Zombies strike a chord in our culture. His lack of humanity reminds us of our own human qualities: our courage, our empathy, and sometimes our cruelty. With all the classic zombie movies and books in the world, it’s only natural that we also have great zombie games. Zombies are the perfect enemies in video games; can often be easily killed without remorse, and often appears in intimidating hordes. Zombie stories on TV and in movies are often about relationships, while games tend to be more about…killing zombies.
For the purposes of this classification, the infected and corrupted hordes in games like The Last of Us qualify as zombies. If he walks like a zombie and talks like a zombie, he’s a zombie. With all that in mind, here are some of the best games starring the hungry undead.
10. The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead games certainly do the beloved TV show justice. Human interaction really takes center stage here, and the games are charming in their uniqueness. The characters are thoughtful and their interactions are well written.
The only real issue here is the inherent difficulty of telling a branching story in a game. Telltale has a mixed reputation when it comes to this. Sometimes it can feel like choices matter less than they should. Still, these adaptations of The Walking Dead are worth playing, more than capable of tugging at the heartstrings and offering up some spooky gore.
9. State of decomposition
State of Decay was a breath of fresh air when it came out. Along with the sequel State of Decay 2, it fills a very interesting niche well. It’s a zombie survival action game that feels satisfying and fun to kill. The driving is also perfectly fine, and the map is nice and big. There’s a solid sense of progression throughout, and the buildup of resources is satisfying.
Permadeath is an element that gives the game real tension and stakes, though it can be devastating when things go wrong quickly. The main issue with State of Decay is that the tasks can feel repetitive and the focus on grinding can be problematic at times.
8. The Rising of the Dead
For some reason, Capcom and zombies are like bread and butter. Dead Rising may have spawned some controversial sequels, but the original game from the early days of the Xbox 360 is still well-loved. It’s memorable for its quirky gameplay and sense of humor, but some of its mechanics haven’t aged well.
Dead Rising is often criticized for being a great escort mission, and in a way it is. Still, it’s worth playing, because there are no other games where boat paddles and orange juice jugs are considered viable weapons against masses of the undead. Unlike many zombie titles, it’s low on horror, high on brilliant silliness.
7. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead (or CDDA for short) is an open source zombie survival game. It is a roguelike in the true sense of the word. It also has some of the deepest and most engaging mechanics in any video game. CDDA players love telling amazing stories from its endless procedurally generated worlds. Create a farm and become the world’s first post-apocalyptic chef. He builds a rolling death machine. He plays as someone with a partial body made of adamantium. Even better, he does all those things at the same time.
CDDA is not a traditional “zombie” game. It is a slow and strategic experience. It also has a very steep learning curve. Even for fans of Rogue, CDDA can seem impenetrable at first. Those who have the patience to stick around and learn, however, are rewarded with some amazing gameplay.
6. Zombie Project
Project Zomboid is a survival game that takes place in a procedurally generated world. Zomboid is very similar to Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead. Both are open world zombie survival games, and both have had very long periods of development. The difference is that Zomboid is more accessible and lacks the depth and complexity of CDDA. It’s certainly much easier for new players to jump into Zomboid, and it beats its counterpart for that reason. In a perfect world, we’d have both: an infinitely deep and complex game that’s easy to pick up.
Interestingly, one of Zomboid’s stages (“A Really CD DA”) has the player character undress and fall out of the shower. They are also drunk and sick, and their house is on fire. This is a direct reference to the CDDA “A Really Bad Day” scenario.
5. Red Dead Redemption: Nightmare of the Walking Dead
Not technically a game, but game-sized DLC, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is fun and imaginative. Far from the gritty drama the Red Dead series is known for, this self-contained tale places John Marston in a grindhouse horror movie. Eliminating hordes of zombies with nothing more than a torch and a rancher’s revolver is immensely satisfying. The story is compelling and worthy of the Read Dead moniker.
It’s a shame Undead Nightmare is DLC only. A fully realized game in this genre would be amazing. However, it is unlikely that Rockstar will release anything else that compares to the imagination and scope of this strange title. The horror material you have released for Read Dead Online is limited to a special Halloween event.
4.Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 revolutionized both tank controls and the survival horror genre as a whole. Until the release of Resident Evil 7, RE4’s control scheme was the standard for the series. When people think of Resident Evil, they often think of this classic and its brilliant gameplay. A similar over-the-shoulder third-person view was used for remakes of its two predecessor series.
Regardless of its remake, the original RE4 is still worth playing. Having to stop and aim carefully is an iconic and terrifying experience. Years after its original release, only a few zombie-infested classics can top it.
3. The Last of Us
There isn’t much to say about The Last of Us that hasn’t already been said. It is a beautiful game that invites reflection. Other studios should take a lesson here; TLOU shows us that players are not only willing to play a flawed protagonist, they love it when it’s done right. The gameplay, graphics, acting, narration, and music are all top notch.
Some may criticize the game for its somber tone, and that may be fair. It can feel awkward and comic relief is in short supply. I could further criticize TLOU for its multiple remakes, which feel boring considering it hasn’t been that long since the initial release. However, it’s hard to deny that The Last Of Us is a masterpiece of a game.
Resident Evil is, without a doubt, one of the best zombie games of all time. All Resident Evil fans owe it to themselves to go back and play the first entry in the series if they haven’t already. From its classic stately setting to its unique undead and incredible action stages, the game is a delight from start to finish.
His remake is excellent and highly recommended. Iconic as it is, however, there are a few minor issues. Those outdated controls, always present in the new version, can be unwieldy. So can the inventory system (those limited slots can be frustrating). Resident Evil’s cachet speaks for itself, but being a product of its time only holds it back from the top spot.
1. 4 dead left
Left 4 Dead is Valve’s classic squad-based shooter. Other games have tried, but to this day no one has successfully brought back the magic of Left 4 Dead or its sequel. Players work together (in theory) to take down hordes of zombies. An “AI Director” (considered a godlike figure by some) makes each run of the game unique.
Each play is tailored to the skill level of the players and the action never gets too dull. L4D was actually so revolutionary that its Unique zombies (tank, smoker, etc.) are still copied by other games to this day. Both titles in the series are regularly released on Steam, and for any gamer with even the remotest interest in destroying zombies, there’s no excuse not to play them.