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The best and worst battle royale games

Ever since PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds started dropping in 100 players to battle it out in 2017, the battle royale genre has been the big thing in gaming. The high-stakes, well-paced gameplay is thrilling to experience and is perfect for streaming, helping Fortnite become a crossover hit that has smashed player count records and minted Twitch celebrities.

While the concept may seem straightforward, the genre's development has taken a lot of trial and error. A direct line runs from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to open-world survival games such as Rust, Z1, and DayZ. Brendan Greene, the creator of PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds, got his start creating battle royale-style mods for DayZ and Z1. These experiments gained popularity and ultimately led to the blueprint that PUBG provided to establish the genre's fundamentals.

Once the battle royale style exploded, developers went back to the drawing board to figure out how to tweak their games to cash in on the phenomenon. Some of these experiments gave gamers some great new mechanics to play with, while others took their cash and dropped them into broken, empty arenas. Here are the best and worst battle royale games out there.

Best: Apex Legends

The kings of the battle royale genre all have their strengths, from Fortnite's constant creativity to Warzone's highly refined version of the PUBG formula. Apex Legends, however, stands out from its peers as a crucial evolution of the genre that has stayed strong after its well-received initial release.

Apex Legends was the first attempt at the battle royale genre from renowned developers Respawn, who developed the Titanfall series. While Titanfall alone gives the studio plenty of clout, founders Jason West and Vince Zampella had previously started Infinity Ward, the studio that made the original Call of Duty. Respawn took their experience with shooters and applied it to the battle royale genre flawlessly. The game arrived in 2019, unannounced and for free, with seamless movement, exciting gunplay thanks to a diverse selection of weapons, and unique heroes with powerful abilities.

Instead of the constant, sometimes frantic changes that Fortnite implements to keep the experience fresh, Apex Legends uses seismic seasonal changes to keep players coming back. New heroes keep the meta on the move, and a generous in-game currency system rewards dedicated players and keeps many of the game's important features unlockable for free.

Worst: Die pig die

With so much attention directed toward the battle royale genre, it was inevitable that studios would start pushing out unfinished knockoffs to try and cash in.

Some of these have been battle royale modes intended to prop up struggling games, like Fallout 76: Nuclear Winter. Others tried to introduce novel concepts but were too rushed to make an impact, like Cliff Bleszinski's Radical Heights. Most of these have failed to build a community and were mercifully made unavailable. In the case of The Culling 2, gamers even received a refund.

The worst one out there that you can still play, if you really want to, is Die pig die. The battle royale mode supports no more than 16 players who must activate towers to find loot. Once these towers are activated, they must fight their way to the Pigmovil, the only object in the game that seems to be related to the game's odd title, and helicopter to safety.

The game has a few hundred negative reviews on Steam alongside a few positive ones accused of being planted, and its lone professional review on Metacritic is less than flattering.