The Evolution of Zombie Video Games

The evolution of zombie video games from their early days in the 1980s to their current state, exploring popular titles and their impact on the genre.

Apr 29, 2023 - 21:33
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The Evolution of Zombie Video Games
The Evolution of Zombie Video Games

Zombie video games have become a popular genre in the gaming industry, with a rich history dating back to the 1980s. The first zombie game was released in 1984 called "The Evil Dead" for the Commodore 64. However, it was not until the 1990s that the genre really started to gain traction.

First Game

One of the earliest popular zombie games was "Zombies Ate My Neighbors" released in 1993, which was a top-down shooter that allowed players to fight hordes of zombies in a variety of settings. The game was well received, and its popularity helped establish the zombie genre in the gaming industry.

In the late 1990s, the "Resident Evil" franchise was released, which revolutionized the zombie genre. The game introduced a new type of gameplay that combined action, adventure, and horror elements. The game was set in a zombie-infested mansion, and players had to navigate through it while fighting zombies and solving puzzles.

The success of "Resident Evil" led to the release of numerous sequels and spinoffs, which have become some of the most popular zombie games to date. The franchise has also inspired other games such as "Dead Rising" and "The Last of Us," which have helped cement the zombie genre as a staple in the gaming industry.

Modern Zombie Games 

In recent years, zombie games have continued to evolve, with developers introducing new gameplay mechanics and storylines to keep the genre fresh and exciting.

One example is the game "Dying Light," which was released in 2015. The game takes place in an open-world environment and combines parkour-style movement with zombie combat. Players can climb buildings and use traps to outsmart the zombies, creating a unique and thrilling gameplay experience.

Another recent release is "Days Gone," which was released in 2019. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus has turned most of the population into zombies. The game features a unique storyline and dynamic weather system, which affects gameplay and adds a layer of realism to the game.

Popular Games 

One of the most popular zombie games of recent years is "The Last of Us Part II," which was released in 2020. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and follows the story of Ellie, a young woman who is immune to the zombie virus. The game features a deep and emotional storyline, and the gameplay mechanics have been refined to provide a seamless experience.

Reason For Popularity

One of the reasons why zombie games have remained popular is their versatility. They can be set in various locations, from abandoned cities to remote islands, and can feature different types of zombies, from slow-moving corpses to fast, intelligent creatures.

Zombie games also offer players a sense of empowerment as they get to fight and survive against overwhelming odds. They provide a cathartic release as players get to channel their fears and anxieties into the game, without the real-world consequences.


Moreover, the rise of multiplayer and cooperative gaming has also helped the zombie genre flourish. Games like "Left 4 Dead" and "World War Z" allow players to team up and fight hordes of zombies together, creating a thrilling and social gaming experience.


However, the zombie genre is not without its criticisms. Some argue that it has become overused and formulaic, with developers relying too much on established tropes and clichés. Others believe that the genre glorifies violence and promotes a negative outlook on humanity.

Despite these criticisms, the zombie genre continues to be popular among gamers and developers alike. It provides a unique blend of horror, action, and survival that appeals to a wide audience. As technology advances, we can expect even more immersive and realistic zombie games that push the boundaries of what is possible in gaming.

In conclusion, the evolution of zombie video games has been a fascinating journey. From humble beginnings in the 1980s to the sophisticated and complex games of today, the zombie genre has cemented its place in the gaming industry. As long as there are gamers who enjoy fighting zombies and surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, the zombie genre will continue to thrive and evolve.

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John Williams Hello, I'm John Williams, and I'm a zombie content writer with a passion for video games and all things undead. As a lifelong fan of the horror genre, I've spent countless hours exploring virtual post-apocalyptic wastelands and battling hordes of brain-hungry zombies. With over a decade of experience in the gaming industry, I've had the privilege of covering some of the biggest zombie franchises out there. From Call of Duty Zombies to The Last of Us, I've written extensively about these beloved series, providing my readers with snapshot analysis and insights into the lore, gameplay mechanics, and overall experience. So if you're looking for an expert voice in the world of zombie gaming, look no further than me. P.S. I have seen the Walking Dead like 7 times. HMU in the comments