The Ultimate Survival Journey: Top 5 The Walking Dead Alternative Games

Zachary Kandell / 20 May 2023

The Ultimate Survival Journey: Top 5 The Walking Dead Alternative Games image

The Walking Dead has enthralled fans of the post-apocalyptic world since the release of the first comic book in 2003, followed by the groundbreaking TV series and a brilliant gaming adaptation. While the journey of surviving the zombie-infested world has always been exciting, it's natural to crave a different course and explore various horizons filled with chaos, zombies, and survival instincts. This list of alternative games is designed for players seeking new stories, gameplay, and worlds to immerse into. Are you ready to dive into the apocalyptic realm? Here are the top five Walking Dead alternative games that must make it to your gaming collection.

1. The Last of Us

The Last of Us game

Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror game released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and in 2014 as a remastered version for the PlayStation 4. This critically acclaimed game has captivated players and gaming enthusiasts with its gripping storytelling, heart-wrenching character development, and thrilling gameplay.


The Last of Us follows protagonists Joel and Ellie through a third-person perspective as they traverse a post-pandemic world rendered by a mutated strain of the Cordyceps fungus. Players engage in melee combat, gunfights, and stealth strategies to fend off hostile human survivors and aggressive, infected creatures called the Infected. Leaning on Ellie's support, Joel can collect resources like weapons, ammunition, and crafting materials to create makeshift items like shivs, Molotov cocktails, and health kits.

Story and Setting

Set twenty years after an outbreak of the mutated Cordyceps fungus, the United States is now a nightmarish wasteland with sparse human settlements under heavy military quarantine. When Joel, a smuggler in the Boston Quarantine Zone, is tasked with transporting a teenage girl named Ellie to join the Fireflies resistance group, he embarks on a life-changing journey. As the players control Joel and Ellie across the dangerous landscape, they must foster a bond built on trust, overwhelming loss, and an indomitable will to survive.

2. Days Gone

Days Gone game

Launched in 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Days Gone, developed by Bend Studio, brings a unique spin to the zombie survival genre. Set in a post-apocalyptic open-world Oregon, players control a former outlaw biker named Deacon St. John as he navigates his way across the hostile environment, beset with ruthless humans and hordes of ferocious creatures called Freakers.


Days Gone features a dynamic weather system and a day-night cycle that influences the behavior and population of Freakers. As Deacon, players employ firearms, melee weapons, and stealth-based tactics to execute enemies, defend themselves against Freakers, and interact with other characters in the game. Deacon's primary mode of transportation, his motorcycle, can be customized and upgraded to traverse the vast open-world setting filled with numerous landmarks, enemies, and side activities.

Story and Setting

In a post-apocalyptic Oregon, two years after a pandemic turned the majority of humanity into feral, merciless creatures known as Freakers, Deacon St. John battles with the consequences of his past in an unforgiving, lawless world. Players uncover the horrid reality of the outbreak through the progression of the main story while completing various side quests. The game explores themes of survival, redemption, and the significance of human connections in times of despair.

3. State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 game

Undead Labs developed State of Decay 2, a zombie survival game released for the Xbox One and Windows PC in 2018. This sequel to the 2013 State of Decay builds upon the community management mechanics of its predecessor while introducing an online multiplayer mode and an enhanced combat system.


As a third-person open-world survival game, players manage a group of survivors by building a base and fortifying it against zombie threats. Resources must be scavenged, and alliances must be built to ensure the survival of the community. Each character possesses unique stats and skills which can be improved upon as they gain experience. Players can swap between characters, utilizing their strengths to benefit the community, and can impersonate these characters in a co-op multiplayer mode. State of Decay 2 also features permadeath, making character management and decision-making even more critical.

Story and Setting

Set in fictional Trumbull Valley, State of Decay 2 sees players unfolding the story and missions within the open world infested with the undead. The focus is on building and maintaining a functioning community amidst the apocalypse, which often comes with severe consequences and moral challenges. Organized human factions often pose more significant threats to survival, and choices made in the game dramatically impact the world and the survivors' relationship with the leaders and factions present.

4. Dying Light

Dying Light game

Techland developed and published Dying Light, an open-world first-person survival horror game, in 2015. This action-packed zombie thriller set in a quarantined city combines stellar parkour mechanics with intense melee combat, crafting, and multiplayer gameplay elements.


Unlike typical zombie survival games, Dying Light's primary focus on movement and parkour carries players across the rooftops, walls, and environmental features of Harran. Players control protagonist Kyle Crane, an undercover operative who can engage in a thrilling, fast-paced melee combat system while at the same time utilizing a vast arsenal of weapons and crafting tools. Dying Light boasts an innovative day-night cycle with a substantially escalated level of difficulty in navigating the world at night. Cooperative multiplayer mode, as well as player-versus-player mode, add an extra layer of excitement to the experience.

Story and Setting

Set in the city of Harran, a sprawling metropolis under martial law due to a mysterious viral outbreak, Dying Light takes players on the undercover journey of Kyle Crane. His mission is to locate a missing political figure, but as he uncovers the dark secrets within the quarantine zone, Crane begins to question the intentions of the mysterious agency running the city. With a blend of suspense, horror, and engaging character interactions, the game's main story, supplemented with numerous side quests, ensures an engrossing world for players to delve into.

5. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die game

The Fun Pimps developed 7 Days to Die, a unique open-world sandbox game blending elements of survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. Released for Microsoft Windows and various gaming consoles in 2013, 7 Days to Die invites players to build, create, and survive in a post-apocalyptic setting filled with monstrous creatures and limited resources.


In 7 Days to Die, players are free to explore a large voxel-based open world that is destructible, allowing players to alter and manipulate the environment. With features such as crafting, hunting, mining, and farming, players must prioritize resource management to ensure their survival in this unforgiving world. Character progression comes in the form of a skill point system, rewarding players for their actions and allowing them to improve stats based on their playstyle. As the name suggests, every seven days, the player's base is attacked by a large horde of creatures, adding an element of tower defense as players prepare for the onslaught.

Story and Setting

7 Days to Die takes place amidst the aftermath of a third world war, blighted by a viral outbreak turning millions of people into monstrous, mutated creatures. Players are thrust into this perilous environment, scavenging for resources and uncovering the mysteries behind the apocalypse through environmental storytelling and player ingenuity. Friends can join cooperatively to face the nightmarish world or test their own creations in player-versus-player modes for even more gruesome encounters.


From monumental stories like The Last of Us to sandbox ventures like 7 Days to Die, there is no shortage of thrilling and captivating alternatives to The Walking Dead. Each game brings its unique spin to the survival horror genre, exploring a variety of settings, gameplay elements, and emotional narratives, ensuring that even the most seasoned zombie-apocalypse fan has a fresh experience waiting for them at every turn. Prepare for a new journey brimming with challenges, heart-pounding action, and the grim satisfaction that only comes from surviving in a world on the brink of collapse. Happy gaming, survivor!

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