Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead is one of the most prominent zombie fighting games that’s ever released. It pits four players against enormous hordes of zombies as they try and piece their way through cities, forests, swamps and more. Of course, one of the unique features of Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2, are the special variants of zombies.
Anyone that’s played the game can’t forget the horrific sound and abilities of the Hunter, Smoker, Boomer, Tank, and Witch. Even better was the fact that certain game modes let you take control of these super powered creatures, with one team playing the special zombies and the other the survivors. Smart use of terrain is necessary for both teams, and inevitably, as the action amps up, things start to feel like the most intense zombie movie ever.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
It’s pretty obvious that a game titled Plants vs. Zombies would feature zombies, but Garden Warfare finally let you take control of these crazy walkers. The series’ humor is just as present as ever as both Garden Warfare and Garden Warfare 2 provide you with hugely different zombie classes.
You’ve got the mad scientist, football player, soldier, even a Super Zombie, and more. Of course, as Garden Warfare is a team based shooter, each class has their own perks and areas of expertise. Unlike a lot of zombie games, this series also manages to stay pretty family friendly with each entry.
Dying Light’s big feature was the fluid it way it added traversal and parkour into its exploration. Made by the same developer of Dead Island, Techland, Dying Light featured a huge city and story mode to explore. There was, however, also a multiplayer mode called “Be the Zombie,” that let you do just that.
This mode puts players into the shoes of a powerful zombie, to invade another player’s game. Humans will have to destroy the zombie’s hives, while the zombie has to kill the humans multiple times. Each side has their own ability to sense and reveal the other on the minimap momentarily, and the traversal abilities on both sides can make this a tense game mode of cat and mouse.
Resident Evil 6
On top of a lengthy multi-part campaign, Resident Evil 6 also features a mode known as “Agent Hunt,” which lets you play as various creatures. This mode drops players right into the campaign of another player, assuming the role of zombies, J’Avo, and many more of the creepy horrors from across the game.
You’ll be put with a partner that can also control creatures, and work with other AI controlled ones to bring players down. Agent Hunt is a fun alternative if you want to take a different approach to Resident Evil 6’s over the top action.
Stubbs the Zombie In Rebel Without a Pulse
Stubbs the Zombie may be the only game you play where you’re actually responsible for the outbreak of a zombie infection. Stubbs is a third person action-adventure about a Traveling Salesman named Edward Stubblefield, who lives during the Great Depression. Stubbs, as he’s known, finds happiness with a girl named Maggie Monday, until the girl’s father Otis chases him into the wilderness and shoots him.
Stubbs wakes up years later in 1959, at the opening of the fictional city Punchbowl, Pennsylvania. The city has been built on top of Stubbs resting place, and founded by Andrew Monay, Maggie’s son. To his surprise Stubbs has turned into a zombie, and he decides it’s time to take his revenge. As you might expect, your goal is to devour the brains of the humans of Punchbowl, converting them into even more zombies in the process.
Ever since the days of Halo 3, the series has had a popular game mode known as Infection, and it doesn’t even feature the creepy Flood enemies. Infection was actually based off of a fan-made custom match type in Halo 2, and features one player as the “Infected,” against a whole team of other players.
This Infected zombie character is equipped with an Energy Sword and has increased speed and strength. Every time the Infected player kills someone, that person is also turned into an Infected, until ultimately everyone is a zombie. The winner is decided by whoever gets the most kills across multiple rounds.
Infected managed to be an incredibly fun variant on traditional Halo multiplayer, and it even made a comeback for the most recent release of Halo 5.
Like many other zombie games, ZombiU features a story mode with you the lone human trying to survive against the undead hordes. Ubisoft’s Wii U exclusive featured an interesting twist on multiplayer, though, that had you actually controlling those undead hordes.
An offline multiplayer mode called “King of the Zombies” has two players competing against each other, one as the human trying to capture flags and the other using the Wii U Gamepad to spawn zombies and undead to stop the human. It was almost a mix of first-person shooting and real-time strategy, with the zombie player even having resources and a unit cap. You may not be taking direct control of an individual zombie, but what other game lets you command a horde of zombies?
World of Warcraft
The undead have featured prominently into the world and story of the Warcraft series, and the online MMORPG World of Warcraft. The undead are actually an entire race in the series, with Warcraft III having its own undead campaign and World of Warcraft letting you choose from a selection of undead classes if you choose it as a race.
Wrath of the Lich King was the expansion that finally introduced the undead to the MMO, and as you’d expect, the new lands for the race are fittingly dark and creepy.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption may not be quite the game you’d expect to see zombies in, as it’s basically Rockstar’s take on the Spaghetti Western. There was, however, a DLC pack called “Undead Nightmare,” that introduced the shambling hordes of the undead to the west.
The DLC features a brand new story that has John Marston trying to find a way to cure the zombie infection plaguing the countryside, and his wife and son. There’s a bit of a twist here however, and near the end of the game Marston becomes a zombie himself, letting you play as an undead cowboy. Now who hasn’t always wanted to do that?
It’s easy to forget that in Dark Souls, you’re actually playing as the undead. At the beginning of the first game your character wakes up in the Undead Asylum, only to find out that they have in fact died. Items in the game will restore your Humanity until your next death, granting you a boost to your health, but most players will be spending the majority of the game as undead.
Of course there’s plenty of connotations as to what your being undead means in the story and lore of the Dark Souls series, especially seeing that you’re actually the Chosen Undead that will ring the Bell of Awakening. The fact that you’re actually a reanimated corpse throughout the first Dark Souls only seems to make the game even more dark and cryptic.