Best Zombie Open World Games

Christina Perez
• Thursday, 14 January, 2021
• 8 min read

You’re left in a world that’s filled with undead and to survive you’ll need to scavenge for resources that can be used to aid you throughout your journey. You’ll even find role play servers that encourage players to stay in character as you create this post-apocalyptic story.

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With Dead Rising 3, players take the role of a mechanic named Nick Ramos that finds himself having to survive an overwhelming zombie outbreak within the city of Los Periods, California. Unfortunately, this franchise hasn’t seen much love lately so there’s no telling if we’ll see another Dead Rising video game release into the market, but we do have four mainline installments available.

In Project Zombie the video game has players stuck in a city that’s become flooded with the undead. To survive, players must scavenge items and take care of their various vitals such as hunger, tiredness, pain, and mental state.

For gamers who are looking for relaxed gameplay or an even more difficult experience, a sandbox mode will allow users to switch up various aspects of the video game such as how many zombies are available to even weather conditions. It’s an over a top action-packed zombie video game that relies more on melee combat but, the storyline puts players into a different area.

It’s in early access right now so the story is a bit light, and we’re bound to see some changes to the game as it progresses through development. Overall, you take the role of a young woman named Lucy who’s been part of a scientific experiment and trapped on an island left to die.

To make matters worse you find yourself not the only thing inhabiting the island as there are hordes of undead zombies. There are also structures that players can build as defensive measures against the hordes but ultimately you’re forced to go beyond your comfort zone and explore the open island.

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Meanwhile, the end goal is to find the necessary equipment to build up a means for an SOS message to get off the island. Again, it’s an early access title but if you can play it right now, and it even features some cooperative gameplay modes where you and a buddy can go through the game together.

The whole story of being John Mars ton, an outlaw that’s turned good but somehow gets the short end of the stick once again is a video game narrative that’s well worth going through. However, there was a DLC expansion released that turned the old west outlaw video game into a zombie title, which is another thrilling journey to play.

If you didn’t catch the DLC release when it came out, Undead Nightmare once again throws players into the role of John Mars ton but in a new standalone campaign storyline. Just as before, players can roam around the open world map and progress through the narrative or take on side quests However, the main antagonist group in this game isn’t more outlaws or the law enforcement but zombies which can vary such as the standard slow-moving walkers to larger tank kind of zombies.

Likewise, the video game also has a focus on human interaction where players can join forces or go against one another. Overall in Dead Island, players start the game out from one of four playable characters each with their unique kind of traits they can bring into the gameplay.

However, the narrative remains the same as players will find themselves stuck on an island that has been hit by a zombie plague. This game mixes in melee combat with gun play while you explore the island and handle various missions or tasks requested by survivors.

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From Rebellion Developments comes Strange Brigade a cooperative third-person shooter filled with both puzzles and survival horror elements. Set during the 1930s, in this game the British Empire has established a fearless group known as the Strange Brigade.

However, because of the hostilities that usually come lurking around these supernatural areas, you’ll need to carefully work with your team and scavenge for useful items. This game puts players against all kinds of undead enemies and creatures such as giant scorpions.

Fortunately, you’ll have all kinds of uniquely powerful weapons and supernatural abilities of your own to fight back with. Outside of collecting goods and fighting enemies, the maps you’ll get to play within are filled with all kinds of useful traps and puzzles to solve.

7 Days to Die is a pretty popular zombie game from developers The Fun Pimps. The game takes place after a world war that caused much of the planet to be wiped out due to nuclear weaponry.

Exposed to the radiation, a large majority of humans became mindless zombies leaving the remaining few survivors to scavenge for survival. Much like other zombie survival games, this is a wave-based title where players will need to seek out shelter, food, and of course, water.

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This game also comes with the added benefit of cooperative gameplay, so you could build a base up with friends and prepare for the fight ahead. Within Days Gone, the video game takes place after a virus outbreak turns most humanity into zombies.

Players step into the role of a biker named Deacon St. John, who is making by the harsh world doing odd jobs for various factions. However, he learns that there’s a chance that his wife may still be alive somewhere in the world during all this madness which sets him on a new path for more information about what happened to her during the pandemic.

This video game follows an agent named Kyle Crane who is tasked with infiltrating a quarantine zone city of Harlan which has become infected with a virus turning civilians into ruthless zombies. Developers have also tossed in some parkour elements within the game allowing players to easily traverse the city and its obstacles when fleeing the undead hordes.

Combat well has been changed from the melee focus Dead Island towards gun play, giving players an action-adventure experience. Meanwhile, zombies are still very much a threat but alongside them is an ancient cult, but I won’t spoil what’s to come in this game narrative if you haven’t played it yet.

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.

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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. Fixed camera angles intensify the sensation of claustrophobia and your limited inventory keeps you feeling vulnerable.

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.

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. With a story penned by the legendary Chris Alone, the narrative complexity promised by Dying Light 2’s factions system is exciting.

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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. The real stars of Organ Trail are the random events encounters, which will continue to catch you off guard hours into the game with everything from zombie boss fights and gangs of raiders, to your survivors contracting diseases or receiving curious jobs from strangers.

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.

Whether you’re all about trying to rebuild society against constant waves of shufflers with your fellow survivors, or you just want to run as fast as you can away from the undead, there’s a zombie game here for you. 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.

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