Humans have been hunting for as long as we have been around. Whether for subsistence or for sport, we have been to the wild places of the world with the intention of returning with a new killing and a daring story. Many of our greatest gods and legends are accomplished hunters – Artemis, Mixcoatl, and Nimrod to name a few. With the myth and action surrounding the hunt, this is a perfect choice for video games.
We have put together a list of the best hunting games ever made to adorn a screen. From simple point-and-shoot fare and ultra-realistic sims to modern epic prey myths, these games deliver all the part of the hunting experience you want – without having to get up at four in the morning.
ten Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter (2010)
Hunting games that want to show off their realism will often highlight the different reactions that animals will have to the hunter’s actions. The player will have to stalk, ambush, pursue or even defend himself according to the peculiarities of the combat or flight instincts of the animals. Many hunting games have such a mechanism. What most hunting games don’t have are dinosaurs.
An updated port from the years 1998 Carnivores, Dinosaur Hunter allows the player to test their hunting skills against the most powerful beasts to roam the Earth. From Velociraptors and Stegosaurs to the fierce Tyrannosaurus Rex, the game requires you to switch tactics for each brand. The series has seen a number of reboots and remasters over the past decade, but so far none have gone beyond the 2010 version.
9 Big Buck Hunter Reloaded (2020)
Big Buck Hunter is often found in arcades and is designed to be fast, easy, and replayable. Each hunt shows a picturesque landscape with an assortment of animals to kill using the in-game gun device, all of which scatter as soon as they are aware of you. While not meant to be realistic, Big Buck Hunter captures the tense moment right before and after the shot is taken.
The game also has a charming silliness, especially in its mini-games. The most recent iteration, Big Buck Hunter Reloaded, has the best graphics yet and, of all things, a zombie mode and a port of the Terminator: Hi arcade game. Sure, it’s cheesy, but the fun factor is undeniable.
8 Hunt: Confrontation (2019)
Hunt: Showdown, a dark and gloomy PvPvE game, pits teams of hunters against supernatural forces in the Louisiana Bayou. To win, your team will have to follow and kill the target monster before any of the competing teams. There is more than one monster in the swamp, however, so one misstep can quickly end your hunt.
Hunting has become a largely social activity in the real world, so a team hunt game makes a lot of sense. Realism and immersion aren’t the selling points here, but teams running to kill a boss first is a cool concept and the tracking element only serves to increase the tension. Besides, who wouldn’t want to unleash their inner Van Helsing?
seven Duck Hunt (1984)
This single screen shooter is a true classic. Duck Hunt, arguably the best-known hunting game in the world, was one of the few games to use the NES Zapper accessory. Anyone who has played it on original material can hear the sh-ching of the trigger to this day – and probably carries some searing animosity for a hunting dog’s game moron.
By far the simplest game on this list, Duck Hunt is a retro gaming staple. It came with the NES, sharing a cartridge with no less gaming than Super Mario Brothers itself. His legacy also lives on in Super Smash Brothers. Ultimate, where the in-game animals team up as a playable fighter.
Sharing this place are two sides of the same Early Access coin. Bigfoot and Folklore Hunter send you (and your friends, if you like) to hunt a supernatural beast – the titular sasquatch and the Wendigo, respectively. Each monster is strong, cunning, and dislikes humans in its territory. Having no chance in a direct fight, you will have to follow the monster, learn its habits and eventually lure it into a position where you can put it down for good.
Both games have an element of horror, as you never really know if you’re the hunter or the hunted. Encounters with the target usually involve trying to deal enough damage to chase them away and possibly injure them for subsequent fights, or the humans running for their lives.
5 Hunting Simulator 2 (2020)
For the player who wants realism in his hunting games, Hunting simulator 2 is a strong choice. It’ll see you selecting the right ammo for the job as you hunt down dozens of animals across three beautiful environments. You will need to use real hunting tactics and gear to be successful, including weapons and outfits.
Best of all, Hunting Simulator 2 gives your character a dog to accompany you on the hunt. Choosing the right breed for the job is part of the game’s strategy, and you’ll use your companion to scent, run, and scavenge for prey just as much as you use your guns – and yes, you can pet them, too.
4 Deep Hunter 2: Deep Dive (2014)
Depth Hunter 2 is a spearfishing simulation with many underwater environments to explore. The challenges associated with spearfishing provide new gameplay experiences, including three-dimensional environments and the need to monitor your oxygen. The game specifically simulates snorkeling as opposed to scuba diving, so timing your dives and taking care not to overwork your character are essential skills to learn.
The game also features a photo mode and sunken treasures to collect. Combined with three giant environments from around the world, this gives Depth Hunter 2 replayability and something to offer anyone who wants to travel to the depths.
3 The North American Adventures of Cabela (2010)
There have been a lot of Cabela’s hunting games over the years, but Adventures in North America stands out for its unique take on the genre. This time, your big game hunter is accompanied by a cameraman. The duo are filming a reality show, and your job isn’t just to take down your prey, but to do it in a way that gives your cameraman the footage he needs to make the show a success.
The fusion of hunting and photography gameplay is incredibly unique, cementing North American Adventures as our pick from Cabela’s vast lineup.
2 Monster Hunter: World (2018)
Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has gained a cult following that only grows stronger with each successive entry. Monster Hunter: World’s colossal open environment is one of the traits that makes the game the best in the series to date. Tracking down and killing even the most tame monstrous marks in the game can be a challenge, and defeating top players like Lunastra or Extreme Behemoth is truly an accomplishment.
The game’s fantastic setting allows for unchecked creativity in creating new creatures to hunt, and the action-oriented gameplay moves away from other hunting games, but the need for skill and focus is still at the fore.
1 The Hunter: Call of the Wild (2017)
For the true realistic hunting enthusiast, there is no better game on the market today than The Hunter: Call of the Wild. Its massive, lifelike environments are a feast for the eyes, and you’ll find it hard to explore every inch of it. The individual animals are almost unique, leaving it up to the player to decide from behind the litter which beast will score the best trophy. Each step your character takes will crack leaves and snap twigs, potentially alerting wildlife to your presence. The game even has an engine to generate unique antlers on animals. Expansive Worlds has really tried to think of everything.
Best of all, the game continues to be actively supported with both free and paid content. New locations, animals, vehicles, weapons, and hunting dogs are being added all the time, making Call of the Wild a vivid and growing experience.
Next: Scary Games Where You Are The One Who Is Stalked
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