10 Games Leaving Early Access in 2024 You Should Play Ahead of Their 1.0 Release

These 10 amazing games are coming out of Early Access this year. But you can play them right now.
Phasmophobia Roadmap logo
Image via Kinetic Games

There’s an endless number of games released in Early Access with the aim of getting community feedback while finishing development. After leveling up their titles during EA, these are the 10 best games to watch their full release in 2024.

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What are the 10 Best Games Leaving Early Access in 2024 I Should Play Now?

Countless games are currently sitting in Early Access as developers continue to work on them. Slogging through the list of titles to find a gem you might’ve missed can be an arduous process. I’ve done that work for you, picking out the 10 best games heading to full release in 2024. The games are listed in order of their announced release dates, ending with those that have open time frames.

10. Last Epoch

  • Early Access Release Date: April 30, 2019
  • Full Release Date: February 21, 2024

ARPG Last Epoch has been in Early Access for five years now. That’s not as long as some EA games — looking at you, Ark — but it’s high time this hack-and-slash hit 1.0. Last Epoch features a plethora of skills, bosses, dungeons, weapons, and loot, perfect for anyone into games like Destiny 2 or Baldur’s Gate 3. With that said, Last Epoch most reminds me of Diablo 4’s aesthetics, and that alone has me excited to play it.

Version 1.0 will hit in late February with a Shaman mastery and Tempest Strike rework, visual improvements, and scene variations. The price will remain the same at $34.99 USD, but development won’t end with 1.0. Future expansions and additions are already in the works.

9. Sons of the Forest

  • Early Access Release Date: February 23, 2023
  • Full Release Date: February 22, 2024

Almost a year to the day since it launched in Early Access, Sons of the Forest‘s 1.0 version takes us back to the cannibal-infested island. The horror game’s EA run has been a positive one, with the original Forest community growing for the sequel.

You still build bases to fend off the elements and flesh-crazed enemies, scavenge for food, and explore a tonally dark world with Kelvin as comedic relief. But plenty of changes have been made since 2023. Developer Endnight Games has continued frequent support to Sons of the Forest, releasing dozens of hotfixes and adding everything from new items and locations to new cannibals and actions for Kelvin.

8. The Outlast Trials

  • Early Access Release Date: May 18, 2023
  • Full Release Date: March 5, 2024

Taking a reworked approach to the Outlast franchise, developer Red Barrels fine-tuned the multiplayer aspects of The Outlast Trials while in EA. This worked out, as the title won Feardemic’s Fear Fest 2023 Best Horror Multiplayer of the Year Award. The game’s conceit is enough to send shivers down my spine: you’re a medical test subject forced to participate in gruesome, gory trials, pitting you and other prisoners against fiendish enemies in bone-chilling trials.

The squeamish needn’t apply here. Sawed-off hands, death by poisonous gas, and living pinheads are just some of the things you encounter. On the less terrifying side of things, you can wear quirky outfits to add some levity to the mix, and you can decorate your cell room with items you get as rewards. There are plenty of skills to unlock, too. Updating to the full version less than a year later, a new Toy Factory trial and new MK challenges are included for $10 USD more than EA, costing $39.99.

7. Songs of Conquest

  • Early Access Release Date: May 10, 2022
  • Full Release Date: Q1 2024

Songs of Conquest is a retro strategy RPG that first graced EA back in 2022. It’s come a long way from the original version, with more campaigns, factions, mod support, and Steam Deck verification.

It features turn-based grid movement throughout a number of different lands filled with unique enemies and goals. Defeat your foes with standard swords or upgrade your skills to use powerful elemental magic that rains fire from the sky. On top of the combat, you upgrade your home city, turning it into a thriving trade hub.

The roadmap for early 2024 only lists the 1.0 release coming sometime, however, additional announcements were noted, as was the dedication to more features and development. If you’re interested in Songs of Conquest in the slightest, now’s the time to pick it up. A price increase hasn’t been decided upon, but at $29.99 USD, it’s already a steal.

6. V Rising

  • Early Access Release Date: May 17, 2022
  • Full Release Date: Q2 2024

Another 2022 EA title, V Rising rose to the top of the vampire game ranks thanks to the mix of survival, crafting, and action combat mechanics. And it’s the game I’m most excited about leaving EA in 2024. Similar to Valheim and Enshrouded, you wander the various lands, trying to beat bosses and gain their powers, all while avoiding the sun and building a magnificent castle to defend you as you slumber.

Its first big update, Gloomrot, was released in May 2023. Revamped castle building, with additional V Blood bosses, and a whole new area, shows off what the team can do. With the full release date only narrowed in on Q2 of 2024, it could very likely be another May launch that will come with new biomes, more bosses, and more castle-building mechanics. If it’s anything like Gloomrot, then we’re in for a good time. Get it now while the price is still $19.99 USD.

5. Core Keeper

  • Early Access Release Date: March 8, 2022
  • Full Release Date: Summer 2024

A mix of Minecraft and Stardew Valley, Core Keeper is your next exploration and survival sim. Only this time, you’re completely underground. You can play alone or with friends as you mine, farm, build, and fight to defend the Core. While it may not be a horror game, having to run from a giant spiked tick is scary enough for me.

Core Keeper has had a number of large updates since its EA launch in March 2022, like my favorite add-on, the addition of Pets. Those larger additions won’t stop when it launches into 1.0 across all platforms this summer. New crafting items, enemies, story expansions, and an actual end to the game will included in the final version. It currently retails for $15.99 USD.

4. Ravenswatch

  • Early Access Release Date: April 6, 2023
  • Full Release Date: Q3 2024

Created by the same team that made Curse of the Dead Gods, Ravenswatch is an action roguelike that entered EA in the spring of 2023. With an almost endless amount of enemies and bosses to hack and slash through, you must strategize and invent some magical strategies to survive all of the increasingly-brutal encounters. There are over 20 talents to pick from, including a music-based Bard adjacent one, along with side quests to keep you busy.

Following the same release pattern that Paasstech Games used for Curse, Ravenswatch will launch the full version after a year of EA development. New characters, updates to co-op matchmaking, and additional chapters have been added. Paasstech plans to continue support after 1.0, as well, as the dev team already has different DLCs planned for after full launch. It currently retails for $19.99 USD.

3. Phasmophobia

  • Early Access Release Date: September 18, 2020
  • Full Release Date: Late 2024

While a definitive date hasn’t been established for the investigative horror title, Phasmophobia does list a 1.0 release on its 2024 roadmap, as well as the EA blurb on the Steam Page. Launched during the COVID-19 Pandemic back in 2020, it’s one of the games with a longer EA timeframe, and one we absolutely love at GameSkinny.

When I think of investigative horror games like the Ghost Hunters television shows, Phasmophobia is the title that instantly comes to mind. Using real-life ghost-hunting items, like the Spirit Box and EMF Reader, you must hunt a variety of supernatural entities and figure out what ghost has decided to call the location home. That’s easier said than done, as certain actions anger the spirits, increasing your chances of becoming a ghost yourself. It currently retails for $13.99 USD.

2. Caves of Qud

  • Early Access Release Date: July 15, 2015
  • Full Release Date: 2024

While other entries on this list may have three or four-year EA development periods, Caves of Qud takes the crown as the longest title in EA. If you’re looking for something with simple graphics reminiscent of the 8-bit era, this is the one you want.

While the graphics are simple, the gameplay is anything but. There’s an extensive character creation menu, multiple enemies with unique skills, and tons of ways to specialize your character. Options include cloning your character to create an army or possessing a goat. Whatever your interest is, there’s a way to explore it in Caves of Qud.

Thanks to a partnership with Kitfox Games announced in July of 2023, the pixel simulation game will finally get a 1.0 launch. The items left for development on the roadmap include updated accessibility features, more main quests, continued introductions of new items, creatures, and art, as well as a reworked UI. It’s $19.99 USD right ahead of it’s EA launch.

1. Ultrakill

  • Early Access Release Date: September 3, 2020
  • Full Release Date: Suspected 2024

Ultrakill has been in EA for a few years, but Layer 7 and Act 2 have recently been released. Act 3 was listed on the roadmap as an early Q1 2024 launch item, depending on how long it takes the developers to finalize the pieces. There’s no definite 2024 full release date, but all the signs point to early 2024. Fingers crossed.

Described as an old-school FPS, it definitely has the blocky style of early games like the original Doom and Quake. It shares a similar vibe with those games, too. You play through various sins and layers of hell, fighting against unearthly bosses. There are skills to unlock, multi-kill bonuses to earn, and, of course, exploding enemies, interrupting attacks, and ricocheting bullets. You can pick it up in EA right now for $25 USD.

That’s my list of the top 10 best games leaving Early Access in 2024 that you should watch. Whether you’ve been waiting for version 1.0 of a title, or want to get it before the price may increase, this is the time to take a look at these games.

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Author
Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, The Sims, and a variety of games in between. Playing on the NES and SNES, collecting 1st gen Pokemon cards, and playing on her Gameboy color are some of her favorite memories from early childhood. Combined with a passion for writing, Ashley is focused on bringing the best news, guides, reviews and lists the industry has to offer.