The remote or abandoned island seems to be one of the most used — and most useful — settings for stories in any medium. From Daniel Defoe’s groundbreaking novel Robinson Crusoe to Ubisoft’s best-selling FPS Far Cry 3, humans have been using islands to explore various ideas and themes for centuries.
This is especially true in video games, where islands cut off from the rest of the world are the perfect places for mystical adventures, insane terrorists, and quiet puzzle solving. They can serve as places to escape to, or prisons for characters to get trapped on. Including both the serious and the silly, here are some of the best games with island settings. Also, make note that these games are not ranked in any particular order.
#22 Path of Exile
- Developer: Grinding Gear Games
- Publisher: Grinding Gear Games
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
- Release: October 23, 2013
Path of Exile is a great alternative to the Diablo franchise. This is a free-to-play game that’s not only a solid action RPG but one that has been supported for years. Fans have been going through countless free expansions so if you’re just discovering this game, you’ll have plenty of content go through right now. In Path of Exile, players wash up on the shores of an island that houses criminals that prisons deemed to foul to keep. From here you’re on your own where an assortment of creatures freely roam. Take on quests from those that now dwell the island as their home, group up with friends, and embark on a grand adventure. Since this game has been around since 2013, there is news that a sequel is coming out. So we should see a Path of Exile 2 release in the near future.
#21 Dead Island
- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
- Release: September 6, 2011
Techland’s survival game may be most remembered for its fantastic first trailer, but the game is set in an open-world island. This island is struck with a pandemic after a disease spreads turning humans into mindless zombies. Four survivors wake up to find out that everyone else on the resort island has been infected.
Now in order to escape this island, players will have to find other survivors and work on a means to securing a way back to safety. While it can easily be argued that Dying Light is a better iteration on Dead Island, the tropical island resort setting definitely made Techland’s first major project interesting.
#20 The Suffering
- Developer: Surreal Software
- Publisher: Midway Games, Encore, Zoo Digital Publishing
- Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC
- Release: March 8, 2004
If you enjoy horror titles then The Suffering may be worth checking out. Released back in 2004 and developed by Surreal Software, The Suffering is a third-person shooter psychological horror video game. Players take on the role of Torque who is a prisoner waiting on death row for his execution date after being found guilty of murdering his ex-wife and children.
Torque claims to be innocent, however, after an earthquake hits the prison located on an island, our protagonist may be able to escape, but, he may find himself facing against other inmates along with a slew of supernatural threats.
- Developer: PopTop Software, Feral Interactive
- Publisher: Gathering of Developers, MacSoft, Feral Interactive
- Platforms: PC
- Release: April 21, 2001
Being the ruthless dictator of a Caribbean island is no walk in the park but you do get a few perks. Tropico has been around since 2001 and since then, the video game franchise has seen a number of installments released into the market. As such, it’s no surprise to see the series in full make our list.
This is a simulation type video game where players take control of an island and manage their nation through the years. Depending on how well you handle situations and gain the respect of your peers will determine just how long you stay in office.
#18 Yoshi’s Crafted World
- Developer: Good-Feel
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Platforms: NS
Yoshi received a brand new title in 2019 exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. Yoshi’s Crafted World follows a new adventure where Yoshi and his friends are having to battle against Kamek and Baby Bowser. When the duo discover that within Yoshi’s Island holds a magical artifact known as the Sundream Stone that can grant wishes, they set off to steal it. During the heist, the stone sends its gems across the world making it a race for Yoshi to once again acquire them before they fall into the wrong hands. Much like previous installments, there is a unique aesthetic view of Yoshi’s Crafted World.
Within the game, the entire world is set on a 2.5D plane where the environments are made out of construction grade paper. It’s only when players move around the world and its dimension will the game present hidden secrets such as moving around a plane to view the inside of a home that players could originally view the exterior.
- Developer: Night School Studio
- Publisher: Night School Studio
- Platforms: PC, XBO, PS4, NS, iOS, Android
- Release: January 15, 2016
The recently-released narrative adventure game from Night School Studio mixes The Goonies and Freaks n’ Geeks with magical realism reminiscent of hispanic authors Isabelle Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The main character, a 16-year-old named Alex, is spending the weekend with some friends on a remote island off the coast of her Pacific Northwest town.
As would be expected, the island harbors supernatural horrors that the unknowing teenagers must survive. Edwards Island is a uniquely haunted and tormented place, and one definitely worth visiting.
#16 Fallout 4 Far Harbor
- Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
- Release: May 19, 2016
If you completed Fallout 4, then we suggest checking out the expansion pack, Far Harbor. Within the DLC release of Fallout 4, players become a detective and must locate a missing girl who was living on a remote island. However, you will want to be careful as the island contains higher levels of radiation causing more mutated and feral creatures to roam freely.
During your exploration of the island, the game will present players with new faction quests, settlements, creatures and dungeons. Of course, you will want to explore in order to secure new powerful weapons and armor.