Which are the best post-apocalyptic games of all time?
If you want to experience what a post-apocalyptic world would look like, zombies and mutated creatures included, then this is the list for you!
We’ve gone through all the best post-apocalyptic games and ranked them in order of worst to best, based on sales and popularity.
So, if you fancy finding out what the world would be like post-apocalypse, and you think you’ve got what it takes to survive, then pick any game on this list and give it your best shot.
These are the 15 best post-apocalyptic games of all time.
The 15 Best Post-Apocalyptic Games of All Time
These are the 15 best post-apocalyptic games of all time:
15. State of Decay
Kicking off the list is the action-adventure game State of Decay.
It was developed by Undead Labs and published by Microsoft Studios in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows.
After the world has ended, you’re going to be tested in more ways than you care to imagine.
State of Decay puts you to the test straight away by examining how well your leadership skills shape up against a barrage of problems, diminishing resources, zombie attacks, and group morale.
You’ll be challenged from the get-go, and will find yourself in a mix of stealth, shooter, RPG, and strategy gameplay, as you try to stay alive while fending off the undead.
Upon release, State of Decay was met with positive reviews from critics and went on to sell over 250,000 copies within its first 48 hours on Xbox Live Arcade.
Rage is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks.
A first glimpse of the game was premiered at the 2007 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and was later released for iOS in 2010 and Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2011.
The game’s storyline follows the impact of the 99942 Apophis asteroid on Earth and the post-apocalyptic future. Players control protagonist, Nicolas Raine, a soldier that’s been in hibernation during the apocalypse.
When he awakens, he’s met with a derelict wasteland, and finds himself being hunted down by an organization known as “The Authority.” He must stay alive long enough to explore the new world for the answers he seeks.
Praise was given to the games combat mechanics and graphics, and was nominated for several “Best Graphics” and “Best First Person Shooter” industry awards.
13. The Long Dark
Coming in at number thirteen is the first-person survival video game, The Long Dark.
The game was developed and published by Hinterland Studio and was launched on Steam Early Access in September 2014, with an updated alpha version being available on the Xbox One in 2015.
After a geomagnetic storm caused a global disaster, a bush pilot that’s crash-landed in the Canadian Wilderness must work out how to survive its cold and challenging terrain.
The object of the game is to stay alive as long as possible by doing whatever you can; however, with bears, wolfs and other dangerous animals running wild, it’s not going to be as easy as you might think.
The Long Dark received positive reviews from critics after its alpha release and sold approximately 750,000 copies within its first year.
12. Resistance 3
Resistance 3 is a post-apocalyptic first-person shooter that was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 in 2011.
It’s the third game in the Resistance lineup and marks the end of the series.
It holds onto most of the gameplay mechanics of its predecessors but brings some of its own changes.
For example, the weapon wheel and health bar from the first game in the series make a return, and new environmental objects, like, chimeran plants have been added.
The game moves away from the more military aspect of Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2 and focuses more on a post-apocalyptic feeling.
The game was met with favorable reviews overall and was praised by game critics for its exciting campaign and multiplayer mode.
11. Death Stranding
The eleventh best post-apocalyptic game on our list is Death Stranding.
It was developed by Kojima Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and scheduled for release by 505 Games in July 2020 on Microsoft Windows.
The game takes place in the United States after the catastrophic events of the eponymous Death Stranding.
Creatures from a realm between life and death are now roaming the planet, and players must control “Sam Porter Bridges” as he’s tasked with delivering crucial supplies to the remaining isolated populations.
Upon release, the game received positive reviews overall, with praise focused on its soundtrack, visuals, and voice acting.
Death Stranding was nominated for several industry awards.
10. Frost Punk
Coming in at number ten on our list of the best post-apocalyptic games of all time is the 2018 city-building survival game, Frost Punk.
The game was developed and published by 11-bit studios and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One all within a year.
Roughly based on historical events, Frost Punk is set in 1886 during a series of volcanic eruptions, which cause a worldwide volcanic winter that leads to the widespread death of millions.
Players take control of “the Captain” who’s the leader of a city around a “generator,” city center, who’s in charge of managing the city’s resources to ensure everyone’s survival.
Frost Punk received positive reviews upon release and was nominated for “Best Strategy Game” at the 2017 Game Critics Awards, and “Best Visual Design” and “P.C. Game of the Year” at the Golden Joystick Awards 2018.
9. Days Gone
Days Gone is a 2019 action-adventure survival horror video game, developed by SIE Bend Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
It was released for the PlayStation 4 and is set in post-apocalyptic Oregon, United States, a couple of years after the beginning of a global pandemic.
The game follows Deacon St. John, a former outlaw-turned-drifter who hears about the possibility that his wife could still be alive, and therefore embarks on a quest to find her.
The game is played from a first-person perspective in an open world environment.
You’re able to use an assortment of firearms, melee weapons, improvised weapons, and stealth to defend yourself against cannibalistic creatures and hostile humans.
Days Gone was praised for its gameplay, open-world environment, and protagonists’ performance and became the best-selling physical game in the United Kingdom in its first week of release.
It picked up the “PlayStation Game of the Year” award at the 2018 Golden Joystick Awards.
8. Mad Max
The eighth best post-apocalyptic video game of all time is Mad Max.
The game is based on the Mad Max franchise and was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2015. It was developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
On his quest for peace, Max Rockantansky works his way through a baron wasteland building his kick-ass vehicle, the “Magnum Opus” as he goes, while doing battle with a gang of raiders, led by Scabrous Scrotus.
Players can expect to enjoy hard vehicle combat, a vast array of weapons and vehicle upgrades, and a post-apocalyptic wasteland, consisting of deserts, caves, and canyons.
Mad Max received mixed reviews from critics upon release, with praise given to its vehicle combat, game environment, and graphics.
It went on to become the eighth best-selling retail game in the United States in September 2015.
7. Wasteland 2
Wasteland 2 is a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game that was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux in September 2014.
InXile Entertainment developed the game, and Deep Silver published it.
It’s the sequel to 1988’s Wasteland and is set in an alternate history in which a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States took place over a cluster of meteors.
Fifteen years after these events occur, players are now tasked with controlling a squad of rangers and finding out who killed “Ace” while continuing with his original mission.
Wasteland 2 generally received positive reviews from critics upon release and generated over $1.5 million in its first four days!
6. Metro: Last Night
The sixth best post-apocalyptic game of all time is Metro: Last Night.
The first-person shooter was developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in 2013.
Including elements of stealth and survival horror, Metro: Last Night follows a young soldier, called Artyom, who’s living in the Moscow Metro after the events of a cataclysmic nuclear war.
He finds himself tasked with locating the “Dark Ones” and is therefore forced to head off into different parts of the metro system and face all kinds of threats and mutated monsters that lie in wait.
Being the sequel to Metro 2033, it brings improved gameplay mechanics and new elements like weapon customization.
The game became a commercial success upon release and was the best-selling retail video game in the U.K. in its first week.
5. The Walking Dead
The Walk Dead is a graphic adventure video game series developed and published by Telltale Games and Skybound Games.
It’s based on The Walking Dead comic book series and was made available to purchase in 2012.
After an epidemic turns the dead into zombies, or “Walkers” as they’re referred to in the game, the world becomes a highly undesirable place to live.
Players are met with puzzles and exploration tasks, like most adventure games, as they work their way north along the United States’ eastern seaboard in the hope of finding a safe human encampment and colder temperatures that will slow the walkers down.
The games have been praised for their strong narratives and the impact of player choices.
The Walking Dead game series sold more than 50 million copies worldwide by July 2017.
4. Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3 is a third-person shooter video game and the third installment in the Gears of War Series.
It was developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360 in 2011.
The game is set two years after humanity’s last stronghold is destroyed after trying to eradicate the Locust Horde. The Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) relocates to a secluded island to try and rebuild their population.
However, a new threat faces humanity, “the Lambent” and the COG disband, so thinks quickly escalate, and the world is once again in chaos.
Gears of War 3 received widespread critical acclaim, sold over 3 million copies worldwide, and was the second best selling game in the U.S.
3. Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn is a role-playing action game that follows a hunter in a world overrun by machines.
The plot follows “Aloy” as she sets out on a quest to uncover her past while trying to keep herself alive and dodge attacks from mechanical creatures and other enemy forces.
Players can use ranged weapons, spears, and stealth in their fight against mechanical beasts that roam the planet. And, as you progress through the game, you’ll gradually gain new abilities and bonuses provided by a skill tree.
The game is set in an open world environment and was released on the PlayStation 4 in 2017. It’s expected to be released on Microsoft Windows in the middle of 2020.
Horizon Zero Dawn received praise for its visuals, combat, and characterization, winning several industry awards and selling over 10 million copies worldwide by February 2019.
It’s one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games of all time.
2. The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a 2013 action-adventure video game that’s played from a third-person perspective.
The game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 and the PlayStation 4 in 2014.
The aim of the game is pretty simple on paper. Players control a smuggler called Joel, who’s tasked with escorting Ellie, a teenage girl, across post-apocalyptic America.
However, don’t be fooled by this seemingly easy task, as the world is overrun by cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus and gangs of hostile humans.
The Last of Us received critical acclaim for its narrative, gameplay, visuals, and sound design.
It sold over 1.3 million units in its first week of release and became one of the best-selling video games of all time.
1. Fallout: New Vegas
The best post-apocalyptic game of all time is Fallout: New Vegas.
The action role-playing video game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on October 19, 2010.
Fallout: New Vegas is a spin-off of the Fallout series and is set in post-apocalyptic Arizona, and Nevada after the world deviated on to an alternate timeline due to the Atomic Age technology that led to the global nuclear apocalypse in the year 2077, referred to as “The Great War.”
Players control a character known as the “Courier” who after surviving being ambushed, shot, and left for dead, makes it his mission to hunt down his would-be killer and recover what they stole from him, all while finding himself in the middle of the conflict to determine who controls New Vegas and the Mojave Wasteland.
Upon release, the game received positive reviews overall and was deemed a commercial success, selling around 12 million copies worldwide.
Fallout: New Vegas was nominated for multiple industry awards and won the Golden Joystick Award for “RPG of the Year” in 2011.
We hope you enjoyed the 15 best post-apocalyptic games of all time.
If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other game lists:
These games certainly do make you think about what life would be like if a worldwide apocalypse happened!
Hunted by Zombies, fighting with gangs, looking for scraps to eat, all sound like a complete nightmare to me!
Let’s leave this scenario to the games, shall we?!
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 best post-apocalyptic games of all time:
- Fallout: New Vegas
- The Last of Us
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Gear of War 3
- The Walking Dead
- Metro: Last Night
- Wasteland 2
- Mad Max
- Days Gone
- Frost Punk
- Death Stranding
- Resistance 3
- The Long Dark
- State of Decay
What’s your favorite post-apocalyptic game? Leave a comment below.
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