S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games are dirt cheap and insanely good. People said they were broken messes without mods but i played and beat all 3 on vanilla and wouldn’t change a thing.
Unreal World is very slow paced but oozes nordic/viking type atmosphere. Very cool. Also free.
CDDA’s way awesome and free. Project Zomboid is epic too.
The Metro games are AAA games that are like a few dollars on steam, made by some of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. crew. Super good and lovingly built games. If you have a switch you can get the first two for 50$, great ports, easy 30+ FPS at 1080p constantly, and it’s on the go!
Getting away from entirely survival-sandbox games for a moment…
Played the switch release of Darkwood recently. It’s basically a top-down Lone Survivor with more survival mechanics, that turns into a tower defense game at night. Amazing game. Impeccable atmosphere, stunningly gorgeous and nightmarish visuals, and incredibly fun gameplay; i never wanted it to end, and there’s still more to play, i got the bad ending.
(speaking of which Lone Survivor is a must play.)
Kona’s a survival-game crossed with murder mystery and works so, so much better than you’d think it would. Must play.
And, i’m sorry, but i’m a sucker for the classics, they’re what i grew up on. Metal Gear Solid 1-4 are masterpieces, will not find a more entrancing story, ever. Don’t play 5 it’s beyond dog diarrhea. Almost the entirety of the Metroid series is literally flawless games, Resident Evil 1-4 are fairly spoopy and great fun, and of course Zelda’s just a blast, especially BotW, me and my family got like 500+ hours of time from that game, for just 80$ (got the season pass )