The open-world concept has become a popular tool for many a budding game developer, ensuring that a story has no boundaries and that the sky really is the limit. Add to this the zombie genre, loved by the masses for its unrelenting brutality and scares. Smash these two together, and you’ve got our list of the best PS4 open-world zombie games available now. Let us know if we forgot your favorite.
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Release Date: December 2018
DayZ first started as a mod for the ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead, which later inspired developers to give it a standalone release. Players are tasked with surviving a fictional post-Soviet Republic during the zombie pandemic.
Starting out, players have practically nothing and it’s up to them to scavenge items from around the map. The game focuses on human interaction, and players can either join forces or attempt to kill each other. (The fun part is trying to figure out whether you’re in danger before it’s too late.) DayZ had a bit of a rocky release period, but it’s managed to make a decent comeback. There’s a reason why it’s been so loved for so long, despite its shortcomings.
Publisher: Smartly Dressed Games
Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
Platform: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: July 2017
Unturned doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a simple and easily accessible survival simulator. The game consists of several game modes, all of them using the zombie survival concept with a variety of difficulty settings allowing you to play it at your own speed. Unturned has developed a bit of a cult following over the years because of its cartoonish and quirky style and its fantastic multiplayer experience. Even if the game was released with a few bugs and some minor teething issues, that doesn’t take any of the fun.
#8 Strange Brigade
Publisher: Rebellion Developments
Developer: Rebellion Developments
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia
Release Date: August 2018
Strange Brigade is a game set in the 1930s that lets up to four different players take on mummies, scorpions, minotaurs, and zombies. There are four playable characters, all of which are customizable, with different weapons and abilities at their disposal and even the chance to upgrade their equipment. Part of the appeal of the game is that it features branching exploration, allowing you to solve puzzles and get new powers.
#7 7 Days to Die
Publisher: The Fun Pimps
Developer: The Fun Pimps
Platform: Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: December 2013
Imagine World War 3 has destroyed most of the world and the aftermath is a nuclear hot zone–that’s 7 Days to Die. Set in the fictional town of Navesgane, Arizona, you must survive this harsh environment by searching for shelter, food, and water, as well as fighting off deadly zombies that want to eat your brain. This is a fun survival game that lets you delve into those creative juices–the title allows players to create cool builds and use their own primal instincts to make it to the top.
Platform: Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: December 2021
Dying Light 2 Stay Human is the long-awaited sequel to 2015’s Dying Light and centers around the player’s survival in an unusual and chaotic world. You can play through the campaign with your friends, battling zombies and the human scavengers that’ll do anything to get your supplies. The game’s emphasis on parkour and exploration is a fun switch-up when compared to the original, and many have called this 2022 title the definitive zombie title for the year.
#5 Days Gone
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Bend Studio
Platform: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: April 2019
Days Gone is a damn fun game in which you ride around on a motorcycle and take out entire hordes of zombies on the west coast of the USA. Taking out hundreds of zombies completely alone can give players a feeling like no other, and despite certain negative feedback, the title offers a good time for all, and everybody should experience it while they can. It’s a far cry from Bend Studio’s Syphon Filter days, but we love to see a switch-up.
#4 Dead Island Definitive Edition
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platform: Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: September 2011
While Dead Island might be a fundamentally broken game on a base level, it’s extremely fun when you play it alongside a friend. Sure, there are better zombie games out there and sure, you could play another game on this list, but I don’t think many games have ever had a trailer as good as that first cinematic reveal trailer for Dead Island. Just because the game doesn’t run perfectly doesn’t mean it’s bad–in fact, the atmosphere in Techland’s tropical zombie romp is something every zombie fan should experience at least once.
#3 Dead Rising 1
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Wii
Release Date: August 2006
The first Dead Rising title is an utterly insane game. Sure, much-improved zombie games have hit the market since it released and it hasn’t aged incredibly well, but returning to it allows players to see where the cultural phenomenon of the franchise began. You’re trapped in a mall, just like the original Dawn Of The Dead movie, and it’s up to you to defeat weirder and weirder bosses and save as many people as you can. Sometimes, the most fun game is the one with the simplest premise.
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: November 2020
Within Dysmantle, you’ve been hiding for years in a shelter and finally ascend the stairs to find that there’s a terrifying new world out there. Zombies and other creatures are waiting for you, and each and every one of them is out there to kill you. It’s a world where you have to explore, fight, fish and, above all else, survive as you build your own base and do whatever you can to keep your humanity. It’s charming, addicting, and just what the doctor ordered.
#1 Dying Light
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Linux, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: January 2015
Another Techland creation that used Dead Island for its foundations, Dying Light built on them with expertise and a sprinkle of individuality. This was a revolutionary game that became one of the great open-world exploration journeys, and the customization of weapons was a big hit. Then throw some wild parkour into the mix and you’ve got yourself a proper game. The parkour is what the series is now known for, and oddly, the original hits a benchmark that the sequel couldn’t quite reach. They’re both fantastic, but the original has a little something special.