Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #21 Dead Island 2
- #20 Scarlet Nexus
- #19 Chernobylite
- #18 Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- #17 Mad Max
- #16 The Long Dark
- #15 Rage 2
- #14 Days Gone
- #13 Wasteland 3
- #12 Wasteland 2
- #11 Frostpunk
- #10 Far Cry New Dawn
- #9 Fallout 4
- #8 Dying Light 2 Stay Human
- #7 Horizon Forbidden West
- #6 The Walking Dead Telltale Series
- #5 Metro Exodus
- #4 Death Stranding
- #3 The Last of Us Part 2
- #2 Horizon Zero Dawn
- #1 The Last of Us Remastered
- The Last Stand: Aftermath
The post-apocalyptic genre of video games has been beaten to death for the better part of the last 15 years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some diamonds in the rough. Many of these gems found their way to PS4, making Sony’s console an undeniable hub for anyone looking to experience a world that’s in not-so-great shape. Those digging through abandoned houses for games with wastelands, zombies, and destroyed civilizations can look no further, as we here at Gameranx have compiled the perfect list for you.
#21 Dead Island 2
Platform: PC PS4 Xbox One PS5 XSX|S
Release Date: April 21, 2023
Epicgames | Playstation | Xbox
Dead Island 2 was a game that most of us thought would stay in development hell. It took years to get the sequel for Dead Island finally, and multiple development studios were involved at some point. But fortunately, Dambuster Studios was able to bring this game out into the marketplace, and we’re able to rip through countless undead zombies. For those who might be unaware, Dead Island 2 takes place a few years after the original game’s events. Much like the first installment, players are presented with the opportunity to pick from various protagonists, each with unique attributes. From there, you’re dropped into the now-quarantined California state. A new zombie plague has struck, leaving the citizens to reach an extraction point within Los Angeles. You soon find yourself immune from the zombies; your blood could be the key to finding a cure. Now you’ll need to melee your way through countless different zombies in hopes of getting rescued. If you enjoy bashing through the undead, it’s worth pointing out the FLESH system Dambuster Studios implemented in this game. Here you’ll get a system that can replicate various blows showing off damage to the skin, muscle, and bone. Here’s hoping you’re not afraid of a little blood; by little, we mean a lot!
#20 Scarlet Nexus
Scarlet Nexus may not be the way you’d anticipate a start to this list, but it is just as worthy as everything that comes after. This third-person action-RPG gives players the ability to choose from two protagonists: the energetic Yuito Sumeragi or the enigmatic Kasane Randall. Scarlet Nexus is a much more combat-oriented experience, with players able to utilize quick combat and kinetic abilities to dispatch foes. A post-apocalyptic world has never had this much style.
Chernobylite might just be the most immersive entry on this list. The Farm 51’s first-person survival game is dripping with tension and horror, taking place in a 3D-scanned version of Chornobyl’s Exclusion Zone. If walking through a twisted version of an infamous nuclear powerplant doesn’t pull you in, maybe the game’s RPG elements and the non-linear story will. Either way, there’s not much like being dropped into the world of Chernobylite.
#18 Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
We all have our post-apocalyptic fantasies, but who here has thought about roaming the streets of an abandoned city with their friends? The Division 2’s multiplayer, mission-based structure is pure wish fulfillment, allowing you to pair up with friends to wander through a worn-down Washington, D.C. This post-apocalyptic world is more grounded than something like Fallout or The Last of Us, but its third-person shooter combat is just as intense. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a game that offers friendships in a dystopia like this.
#17 Mad Max
Mad Max’s 2015 road trip into the world of video games resulted in a spinoff not many talk about—but they should. Never had the world of the Road Warrior been explored in such an epic fashion, with players able to traverse the barren wastelands in a souped-up killer car. Upgrading the car only added additional layers to developer Avalanche Studios’ vehicular combat, which was more natural—and fun—than it had any right to be. Mad Max is worth driving into for its car mechanics alone, but its collectibles are sure to keep your foot on the gas.
#16 The Long Dark
The Long Dark is unlike any other game on this list. Drenched in atmosphere and an overwhelming feeling of isolation, Hinterland Studios’ first-person exploration game puts the player against the cold, asking them to do whatever it takes to survive. Living with the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster is only half the battle, as you’ll soon learn the importance of endurance in an environment that’s truly out to get you.
#15 Rage 2
Rage was a game that could have easily been forgotten about, but thanks to the wishes of die-hard fans, we saw Rage 2 hit store shelves in 2019. This sequel did more than just simply continue Bethesda’s gritty world of death and destruction. Instead, this game took its setting and made it pop and flare in ways that made it look like a Borderlands game but feel like Doom. Even if some of its story and open-world elements don’t always hold up throughout the loads of content to explore, Rage 2’s moment-to-moment gameplay never stops shining.
#14 Days Gone
Bend Studio has been a part of the PlayStation Studios family for a long time, but the developer didn’t get a chance to truly prove itself in the modern lineup of first-party hits until Days Gone. The opportunity was not put to waste, with this open-world, motorcycle-riding, zombie-killing video game serving as the answer to gamers who were looking for hordes of undead to mow down. And, as oceans of zombies—or Freakers, in this case—swarm, players have the gentle pine trees of Oregon to serve as the canvas for their bloody painting. For those of you looking for a satisfying, third-person, zombie-hunting experience, Days Gone is probably the game for you.
#13 Wasteland 3
While most post-apocalyptic video games go to great lengths to make the player feel immersed with a third- or first-person perspective, inXile’s Wasteland series puts tactical gameplay first with an isometric perspective. Wasteland 3 is no different, tasking the player to utilize squad-based gameplay and RPG mechanics to survive. Learning the land of a post-nuclear Colorado and the factions, gangs, and cultists that inhabit it is just part of the process if you want to rebuild society.
#12 Wasteland 2
Before Wasteland 3, there was Wasteland 2. This long-awaited sequel to the original 1988 RPG brought classic turn-based gameplay to modern platforms with dozens of hours of game to play. Wasteland 2’s commitment to choice and freedom-based gameplay are why it’s a classic, but more than that, it’s a reminder of this genre’s roots. Fans of the original Fallout games will absolutely find something to love here.
Frostpunk puts a chilling spin on survival in a post-apocalyptic world. In 11 Bit Studios’ strategy city builder, the player is given the reins to create a city in the middle of a frozen wasteland. Every scrap collected is just as important as even the smallest choices you’ll make as you decide how to rule your steam-driven city. With the world at your neck, do you rule with kindness or fear?
#10 Far Cry New Dawn
Most Far Cry games go out of their way to offer the same experience over and over again, so Far Cry showed up in 2019 as a nice surprise. A spinoff of Ubisoft’s 2018 entry, Far Cry 5, Far Cry New Dawn puts the series’ open-world-focused gameplay in a blender with post-apocalyptic spices. It’s the Far Cry gameplay you know and love but chaotic explosions of color painting the scenery. What’s not to love?
#9 Fallout 4
Fallout 3 will always be one of the greatest games ever made. Though Fallout 4 never quite lived up to the hype, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of Bethesda Game Studios’ best creations ever. The ghoul-infested Commonwealth (a.k.a. Boston) the game takes place is dense with abandoned subways, businesses, historic landmarks, and more to explore. Every location has a story, and thanks to mod support and loads of DLC, Fallout 4 is the kind of post-apocalyptic playground you could get lost in for hundreds of hours. Plus, there is a laundry list of weapons and enemy variants, too, making every encounter a fight to remember.
#8 Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Techland’s original Dying Light arrived as an unexpected and unparalleled joy. Dying Light 2, meanwhile, had the expectations of millions to live up to but is still not a sequel to sleep on. Following a completely new protagonist in a new setting, the parkour, zombie-bashing sequel brought new gameplay mechanics and movement-based enhancements to make gliding over post-apocalyptic rooftops more fun than ever. No one played Dying Light for its story. Even though its narrative begs for multiple playthroughs, Dying Light 2 puts gameplay first, too.
#7 Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West has the honor of being the newest entry on our list. In developer Guerrilla Games’ open-world sequel, protagonist Aloy sets off on a journey to the Forbidden West, where new creatures (and gameplay mechanics) await. In what is certainly one of 2022’s most important PS4 releases, Horizon Forbidden West holds up the high bar set by the original game in a way that already has us excited for what’s to come next.
#6 The Walking Dead Telltale Series
The game that put Telltale Games on the map. Telltale’s The Walking Dead strayed from the popular AMC television show that ran alongside it, but its story and characters were just as—if not more—compelling. This episodic, choice-based adventure game follows Lee and Clementine, leaving the player to unfold their story, guiding the direction with every conversation. Zombies were at the height of their popularity when Telltale’s The Walking Dead was released. Even though the public’s fascination with undead biters has mostly worn off in the decade since it first started, every season of the gaming series has managed to provide an incredible narrative experience.
#5 Metro Exodus
Metro Exodus brought an end to 4A Games’ authentic post-apocalyptic survival FPS trilogy with an entry that pushed the series’s boundaries. Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s Metro novels and set in a highly radioactive Moscow, this third gaming adaptation raised the stakes with open-world elements that heightened the tension of already hostile environments. Seeing the way nuclear waste has twisted and transformed its Russian inhabitants is half the fun as the player learns to manage their resources and make every bullet count.
#4 Death Stranding
After making history with the Metal Gear Solid franchise time and time again, all eyes were on creator Hideo Kojima and what masterpiece he’d stew up next. That masterpiece was Death Stranding, an action-adventure, package delivery simulator starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus. It’s a strange concept set in an even stranger world, where a cataclysmic event, known as the Death Stranding, merged the universe of the living with the afterlife, causing a catastrophic disconnect in civilization. Death Stranding emphasizes every step the player takes, forcing you to plan and stay engaged for every trip. Although a bit strange, there is no other game like Death Stranding.
#3 The Last of Us Part 2
The Last of Us Part 2 had the herculean task of living up to one of PlayStation’s best games, and it did not disappoint.
Well, it didn’t disappoint most people.
All jokes aside, Naughty Dog put its focus on its characters and story before falling back on fan desires, resulting in a not-so-crowd-pleasing entry in its post-apocalyptic franchise. Though subversive in ways not many could see coming, The Last of Us Part 2’s bold direction offered a grueling follow-up. One half of the story sees Ellie on a journey of revenge, while the other half (spoilers) follows Abby. Both protagonists (antagonists?) have specific skills they can use to craft and tear through infected enemies, which come in more than a few new sizes this time around. Naughty Dog created an unpredictable video game that intelligently builds on the world of the original, resulting in a must-play sequel.
#2 Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn took the open-world formula and infused it with arcade-y gameplay, a dense and compelling narrative, and topped it with gorgeous visuals. Most importantly, though, Guerrilla Games took the opportunity it had and asked a simple question: Why do most post-apocalyptic stories look the same? Horizon Zero Dawn has no zombies or dreary, worn-down architecture left over from of a world forgotten. Instead, players met the team’s ingenious robotic dinosaurs, with each providing their own specific abilities and sizes to overcome. The corners of this post-post-apocalyptic version of Earth that aren’t crawling with futuristic dinos are littered with vibrant greens, suffocating snow, and orange-painted canyons. Few games pushed the genre forward like this.
#1 The Last of Us Remastered
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us is still, without question, one of the most important games ever made. Not only are its overgrown, real-world settings easy on the eyes nine years later, but its story still pulls hard on our fungal heart strings, too. Sure, that’s mostly thanks to Joel and Ellie, The Last of Us’ two leads, but its inspired, cordyceps-infested enemies no doubt helped flesh out the game’s iconic world as well. Clickers have players thinking about every breath, while the Bloaters, in all the pus-dripping glory, terrify at every encounter. Bleak, beautiful, and brilliantly paced, The Last of Us earned its Remastered re-release in 2014, making it PS4’s best post-apocalyptic game, without question.
The Last Stand: Aftermath
This title is a single-player roguelite that follows the story of a zombie survivor who has now become infected. You will journey across abandoned areas and tense atmospheres as you fight against the enemies that turned you into what you are. You will come across different civilizations and people on your journey that will affect your progression as well as what you know and have learned. There are scavengable materials everywhere that allow you to build and craft new items and weapons and if you happen to die, you can pick up and start again as a different survivor. If you do this, you will begin the game with different unlocks and abilities according to how far you were able to progress prior.