The 10 best zombie games you can play right now

Even though we haven't had a real life apocalypse (yet), that hasn't stopped zombies from taking over TV shows, movies and, most importantly, our video games. Because of their slow, lumbering, grotesque nature, and the fact they attend to appear in great numbers, make them ideal enemies. We particuarly like the fact there are few things quite as satisfying as seeing their rotting brains explode out the back of their skulls. 

Hundreds of games have recognised that, pitting players against hordes of undead of all shapes and sizes. But how do you know which ones to play? Well, we've sifted through the corpses to find those that have life in them yet: here are the best zombie games ever made.  

Read more: Best zombie movies of all time

10. Dead Island

Despite its rough edges, it's hard to deny that Dead Island does zombie killing right. The first-person adventure takes you through a tropical paradise filled with shambling corpses, each rotting vacationer just waiting to have their heads whacked off with a chainsaw-baseball bat. Yeah, that's right. You can craft your own weapons to create some impressive undead mutilators - you just have to find the right parts to build one.

 Deep down, Dead Island is an RPG, so building increasingly powerful weapons as you progress is a big part of the fun. Also, all of your weapons have durability points and will snap in half if you use them too much, so upgrading them is a necessity. Ultimately, Dead Island is worth your time because the satisfaction you get from driving a knife into a rotting cranium from a first-person perspective is hard to beat.

9. Dead Rising 4

The sheer number of walking dead shown on-screen in the original Dead Rising blew our minds. Tech improvements make Dead Rising 4's expansive crowds less of a big deal, but it still manages to be one of the best zombie-bashing experiences you can get. 

Photojournalist (and protagonist) Frank West is back, packing an impressive arsenal of over-the-top weapons, amongst them a nitrogen-laced machete. It doesn't have the colourful bosses that the original boasted, which is a shame, but dizzying variety of weapons available make wading through the guts and gore totally worth it. 

8. State of Decay

It's rare to find a game that captures the doom and gloom of the apocalypse quite like State of Decay does. Undead Labs' open-world survival sim puts you in control of a group of survivors as they try to make a home in a world infested with walking corpses.

This isn't just a shooter filled with skull crushing mayhem – you'll need to keep a close eye on your friends if you want to keep them alive. Any of your survivors can leave on a mission and never come back, or go insane and commit suicide, or die from infection. When that happens, they're gone for good; death is permanent. It gets pretty intense, and nothing hits you harder than when your fully-levelled badass decides to off him/herself.

7. Dying Light: The Following

Running over zombies was never so much fun. As the DLC for the main game, Dying Light: The Following cuts out most of the parkour from the original and instead puts you behind the steering wheel in a swathe of almost-spotless countryside. Splatter zombies into chunks of gore as you speed across the fields and leave tyre-tracks in their guts as you take on daring jumps. Just be careful you don't get a zombie head trapped in your windscreen wipers. 

We don't really have a zombie-driving game around at the moment, and The Following plugs this niche perfectly. There's even a new, evolved (and much more deadly) version of the Volatiles, who are instant death if you encounter one either whilst in your buggy or sneaking around at night. Regardless, you'll have to dodge them as you drive around investigating a cult who seem to be immune to the zombie virus. The responsive steering makes careering down roads a delight, but beware: the more you swerve out of the way of zombies, the bigger the horde following you will get. Not that it's an issue, because as soon as you take your foot off the brake, sit back, and slam that gas pedal, in no time you'll understand why we love The Following.

6. Rise of the Tomb Raider: Blood Ties

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Blood Ties has one section called Lara's Nightmare, which makes one of my worst fears a reality. You're alone at home, in the middle of the night. Suddenly, there's a crash. Turning around, two bright blue eyes stare into your soul - and you stare back into its empty eyes, before grabbing the nearest shotgun to tackle the zombie infestation which has just hit the Croft Manor. 

Lara's Nightmare sees you defend yourself against hordes of shuffling, blue-eyed zombies who have found their way into Croft Manor, some wearing helmets (making headshots tricky at best), and some wearing breastplates they've nicked from your antique armoury. A neat series of challenges to complete keeps running around the corridors interesting, plus it's distressingly easy to lower your guard and find yourself backed into a corner. If you're looking for a claustrophobic zombie fright-fest, Lara's Nightmare is your best bet.