Players must scavenge and explore in order to survive, all while being mindful of the ever-present risk of being infected by zombies. Dying Light received positive reviews upon its release, with many praising its unique first-person parkour navigation and storyline.
Frank and Vicky are, subsequently, sent on a life changing journey involving action and undead in abundance. Dead Rising 4 is an open world action game, like its predecessors, that is played from third-person perspective and features multiple weapons and skills to aid resistance against zombie hordes.
The game was one of the success stories of 2013 for the Xbox 360, and received widespread critical acclaim. The game follows a group of survivors as they attempt to endure a zombie apocalypse in the fictional place of Trumbull Valley.
The survivors become entrenched in political and military turmoil, as they learn that the army is trying to contain citizens in order to gather information about the zombie virus outbreak. The gameplay in State of Decay combines third person combat with simulation, in which the player is in charge of a small group of survivors and must complete certain tasks in order to ensure their survival.
In 7 Days to Die, players need to survive the randomly generated world in which they are spawned by sourcing all the necessary resources required to live. There is lots of fun to be had in this game, and successful zombie survival feels particularly rewarding due to its difficulty.
In fact, its level of gruesomeness is so extreme that it even drew complaints from some gamers and was banned from release in certain countries. The game is set in the fictional open world environment of Hanoi, a tropical resort situated off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The game is played from first-person perspective and requires players to complete quests and explore the open world. Melee weapons are the predominant method of defense in Dead Island, and players can level up to acquire new attributes by completing missions and killing zombies.
The game is set in Oregon, two years after a global pandemic created an apocalyptic world in which huge hordes of zombies roam the environment. Players take on the role of Deacon St. John, an awesomely cool former outlaw who is led on a quest to find his wife, who was hitherto thought to be dead.
Days Gone is played from third-person perspective and features numerous ways in which Deacon can protect himself against zombies, or “breakers”. First developed as a mod for AREA 2, the game was released as a standalone title due to its popularity.
Despite the recent underwhelming release for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Day should not be overlooked, and is one of the best zombie survival games to play in 2019. The game is set in the fictional environment of Cerberus, a post-Soviet Republic which has been overridden by a zombie -infecting plague.
The open world map is huge (225 km2) and features numerous places to explore, including towns, barns, forests and coastal areas. Players need to scavenge their surroundings to source food, water, and supplies, all while avoiding and defending against infected foes.
The game is set in the same post-apocalyptic world as the comic series and, apart from a few guest appearances, features a new cast of characters. It is here where the game wins, the character development is perfectly executed with some exceptional dialogue and plot progressions throughout the series.
Played from a third-person perspective, you have to interact with characters and items and, at certain points of the game, make choices that affect the outcome of the story. These choices often lead to unpredictable outcomes, what may seem like a good decision at the time could come back to haunt you.
It’s a wickedly funny game that relies on adorable and bizarre animation for most of the laughs, and the delightful cartoon enemies are half the fun. Before the journey is over you’ll battle space bugs, save cheerleaders, leap on trampolines, and fight a giant baby.
Since the main thrust of each level is rescuing civilians rather than defeating enemies, it also requires a lot more thought to finish than your average arcade style game, a design innovation that adds a great deal to the challenge and replayability. The State of Decay series, introduced as an Xbox Live Arcade game in 2013, trades in the genre's typical fast-paced brain-bashing for a slower paced focus on survival and community building.
The 2018 sequel built on this zombie -sandbox premise, expanding and adding four-player co-op while maintaining the tenseness that accompanies the threat of permanent. You only have a few action points a day to issue commands, after which you have to simply wait to move again, and the tension of anticipating another turn becomes almost unbearable as you start to consider all the awful things that might be happening while you’re asleep.
Nazis have long been identified with occultism, (both in reality and popular fiction) and Trey arch’s decision to go all-in on the campy grind house aesthetic changed the face of multiplayer shooters. Zombies helped lighten the mood in a series that was increasingly mired in its own self-importance, reminding players, critics, and creators that it is all a game.
Following the success of its Resident Evil series, Cap com introduced a new, lighthearted take on the zombie genre with Dead Rising. From clothing stores to hair salons, toy stores to food courts, each of Dead Rising's locations presents players with a memorable variety of deadly everyday items. The series built on this in future iterations by adding the ability to craft combo weapons, which ranged from explosive sledgehammers to sentry kittens.
Everything from Fortnite to Rust owes Day a tremendous debt for its willingness to throw unarmed players into a hostile land with of their fellow humans and see what happens next. It’s an RPG about being immortal, crammed with more undead than you can shake a severed limb at, including zombies assigned to alternately sad and hilarious purposes.
The necrotic atmosphere permeates every moment in the game : you start the story laying on a slab, your best friend is a disembodied skull, and there are so many dead things running around that there’s a special ability dedicated just to talking with them. The original Plants vs. Zombies blended solid, approachable tower defense gameplay with whimsical charm, leading to its mass appeal; it became a hit among both the hardcore and casual audiences, on PC, consoles, and mobile alike.
Resident Evil 2 is a triumph of survival horror, a sprawling, weirdly compelling epic that somehow managed to overcome its famously lackluster controls. And with those control issues remedied in the 2019 remake, alongside vastly improved graphics and various other tweaks, RE2 has only gotten better with time.RE2 allowed you to experience a single terrifying night through the unique perspective of two victims, their occasionally overlapping paths both snaking toward horrific discoveries in a city torn apart by an unleashed bioweapon.
It’s a tremendously moody and atmospheric game with great pacing, a growing sense of dread, nice monster design, frequent jump scares, and just enough resource scarcity to keep things tense through the end. The writing and delivery are minimal and masterful, with the bulk of the effort spent creating flawed characters we love or loathe and then stripping them away from us one by one.
The original Resident Evil doesn’t boast quite the scope of its sprawling sequel, but the tighter, almost claustrophobic design of the mansion often works to heighten the horror. The constant threat of the fearsome double-reanimated Crimson Heads in areas you’ve previously cleared fuels a compounding sense of dread that you’re in continual zombie danger no matter how heavily armed you become.
The legendary cheesy dialogue is icing on the cake. Also, if you finish the game in under three hours, you can blow up zombies with a bottomless rocket launcher. Around the same time Trey arch was bringing Zombies into World at War, Valve was introducing us all to their own cooperative take on battling the forces of death.
Left 4 Dead pitted teams of four allies against mobs of zombies ruled by an invisible enemy: the innovative AI director, a carefully constructed protocol designed to dynamically influence the game as it unfolded. The result was a ridiculously repayable zombie shooter. Only a year later, Valve brought us Left 4 Dead 2, building upon that successful formula with a familiar yet greatly enhanced team-based shooter.
Zombie games range from survival simulation to Lovecraft co-op period pieces, and if you like, you can even take a shambling detour through tower defense and post-apocalypse parkour. We have the harrowing moral quandaries posed by The Walking Dead, the high-octane FPS action of Black Ops 3, and the traumatizing horror of Resident Evil.
Seeing as we’re still no closer to a Left 4 Dead 3 release date, a new game that rigidly follows the formula of co-op zombie slaying that the L4D series popularized will have to suffice. World War Z doesn’t offer anything revolutionary of its own to that formula, but it’s still heaps of fun when playing through its gauntlet-style campaign missions with friends, upgrading your kit over time, and watching rotting corpses explode under heavy machine gun fire.
Trapped in the famously labyrinthine Spencer Mansion, as Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, ravenous zombies and dangerous mutations lie behind every corner in Resident Evil, often obscured or blocked by inventive environmental puzzles. These are the most horrifying undead shufflers the series has produced so far, with each one’s warped, bloody face telling a story of how they got infected.
Alternatively, you can go for the limbs: a couple of pistol shots is enough to snap off an ankle, making them a lot less mobile and allowing you to carefully skirt around them. Scuff a shot, and it will still tear a chunk of flesh off your target, adding some gory gravitas to every spent cartridge.
If you’re looking for story then you’ll be best served by the original State of Decay, however, the sequel does an admirable job of fleshing out the systems of the first game to make for a more satisfying open-world survival experience. You will pick a protagonist from your community of survivors and take them out into the wild to find the necessary food, fuel, or drugs to keep the rest alive.
Thankfully, combat and RPG-lite progression are engaging enough to keep you going: you will start with melee-based weapons, but later you will happen upon throwable knives and machetes allowing for satisfying one-hit kills. Then Dying Light takes that cloth, stuffs it into a bottle, sets it on fire, and hurls it from a great height into a pack of undead.
For best results, ignore the more repetitive missions and take to the rooftops of Harlan, built with vertical meandering in mind. They may have been working with borrowed parts, but Tech land put together one of the best zombie games in Dying Light, which is why we’re so excited for the sequel.
With a story penned by the legendary Chris Alone, the narrative complexity promised by Dying Light 2’s factions system is exciting. Organ Trail tasks you with guiding a station wagon of survivors on a journey out west and like all zombie survival games your primary concerns are keeping a good stock of food, medicine, and ammo, not to mention avoiding roaming packs of flesh-eating undead.
While some post-apocalyptic scenarios default to a familiar version of zombie Odom we have long been desensitized to, Left 4 Dead 2 presents a world in which normality is all too recent. Though cities have emptied out after waves of evacuations, humanity feels close enough to touch thanks to the messages scrawled on the walls of safe houses.
There is a tendency to disarm you with humor and half an hour of respite before swiping cruelly at the characters you have come to care about in a way that only the best adventure games on PC can. From your top-down perspective you call in rescue helicopters, direct sniper teams, and make monstrous sacrifices to achieve your goal.
The game goes hard on the camp, gratuitous fun of guiltless gore, and the testicle-busting X-Ray kill cam makes sniping your foes as satisfying as mashing them with a hammer. After all, these are not only undead abominations, but also Nazis; even the gentlest pacifist can enjoy blowing them up like a barrel of melons and watching the juices fly.
You can even modify and upgrade your guns to shoot flames or spew out lightning, and create a custom skill build to mow down the zombies with brutal efficiency. If you’ve finished up all of these then be sure to check out our thoughts on the Dying Light: Bad Blood battle royale or read our State of Decay 2 PC review to find out why we chose the original for this list.