Running out of things to do during the lockdown? I know it can feel like it… But fear not, Gamezo is here with a list of some of the best zombie games for you to try out or revisit.
Whether it’s single-player experiences or multiplayer chaos, this list offers suggestions for both playstyles. Something for you, or something for you and your friends. It’s important to stay connected in all this, after all…
This list is obviously subjective, but I think it’s hard to disagree that the games mentioned here all fall into the category of the best zombie games out there right now.
Left 4 Dead 2 – The Classic Co-Op
Valve’s 2009 multiplayer zombie shooter is, perhaps, one of the best ever made. There, I said it. Are you happy? I want Left 4 Dead 3 more than Half-Life 3, and I will fight anyone on that.
Left 4 Dead 2 follows on from Left 4 Dead in the best way, and through DLC, it brings all the maps and characters from the first title to the sequel. The objective of each stage in Left 4 Dead 2 is to reach the end and survive. Each level contains a number of sections that are divided by Safe Rooms. They then build to a chaotic finale which often involves fireworks, light-shows, loud noises, and lots of zombies. LOTS of zombies.
What’s good about Left 4 Dead 2?
Aside from the major nostalgia hit from playing, I found that, graphically, it held up perfectly despite it being over ten years old. Some textures were a little bad, but I barely noticed them amongst the chaos. The cast of characters that has been assembled for Left 4 Dead 2 is also worth noting. They are fantastic. Chad L. Coleman is perhaps the most famous voice to lend himself to the cast, as Coach, but this does not take away from the charismatic performances from Dillon, Aytes, and Ladin as Nick, Rochelle, and Ellis. Each one of them has their strengths, flaws, and witty banter to boot. They truly make Left 4 Dead 2 the great experience it remains.
Left 4 Dead 2 also has a multiplayer mode unlike anything I’ve played before in a zombie title. In Versus, players get to take control of the game’s ‘Special Infected’. These include Jockeys, Smokers, Spitters, Boomers, and more. These are all incredibly fun to play as and nothing like I have experienced since. The only issue is that due to the game’s age, finding a server might be a little hard. I wouldn’t let that put you off. The game is perfectly fine to play with A.I. companions, although they might not be the best at reviving you…
Left 4 Dead 2 is undoubtedly a classic. With graphics that hold their own even now and hours of zombie-slaying fun, it’s definitely one of the best zombie games and worth revisiting. Left 4 Dead 2 is available on Steam and Xbox One via purchase on Xbox.com.
World War Z – The New Classic?
If you’re looking for a familiar zombie-killing format with more of a challenge, World War Z is the game for you. It plays similarly to Left 4 Dead 2 and can be argued to be its spiritual successor.
The game follows four groups of survivors spread across Moscow, New York, Jerusalem, and Tokyo in their fight against the zombie hordes. It’s set in the same universe as the 2013 film adaptation, too. However, unfortunately, it does not feature Brad Pitt. But is this a bad thing? I didn’t think he was that great in it, anyway. Similarly to Left 4 Dead 2, each group’s story is divided up into different stages. However, there aren’t any safe-houses, and the ‘special infected’ pack a lot more of a punch. World War Z features a load more in the way of guns, so there’s plenty of ways to fight your way through the crazed hordes.
What’s good about World War Z?
World War Z is the multiplayer zombie game for people who want the Left 4 Dead 2 experience updated and made a hell of a lot harder, but does this make it one of the best zombie games?
Well… There’s a lot more to do, I felt, in World War Z. Stealth is more of an option in this one, with silencers playing a huge part. However, once you start the horde… It’s chaos. Much like the film, the waves of zombies you face in this game are overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up, but it makes each one you survive all the more satisfying. Allegedly, World War Z can support up to 1,000 enemies appearing simultaneously, so you can see why it would get a little crazy.
World War Z also features both a class system with an upgrade tree and the ability to upgrade your weapons. This helps encourage replayability if the zombie-slaying doesn’t grab you. There are also a bunch of awesome multiplayer modes that pit you against other players as well as against the zombies.
It’s also worth noting that the characters you meet throughout playing the game’s several plotlines are pretty great. Unlike Left 4 Dead 2, each location features 4 brand-new characters. It’s easy to get a bit muddled with it all, but everyone will be able to find a favorite amongst them.
As challenging as it is rewarding, World War Z’s intense combat and rewarding upgrade trees make it more than worth giving a go. World War Z is available on the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and is apart of Xbox’s Gamepass titles.
CoD: Black Ops 3 – The Endless Bloody Slaughter
In this day and age, Call of Duty and Zombies are words commonly said together. But this is for good reason. Call of Duty Zombies is as simple as it is timeless, but why have I chosen Black Ops 3’s Zombies in particular as one of the best zombie games? Part of me desperately wanted to include Infinite Warfare’s zombies. This is partly due to the David Hasselhoff cameo in Zombies In Spaceland, and partly because the story is fantastic. However, despite all this, Call of Duty Black Ops 3 has to be the best of the best. Mainly, this is down to the Zombie Chronicles DLC.
The Zombie Chronicles DLC brings together eight maps from World At War, Black Ops, and Black Ops 2. They are all updated and remastered, making them the best way to experience what makes Call of Duty Zombies so great. A Call of Duty Zombies game is arguably only as good as the map; that makes this DLC vital.
What’s good about Black Ops 3: Zombie Chronicles?
It’s hard to explain what makes Call of Duty Zombies so alluring. For all intents and purposes, in today’s world, it isn’t that special. It’s being stuck on a map with an endless horde of zombies coming to kill you. But… There’s so much more to it. The ‘Dog Rounds’, the Mystery Box, JuggerNog, and Speed Cola. Its increasing challenge and subtle strategy make it a game so easy to play and enjoy. Plus, on the early maps, you’re killing Nazis, too. That’s basically a public service.
For me, I think it’s the points system that really makes the game tick. You get points for killing zombies, simply enough. You need these points to buy new guns and ammo, perks, open doors, and activate traps. It’s nothing groundbreaking nowadays, but it instantly gives you an objective in a game that doesn’t directly appear to have one. The maps offer some progression, but they are much more limited in comparison to both World War Z and Left 4 Dead 2’s areas. Still, you never quite feel like the maps aren’t big enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at one point or another, everyone has played a game of Call of Duty Zombies… Even if this is the case, I would still recommend Black Ops 3 as the best way to experience it.
Pulling together some of the best maps Call of Duty Zombies had to offer, Black Ops 3 and the Zombie Chronicles DLC is truly the definitive way to play this game. Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and the Zombie Chronicles DLC is available on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
The Walking Dead – The Real Heartbreaker
While the other titles may get their tense moments from the fear of being overrun and torn apart by countless undead, The Walking Dead pushes players to the forefront of interpersonal dramas exacerbated by the zombie outbreak. Being one of the best zombie games doesn’t always mean that you need to throw hundreds of zombies at the player. There are moments where you are held up by zombies, fearing for your life, but it’s so much deeper than that. Much like the TV series, and comic book series, The Walking Dead brings a character-driven narrative to the genre in the best way.
The games take place in the same universe as the TV series and comic books but follow a completely original group of characters. At the start, you follow Lee Everett and Clementine. Lee is a former professor who, prior to the outbreak, was convicted of murder. Clementine is a little girl who, after being left with a babysitter, is alone. These two characters challenge one another, and together, make one of the greatest protagonist duos in gaming history. Throughout this episode and the subsequent sequels, you meet a whole host of other characters; each survivor has their own stories and is arguably as compelling as the two leads.
What’s good about The Walking Dead?
Simply put, the characters in The Walking Dead are what make it so great. The TellTale gameplay isn’t always too exciting, and the earlier installments of the series can look a bit rough around the edges. However, the stylized graphics are charming and reminiscent of the comic book series. They allow for the game to be graphic, but not off-puttingly so. It doesn’t take away from the narrative focus.
The emotional attachments you experience throughout rival that of The Last of Us and really helps to carry players through the otherwise slower gameplay. The Walking Dead involves a fair bit of location exploration and conversations which interrupt the episodes of action playing out as quick-time events. However, that doesn’t leave the player completely helpless, as the story also features a number of decision points that offer permanent consequences.
TellTale’s Award-Winning The Walking Dead series is a heart-wrenching narrative that won’t let you put the controller down. Installments in The Walking Dead series are available on Steam, Epic Games Store, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
Resident Evil 2 – The True Horror
Where would we be without the Resident Evil series? That may be a question for another article, but this list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Resident Evil. They are all rather fantastic ( I even like Resident Evil 5 and 6!) but Resident Evil 2 has to be the pinnacle of the series. Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 follows Leon and Claire as they bear the brunt of a zombie outbreak and try to escape Raccoon City. Leon is a police officer, a rookie by all accounts, and Claire is a student. Their stories are different but intertwine throughout the game.
Not only is Resident Evil one of the longest-running series in gaming history, but it can also be argued that it paved the way for all the other games mentioned in this article. Survival Horror was indisputably defined by the original release of Resident Evil in 1996, and this genre can definitely be attributed to all the games mentioned. As of April 2020, Resident Evil 2 outsold its original 1998 release, but why is this?
What’s good about Resident Evil 2?
For starters, even if you are a fan of the original release… Resident Evil 2 features an updated control system with an over-the-shoulder camera feature rather than the fixed angles featured in the 1998 release. It plays smoothly while somehow still retaining the tense horror of the original. The updated graphics really do justice to this, too. It looks beautiful; this is mainly down to the lighting, in my opinion. With it being fairly dark throughout the game, this is perhaps the most important part of the graphical revamping. Thankfully, it does a wonderful job, and when you compare this to the 1998 release, it really does look so much better.
Resident Evil 2 also features two protagonists and, unlike a lot of other games in the genre, offers two playthroughs. You have to play through one before the other, but whoever you’re playing as in the second run experiences the same location in an entirely new way. Areas opened by the first playthrough remain open through the second, and each one has its own set of objectives and subplots. To experience the full ending of Resident Evil 2, you have to play through both… And why wouldn’t you? That’s twice the zombie-killing fun!
Resident Evil 2 is an improvement on a true icon of horror gaming and one of the best zombie games. Resident Evil 2 is available on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
The Last of Us – The All-Time Great
Okay, a little disclaimer before I start. This is not strictly a zombie game in the same sense as the others… But, by god, is it a good game. It felt criminal to miss it out. Plus, the other games have ‘Special Infected’ which are questionably not always zombies, so… I’m going to let it slide. Anyway…
The Last of Us is perhaps the most famous game of this generation and deservedly earns a place amongst the best zombie games. Even more so, it is one of the best games ever! Naughty Dog’s action-adventure title tells the story of Joel and Ellie as they trek across a post-apocalyptic America. It’s exciting, tense, dives into the depths of human emotion, and features the incredible voice talents and motion-capture acting of Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. What’s not to love?
What’s good about The Last of Us?
What isn’t good about The Last of Us? Graphically, it’s stunning. The PlayStation 4 remaster is still six years old but holds up well against recent releases. The gameplay is a fluid blend of stealth mechanics and intense combat. It features RPG-like crafting and upgrade trees with an open level design that offers each situation a variety of approaches. It’s won countless awards and, narrative aside, it’s clear to see why. It’s arguably the perfect third-person action-adventure.
Still, on top of all this excellence, the Last of Us really separates itself when you look at its narrative. You play as Joel throughout. Joel’s relatable but flawed. He’s tough as nails yet not completely closed-off. He’s reluctant to embark on the adventure told in The Last of Us but does so because it’s the right thing to do. He overcomes more than just physical obstacles throughout the game, and his journey as a character is genuinely incredible. Similarly, Ellie is a remarkable protagonist. Ellie’s been raised in a post-apocalyptic world, and this is reflected in her refreshing character. She’s impulsive, rude, and tougher than anyone expects. She’s incredibly charismatic and by far one of the best female protagonists out there.
Even if you’ve played The Last of Us, the lockdown is the perfect chance to dive back into that world and experience it all over again.
Somewhat recently, HBO announced that they would be working on a series based on the title. Casting is all but a rumor right now, but I put forward who I feel could best play the protagonists Joel and Ellie here. Fans of the series will also know that The Last of Us 2 has been delayed yet-again; this time it is indefinitely, which is fun. The Last of Us is a PlayStation Exclusive, with a remaster available on PlayStation 4.
Obviously, there are plenty of zombie-themed games I missed which could arguably be included in a ‘best zombie games’ list. The Dead Rising series, Days Gone, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, and State of Decay 2, just to name a few excellent ones… But I think these four offer a definitive look at the genre and offer enough variety to keep you entertained for as long as this lock-down continues on for.
Which of these is your favorite? And what zombie titles would you include in our ‘best zombie games’ list? Let us know @GamezoGG and in the comments below! For more news, features, reviews, and more, be sure to keep an eye on Gamezo.co.uk.