Humanity is on the verge of extinction. Zombies are rampaging through the streets and only you can save us! Are you ready to ensure life on Earth doesn’t fall victim to the undead? If so, we implore you to take up the challenge and try 10 of the top zombie games ever made. Which games are we talking about? Scroll down to find out…
But first, let's start from the basics.
Zombie video games feature, as you’d expect, the undead species of zombies. These creatures are usually trying to kill you, so the aim is to evade them as you’re moving through various environments. You can play zombie games free on almost any device and platform. For example, if you want to play on your browser, there are free offerings such as We Not Survive and Infected Days.
There are also zombie options for leading consoles, including both Xbox and PlayStation. Alternatively, you can blast the undead via your PC (arguably the most popular games download platform even today). Basically, there's zombie action available for everyone, regardless of device preferences.
Zombie escape games are a specific subgenre where the player's sole objective is to escape a zombie-infested setting. There are no additional points to be obtained from destroying zombies or playing to an overall character-rich narrative.
Zombie Apocalypse is an escape room-style game that comes to mind when speaking of this subgenre. But for those seeking a little more of a thrill, Pandemic Express is an acclaimed title where players must attempt to outrun the undead.
All new zombie games can be traced back to Entombed. The 1982 Atari classic is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the first video game to feature zombies. Players assumed the role of an archaeologist who had to move through a zombie-infested maze. For all intents and purposes, Entombed was a spookier iteration of Pac-Man.
Ranking the best zombie games is tough because there are so many options on the market, and there really is something for everyone. Nonetheless, we've done our very best to highlight 10 of the best zombie games currently on both the mainstream and indie scenes.
The first six of our top 10 can be considered mainstream games so, without any further ado, here are six of the best:
Dead Space is essentially Resident Evil 4 but set in space, according to its designer Ben Wanat during an interview with PC Gamer. The action takes place on USG Ishimura Spaceship and your job is to navigate decks in order to escape a plague of zombies. A bonus for this one is being able to sever limbs from zombies using lasers.
Zombie games aren’t noted for having much heart or soul, but The Walking Dead bucks that trend. This adventure game has a storytelling element that’s driven by player choice. This means there are various routes you can take through the story and you can enjoy a different experience each time you play. Add to this the combination of slick animations and unexpected twists, and this is undoubtedly one of the most complex zombie games out there.
Zombie games derive a lot of their value from forcing you into dark and isolated worlds. This sense of isolation increases the level of fear you feel and, in turn, makes the game more engaging. Left 4 Dead 2 takes apart this concept by letting you team up with other people. It’s a co-op game where you take on teams of zombies controlled by an AI super-brain.
Dying Light is an interesting mashup of genres. You’re battling with the undead to stay alive and fulfill your role as savior, however, while other games endow you with everything you need, Dying Light puts you to the test in every way. You need to search for items, hone your fighting skills, and explore an open-world environment. While you’re doing this, zombies are fighting to have you join their gruesome gang.
Free zombie games are great, as are premium products, but very few are as iconic as Resident Evil. The Capcom hit was released in 1996, but there have been various incarnations and updates.
Whichever installment you opt for, the overarching aim is to survive a zombie apocalypse. There’s been a radiation leak, very few people have survived and you, as a trained killer, have to find your way through the wreckage and save what’s left of humanity. The gritty look and feel of Resident Evil are major reasons this franchise has become iconic.
Naughty Dog’s 2013 creation made a splash when it first emerged but remains highly rated. You play Joel, a smuggler trying to get Ellie safely across a post-apocalyptic US.
There are many reasons to love this zombie game. It’s told from a third-person perspective, which makes you feel slightly removed from the action (compared to first-person shooters). But, once attacks happen, you’re pulled into the action.
The Last of Us also captures the imagination of zombie gaming fans is the fact you can improvise your own weapons, which is pretty awesome and outright cool. Combining creativity and strategy has made this game an enduring hit.
The final four games were produced by indie developers and remind us that great content doesn’t have to come from big-name brands, just see for yoursevles!
In Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse, you play the zombie. Developed by Wideload Games and published by Aspyr Media in 2005, it's regarded as a reverse horror game because you assume the role of Stubbs, a zombified version of Edward "Stubbs" Stubblefield. The action takes place in a retro-futuristic city called Punchbowl and your goal is to devour the brains of as many humans as possible.
Deadlight: Director’s Cut has shades of 80s side-scrolling platform games so, if you’re after a retro vibe, it’s perfect. You have to navigate a series of zombie-infested corridors as Randall Wayne. The former park ranger has a solid arsenal of skills and can dispatch zombies at close range or from a distance. The main reason we like this indie game is its use of light and shade. Hiding in the shadows is a key component of Deadlight. So, if you like stealth games, you should give this one a try.
Fans of open-world action-adventure games such as Grand Theft Auto will love Project Zomboid. Set in the town of Knoxville, this game is all about exploring, foraging, and surviving. With the town closed down due to a zombie outbreak, you’ve got no choice but to go from building to building in search of sustenance and something to defend yourself with. Of course, this is easier said than done when you’ve got gangs of zombies hanging around on every street corner...
What’s scarier than one zombie? A billion zombies! This indie offering takes the concept of zombie hoards and multiplies it by billions. Your job is to survive continuous onslaughts on randomly generated maps. You need to build your stronghold by gathering supplies and recruiting soldiers. At the same time, billions of zombies are trying to overrun your stronghold, and you need to ensure everyone else makes it to safety. For an edge-of-your-seat experience, They Are Billions is a brilliant option.
So, there you have it, that’s a wrap on our top 10. Whether it’s a mainstream hit or an indie offering, there’s something for everyone on our list. All that’s left for you to do is go out and do whatever is necessary to save humanity from the undead!