There is a distinct lack of realistic hunting games in which you can hunt real-world animals like bears, deer, birds and so on.
While there aren’t many games to choose from, here are 7 of the best, most realistic hunting games currently available for PC, Xbox, or PS4.
theHunter: Call of the Wild
theHunter: CotW is probably the best hunting game out right now. It is one of the best-looking and most realistic hunting games with a fully open world spanning 80 square km.
The lush and green region provides a lot of variety including thick forests, wide open clearings, hills, and mountains, with various kinds of bears, deer, foxes and more to hunt.
To facilitate quicker traveling, you can ride an ATV. While it’s loud and can attract animals, it is an effective getaway method in case an overly aggressive animal attack happens.
The Medved Taiga DLC (64 square km) introduces new, more dangerous animals to hunt including lynx, moose, reindeer and brown bears.
The game also features multiplayer with up to 8 players, where you can take up various hunting challenges in either a co-op or competitive fashion.
This game is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Deer Hunter Reloaded
The iconic, long-running Deer Hunter series returns with Glu’s Deer Hunter Reloaded. It’s available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS.
Unlike theHunter, this game features much smaller and more focused linear areas to hunt in. Three U.S. states are featured in the game (Texas, Colorado, and Alaska), and each has three trophy animals to hunt and one kind of predator to avoid in each region.
Gun variety is very important in this game, and each of them has specific uses. For example, shotguns are neglected in other hunting games, but in Deer Hunter Reloaded, you have to use them to take out attacking predators such as bears, wolves and mountain lions.
This game is pretty bare-bones in terms of content. It is single-player only, and the three regions have fairly linear missions. However, if you don’t enjoy fully open world games and don’t mind the game being a bit rough around the edges, give Deer Hunter Reloaded a try.
Cabela’s Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts
The once popular and renowned Cabela’s hunting game series made a return with Cabela’s Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts in 2014.
In addition to PC, it was released for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii-U.
It is single-player only and is said to be quite repetitive, but I think that can be said about any hunter game. Again, the world is not fully open in Story mode.
There are 3 additional game modes:
- Regular – Regular is an easier mode with fewer choices in equipment and available animals.
- Pro – In Pro mode, the game can feel repetitive, because everything is expensive which requires some grinding.
- Open – This is a completely open roaming mode in the region with any equipment that you choose.
If you have an older system, this game may be a good choice for the hunting subgenre.
You can play Hunting Simulator alone or in a group of up to 4 players. There are 37 different kinds of animals that can be hunted in 12 different regions like Colorado, France, and Alaska.
The game features licensed Browning and Winchester firearms, various kinds of callings, lures and other modern equipment including a drone that you can use to explore your surroundings from the air.
The single-player campaign includes 111 various challenges with differing times of day, animals to hunt and weather conditions.
As for the types of animals to hunt, there are a lot of variations unique to each region. These usually include deer and various predators such as wolves and bears, but also include more unique animals like crocodiles and bison.
Hunting Simulator is based on the Unreal 4 engine and tries to capture the hearts of true hunting enthusiasts. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Bass Pro Shops – The Hunt
Bass Pro Shops is available for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
This is an older game, released in 2010, but if you have access to those systems, it might be a fun choice.
On the Wii, you can use your Wiimote for targeting. It’s a nice, but some versions of the game also ship with a gun attachment for it, resulting in a more authentic control scheme.
As for the gameplay, you select your (pretty basic) equipment and then embark on missions in various areas to hunt animals.
There are fewer animals than in other games, the two most prominent being deer and duck.
In addition to more open, but smaller mission areas, The Hunt features on-rails shooting levels similar to Cabela’s African Adventures.
I would only recommend this game if you have a Wii and can also use the gun controller – otherwise, Cabela’s Pro Hunts is a better choice for older consoles.
Have you played the old Duck Hunt game on the original NES? You know the one where you had to point a laser gun to your TV to shoot ducks?
If so, then Duck Season might be a great nostalgia trip for you that has lots of ‘80s references.
However, unlike the other previously mentioned games, this one is short and horror-like. It has a scary story about a young boy playing a console game eerily similar to Duck Hunt in the ‘80s, but with very modern graphics.
This game is for PC and supports the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, taking you right into the action.
Cabela’s African Adventures
Another entry in the famous Cabela’s series, African Adventures takes place in seven different regions on the continent of Africa.
This game was originally available on PS2 and Xbox 360, but the remastered version that came out in 2014 is for Xbox One and PS4.
As the name suggests, this is not a hunting simulator because it plays more like an action-adventure game, but against various kinds of African wildlife.
You will fight hyenas, elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards and other signature animals from the African savannah.
Apart from the single-player campaign which takes about 6 hours, you can play a single or 2-player rail-shooter mode, in which the goal is to shoot animals like crazy.
This game is very light on content and hunting mechanics. However, if you’re just looking to shoot animals instead of people or robots, this game may be fine for a few hours.
Hunter and shooter games are abundant when it comes to the fantasy genre – Monster Hunter, Final Fantasy XV, and Dauntless are good examples.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of realistic hunting games to choose from. From the ones available, the majority are a bit outdated and repetitive. But, more serious games like The Hunt can capture that feel of stalking and hunting your favorite animals.