Dying Light's fast-paced parkouring combat, as well as near-limitless customisation options, set it apart from most other survival horror games. Where Resident Evil and The Last of Us reward you for strategic movement, stealthy movement, and resource conservation, Dying Light encourages you to sprint, jump, and bash your way through hordes of zombies at an exhilarating pace.
Of course, you have the option to avoid conflict and sneak your way to the finish line, but Dying Light's strengths lie in its highly interactive open-world playground and acrobatic mechanics. Whether you're looking for a similar gameplay experience, or simply a survival-horror romp with the same level of depth and attention-to-detail, here are the 10 games like Dying Light we recommend.
Mirror's Edge Catalyst
If you like Dying Light but could do without the whole zombie infestation problem, 2016's Mirror's Edge Catalyst should be on your radar. Set in a persistently beautiful urban setting with graphics that haven't seemed to age in years, there's no better place to glide across walls, leap across gaps, and slide under obstacles.
Taking everything that made the 2008 original exciting and adding refinement, polish, and a lot more world interaction, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is a traceur's dream. There's a learning curve to overcome - not to mention a skill tree - but similar to Dying Light, the fun grows exponentially as you find your footing.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC
Killing Floor 2
Dying Light isn't a game that always demands calculated strategy, but Killing Floor 2 downright discourages planning in favour of fervorous, blood-splattered slaughter. And with a name like Killing Floor, you can safely bet you'll come out the other side bloodied, a dripping sawblade bolted to your helmet, and a gleeful grin spread across your face.
Killing Floor 2 is a co-op horde shooter that takes the most crowded, frenzied bloodbaths of Dying Light 2 and makes an entire game out of them, except here you're clearing through waves of mutant, failed science experiments called "specimens" instead of traditional zombies - in short, Killing Floor 2 is metal as hell.
It doesn't deal solely in chaos though, as Killing Floor 2 also requires good teamwork. Assembling a team made up of the right variety of classes - of which there are 10 - could make the difference between climbing atop a mountain of your defeated enemies in triumph, and being swallowed by them.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC
State of Decay 2
State of Decay 2 might be the closest thing to actually surviving in a zombie apocalypse without introducing the T-virus in real life. Here, you'll develop settlements, build and take care of communities, and make difficult choices to maintain your favourable position at the top of the food chain - not to mention survive against hordes of zombies with gnashing, undead teeth. And it's all about as hard as it sounds, so turn to State of Decay 2 when your management skills need a fine-tuning after the mindless slaughter of Dying Light.
What State of Decay 2 lacks in varied, creative combat, it makes up for with rewarding systems, management progression, thoughtful decision-making, and a narrative with an impactful sense of reward and consequence. State of Decay 2 is a zombie survival game that makes you think about how to tackle each problem, and think even more about how your decisions might impact the trajectory of the story.
Available on PC, Xbox One
Far Cry 5
Where Dying Light succeeds in the high of triumphing over an insurmountable offence of zombies using nothing but a katana and pure will, Far Cry 5 makes you second-guess your intuition by presenting limitless paths to failure and disaster, and only one for success. When you aren't distracted by the shimmering beauty of Far Cry 5's fictional representation of America's rural midwest, you're retracing the steps that led you to be alight in flames, absorbing the bullets of a dozen rifles.
Far Cry 5 takes a formula that began to feel a tad overgrown in Far Cry 4 and trims the fat, leaving a leaner, more focused experience in place. There's still a crippled, yet stunningly picturesque world to explore, bases to liberate, and plenty of stuff to blow up, but everything from side quests to main missions feels more substantial, worked-through, and ultimately, worth playing.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC
As the name implies, Mist Survival tasks you with surviving - right from the beginning, but here your goal is not only to survive, but thrive in a zombie-infested world. You start with nothing, scavenging only what you'll find around you, and then begin to craft, repair, and and kill your way to a thriving, zombie-apocalypse-surviving base complete with fortified walls and animal traps.
You'll build a farm, raise livestock for food, and manage NPCs to ensure your survival in a beautiful, apocalypse-torn world, made even more impressive by the fact that just one person made it. In Mist Survival, mist - not to mention cloudy weather and nightfall - is your worst enemy, and it'll take you some time to keep from dying, but once you do build up your battlements, you'll thank yourself for the effort.
Available on PC, Android, iOS
If you're in search of a more traditional, even old-school approach to Zombie horror, look no further than Zombi, an intensely atmospheric and clever callback to Ubisoft's 1986 original and the international title for 1978's Dawn of the Dead. I would personally recommend playing on the Wii U, as that version makes excellent use of the console's gamepad to add tension. For example, you need to look down at the second screen to shuffle through your inventory in real-time, which shifts the main screen down as well and leaves any approaching infected out of view until you exit the inventory screen.
But you definitely don't need to buy a Wii U to enjoy Zombi, as the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions offer the same inventive, resource-driven, and genuinely challenging survival-horror experience, but with a deeper polish. One of my favourite features is the permadeath mechanic, which leaves you controlling a new survivor each time you die, with all of your - sometimes essential - loot on your now zombified corpse for you to track down and take back.
Available on Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PC
World War Z
If you prefer your zombie hordes fast and furious, with an eclectic team of survivors by your side, World War Z should not be overlooked. It's the only modern iteration of the zombie co-op FPS made beloved by Left 4 Dead in in 2008 and Left 4 Dead 2 in 2009, but World War Z updates the formula with modern refinements like selectable classes and persistent progression setting it apart.
It's the strategic teamwork involved with integrating the different distinct classes into an efficient, organised whole that results in camaraderie and a triumphant finish, and ultimately what makes World War Z a compelling co-op shooter. Level design, weapons, human classes and zombie types are only satisfactory, but the panicked, yet disciplined coordination at its core makes World War Z an absolute blast to play with friends.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC
Techland's first stab at the zombie apocalypse came by way of Dead Island, initially released in 2011. And while its rough edges don't compare favorably to Dying Light, it has its own distinct charm that's more than worth experiencing, especially as signs indicate we still might eventually see Dead Island 2.
Based around a similar progression system to Dying Light that initially leaves you desperately fighting for your life with hilariously ineffective weapons, you'll eventually turn the tables and become a zombie horde's worst nightmare. Progressing through the engaging main quests and limitless side quests, choosing the weapons and skills to focus on upgrading and scavenging for supplies creates a refreshing freedom in Dead Island, and the lush, tropical setting is as compelling as you'd expect from a Techland game.
Available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
There are two types of survivors in the zombie apocalypse: the teammate and the lone wolf. If you fancy yourself the latter, Days Gone offers a solely single-player zombie adventure with an immersive open world to explore and plenty of fun ways to take down zombies, aka "Freakers." In that way, Days Gone is an eerily isolated experience, at least mechanically - it's just you and your motorcycle, which you can upgrade and customize to your liking.
Rarely will you interact with NPCs on the open road, and when you do they're of the pale-faced, empty-eyed, and decaying kind. Surviving hordes will require stealth, ammo-conservation, and often melee combat, just as traversing Days Gone's desolate Oregon trails requires finding gas and re-fuelling your motorcycle. The narrative and character development aren't Days Gone's greatest strengths, but for a lonely, often exhilarating road trip with plenty of scenic views, it's one to check out.
Available on PS4
The Last of Us
If you haven't played The Last of Us, let me say it's incredibly important that you do, whether or not you're a Dying Light fan, or even a video game fan. Just like Dying Light, there are terrifying zombie encounters, crafting, and rousing combat, but The Last of Us stands alone as the modern standard for impactful storytelling.
Witnessing Joel's beginning as a grieving father still hollowed-out after the grizzly death of his 12-year old daughter, and transformation into Ellie's surrogate father is both heart wrenching and life-affirming. There's a very good reason HBO is making a TV series based on The Last of Us, and with The Last of Us 2 on its way, there's never been a better time to experience one of gaming's finest products.
Available on PS3, PS4