Zombies. They’re mean, sometimes green, and they’ve become a cultural phenomenon over the past few decades. Some people say there are too many zombie video games out there, but we disagree. After all, zombies come in so many flavors. You’ve got magic zombies, demon zombies, viral zombies, intelligent zombies, and that’s just scratching the surface.
There are so many different kinds of shambling ghouls that when it comes to picking the best action games, it can be tough to narrow down the best zombie games. Fortunately for you, we’ve got what you need to sate your need for an undead romp. If you’re salivating for some brains, or just an exciting zombie game that has plenty to offer a wide variety of players, we’ve got you covered. Whether you want to mindlessly slay zombies or play a story-based title like The Last of Us 2, recently released on the PS4, there are plenty of zombie games to go around.
Below you’ll find a diverse sprinkling of some of the best zombie games ever made. Just remember: Always shoot for the head. That’s advice that will always apply when it comes to zombies.
1. The Last of Us
There are a few titles that define each console, and The Last of Us was the pinnacle of what the PS3 had to offer. Joel and Ellie’s harrowing adventure across a ruined United States is one of the most poignant stories ever told in a video game, full stop. The Cordyceps zombies are ever-lurking, but it’s the remnants of humanity that prove to be the most dangerous antagonists in The Last of Us. You’ll rely on stealth to even the odds against the hordes of infected zombies, cannibals, militia members and other n’er-do-wells you meet. That being said, if you’re looking for something less cinematic and more combat-oriented, The Last of Us might disappoint. However, story-wise, few games can outpace this one, which is why it’s our top pick among the best zombie games of all time.
2. The Last of Us Part II
The sequel to The Last of Us defines the PS4 as the original did the PS3. The gameplay is tighter, graphics are better and the story is longer. While The Last of Us was dark, it was ostensibly about hope and trust, with Ellie and Joel coming to terms with their lots in a post-apocalyptic life. The Cordyceps zombies almost take a backseat in this game, springing out just to add horror flavor when needed. While The Last of Us Part II is a great game, which is why it’s on this list, it may not scratch your itch if you’re craving something more oriented around zombies. And like a lot of sophomore sequels, critics largely agree that it’s not quite as compelling as the original.
3. Resident Evil HD Remaster
This remake of the original Resident Evil first appeared on the GameCube in 2002, and it’s a testament to Capcom’s design that it stands the test of time this well. It got a fresh coat of paint with its port to modern systems in 2015, but the content is almost entirely unchanged. This game is scary. Few titles can match the feeling of loneliness and foreboding that the Spencer Mansion projects. If you’re looking to get into zombie games, this is the one that brought survival horror into the mainstream, and it’s a right of passage for horror fans to play this title.
4. Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Almost 18 years after they released one of the best-received remakes of all time, Capcom did it again with Resident Evil 2. This game is an expanded love letter to the original. Almost every area is expanded and rendered beautifully. If you’ve played the original, seeing the RPD fully realized in 3D is a tear-bringing experience, and there’s so many new nooks and crannies to see. If you want pure, unadulterated, survival horror zombie action, this is the game to get.
5. State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 balances simulating what running a camp of survivors in a zombie apocalypse would be like with making sure the experience is actually fun. You have to secure resources for your camp, recruit more survivors, and seek larger, more easily defendable bases. Permadeath is a big part of State of Decay 2, and once a character dies, they’re gone for good. This makes you more appreciative of your survivors, especially since the RPG elements in this game mean you have to take time to level up their skills. There’s not much story in this game. Instead, you’re encouraged to make your own as you explore the game and fight the zombie hoards. Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the world alone. State of Decay 2 features co-op multiplayer.
6. Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
Sometimes you want less gore and more vegetables in your zombie experience. Plants vs. Zombies may be the only title that combines those two disparate ideas to success. This casual tower defense game has become a cultural icon, but the latest title in the series is a team-based shooter. Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville plays a lot like similar hero shooters like Overwatch and Apex Legends. However, unlike those highly competitive games, it has a family-friendly bend and is easy to pick up and play.
7. Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One
The Walking Dead put Telltale Games on the map and started its meteoric rise to adventure game icon. In particular, the first season continues to stand out as one of the best adventure games ever made. Following Lee and Clementine was a rollercoaster of emotions, and it featured one of the saddest conclusions in gaming history. Subsequent seasons of Telltale’s The Walking Dead are lovely as well, but few games can hope to capture the magic seen in the first five episodes. Based on the storytelling alone, this title has earned its reputation as one of the best zombie video games of all time.