At this point, zombie based video games, TV shows and movies are about as common as ridiculous Donald Trump comments. These slow, meandering flesh-eaters have been a consistent part of popular culture for decades, but it’s been in the last ten years that they’ve become a truly dominant force.
That’s in no small part due to the efforts of small-screen giant The Walking Dead, and Hollywood blockbusters like World War Z. This zombie trend has extended itself to video games too, pretty much single-handedly creating an entire zombie genre that revolves around these reanimated corpses.
But what are the best zombie games? Which experiences are worth your time? With such a massive horde to wade through (pun intended), it would be far too easy to pick up a duff experience. But luckily for you, we’ve played all the quality ones and separated the best zombie video games from the poor, so you don’t have to.
Note: I did not forget about The Last Of Us; I just don’t consider it a ‘zombie’ game. The creatures in that world are infected with a virus, they aren’t the undead!
Age Of Zombies
While it doesn’t possess the triple-A chops of some of the other games on this list, Age of Zombies packs a lot more style. Players will assume the role of Barry Steakfries, a trigger-happy commando who must murder hordes and hordes of zombies in order to reach the villainous Professor Brains.
Age of Zombies is a brief twin-stick zombie shooter game that works best when played in short bursts. You’ll have to slowly whittle down hundreds of zombies using a variety of different guns, taking on some rather unusual creatures – including a zombie T-Rex. Yep. A zombie T-Rex. If that doesn’t give you a true sense of the tone here, nothing will.
It’s an island, filled with the… dead. Dead Island won’t exactly be remembered for its creative title, but it will be remembered for successfully merging some basic RPG elements with a familiar zombie outbreak.
This open world survival horror has a lot of technical issues, but these don’t detract from the experience. Dead Island is a great zombie killing game that shifts its action from beaches to hotels to close-quarters city environments, packing a whole host of fun special moves, including beheadings. Win.
Resident Evil hasn’t aged as well as you’d hope, but it’s still head and shoulders and… brains above most of the other zombie drivel released nowadays. I’d argue that Resident Evil is more a horror game than a zombie game, but that isn’t a bad thing. It successfully blends gore with suspense, no small feat for a video game, a medium which traditionally relies on action to provide thrills.
Later entries in the Resident Evil series have watered down the horror and upped the action, and that’s why many fans still point to this as one of the best in the series. Fortunately, with the announcement of Resident Evil: Biohazard at Sony’s E3 conference, the franchise looks set to assume its former horror throne once again.
Left 4 Dead 2
Some sequels completely miss the mark, attempting to fix what wasn’t broken rather than building upon what made the original so fantastic. On the other hand, there are sequels like Left 4 Dead 2, which work so well because they use the original as a foundation to create an even more stellar zombie experience.
While it’s an enjoyable time when played solo, Left 4 Dead 2 truly shines when you’re playing co-op. Up to 4 of you will battle through some rather frantic, well-designed stages, encountering a vast array of zombie types along the way. Headsets charged and at the ready – you’ll need them for this one.