7 Best Zombie Games That You Should Play
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 zombies become a truly dominant force in gaming.
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 gaming genre that revolves around these reanimated corpses.
But what are the best zombie games? Which zombie 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 notable zombie games 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 zombie 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 definitely one of the better zombie killing games 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.
Plants vs. Zombies
It’s quite hard to name a more random concept than this… ever. Plants vs. Zombies was met with a ton of complacency upon its announcement, and you can understand why. This in mind, it speaks volumes to the game’s quality that it managed to overcome these negative thoughts, and deliver a fantastic strategy game to boot.
Even if, like me, you dislike strategy games, you’ll still love this one. It’s bursting with so much style and wit – from your neighbor ‘Crazy Dave’ to the zombies riding lawnmowers – and it’s incredibly satisfying to use a tactical approach to vanquish the zombie horde.
The Walking Dead: Season One
Like Plants vs. Zombies, this isn’t a ‘zombie game’ in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s a point and click, story-driven, largely passive gaming experience, delivering one of the most emotional conclusions in recent memory.
For the purposes of this list, we’re counting the original season, but season two is just as good and season three is just around the corner. This Telltale video game should only take you around ten hours to finish, and at this point, it’s dirt cheap. It’s incredibly simple to play too, so if you have a few spare hours this weekend, go for it!
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Is it classed as DLC? Is it classed as a full game? Who cares. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare was, like Plants vs. Zombies, met with much complacency upon its announcement, but again, it overcame that with aplomb.
It’s on lists of the best DLC of all time, the best open-world adventures of all time, and indeed, the best zombie games of all time. It tells a story that’s set in the same world as the original video game, but explores an alternate timeline wherein zombies have taken over local towns. As John Marston, you’ll travel from Blackwater to Mexico to The Marston Ranch, utilizing all the brilliant gameplay features that the original Red Dead Redemption honed to perfection.
And that’s the excellence of Undead Nightmare. It really isn’t all that different from Red Dead Redemption gameplay-wise, but it leaves such a stylistic mark on the formula that it feels incredibly fresh and exciting. And for a zombie game, there’s no greater compliment than that.
And there’s our list of best zombie games! Do you agree with our choices? There were a lot to choose from, but I reckon we’ve separated the flowers from the weeds – and for more zombie goodness, check out our review of a more recent undead-adventure, The Walking Dead: Michonne.