Currently, there are numerous excellent zombie-themed video games available, many of which are based on popular movies or TV series. While some of these games follow a linear action format or utilize a first-person rail-shooter style, an increasing number of game developers are turning to the open-world genre for inspiration on how to keep players engaged.

The most outstanding open-world zombie games effectively utilize their expansive settings, either by creating highly dangerous environments full of chaos and destruction or by using sparsely populated areas to create a sense of security that can quickly be shattered. Both approaches can be highly effective, as seen in these exceptional zombie survival games.

1. Dying Light

Before Dying Light was released, although there were many excellent zombie games, few had successfully incorporated a zombie outbreak into the open-world genre. Therefore, Dying Light made significant advancements in this area and became a reference point for many future open-world zombie games.

Dying Light
Dying Light

Dying Light's unique characteristics make it an exceptional game, one of which is the level of danger that some of its zombies pose. Unlike the slow-moving, sluggish zombies in other undead games, Dying Light's infected can sprint and attack players quickly, particularly during the night. This keeps players alert at all times and encourages them to use the game's exceptional parkour system.

2. Dying Light 2

It's probably unnecessary to mention, but individuals who enjoyed playing Dying Light are likely to also find the game's sequel enjoyable. After all, both games were created by the same development team and are set in the same universe. Sadly, however, many individuals appear to be ignoring Dying Light 2 despite enjoying the original game.

Dying Light 2 Gameplay
Dying Light 2

Dying Light 2, like its predecessor, is an open-world zombie game with survival elements, offering players a vast amount of content. The game boasts impressive graphics, fast and smooth combat mechanics, and an exceptional parkour system that ranks among the best in the gaming industry. Fans of zombie games, particularly those seeking to pass the time while killing undead creatures, should definitely give it a chance.

3. Project Zomboid

Although its basic art style and isometric viewpoint may mislead some, Project Zomboid is an excellent game. Originally released as a tech demo in April 2011, it underwent numerous updates over the following decade, culminating in the release of Build 41 in late 2021. It has undergone significant improvements and is now widely regarded as one of the best open-world zombie games on PC.

Project Zomboid

The game's story takes place during a zombie outbreak in Louisville, Kentucky and features both single-player and multiplayer modes. It blends survival and RPG mechanics, with a strong emphasis on avoiding or escaping zombies rather than confronting them directly. There are also numerous fantastic mods available for Project Zomboid, allowing players to further personalize their gaming experience to suit their preferences.

4. The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners can be described as an open-world game in a similar way to how Pokemon Legends: Arceus is, although it doesn't entirely fit the criteria. However, it does contain sections that could be considered open-world, and for zombie game enthusiasts, it's highly recommended due to its exceptional VR gameplay experience.

Walking Dead Saints And Sinners Zombie
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Saints & Sinners places players in perilous situations, often with hordes of terrifying zombies surrounding them, and it's up to them to fight for survival. At times, the game also allows for a more stealthy approach, which can be just as thrilling as it is unsettling. With a sequel on the horizon, those who have access to VR equipment should definitely give it a try, especially if they're fans of the TV series.

5. DayZ

The zombies in DayZ are not much of a threat and can be easily avoided by experienced players. As with other similar games, the primary danger comes from other players, which is ironically similar to most TV shows and movies about the zombie apocalypse.

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Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize that, beyond the initial seasons, it was mainly other survivors who caused the death of most main characters. Although a walker would sometimes attack and bite someone like a zombie might in DayZ, the game's immersive ARMA mod is arguably one of the most genuine and excellent open-world zombie games available.

6. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die is a game that takes place in a world destroyed by nuclear war, which is similar to the Fallout universe. However, the game distinguishes itself by placing a strong emphasis on survival, and players must start from the beginning if they die at the hands of the zombie hordes.

7 Days To Die Survival Game 1
7 Days To Die

Despite not completely fulfilling all of the expectations set during its Kickstarter campaign, the game remains entertaining to play. The nighttime gameplay is particularly intense, and playing with friends can make survival a bit easier, although the seventh-day Blood Moon event can pose a significant challenge.

7. Night of the Dead

While Night of the Dead features certain areas with open-world aspects, they are generally utilized for obtaining resources rather than discovery. These resources are crucial for constructing defenses, and without them, players may struggle to fend off zombie attacks.

Night Of The Dead Survival Game 2
Night Of The Dead

Numerous tower defense games with zombie themes have been created, but only a few have successfully integrated realism with the genre's gameplay mechanics, making them as entertaining as this one. Currently, the game is in Early Access on Steam, but it's showing promise and has the potential to become an outstanding zombie game.

8. State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 is among several zombie games that have been exclusively released for Xbox in the last ten years. However, many consider it to be the best among them. The game offers excellent combat mechanics and is complemented by a great soundtrack and decent visuals. Its difficulty level is unrelenting, which forces players to improve their skills to survive the game's harsh and merciless environment.

State Of Decay 2 Steam Launch 2020 3
State Of Decay 2

Although the game has a few minor issues, they shouldn't ruin the experience for most players.

9. Unturned

Unturned can be described as a game similar to Minecraft, but with fewer crafting elements and a larger presence of zombies and guns. The game is free to play and can be accessed on PC and last-gen consoles. It provides a vast degree of customization options for cosmetics and map designs.


The game has several game modes, with a focus on surviving zombie hordes, usually in multiplayer settings that encourage players to collaborate with each other. The game has some PvP elements, but it is not mandatory to engage in player-versus-player combat, so players can concentrate solely on taking out zombies if they prefer.

10. Strange Brigade

In 2018, Strange Brigade surprised many fans as it was developed by the same team that made Zombie Army trilogy. Contrary to what many expected, it's more similar to Left 4 Dead than to the previous game. This change wasn't necessarily a negative, and the game has its own merits.

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Strange Brigade

The game's 1930s setting is unique and different from the usual dark and abandoned environments seen in other games of the same genre. Additionally, the co-op aspect of the game is well executed. Although the story can feel more like a B-movie, the gameplay is solid and makes it a worthwhile choice for those who prioritize gameplay over the story.

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