Best Underwater Games

Ready to submerge yourself in murky video game oceans? Check out this list of the best underwater games on Steam and other platforms.

Much like in real life, exploring underwater settings in games can be either fun or terrifying depending on the genre and your character’s circumstances.

Clunky controls, slow movement, and atmospheric environments play a large role in shaping the experience and making the ocean feel like a tranquil wonderland or aquatic nightmare.

In this list, we’ll highlight the finest underwater games on Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch that invite you to explore submerged settings.

This includes underwater adventure games, underwater base-building games, and underwater horror games where you encounter exotic marine life both friendly and aggressive.

Want more gaming suggestions? Reach out on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube to let us know which game lists to cover in the future!

Related:Best Games Like SubnauticaBest Games Like BarotraumaBest Steampunk Games 2023

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First up is Dave the Diver, a 2D underwater game with pixel art graphics that sees you exploring a mysterious by day and running a sushi restaurant at night.

In it, players control the titular Dave as he scours the Blue Hole for giant creatures and various fish species while taking care to avoid more menacing ones.

These are then turned into fresh ingredients for the sushi restaurant you manage at night, ensuring customers are well-fed and keep coming back.

The money you earn at the restaurant can be used to upgrade Dave’s diving equipment and take on new areas, puzzles, and creatures.

For a more chill underwater adventure where your choices matter, check out Mythic Ocean by Paralune and Untold Tales.

In this game, players get to befriend a pantheon of underwater gods and influence their actions in shaping the creation of an entirely new world.

This is done through visual novel-style dialogue with a host of characters and free-roaming exploration spanning diverse and peaceful underwater environments.

The story has branching paths depending on which gods you choose to spend the most time with and outcomes can range from blissful harmony to outright pandemonium. 

In addition to being a fun co-op game, the indie game Raft nails the relaxing but also tense nature of sailing out on the open seas with your buddies.

Designed for 1-8 players, this underwater survival game tasks you with building a customizable vessel using debris and other scavenged materials found throughout the world.

On islands, you’re relatively secure but in the water, you’ll have to keep an eye out for a lethal shark that’s prone to nibbling off pieces of your raft.

As you make gradual progress, you’ll unlock and craft new equipment for defending yourself, expanding your base, and improving your aquatic mobility.

As its name suggests, Stranded Deep has you fending for yourself on a remote island surrounded by deep and treacherous waters.

Having survived a fatal plane crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, your character must scavenge whatever resources they can find nearby.

This is all while managing their health, hunger, and thirst as well as avoiding dangerous sea creatures using weapons and other tools.

The game uses procedural generation to render in new reefs, islands, and underwater trenches you can travel to once you’ve crafted the necessary gear.

Narcosis is a different underwater survival game that combines horror and first-person walking sim gameplay to make its unsettling atmosphere.

The story starts with your character dropped into the sunless depths of the Pacific Ocean where they soon become stranded and must traverse across the seafloor.

Forced to navigate using low light and few tools, you’ll have to carefully plan out each step before your character’s oxygen and sanity give out.

To make matters worse, there is plenty of nightmarish-looking flora and fauna roaming about the water keeping you company.

Carrying on with the horror theme, Iron Lung is a fantastically spooky underwater horror game with minimal requirements that can run on most low-spec PCs.

The premise is as follows: you’re a prisoner who’s been offered a chance at freedom so long as they can successfully complete a life-threatening mission.

This entails traveling to an alien moon covered in an ocean of blood and navigating its treacherous waters using a tiny submarine with the ability to photograph what it sees.

As you would expect, several obstacles are introduced, including dwindling oxygen, faulty machinery, and unsightly creatures not of this world.

In our review of SILT, we called it a “visually-captivating puzzle game that takes players through the depths of eldritch horror.”

Cast as a deep-sea diver, you awake chained inside the belly of a beast and must free yourself before venturing out into more dark and dreary caverns.

It’s clear that SILT is drawing inspiration from games like Limbo as its moody monochromatic visuals, body horror-inspired puzzles, and grotesque creature designs would suggest.

To this point, the game wastes no time in establishing its creepy underwater atmosphere and filling players’ minds with dread.

Next up on our list of underwater games is Song of the Deep, an action-adventure Metroidvania created by Insomniac Games.

In it, players assume control of a young girl tasked with finding her missing father using a small submarine built from spare parts.

Throughout her journey, she’ll make friends, discover lost civilizations and ruins, and upgrade her submarine to explore even deeper.

Doing so reveals new areas to explore as well as tactics for battling formidable sea creatures that reside in the deepest depths of the ocean.

Another underwater co-op game we’re happy to put on your radar, We Need to Go Deeper is a 2D roguelike survival game about managing a submarine.

Working together with a crew, players will voyage to the deepest parts of a Jules Verne-inspired aquatic universe overrun with marine animals and hazardous conditions.

To survive, you’ll have to keep your wits about you and communicate with crewmates to divvy up tasks such as piloting, repairing, and defending from enemy attacks.

Like several games mentioned on this list, things can quickly spiral out of control when you’re exploring We Need to Go Deeper’s randomized biomes during high-risk expeditions.

Koral sells itself as a “love letter to the ocean,” in which players can dive into a beautiful underwater world and explore at their leisure as a sea current.

The goal of the game is to bring the coral reefs back to life and spread beauty throughout the ocean’s different ecosystems by solving environmental puzzles.

As you heal each region, you’ll be able to watch in real-time as the seafloor becomes colorful and vibrant with life and diversity.

Last but not least, one of the coolest aspects about this game is that it was developed by Carlos Coronado while he was on an actual sailship in Northern Catalonia.

Breathing new life into the nostalgic 3D platformer, SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated invites you along for a colorful underwater adventure.

Much like the original BFBB, gameplay revolves around dynamic 3D platforming where players will collect items, defeat enemies, and traverse vibrant environments.

Throughout the journey, you’ll have the option to swap between different characters from the popular cartoon including SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy.

Each one comes with a unique ability that lets players reach new areas, discover secrets, and most importantly, remind them of a simpler time playing simpler games.

Switching gears dramatically, our next suggestion is the hardcore underwater survival game Barotrauma from Finnish developer Undertow Games.

In it, groups of players must work together to operate a space submarine as it inches its way through deadly alien waters to deliver and salvage precious cargo.

Each crew member is assigned a special role ranging from Captain to Medic to Engineer with unique tools and tasks that must be carried out.

While out on missions, players will have to keep an eye out for an assortment of hazards, monsters, and secret traitors looking to sink the vessel into the abyss.

A personal favorite that comes up time and time again, SOMA is easily the best underwater horror game ever released.

This isn’t all too surprising seeing as it was developed by Frictional Games, best known for the Amnesia series of psychological horror games.

Positioned as a follow-up to Dark Descent, SOMA centers on a man who undergoes a mysterious medical procedure only to wake up and find himself trapped in a deep-sea research facility.

Desperate for answers, he embarks on a body-horror-fueled adventure to find out what happened to him, and escape this new nightmare.

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Unknown Worlds’ hit open-world survival crafting game Subnautica.

For those unfamiliar, this game sees you crash-landing on an alien planet covered entirely with water and inhabited by diverse marine life.

After setting up a base and gathering some basic survival tools, players set out to explore the ocean to locate lost caches, beacons, and shipwrecks to advance their research.

Subnautica offers one of the most immersive underwater experiences with scalable difficulty options tailored for every playstyle.

ABZU is another underwater adventure game that sees you coming face to face with beautiful aquatic creatures beneath the ocean’s surface.

In it, you take on the role of a scuba diver who awakes in the sea before heading down below to uncover strange mysteries surrounding an ancient civilization.

Along the way, you’ll solve puzzles by interacting with different sea creatures using a special sonar-based ability to communicate and guide them.

This makes ABZU the perfect equalizer to balance out all of the spookier entries we’ve mentioned throughout this list.

To wrap up our list of the best underwater games, we’re including the remastered version of 2K’s classic first-person shooter, BioShock.

While the underwater moments are fairly limited, the submerged atmosphere of Rapture City is something that hasn’t been executed nor replicated by any other game.

The contrast between its carefully-crafted art deco architecture and the wild and mysterious waters that surround it makes this game stand out from the very jump.

Things only become more accentuated the deeper you go into the story and begin experiencing all of the insane-like encounters the game has to offer.

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Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.

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