Top 10 Zombie Games of All Time

April 2, 2020

Anyone who loves video games probably has a favorite title featuring zombies. Just like every other form of entertainment, the gaming world is filled with zombie content. The popularity of the undead walkers means that developers are always looking to include them in their work. There just seems to be a fascination with them which means people can never have enough. Look at any online store page and you will see hundreds of zombie games. Unfortunately, the vast majority of zombie games are unoriginal and bland. But a few have defied expectations and actually been excellent games that you won’t want to miss. Here are the top 10 zombie games of all time.

Dead Rising

The Dead Rising franchise that began in 2006 is one of Capcom’s biggest successes in recent times. Taking a comedic approach rather than a serious tone, the series is known for its wacky and elaborate weapons. There are few things quite as fun as mowing down entire hordes of the undead with a chainsaw attached to a pool cue. Each of the four games in the series has all the quirky fun of a B-movie horror film, making them constantly entertaining. 

Dying Light

Dying Light (2015) takes a novel approach to the traditional zombie formula. It mixes elements of Mirror’s Edge and resource management titles to create a parkour-infused experience. Players take on the role of an undercover agent trapped in an area with little gear to see them through the infectious disaster. Thrilling close-quarters combat and an exciting movement system make it an edge-of-your-seat affair. 

They Are Billions

Unlike many other zombie games, They Are Billions takes a more strategic approach. The 2017 RTS tasks players with trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. To do this, you have to build up a thriving base, construct defenses, and prepare yourself for the oncoming horde. Every campaign is different from the last thanks to the randomly generated maps. There’s also plenty of depth to the gameplay and lots of stylish steampunk-inspired visuals. 

State of Decay

State of Decay (2013) blends together a few different genres, such as base building, third-person shooting, and stealth. Players have to manage outposts, juggling their own needs and that of those around them. This can involve exploring for resources and preparing defenses. It constantly manages to provide a rewarding and entertaining experience, even after you fail to make any significant progress. The core mechanics just work well so that you don’t mind having to start over and try your hand at surviving all over again.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Undead Nightmare is not actually a full game. Rather it is an expansion pack for Red Dead Redemption. However, the DLC doesn’t just add a few zombies into the base game. It completely transforms the western into a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland, complete with a single-player campaign. This was a novel approach for the time, considering the size and scope of the expansion pack, when it released in 2010. What made it so great was that it utilized the content from the main game to create a living, breathing world. Or rather, non-living, non-breathing world.

World War Z

Taking a great deal of inspiration from Valve’s Left 4 Dead series, World War Z is a co-operative shooter. Players have to survive against hordes of enemies along with three teammates. What makes this 2019 game so unique is the sheer number of zombies. There can be thousands on screen at once, giving the game an overwhelming feeling of drama. The variety in the classes and the sense of constant despair make it a game that stands out among the dozens of similar titles.

The Walking Dead

Before its demise in 2018, Telltale Games essentially revived the graphic adventure genre single-handedly. Although Telltale had a string of relative successes before The Walking Dead, it was The Walking Dead: The Game Season 1 that really established Telltale in the gaming world in 2012. Rather than focus on traditional gameplay, such as combat, The Walking Dead game puts the emphasis on dialogue and choice. It tells an emotional, human-driven story, that forces the player to think about everything they do. 

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

Resident Evil 2 was already a great zombie game. However, the 2019 remake of the title elevates it to a new level. It carefully combines the more action-orientated shooting of later games with the steadily building horror of the first games. The challenge in Resident Evil 2 comes largely from the zombies themselves. They are no pushovers, requiring the player to put them down frequently before they meet their eventual demise. The best course of action is often to stay quiet and try to avoid combat at all costs, preserving your limited ammo in the process. Consequently, this is a zombie game that focuses heavily on survival elements above all-out combat. 

Left 4 Dead

Valve released Left 4 Dead in 2008 with little fanfare. But the game quickly proved to be a massive success. While it used core concepts that were familiar in the zombie trope, it added a few sophisticated changes. Most notable among them was the Director. This artificial intelligence would subtly alter the layout and placement of each level. This meant that each run was different and a totally fresh experience. However, it remained similar enough to the set formula that players could develop tactics and strategies. The exceptional co-op mode was accompanied by a unique versus mode, giving this game plenty of replay value for years to come. 

The Last of Us

Like many other games in this list, the enemies within The Last of Us are not technically zombies. But for all intents and purposes, they act and behave exactly as you would expect a zombie would. As you would expect, they are utterly terrifying and prove to be formidable opponents. More importantly, though, this 2013 Naughty Dog game is just excellent in practically every area. Whether it is the compelling story or the great action, The Last of Us is a title that everyone should play.

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