Everyone likes to toy with the end of the world. Here are our top picks!
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a series of games exploring post-apocalyptic worlds set over a variety of genres. Post-apocalyptic games have been with us almost as long as gaming has existed, it’s a well-trod path in fiction and gaming is no exception.
With so many available especially on PC you have to wonder, if you’re wanting to dive into the realms of post-apocalyptia, where to start? Well don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Take a trip to the darker side of the world with our list of the best post-apocalyptic games for PC gamers.
Who would’ve thought that one day this plucky little RPG series set in the ruins of the USA would take over the world?
Bethesda definitely did, that’s why they picked up the series from the sadly defunct Interplay and produced some of the largest and most immersive first person RPGS ever made. In Fallout 4 the action takes place in the Commonwealth, an area around the ruins of Boston.
Here you’ll search for your son as you emerge into the post-apocalyptic hellscape, make allies, fight enemies, and build settlements in a game that simply gives you endless hours of RPG fun.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
Based roughly on the film Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky and the book Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is set years after a mysterious event wipes out Chernobyl and the surrounding area. As a Stalker you are one of the few to dive into this world, seeking treasure and answers hidden amidst the terrifying remnants of the Chernobyl area. Filled with strange anomalies, creatures twisted beyond all recognition, and human foes that work together intelligently, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a brilliantly tough FPS with strong survival horror elements which for atmosphere alone would make it one of the best post-apocalyptic games for PC gamers.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
What do you do when robot creatures roam the world? You hunt them, of course. Horizon: Zero Dawn sees you take on the role of Aloy as you explore a vast open world filled with giant clanking creatures, many of which are threats you’ll have to track, stalk, and hunt in order to best.
Horizon: Zero Dawn isn’t just a great open world action RPG, it has a rich and deep story too that delves far into the past and brings forgotten secrets to the surface. HZD is as good to place as it looks, and that’s very good indeed.
InXile have quietly been perfecting turn based RPGs and with Wasteland 3 they’ve never been better. This series took a long break, the original Wasteland came out in 1988 with the sequel arriving in 2014.
Now, Wasteland 3 has been released and it was well worth the wait. Taking place in the frozen post-apocalyptic wasteland of Colorado, you take control over a squad of Arizona Ranger.
The game excels in many areas, but it’s how it treats choice and consequence where it’s without parallel. Many quest lines have difficult decisions with real consequences for your game world, making this a brilliant game for any RPG fan.
The world is huge and hostile and you’re trying to survive in it. Neo Scavenger is a survival RPG where you must stay alive in the wasteland of the post-apocalypse long enough to work out just who you are.
The world of Neo Scavenger is full of opportunities but equally full of chances to lose your life, so each step must be weighed carefully as you fight for survival. If the idea of balancing your hunger, thirst, temperature, and general health whilst you investigate a post-apocalyptic world intrigues you, Neo Scavenger is definitely the one for you.
Deep and fulfilling, it’s a worthy entry in our list of the best post-apocalyptic games for PC gamers.
Zombies are a stalwart of the post-apocalyptic genre but in Dying Light they take centre stage. Dying Light is a vast open-world action RPG where by day you scavenge and explore, and by night the dead walk the streets with a hunger for flesh.
Dying Light’s movement system is one of the best seen in any first person game, with a parkour movement set that makes traversing its wide world a joy. Be warned though, you’ll just as easily jump into danger as jump out of it.
The day may see the dead hiding from the sky, but there’s much to be afraid of in the world of Dying Light.
Fallout: New Vegas
Veteran Fallout developers returned to the series for this spin-off of the main series. Set in the ruins of Las Vegas and Nevada, Fallout: New Vegas explores a shifting set of factions as they war for power over the burgeoning New Vegas community. You'll also hunt down the guy who shot you in the head and left you for dead in the intro, not a wise move on their part.
This prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road sees the titular Max seek one thing: he wants his car back. Stolen by one of Immortan Joe’s sons in the intro, you spend the game making alliances with various apocalyptic factions as you seek revenge - and your wheels.
What makes Mad Max truly special is its wasteland, it’s truly one of the most beautiful places in PC gaming. It also has an endlessly enjoyable driving model and car combat that’s better than anything else out there.
If you’re even slightly interested in Mad Max or post-apocalyptic action games, this is for you.
The first two Metro games were claustrophobic. Set largely in the sewers underneath Moscow it deals with the war between humans and another race of creatures that may have been birthed via the nuclear apocalypse.
Metro Exodus takes you on a road trip, except you’re travelling via a fortified train. You’ll have to watch your ammo and take care of your air as you explore a large open world in a game the developers describe as a ‘survival sandbox’.
Seek out a new home with your crew of post-apocalyptic train passengers, just be wary, not all will survive the wasteland’s harsh dangers.
Death Stranding is the latest game from visionary developer Hideo Kojima and it’s one of his strangest. Playing as Sam ‘Porter’ Bridges you deliver items across a mysterious apocalyptic USA, albeit one that’s been twisted beyond all recognition.
Dark creatures haunt your every step as you walk the wasteland, forming connections between disparate communities of humanity that still shine in the quiet darkness of the future. Death Stranding is unique amongst games, and this makes it definitely one of the best post-apocalyptic games for PC gamers.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
From a team including former designers of HITMAN and PAYDAY this tactical adventure game combines the turn-based combat of XCOM with real-time stealth and exploration of a post-human world reclaimed by nature… and Mutants!
In Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, Earth is still and nature has invaded ruined cities in a post-war world. Wind sweeps through empty streets, turned into graveyards.
The humans are all gone. Scavenging through the remains of civilization are the Mutants, deformed humanoids and animals alike, searching for salvation or just something to eat.
To survive, you and your companions must venture out to explore the Zone. Maybe one day you will find the Eden of legends, the ancients’ haven in the middle of hell. You'll get to know Dux, Bormin, Selma, and many other characters each with their own unique personality and deranged perspective on the world and their situation.
Sneak through shadows to avoid conflict or to catch enemies unaware. Real-time stealth allows you full control of approach: sneak into an enemy camp, position the team of Mutants to your advantage, and gain the element of surprise.
Unlock new mutations and abilities for your Mutants, such as Selma’s Stoneskin, Bormin’s Charge, and Dux‘ uncanny ability to sneak into a camp full of enemies unnoticed, despite being a four foot tall walking, talking duck with a crossbow.
Check out post-apocalyptic PC games and much more right here on the Fanatical Store.
Article by Alexander McHugh