June 2011 is Resident Evil month here at gamrFeed, celebrating the series' 15th anniversary. Since Resident Evil popularized the survival horror genre and helped bring zombies to the forefront in gaming, we thought, why not celebrate Resident Evil by listing the top ten zombie games of all time? There are lots of great zombie games out there, so to narrow down the list we had two criteria: 1. The zombies must be the undead (so no Resident Evil 4) and 2. Only one game per series. So, with that in mind, we hope you enjoy the list!
10. Dead Frontier
For those of you looking for a zombie MMO, look no further. Dead Frontier may be a browser based game, but it offers enough content to be a full release. After creating a class and a character, players are unleashed into a zombie apocalypse of the near future, where they must work together with other players to survive. This achieved not only be killing zombies and searching the city, but by also travelling to safe havens where players can do business, store items, and even gamble. The game is still in open beta and has a lot of room for improvement, but as it stands, its the closest thing we have to a full fledged zombie MMO. And the best part is...it's free.
You can play Dead Frontier for free here.
9. Typing of the Dead
Whenever someone makes a "best zombie games" list, the question isn't whether to include a House of the Dead game, but which House of the Dead game to include? While House of the Dead 2 and House of the Dead: Overkill are some of the best on rail shooters out there, we have to give it to Typing of the Dead for sheer originality. Typing of the Dead is essentially House of the Dead 2, but with one crucial difference: Instead of shooting the undead, you must type the words presented on screen before they get to you. Believe it or not, this game is meant to educate and improve typing skills. With a difficulty curve that starts with simple words and then moves up to full sentences and even answering questions, learning has never been this much fun.
8. Dead Nation
Created by Housemarque, developers Super Stardust and Outland, Dead Nation is a co-op top down shooter where players fend off the undead in an apocalyptic city. Unlike similar games like Zombie Apocalypse and I Made a Game With Zombies in It!, Dead Nation thrives not only on its intensity but its atmosphere. The levels of Dead Nation have a huge amount of detail, and the way the lighting is employed creates a huge feeling of dread. Dead Nation is one of the most fun co-op zombie games out so far, and now that it's free as part of the PlayStation Network's "Welcome Back" program, you have no excuse not to try it out.
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Zombies
You may argue that World at War and Black Ops aren't zombie games, but the zombie modes in both are really games all their own. The addicting mode that first appeared in Call of Duty: World at War had players defending a house as ever increasing waves of zombies approached. The atmosphere was denser than a black hole, and nothing was quite as nerve-racking as being cornered by dozens of slowly approaching zombies. However, we had to give the spot the Call of Duty: Black Ops. Why, you ask? Well, because not only did Black Ops refine this approach, but you get to fight zombies as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro and Robert McNamara. It doesn't get more awesome than that.
6. Plants vs. Zombies
Zombies have never been this cute. With zombies on your front lawn, you must plant various types plants to defend you from the onslaught of the undead. Sounds dumb, I know, but this is one of the most addicting games of all time. There are literally dozens of different zombie types, and you have dozens of plants to combat each one. No one expected Plants vs. Zombies to hit it big, but its accessible yet deep gameplay, kid-friendly art style, and insanely catchy music make this one of most quality "casual" games out there.
5. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Undead Nightmare gave us something we didn't know we wanted: Cowboys vs. zombies. This expansion pack wasn't just simply the original game with zombies tacked on. Rockstar gave us a whole new story and set of sidequests that perfectly combined horror and campy humor with Red Dead's original setting. As it turns out, adding zombies completely changes the feel of the game, and old west bounty hunters vs. the undead hordes makes for a near perfect experience.
4. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
There was a time when LucasArts was known for more than churning out cruddy Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. They used to be known for developing quality games and instant classics. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is one of those games. Zombies Ate My Neighbors follows Zeke and Julie as they save their neighborhood from the titular zombies, as well as a variety of other horror-movie themed monsters, such as werewolves and vampires. Boasting over fifty levels as well as co-op gameplay, this is a true classic.
3. Dead Rising 2
While Dead Rising 2 wasn't as original as the first Dead Rising (which itself was mostly ripped off from George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead), it improved on its predecessor in almost every way. With less frustrating boss fights, improved partner AI, and less focus on the time limit, Dead Rising 2 was able to focus on what it does best: Zombie mayhem. Also gone from Dead Rising was the photography mechanic. Instead, players combine weapons to inflict more damage to zombies, making this game pretty much every zombie fan's wet dream.
2. Left 4 Dead 2
Much like Dead Rising 2, Valve took their original game and improved every aspect. While keeping the same basic gameplay, Left 4 Dead 2 added new characters, weapons, maps, and revamped Director AI, making this much more worthy than any expansion. The Left 4 Dead games are one of the few zombie games that actually invoke fear of the undead, instead of camp humor like many other zombie titles. Plus, thanks to modders, Left 4 Dead 2 has all of the maps from the first Left 4 Dead and more, making it the quintessential zombie FPS.
1. Resident Evil (GameCube)
If we weren't imposing a one game per series limit on this list, more than half of the entries would consist of Resident Evil games. When faced with choosing one, it always comes down to the first Resident Evil vs. Resident Evil 2. Resident Evil 2 may have been better than the first, but we decided to go with the GameCube remake of Resident Evil for one reason: It's absolutely TERRIFYING. Seriously. Few games come close to scaring you as much as this game does. The zombies in this game me be slow, but boy are they hard to kill. And if you don't burn their corpses when you're done with them, they come back stronger and faster, and can even claw through doors. Petrifying. This is why we name Resident Evil for the GameCube as the best zombie game of all time.