There’s been no shortage of zombie games over the years, but it’s fair to say that DayZ (initially a mod for the ARMA 2 game) transformed the genre. Eschewing traditional game play mechanics, DayZ puts the emphasis on sheer survival with no story line or quests. Perhaps the biggest threat to you are not the zombies themselves but other players. DayZ is not for the fainthearted. Be prepared to die early and die often, especially if you’re new to the game. A glitchy game engine might turn off more casual players, but DayZ has an unparalleled intense atmosphere of paranoia and isolation.
Those looking for more traditional – rampage style – zombie killing should look elsewhere. For those prepared to put time and effort into learning how to survive in this harsh and extremely large sandbox world, DayZ provides gameplay that some consider to be the most realistic. Despite the ARMA engine’s age, DayZ can still produce some astoundingly beautiful graphics, but you need a powerful rig to run it at high resolutions.
Ideal for: Those that like hardcore survival, including realistic gun physics and a range of vehicles.
Available: Free mod for Windows PC (requires full ARMA 2 game) or early access alpha stand-alone. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions are planned.