Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
The rules here are pretty simple: don’t get bitten and aim for the head. If you’re after something new to play on the PC platform and like your zombie apocalypse with a heavy side of exploration, these titles are for you. Here are our current picks for the best open-world zombie games on PC.
#15 Dead Rising 1
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.
#14 Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3 was a launch title for Xbox One and as such was created to show off the potential of the next-generation system. There’s huge hordes of enemies on-screen at any one time, which was done expressly to show off what the console could do. Players can put together even more insane weaponry than in the first Dead Rising game and can wear some really weird outfits while beating down the zombie horde.
Unturned is a survival game set in the zombie infested ruins of society. Incredibly, it was developed by a sixteen-year-old creator and features both multiplayer and single-player modes. There’s even an arena game mode for multiplayer in which you’re spawned in the middle of a map with supplies and weapons scattered around. It acts like a battle royale and has been incredibly popular since it was released in 2014.
#12 Project Zomboid
Project Zomboid is The Sims if it also included mindless zombie hordes. You’re tasked with making sure that your character eats, drinks, and sleeps enough to survive while also making sure they’re not turned into zombie food. It’s an incredibly in-depth and difficult game that’ll have you starting over and over again in an attempt to get things right. Anyone who likes a challenge will want to grab this low-cost title.
#11 Night of the Dead
Night of The Dead is similar to DayZ, an open-world zombie game that relies upon you crafting defenses against wave after wave of zombies. They’re coming for you every single night, so you’ll need to constantly up your defenses and find a way to escape the island in the meantime. Either you escape the island or you’ll find yourself turning into one of them, so failure isn’t an option.
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.
DayZ originally started as a mod for Arma 2 that became so wildly popular and successful that it got a separate release. The game began development in 2012 and was formally released in 2018. Players are tasked with surviving in the post-soviet republic of Chernarus in which a virus has created infected souls galore. You’ll be scavenging for food, water, weapons, and medicine, helping other survivors, or betraying other players in order to keep yourself alive.
#8 Dead Island Definitive Edition
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.
Scum centers around a prison break in a post-apocalyptic world, a world where it would have actually been more beneficial for you to stay inside the prison. Out in the real world, you’ll need to hunt for supplies, find medicine, dodge terrifying mutated monsters, and, most importantly, try to stop other survivors from finding you and taking your stuff. Scum is a multiplayer experience, so you’ll need to decide if you want to help or hinder your friends. Good luck out there, survivors.
#6 Strange Brigade
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.
#5 7 Days To Die
You might remember 7 Days To Die from years ago when it went massively viral on YouTube. The survival horror game takes place in the aftermath of a hypothetical World War III that utterly decimated the entire planet. You have to scavenge and fend off zombies, but it’s mainly all about trying to survive in a randomly-generated world that is constantly against you.
#4 Days Gone
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.
#3 State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
State of Decay 2 is quite different from some of the other games on this list. It presents itself as a survival game first and foremost, something in which the zombies are more of a nuisance than the primary issue. You’re tasked with recruiting people to your team and slowly building up a base to ensure humanity’s survival from this horrifying plague.
#2 Dying Light
While I’d recommend Dying Light 2 over the original game, Dying Light is still a pretty great time. There’s no real way to make kicking a zombie in the face boring, is there? The campaign can drag at times, and the world isn’t as vast and fun as the sequels, but for the price you can get it for these days, it’s certainly worth experiencing.
#1 Dying Light 2 Stay Human
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 great improvement on the original, and many will call this 2022 title the definitive zombie title at the moment.