places where you can hunt either alone or alongside other players online. Call of the Wild features over double the amount of animals from theHunter Classic and a variety of features that you will need to account for when hunting them, including following their tracks to figure out which way your target went, examining droppings to see how recently they were there, and once you finally locate your target, you will need to make sure that you aren’t downwind of the animal so they don’t catch your scent and to not rustle too many leaves when trying to hide in nearby foliage, as you could easily spook the animal and send it running. There are 9 classes for the animals in-game, with smaller animals like Canadian Geese and Eastern Cottontail Rabbits in Class 1, Gray Wolves and Pumas in Class 5, all the way to the mighty Lion in Class 9. With each of the many animals you will be able to hunt, you will need to strategically choose from the vast amount of weapon, ammunition, and equipment options to figure out which items will help you successfully track, lure, and ambush animals based on their unique behavior and environment.

theHunter: Call of the Wild continues to carry that torch of high-detail realism from its predecessor, and continues to see frequent updates from developers Expansive Worlds, who take into account the voices of their community to further ensure that the gameplay you’re getting is the best it can possibly be. Experience the intricacies of complex animal behavior, dynamic weather events, full day and night cycles, simulated ballistics, highly realistic acoustics, and scents carried by the wind in full force as you fuller immerse yourself in the world of theHunter: Call of the Wild, a game that I think safely cements itself as being worthy of the #1 spot on this list. And as a sign that it’s only going to get better with time, the game recently launched its Companion Update which lets you have a Labrador Retriever hunting partner when out in the wild back on November 28th! And what’s not to love about that, right?

From rabbits to deer to bison and beyond, take on the challenge of hunting 96 different animal species across multiple hunting reserves around the world, where you can fully immerse yourself in the stunning, realistic open-world hunting experience that is theHunter: Call of the Wild.



And that’s it for today’s article. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share about this list of games, I would be more than happy to hear them down in the comments below. But otherwise, that’s it for today’s list of 15 of the best hunting games you can play right now, so I’ll leave you with that and a quick thanks for reading to the end. I really do appreciate it.


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With countless hours spent traveling through hundreds of virtual worlds through the years, I have both the experience and the passion to guide you anywhere and everywhere you want to go, dear reader.
Gamer Since: 2009
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: The Witcher Franchise
Top 3 Favorite Games:Team Fortress 2, Dead Space, Payday 2

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