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Staff Picks Apocalyptic Games: The Next-Best Thing to a Real Apocalypse

The world didn’t end.

It’s a darn good thing too, as there are too many exciting games left to play on our collective bucket lists. We still have yet to see the release of the highly anticipated Bioshock Infinite, and apparently Valve needs a bit more time before they learn how to count to 3. Though some were worried that the world was indeed drawing to a close, Blizzard seems to have lessened the harsh reality of our continued existence by adding some humor to their server logout screens on the 21st.



In honor of this momentous occasion that passed almost exactly like any other friday, (with the exception of some added celebration with friends and family in the event you were suddenly vaporized without warning) We here at Structure have compiled a list of the best apocalyptic games for you to play! Were you just dying to know what surviving a nuclear winter would be like? Did you want to know exactly how long you would survive in a city crawling with zombies? Now you can experience the hellish future that the mayans may or may not have predicted, right from the safety of your own home.




This new title by Tequila Works is available on Steam, and brings zombie apocalypse and side-scrolling platform gaming together in a good way. There is something to be said for the way Deadlight delivers heart-pounding fear responses amid the simple interface and scenery of a destroyed civilization around you. Though this game is not graphically taxing, it still paints a very intricate portrait of the end of the world that should absolutely be played to be appreciated.


Resident Evil Series


The game series of our youth, in some sense defined a portion of our generation, Resident Evil has survived as a staple game series since it first appeared in 1996. We list the series here as a whole, rather than just one, as it is hard to decide which one ultimately was the one we loved the most. All of them are reflected upon fondly. The newest installment in the series has received flak from critics for changing the mechanics of the game in a way that differed from the prior lineage, but in our opinion it still stands among the rest as a great end of the world game. The plagues change with time, but our ability to put the infected down has only been sharpened over the years.


I Am Alive


An arcade game available on Xbox Live, PC, and Playstation Network, I am alive brings the harsh realities of a nuclear event in a large city to life. You must map your way through a crumbling city, find and protect valuable resources, and fight for your life- you aren’t the only survivor out there. Choose your path and conserve your ammo wisely, as you may quickly find yourself in a situation you cannot bluff your way out of.


Dead Rising


A classic zombie grinder game, you are a reporter who’s managed to sneak his way into the middle of the outbreak zone: A super center shopping mall. As you take photos for your journalism career making story, you also fight and explode thousands upon thousands of the infected hoard and rescue other survivors. While the end of the world is not yet occurring in this game, it’s sequel brings more of the apocalyptic repercussions back with a vengeance.


Gears of War series

Gears of War

Gears of war is a gory and glorified shooter adventure in which you slay thousands of the invasive beings from underground as they attempt to claim the surface of the earth. Though this game is less about survival and more about chainsaw guns, it makes the list because almost every major city on earth falls and is destroyed beyond recognition.




An innovative new title by Ubisoft Montreal, Zombi-U features the aftermath of zombie outbreak in downtown London. The game is only available on the Wii-U platform, and makes use of all of the new features it has to offer. The game manages to bring both the innate horror of a zombie survival, and the immersive gameplay style unique to the Wii-U system together to form one of the most terrifying games available today. Zombi-U is certainly not for children, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.


The Walking Dead 


Taking a page directly from the hit AMC series with the same name, this game brings you into the world inhabited by our heroes to live out their fate.  The Walking Dead offers one of the most intricate, beautiful story lines seen in a modern video game. While it remains a horrifying vision of one possible zombie infested future of mankind, you will have a hard time resisting playing “just one chapter more” to find out what happens next.




This dystopian future is set deep underwater in the city of Rapture. The Bioshock series has been an outstanding example of good intentions gone horribly wrong. Harnessing the power of untapped genetic abilities amid the ruins of a crumbling flooding city, this game is one of the best available. “No Gods or Kings, Only Man” is the slogan that started it all, and now you must fight for survival and answers deep in the depths of this nightmarish metropolis. Bioshock, Bioshock 2, and soon to be released Bioshock Infinite are poised to be on this gamer’s number 1 slots of all time.


Metro 2033


Set amid the ruins of a destroyed metro system in the wake of a nuclear event, you play as Artyom, a survivor of the not-so-cold war in Russia. Searching for a way to protect your home station, you set off across the barren wastelands of what used to be Moscow. While fighting the mutated horrors of the nuclear winter and the remnants of the idealist soldiers from before the bombs, Metro 2033 is one of the most realistic post apocalyptic games made to date.


Left 4 Dead


Yet another zombie slaying frag fest, Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 are both among the top society crushing games of all time. Simply by virtue of offering a veritable arsenal of weapons to utilize in slowing the infected hoards on your path to survival, this game series is both a horrifying possible future and arcade type adventure. Many hundreds of hours have been sunk into these games, and many hundred of hours more will as well.


Fallout series


Fallout 3, the Bethesda title that redefined the way we think about post apocalyptic survival gaming, and it’s sequel Fallout 3: New Vegas, are among the best games we can think of to represent the end of the world. The previous Fallout titles were PC smash hits, featuring a perfect mixture of real time strategy and survival horror on bit-graphics. The sequels based on them were awarded several GOTY nominations, and are still considered some of the best survival adventures on the market.


Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl


The end-all best game for post-apocalyptic gaming is none other than S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Set in the wastelands of the atomic disaster at Chernobyl, Ukraine, the world you inhabit is far from welcoming. Mutants, bandits, and creatures hunt you for your flesh, and if you aren’t careful about where you tread, you’ll end up someone else’s dinner. Food and resources are scarce, this game forces you to rely on your wits and reactions to survive.


Honorable mentions: Crysis, Dead Island, Day-Z (Arma II Mod)


About: Will Russell

Will Russell is COO and Executive Editor for Structure Gaming and spends most of his free time writing about his passion for the industry. Will is a recent graduate of Purdue University, and is focused on getting into the gaming industry. Will is an avid rock climber, and if he is not found working his way up a wall, he will most likely be found burning a few hours on his favorite video game setup at home. Writer of gaming reviews, master of dungeons and purveyor of fine arts. Stay awhile, and read. You can follow Will on Twitter: @Scotch_man

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