5. State of Decay 2
Available on: PC, Xbox One
State of Decay 2 doesn't fix all of the flaws of its predecessor, but it does expand its strengths. What those are, if you aren't already familiar, are all about helping you tell your own unique tale of survival in a zombie apocalypse via a set map dotted with resources and a continual trickle of procedurally generated survivors to befriend and play as (or ignore and take their stuff when they die). Where Project Zomboid leans hard into the notion of being an average person in an unwinnable situation, the State of Decay series tries to make sure you're having a good time with picturesque midwestern scenes and gorey fun combat, even as your food runs out and zombies beat down your gate.
The coolest new thing in State of Decay 2, though, is easily the long-awaited addition of multiplayer. Inviting friends in to help defend and scavenge for your settlement exponentially expands the possibilities of procedurally generated storytelling. And it finally gives you a chance to test out all those zombie apocalypse survival plans you've spent way too long hashing out with buddies.
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Zombies
Available on: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
There are more recent Call of Duty games with their own Zombies modes, but none have topped the endless undead-slaying fun of Black Ops 3. It's no surprise - Black Ops lead studio Treyarch originated the sub-series way back in Call of Duty: World at War, and it "completed" the strange, time-traveling story in Black Ops 3. And thanks to the Zombies Chronicles DLC, Black Ops 3 is the definitive place to play through all of the key moments in the campy quest to avert the Nazi Zombie apocalypse, with 15 maps in all.
Aside from its significance as the culmination of Treyarch's zombie tale, Black Ops 3's Zombies mode also introduces key changes like the ability-enhancing Gobble Gums as well as Prestige for veteran Zombies players. Perhaps Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will finally dethrone it, but until then, Black Ops 3 remains the king of Call of Duty Zombies.
3. Left 4 Dead 2
Available on: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360
The Left 4 Dead series is the ultimate co-op zombie survival experience. If you like to go out on your own and try to be Rambo, you're as good as dead. It's all about trying to get as many of your team members from point A to point B in one piece, and that requires teamwork. Standing in your way is a horde of zombies - though they aren't the typical slow moving stumblers. The standard zombies are quick on their feet, and sprint towards you at full speed, which is absolutely horrifying.
But the standard zombies are only the tip of the iceberg. The real threats are the special, player-controlled super infected, like the original game's Hunter, Boomer, and Smoker. In the sequel, things get even more hectic with the addition of the Charger, Jockey, and Spitter. Alone each zombie type isn't much of a threat to a coordinated survivor team. But when the super zombies work together, it could mean instant death for the heavily armed humans. If you're looking for a zombie title that lets you cooperate with or decimate your friends, Left 4 Dead 2 can't be beat.
2. The Walking Dead
Available on: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
It would be a grave sin not to include Telltale's The Walking Dead as one of the best zombie games of all time. While other zombie titles would have you endlessly chopping off heads, or blowing undead brains to bits with a shotgun, this point-and-click adventure explores the human side of the zombie apocalypse. Instead of testing your aim, this adaptation tests your social decision-making and your nerves--because damn, there's some messed up stuff that happens in this game.
You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murderer who finds himself as the protector of an orphaned little girl named Clementine. As you encounter other survivors, you'll end up making decisions down the line that have dire repercussions for your group members. But the worst part (yet simultaneously the best) is that you develop a connection with the characters in your party. So, when those bad things start to happen, you'll feel like it was your friend that you just saw get eaten alive rather than a mere video game character. People will die, the unexpected will happen, and decisions will need to be made. And you'll just have to live with the consequences.
1. The Last of Us
Available on: PS4, PS3
Not only is The Last of Us our Game of the Year for 2013, it's also the most intense, enthralling, and engrossing gaming experience involving undead flesh eaters. It takes you through a dangerous cross-country journey through the infected United States which has been completely overrun by plant life. In addition to mushroom-brained zombies that are waiting to rip your jugular out with their teeth, the world is filled with desperate gun-toting humans, a repressive government, and psychotic villains standing in the way of your destination. And best of all, you get to do the whole thing with a snarky teenage girl alternately making fun of you and saving your life.
Joel and Ellie's quest is as dark as it is tense. The dilapidated, creepy environments set the perfect tone for the stealth/survival gameplay that cranks up the suspense to almost unbearable levels. This isn't your typical go-in-guns-blazing zombie game. You'll have to sneak past stronger foes, conserve your ammo, and scavenge for supplies. The action-packed moments let you feel every bone-crushing, face-smashing blow, and the dramatic scenes are just as emotionally engaging. If you're looking for the ultimate zombie survival experience, The Last of Us is by far the best you're going to get.