As Capcom pave the way for zombie revivals with the latest Resident Evil remakes, we thought we’d shed a little light on the alternatives. Admittedly, Resident Evil is still a fantastic series to play should you be in the mood for some bloodthirsty storytelling. but there are plenty of options that might’ve, well, died out since their debuts. Of course, not everybody keeps ahold of their double ex-gen consoles, but thanks to the perks of digital markets — we don’t have to these days.
Whether you’re enrolling on a solo quest to escape the horde alone or teaming up with a squad; zombie games can provide endless hours of nailbiting fun and replayability. So, in case you’re in the mood for some flesh and gore — then look no further, because we’ve got you covered. Here are five zombie games you should still play in 2021. Let’s feast.
Blood and teeth not your thing? You could always settle in for five of our favourite couch co-op games instead?
8. Arizona Sunshine
Although one of the more colourful backdrops to the zombie universe, Arizona Sunshine still brings just as much grit and fast-paced action to the zombie genre as any other rival title. As a VR newcomer, this relatively short but jampacked narrative delivers an enticing experience as well as a memorable journey. Thanks to the power of virtual reality, Arizona Sunshine comes to life like never before and straps you in for a chunky campaign with just as much blood to boot as its opponents.
Set in the dusty canyons of Arizona, it is up to you, the unnamed hero, to locate the source of a radio signal in search of a masked voice. However, along the way you are faced with sprouting zombie hordes and every obstacle the isolated valley can throw at you. There’s drama, emotion — and a deep alluring sense of madness as you press through the mind-bending world without any major sense of direction. But by following your gut, you might just stand a chance of surviving long enough to decrypt the messages.
7. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
It almost feels like a lifetime ago since we saw John Martson saddle up and slaughter oceans of zombie hordes, doesn’t it? Even when Rockstar brought back the iconic cowboy in the second major instalment, we still couldn’t take our minds away from that ludicrous yet strangely satisfying Undead Nightmare add-on.
Set in an alternate timeline to the events of Red Dead Redemption, John Martson takes the reigns of a part-time father and a full-time zombie slayer. With a cure to the plague somewhere within the beckoning hills of the West, it is up to Marston to locate it and save his infected wife and son. On the way, however, Marston must reclaim stolen towns and side with survivors in order to progress deeper into the red cloud. But just how many grains of sand remain in the hourglass for beloved Abigail and Jack Marston?
6. Telltale’s The Walking Dead
It’s not very often we can absorb a genuinely heartfelt story during a zombie apocalypse — but Telltale did a pretty good job of it. Although on an animated front with very minimal gore and graphical violence, The Walking Dead still ended up being one of the best zombie games of all-time. Telltale developed characters that were portrayed so beautifully that we couldn’t help but feel a natural connection with every survivor we crossed paths with. Every choice we made we genuinely had to think through before tapping a button, and for the whole season — all we could do was sit in absolute awe.
The Walking Dead sort of branches away from the AMC show, but keeps just enough of its silver-screen charm to sway loyal followers of the franchise. Although playing as fresh-faced Lee, who we can’t help but adore from the second we see him in the rear of a police cruiser, we still feel that AMC resemblance that captured the hearts of millions of viewers. The story is rich with interesting characters and memorable moments, and every new episode is an absolute breath of fresh air in the zombie genre.
5. World War Z
Taking a heavy dose of influence from the much-loved Left 4 Dead games, World War Z puts you in the boots of a small circle among an overwhelming enemy. Similar to the likes of other multiplayer titles, World War Z aims to promote strategising and rash decision-making while under pressure, and it executes that perfectly under the towering domain that it unravels throughout.
Taking place over a series of unique settings with various characters, World War Z offers a bundle of chapters to tackle either alone or with accomplices. With fully-fleshed buildings and hollow suburbs crawling with the undead, it is up to your team to shovel through in search of an escape. But, like the more terrifying versions of zombies; they can sure as heck run, and they are most definitely capable of swarming you if you don’t play your cards right. So, you’d best prepare a worthy loadout — if you’re planning on surviving the night, that is.
4. State of Decay
Combine the core elements from any city building game with a hack and slash — and you’ve got yourself a State of Decay clone. Although to give it more credit, State of Decay definitely possesses a lot more than your basic ingredients for a zombie title. In fact, there’s a whole heap of genres that Undead Labs went with when developing their debut hit, and it wasn’t just survival that sat at the apex of their priorities, either. Instead, State of Decay explores the fundamentals of an apocalypse and tends to almost divert away from the action for a moment.
Playing as a series of characters (depending on how easily you die, of course), you are tasked with finding a breathing home within the dying streets of Trumbull Valley. As you dig up the resources needed to survive and scope out a potential sanctuary, you must face the consequences of trying to progress amidst an inevitable and unfortunate outcome. Just be sure to be home before sundown.
3. Dead Rising
It’s not very often we’re able to wade through a shopping mall full of zombies with very little to worry about other than where the nearest lawnmower is. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I was able to set aside cowering in a box and just dominate an entire zombie horde with a traffic cone. Thanks to Dead Rising and its iconic catalogue of weapons, items and brutal methods of execution — conquering the undead has never been more satisfying. Even after four major instalments to the series, Dead Rising still brings an incredible amount of fun to such a dismal setting.
Although somewhat lacking in the story department, Dead Rising still offers an insane amount of fun over its ten or more hours of gameplay. With only a watch and a three-day countdown until rescue, it is up to you, a sarcastic photojournalist with a keen eye for a scoop, to uncover the origins of the outbreak. However, Dead Rising doesn’t tend to shove the story down your throat — but instead allows you the freedom to spend the days doing whatever you please. Whether you’re feeling the need to branch out and recruit other survivors, go shopping for a new snazzy suit, massacre a horde of zombies, or just hide in a locker for seventy-two hours; it’s totally your call on how you play. Just don’t miss the helicopter leading home, eh?
2. Lollipop Chainsaw
It’s likely that this little gem from Grasshopper Manufacture went under your radar back in 2012, and that’s okay — albeit rather odd considering the concept. After all, it’s not very often we see a cheerleader with a head strapped to her hip while ploughing through a high school full of zombies, right? It’s an ambitious plot we’ll give them that. And yet, despite its bizarre setting and questionable characters, Lollipop Chainsaw has, in fact, become rather iconic in the zombie universe.
Set in the fluorescent world of San Romero High, you are enrolled in a hack and slash questline that follows the journey of Juliet Starling, the bubblegum chainsaw-wielding princess. With several zombie overlords keeping a tight grip on the outbreak, it is up to one cheerleader and a witty decapitated boyfriend to destroy the chain by any means necessary. It’s wild, it’s wacky — and it is most definitely worthy of a place on this list.
1. Left 4 Dead 2
Following on from the huge success of the first instalment, Valve Corporation looked to power up a second entry to the much-loved Left 4 Dead timeline. With a new roster of playable characters and plotlines, the second instalment aimed to not only expand on the zombie platform — but genuinely improve on all basic mechanics from its predecessor.
Similar to the first chapter, Left 4 Dead 2 follows an unfortunate four survivors who’re on a hopeless quest to rid the zombie horde and escape the city alive. Although, seeing as this is a Left 4 Dead game — curveballs are most definitely expected, and every playthrough can deliver a unique set of events. However, providing you stick with your team and tackle every obstacle together, the odds of survival are likely to increase. Just don’t shoot the witch in the face, alright? Stick to that, as well as a few basic rules — and you might just see the horizon.