Best Zombie Hoards To Destroy In 2021

A couple of weeks ago I gave my list of best survival games to play in 2021, and zombies were purposely left off. I did that because I wanted to dedicate a whole list to fending off the undead. All seven of these games pit you against hoards of zombies and it’s up to you to find a way to survive. Hack, slash, or just run away. Build bases or bring your friends along as bait. Figure it out or become another brainless zombie in the hoard.

They Are Billions

  • Release Date: December 12, 2017
  • Genre: Real-time strategy
  • Developer: Numantian Games
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

There may not literally be a billion zombies in the real-time strategy game They Are Billions (check out my PC preview or Matt Keith’s less favorable Xbox One review), but it sure feels like it. It’s not really the hoard that should be feared the most, though. Sure, the hoards will wreak havoc on your city if you haven’t prepared, but that’s how all of these games work. The hoards are just a diversionary tactic, there to distract you as a single zombie quietly infiltrates your walls on the other side of the map. And that zombie knew it was game over two minutes before you did.

7 Days To Die

  • Release Date: December 13, 2013 (Still in early access)
  • Genre: Open-world survival
  • Developer: The Fun Pimps
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

During the day, zombies in 7 Days to Die are slower than your Nanna and Pop-Pop coming out of a Dennys after Sunday brunch. When night falls, things get a little tougher. When the Blood Moon rises… that’s when things get rough. You have seven days to build, repair, and expand your base, for each week the hoard will be bigger and badder than before.

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World War Z

  • Release Date: April 16, 2019
  • Genre: Third-person shooter
  • Developer: Saber Interactive
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Very few games give you as much time to prepare for a zombie invasion as World War Z. Just like in the movie of the same name, these zombies are harmless until they hear a noise. And there’s always one person in your group, probably Steve, that didn’t get the memo to be quiet. Once the fight starts, it’s pure chaos that will require everyone to do their part to fend off the wave, – no, make that tsunami – of zombies that never seems to stop. Of course, you’ll be a man down because someone (no need to mention their name) always runs out of bullets and dies in the first 10 seconds. Thanks, Steve.

Left 4 Dead 2

  • Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Genre: Co-op survival horror
  • Developer: Valve
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360

Making it from safe room to safe room in Left For Dead 2 is hard. Not impossible, but hard. What makes the hoards in L4D2 so tough isn’t just the sheer number of zombies coming at you, it’s the special zombies that are mixed in with the common undead. The Tank, Spitter, and Boomer are all pretty bad, and things only get worse when you’re trying to shoot a Jockey off the back of your friend in the midst of battle. But nothing, and I do mean nothing, is as scary as when the quiet whimper of a Witch turns into a blood-curdling screech. That’s when you know all hell is about to break loose.

Dead Rising Series

  • Release Date: December 6, 2016 (Dead Rising 4)
  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

While most zombie hoards on this list are to be feared, the Dead Rising series offers the exact opposite. Nothing quite matches the joy of creating some crazy McGuyver type weapons and dispatching the hoards in the Dead Rising series. It doesn’t matter which game of the series you pick – from the first release in 2006 all the way to Dead Rising 4 from 2016 – you are in for a rip-roaring good time.

Dying Light

  • Release Date: January 26, 2015
  • Genre: Survival horror
  • Developer: Techland
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Are you the hunter or the hunted? In Dying Light, it’s mostly hunted. Even in daylight, when the infected are less agitated, things can still get out of hand quickly. At night, everything gets cranked up to 11. Avoid the infected for as long as you can, then run, jump, and climb as fast as you can when you get spotted. With a little luck – ok, a lot of luck – you just might make it back to safety.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

  • Release Date: November 13, 2020
  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Developer: Treyarch
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

How a first-person shooter series focused on military operations across multiple eras and settings came to have a zombie mode is beyond me. As if the regular zombie mode in Call of Duty Cold War wasn’t great already, Season 2 brought with it more zombie hoard goodness with Outbreak.

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

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