10 Best Xbox 360 Zombie Games Ever Made

Rise from your grave.

Dead Rising
Dead Rising

Zombies and video games have gone hand in hand for the longest time, from games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors and House of the Dead, all the way to today where titles like Dead Island 2 and others are enjoying huge success. The zombies and gaming partnership looks like it’ll probably continue for years to come, but it felt like zombie games were all the rage during the seventh generation of consoles, the Xbox 360 especially.

Whether or not it was buoyed by the success of movies like 28 Days/Weeks Later, the Dawn of the Dead reboot or Zombieland, along with TV shows like The Walking Dead and books like World War Z, zombies were all the rage on the Xbox 360. With that in mind, we’ve decided to reminisce about the best Xbox 360 zombie games of all time, to decide which of them is the the easiest to chew on.


The Best Xbox 360 Zombie Games


I Made A Game With Zombies In It
I Made A Game With Zombies In It

Developer: Ska Studios
Publisher: Ska Studios
Backwards Compatible?: No

Does anyone remember the Xbox Live Indie Games program that Microsoft ran on the Xbox 360? Basically it allowed more people to create games from the comfort of their own home that could be sold through a certain section of the Microsoft Store. Sure, there was a lot of trash, but amongst the awful was a few bangers. Mount Your Friends, Bleed and Hidden In Plain Sight have become successes in their own right, but if you’re hoping for more of a zombie flavor, check out I Made A Game With Zombies In It.

Developed by James Silva, the designer behind Xbox Live Arcade hit The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, I Made A Game With Zombies In It is precisely as it sounds. James made a game that just so happens to have zombies in it.

It’s a twin-stick shooter, with lots of enemies and power-ups to collect, but the real highlight is the homemade rock song that features Silva on vocals that plays in the background the entire time. It’s worth seeking this one out just for the novelty alone.


9. Dead Island

Dead Island
Dead Island

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Backwards Compatible?: No, remastered

Techland might have moved on to bigger and better things with the Dying Light series, but there’s a lot of deserved praise we should aim at their first effort, Dead Island. If nothing else, Dead Island cemented its place as a legendary title and one of the best Xbox 360 zombie games of all time with its reveal trailer alone, which somehow managed to be emotional, memorable and haunting all at once. Of course, the rest of the game opted for a goofy tone completely different from that one trailer, but hey, that trailer still gets mentioned to this day.

An open world zombie RPG, Dead Island tasked players with surviving a brutal outbreak at a hotel resort and the surrounding island. Graphically, Dead Island looked stunning when it first launched, with those beautiful tropical views contrasting well with all the undead blood and guts that’s been left all around the island of Banoi.

Like I Made A Game With Zombies In It, Dead Island also has an original song as one of its biggest highlights, with Who Do You Voodoo being an all-time great video game song.


8. Deadlight


Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Backwards Compatible?: No, remastered

Most video games about zombies tend to push the narrative that they’re decaying flesh bags only worthy of being cannon fodder to your melee weapons and shotguns, so it’s always refreshing to play a game where the zombies are treated like a constant threat. Deadlight is that game, which can see the player being overwhelmed by rotters quickly if they don’t use their environment and their brain to their advantage.

A 2D platformer designed to hark back to those old school adventure games like Another World, Deadlight is set in an alternative version of the 1980s that has caused the dead to rise up as “Shadows”.

You control Randall Wayne, a Canadian park ranger who’s traveled all the way to Seattle to try and find his family in one of the last human safe points left. Unfortunately, Shadows are crawling throughout the city, and a group of violent vigilantes have formed The New Law, slaughtering those who stand in their way.


7. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Undead Nightmare
Undead Nightmare

Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Backwards Compatible?: Yes

In what might be the hottest take of this whole article, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is not the best Xbox 360 zombie game of all time. It’s certainly good, and deserves praise for offering something a bit different from other zombie games. If nothing else, cowboys and zombies are quite a bit different from the norm, but the actual game/DLC expansion basically amounted to picking plants in the desert in order to synthesize a cure.

Set in an alternative timeline around the main Red Dead Redemption’s final chapter, Undead Nightmare sees John Marston living peacefully on his farm with his family when those gosh-darned zombies decide to rise up from the ground.

With his family infected, John sets out across the West and Mexico in an attempt to stop the undead from destroying the world before it can even be properly built.


6. Plants Vs Zombies

Plants vs Zombies
Plants vs Zombies

Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Backwards Compatible?: Yes

What more can be said about Plants Vs Zombies that hasn’t already been said over the years? A game that’s basically been released on anything that has a screen at this point, Plants Vs Zombies has seen so many merch deals and spin-off games over the years, with Garden Warfare in particular being a massive highlight, but for many, there’s just no beating that original version.

A tower defense game that defined an entire genre, Plants Vs Zombies gave players an entire garden to defend from waves of relentless zombies. Your only defenses were plants, each of which had their own weapons and abilities. With careful strategy and a lot of firepower, Plants Vs Zombies tasked its players with completing dozens of levels, along with a few bonus modes on top.

While it might be a more basic premise compared to other 360 zombie games on this list, Plants Vs Zombies is still fantastic to play.


5. State Of Decay

State of Decay
State of Decay

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Backwards Compatible?: No, remastered

Xbox’s flagship zombie survival series, it feels like the State of Decay series is still trying to find its full potential, which it should hopefully find with State of Decay 3. State of Decay 2 was still leaps and bounds ahead of the original game, largely thanks to the addition of co-op play, but State of Decay 1 still serves as a good foundation for what the series is. It’s also the more brutal game of the two so far, which makes it worth looking into for that alone.

Set in the American countryside during a zombie apocalypse, you’re put in charge of a group of survivors as they try to forge some kind of existence in a world turned feral by the undead. Instead of playing as just one character, State of Decay allows players to play as multiple survivors within the same outpost, switching between them as they become tired, injured or even killed.

State of Decay isn’t a story of one hero conquering all, it’s all about how an outpost banded together to survive, which is pretty cool in its own right.


4. Lollipop Chainsaw

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Warner Bros., Kadokawa
Backwards Compatible?: No

Suda51 has been responsible for some of the most out-there, ridiculous games ever made, so the idea that he was tackling a zombie outbreak story sounds like the most basic premise he’s ever conceived, but Lollipop Chainsaw is anything but basic. With a killer soundtrack, a collaboration with James Gunn and gameplay that’ll both dazzle and confuse you with equal measure, Lollipop Chainsaw is undoubtedly one of the best Xbox 360 zombie games.

Lollipop Chainsaw casts players as Juliet Starling, a cheerleader/zombie hunter who finds herself in the middle of a zombie outbreak at her own high school. With a chainsaw in hand and the severed head of her boyfriend Nick tied to her waist, Juliet sets out to defeat the undead hordes, one carved zombie at a time.

Hunting down a copy these days can be a bit of hassle, as Lollipop Chainsaw isn’t backwards compatible, but there’s always the upcoming remake to look forward to.


3. Dead Rising

Dead Rising
Dead Rising

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Backwards Compatible?: No, remastered

Capcom’s take on the classic zombie survival story, Dead Rising landed the Japanese developer in some hot water with George A Romero, considering the zombies in a shopping mall premise featured some similarities to the classic Dawn of the Dead film. Still, there’s plenty of reasons why you should visit Willamette, Colorado for three days, or an extra day and a half if you manage to find your way into the Overtime Mode.

Playing as photojournalist Frank West, you find yourself in Colorado after following a lead about a military lockdown. Immediately, Frank comes face to face with the undead, and has just three days to find out the truth and rescue as many survivors as possible before his rescue helicopter leaves without him.

Alongside the original Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and Off The Record also deserve some love, with the former focusing on Chuck Greene in Fortune City, while the latter imagines a scenario where Frank is the hero once again.


2. Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2
Source: Dad’s Gaming Addiction

Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Backwards Compatible?: Yes

Once upon a time, it felt like Left 4 Dead 2 was the only game people played on Xbox Live, so it’s no surprise that Valve’s zombie horde shooter is near the top of this list.

While many were confused about the idea of Valve releasing a sequel to Left 4 Dead just a year after the original game’s release, Left 4 Dead 2 is easily the most comprehensive version of the iconic shooter, and definitely deserves to be considered among the best Xbox 360 zombie games of all-time.

A four-player shooter, Left 4 Dead 2 stuck players in campaigns against hundreds of zombies and a few special infected too, with the only way to survive to be working together. Left 4 Dead 2 improved on the original game by adding more campaigns, modes and the inclusion of melee weapons, while free updates over the years added the content from the first game too. Of course, if you want to challenge yourself further, there’s also the Versus mode, a 4v4 mode of survivors versus infected.


1. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game

The Walking Dead Season 1
The Walking Dead: Season 1

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Backwards Compatible?: Yes

The game that launched an entire developer into the stratosphere, The Walking Dead was Telltale’s big break, and boy did they ride that wave for a good while. There have been plenty of attempts to turn The Walking Dead into a video game, with The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct being one of the most maligned games on the Xbox 360, but Telltale’s The Walking Dead managed to become the best Xbox 360 zombie game ever made.

The main reason for that success is down to the impeccable story and writing, which saw players controlling Lee, a convicted criminal who manages to escape from police custody due to the zombie apocalypse. Almost immediately, he befriends a small child, Clementine, and the developing relationship between the two of them is what drives the entire story forward.

If you’ve got a pack of tissues to hand, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game is still utterly wonderful.

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