For most of us gamers, the end of the world is more of a beginning than an end. Nuclear wasteland? Zombie infestation? The dark, dangerous and disturbing world of tomorrow in post-apocalyptic games lures you in quicker than any other. It really doesn't matter if the game is a terrifying survival-horror title, a fast-paced first-person shooter, or even a tactical base-building game as long as the attention-grabbing story unfolds amongst the ruins of the world you knew and loved. With so many post-apocalyptic games to choose from, how do you get to choose just one to play?
Great games will make your post-apocalyptic experience as real and immersive as possible. Thankfully for you, we have played the most popular and critically-acclaimed triple-A post-apocalyptic games, feeling the mood and the atmosphere they set, as well as the gameplay and story that backs them up. Keep in mind that this sorting is based on our personal opinions and reviews, but one thing is certain, just because the world ended, it doesn't mean you can't have a great time. Roll down the shades, set the volume a bit higher than usual, and enjoy one of these seven best post-apocalyptic games.
The sole survivor of Vault 111 finally awakens from cryosleep, only to find it is the year 2287, exactly 210 years after a devastating nuclear attack swept across America. Before you awaken, though, your spouse is murdered and your son, Shaun, is kidnapped, which sets you on a path of vengeance after you emerge from the vault. Basically, Fallout 4 is an action-shooter with RPG elements set in an magnificently done 1950's retro-futuristic open world. Gameplay is similar to the previous two main entries in the Fallout series, but a bit more heavy on the action side. It’s probably best that you read our Fallout 4 review to see all the pros and cons of the game.
Telltale's The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is based on the eponymous comics (and the ever-so-popular TV series) but tells an original story of an odd pair, a man named Lee and a girl named Clementine, who stick together and find other survivors in the zombie apocalypse. With a unique graphic novel style, an array of fabulously portrayed characters, a great story broken down in episodes, and classic but well executed shoot-'em-up gameplay, this is a game that will make anyone rethink his or her 'I'm not playing zombie games' attitude. Our The Walking Dead: Season One review probably described it the best saying that it is storytelling at its finest.
Unlike the previous zombie-infested game, DayZ’s biggest strength lies in its neatly-done gameplay which challenges the player to truly survive a zombie apocalypse. It is real survival at its toughest, set in an open world of a fictional Soviet state of Chernarus, where most of the population has already turned into zombies. You have just one task: Stay alive! Scavenge the world for food and water, weapons and medicine, avoid or kill zombies, and cooperate with other players in an effort to survive the zombie outbreak. There is no time to think, just act on your instincts and take care of your needs, or be killed… your choice.
There is a way to survive 'The Zone' of Chernobyl in three separate S.T.A.L.K.E.R. titles released between 2007 and 2009. You need to become a scavenger, trespasser, adventurer, loner, killer, explorer, and robber, a true S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in one word. In a brutal setting of a former Soviet state, if the radiation and hunger doesn't kill you, something more sinister surely will. Stay alert, expect the unexpected, use your ammo wisely, and keep your finger on the trigger. In this game, it will all pay off.
The Last of Us
The Last of Us is the story of two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they travel through the post-apocalyptic urban jungle, avoiding all the obstacles, zombies, and hostile scavengers, to find the cure for the fungal virus which made all the mess in the world in the first place. The gameplay feels a little familiar, mostly as if you’re playing as Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series (another Naughty Dog franchise, so it makes sense), but a bit edgier, a bit nastier, and a whole lot bloodier. It sets the pace right and will send chills down your spine, exactly when needed. Check out our The Last of Us review for more info.
Metro: Last Light
The dark, claustrophobic, and horror-filled atmosphere of the metro tunnels seen before in Metro 2033 is back with the sequel Metro: Last Light. You play as Artyom again, burdened by guilt but still the last hope for mankind which is on the verge of civil war. The skies are poisoned and mutants stalk and hunt in the catacombs of the old Moscow metro while what is left of humanity is divided into factions fighting for ultimate power, in the form of a weapon from the vaults of D6. Check out what’s it's like to be back in the middle of the fearful power struggle in our Metro: Last Light review.
No list of the best post-apocalyptic games would be complete without Mad Max. You will be challenged hard as the titular Max while trying to survive the hostile world of the Wasteland, trying to build the ultimate combat vehicle in true Mel Gibson/Tom Hardy style. Beyond Thunderdome might not be as expected, but this prequel to the 2015 movie Fury Road is packed with intense action worthy of the title.