Once we gave up on the vision of lustrous future we replaced them with post-apocalypse. The brutal, unforgiving wastelands and restructured societies are a good fodder for video games. This article discusses some of the best games taking place in post-apocalyptic worlds for quick reference.

What is post-apocalypse in the first place?

In broad strokes, any story set some time after the previous status quo of the world has fallen to a cataclysm is post-apocalyptic. Whether the cataclysmic event was an asteroid, a nuclear war, or an invasion of demons, the old world is gone. Maybe some remnants remain, maybe the local population was scattered and changed their way of life entirely.

Most post-apocalyptic worlds, especially in video games which thrive on conflicts, are very dangerous, with bandits, crazed cults, monsters, and wild animals. If you play a post-apo game be prepared to fight with tooth and claw to survive in a world that is in shambles.

Now that we have established a common ground we can move on discussing the games.

Best Post-Apocalyptic Games

Rage 2 Far Cry New Dawn Wasteland 2 Mad Max Darksiders 3 Horizon Zero Dawn Fallout: New Vegas
rage-2-game-thumb Far-Cry-New-Dawn mad-max-2015 darksiders-3 Horizon Zero Dawn Fallout-New-Vegas1
Release date
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2019
15 Feb,
2019
19 Sep,
2014
01 Sep,
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2017
22 Oct,
2010
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Rage 2

PC
PS4
Developer Avalanche Studios
Release year 2019
Type of apocalypse: Asteroid threw the Earth out of whack

Although the original Rage didn’t gain much traction, Rage 2 seems distinctive and lively enough to carry the franchise to success. The intensely colorful designs of the Rage 2 apocalypse brings to mind Mad Max if it was made by graffiti artists.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glaTVhA2kf0

Rage 2 is going to be a no-holds-barred first-person action game, with superpowers, power-boosting Overdrive mode, devastating weapons, deranged enemies, and no regard for the limits of a human body. It’s definitely worth checking out.


Key features

  • Distinctive visual identity
  • Special Overdrive mode giving you a burst of power
  • You play as one Ranger Walker
  • Nanotrite-fueled superpowers

Wasteland 2

PC
Playstation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Developer inXile Entertainment
Release year 2014
Type of apocalypse Meteor impact initiated a nuclear war

Wasteland is an old franchise, it not only predates Fallout but can be pointed at as one of the biggest inspirations for that series. Wasteland 2 is a Kickstarter-funded, demanding role-playing game with turn-based tactical battles.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U4QgIlejC8

Build your team of Rangers and start investigating the death of one of your colleagues. Track the mystery from Arizona to Los Angeles and solve the troubles of communities you find along the way. The ending will tell you what your actions have wrought.


Key features

  • Engaging, tactical turn-based battles
  • A story based around investigating a murder mystery
  • A resurrection of a series which inspired Fallout
  • Choices have consequences, sooner or later

Mad Max

PC
PS4
Xbox One
Developer Avalanche Studios
Release year 2015
Type of apocalypse All-out nuclear war

If you enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road, you’re likely to have a good time with this adaptation of George Miller’s classic series. This open-world action-adventure has brawling and vehicular combat in spades.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbTjvhmgFZw

Max’s Interceptor has been stolen, and he’s in need of a new ride to defeat the crazed warlord of the wasteland and recover what’s rightfully his. The dried-up sea floor making up the game’s map is a unique and surprisingly diverse locale for this adventure.


Key features

  • Excellent vehicular combat
  • Improving the bases of several allied communities
  • Impactful hand to hand combat system
  • Car-building and ability progression

Darksiders 3

PC
Playstation 4
Xbox One
Developer Gunfire Games
Release year 2018
Type of apocalypse Heaven and Hell duke it out on Earth

The kingdoms of Hell and Heaven invaded the kingdom of Earth, responding to the alleged signal to begin the apocalypse. Between their arrival and humanity’s demise, seven deadly sins took root on Earth. Kill them, would you?

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2kj9O5VZ4s

in Darksiders 3 you play as Fury who, like her brothers War and Death, has a mission which would escape the bounds of what she thought she knew about the world… and kill many enemies with her deadly barbed whip in fast-paced, action-heavy combat.


Key features

  • Exquisite art direction typical for the Darksiders franchise
  • A beautiful vision of ruined cities and demonic demesnes
  • Several forms you can assume, each providing unique abilities
  • A continuation of an excellent franchise

Far Cry New Dawn

PC
PS4
Xbox One
Developer Ubisoft Montreal
Release year 2019
Type of apocalypse: the Collapse, AKA nuclear back and forth

Far Cry New Dawn is a sequel to Far Cry 5, taking place 17 years after the bombastic ending of FC5.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDI6a2Fy2Qw

New Dawn is set on FC5’s map of Montana reimagined to reflect what happened in the meantime. There are even some returning characters, who may offer commentary on the last 17 years. New Dawn presents a vibrant and lively view of the post-apocalypse, which, like in aesthetically similar Rage 2, meshes well with the series typical intense, often ridiculous, player-instigated action.


Key features

  • Vivid and colorful image of post-apocalyptic Montana
  • Characters from Far Cry 5 make a comeback
  • Player-generated action as entertaining as ever
  • Upgradeable base and recruitable Specialists

Horizon Zero Dawn

PSN
PS4
Developer Guerilla Games
Release year 2017
Type of apocalypse AI goes rampant, destroys everything

One of the singleplayer hits launched on PlayStation 4 in recent years, Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in a stunning post-apocalyptic world overgrown by nature and ruled by both small and massive robots with bestial shapes.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzx96gYA8ek

As Aloy, a young hunter, you’ll track and hunt the animalistic machines, craft tools using their parts, and get to the bottom of the recent wave of attacks from the robots. The world of HZD is beautiful and its history is quite interesting.


Key features

  • Creative designs of animalistic robots
  • Interesting lore of the setting
  • Hunting monsters give a lot of satisfaction
  • Stunning vistas with a photo mode letting you easily capture the best scenes

Fallout: New Vegas

PC
PS3
Xbox 360
Developer Obsidian Entertainment
Release year 2010
Type of apocalypse Nuclear war

One of the most famous role-playing games of the last decade, Fallout: New Vegas takes place on the sun-scorched Nevada desert, torn apart by a conflict between the Caesar’s Legion, New California Republic, and the city of New Vegas.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ6pNMMT8ZQ

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, New Vegas offers the players a lot of freedom in many aspects, including what kind of character they play, with whom they want to ally, and what is their chosen approach to solving problems.


Key features

  • A large map worth exploring
  • Several routes for the main storyline to follow
  • Deep and broad character progression, with many perks and items to pick from
  • Players can quickly switch between turn-based and action-based combat.


Supplementary apocalypses

The games listed above are by no means all productions with post-apocalyptic themes out there. Below you’ll find an additional list with a few more suggestions which didn’t make to the main list.

Other Post-Apocalyptic Video Games


This is the end

This concludes our selection of games the events of which take place in post-apocalyptic settings. There are many more out there (such as Fallout New Vegas’ predecessors’ Fallout 1 and FO2), and most likely there are many more still to be imagined and created, as post-apocalypse is a fertile ground for making games full of danger and with stories about restructured societies. The cause of the apocalypse being natural or man-made, scientific or mystical, doesn’t change that fact.