There’s something enigmatically attractive about a post-apocalyptic world. Pervasive chaos intrinsically intermingles with a lack of consequences for one’s actions. This anarchy-feel-like situation can be enticing, seductive, and thrilling.
Games like The Last of Us – with Deacon St John as the protagonist – Far Cry: New Dawn, Fallout Shelter, Wasteland 3, and more are great examples. With post-apocalyptic games, you should expect the unexpected – the remaining humans are there to compete in the survival of the fittest run.
So, if you want to be prepared for hypothetical – but possible – nuclear war, post-apocalyptic world, or zombie apocalypse, these games are for you.
Enjoy the best post-apocalyptic games in a list that includes detailed information about these great games.
Horizon Zero Dawn
- Release Date: Aug 7, 2020.
- Developer: Guerrilla.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Microsoft Windows (PC).
- Metascore: 84.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if technology took over the world? Would you see a world ravaged by death, disease, and robots? Would we be subjugated to the AI?
Horizon Zero Dawn brings these answers – in this post-apocalyptic game, technology has chosen to become the greatest predator, taking the form of robotic dinosaurs and other mech-like beasts.
In this open-world game, you’ll be playing as Aloy, one of the survivors of the new world overrun by machines. She will go through a tough quest to discover the world’s mysteries while also unraveling a dark secret about her mother.
As an outcast from her original tribe, she learned to hunt, fight, explore, scavenge, and more. Now, she will have to prove herself in this post-apocalyptic wasteland.
You will have to use tactical combat, your weapons, and other tools to survive the attacks from menacing beasts. Participate in serious fast-paced fights where you won’t have time to think; just act.
Discover this both enchanting and dangerous world from the perspective of a young girl. Meet multiple characters with exciting stories, and learn why all this happened to the human race.
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- Fight enemies that are faster, stronger, and far more dangerous than you.
- Upgrade your weapons, armor, and general gear to adapt to the Earth's different biomes.
- Tame and mount mechanical beasts to fast-travel the world.
- Explore this vast and raging world with incredible gameplay mechanics that will make you spend hours of gameplay.
- Enjoy the expansions and DLC packs included in Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series
- Release Date: Oct 29, 2020
- Developer: Skybound Games.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Xbox Series One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows (PC), Mac OS, Android, iOS.
- Metascore: 84.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series is a graphical cinematic adventure based on the post-apocalyptic genre. This complete series contains four seasons, 400 action days, and the spin-off The Walking Dead: Michonne.
In total, there are over 50 hours of gameplay and 23 episodes full of horror, drama, and action.
This story isn’t related to the series. It tells Clementine’s experience and her progress in a post-apocalyptic America.
The game features hard choices that you can’t go back from. You’ll fight mutated monsters – who once were humans.
The Walking Dead will drive you to meet characters you’ll love, but your decisions could make them disappear faster than you think.
You’ll quickly realize that an undead horde isn’t the only bad thing that could happen in a world with a constant decay state.
The Definitive series includes graphical enhancements, a better visual style, and dynamic lighting for all the episodes that could make it to the upgrade.
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- The Definitive Series includes gameplay improvements such as character performances, lip-syncing, and UI enhancements.
- Story with multiple endings and fixed points that will drive you to a certain end-game.
- Telltale games bring a parallel story that includes characters from the series into the video game.
- Release Date: Sep 1, 2015.
- Developer: Avalanche Studios.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox Series One, Microsoft Windows (PC), Mac OS.
- Metascore: 73.
Most post-apocalyptic games are based on a book, comic, or movie, and Mad Max isn’t an exception.
This first game from Avalanche Studios brings a lone warrior trying to survive a post-apocalyptic world. This open-world requires you to explore survival horror wasteland in a third-person view.
Try to maintain on the move, use brutal on-ground cars against gangs, and drive away from the madness of this place. Upgrade the Magnum Opus – Max’s car – to gain an edge over other raiders.
Survival games like this one aren't as common as you might think. The use of modified cars to stay alive gives you an edge that no other game has.
In Mad Max, you’ll have to complete challenges and missions, scavenge limited supplies, fight against beggars and thieves, and more.
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- Post-apocalyptic game with incredible landscapes based on a wasteland full of scraps.
- Meet deformed and curious characters that have gone through the end of the world and still came back.
- Battle different enemies using your car and other abilities.
- Rage against bandits and try to escape your past.
- Multiplayer modes aren’t available anymore.
Fallout: New Vegas
- Release Date: Oct 19, 2010
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment.
- Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows (PC).
- Metascore: 84.
Fallout: New Vegas is a post-apocalyptic video game from the Fallout franchise. This time, the action takes place in Sin City, Las Vegas.
In case you’ve ever wondered how the world would look if we faced a nuclear holocaust, this game gives you the answer. The Fallout series has always been known for its great installments, and New Vegas is no exception.
Thrive in the town where all you see are enemies. Dreamers and desperados fight each other to have control over this oasis, and you’ll get caught in the middle. Find weapons to stay prepared against everything they throw at you.
Battle across different iconic places such as the Mojave Wasteland, the Hoover Dam, or even a Vegas Strip building. Fight against cannibalistic creatures infected by a mutated strain.
Meet a community that can be considered the last humanity remaining, talk with colorful characters, deal with powerful factions, and choose a side to fight with in the wars to come to crown the King of New Vegas.
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- This game is a sequel to Fallout 3 that focuses on Las Vegas and what remains there.
- RPG elements are included in this game – level up, improve your gear and learn abilities that will come in handy to survive.
- Use a wide arsenal of weapons to fight against the enemy.
- Events are arguably one of the best in Fallout's lore.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
- Release Date: March 8, 2016
- Developer: Massive Entertainment.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows (PC).
- Metascore: 79.
A post-apocalypse can occur from different out-of-control situations. In Tom Clancy’s The Division, a devastating pandemic whipped New York City and provoked all public services.
The city fell into chaos. There wasn’t enough food and water to maintain the rest of the sanity. Because of this, The Division, a tactical unit of agents, was initially released to save society.
You are part of this elite team, so you will have to play through a unique experience where you mix tactical combat with online features while moving through an iconic series of streets, monuments, and stores from the real New York.
Gamers will enjoy thrilling combat, with different fighting styles and tons of dynamic events to participate in.
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- Play with up to 3 friends. Complete missions together, protect each other and have fun.
- The game centers on exploration. You will have to go through the map to unlock different missions across it. Your “planet” now centers only on the city of New York.
- Combat against vicious enemy factions that will eventually try to take over the city. Lead the resistance – composed of agents and police force – to control anarchy.
- Your character deserves attention too. Customize it as you want, upgrade weapons, gear, and loot items.
- Deliver a helping hand to those who need it. You’ll find side quests – with enough freedom to reject them – that could help you increase your level.
The Long Dark
- Release Date: Aug 1, 2017.
- Developer: Hinterland Studio.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows (PC), Linux, iOS.
- Metascore: 77.
The Long Dark received critical acclaim for being the best post-apocalyptic game based on exploration survival.
This game can’t be described as a survival horror game or anything similar. On the contrary, it’s a thoughtful, immersive experience that will challenge you to plan your journey in a frozen country.
It’s like you are constantly wandering in the Canadian wilderness or the Soviet Union.
A geomagnetic storm created a global disaster, and now the world is in an ice age. You will have to travel miles looking to refill your meager suppliers – that you can find in your backpack and hope you don’t encounter any of the natural threats controlling earth now.
You won’t have to worry about zombies because this isn’t a zombie apocalypse, just nature getting back what’s hers.
This game makes you fall in love with nature almost instantly. You are forced to act carefully, to the point where you have to think twice before any step if you want to survive.
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- The Long Dark brings four episodes that you’ll be playing one after the other. These long episodes will tell different stories, all centered around the same topic.
- Live in a world where the power of mankind doesn't exist anymore.
- Spend your days hunting, creating, playing, and surviving the long night that is coming for you.
- Release Date: Jan 26, 2015.
- Developer: Techland.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows (PC), Linux.
- Metascore: 75.
Dying Light is one of the best zombie games of all time you could possibly play. Most post-apocalyptic games will put you in the flesh of the story's hero, but this title is completely different.
You start a government agent, infiltrating the bad guys to get information about the cure for the zombie apocalypse. Your decisions will either deliver it to authorities or make survivors stay alive for one more day.
This story centers on your search for the cure, all while exploring a never-ending map filled with zombie hordes.
After a crash-landed accident, you are met by a few raiders that will beat you up, but you’ll be saved by a couple of survivors. They will take you to their base building where your story begins.
You have parkour abilities to run away from the biters, streets, turns, corners, and a solid body armed with tons of weapons to fight them.
Even when it may seem a bit easy during the day, you’ll never imagine what happens when the night falls over Harran. Going out after the sun is down is a challenge in its own right.
This title is a first-person shooter with RPG elements and fast-paced combat. As an FPS game, you have plenty of weapons that you can use, from bows to shotguns, MP5, and more.
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- Intense gaming with day & night cycles.
- Creative gaming combat where you get to use your surroundings to help you in battle. Light up barrels, make cars explode, use UV lights, and more.
- Managing to stay alive is the trickiest part for gamers. This is why you can join friends and play in sessions of up to 4 players.
- Play a story that deserves your complete attention. Make choices that will make you question good and evil.
- Enjoy Dead Island’s spiritual successor that combines parkour with zombies.
- Release Date: March 30, 2022.
- Developer: Kojima Productions.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Microsoft Windows (PC), Linux.
- Metascore: 86.
As if it wasn’t enough of the apocalypse in the previous games, Death Stranding brings an even heavier holocaust with a dark future for humans.
After a supernatural event called Death Stranding, the door between the living world and the dead opened. Horror creatures started to roam Earth and turned it into a fallen wasteland.
Taking place in a decimated America, survivors are trying to coexist with this unnatural force, but it won’t be easy.
You’ll play as Sam Bridges, a fresh take delivery man that is trying to bring hope back to humanity. You will try to connect survivors from different cities and give them supplies so they can keep fighting.
As the game takes place in different environments, the players will have to go through harsh landscapes, explore and escape terrible creatures, all this while delivering the packages you are tasked to.
Death Stranding is a game worth checking out if you’re looking for something entertaining that will keep you hooked.
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- The game’s main point is to give you a “stranded” feeling perception. You have the liberty to explore lots of terrains while making deliveries.
- Upgrade your character with the points you get from your tasks.
- Avoid or face raiders that are looking for revenge against cargo people.
- Release Date: Feb 14, 2019
- Developer: A4 Games.
- Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series One, Microsoft Windows (PC), Linux, Mac OS.
- Metascore: 82.
Metro: Exodus, is the third installment and latest entry of the Metro series – with Metro: Last Light being the second game and Metro: 2033 is the first title of the series – once again, you are playing as Artyom living in the Moscow Metro.
You are in 2036 now, and after the nuclear war, only a few survivors are left.
In this sequel, people have struggled against poisoned elements, mutated beasts, paranormal events, creatures, and even suffered a coup d'etat that detonated a civil war.
As the leader of the Spartan Rangers, you’ll have to flee the Metro and help people go across the continent through a post-apocalyptic Russia.
Help survivors end this nightmare by reaching the wished dawn. Horizon is closer than you think.
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- Metro: Exodus combines fast-paced combat with stealth; your encounters will require you to be smart and have the correct weapons.
- Explore this survival horror game and live the nightmares that Russians had to face more than a decade ago.
- Follow non-linear levels through a story-driven game.
- The novels of Dmitry Glukhovsky inspired the game, which was nominated for the Golden Joystick Awards.
Post-apocalyptic Games - Summary
Playing post-apocalyptic games makes you think about the numerous ways that humankind could go extinct in a matter of seconds. Whether it is a Zombie apocalypse, natural disasters, strange diseases, or even a portal from another world, apocalyptic games have it all.
These games are a great option to prepare for a hypothetical apocalypse. Their stories, characters, suffering, and hope will warm your heart, and immerse you for hours.
You can thank developers such as ID software, Epic Games, Bethesda Softworks, or Microsoft Studios for trying to bring the greatest stories of gaming.
Now, there are other games you should try if you like post-apocalyptic games, but we didn’t want to make this article overly long. Thus, if you know all the games listed above, you may also try:
- Gears of War
- State of Decay
- The Last Stand: Aftermath
- Nuclear Throne
Within these games, you don’t only have FPS or third-person RPGs. There are also games with turn-based combat. These are video games with slow-paced fights to enjoy and think before acting that you’ll also love.