8 Of The Best Post-Apocalypse Games
We’re as excited about the rest of you about Fallout 4. It got us thinking, what are the best post-apocalypse videogames out there? There sure are a hell of a lot of them out there, but for our money these, in no particular order, are eight of the best post-apocalypse games:
Proof that the term ‘post-apocalyptic’ doesn’t necessarily mean the game you’re playing is dark, drab and violent is to be found in the beautiful Journey. The cool thing about the way Journey presents its post-apocalyptic world is that it’s not filled with detailed exposition about what happened and why. That allows the ruins of the civilization that came before you that you encounter as you glide across the game’s shimmering sands to retain an alluring sense of mystery.
The opening to Half-Life 2 does an excellent job of introducing you to a dystopian world that, following the events of the first game, is now controlled by the alien Combine. The bleak Eastern European inspired City 17 has become particularly iconic as a vision of a post-invasion Earth under a repressive, dictatorial force. It also happens to be one of the greatest games of all time, which helps.
Unquestionably the most lighthearted of our pick of post-apocalyptic games is the bizarre Tokyo Jungle. In this version of the future, animals rule, with hyenas, beagles, tigers, giraffes, deer, bears and more battling for supremacy on the overgrown streets of Tokyo. The only game in which you can see a Pomeranian maul a lion, Tokyo Jungle is a cool little survival game that’s unique, if nothing else.
The whole point of this game is to stave off the threat of the end of the world, heralded by the coming of creature called Lavos who gradually seeps the planet of its energy. To do that, you find yourself traveling across time and space, witnessing the destruction of a civilization and visiting the dystopian wastelands of the future as you search for a way to take Lavos down. What makes this classic JRPG a bit different as a post-apocalyptic game, then, is the fact that you get to see the world both before and after things have gone to pot as you careen back and forth through time.
The cool thing about Deus Ex’s apocalypse is that it uses it as a way of commenting on the world that we’re living in. You see, the thing is, in Deus Ex, the apocalypse doesn’t apply to the rich. Massive inequality has been exacerbated by a pandemic called the Gray Death, with limited supplies of the vaccine only reserved for the rich and powerful while the poor suffer and die. This is a Deus Ex game, though, so conspiracy might just be afoot. Are those vaccine supplies really so limited? We recommend you try playing one of the best games of all time to find out for yourself.
The Walking Dead
Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a game that brings something more interesting than ‘see how many heads you can pop’ out of a zombie apocalypse scenario. Instead, the focus is on how difficult conditions can push people to the limit, forcing them to consider extremes that they never would have in their pre-apocalypse life. In that sense, you really feel the effects of the world in this game, pushing you as it does into making tough choices related to the survival of yourself and your companions.
The Last of Us
The great thing about The Last of Us’ brutal post-apocalyptic world is that it really captures a sense of loss through its brilliantly drawn characters. In Joel, you see a man defined by what happened to him in the world’s descent into chaos, terrified of letting his guard down lest history repeats itself. In Ellie, you see a character that barely understands the cultural detritus of the civilization that came before, but who nonetheless pines for a world that she can never fully comprehend as she is condemned to live in this brutal new epoch.
One of the reasons we’re so excited about Fallout 4 is because of how great its predecessor was. Fallout’s wastelands are full of competing factions with different goals and you are given the option to decide which of those goals to help with and how to do so. This might be a world that’s destroyed then, but you feel as if you’re given the agency to decide how to shape a new one depending on the decisions you make. It’s that combination of feeling as if you’re inhabiting a place that confronts you with meaningful choices at every turn, along with the game’s excellently crafted atmosphere, that makes it one of our favourite post-apocalyptic titles.