It started as a meme. When players first managed to get their hands on this new open-world sandbox filled with dinosaurs you could catch and train like Pokemon, the internet became awash with videos of characters with increasingly grotesque proportions. But players quickly moved beyond the game’s anything-goes character creator and, for the first time, glimpsed the forest for the trees. Players began playing the game in earnest and discovered that Ark: Survival Evolved was trying to distinguish their game in a market that was, at the time, saturated in survival games.
Ark, however, was different. Despite starting players out as veritable cave-men, Ark allowed players to become something more akin to science fiction. It was a game that rewarded players with a true sense of progression. It wasn’t long until the game established its own dedicated community, still going strong in 2021. What started as a joke is now anything but.
As fans wait to sink their teeth into Ark’s forthcoming sequel and animated series, the following are 15 games like Ark: Survival Evolved.