Minecraft is an absolute sensation, remaining as ferociously popular today as it was at launch over a decade ago. Play it, and it’s easy to see why. It taps into our latent need to survive and create, offering a combo of the two. You’ll start by building a mere wooden box to ensure you survive the first night but quite quickly you’ll have built a full on farm, mansion, and even a roller coaster in your backyard.
We defy anyone to actually dislike the base game underlying Minecraft, but, for whatever reason, you might still be reluctant to play it. That might be down to its art style, interface, controls, or something else entirely. If that’s you, this list can help. We’ve pulled together what we consider to be the best games like Minecraft out there.
Here's a look at our Best Games Like Minecraft List:
- My Time at Portia
- The Forest
- Portal Knights
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- 7 Days to Die
- Conan: Exiles
- Don’t Starve
Raft takes the Minecraft structure and kind of challenges you to survive in a limited area. You start out on a small raft and you will need to gather debris and build up your raft with additional area and ways to keep yourself alive. You will be threatened by various dangers, but you will be able to dive into the watery depths to search for additional loot. As you get deeper into the game, you may even come across land masses that you can explore. I feel like this game borrows from Minecraft, but takes things in a bit of a different direction with an interesting implementation of the mechanics.
My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia is more on the edge of being similar to Minecraft. It's a lot more structured and will have you completing quests and getting to know villagers and involving yourself in their lives. However, there's a lot of stuff that is along the same lines as Minecraft. First, you will need to go out into the open world and collect resources to build up your farm and workshop. Second, there's a bunch of monsters running the area that can be slain for building ingredients. Third, you can delve deep into a mining area to bring back ore and special items. If you're looking for a more structured experience, then My Time at Portia has a lot to offer you.
Minecraft has always had a foot in the door of survival horror but its colorful, child-friendly aesthetic has prevented it from really providing the scares. The Forest has no such problems in that regard though, offering a grown-up creative survival horror experience that really doubles down on the survival aspects.
You play as the sole survivor of a plane crash, and find yourself in the eponymous mysterious forest. The early game is much like Minecraft, as you piece together makeshift tools, a shelter, and a fire to keep warm. Pretty soon, you’ll have hordes of cannibals, mutants, and various other horrors breathing down your neck.
The Forest features a ton of creativity but doubles down on the survival aspects, providing a truly horrifying experience for those that like a side-helping of terror with their creativity.
If The Forest doubles down on survival, Portal Knights is all about the RPG. You can actually play Minecraft as a makeshift RPG, crafting ever more powerful weapons and armor to help you explore the darker sides of its world. Those who like to level up, develop their skills, and play as a particular class will feel a little let down though.
So step forward Portal Knights, which shares the need to build, its blocky world design, and its child-friendly aesthetics but introduces actual RPG classes. You’ll play as a Warrior, Mage, or Ranger, customizing their appearance, abilities, and gear as you progress. There are even talents to unlock as you level up, allowing you to further customize your role.
The best part about Portal Knights is the ability to use the eponymous Portals to travel between a wide variety of randomly generated worlds. If you really embrace this and hop around, you’ll find a wide variety of valuable resources on your adventure.
Terraria was one of the first sandbox adventures to really challenge Minecraft, but the two have managed to coexist peacefully since its 2011 release. That’s thanks to the vastly differing visual styles, with Terraria looking every bit the 2D creative SNES adventure it wishes it was.
In terms of gameplay, they’re very similar though. You’ll create your own pixel hero and explore your own 2D world, gathering resources to build your own creations. You can also craft increasingly powerful gear for your hero, allowing it to explore the darker recesses of the world, where the mightiest of foes lurk.
Aside from the vastly different aesthetics, there isn’t an awful lot to separate Terraria from Minecraft. So if you were simply put off by the blocky visuals, Terraria can give you similar thrills without making you want to claw your own eyeballs out.
Roblox might look blocky, but the two are actually very different. Where Minecraft provides you with a space to let your imagination run wild, Roblox challenges you to create your own video games and share them with the over 100 million monthly active users.
You can create all sorts of games here, including racers, RPGs, simulations, platformers, and more. Much like Minecraft, it encourages you to unleash your latent creativity, but it provides perhaps a bit more structure to it. There are loads of opportunities to communicate with other players too, like trading, playing co-op, and more.
Roblox is more of a game creation platform than a sandbox adventure. It’s more interested in letting you share your creations with others, much like Super Mario Maker, and playing games created by fellow players. If you like interacting with a community, Roblox might appeal to you more.
Ark: Survival Evolved
Ark: Survival Evolved, much like The Forest, also doubles down on the survival aspect of the game. You’ll create your own fully customizable character before getting thrown naked onto a mysterious island. You’ll hunt for resources, craft yourself some clothes and shelter, and then hunt for necessary resources like food and water.
The best part of Ark has to be its tamable dinosaurs that inhabit the island. Once tamed, you can breed them together to create your own species entirely. Your dinosaur army can serve as mounts, pack mules, battle partners, or mere pets. If you ever wanted to fly on the back of a pterodactyl, Ark is the game for you.
Ark really explores the survival groundwork laid down by Minecraft. You have to ensure you eat and drink regularly, wear temperature-appropriate clothing, and get plenty of sleep. You’ll also need a shelter, protection from dinosaurs, and a means of getting around.
Trove blends creativity with Diablo’s loot obsession to create a truly unique MMORPG experience. You’ll explore a wide variety of realms with friends and strangers alike, battling enemies and looting their corpses for new weapons, gear, and more. You can play as a wide variety of classes too, including a Knight, Gunslinger, Ice Sage, Dracolyte, Pirate, and more. You can level up each class, acquire new abilities, and equip new gear to increase their power.
But how does it resemble Minecraft? Well, that’s thanks to its realms system. You can create your own realms that you and your friends can battle through. The sky’s the limit in terms of the type of realm you create and the beings that inhabit it, from dragons to barbarians. Each realm has a wide variety of dungeons to explore too, which are chock full of loot.
Not only that, but you can create your own home to chill out in between battles. All homes are mobile too, so you can drop them into any world you visit to get some well-deserved respite, as well as craft items you need for the adventure ahead. Basically, Trove is the option for those that like creativity but wants to play with thousands of different players at once.
Starbound mixes the creativity with the 2D visuals of Terraria and chucks the resulting mess into space. You’ll create a character from out of seven different races and head out on a crafty adventure to save the universe. That’s right, there’s actually a story campaign to battle through in Starbound, complete with quests, dungeons, and bosses.
You also just so happen to be the captain of your own ship. You can customize it in a number of different ways, from decorating the interior to expanding it with new rooms, before jetting through space to explore a variety of randomly generated worlds. You can colonize each world too, crafting buildings and recruiting locals to work with you on your ship.
There are three different game modes in Starbound too, including Casual, Survival, and Hardcore. Casual is for those who just want to have fun, Survival requires you to eat, and Hardcore introduces permadeath. Starbound has something for everyone, basically.
7 Days to Die
7 Days to Die is cut from a similar cloth to The Forest in that it apes Minecraft’s survival tendencies but places them in a world drenched in horror. This time around it’s the shambling undead you’ll be battling though, rather than cannibals. The basic gameplay remains very similar though. You’ll explore a huge environment, gather resources, and craft stuff that will help you survive.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of 7 Days to Die is the different ways to play it. You can go it alone, building your own zombie survival shelter completely solo, work together with friends, or get a bunch of you together for a competitive experience. You can raid each other’s shelters and forge enemies Walking Dead-style.
There’s also an RPG element to 7 Days to Die, as you can level up over 60 different passive and active skills to improve your abilities. You’ll also have to scavenge for better weapons, armor, clothing, vehicle parts and more. If you fancy something a little different that’s infested with zombies, 7 Days to Die is the one for you.
Perhaps the best part of writing this list has been discovering the same level of creativity stemming from Minecraft-likes as there is in the creations themselves. Take Conan: Exiles, for example, an Ark-style survival simulator that takes place in the unforgiving world of the barbarian Conan.
What’s most impressive about Conan: Exiles is that you can build your own separate life within its world. It’s online, so you can play with or against friends and strangers alike, as you build your own settlements, explore dungeons for loot, and travel across a world full of different biomes. Within minutes, you can cross a vast desert, trudge through a swamp, and end up on snow-capped mountains.
Conan: Exiles takes place in an incredibly harsh world, and you’re never truly safe. Your home settlement can be attacked at any moment, either by monsters roaming the world or other players looking for a fight. The same goes for when you venture out. You’ll want to be as well-equipped as possible for the dangers you’ll face along the way.
Last, but certainly not least, is Don’t Starve, a wilderness survival game that does exactly what it says on the tin. During the day, you’re relatively safe, and can venture across the edgy cartoon world seeking out resources that will help you survive. By night though, you’d better hope your shelter is sufficient to keep you safe from the many monsters lurking in the dark.
It’s yet another Minecraft like that focuses on survival over creation. The unique art style, focus on science, and isometric perspective help separate it from the competition though – as does the brutal challenge.
Much like the other options on this list, Don’t Starve features co-op, so you can play alongside friends if you don’t fancy going it alone.