10 Best Zombie Survival Games to Play This Halloween Season

Ready to face the undead this Halloween season?

The seasons have begun to change again, and October will be upon us before we know it. That means (you guessed it) it is time to break out the scary games. Nothing screams classic horror like some good old-fashioned zombies, and there have been some incredible zombie survival games over the years.

Today, we’ve gathered together some of the best zombie survival games we could find. From old favorites to more recent contenders, whether you’re looking for scares or just want to mash some zombie brains, the genre has a little something for everyone.

So, without further fanfare, here is our list of the 10 best zombie survival games to play this Halloween season:

  1. 7 Days to Die
  2. Project Zomboid
  3. Dead Island
  4. State of Decay 2
  5. They Are Billions
  6. Left for Dead 2
  7. Dying Light
  8. Resident Evil 2 Remake
  9. Resident Evil 7
  10. The Last of Us

1. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die Opening Screen

Perhaps one of the defining names in zombie survival games, 7 Days to Die is an open-world survival-crafting game developed by The Fun Pimps. This title drops the player into a fictional national park in Arizona, the site of a horrific zombie outbreak, and tasks them with survival.

Players must contend with the constant threat of undead enemies, find food and water, mine for resources, scavenge points of interest, complete quests, build a base, and more if they want to master the wasteland of Navezgane.

Defending a Base in 7 Days to Die

Oh, and don’t forget to lock your doors. Every 7 days, a blood moon will stir all the zombies into a frenzy and send a massive horde after you. Building a defensible base is crucial to surviving this onslaught, and is a vital aspect of the game. This combination of open-world survival and tower defense strategy has been a fan favorite for a long time due to how much this game offers.

2. Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid Title Screen

What if a zombie outbreak occurred right outside your home? How long could you survive, and how would you do it? These are the questions the devs at The Indie Stone are asking through their game. Project Zomboid allows players to create their own unique characters with different skills, perks, and flaws before setting them loose to try and survive as long as possible. If that sounds easy to you, then you don’t know zomboid.

In-Game Screenshot of Project Zomboid

Of course, you’ll need to find food, water, clothing, shelter, weapons, meds, ammunition, and everything else you’d normally hoard in a survival game, but remember, the zombie apocalypse is ongoing, and you’re no action hero. The world around you will gradually decay as the apocalypse progresses, making it even more difficult to stay alive than it already is. Project Zomboid is a terrifyingly realistic scenario in which one mistake could spell the end. If you’re bitten, it’s over for you.

3. Dead Island

Dead Island Definitive Edition Opening Screen

A classic name for horror and action, Dead Island is a hack-and-slash FPS game by Techland. Trapped on a gorgeous island paradise during a horrific zombie outbreak, players must learn to craft weapons, utilize their environment, and fight hordes of infected and human enemies to survive. With a heavy emphasis on visceral melee combat, Dead Island is famous for putting players face-to-face with their worst nightmares.

In-game Screenshot On the Beach in Dead Island

The atmosphere of this game is ominous, eerie, and unapologetically violent. If you’re intrigued by the idea of classic zombie-slaying fun in a paradise-turned-hellscape, you should definitely check out Dead Island.

4. State of Decay 2

State of Decay Title Screen

State of Decay 2 is a wonderfully original and highly addictive game developed by Undead Labs. This title is much more than just a zombie shooter, and tasks the player with building a thriving community of survivors after a devastating and mysterious outbreak. The gameplay alternates between third-person combat and stealth and colony-simulator management.

In-game Screenshot Fighting a Zombie in State of Decay 2

Players will need to use their survivor’s unique skills to gather supplies and equipment to bring back to base, where they can construct all manner of facilities to improve their community. You’ll also need to manage each character’s equipment, morale, health, skills, and standing in the group to be successful.

Over time, the world will evolve and react to your presence, so be careful how you go about tackling the game’s many threats. One wrong move could permanently cost you the life of a survivor or your whole community. And don’t forget to keep your eyes on the horizon for State of Decay 3.

5. They Are Billions

They Are Billions Title Screen

If you’re more strategy-oriented but still want to mow down hordes of zombies with well-placed defenses, then They Are Billions might be what you’re looking for. Developed by Numantian Games, this colony survival RTS brings the player into an alternate steampunk future where the last remnants of humankind survive in small colonies behind sturdy walls. You are in charge of building up one of these colonies.

Players must construct defenses, train troops, manage the economy and resources, and formulate a strategy to defend against the infected. Slowly expanding into new territory won’t be enough though, as waves of zombies will periodically attack and try to infect your colony.

A Hoarde of Zombies on the Perimeters in They Are Billions

Chances are, you’ll be surprised at just how many zombies show up when the final alarm sounds. Will your colony survive against the overwhelming odds?

6. Left 4 Dead 2

For most, this title requires no introduction. Left 4 Dead 2 is a classic party-based zombie survival shooter developed by none other than Valve. This game is a tense, visceral masterpiece that pits a squad of 4 against hordes of fast and dangerous undead and tasks them with reaching the end of each level, by whatever means necessary. You’ll need guts, grit, guns, and coordination to survive.

Running Through a Roller Coaster Park Full of Zombies in Left 4 Dead 2

This title doesn’t hold back when it comes to intensity, horror, and dark humor. Left 4 Dead 2 fondly reminds us of old zombie flicks with the way characters jokingly react to being swarmed by hordes of enemies or shot in the back by their companions. If you want a fun zombie game to play alone or with friends, Left 4 Dead is always a solid choice.

7. Dying Light

Dying Light Opening Screen

Another definitive name in the genre was created by the zombie experts at Techland. Dying Light is a terrifying and original zombie survival game that combines first-person stealth and melee combat with open-world parkour traversal. Playing as agent Kyle Crane, you’ll be airdropped into the quarantined city of Harran and forced to adapt to survive.

Preparing to Throw a Grenade Into a Field of Zombies in Dying Light

Not only does this title boast some of the most influential and impressive traversal gameplay in the genre, but Dying Light also follows an interesting story through a dark and ominous world. This is one of those rare games that manages to pull off heart-stopping action and tense stealth during the day while becoming one of the scariest horror games we’ve played once night falls. Try it for yourself, and you’ll quickly see exactly what we mean.

8. Resident Evil 2 Remake

Resident Evil 2 Opening Screen

Speaking of classics, this title hails from one of the most definitive franchises in the zombie genre. Beautifully remade into a modern format by Capcom, the Resident Evil 2 Remake sends players back to zombie-infested Raccoon City alongside Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield.

Though perhaps not the scariest entry in the series, RE2 takes players on a terrifying and harrowing survival-horror journey where they will need to carefully manage resources, fight dangerous enemies, and solve puzzles as they try to unravel the mysteries behind the deadly outbreak.

Zombies Ravaging a Body in Resident Evil 2

If you’re a fan of old-fashioned survival horror or Resident Evil, this is one game you won’t want to skip out on.

9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil VII Biohazard Opening Scene

It might be in the same series as this list’s previous entry, but Resident Evil 7 is a bit of a departure from the standard RE fare. Switching up the experience to a first-person perspective, Capcom created one of the most innovative and downright scary survival horror games in recent memory. Players follow the story of Ethan Winters as he searches a backwater manor filled with horrific monsters and gross-looking zombies to find his missing wife.

Sitting at the Dinner Table in Resident Evil VII Biohazard

This title retains many of the identifying features of Resident Evil (resource management, scarce ammo, and interesting environments) while bringing the player right into the action and the scares. Overall, this title is a shining star in the survival horror genre that isn’t for the faint of heart.

10. The Last of Us

The Last of Us Opening Scene

What can we even say about this title? The Last of Us is perhaps one of the most memorable zombie games we’ve ever played. Developed by Naughty Dog, this game puts players in the shoes of protagonist Joel, an intrepid but jaded survivor with a tragic past who managed to survive the fungal outbreak that flooded the world with infected.

Struggling to Fight Off a Zombie in The Last of Us

We won’t go into the story here for fear of spoiling anything, but if you’ve never touched this game, we strongly suggest picking it up. Combining terrifying, pulse-pounding survival horror gameplay with gorgeous graphics, a wonderful soundtrack, and a compelling and heart-wrenching story, this title is a defining piece of zombie media that deserves to be at the top of our list.

What will you do when the dead start walking?

Zombies have long fascinated us, capturing the uncanny fear of something so familiar yet terrifying. Some feel the market is oversaturated with zombie media, but it’s hard to deny the potential the genre has demonstrated. Plus, smashing zombie heads is really fun.

The sheer variety of zombie survival games is staggering, and some of our all-time favorite scares have been from an oncoming horde of bloodthirsty zombies. Perhaps it’s the combination of mindless, violent, fun, and terrifying horror elements. Perhaps it’s the harrowing stories and displays of humanity.

Whatever it is, something keeps drawing players back to zombie games, and this season is the perfect time to celebrate that.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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