The Best Zombie Survival Games
The Best Zombie Survival Games
On this page you'll find the very best zombie survival games. I'm a huge fan of zombies in films, books and video games and I've put this page together to share my favourite zombie experiences.
I've love the idea of zombies ever since I watched my very first zombie movie many years ago. It's a genre that I love to absorb regardless of the medium. From the funny zombies to the serious and the horror I love them all and only wish that there were more of them.
If you have a taste for brains like myself or just starting your adventure into zombie gaming I hope you enjoy my video game recommendations below. Don't hesitate to share your own love for zombies in the poll below and leave me a comment, I won't eat your brains, I promise!
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There definitely aren't too many free to play games in the zombie game space but Dead Frontier is one of the few (and also my favourite by far). The game definitely captures the hopelessness that you would probably feel in a real apocalypse as you scavenge for resources in the dead world.
Starting as one of many classes (each with plenty of different stat combinations to change your gameplay) you'll spawn in the safe area which has become an outpost for human civilization. From here players are encouraged to spread out, group up and search for loot. The further you stray from the outpost the better your pickings will be but of course this increases your risk significantly.
Dead Frontier is also a browser based game so there is no barriers to entry making it perfect for lower end computers as well.
State of Decay
Of all the Zombie survival games I have played none compare to the experience that State of Decay offers, it's easily the best game in the genre I've played. Available on Xbox 360 and PC the game is similar to open world adventures like the Grand Theft Auto series except that instead of causing havoc and running from the police you'll be scavenging around for resources to reinforce your camp of survivors.
State of Decay uses a number of strange and unique systems which I really enjoyed. This includes the ability to swap between characters that you find and recruit (some are available in every game while others are random). This also extends to your inventory and supplies as you gain a trust rank within the community that lets you access the more rarer stashes of resources (food, shelter, ammo, construction materials).
The game truly is one of the best zombie survival games with it's focus on stealth, evasion and scavenging rather than direct zombie combat. While you can focus on fighting if you want you'll quickly find yourself dying as you are easily overrun by a small handful of zombies (very realistic). With the games permanent death feature you best be careful with your chosen survivor lest you lose them forever to the zombie apocalypse. Hopefully though it won't come to that with nearly 100 different weapons (about half of them are melee) to use in your defence.
With an open world it's easy to methodically clear out the game world (house by house) or go on longer raiding journeys. If you happen to find a secure location in your travels then you move your base to it. With the ability to drive cars State of Decay can deliver a large world but you're never too far away from anything (beats walking everywhere like in Fallout 3).
The combination of mechanics in State of Decay makes it my number one option and the price for the game gives it a great per hour price point as well.
Left 4 Dead Series
If it's co-operative gameplay you are after in the best zombie survival game then you can't look past the Left 4 Dead series. It's got plenty of zombie killing action and has a movie like theme to it which I love. With big action sequences, movie poster style art, four distinct character personalities and plenty of one liners it's almost like having a zombie movie with a video game.
While it's easy to connect with others through the online match making this is really a co-op experience that is best enjoyed with friends from real life (or online friends you know well). Being on Skype or a similar service and hearing your friend run around the corner screaming while being followed by a large group of zombies is always satisfying and hilarious.
The series currently has two games to it which are very similar in design. You'll be part of a group of four adventurers as they move from safe house to safe house and eventually a final sequence (waiting for helicopter rescue, reaching a boat, etc.) Along the way you'll be able to improve your weapons, find medicines to heal yourself and other equipment to keep you alive from the endless zombies.
Left 4 Dead also throws in a number of special zombies for good measure to ensure you've got a real challenge on your hands. In the multiplayer environment you also get the opportunity to control these special zombies to use against a team of humans, which is always fun and satisfying.
With only a small handful of levels though you might be asking where does the replay value come from in the left 4 Dead series. This is where the "AI director" and other random elements come into play. The locations of things like weapons and equipment will change but so will the timing, amount and size of zombie attacks. One game you might find yourself being attacked by large groups every step of the way while another game will be eerily quiet. This ensures that each time you play it's a tense experience as you never know what is on it's way.
7 Days To Die
7 Days To Die is one of the newer zombie survival games on this list and it aims to combine the likes of crafting games like Minecraft with a zombie theme. Right now it's still in Early Access but already has lots of promise and no doubt will be one of the big things in the coming year when it is completed.
I will admit that it is very early in it's alpha process so don't go reading my summary here and expect the game to offer all of it just yet. If you like to support indie development and play Early Access games then be all means buy it but most will probably want to wait for the full release. The premise for the game is survival, horror and crafting in a destructible voxel world that has seemingly been abandoned after the zombies have taken over.
It's got plenty of room for co-operative gameplay which is important as you collect materials to craft tools, fortifications, traps and weapons to survive against the near endless zombies.
I don't have much more to add at the moment since it's still early days in development I just recommend keeping an eye on it.
Dead Rising Series
If over the top destruction, customisation and thousands of zombies sounds like your definition of the best zombie survival game then I recommend you check out the Dead Rising series and it's very uniquely gameplay. With three games currently in the series it's a great franchise of games that have become a staple for me in the genre.
The games do a good job of giving you this story undertone but giving you the freedom to handle it in your own way, it also gives just enough context to how all these zombies got here and your motives for surviving and fighting.
The core of the success and attraction to the series for me is definitely to do with the way you create weapons. The game literally lets you pick up any two items from the game world and combine them into the ultimate weapon. With weapons like a shopping cart, showerhead, cones and frying pan it's definitely a funny adventure that awaits you. The game encourages you to come up with all sorts of strange combinations and use them against the zombies while racking up experience in the process and moving the story along.
If you just want a game that lets you destroy thousands upon thousands of zombies and doesn't take itself too seriously this is the series I recommend for you.
DayZ is another one of the more recent games that I've included on my list of best zombie survival games. It started it's life as a modification for ARMA (which I played quite regularly) but has now been released as a separate game. It aims to replicate what you would expect in a real zombie apocalypse where it's an every man for himself situation. Not only do you need to scavenge and avoid zombies but other players pose just as much of a threat.
It's a different experience to the other games I've listed here and it won't appeal to everyone because the game can be quite brutal and difficult, dying is too be expected and upon death you'll lose all the progress of that character and have to start from scratch.
If you're one of the lucky few that doesn't get picked off by a bandit during your early life in the world of DayZ eventually you'll turn into one of those bandits or you can play protector and help other lone survivors, but be careful about turning your back.
DayZ is probably the most realistic of the zombie games here and reflects what a real life zombie apocalypse a few months on would probably look like. It's also created a new market for games like DayZ, this means that there are plenty of different options if you want a free roaming first person shooter with zombies.
Images on this page are either provided by the respective developers or are my own images from the game. They are used solely for review and identification purposes.
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