Is there a more iconic monster in gaming than the zombie? From sci-fi narratives to modern-day shooters, it seems like they have infected every genre possible—and for many gamers, zombie-fever is simply not something you can sweat out.
There’s always a desire for more.
If you’ve got a hankering for some deadite action (that came out weird), we’ve gathered up 10 of the very best zombie survival games you can play, right now, in 2018.
Check out our other curated survival game lists!
10) 7 Days to Die
Ever played one of those tower defence games on Newgrounds where there are hordes of zombies trying to breach your defences? 7 Days to Die is basically the first person version of that. Build and upgrade your fortress alone or with friends, scrounge the countryside for supplies and remember: there’s always another zombie behind you…
- Explore a massive procedurally generated post-apocalyptic world
- Build your fortress wherever you want with a huge construction system
- Blast, decapitate or explode zombies with traps, vehicles and guns
- Hunt animals and grow crops during the day—struggle to survive the sprinting zombies at night.
Recommended for: those who wanted Minecraft zombies to be a little more realistic.
Available on: PC, Linux, Xbox One, PS4
Take the blocky charm of Minecraft and the intense PvP and zombie combat of Day Z and you’ve got Unturned. A completely free zombie survival game which went through an explosive surge in players only a few years ago, Unturned is still going strong with regular updates that keep the game fresh and new even for experienced players. Not bad for a one-person development team.
- Fight with a huge number of weapons ranging from swords to miniguns
- Build with a construction system that encourages creativity and co-operation
- Combat other players for the scant few resources that remain
- Explore the map with a wide range of vehicles on both land, air and sea.
Recommended for: those who wanted Minecraft to be a little more violent.
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Why is it that the heroes of so many zombie stories just somehow know exactly how to survive? Well, in this game, you don’t. How To Survive is all about collecting the pages of a survival guide on an isolated island while desperately avoiding the rabid undead intent on forcing you to join their number. You’ll learn how to find food, water and shelter, as well as craft more than 100 weapons and tools to help you push through one… more… day…
- Play three different characters, each with different skills and statistics
- Try to survive with a friend with offline or online co-op gameplay
- Craft, run, hide and fight to survive
- Explore four hand-crafted island, each with their own
Recommended for: crafting freaks and RPG-lovers
Available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U
7) Dead Island
Being trapped on a beautiful tropical island might not seem like a nightmare… until you start adding in flesh-chomping freaks. Dead Island and its sequels are well-known for their eclectic weapon crafting system and their incredibly satisfying focus on melee combat. The story might not be stellar, but you’ll be too busy crunching zombie heads with an electrified sledgehammer to really notice.
- Jump-in and jump-out with co-operative play
- Scrap with fluid and varied melee combat
- Explore the gorgeous island and its… fascinating survivors
- Craft ever-more effective and unusual weapons as you go
Recommended for: fans of Vermintide, Dying Light or anyone who wants more crunch in their zombie survival game.
Available on PC, Linux, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Ever wanted how many zombies you can make explode in a shower of blood and gore? Of course you have, that’s half the fun of zombie games, after all. But Killing Floor II takes that secret depravity inside all of us and makes it the focus of the entire game. There’s no crafting, no looting, no hunger or thirst to worry about: just unadulterated carnage for you and a few friends.
- Play and slay with up to 5 friends
- Decapitate and eviscerate with brutal melee combat
- Trudge through waves of zombies through a wide variety of weird and wonderful maps
- Head into PvP with versus mode
Recommended for: blood-and-gore freak and co-operative squads
Available on PC, PS4, Xbox One
Life in Project Zomboid begins with the character waking up in their home… but that’s where the similarity to reality ends. Outside, zombies shuffle, desperately groaning and moaning for your blood and/or brains. You escape through a window, but not before grabbing your trusty bat and bag. Now, you are ready to run, hide, build, craft, loot and fight your way to survival—but Project Zomboid isn’t about survival. It’s about telling the story of how you died…
- RPG skills that improve as you use them
- High adaptable settings that let you play the apocalypse how you want
- Robust crafting system that ranges from constructing walls and wells to repairing cars and generators
- Available in both multiplayer and singleplayer.
Recommended for: hardcore survivalists who don’t mind dying. A lot.
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
What’s better than zombie survival? Zombie survival in virtual reality. In most zombie survival games, you just click to blow the deadheads away. In Arizona Sunshine, you’ve got to load the weapon, cock it back, take aim and pull the trigger all by yourself. No digital help here.
- Immerse yourself like never before in virtual reality
- Cock, reload and fire guns with real-life motions
- Join up with a friend for co-op combat
- Explore freely without the usual restrictions of VR
Recommended for: anyone who has managed to score a VR headset, temporarily or otherwise.
Available on: PC, PS4
So you enjoyed the crafting system of Dead Island and Dying Light, right? Nothing quite like smashing zed with a sword that can spit out fire and lightning at the same time. But now you want more—you really want to push the envelope. Dead Rising II has you covered. As Chuck Greene, you have only a few days to save your infected daughter… and a whole lot of zombies between you and the cure.
- Craft creatively, using everything you could possibly find to put the hurt on the zombies
- Combine your creations for even more variety and murder the ever-growing hordes of the dead on-screen
- Join a friend in 2-player co-op and share the fun
- There’s also a story but who gives a shit about that
Recommended for: The creatively inclined who don’t mind a bit of whacky with their zombies
Available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2) Dying Light
Take everything you loved about Dead Island and turn it up to 11. Visceral combat, gorgeous scenery, highly modifiable weapons… it’s even got the island setting. But don’t be fooled, this is no clone: Dying Light earns its name as one of the scarier zombie survival games out there as soon as the sun goes down, and also features one of the best parkour movement systems since Mirror’s Edge. The story isn’t half-bad, but the real meat of the game is when you have nothing but a bat, a horde of zombies and a whole lot of time to kill…
- Fight during the day, but be ready to run as night falls… you’ll see why
- Crush human and zombie enemies with guns, bats, blades, axes, bows and more
- Use the incredible parkour system to explore a vast open world that hides as many secrets as it does treasure chests
- Craft truly abominable weapons with toxin, fire, electricity or bleeding effects.
Recommended for: Anyone. Seriously, play this game if you like zombie survival games. It’s one of the best, despite the shitty story.
Available on PC, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
It may not be the prettiest game of the bunch, but Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead easily has the largest and most robust crafting system in a zombie survival game in 2018. Play the game however you want: build an enormous walking fortress to explore the post-apocalyptic world, or construct a single stable base filled with NPC followers. Mutate your body, augment it with bionics, or just live off the grid in the wood with tools that range from lasers to stone knives. Truly a game that gives you player freedom—just watch out for the mi-gos.
- An enormously robust crafting system that lets you build everything from diamond katanas through to pneumatic boltguns.
- A massive number of different enemies, including zombies, wildlife and Lovecraftian horrors.
- Mysteries and secrets hidden in labs, bunkers and underground layers.
- A new way to experience zombie survival without the limitations.
Recommended for: those who liked Dwarf Fortress or Nethack
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
What zombie survival game are you playing in 2018? Let me know in the comments below!