A brief history of zombie fashion in video games

Zombie Zombie (1984)

Above: Zombie Zombie – a game so great, they named it twice. No, not really – it’s shocking

The mid-eighties were a terrible time for fashion and the zombie world was no exception. Garish, neon colours with no hint of co-ordination was the order of the day. This poor chap seems to be suffering from a pretty severe headache. Granted, it could be the rotting brain inside his worm-filled skull, but it’s more likely he just saw himself in the mirror. A pretty tragic image, and no mistake.

Super Ghouls %26lsquo;n%26rsquo; Ghosts (1991)

Above: A little late for the punk movement, but those tears are still cutting edge

The must-have accessory for any zombie is a coffin that comes out of the ground whenever people walk by. Sadly, the blue rags look isn’t terribly inspiring, but at least it complements the shock of bright orange hair. And that belt does wonders for the undead waistline.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993)

Above: Such a classic, you may as well consider this combo the official zombie uniform

Ah, the classic zombie look. Blue denim trousers, brown overcoat with tattered sleeve motif, and a shock of white hair for the ‘dead head’ look. Can’t go wrong with this one – if you’re scared you might suddenly be invited to a party at the end of civilisation as we know it, you could do a lot worse than this look. Some say 'vanilla', we say 'essential'.

Resident Evil (1996)

Above: Wow – a whole wardrobe full of fetching zombie attire and a mop. No wonder he’s guarding it

Another timeless combo – this is the perfect attire for a brain feast at a friend’s country manor. The smartcorduroy trouser with tucked-in shirt and a loose, stained, unbuttoned overcoat was all the rage in the mid-nineties. A look that says ‘Sure, I’m going to eat your brains, but maybe we could grab a sandwich afterwards’.

CarnEvil (1998)

Above: Little-known game from Midway, but some uber-funky hairstyles going on

There’s nothing funkier than a zombie with an afro. Honestly, it’s remarkable just how well-kept these fellas’ hair-dos are. Not so sure about the shirtless vibe, although it does show off that straining ribcage.A few bullets will open that up nicely to complete the look.

Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2000)

Above: A little underweight, perhaps, but still absolutely ready for the catwalk challenge

I think Gok Wan has been encouraging these cadavers to bare everything with pride. It’s definitely time we had a zombie edition of the show, like ‘How to look dead good naked’. These fellas may have left their gonads in their trousers, but they’ve clearly been working hard on their skin. Using essential oils, decay and gangrene, even the purest skin can look veiny and dead. Maybe they’re born with it? Maybe it’s zombelline.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine, Traxion.gg, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.