Zombie Games: From Classic Shooters to VR Horror
Luckily, our list of dead-good hits has everything a zombie enthusiast could ask for, ranging from free PC games, to co-op games like DayZ that are more Lovecraftian period pieces. If you like, you can take a shambling detour through tower defense games and post-apocalypse parkour. Come with us now to find the ones worth playing right now as we wade through the hordes of shambling corpses.
It was a long time coming, but the Resident Evil 2 remake delivers on fan expectations in a big way. Opting for an over-the-shoulder perspective rather than the fixed camera angles of the original, it faithfully recreates the iconic police station and other spine-tingling areas filled to the brim with zombies waiting to eat your face off.
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Days Gone is a zombie game for those who feel that experiences such as Dead Rising need a more open-world focus. It starts rather slowly, with the motorcycle-riding protagonist scavenging from ravaged roads of the Cascade region, but soon revs up to become a rather intense experience.
Zombies of all shapes and sizes come at you thick and fast, making Killing Floor 2 an excellent pick-up-and-play co-op title. But as you devote more time to indulging in a spot of zombie bashing, Killing Floor 2 becomes a zombie game with an engrossing tactical element: do you spend your blood-soaked resources now, or save them for a tougher future confrontation?
This zombie game homage to the most famous old game of all time is tough as nails. 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.
Your goal for most maps is simple: airvac as many citizens as possible. You tell your helicopters where to land, place your marine teams, and set up explosives. Then, when you hit start, zombies flood in from different entrances around the level. If a zombie reaches a civilian, they are instantly infected, and all too quickly, a city block can become swamped with undead.
Capcom has worked its magic yet again with another hugely successful remake, this time revitalising one of the most beloved games of all time. The Resident Evil 4 Remake may not feature traditional zombies like in the first three games, but these infected villagers are arguably even more terrifying than their predecessors.
Despite being nearly ten years old, The Last of Us Part 1 is one game that you just have to play on PC in 2023. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by a deadly fungus, players assume the role of Joel, a grizzled yet loveable survivor tasked with escorting a young girl named Ellie across the country in an attempt to find a cure for the virus. Along the way, players need to scavenge for resources, craft weapons and items and fight off both infected creatures and hostile human enemies in order to succeed in their journey. With a focus on realistic and gritty gameplay, as well as featuring a truly gripping story, The Last of Us Part 1 is a must-play for fans of the survival genre. There are no zombie games that do atmospheric environments better than The Last of Us.
The Last Stand: Aftermath is an exciting action-packed zombie game developed by Con Artist Games (the creators of the popular The Last Stand series). In this standalone top-down game, players take on the role of a survivor exploring the ruins of civilization as you scavenge for supplies to craft weapons and other items. Using stealth and combat skills to stay alive, players can even unlock powerful mutations to enhance their abilities. A cool feature of The Last Stand: Aftermath is that when a survivor dies, players can start the game again as a new character with unlocks based on their progress from the previous run.
The Day Before is an upcoming MMO zombie survival game that is set in a post-pandemic America. In this world, which has become overrun by the infected, players will need to scavenge for resources and fight for survival against both the infected and other players who will no doubt want everything you have. The Day Before features a vast array of realistic weapons, as well as detailed vehicles that players can drive to explore the vast open-world that contains multiple different biomes. The Day Before looks set to be a thrilling and challenging game that is sure to appeal to fans of the zombie survival genre. Hopefully, The Day Before will live up to expectations to be considered as one of the best new zombie games in 2023.
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Surviving against hordes of zombies can be a fun challenge. But sometimes you just want to run zombies down in slow-motion while driving a car. Check out Sandbox City - Cars, Zombies, Ragdolls! For that.
The classic survival game features intensifying waves of zombies that test your ability to keep your cool under pressure. Infected Days is a superb, action-packed game using this format. Check out Stickman: Legacy Zombie War too!
There are lots of great zombie games on offer these days, many of which are based on movies or television shows. Some take the form of linear action games or first-person rail-shooters, but an increasing number of zombie game developers are looking toward the open-world genre for inspiration on how to keep their players engaged.
The best open-world zombie games find ways to utilize their larger settings, either by filling them with death and destruction or by lulling players into a false sense of security with more sparsely-populated locales. Both can be incredibly effective in their own ways, as evidenced by these fantastic zombie survival games.
Though there had been plenty of great zombie games before the release of Dying Light, few had found ways to successfully bring an undead outbreak to the open-world genre. As a result, Dying Light broke a lot of new ground and went on to serve as something of a blueprint for many future open-world zombie games.
One of the things that make Dying Light such a great game is the threat that some of its zombies pose. Rather than the slow, ambling creatures found in many other undead adventures, the game's infected can come at players pretty fast, particularly at night. This forces them to remain on their toes at all times and encourages the use of the game's fantastic parkour system.
It should perhaps go without saying, but those who liked Dying Light will almost certainly enjoy the game's sequel. After all, both games were developed by the same team and are set in the same universe. Sadly, however, a lot of people seem to be sleeping on Dying Light 2 despite enjoying the original.
Like its predecessor, Dying Light 2 is an open-world zombie game with survival elements and provides players with a ridiculous amount of content. The game looks great, the combat is fast and fluid, and the parkour system ranks among the very best in gaming. Fans of zombie games would do well to check it out, particularly those looking to kill time as well as the undead.
The simplistic art style and isometric viewpoint may suggest otherwise to some, but Project Zomboid is a fantastic game. Initially released as a tech demo in April of 2011, it received numerous updates over the course of the following decade, with Build 41 arriving in late 2021. It really has come a long way and is now widely considered to be one of the best open-world zombie games on PC.
The story is set amidst a zombie outbreak in Louisville, Kentucky, and supports both single and multiplayer gameplay. It incorporates a mixture of survival and RPG mechanics and places a heavy emphasis on avoiding or escaping zombies rather than trying to tackle them head-on. There are plenty of great Project Zomboid mods too, allowing players to further customize the experience to better meet their needs.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is an open-world game in the same way that Pokemon Legends: Arceus is. This is to say that it isn't, really, though does boast sections that could be described as being open-world. For those who enjoy zombie games though, it's something of a must-play, as the VR carnage that it's able to provide really is top-notch.
Saints & Sinners throws players in at the deep end; often surrounding them with waves of terrifying zombies and forcing them to fight for their lives. The game also allows for a more stealthy approach at times, which can be as exhilarating as it is unnerving. With a sequel looming large on the horizon, those set up for VR would be foolish not to check it out, particularly if they're fans of the show.
Admittedly, the zombies in DayZ don't really pose too much of a threat and can be easily avoided by those who know what they're doing. Like in similar games, it's usually other players that pose the real threat, which, perhaps ironically, ends up mirroring most television shows and movies about the zombie apocalypse without even meaning to.
Those who've watched The Walking Dead will know that outside of the first few seasons, it was actually other survivors that ended up killing off most of the main cast. Granted, a walker would occasionally pop up out of nowhere and take a bite out of someone much like a zombie might in DayZ, which is why the immersive ARMA mod is arguably one of the best and most realistic open-world zombie games out there.
Set in a post-apocalyptic future following a nuclear war, 7 Days to Die's premise is not too dissimilar to that of the Fallout universe. Where it differs, however, is the emphasis that it places on survival, with players having to start from scratch if they perish at the hands (or teeth) of the game's zombie hordes.
Although Night of the Dead does have some open-world sections, these are typically used for resource gathering rather than exploration. Without these vital resources, however, players would struggle to build up their defenses and would likely be overrun by zombies pretty quickly as a result.
There have been plenty of zombie-themed tower defense games over the years, but few have managed to blend the genre's mechanics together with realism so seamlessly, nor are many quite as enjoyable as this. The game is still in Early Access on Steam at the moment but is already shaping up to be an excellent zombie game.