The top zombie games of all time

We just reported on how it’s been a tough time for geeks this summer with the loss of Nintendo Power magazine, and it’s been somewhat of a difficult few months for vampires too.

Two vampire flicks in a row, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows, both went in the tank, while next year’s World War Z has been plagued with production problems. Thankfully, AMC’s Walking Dead is doing quite well, with the long-awaited third season kicking off this October.

In addition, zombies remain all the rage in the gaming world, and they indeed make a great, nearly indestructible target. Like we’ve also seen in the best George Romero films, they also work great en masse, making them a fitting video game army to try and fight your way through. 

Last year we did a rundown on Dead Island, which also made the cover of Rue Morgue magazine. In fact, horror and games go way back, all the way back to the early eighties when they tried to do a Texas Chainsaw Massacre game, which didn’t take off, but the graphics were still in the early stages of gaming, not like the incredible detail we can bring to games today.


As we mentioned with our Dead Island coverage, the graphics resembled the gorefest classic Zombie, directed by Lucio Fulci (Gates of Hell, The Beyond), and my friend Andrew Alonso, who played the game for many hours, told us, “I don’t know a horror game that has done it better.”


So again, with so many zombie games out there, where are the best places to start? When PC World did its top ten a while back, the list included House of the Dead: Overkill, Call of Duty Zombies Saga, Dead Space 2, Dead Nation, the aforementioned Dead Island, and topping the charts at #1 is Left 4 Dead 2. Also in the top ten is of course a Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 4, and it was the Resident Evil games that got the zombie ball rolling way back in the mid 90’s. (Definitely ahead of the curve with the current zombie trend).


Like a horde of zombies in a Romero flick, we’ve got so many zombie games now, listed a top twenty zombie games, and IGN listed a top fifty list (!). The titles that keep coming up? Dead Rising, Dead Island, the more humorous Plants Vs Zombies, Left 4 Dead 2, the GameCube remake of Resident Evil, Red Dead Redemption, and many more.


The top ten in IGN’s list of fifty? Wolfenstein 3D, World of Warcraft (remember the Lich King’s undead), Call of Duty World at War, Doom, Dead Island, Dead Space, Plants Vs Zombies, Dead Rising, Resident Evil, and at #1, Left 4 Dead.


Of course, the current top trending zombie game is actually a mod for Arma II known as DayZ. Essentially, Arma II is a tactical shooter focused on infantry game play that first hit shelves in 2009. Expansion packs rolled out in 2010 and 2011, with a free to play version of the game eventually going live.

One of the coolest aspects of Arma II? It is open to heavy modding – and this is where the DayZ comes in. Indeed, the the zombie FPS has proven hugely popular, with over one million fans of the undead loading up the mod.

So it comes as little surprise that DayZ is being transformed turned into its own stand-alone video game under the auspices of Arma II developer Bohemia Interactive. 

Dean Hall, creator of the zombie mod, has been tapped to lead the project, which is definitely good news for fans of zombie shooters and the DayZ mod.

“This is the fairy-tale outcome for a mod that many would have said impossible four months ago. Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so,” Hall said recently.

“The project will follow the Minecraft development model; fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price. I realize people will have many, many questions – but we wanted to let everyone know the announcement now. Over the coming weeks, these questions will be answered. The game will have its own site, and the mod will continue at its present link.”