games / Columns

411 Games Top 5: Top 5 Zombie Games

December 3, 2016 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. This is the 411 Games Zone Top 5, where 411 writers get to make lists on a different topic each week. This week, since Dead Rising 4 comes out on Tuesday, we are doing the Top 5 Zombie Games.

John Cash (Regular Contributor to Games Top 5)

5. Lollipop Chainsaw: I feel this game gets overlooked a lot because of what it seems like on it’s surface, but if you actually played through the game you know this is a solid outing from legendary/infamous director Suda 51. It’s a great homage to the excess of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, with a great cast and interesting (though sometimes a bit wonky) gameplay.

4. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: I am including this because you can buy it as a stand-alone game. This was the first zombie game to ever really scare the piss out of me. The way the zombies can ambush you as you’re stopping to pick up flowers for medicine is the stuff of nightmares. I am also always in support of non-canon DLC; it’s nice to see the characters you know and love in a different situation than they are used to.

3. Dead Rising: One of those games where it’s fun and easy to play, but hard and frustrating to 100% complete. The speed run for this game is hilarious, because it basically revolves around making a mocha every couple of hours. Great bosses, an interesting twist with the survivor mutiny aspect (something I imagine most people don’t know about, as most people I know that played NEVER saved survivors), and an under-rated soundtrack.

2. Left 4 Dead 2: One of the best FPS of all time, and one of the best co-op games of all time. I have L4D2 specifically because it has all the content from the first with the benefit of the new mechanics and special infected from the second. I especially love the modding community around this game (you can’t look at a game the same way again after you’ve played Everything Pizza.) Some of the most tense moments in FPS history are just waiting for that stinking rescue to show up in the finales.

1. The Walking Dead: The Game Season One: There is hardly any gameplay, and it’s one of the best examples of the illusion of choice in video game history, but the narrative was SO strong and so out of left field, that it remains one of my favorite games. The dynamic between Lee and Clem, Lee’s responses to people questioning him, and of course, the ending (which I still won’t spoil, ever, because it’s something you have to play through to really feel the true impact of.) One of the few must-play’s for anyone and everyone interested in video games.

Marc Morrison (Games Zone Reviewer, Co-Host of Video Games 2 the MAX Podcast, Writer of Games Zone 8-Ball)

5. Plants vs. Zombies: Michael Jackson zombie. /done I actually think Plants vs. Zombies might be one of the few tower defense games I actually like. PvZ offers a lot of flexability in how it handles each stage. Sure you do recognize patterns after a while but there can always be some new zombie type that will bypass your defenses and really screw up your day. I think this is one of the few games where the zombies are cute, notably the Disco Zombie. The F2P nature of PvZ 2 (and it only being on mobile platforms) has caused me not to play it. It’s only a shame that Planet vs. Zombies 2 is never coming to PC. Thanks EA!

4. Dead Rising 3: Dead Rising has always been functional and had a good premise, but it took until Dead Rising 3 to make the thing actually playable. While you had a big sandbox area to play in, the brutal time constraints, bizarre save system, and closed in nature of the buildings made them frustrating diversions. Dead Rising 3 eschews most of the normal Dead Rising conventions for the better, letting you focus on the important things of killing zombies and making them do humiliating things. The combo weapons return from Dead Rising 2, but some of them have additional modes and levels to make them more lethal, both to the zombies and to the game’s framerate.

3. Dying Light: Honestly, Dying Light is the game Dead Island should have been, and considering that Dead Island 2 is still MIA, that kind of speaks volumes, despite all the corporate shenanigans going on with that thing. The thing that Dying Light had that separated it from Dead Island was that the world felt more dynamic, like with the day/night system and how zombies would act differently depending on when it was. Also, the parkour stuff made actually getting around the city to be enjoyable, especially once you got the grappling hook, because you were no longer constrained to just being on the street and could get away if you really needed.

2. Resident Evil 2: The first game was revolutionary but was a bit rough around the edges. The second improved upon the first though with better graphics, audio, gameplay and story. The branching story (zapping system) was also neat, with the Leon A/Claire B, or vice versa, which could have gameplay consequences for your characters. If you hogged all the ammo with Leon, Claire could find herself in a tougher spot as she goes through her story. Resident Evil 4 definitely plays better by modern standards, but in its time, Resident Evil 2 was a very fun game to play that had actual tension and scares, which is something the later (RE4 and up) games have forgotten about. Resident Evil 2 remains among not only one of the best zombie games, but one of the best games of that generation.

1. The Last of Us: While not the traditional virus and/or magic zombies of most games, the fungal zombies of The Last of Us were a force not to be reckoned with. It was far safer and easier to sneak around them, or shiv them in the neck, instead of getting into a firefight with them because you would likely get slaughtered. The longer they have the fungus in them, the more armored and difficult they become, with the noted example of the tank one in the gym that could be a real bastard to try and take down. More than anything else, The Last of Us does reasonably present a world on the brink of collapse due to “zombies” and how there really isn’t any one big bad guy in the game, just a series of vignettes that show the worst of humanity in trying times.

YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS

List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation

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