Emma has grown to love post-apocalyptic video games. Her goal is to find the best of the best.
I love playing post-apocalyptic games, but because I am relatively new to video games, I still have a lot of catching up to do. I started gaming on the Wii, but there weren't many other console-specific games that I was interested in after completing Resident Evil 4, so I decided to buy an Xbox 360. This set in motion my love for post-apocalyptic games.
It soon became one of my favorite genres in all types of media (my other favorite is survival horror games), so I've been eager to jump into any similar games I can find. So here's a list of post-apocalyptic games I have played, as well as some I would really love to play.
1. Fallout 3
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Seeing this game on the list isn't really surprising, is it? I've spent a lot of time in Fallout 3's Capital Wasteland. I've spent well over 250 hours playing a single character, and once I get through a couple of games on my "to be played" pile, I will probably roll up a new character in the Vault and start all over again. Next time, I won't be taking Bloody Mess! It was fun for a while, but seeing the same animation over and over again just gets old after the first 100 hours or so. At any rate, I would dearly love to play through the game again from the beginning.
Now, since I've mentioned Fallout 3, my list obviously wouldn't be complete without mentioning the previous games in the series—Fallout 1 & 2 are beloved classics, but there are six games total. Some are only available for the PC, and I'm pretty sure I could actually play most of others on my computer!
If you want to play the first three yourself, you can either download them from GoG or pick up all three games on disc for about $15.
2. Fallout: New Vegas
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Fallout: New Vegas has just been released and I'm about 50 hours into it.
If you loved Fallout 3, you will love New Vegas. In many ways, it's identical—with the same engine and models. However, there is a new story, a new setting, and other new features that make Fallout: New Vegas a little more hardcore, if you like that sort of thing. For example, there's a setting that you can change so your character will be required to eat, drink, and sleep in order to maintain their health. Personally, I don't bother with that since I'm a packrat and I like to steal and horde tons of stuff
So far I'm really enjoying this. I love Vegas and I think that utilizing it as a post-apocalyptic setting is a great idea. I also think the story is a bit more interesting than the one in Fallout 3 as well. And while the bugginess complained about in every single review is real, I haven't had too many problems yet. Some odd freezes here and there requiring a restart. But thankfully, nothing game-breaking. It really helps to SAVE A LOT. Fortunately, there is a second patch on the way.
Publisher: 2K Games
I haven't gotten around to Borderlands yet, but I've heard great things. Of course, I will probably get the GOTY edition, which likely won't see a price drop, but the regular edition is already under $30 if you buy it on Amazon.
Borderland looks like it should be a heap load of fun with its tons and tons of guns. Its big advantage over Fallout 3 is multiplayer (four-person co-op)—not something I'm into, but it's a good feature to have. I prefer to play solo. And it looks like, unlike Left 4 Dead, I'll actually be able to play Borderlands on my own.
It's part shooter and part RPG, with an emphasis on the shooting. There are four classes you can choose from and you can modify or add new skills as you get more experience. Art-wise, I think the cell shading looks pretty cool.
4. Metro 2033
Metro 2033 is a post-apocalyptic first-person shooter set in the tunnels beneath Moscow. Humanity's moved to the underground Metro after nuking the hell out of itself above ground, and it is a sprawling and dreary world. You'll be traveling both below and above ground. There are both mutants and paranormal creatures who will be attacking you.
The game can as easily be classified as survival horror as post-apocalyptic. While you won't have much trouble finding ammo if you play on Easy, gas masks are few and far between (I had to replay a few levels when I ran out at a crucial time) and there are plenty of scares. Overall, I found the game pretty nerve-wracking and unsettling and . . . glorious.
Every review I read of this game before I had a chance to play it suggested to me that it would leave me in tears of frustration—due to glitches and just being terribly difficult—but I found the "Easy" difficulty perfectly playable and I'm rather average to terrible at first-person shooters. So if you have hesitated to pick it up because of the reviews, I have to say, if I can play it then so can you. It's available for Xbox 360 and PC.
Metro 2033 is actually based on a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky, which you will need some serious luck to get your hands on (in English).
5. Half-Life 2
I've played Half-Life 2 and the two episodes that follow it. To me, they seem more dystopian than post-apocalyptic, but I suppose that is a quibble. The games are certainly terrific, though and I found myself hellbent to get through them one after another when I finally loaded The Orange Box onto the Xbox 360. I literally would finish one game and then launched the next one.
6. Left 4 Dead
Oh no, it's the zombie apocalypse! Since I don't play multiplayer games, I almost left Left 4 Dead out (as much as it appeals to me) because the single-player mode doesn't seem worthwhile. But since the rest of the world loves multiplayer, I'm happy I remembered it.
Maybe someday I will get over my fear of making a fool of myself online (as much as I love them, I am really bad at video games), then I will start playing the Left for Dead series. They do look like incredibly awesome games. And who doesn't love zombies?
Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 are available for Xbox 360 and PC only.
It's up to You!
Now it's up to you to tell me what games are missing from the list. Just let me know in the comments! Or tell me which of the ones listed is your favorite!
Did I leave anything out?
Joe from Texas on March 15, 2013:
Ahh, Fallout 3. That game hits all my post-apocalytic receptors so perfectly, and you can spend hundreds of hours playing it. New Vegas was certainly a good follow-up, but misses a bit of the atmosphere. Rage I liked a lot, but no open-world exploration and it's focus on shooting cut it far short of glory. I can see how a lot of people liked Metro, and I'm looking forward to trying the newer "Metro last light", but's its focus is also as a fps, and I'm not real good at those. "I Am Alive" is a pretty good Xbox game, and Telltales "Walking Dead" has a great story although its point-and-click mechanic was somewhat tedious.
Tyler on May 19, 2012:
Dont forget to add RAGE to the list its an fps/combat racing game that takes place after an astroid apocalyptic event. it has strong ties to fallout (you even find a vault-tec bobblehead). unfortunatly only on ps3.
Scott Rozzy on October 17, 2011:
these games are great. not one beats fallout newvegas thought. the only game that will beat it will be fallout 4;san-francisco. another game like fallout is oblivion: the elder scolls V. but this game isn't post-apocalyptic, oblivion is the closest you are going to get i think.
Jeff Poirrier from Washington on September 09, 2011:
Ah man... great list. The Fallout games are awesome on Xbox but even better on the PC with the plethora of FREE user created mods out there. I've played and loved every one of those games except Resistance, which I haven't played. I'm excited about RAGE coming out soon!
Anyway, nice work. "Voting you up"... or what-not.
jmartin1344 from Royal Oak, Michigan on August 18, 2011:
Awesome list. Fallout 3 is one of my absolute favourites ever, and I just started New Vegas today. I also remember how good the Half Life games were. Nice list!
jamesjacques from Seattle on August 04, 2011:
Hey you should include a poll so we can vote on our favorite one. Great Hub!
Emma (author) from Boston on July 20, 2011:
Local Game Lover, I agree with you about Singularity, but when I wrote this hub I hadn't played it yet. I'm not 100% sure I would call it a post-apocalyptic game though.
Local Game Lover on July 19, 2011:
You left out singularity. it is one of the best games of any genre I have ever played. It is a must buy game.
The Jet from The Bay on April 15, 2011:
Left 4 Dead is freakin' awesome.
Ciaran Moore from Ireland on February 14, 2011:
very cool list, i love the fallout games since the first ones, must check out the others
Nick R on January 19, 2011:
Damn Good trailer for Metro. Wouldn't have seen it if it wasn't for your list. Thanks you.
Trek on December 05, 2010:
Wasteland, the game that inspired the fallout series, but not an fps, an old(80s) style computer game.
Brotherhood of Steel, based on the fallout verse but played like Bulders Gate. I have it for ps2, don't know what else it can be played on.
Advanced Wars, Never played the first but enjoying the second. Turn based tactical. For Nintedo ds.
Now that i got my PS3, i am hoping to find out about some game where you play a citizen of chicago when it goes crazyh from a massive earthquake and another based on a racing game in this type of sesson but i got rid of the magazines i read about them in so i can't recall the names.
Emma (author) from Boston on November 13, 2010:
Thanks, Satomko :)
Seth Tomko from Macon, GA on November 12, 2010:
This is one of the best video game lists I've ever seen.