Zombies have managed to maintain their spot in our collective hearts for decades. Even when their popularity wanes, it is only a short while before they once again reach the zenith of our cultural zeitgeist.
Gamers are particularly lucky in the sense that it is always possible to find a large number of zombie games across various systems and consoles.
Looking back through the years I find that the catalog of zombie based video games is surprisingly large. However, not all of these games have the same quality and many of them are far from being considered essential. So today, I wanted to make a special list focusing on the zombie games that I truly consider worth your time.
Since there are so many games, I will focus on those Can’t-miss games that were initially released on my favorite console of all time: the Xbox 360.
Here are what I consider to be the
10 Best Zombie Games For Xbox 360
Zombie Driver HD
Zombie Driver is a simple game with a simple theme and simple gameplay design goal: allow the player to enact vehicular carnage.
The player’s main objective is to massacre and annihilate as many of the seemingly innumerable zombies that populate the game’s varied levels as possible. To do so, the player has at their disposal a large roster of vehicles, all of which they may equip with numerous weapons and gadgets of great destructive power.
Zombie Driver HD is a remake, but it is more than a simple reissue. Zombie Driver HD has 31 total missions instead of the original’s 17.
The fan-favorite game mode “Blood Race” remains untouched. This is a Tournament played across 5 different stages, each consisting of 4 to 8 events that increase in difficulty over time. Players must accrue points and earn cash, which is then used to slowly upgrade their vehicle and increase their destructive power.
Zombie Driver HD is the type of mindless fun that I always find myself craving after a long hard day at work.
The year is 1986 and the end of the Cold War is closer than ever, but in this alternate version of 1986, designed by Spanish video game developer Tequila Works, peace is nowhere near the horizon. You see, a hyper-virulent pandemic has spread across the entire planet and caused the dead to rise and walk the streets.
This is the cliched stage on which Deadlight plays out; however, while the narrative is very familiar to anyone who is familiar with the world of zombies and zombie apocalypses, Deadlight is anything but cliche. This is a game that manages to successfully create an exciting and fascinating fusion of different genres: 2.5D side-scrolling platformer with cinematic storytelling, survival horror mechanics, devilish puzzles, and an addictive collectible hunt.
Tequila Works did a fantastic job with Deadlight, using Unreal Engine 3 to create a game that is visually impressive, boasting some stunning backgrounds, and detailed player animations. The soundtrack also deserves a special mention here.
If you are like me and have fond memories of the late 80s and early 90s side-scrolling games like the original Prince of Persia, Pitfall, or Blackthorne, then Deadlight is a game you should definitely check out.
Resident Evil 5
In 2005, legendary video game developer and publisher Capcom took one of the greatest artistic and creative risks in their history with the release of Resident Evil 4. The critically-acclaimed survival horror series had progressively increased its quota of action over the years, but with Resident Evil 4 Capcom redefined the franchise’s formula.
The risk paid off because the vast majority of the fans LOVED what Resident Evil 4 had to offer. Well, Resident Evil 5 is a rightful heir to that game’s legacy. The 5th mainline entry stays true to the Resident Evil brand, by keeping the player on their toes with fantastic narrative twists and moments of abject horror as well as tons of nail-biting tension, it simply piles a heaping dose of Hollywood action on top.
I absolutely loved the cooperative element introduced with the addition of a second playable character, the real-time menu system which resulted in tons of nerve-wracking encounters, and its graphical fidelity. Resident Evil 5 looked GOOD in 2009, and it has somehow managed to age remarkably well.
Resident Evil 4 HD
Resident Evil 4 is a game that defined a generation and forever changed the landscape of action and horror adventure games. Originally released exclusively for the Nintendo Gamecube, the game was later ported to competing consoles and released for the Xbox 360 in 2011.
Thank god for that.
While the Gamecube version was ahead of its time in terms of graphical fidelity, this HD remake for the Xbox360 provides players with fantastical HD textures and butter-smooth frame rates. It’s a true testament to the greatness of the original that even after 6 years, it was still one of the best games around.
I could write thousands of words on why you should definitely try Resident Evil 4 HD a chance, but I won’t. I will just say that if you are a fan of zombies and edge-of-your-seat experiences, this is a MUST PLAY.
State of Decay
State of Decay is an ambitious game brought to the Xbox 360 by a then-unknown studio, with little to no advertising. These are, in more cases than not, the ingredients of a recipe for disaster and failure. State of Decay, however, against all expectations, turned out to be a fantastic little game that deserves a spot on our list of best Zombie games released for the Xbox 360.
To put it simply, State of Decay is a third-person action/survival horror game set in an open world. It invites us to thrive in the midst of a day-to-day struggle for survival, by adding gameplay mechanics that infuse the traditional zombie killing formula with bits of strategy and realism.
Undead Labs, the developer behind this oft-forgotten jewel, created a game that expertly weaves elements of zombie action with a compelling narrative, an engaging dialogue system, thrilling open-world exploration, resource-gathering, stronghold development, base defense, and more.
This one surprised me when I first played it in 2013, and if you haven’t played it definitely give it a try.
Throughout video game history only a few games can be considered true game changers, and Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 was one of them.
Dead Rising was one of my personal favorite games of 2006 and one of the best games to have come out on the Xbox 360 ever. Case in point, I regularly replay Dead Rising in its entirety.
When the game launched, it stood out among the competition by putting an unprecedented number of zombies on screen. This was the first video game to ever realize the terrifying reality of a ravenous zombie horde.
Another element that sets this game apart is the fact that almost any item in the game world can be turned into a makeshift weapon and used to beat, slash, bludgeon, and pulverize the undead masses.
Even today, going on 15 years after its initial release, Dead Rising perfectly delivers the zombie survival fantasy by pitting players against endless enemies on a running clock, which is explained through the surprisingly compelling narrative.
Dead Rising is also probably the funniest game on this list.
Dead Rising 2
When Dead Rising 2 was released its aim was to take the Willamette Mall Odyssey to the next level. One with many more zombies, more ruthless human adversaries, a wider area to explore, and a significantly greater number of weapons and items with which to defeat the undead hordes.
And boy, did it succeed.
Dead Rising 2 continues the story established by the first installment. This time we follow Chuck Greene, a former professional motocross rider, as he traverses the ravaged countryside and does his best to avoid dying at the decomposing hands of the zombie horde. The emotional stakes have been upped for this installment due to the presence of Chuck’s infected daughter.
The story eventually brings players to Fortune City where, as expected, the proverbial sh*t hits the proverbial fan, and droves of ravenous zombies test the player’s mettle.
As before, players can expect to encounter a shambling, bloody, unstoppable horde of dangerous enemies, an intricate weapon system, and expansive loot that encourages creativity.
Dead Rising 2 has everything that was good about the first game, except everything is bigger, bloodier, and more frenetic.
Left 4 Dead
Most zombie games tend to favor single-player experiences. And while some of the games above, such as Dead Rising 2, had some multiplayer elements no game in the genre had focused on team gameplay until the arrival of Valve’s runaway hit, Left 4 Dead.
Here is Left 4 Dead in a nutshell: four brave individuals fight desperately to escape from varied environments replete with infected, bloodthirsty hordes of zombies.
The game uses the power of the first-person perspective to craft a First-Person Shooter experience, unlike the gaming world, has ever seen.
Left 4 Dead is a simple yet highly addictive game with some tight shooting mechanics and some ruthless enemy design, which heavily emphasizes cooperation between players.
When you join a game of Left 4 Dead you get to pick between Zoey, a young and beautiful student who loves horror movies; Bill, a defiant military vet with combat experience; Francis, a tattooed biker; and Louis, a brilliant computer programmer. This disparate band of survivors must work together and strategize their attacks and defenses if they want to survive.
Whatever your preferred game modes, Left 4 Dead offers plenty, helping and being aware of your teammates is the only way to succeed and save yourself from a painful death. Especially since Left 4 Dead introduces players to super mutated zombies, bigger, faster, and more dangerous than the standard shambling fare
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead is one of the greatest zombie games ever made; but, Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the greatest video games of all time.
This game takes every element presented in the first game and polishes it to a bright sheen. The enemy AI is much more nuanced, making every fight unpredictable and tense. The shooting mechanics are tighter and more realistic. The inventory system is richer and more complex, with new items, new weapons, new enemy categories, and new classes of survivors, each with its own unique and distinct set of strengths and weaknesses.
Much like the first game, groups of 4 players are given control of 4 survivors as they are thrust into hostile territories infected with a deadly zombie outbreak. This time around the group of survivors includes a high school football coach, a jaded gambler, a TV reporter, and a friendly mechanic.
This is one definitely worth your time; especially if you have friends who love zombie action as much as you do.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead franchise took the comic world by storm. The Walking Dead TV series became a cultural phenomenon. It is only fitting, then, that The Walking Dead video game released by Telltale Games in 2012 for various platforms including the Xbox 360, has the impact that it did.
The Walking Dead deserves a very special place on this list because it managed to defy and exceed all expectations. For one, the game chooses to emphasize an aspect that most zombie video games neglect: story.
This is arguably the greatest zombie apocalypse story you will encounter in the world of video games. The story The Walking Dead game for the 360 tells is harrowingly emotional, with an emphasis on nuance and character development at the very forefront.
The decisions with which I was confronted during my time with this game are engraved in my memory and will likely remain so for many years to come.
There are several narrative forks that had me sitting on the edge of my seat for far longer than I care to admit, dreading to make a decision because I genuinely feared for my characters and the various NPCs that populate the game.
Without me saying much more, just know that this game is a work of art that every zombie game lover should have in their collection.