There’s something about post-apocalyptic worlds that have always captured the attention of gamers. Maybe it’s the idea of killing flesh-eating zombies, or the excitement of rebuilding a dystopian society from the ground up, whatever it may be, the genre has seen dozens of apocalyptic video games make it to the big time. These are our favorites.
No list of post-apocalyptic video games is complete without the king of the genre, Fallout. The entire Fallout series is often referred to as some of the best post-apocalyptic video games ever made. First released in 1997, the games are set in an alternate reality post World War II, which features advanced technology like nuclear-powered cars alongside dated 1950s-era televisions and other electronics. Prior to the start of the series, the world is in chaos due to diminished global oil reserves, culminating in a nuclear war that left the U.S. in a post-apocalyptic state called the Wasteland. These games can even be fun when you’re super baked and aimlessly wander around to see what you can find. If you were wondering which Fallout is the best, most gamers agree that New Vegas gets the top spot and also makes a great starting point into the franchise along with Fallout 3 and 4.
This highly underrated video game is an explosion of color and fun that every pothead will appreciate. In this universe, the world has become infested with Overcharge Drinkers who have consumed FizzCo’s new energy drink OverCharge Delirium XT (OCD) and turned into boil-covered monsters. Inspired by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, players can grind on telephone wires, vault, and wall-run your way across the chaos of Sunset City, while trying to take down FizzCo, the drink company which started a world-ending outbreak. Sunset Overdrive was designed in a punk rock style with vibrant colors and emphasis on humor in a time where the world may be coming to an end.
A mutant fungus outbreak has quickly spread across the U.S., turning humans highly aggressive and forcing survivors to live in hiding or in military-run quarantine facilities. You play as Joel, a smuggler who is tasked with safely delivering a girl named Ellie to a rebel militia known as the Fireflies. The game was developed by Naughty Dog, the same company who created the highly praised Uncharted franchise. Upon its release in 2013, The Last of Us sold more than 1.3 million units in just the first week, becoming one of the best-selling video games at the time and winning many accolades that year. Though not as highly rated as the first installment, The Last of Us Part II was just released in 2020 if you want to continue the adventures with Joel and Ellie.
If you’re the kind of stoner that likes to get high before going into haunted houses or prefers to watch scary movies while blazed, then the State of Decay series is for you. The cult classic video game franchise is perfect for those who love a good jump scare and aren’t afraid to take a baseball bat to the undead. As an open world zombie survival game, you’re able to explore your surroundings by foot and vehicle, while collecting loot to survive the zombie onslaught. As the apocalypse worsens, survivors are able to fend off the infected (and hostile humans) using a ton of different weapons like assault rifles, submachine guns, tomahawks, a golf club, and even a 2×4. Dubbed as one of the best zombie games ever made, State of Decay has a captivating narrative that will keep you hooked. Luckily for fans, the third installment of the franchise was just announced this year.
Set 17 years after The Collapse in Far Cry 5, Hope County is not what it once was and survivors of the blast have begun to rebuild their community amidst the chaos. While the map may not be as large as its predecessor, there is still lots to explore as a character called the Captain. Since remnants of the Eden’s Gate cult live on, you’ll still be liberating enemy outposts, freeing captured survivors, and going on treasure hunts. This game in particular is a great choice to play high since it has vibrant, colorful visuals that are unique compared to other games in the franchise. To have a better understanding of the characters and plot, it’s highly recommended to play Far Cry 5 prior to starting New Dawn, though it isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you own a PlayStation or are a PC gamer, you’re in luck because this game is a PS4/PC exclusive (sorry Xbox gamers). You’ll be taking on the role of Sam, a porter with the Bridges who risks his life to deliver supplies to the remaining colonies of survivors known as the United Cities of America. Sam is voiced by none other than The Walking Dead actor, Norman Reedus. During your missions, you’ll be fighting off monsters called Beached Things, or BTs that have taken over the earth. Death Stranding has amazing visual effects and music that are even better stoned and features voice acting by other famous actors like Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, and Margaret Qualley. Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro was even given a small role of his own.
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- The Walking Dead
- Cyberpunk 2077 – The adventure game already has lots of followers even though it won’t be released until December 2020. Though we don’t know for sure, the story seems to be set in a post-apocalyptic universe and the game play looks out of this world.
- Mad Max
- The Long Dark
- Gears of War
- Dying Light
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