Top Zombie Games for the PC

Over the past few years,  zombie-themed video games have taken off in popularity and, in part, have fueled the success of other zombie-themed entertainment, such as the hit TV series and graphic novel The Walking Dead and books such as The Passage. With this popularity come more games than can be listed in one spot—but here are 20 top zombie games for the PC to get you started.

Sniper Elite Nazi Zombie Army
Rebellion Developments

Release Date: Feb. 28, 2013
Genre: Action; third-person shooter
Theme: Zombies, World War II
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: Nazi Zombie Army

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army is a standalone game built with the same game engine as Sniper Elite V2, which was released in 2012. Its gameplay and mechanics are virtually identical to that of the main Sniper Elite V2 that its code is based on, but it offers a new storyline, graphics, and game modes.

A single-player campaign story is set in the final weeks of World War II as Hitler implements a last-ditch effort to save Germany from defeat. His plan is to have the fallen soldiers raised from the dead as zombies to fight against the Allies; however, things don't go quite as planned, and Germany is overrun by a zombie apocalypse.

You can play the campaign in single-player mode as well as four-player. The overall premise and flow are very similar to that of the Left 4 Dead series, in which players try to make their ways from one checkpoint to another, killing and avoiding hordes of zombies.

Nazi Zombie Army has been quite successful, with many favorable fan ratings. That's been enough to spawn not one but two sequels and a remastering. In Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2, players are given a set of objectives that have them finding parts of an artifact that will control zombies. A third sequel was released in March 2015, along with remastered versions of Nazi Zombie Army and Nazi Zombie Army 2, in the Zombie Army Trilogy. In addition to the Windows version, the Zombie Army Trilogy was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Survivalist screenshot
© Bob the Game Development Bot

Release Date: Jan. 15, 2015
Genre: RPG
Theme: Zombie apocalypse
Game Modes: Single player

Survivalist is a top down/isometric role playing game that puts players in control of former hedge fund manager Joe Wheeler, who has survived a year inside his safe bunker after a virus spread through the population, turning most into zombies. Upon exiting the bunker in search of food, players walk into a huge, open world where the primary goal is to find others like yourself and help build a new community among a wasteland littered with destruction and zombies. Survivalist features all the classic RPG elements, with character creation, skill points and abilities, and interaction with non-player characters.

Survivalist is a single-player only game with an objective-based story campaign set in an open world where characters have some freedom of choice. The game was created by indie developer Bob the Game Development Bot and is available for an inexpensive $4.99 on Steam. A demo is available on Steam, too, that allows you try out the game  free for 30 minutes.

Call of Duty World At War
Call of Duty World At War

Release Date: Nov. 11, 2008
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: World War II, zombies
Rating: M for mature
Game Modes: Multiplayer
Game Series: Call of Duty

Call of Duty World at War Zombies was the first Call of Duty zombie mini game and remains popular. It is a traditional tower-defense type game play that is fairly simple. One to four players fight against a never-ending onslaught of Nazi zombies, with the primary objective of killing as many zombies as possible and keeping them out of your base by constantly repairing boarded-up windows. Each of the three DLCs that were released for Call of Duty: World at War features a new zombie map.

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H1Z1 Screenshot
© Daybreak Game Company

Release Date: Jan. 30, 2015
Genre: MMO, third person
Theme: Zombie apocalypse
Game Modes: Multiplayer

H1Z1 is a open-world, sandbox-style, massively multiplayer game set in the U.S. after a zombie apocalypse. The game is played in the third-person perspective and focuses on players cooperating with one another rather than fighting each other. Players, through teamwork with others, build/create shelters and collect and trade resources all in the hope of fighting off an onslaught of zombies. The game does not contain any player-vs.-player fighting found in many other multiplayer shooter games.

H1Z1 was released in January 2015 through Steam's early-access program. It has received mixed reviews, with most negative comments  directed toward technical issues and the game's limited features and size.

Dead Rising 2
© Capcom

Release Date: Sept. 28, 2010
Genre: Action, beat 'em up
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: Dead Rising

Dead Rising 2 is the second game in the Dead Rising series but was the first to be released for the PC. The game is a zombie-survival horror-themed game set in the fictitious city of Fortune, Nevada. Players take on the role of motocross racer Chuck Greene as he tries to survive the zombie apocalypse and obtain medication required to keep his daughter from turning into a zombie. Dead Rising 2 features a somewhat open game world with six different possible endings. Other features include weapon crafting, which allows players to build custom weapons and boss fights.

Of the two games released for the PC as of this writing, Dead Rising 2 has received more positive reviews from gamers and critics alike than Dead Rising 3, which was released in 2013. The original Dead Rising was released exclusively for the Xbox 360 console and has not been released for the PC.

How to Survive
How to Survive. © Eko Software

Release Date: Oct. 23, 2013
Genre: Action RPG
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player

How to Survive is an action role-playing survival horror game in which players take on the role of one of three survivors shipwrecked on a zombie-infested island. The survivors soon begin their quest to escape from the island, meeting other non-player characters and finding more zombie-infested islands along the way.

How to Survive has the look of a traditional role playing game, with a top down, isometric camera view/player perspective. A second version of the game was released in July, 2015, and is titled How To Survive: Third Person Standalone, which is the same storyline played in the third-person perspective. The game also contains story and challenge modes. The story mode is the traditional mission/campaign-style storyline, whereas challenge mode puts two players on one side of the island who must make their way to the escape vehicle on the other side.

7 Days to Die
7 Days to Die. © The Fun Pimps

Release Date: Dec. 13, 2013
Genre: Action, first-person shooter, action RPG
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

7 Days to Die is a first-person shooter and action RPG mix set in an open, sandbox-style game world. The game takes place after the fallout from a nuclear war has zombified much of the planet's population. Players take on the role of a survivor who must find food, shelter, and water with one simple goal: survive for as long as possible. Players spawn into the world and must quickly collect supplies and weapons and build defenses against zombies during the daytime in preparation for the nighttime, when zombies become more aggressive and fast-moving.

7 Days to Die was released via Steam Early Access on December 13, 2013, for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OSx.

Typing of the Dead: Overkill
Typing of the Dead: Overkill. © SEGA

Release Date: Oct. 29, 2013
Genre: Action, first person
Theme: Zombies
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Typing of the Dead: Overkill is an alternative version of The House of the Dead: Overkill, a first-person zombie rail shooter, and replaces the gun-shooting element of the game with a keyboard-typing element that was used in the 1999 arcade release The Typing of the Dead. Rather than using a gun to shoot zombies, players are required to type out words and short phrases using the keyboard to kill zombies. While that may not appeal to everyone, the game play actually becomes quite challenging. The release also includes a Windows release of the House of the Dead Overkill–Extended Cut that was released in 2009 and 2011 for the Wii and PlayStation 3 systems, respectively.

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Dead Island
© Techland

Release Date: Sept. 6, 2011
Genre: Action RPG, first person
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: Dead Island

Dead Island is a zombie survival horror game that blends first-person action with more traditional role-playing game features. The game takes place on a fictional resort island in the South Pacific that has been overrun by a plague that's turned them into flesh-eating zombies. The game features four characters from which to choose. Each falls into one of four classes that are available in multiplayer games. They include the Tank, Assassin, Jack of all Trades, and Support.

The game is played from the first-person shooter perspective, with most combat focusing on melee combat. Players earn experience by completing tasks and missions; they can level up, gaining health and skill points with which they can enhance existing skills or learn new ones.

The series also includes Dead Island: Riptide, Escape Dead Island, Dead Island: Epidemic and Dead Island 2.

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Atom Zombie Smasher

Atom Zombie Smasher
© Blendo Games

Release Date: Jan. 22, 2011
Genre: Real-time strategy
Theme: Zombie apocalypse
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Atom Zombie Smasher is a real-time strategy game in which players must rescue civilians from an oncoming zombie apocalypse through helicopter airlifts. The game contains two main phases: planning and rescue.

The planning phase begins by showing players a heat map of zombie hotspots. Players place military units and select a zone to rescue, which then switches the game to its real-time mode. Here, players guide helicopters in to rescue as many people as they can. Each zone or mission contains a certain number of people who need to be rescued. After each mission, both sides—players and zombies— receive scores, with the ultimate victory condition of reaching a target score before the zombie side.

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Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid
© The Indie Stone

Release Date: Nov. 8, 2013
Genre: Action, top-down/isometric third person
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Players of Project Zomboid try to survive in an open-game world for as long as possible knowing that death is inevitable at some point. Players must scavenge for supplies and food to deal with everyday issues such as hunger, sleep, pain, and mental awareness. The game features three different game modes: survival, sandbox, and last stand. In survival mode, a player creates a character and tries to survive for as long as possible against mostly slow-moving zombies. Sandbox mode allows for some game play and customization, such as how fast zombies move, environment effects such as rain, and more. In last-stand mode, players choose a profession and try to survive as long as possible against waves of zombies, buying new weapons as the game progresses.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat
© GSC Game World

Release Date: Feb. 2, 2010
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Modern military, zombies
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat is the third title in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of first-person shooters. It picks up where the first title, Shadow of Chernobyl, left off, with players continuing their adventure in the areas surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant known as the Zone. Zombies in Call of Pripyat are former stalkers who have been exposed to PSI emissions, releases of energy that turn them into zombies. Psi energy is emitted in two locations, and for those caught in the emissions, there is little hope. In addition to zombified stalkers, players also encounter many other factions and enemies they must fight.

State of Decay
© Microsoft Studios

Release Date: Sept. 30, 2013
Genre: Action, third-person shooter
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player

The State of Decay zombie-survival horror game is set in an open world that, like many such games, puts players in dire circumstances. Players take on the role of a store clerk named Marcus who has just returned from a trip to find that the world is under a zombie apocalypse. Players soon learn that the area is being quarantined by the U.S. Army, and they must fight the zombies and others for survival. Players must search for food, medicine, shelter, and ammunition.

The game is played in the third-person perspective and includes game-play elements from a variety of video-game genres. In addition to fighting zombies, players encounter other survivors, some of whom are good and help with defenses and base construction, whereas others are evil. The game contains 99 different weapons to fight zombies with. It also features a living game world in which characters continue to use and find new supplies and explore when the game is not being played. This element does not change the overall storyline and does not involve any characters that are vital to the storyline.

Resident Evil 5
© Capcom

Release Date: Mar. 5, 2009
Genre: Action, third-person shooter
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: Resident Evil

Resident Evil 5 is a third-person shooter action game and the fifth title in the Resident Evil series. The game is played from the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective and puts players in the role of Chris Redfield, the protagonist from the first Resident Evil game. Chris is now part of a bio-terrorism organization that has been sent to Africa to stop the sale of a bio-weapon on the black market. Upon arriving in Africa, however, players soon find that the local population has been infected with a virus and turned into zombies.

Resident Evil 5 features both single-player and multiplayer game modes as well as a two-player cooperative mode in which one player takes on role of Chris Redfield and the other, his partner, Sheva Alomar. This cooperative mode can be played online or locally via a split-screen view.

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DayZ

DayZ
© Bohemia Interactive

Release Date: Dec. 16, 2013/Jan. 21, 2012
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

DayZ is a survival horror/zombie apocalypse game set in an open-game world and is a standalone release based on the widely popular DayZ mod for the realistic first-person shooter ARMA 2. The primary objective of DayZ is to survive the zombie outbreak for as long as possible. Set in a fictional former Soviet republic named Chernarus, players begin with nothing other than the clothes on their backs, a chemlight, and a simple rag. From there, they must scavenge for weapons, supplies, food, and shelter, all while avoiding or fighting zombies.

Call of Duty Black Ops II Zombies
© Activision

Release Date: Nov. 12, 2013
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Modern military, zombies
Game Modes: Multiplayer co-op
Game Series: Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the third game in the Call of Duty series developed by Treyarch; it includes a zombies sub-game and the most features and game play of the three. There were a total of six DLC releases for Call of Duty Black Ops II, and each had a new map or features for the zombies game mode. Call of Duty Black Ops II also features a standard, modern-military-based storyline and competitive multiplayer mode.

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Dying Light
© Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Release Date: Jan. 27, 2015
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Dying Light is a first-person survival horror game in an urban setting that has been overrun by a mysterious epidemic that has turned people into zombies. The game is broken into two main phases: The daytime, in which the players are the hunters, looking for weapons and supplies; nighttime, when the infected awake and the players use supplies and weapons to make it through the night. They're armed with melee weapons, firearms, and handcrafted weapons. In addition, players can make parkour-like movements, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, scaling walls, and using the environment as a platform for movement. The game also features RPG elements, which allow you to develop your character to your playing style.

Dying Light features an online multiplayer cooperative mode in which players can play through the game's campaign storyline with up to four players online. This also features two challenge modes: one in which players must kill as many zombies as possible, and another that is a survival/race to an airdrop location on the map. Dying Light offers yet another game model in multiplayer called "Be The Zombie," in which players take on the role of zombies and fight against others who are playing humans.

Killing Floor
© Tripwire Interactive

Release Date: May 14, 2009
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Zombie survival horror
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer
Game Series: Killing Floor

Killing Floor is a cooperative zombie survival horror game first released in 2005 as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 and then  releases as a standalone title in 2009. The game is set in England after military medical experiments go wrong and turn the population into zombies. Players are members of the surviving military and are dropped in to eradicate the zombies and survive.

Killing Floor is primarily a cooperative multiplayer game that supports up to six players fighting a game of survival against zombies. Each wave is more difficult than the previous, and the onslaught climaxes with a fight against a boss zombie. Players earn in-game money, which is used to purchase new weapons and ammo. Killing Floor features more than 33 weapons and 10 enemies, and characters can have various skill sets that can be upgraded and persist from one game to the next.

A sequel titled Killing Floor 2 was released through Steam's Early Access program in April 2015 and contains updated graphics along with a few changes to game mechanics. The setting of Killing Floor 2 has also changed, moving from England to mainland Europe.

Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2. © Valve Corporation

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2009
Genre: Action, first-person shooter
Theme: Survival horror, zombie
Rating: M for mature
Game Modes: Multiplayer co-op
Game Series: Left 4 Dead

In Left 4 Dead 2, each player takes on the role of a survivor of an epic pandemic that has transformed humans into zombies. Survivors make their way through five campaigns across the South, fighting off hordes of relentless zombies as they try to make it to safehouses. In addition to the five campaigns, there are two DLCs called The Passing and The Sacrifice, which tie in the storyline from Left 4 Dead. A third DLC, called Cold Steam, adds all of the original Left 4 Dead maps to Left 4 Dead 2. Valve/Steam also offers a demo for Left 4 Dead 2 that lets players try out the game before purchasing.

The Walking Dead Season One
© Telltale Games

Release Date: Apr. 24, 2012
Genre: Graphic adventure
Theme: Zombie apocalypse
Game Modes: Single player
Game Series: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season One is a six-part episodic graphic adventure game from Telltale Games based on The Walking Dead graphic novel/comic book. The game takes place in the same setting as the comic book and television series: Georgia, just after the zombie outbreak. The characters, however, are mostly original to the game alone, which contains a storyline not found in the comics or television series.

The game centers on character development, storyline, and suspense rather than the nonstop action that many other zombie games feature. Players can affect the fates of certain characters and the flow of the story with actions and dialogs.

The game is played from the third person perspective and allows players to interact with other non-player characters and the environment. They can find items and use them later by way of their inventories.

The Walking Dead was originally released from April through November 2012, with a new episode coming out every six weeks or so. The full retail version bundles all five episodes into one release. The Walking Dead Season Two was released in late 2013 through early 2014 over eight episodes. Season Three was released in 2016. The fourth and final version is slated for release in summer 2018.