games / Columns

411 Games Top 5 05.10.12: The Top 5 Games Starring Zombies

May 10, 2012 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. BRAINS, talk, talk, talk, and more BRAINS.

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From George A. Romero´s “Night of the Living Dead” to Robert Kirkman´s “Walking Dead” comic book series and subsequent popular television show, “Zombies” have found a way to stay relevant throughout the years because it is something that just enchants tons of people all over the world. Video Games really did not get a jump on this until Lucas Arts came out with “Zombies Ate My Neighbors for the SNES and SEGA Genesis.” Then not too long after that we would get the video game that pushed Zombies back into the mainstream with the Survival Horror Classic “Resident Evil.” So many other Zombie titles spawned from that one game (not to mention a ton of sequels to the Resident Evil franchise itself.) So, since Telltale games released the wonderfully done first episode to the five part Walking Dead video game series a few weeks ago, the 411 staff is making up their lists of Games Starring: Zombies.

Dan Watson (Writer of Average Gamer)

5. Call of Duty: Black Ops- I went back and forth on this one wondering if putting a Call of Duty game in this list was the right thing to do and decided yes it is. This game offered some really cool and fun maps to play on, especially through DLC. Once they started putting challenges and goals in the game it made it even better. The George Romero DLC was perfect for a zombie game.

4. Left 4 Dead- The premise of this game was solid. You are a survivor that has gotten paired up with three others and trying to get out of there. The multiplayer was fun and any game that allows for a co-op story is a winner in my book. I just wish there would have been more story in the game as well as more variety of weapons.

3. Dead Rising 2- As I stated above, I love a good co-op game. What is great about this one is that it is every kid’s dream. You are locked in a mall and can go into every store and take what you want. The only problem is the large amount of zombies and other psychos that are in the mall with you.

2. Dead Island- I was pretty worried about this game early on. It seemed extremely repetitive and somewhat broken. As I progressed through the story I realized that it is probably pretty realistic to think that even though you cleared an area one time, doesn’t mean that zombies aren’t going to be back there next time you come through. Again, this made for a great story and fun little game.

1. Resident Evil- This game is what made zombie games great. Everyone that has played this game easily remembers the first zombie encounter. The crazy cut scene that shows a zombie munching on a corpse and slowly turns his head dripping in blood. From then on, I have loved this series and it is easily the best zombie series/game out there.


Lee Jones (The Reader Voice)

5 – Plants vs Zombies – Okay this game on my lists is like zombies in gaming, it just won’t go away. I’m going to have commenters calling for my brains, ‘Lee doing a zombie list, man that would bite.’ I better work some voodoo in the rest of my list or I’m deadmeat.

4 – Resident Evil – So usually I don’t include older games if I feel they’re not up to scratch by modern standards but I felt I had to tip my hat at the game that made zombies in gaming cool. At the time this had genuine scare moments and the atmosphere was tense. Do I really want to open that door? My ammo’s low, my herbs are mulch and I move like a tank (btw have you tried playing this recently? Those are some whack controls). Trendsetting game that people still love.

3 – Dead Nation – What a great downloadable game this is. Starts of simple enough and it you only play on the lower difficulties then its a challenge but not unfairly so but you find your tactics change on the higher levels, it becomes about survival, pure and simple. You won’t save any of the cool extras you buy from checkpoint to checkpoint, everything is needed to just make it there. You’ll forget about upgrading weapons because you know that flares will save your ass and thats what its all about. Making us survive, not win but just survive is what makes a great zombie game.

2 – Left for Dead – Best fun I’ve had with friends in the last decade. This game is just full of crazy action and you’re just left wondering how the hell you survived. And the better you do the more the game will throw at you. Battling a horde (yes genuine horde) of zombies whilst having a Tank on your tail when you’re desperate for health and THAT’S when you stumble into the Witch! Epic game just for the sense of desperation and empowerment it gives you. Just watch the intro alone and you’ll know what you’re about to face.

1 – Zombies ate my Neighbours – I believe its just Zombies in the USA. This was the Left for Dead of the SNES but up the craziness and the survival aspect. The zombies/monsters will get you, its just a matter of when. Only the most hardcore have completed this game and kudos to those who have cause I failed. This is just brimming with bat-shit crazy ideas like have giant babies, soda cans as weapons, chainsaw crazies. But the best bit is when you turn into a monster and get to batter the fuck out of everybody. Yes payback is a bitch and it feels good.


Gavin Napier (Writer of This is the End(ing)

5. House of the Dead When it comes to shooters, I prefer to have a gun in my hand. I grew up with Duck Hunt and Hogan’s Alley, and playing Time Crisis in arcades. Taking that concept – putting a light gun in my hands – and letting me pull the trigger over and over against hordes of zombies? That’s a recipe that can’t fail.

4. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Red Dead is one of the better games of the last few years because of its ability to tell a compelling story using a wide variety of layered characters. Adding zombies to that only made it better. Impressively, RDD was able to mesh this DLC into the game’s story without being too ridiculous. Well, no more than raging zombies normally requires. This was an excellent, fun example of listening to player feedback on a game and making DLC worth the trouble.

3. Dead Rising 2 If they had just left Frank here and continued his story, this would have been number one. The massive herds of zombies, the combo weapons, the changeable wardrobes…all upgrades over the original Dead Rising. I just never felt invested in te missions or characters, though. I was more interested in killing zombies mindlessly, with no thought to story or characters. If Frank is the main character here, I’m more investe an likely would have played a lot longer.

2. The Walking Dead Ok, I’m biased. My favorite comic book became my favorite television show and now it’s a game. It hasn’t been around long and still has 80% of the game to be released, but episode 1 is fantastic. As with the books and the show, the zombies are almost secondary to the story. They’re simply the tool used to paint the desolate, dangerous world that exists. The Walking Dead are those few survivors with little chance to remain alive. For a game to capture that is impressive.

1. Resident Evil Nostalgia wins again. Why? Anybody that didn’t jump out of their skin when the undead dogs jump through the window is either lying or was playing in the daylight. To me the franchise started slipping when they moved away from survival horror and into action games. The original set the pace for a new generation of horror games and is one of my fondest memories of the Playstation/Saturn era.


Wyatt Beougher (Writer of Five Quick Rounds and Ultimate Fighter Show Reviewer in MMA Zone)

HM: Plants vs Zombies This game is a fun little time waster, and nothing says more about its popularity than the fact that both my daughter and my mom have it and play it regularly.

HM: Project Zomboid Think Oregon Trail, but instead of traveling across the country, you’re trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. Any game that starts out with “This is how you died..” is alright in my book. This would probably be higher, but I’ve only played the tech demo so far, and while it’s a blast, it’s also pretty short.

HM: Dead Rising I wanted to love this game, I really did. But after the initial fun of mowing down zombies with any number of weapons/random objects wore off, I realized that I disliked the escort missions with some of the dumbest AI in any game I’ve ever played, and the fact that the controls weren’t really any better than Resident Evil, a game released almost ten years earlier, didn’t help things either.

5. Resident Evil Not exactly the game that started it all, but easily the origin point for the modern zombie game. Resident Evil was improved upon in subsequent iterations, but I’ll never forget the first time I played, when the sometimes-frustrating controls and frequently bad camera angles honestly made me feel like I was in a horror movie, alone and unprepared for what was yet to come. I can honestly remember nervous anticipation any time I went through a door for the first time and had no idea of what might be waiting for me. And if you need another reason why this game is on the list and not any of its sequels/prequels/spinoffs, look no further than its voice acting.

4. Left 4 Dead While Resident Evil’s wonky control system made it feel like you were completely unprepared and alone when you encountered zombies, Left 4 Dead’s slick controls and team-based gameplay made you feel like someone who could actually survive. The movie-style presentation and time-friendly level structure made this a great alternative to some of the more time-consuming zombie games on the list. I’m told the sequel is even better, but I haven’t had time to sit down with it yet.

3. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare To say there was some skepticism when the makers of GTA announced they were doing a sandbox western would be an understatement, and that skepticism redoubled, in spite of how much fun RDD was to play, when it was announced that it would receive a zombie expansion pack. However, Undead Nightmare was so good that I want RockStar to make a sandbox zombie game. My mind tingles with the possibilities…

2. Dead Island So I saw the infamous trailer for this game (embedded below), and it caught my attention immediately. As more details were revealed, it sounded like Fallout with zombies, which is certainly a concept that I could get behind. My anticipation for this game grew and grew, and while I can’t say that it was the perfect zombie game, it was still a great game.

1. Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse Hey, guys who made Neverdead? This is what you were going for, but a game that came out 8 years earlier kicked the stuffing out of your pile of crap. Stubbs was an awesome game from the original XBox that allowed you to use body parts as weapons as you tried to eat people’s brains and convert them into zombies, which you could then control. This game was amazingly fun and if there was any justice, we’d see a sequel for it instead of crappy Modern Warfare zombies. (Yeah, I said it.)


Twitter Break

Games Coming Out on 5/15/12 (Dang, I think this is the first week with a ton of releases):

Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, & PC)

Diablo III (PC Only)

Akai Katana Shin (Xbox 360 Only)

Game of Thrones: The Video Game (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Battleship: The Video Game (All Systems)

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PS3, Xbox 360, & PC)

JAM Live Music Arcade (Xbox 360 & PS3)

Dragon´s Lair (Xbox 360 KINECT Only Downloadable Game)

Pixel Junk 4AM (PSN Only Downloadable Game)


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Sean Garmer
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