32 Best Zombie Games You Should Be Devouring

There sure are a tonne of them out there, so we decided to wade through all the guff and bring you only the very best zombie games.

Best Zombie Games

Zombie games are now more popular than ever, and, as the saying goes: “you can never have too much of a good thing”. There’s something about being a stocked-up survivor trying to make it through desolate wastelands of civilisation or a gun-toting undead killer that connects with gamers; you need only look at how many new zombie games come to Steam each week to see just that.

The history of zombie games stretches almost as far back as the industry itself. Way back in 1984, Quicksilva released what many have claimed as the very first zombie game, Zombie Zombie, it coming to the ZX Spectrum. From there, zombies in video games had a bit of a lull, not appearing again in a major way until Wolfenstein 3D’s udnead guards in 1992, and then at the center of the classic Zombies Ate My Neighbours.

And then came the big one: Resident Evil. Up until 1995, the undead had largely been portrayed in a comedic light or nothing to take too seriously. The horror classic changed that, the first encounter with its shuffling enemies being one of the most unforgettable scenes in gaming history. Seven mainline installments and a couple of quality remakes later and Resident Evil has gone down as quite possibly the most important and beloved horror franchise in history.

One year after the launch of the original Resident Evil, House of the Dead, an arcade shooter, was launched, becoming one of the most successful arcade cabinets in history, spawning plenty of sequels alongside some terrible movies. The next big zombie IP came during the Xbox 360 era with the release of Dead Rising in 2006, it partly inspired by Dawn of the Dead and boasting a slapstick appeal.

From there came Left 4 Dead, a beloved co-op shooter that can’t count to three, as well as the likes of The Last of Us, Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and many, many more. The rise of zombies at the movies also seemed to herald their surge in popularity on home consoles, leading to it being perhaps the most regularly used form of horror today.

Much like their movie counterparts, there is an awful lot of bilge to wade through until you find some walking cadaver fare worth investing your time into. For every Left 4 Dead, there’s an innumerable amount of wannabes, such as The Grinder and Revelations 2012 – the best thing about the latter is that it actually came out in 2012. There’s nothing else there.

So when the best zombie games come around once in a blue moon, they’re worth treasuring. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the titles that will make you want to say hello to your aunt Alicia. We are only including one game per franchise for the sake of variety. As well as that, remember that although some of the games below are only listed for PS4 and Xbox One, they will also play on PS5 and Xbox Series X | S respectively with backwards compatibility.

 

The Best Zombie Games Ever Made

32. Fortnite: Save the World

Fortnite Xbox One review
Fortnite

Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Epic Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

File this squarely under “silly fun”. Fortnite‘s protracted development meant that its unique premise (initially) didn’t get as many people interested as it should. Over the course of years and years, Fornite grew and grew before eventually being released in 2017 into Early Access. While it may not necessarily have been worth the wait, its mix of Minecraft and Left 4 Dead meant it was still fun.

Most people likely know Fortnite from its PVP spin-off battle royale mode, but there’s plenty to like about its PVE move as well, Save The World. It has a far bigger emphasis on building than the BR mode, so if you find yourself building leviathan structures more than you do shooting enemies, you may as well try out what else Fortnite has to offer instead. Plus, the zombies are kind of weirdly adorable.

 

31. How to Survive 2

How To Survive 2
How To Survive 2

Developer: 505 Games
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

A flawed game, How to Survive 2’s many foibles aren’t enough to stop it from being one of the best of its kind. You’re going to find out if it’s for you within the first fifteen minutes, but if you can stick with it and see past the missteps, you’re in for a treat. It’s even better with friends.

Taking you from the remote island found in the original to the streets of Louisiana, you must, well, survive. A top-down adventurer, How to Survive feels hugely unfair at times, thanks to the almost crippling amount of micro-managing you have to take part in; drinking and eating are almost as important as fending off the dead. But then again, wouldn’t the end of world itself take a bit of getting used to?

 

30. The Escapists: The Walking Dead

Escapists Walking Dead
Escapists Walking Dead

Developer: Team17
Publisher: Team17
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Escapists and The Walking Dead does not seem like a match made in heaven on paper, what with the latter’s intense violence and gore and the former just not being that whatsoever. However, once you are able to look past its many mechanics and punishing difficulty, The Escapists: The Walking Dead is probably the closest you’re going to get to a good action game based on the franchise.

Fans of the The Escapists will know what to expect here: you plot, plan, and then execute. The onslaught of walkers and bandits make this no easy task, however, so you have to keep Rick Grimes and his merry band of survivors in check as well as you can.

The spin-off features many iconic locations and scenarios from the series including the prison, which will feel nice and familiar to The Escapists fans.

 

29. Bloody Zombies

Bloody Zombies
Bloody Zombies

Developer: Paw Print Games Ltd.
Publisher: nDreams
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Bloody Zombies is probably the least well known game on this list of the best zombie games, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately overlook it. Anyone with a Streets of Rage itch to scratch with the added bonus of zombies being thrown into the mix should feel right at home here.

A side-scrolling beat ’em up, Bloody Zombies throws increasingly difficult opposition your way with the undead just becoming more and more outlandish. The difficulty spikes are a real bummer, though things do improve if you have a friend to share the pain with.

Although it may not be an obvious contender, Bloody Zombies is also a great VR game thanks to it allowing you to see previously hidden secrets.

 

28. Dead Island

Dead Island
Dead Island

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360

This was never going to live up to the hype, especially as it has arguably the best ever video game trailer. The tone of Dead Island seemed completely different to the one found in its unforgettable and haunting trailer, but the goofier style of the finished product won over plenty of fans nonetheless.

Buggier on launch than ants driving dune buggies through a cinema screening of A Bug’s Life, Dead Island’s interesting world and varied enemies managed to see it through. An open-world first-person game, Dead Island proved to be more of a prototype for a superior game from Techland down the line, but if you want to bash in some undead skulls and collect a lot (a lot) of stuff, you can’t go wrong. It’s available on current-gen consoles along with a standalone expansion, Riptide.

A fully-fledged sequel has been in the pipeline for years; don’t ask us where it is, though. Lots has happened since then.

 

27. No More Room In Hell

No more Room in hell game
No More Room in hell game

Developer: No More Room in Hell Team
Publisher: Lever Games
Platform: PC

Here’s a Left 4 Dead “clone” that deserves more love. Rather than imitating Valve’s iconic team shooter, No More Room In Hell slows the tempo right down and somehow manages to ratchet up the tension at the same time. If Left 4 Dead is the Dawn of the Dead remake, No More Room In Hell is the original: rough around the edges but endlessly charming.

Time hasn’t been kind to Matt “Max” Kazan’s Source engine mod that became entirely its own thing, but this free FPS is still a lot of fun with friends. Ammo is scarce, so expect to be squabbling with your teammates as the undead hordes close in. It’s also one of the best free games on PC, no microtransactions or anything.

A sequel is in the works and looks quite lovely, upgrading the experience to Unreal Engine 4. Watch out for it over the next couple of years. Have to say that they missed out on an opportunity to call it No More Room In Hell 2 Dead 2 Furious: Electric Boogaloo, though.

 

26. Deadlight

Deadlight
Deadlight

Developer: Tequila Works
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4

If you want a quick explanation of what Deadlight is like, imagine This War of Mine but with zombies.

A side-scrolling survival game, it shares plenty of style choices with 11 bit studios’ emotionally draining gem and is just as exhausting to play. The zombies and violent survivors keep coming at our hero, Randall, and death is never too far away, so you have to make use of everything you come across in eighties Seattle during a zombie apocalypse.

The driving force of Deadlight is its story, which sees Randall on a desperate journey to make it to a safe zone where (he hopes) his family are. Some of the most memorable zombie games aren’t so beloved just because of the viscera flying around the screen and Deadlight is a fine example of that. It has a strong, relatable core that you need to experience if you haven’t yet. It’s available for relative pennies.

 

25. Stubbs the Zombie

Stubbs the ZOmbie
Stubbs the Zombie

Developer: Wideload Games
Publisher: Aspyr
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox, Switch

Hands up if you remember this one. Released on the original Xbox but criminally overlooked, Stubbs the Zombie was one of many, many new IPs that never quite found a home on Microsoft’s gigantic black box. It’s a shame, too – Stubbs is one of the most likable protagonists around, even if he does eat brains and only talks about them.

Killed in 1933, Stubbs finds himself brought back to life in the fifties and must feast on human brains to get by. This sets up a wonderful Destroy All Humans-esque game that has you wandering around suburbs and towns on the hunt for your next victim, which might not work as well if it wasn’t for the humour.

Stubbs the Zombie is worth seeking out if you didn’t get a chance over ten years ago, but bear in mind that it might not feel like the most modern game, even when playing on PS4 or Xbox One.

 

24. Zombi

Zombi
Zombi

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U

Doomed from the moment it landed on the Wii U, Zombi U found a second life on PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2015 while sacrificing its more intuitive gameplay mechanics. Whichever version you play, however, expect to experience one of the most underrated and understated horror games of the last decade.

Set in a London plagued by the undead, you must play through a series of linear missions and try to find a light at the end of the tunnel of, you know, the end of the world. It could have done a lot more with its setting and may have missed a few opportunities to set itself apart from its peers, but Zombi’s unique survivor rotation and intriguing plot will hit the spot if you have love for the zombie subgenre.

 

23. Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: WB Games
Platform(s): PS3, 360

Brasher than a group of drunken cockneys with a loudspeaker, Lollipop Chainsaw makes no apologies for what it is: a self-aware, almost demented hack and slash game from the minds of Suda51 and celebrated filmmaker James Gunn. If that doesn’t instantly hook you, I don’t know what will.

Lollipop Chainsaw follows Juliet, a San Romero (ha) High School cheerleader who must fight through waves of zombies. She’s joined by her boyfriend, or what’s left of him. Left as just a head after the zombie outbreak, Nick can be used as a weapon to fend off the hordes.

Definitely a case of style over substance, Lollipop Chainsaw is a straightforward adventure that is sure to raise a wry smile. Surely it’s due for a remaster?

 

22. Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2
Killing Floor 2

Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Take Left 4 Dead, turn the metal music up to a million, and crank the B-movie goodness as far as it can go. What do you get? Killing Floor 2, one of the maddest, most exhilarating team shooters around today. Released in 2016, it has itself a very dedicated set of fans, and it’s easy to see why. If you never want to touch another Call of Duty but will miss Zombies, Killing Floor 2 will set you straight

Secretly an arena shooter, Killing Floor 2 has you staving off the undead in all their shapes and sizes, from the stick thin cadavers with blades for arms or the customary big fat guy that’s a staple of any squad-based game with zombies involved.

It’s so to the point that it’s hard to explain what makes it so great, whether it’s the silly shlock or fun action. Killing Floor 2 is just one of those games that you’re going to have to delve into and find out all about the lunacy for yourself.

 

21. State of Decay

State of Decay
State of Decay

Developer: Undead Labs
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360

Criminally underrated, Undead Lab’s State of Decay is a seriously heady blend of survival gameplay and relationship mechanics. It has its rough edges, but there’s never been a game that feels this close to what living through a zombie apocalypse would actually be like – its sequel comes close but it has a little too much busywork to make it quite as freeing a game.

Taking your small sanctuary and building on it before spreading across the map and offering a real chance of salvation for survivors is one of the bright spots in State of Decay. The going is tough and the hits never really stop coming, but with a ragtag group at your disposal, there isn’t much you can’t overcome.

Before too long, the stressful dynamics of keeping everyone happy and, most importantly, alive feels far more engaging than any episode of The Walking Dead.

 

20. Dead Nation

Dead Nation
Dead Nation

Developer: Housemarque
Publisher: SIE
Platform(s): PS4, PS3, Vita, PSP

By no means the most mature or accomplished zombie game on this list, Dead Nation claims a deserved place because of one very simple factor. Fun. For all the dark, emotionally manipulative titles that make up the subgenre, sometimes you just need to shoot some zombies lots and lots of times.

And that’s something Dead Nation does with aplomb. A twin-stick shooter that has lots to thank Left 4 Dead for, Housemarque’s zombie genocide simulator hits all the spots for some mindless enjoyment. Lots of weapons? Check. A rarely enemy-free screen? You bet. Explosions that would make the Amish guy from Diary of the Dead quite happy? Oh yes.

Housemarque has gone on to bigger things like Returnal, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had with their “simpler” games.

 

19. DayZ

DayZ
DayZ

Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

DayZ is nowhere near the popularity it once was, owing to Bohemia Interactive taking their sweet time in getting the thing ready to launch out of Early Access after initially cropping up as an Arma mod. That window came and went, however, so if scrapping for supplies and avoiding death from other players seems like your thing, DayZ is one of your better options. Don’t be surprised to see its full launch not feel quite as robust as it should.

Effectively Rust but with zombies, DayZ subtly wriggles its way into your brain — I somehow accrued over a day of playtime in it without really realising. It’s slow-paced with moments of action being very few and far between, but those moments become all the more intense when you have permadeath to consider.

It’s not going to be for everyone, that’s for sure, but there’s a reason why DayZ’s fans have stuck around for so long — it’s just damn good despite its flaws. Make sure you don’t get it on console, though.

 

18. Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy
Zombie Army Trilogy

Developer: Rebellion
Publisher: Rebellion
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Love the Sniper Elite series but feel like it would be better with 100x the amount of zombies? Then you, my friend, are in luck with Zombie Army Trilogy: one of the best zombie games around if you want to team up with some friends and dick around by shooting the undead in the dick.

Featuring a wide variety of Nazi zombies, including the moustache murderer himself, Zombie Army Trilogy collects the first two efforts in the spin-off and introduces a closing chapter. It’s packed with content and the famous Rebellion style, but if that doesn’t do it for, the Left 4 Dead guys and girls are also playable.

We’re tired of saying “the closest thing to a new Left 4 Dead” but Zombie Army Trilogy may actually be it. We’re also pretty fond on the fourth game in the franchise.

 

17. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: EA
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Plants vs. Zombies is so damn silly and irreverent that it’s easy to forget that it is technically a zombie game. Playing as the titular plants, you must dive into a world where the zombies are running riot and take them down by firing seeds out of your mouth. Resident Evil’s window-smashing dogs sure feel like a lifetime ago, don’t they?

Whimsical as it may appear, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 actually has a wealth of content for you to dive into, even more so than some of its more “serious” peers in the shooter space. Primarily a tower defense game, PvZ has a tonne of modes to enjoy with a difficulty level that never really veers away from manageable.

If you’re looking for one of the best zombie games without the buckets of gore, this is it.

 

16. World War Z

World War Z game 1
World War Z

Developer: Saber Interactive
Publisher: Focus Home
Platform(s):PC, PS4, Xbox One

Who would have thought this would be many times better than Overkill’s incredibly disappointing yarn? Blending elements of the book and the movie, World War Z offers the third-person Left 4 Dead you will never get to play; a comparison that has been beaten into the ground, to be sure.

It won’t win awards, but World War Z may just be enough fun for a distraction for a weekend. The swarm physics are great with up to 500 zombies on-screen at once, and it’s a whole bunch of fun to mow them all down with a machine gun, or wade through them with a chainsaw. It’s not Left 4 Dead, but it has enough of its own ideas to make it at least worth a look. Just swerve the PVP multiplayer and stick to the zombie killing.

From our World War Z review:

“World War Z is reminiscent of games I used to rent for a weekend and have straightforward fun with with some friends. It’s neither too light nor too heavy, and doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: pure popcorn entertainment.”

 

15. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Undead Nightmare
Undead Nightmare

Developer: Rockstar Games
Publisher: Take-Two Interactive
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One (BC)

A standalone DLC for Red Dead Redemption, a game which needs no more adoring words written about it, Undead Nightmare is so good that even if it didn’t have the Red Dead name attached to it, it would probably still make the cut here.

By no means a reskin, Undead Nightmare represented a complete change in mechanics and tone from its bigger brother, resulting in a challenging and surprisingly tense adventure. Ammo is scarce, but the undead certainly aren’t – you have to conserve your ammo wherever possible. Couple that with a sillier, almost knowing mood to John Marston’s zombie travails and you have a winner.

Here’s hoping they do something similar for Red Dead Redemption 2, but it’s not looking likely now.

 

14. Death Road to Canada

Death Road To Canada
Death Road To Canada

Developer: Rocketcat Games
Publisher: Rocketcat Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS

If you’re looking for a seriously affecting look at the zombie apocalypse, Death Road To Canada isn’t it. Featuring ridiculous characters, a twisted sense of humour, and a simple but difficult mission, Death Road To Canada is the most whimsical zombie game around and it’s all the better for it.

The idea is simple: survive long enough to get to Canada. Along the way, you’ll encounter new allies who will be able to bring their assets to the team or even bring them down. There’s some sharp writing in Death Road whenever you’re on the road, as well as a punishing difficulty that belies the strange cuteness of its sprites.

One zombie might not pose much of a threat, but if you find yourself getting swarmed, it’s lights out. Once your whole party has been nibbled on, it’s game over and you have to start the journey over.

 

13. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbours
Zombies Ate My Neighbours

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, SNES, Genesis

Back when Konami wasn’t truly awful and LucasArts still made games, the two companies joined forces to release a little game that had a big impact on the industry, even if it wasn’t immediately obvious.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors tasked SNES and Genesis players with dealing with a zombie outbreak in their neighbourhood. Playing as one of two children, it was a barmy shooter that gave you an armoury that even Kevin McCallister would be jealous of. Imagine Home Alone and Dead Rising had a 16-bit baby and you have Zombies Ate My Neighbours.

Sadly, it was never a commercial success, but a later release on Virtual Console saw the praise and adoration pour back in for one of the many gems LucasArts had in their catalog, leading to a successful limited run on more recent platforms.

 

12. 7 Days To Die

7 Days To Die
7 Days To Die

Developer: The Fun Pimps
Publisher: The Fun Pimps
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

This zombie survival game has taken more than its fair share of time to release, almost to the point of it being a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider that it precedes the PS4 and Xbox releasing.

Still, there’s a reason why so many of its fans are able to overlook the snail’s crawl of development: it’s genuinely just a great, surprisingly ambitious game where you have to repel the zombie hordes night after night. There’s tonnes to learn and stay on top of here, especially when the developers add some new weapon or mechanic that changes things drastically.

If you don’t mind rough edges and a full release that might genuinely go past a decade of development, 7 Days To Die is a blast. Avoid its console versions though, as those have more or less been abandoned.

 

11. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record

Off the Record
Off the Record

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, 360, Xbox One

It was a hard task to decide which Dead Rising belongs on the list. Well, obviously Dead Rising 4 wouldn’t get anywhere near it. Even though I have a soft spot for Dead Rising 3, earlier games in the series perfected the recipe, so they would have to get the nod ahead of Nick’s gloomy adventures.

For marrying the most beloved protagonist of the series with the improved gameplay of the second game, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record has to come out on top. Frank is back in a non-canonical adventure that puts him in the place of Chuck Greene in this excellent open world game and it really works.

As much as the original Dead Rising has achieved for zombie games overall, it’s quite dated. Its pseudo-sequel, which comes equipped with ridiculous weapon combinations and Frank West in a dress, has to go down as one of the best zombie games.

 

10. Organ Trail

Organ Trail
Organ Trail

Developer: The Men Who Wear Many Hats
Publisher: The Men Who Wear Many Hats
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Vita, Android, iOS, Ouya

There’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of Organ Trail, being that it’s one of the rare and exotic Steam Greenlight success stories that are almost myth. With a stripped back, almost cartoonish art style that belies the density of the game, Organ Trail is as close to an undead hidden gem as you’re likely to get.

You’re going to tell pretty quickly whether or not Organ Trail is for you; roughly about nine seconds. It’s ceaselessly irreverent, not much to look at, and isn’t particularly “deep”, but this callback to the early days of horror gaming has enough personality to make it a must-have.

I mean, one of its key selling points is getting dysentery. You wouldn’t see Ubisoft try that. Maybe they should.

 

9. Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid
Project Zomboid

Developer: The Indie Stone
Publisher: The Indie Stone
Platform: PC

A game that’s been in Early Access for longer than Cultured Vultures has even been a thing, Project Zomboid’s development is moving along at a snail’s pace but the core of an amazing, survival-driven zombie game is right there for all to see. If you’ve ever just wanted to try to scrape out an existence in the post-apocalypse, Project Zomboid could be the right fit for you.

Featuring customisable scenarios (regular or fast zombies, for one) and realistic mechanics brought on by this little thing called the end of the world, Project Zomboid takes a hard look at how hard it would be survive when there’s nothing but death all around.

Zomboid an isometric, lo-fi joy that will appeal to anyone who enjoyed They Are Billions but wants a more personal journey. Really needs to hit 1.0, though.

 

8. They Are Billions

They Are Billions
They Are Billions

Developer: Numantian Games
Publisher: Numantian Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Take Fortnite, switch to an isometric view, and ramp up the stakes and you get They Are Billions: the RTS where one single zombie can destroy your best laid plans. It’s your job to survive siege after siege of zombie attacks, including waves of the undead that can reach some pretty terrifying numbers when the horde amasses. No matter how well you think you’ve prepared, seeing the incoming mass of death will have you questioning everything.

To prepare for the onslaught, you have to forage in the surrounding areas and eke out the best defence you possibly can, and even then it might not be enough — one stray zombie could take out a building by infecting everyone in there and causing a domino effect on the rest of your fort.

It’s still rough around the edges despite leaving Early Access, but They Are Billions is still one of the best zombie games around.

 

7. Days Gone

Days Gone horde
Days Gone

Developer: SIE Bend
Publisher: SIE
Platform(s):PS4

Technically, this isn’t a zombie game as the enemies are “Freakers” but we’re just going to go ahead and add them here anyway. After rampaging through E3 2016 with an eye-opening reveal trailer, Days Gone had been pushed back a bit and went somewhat quiet at one point, but finally released in April 2019 to some middling reviews.

It’s been a different story for its players, though, who recognise it as one of the best single-player titles the PS4 has to offer. It achieves this thanks to about a million zombies and also a million ways of killing them. You won’t forget the first time you encounter your first horde, which will probably happen just as you’re ambling along and minding your own business.

Aside from that, Days Gone also has a great story and a protagonist worth sticking with as he learns and grows not only as a survivor, but also as a person.

From our Days Gone review:

“Sure, it’s clunky at points, has enough rough edges to cut someone, and is perhaps too slow in getting to the good stuff, but give Days Gone and Deacon a chance and they will win you over.”

 

6. The House of the Dead

The House of the Dead zombie games
The House of the Dead

Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Platform(s): various

Your local arcade isn’t officially an arcade unless it has a dusty and weathered cabinet of Sega’s classic The House of the Dead somewhere on its floor. The rail shooter is one of the most beloved of its kind and spawned a franchise that’s been strong for over two decades, but for sheer nostalgia and its wonderfully camp tone, the original wins out.

Quite uniquely for an arcade game, The House of the Dead released with a system that relied heavily on player decisions. Choose poorly and you might make your life that much more difficult by it forcing you into difficult confrontations or giving you the bad ending. But let’s be real here, The House of the Dead’s main selling point is the insanity of its dialogue and its wonderful B-movie charm.

Long live lightgun games.

 

5. Telltale’s The Walking Dead – Season 1

The Walking Dead season 1
The Walking Dead

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform(s): pretty much everything apart from the Gizmodo

Speak of the devil and apparently he will make you cry tears you never knew you had. Telltale were producing narrative-driven adventure titles for many years and seemed to be in high demand at one point, but nothing really came close to telling the same stories or captivating the player as much as the first season of their The Walking Dead adaptation.

Based on the graphic novels and not the AMC series, Telltale’s The Walking Dead may not please those who want to kill endless amounts of zombies, but it doesn’t have to. Instead, The Walking Dead is a concise and essential game driven by themes of family that will chip away at even the most hardened macho gamer veneer.

Remember to keep that hair short and lose yourself in the zenith of interactive storytelling.

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4. The Last of Us

The Last of Us clickers
The Last of Us

Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: SIE
Platform(s): PS3, PS4

This is admittedly a bit of a cheat. While Naughty Dog’s somber masterpiece doesn’t technically feature zombies and has infected humans instead, it has many of the hallmarks of the subgenre an– look, okay, it’s magnificent. Let me have this one.

While its gameplay innovates in some areas, The Last of Us hasn’t become so renowned because of the way it plays. It’s because of the story it tells, one that’s basic yet incredibly complex at the same time. The relationship between Joel and Ellie, the game’s protagonists, acts as the catalyst for the player’s immersion and forces them through the congested corridors filled with clickers, runners, and all sorts of gruesome creatures just to see where the pair arrive next.

It’s a masterclass in storytelling, showing that you don’t have to write a space opera for people to pay attention.

 

3. Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2

Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One (BC)

So good they forgot to make a third one, Left 4 Dead 2 isn’t a dramatic departure from its original. In fact, it only really has new maps and a couple of tweaks to mark the pair apart. Those tweaks did a lot to ensure its longevity, however – it’s still one of the most played games on Steam nearly eight years after release.

Heavily focused on co-op, you and three other players must team together to take on the undead in their masses and complete objectives. The zombies, whether they’re sprinting or throwing huge boulders at you, are always a threat, meaning that rationing and being quick on your feet is imperative. It’s a simple game, but one that is hugely effective in what it does.

Try to tell me that the sight of a Witch still doesn’t fill you with dread and I will call you a liar.

 

2. Dying Light: The Following

Dying Light
Dying Light

Developer: Techland
Publisher: WB Games, Techland
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Remember the guys behind Dead Island? They returned in 2015 with another zombie adventure that was superior in almost every way and surely one of the most underrated games of this generation. There’s something so primally satisfying about leaping from rooftops and kicking zombies in the face, you know?

If you want the full package, you have to go for Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition. It adds all the DLC and an entirely new map in which you can drive around in a dune buggy and mow down the undead at your leisure.

Mix that with cohesive parkour and collectathons that feel important to your progress and Dying Light absolutely delivers one of the better zombie experiences out there. While still beloved by millions, Dying Light deserves even more love.

 

1. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS1, N64, Gamecube

So good that people were impatiently waiting for its remake for years, Resident Evil 2 didn’t so much tell gamers that the franchise was worth paying attention to as it did thrust it in their faces with some of the most terrifying, atmospheric gameplay available on the fifth generation of video game consoles.

Taking the foundations set by its predecessor and running with them, Resident Evil 2 took players out of the claustrophobic Spencer Mansion and into the open of Raccoon City. It somehow didn’t lose any of the tension in the process, either – Raccoon City was just as alive as it was undead. If you’re going to dip back into this one, you might want to take your nostalgia glasses off. It hasn’t aged tremendously well, but for what it did for the survival horror subgenre, it’s absolutely worth trying at least once.

We’ve also decided to cheat a little here by including the 2019 remake for Resident Evil 2, which might actually be one of the best remakes ever regardless of medium. It is respectful of the source material while adding plenty of unique flavourings of its own. Don’t make us choose between them, we beg.

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