There’s something eerily exciting about a game set in the ‘post-apocalypse’. They’re typically morbid, darker adventures that see players tackle all the threats that come with surviving in a world devastated by a virus or a nuclear holocaust, but despite those bleak elements, they’re often highly enjoyable experiences. In this list, we’re taking a look at the best post-apocalyptic games ever.
What Are The Best Post-Apocalyptic Games?
There’s a huge library to work with, as post-apocalyptic games are traditionally quite good sellers that are able to ultimately stitch together expansive universes that traverse as a series of unique releases. Some of them will even go on to spawn post-apocalyptic movies, books, or television shows.
So, what are the best post-apocalyptic games? Let’s find out.
1. Fallout 4
Fallout 4 is easily one of the best post-apocalyptic games you’ll ever play. It’s expansive and it embodies the ‘wasteland vibe’ perfectly. It wasn’t a favourite of the die-hard Fallout fans because it became more ‘mainstream’ and sold out a little, but it’s a solid choice and offers hundreds of hours of entertainment in one of the most engaging maps in the game’s history.
The Last of Us (and later, Part II) was a smash hit when it was released back in 2013 exclusively on PlayStation 3. It became an overnight sensation and birthed one of the most memorable and emotional post-apocalyptic stories in gaming history. With the player getting the opportunity to travel across the outbreak-ravaged United States, it’s easily one of the top titles on offer in the post-apocalyptic scene.
Metro is a legendary series that was a novel before it became a best-selling video game. In Metro, the player embarks on a perilous journey through the subways of Moscow, with the above-ground environment having been turned into a post-apocalyptic nightmare. In Exodus specifically, an open-world formula was introduced, and the player went far beyond Moscow…
4. Days Gone
As one of the best post-apocalyptic games developed exclusively for PlayStation 4 (and later re-released on PC), Days Gone is a solid choice for this list. It boasts a world fraught with danger, populated by bloodthirsty zombies and with the fragments of society clinging desperately to whatever remains.
Horizon Zero Dawn (and later, Forbidden West) boasts a unique story that lends itself perfectly to this post-apocalyptic games list. It’s a gorgeous game on the surface, making use of cutting-edge technology to deliver a visual display that amazes the player. It’s marvellously well-written, boasts a star cast, and has some of the most innovative combat we’ve seen for years.
6. Gears of War 3
There’s no list of the best post-apocalyptic games that doesn’t include Gears of War – and in this case, we’re looking at the third game in the series. This all-out action-packed saga sees enormous men in hefty suits of armour fight to defend their home planet from an uprising of subterranean mutants.
7. Dying Light
Dying Light (and 2022’s Dying Light 2) emerged into the post-apocalyptic world of games as one of the most fast-paced and high-octane titles in years. It dropped in 2015, bringing a parkour-fuelled, zombie-slaying adventure to gamers the world over. In Dying Light, the stage was set, and in Dying Light 2, the world fell so much deeper into its apocalypse.
8. Fallout 3
We’ve already named Fallout 4 on this list, but a special space must be reserved for Fallout 3. This is easily one of the best post-apocalyptic games ever made, and it was a turning point for the franchise itself when it was released. It introduced gamers to a massive, open world bursting at the seams with danger and destruction, and even fifteen years later, it’s still a fan-favourite game.
Left 4 Dead was designed to be a cooperative slayer of sorts, but it fared well as a single-player game nonetheless. If you’re listing the best zombie games, you can’t help but mention Left 4 Dead, and even though it has some years today, it remains one of the best post-apocalyptic games ever. It’s littered with bloodthirsty zombies, one-liner quips, and pure, unbridled violence.
10. Dead Rising
Dead Rising is an iconic zombie series that only just makes this list by way of technicality. It’s one of the best post-apocalyptic games, but in this series, it’s usually just one area that’s impacted by a zombie outbreak – like a town or a shopping mall. Regardless, all the Dead Rising games boast large, open worlds, thousands of zombies to slay, and more weapon-crafting mechanics than you could shake a sharp stick at.