For some reason, an apocalyptic setting is one of the most entertaining settings that people can expose themselves to — a notion that can prove to be quite saddening if people read a bit too much into it. Movies and TV shows have utilized this setting in numerous forms, but one might argue that the best form of entertainment that has done this setting justice is video games.
The sheer number of excellent video games that are situated in the post-apocalypse is quite immense. However, not all is perfect when it comes to these games — there also some absolutely stinky piles of garbage that one should avoid if they don’t wish for their view of video games to be tainted.
So, let’s take a look at both sides of the spectrum and list out five of the best post-apocalyptic games of all time, coupled with five absolute duds in the same setting.
10 BEST — The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Perhaps the most muted post-apocalyptic setting on this list, Breath Of The Wild completely took over the gaming world by storm when it released, wowing both critics and fans with the sheer level of freedom it afforded to the player.
The story of the game takes place 100 years after Link and the Champions unsuccessfully try to beat Ganon. The loss results in the entire world of Hyrule being plagued by the malicious presence of Ganon, with only a few sparse villages showcasing the only signs of civilization.
9 WORST — 2400 A.D.
There were very few games in the 80s that actually managed to gain a half-decent reputation from players. 2400 A.D. was certainly not one of these games.
Taking control of an ordinary citizen who joins an underground resistance movement, the main aim of the game is to free the people of planet XK-120 — the setting of the game — from an alien race called the Tzorgs.
The graphics, structure, and plot of the game are just a few of the many flaws that completely take away from what could’ve been a passable experience if nothing else.
8 BEST — Horizon: Zero Dawn
The announcement of Horizon: Zero Dawn was met with widespread anticipation, with most people wondering how the concept of robot dinosaurs could be integrated in a realistic manner — something that seemed way too wild to be done seamlessly at first glance.
Thankfully, Guerrilla Games managed to craft a masterful tale of robots in servitude that went rogue, leading to a worldwide apocalypse and the relapse of society back to the Dark Ages.
7 WORST — Hard Truck Apocalypse
Think of the worst vehicular combat you can possibly imagine, coupled with a half-baked post-apocalyptic setting that is there just for the sake of it. The combination of both these elements is the best way to explain the absolute mess that is Hard Truck Apocalypse.
There is absolutely nothing worthwhile in this game that warrants giving it even a first chance, let alone a second. Do yourself a favor and give this title the widest berth possible.
6 BEST — Metro Exodus
The Metro series is one of those shining gaming gems that definitely deserve more attention. Thankfully, the excellence of Metro Exodus has certainly compelled a larger proportion of people to take an extensive look at this title.
Featuring an open world that is equal parts beautiful and terrifying, Metro Exodus — and, for that matter, its prequels — is definitely a game that one should check out post-haste.
5 WORST — Infestation: Survivor Stories
The game formerly known as The War Z is the poster child of horrible video games by developers that prioritize money before customers. The first red flag should’ve been apparent enough when the game tried to shamelessly rip off DayZ‘s established reputation to mislead gamers.
Aside from this, the game also promised a ton of features that weren’t present in the main game. Perhaps the last straw was the game’s over-reliance on microtransactions, forcing players to pay real money to properly “enjoy” the game.
4 BEST — The Last Of Us
It would be nigh-impossible to talk about post-apocalyptic games without mentioning the absolute genius that is The Last Of Us. Naughty Dog outdid themselves with this title, releasing an emotionally-charged tale driven by two of the best video game characters of all time.
The tense combat situations, beautiful graphics, and an incredible story are just some of the many reasons why you should give this incredible game a go… that is if you haven’t already.
3 WORST — Metal Gear Survive
A game that not only soils the name of a beloved franchise but also spits on the face of the person who birthed the series, Metal Gear Survive shares most of the problems of Infestation: Survivor Stories, in the sense that it’s made by a developer that doesn’t respect its fans and was only made to make a quick buck.
From sporting uninspired gameplay to reusing assets from a far superior game in the form of The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear Survive personifies everything wrong with Konami right now.
2 BEST — Fallout: New Vegas
The Fallout series is arguably one of the most iconic post-apocalyptic series of all time, featuring some of the most intriguing worlds, settings, and stories ever seen in a roleplaying game.
There are several games in this franchise that could’ve made the cut, but the superior role-playing experience enabled by Fallout: New Vegas makes it a clear winner in our books.
However, not all the games in the series can be classified as great…
1 WORST — Fallout 76
The game that is single-handedly responsible for kickstarting the downfall of Bethesda’s reputation as a gaming studio, Fallout 76 is a slap in the face of fans who wanted to enjoy the post-nuclear setting of the series in a multiplayer game.
Instead, what fans received instead was a seemingly incomplete game with a host of technical issues upon launch, the same flawed combat without any major changes, and some of the worst developer practices ever seen in a AAA video game.
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