The era of modern take on zombies began in 1968 with the release of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”.

Since then, the genre has evolved, similarly to the leitmotif of undead it blissfully cherished, steadily examining as well as exploiting its tropes, not only on the Silver Screen.

Video games industry gladly joined the said evolution, and the days of Ghoul Patrol, House of the Dead, etc. are long gone too. Speaking of the days gone, we present 8 games which are the examples of the modern zombie genre.

The Last Of Us

Release date:2023-03-28
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Naughty Dog

The game which could open almost any kind of list, and land in “top 10 games of all time” tally or “100 games you have to play before you die” compilation. Period.

The Last of Us, which was remastered last year, and has recently been a base for a TV series, is set in a postapo USA, which has been decimated by a mutated strain of Cordycepus fungus, and tells a story of a middle-aged smuggler Joel who has been given a task to escort a teenage girl Ellie across the country. A gripping story, phenomenal atmosphere, and the ingenious playability as well as replayability, makes this title more than a must for every PS fan out there. If you own a console, just play it. That’s all.

Key features
  • Memorable story!
  • One of the strongest, heart-wrenching openings in the videogaming history
  • Overall Atmosphere
  • Outstanding playability and replayability
  • Everything, for crying out loud, just play it already!

Left 4 Dead 2

Release date:2009-11-16
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Valve

Imagine a Serious Sam type of game, but its a co-op, the adversaries are zombies infected by a so-called “green flu”, and the regular action resembles that of a “Party’s Over” scene form Braindead.

In Left 4 Dead 2 the origin of the virus, which turned Earth into Zombie graveyard, is not revealed and the plot is virtually nonexistent. All that matters is plowing through hordes of vile, vicious creatures with three of your ‘compadres’ and accomplishing mission objectives in the like of “go there” and “do this”. Simple but fun, believe you us! Especially the damage mode. Fireman ax and chainsaw are the best choice if you want to really experience limbs and guts flying everywhere, splattering gallons of blood all over places.

Key features
  • Zombified Serious Sam-like co-op.
  • Undemanding plot
  • Straightforward kill’em-all fun
  • Gory damage mode

Dying Light 2

Release date:2022-02-04
Genre:Action
Developer:Techland Publishing

With the first part taking the action survival gaming genre by storm in 2015, Dying Light 2 brings us back to the story which began in the fictional city called Harran.

22 years later, another outbreak of even deadlier virus swipes almost all humanity, leaving only a few scattered settlements. Our protagonist travels to one of them – Villedor – to find about his missing sister.

Dying Light 2 splendidly employs and develops parkour elements, introduced in the first installment. Over 3000 parkour moves enhance controls substantially and give the game more free-running character. Other improvements include paragliding and using grappling hook to traverse the zombie-infested areas. We may also concoct medicines from recipes and create equipment from blueprints. Realistic weapon handling mode propels player’s experience to the next level. A gameplay flows really smooth, a plot is fine, too. However, the rushes of adrenaline when we are running from the swarm of bloodthirsty mutants at night… priceless.

Key features
  • Parkour yourself through the zombie-infested Earth
  • Great free-running experience
  • Exceptionally smooth controls

Dead Rising 4

Release date:2017-03-14
Genre:Fighting
Developer:Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, Inc.

We’ve just mentioned Left 4 Dead 2 was like zombified Serious Sam, right? Well, Dead Rising 4 is ULTRA-zombified Serious Sam squared!

There is a plot, but who cares. You get to pulverize, obliterate and liquidate as many zombies as possible. You exterminate the harrowing hordes using classic weaponry combined with something that came out of LSD-induced illumination of sadistic autistic hippie. Fish launcher, Flaming Sword, Candy Cane Crossbow, and a dinosaur head with two acid canisters attached to it called Jurassic Barf. You name it, it’s probably there.

Apart from utterly insane arsenal, you may dress yourself up and obliterate zombies as Santa Claus, bank robber or medieval knight. But there’s more: you may even modify vehicles (e.g. strap a blade on the golf cart) to carmageddon the shuffling hordes. It all amounts to or perhaps surpasses a wild over-the-top tounge-in-cheekiness we find in movies like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland and Warm Bodies. Hell, we love it!

Key features
  • Countless zombies to butcher
  • Kick-ass weapons
  • Dressing up to make the omnipresent killing more… stylish? 😉
  • Carmageddon-them-all!

State Of Decay 2

Release date:2018-05-22
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Undead Labs

If you want to fully experience what does rebuilding the world after zombie apocalypse really mean, you should get your hands on State of Decay 2.

State of Decay 2 is a TPP production by Undead Labs and a sequel to its 2013 predecessor. State of Decay 2 has an open world written with capital “O” and virtually zero repeatability. With a vast array of skills to improve and “hone”, and a growing amount of responsibilities to take care of as your community grows – it all makes State of Decay a little bright gem among Zombie Survival titles.

Key features
  • Zombie apocalypse aftermath simulator
  • Realism, realism, and once again realism!
  • Lots of skills to use and upgrade

Resident Evil 2: Remake

Release date:2019-01-25
Genre:Action
Developer:Capcom Development Division 1

21 years after its initial release to universal acclaim, Resident Evil 2 has been remastered.

Capcom stuck to the original as closely as possible, according to the popular rule that you don’t improve perfection. The only major thing that’s been changed is camerawork – it’s a classic TPP now.

The unforgettable suffocating atmosphere has been retained, as well as necessity to complete the game twice – first time being Leon, second time – Claire – to fully reveal what the hell happened in Raccoon City.

Key features
  • Great Atmosphere
  • Classic “evil corporation→zombie infestation” story
  • Complete the game twice to know what happened

Death Stranding

Release date:2022-03-30
Genre:Action
Developer:Kojima Productions

Here is a game whose graphics and creative momentum is truly amazing. It also provides an alternate take on the zombie trope, if we may even call ‘zombies’ monsters that roam the world of Death Stranding.

The game is set in the near future. Earth has been shaken up by a series of mysterious explosions. Our protagonist is Sam, a deliveryman for a logistic corporation called BRIDGES, who is given several dangerous tasks to fulfill. The game features likenesses of top-notch actors and actresses, Norman Reedus, Lea Seydoux, Mads Mikkelsen, as well as directors: Guillermo Del Torro and Nicolas Winding Refn. The soundtrack stands out and is a beautiful post-rock and ambient blend. The originality of adversaries (especially ones called Beached Things) is also something that can’t get out of your head. See for yourself.

Key features
  • Original take on the “zombie” trope
  • Atmospheric soundtrack
  • Likenesses of actors, actresses and movie directors

Biomutant

Release date:2021-05-25
Genre:RPG
Developer:Experiment 101

And now, let’s have a sip from another cup of tea.

Well, sort of. Biomutant is a decent take on a rather intriguing question: how would the animals do in the postapo world if humanity eradicated itself completely? Apparently, they would not do just fine. And It would be a fable. Again, sort of.

Cutting out the sort-of-ness, Biomutant is an open-world RPG in a universe where homo sapiens is no longer an issue. Evolution and mutation caused some species to change rapidly, and they follow in the humans’ footsteps. How? Well, just play the game. Biomutant is a fine cross between a fable and classic TPP RPG. The story and plot are somewhat lame – you get to save The Tree of Life which helps sustaining the whole realm, but the locations are very picturesque and the overall visuals please the eye.

Key features
  • No humans postapo = animals rule
  • Fable-like ambience
  • Fantastic locations

Zombies, as something closely associated with death, are a surprisingly fertile motif. We hope our list of 8 titles like Days Gone is going to spread this distinctive fecundity among you, and you will eagerly plow through horrid hordes with chainsaws and shotguns, as well as be swept of your feet by immersive storylines about loss, sacrifice and even redemption. It’s time to part now. Watch your back and always keep a spare pack of AA batteries on you.