Zombies, zombies, everywhere. Zombies on TV, zombies in films, zombies in graphic novels and books – people just can’t seem to get enough of them. Who could blame us, in all fairness? There’s something oddly satisfying about beating the undead about with a baseball bat. Obviously, zombies aren’t real – sorry to break that to you. But, have no fear; thankfully, game developers are working their socks off to make some fantastic zombie-based games. There have been some brilliant releases over the past few years, and some down-right shockers, so you’d be right in wondering which title is worth your buck. So, on that note, here’s my Top 5 roundup of the best zombie-based video games.
5) Dead Island
Dead Island received a lot of negative press. It was rushed, untidy, and, to be honest, the story wasn’t that great. But as far as killing zombies goes, Deep Silver got it down to a T. Lop off arms, legs, and heads and blow zombies to smithereens, all with a set of customizable and upgradable weapons. Admittedly, this game is much better with friends, so get a group together and slice, bludgeon, shoot, and burn your way through the idyllic, if a little gruesome, island of Banoi.
4) Left 4 Dead 2
Simply put, the original Left 4 Dead was an incredible game. Left 4 Dead 2 was just as good, perhaps even a little better. Valve pulled out all of the stops with this sequel. They introduced new firearms, as well as the opportunity to use melee weapons and some new special infected. The introduction of melee combat (other than batting the undead away with the butt of your gun) was a well needed addition. The introduction of new special infected wasn’t overly necessary, but still a nice touch. This game follows a new set of characters on their journey for survival. However, if you end up missing the original cast, there’s a nice cameo appearance later on in the game – so keep your eyes peeled.
3) Dead Rising
Dead Rising was the first real zombie game that I’d played. I’d seen Dawn of the Dead years before, and it was, and still is, my favorite zombie film of all time. Dead Rising resembles much of that film, mainly because of the shopping mall setting. Capcom gave us the opportunity to utilize all that a multi-level shopping mall has to offer to kill the undead, which is a great touch for any game. The story itself is interesting enough to keep your attention once killing waves of zombies has gotten a little tiring. Not only this, but the inclusion of a digital camera to capture your exploits (and rack up bonus points for the most gruesome snaps) keeps the game feeling fresh and adds another layer to the otherwise mindless violence.
2) Left 4 Dead
I won’t lie; there are only minor differences between Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. If push came to shove, I’d tell you to get the latter. Left 4 Dead is still a fantastic game, though. It’s simple and effective: kill swarms of the undead and reach the survival zone. There’s no need for an intricate story, character development, or life lessons here. There’s only a certain number of ways that you can shoot the infected in the face. The only reason that Left 4 Dead comes higher in the list than its successor is purely because of my playing experience. Some of the best nights of my teenage years were spent online with my three friends, killing hordes of the infected and running from Tanks, Hunters, Boomers, and Smokers. This was a game that we’d fantasize about playing whilst at school and in our boring lessons. For that reason – and because it’s a great game of course – Left 4 Dead gets the number two slot.
This is no classic zombie slaying game. You won’t be faced with hordes of the undead. You won’t be running away from swarms of zombies, machine gun in hand. This game isn’t even necessarily about zombies. It’s a story of survival, friendship, hardship, and humanity. Telltale Games has done a fantastic job of adapting the story set out by Robert Kirkman for the console, tablet, and PC. The graphics are different; much like Borderlands, they resemble more of a comic book than they do a next generation game. This isn’t a bad thing: if anything, it’s a good thing. It brings a unique dynamic to the playing experience that’s hard to find anywhere else. The story will captivate you, and the decision-based gameplay will bring you back for more. I’ve just completed my third playthrough of each episode, and I’d gladly start a fourth.
But, these are, of course, my opinions. You’ll probably have played different zombie-based games than me. You might not have even played some of the titles in my list. Why not give them a go? They’re more than worth it. If you have a game that you think should make the Top 5 list, then let us know in the comment section below!