Zombie games have been around for decades, with the zombie trope being one of the most popular monsters in media. VR games have also surged in popularity in recent years - therefore, it only made sense that the two genres would collide.
VR zombie games have become increasingly popular over the last several years, and as a result, there are dozens (if not hundreds!) of different titles out there.
But with so much choice out there, how do you separate the best from the rest? Luckily, we’ve done that part for you!
This list will go over the best VR zombie games out there. Not only that, but we’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you choose the best game for you, and a FAQ section to help answer any questions you might have.
OUR TOP PICK
Developer - Capcom
Release - January 2017
While it is the franchise’s first step into VR, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard brings back everything we love about the series and then some. Going back to Resident Evil’s roots as pioneers of the survival horror genre, Resi 7 sees you playing as Ethan Winters as he searches for his missing wife.
All the while, you’re being hunted by undead monsters and the terrifying Baker Family.
While Resident Evil 7’s concept of zombies is a major leap from the lurching infected of its predecessors, the Bakers help the game stay true to the franchise’s love for the undead.
This game also saw the first use of the RE Engine, a powerful game engine developed by Capcom specifically for Resident Evil 7. Since then, it’s been used for the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, as well as other Capcom games.
The RE Engine is a beast, running smoothly at 60fps without any blips whatsoever. It also looks fantastic - the lighting alone can be scary enough, even with the unavoidable distortion of VR.
Despite how grimy and dark the game is, it still manages to stay clear and high-quality: a fact that makes the body-horror scenes all the more terrifying.
Speaking of the body-horror, Resident Evil 7 doesn’t pull any punches, with the monsters being creepy, disgusting, and eerily realistic. If you want a genuinely terrifying zombie game, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the game for you.
With less of a focus on blasting zombies and more on suspense and exploration, Resident Evil 7 has a very subdued and tense atmosphere for a lot of the game. However, when you encounter zombies, everything turns up to 11.
By interspersing the full horror of the undead amongst more quiet and nerve-wracking exploration, Resident Evil 7 keeps you from ever relaxing.
- The fantastic graphics capture every gruesome detail while looking startlingly realistic
- Resident Evil 7 returns to the series’ roots with a tense atmosphere
- Playing in VR fully immerses you in the game and will leave you jumping at the slightest noise
- The gameplay can feel slow compared to other zombie games where you mow down hordes of the undead
- If you aren’t a fan of stealth, then this might not be the game for you
Developer - Vertigo Games
Release - December 2016
The Godfather of VR zombie games, Arizona Sunshine was one of the first examples of the two genres meeting.
Since its initial release back in 2016, the game has received plenty of updates and DLC, keeping it up to date with the improvements in VR technology.
That said, the original game was programmed for an earlier incarnation of VR, so the gameplay isn’t too strenuous or aggressive. Don’t think it’s not scary, though - Arizona Sunshine is sure to get your blood pumping.
The premise of Arizona Sunshine is that you’re a survivor in a zombie apocalypse, traveling towards a supposed safe zone. While you’re on your way, you need to gather supplies and survive against hordes of zombies.
These hordes increase in size over the course of the game, with zombies becoming stronger, more aggressive, and more terrifying.
The consistent updates to the game also make sure the controls stay feeling smooth and responsive - not the clunkier controls from its early life.
Using the controllers, you can manage your inventory, handle objects, and even dual-wield weapons against the undead. Everything moves and controls smoothly, and it feels great getting into the swing of things against a horde.
Arizona Sunshine not only features a main campaign (mentioned earlier), but also an arcade-style ‘horde mode’. This horde mode sees you trying to survive in a small space against increasingly large and strong waves of zombies.
Think the Zombies mode in Call of Duty games. The VR makes it easy to get immersed, and when the later waves arrive you’ll be panicking trying to survive. And if that’s not enough, then the extra DLC will give you all the content you could ask for.
Unlike Resident Evil 7, Arizona Sunshine can support up to 4 players. The main campaign, horde mode, and all of the DLC campaigns are available in both single-player and multiplayer.
So whether you want to play with friends, or brave the undead on your own, Arizona Sunshine is one of the definitive VR zombie games.
- Consistent updates and bug-fixes keeps this game going strong even after half a decade
- You can play through the story mode solo, or team up with your friends in the multiplayer horde mode
- This game paved the way for VR zombie games, and still stays ahead of the pack to this day
- There isn’t as much replayability as other games, as the story is linear and doesn’t change upon replays
- The story also isn’t the longest, although there are also several extended DLCs available
Developer - Skybound Interactive
Release - January 2020
Whether or not you’re a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead series, this game manages to deliver one of the best VR zombie experiences out there.
Saints & Sinners leans heavily on the themes and style of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead series and incorporates a lot of its elements. However, Saints & Sinners follows its own story and has a completely different approach to its gameplay
Without spoiling any plot elements, much of the game involves exploring, foraging for supplies, and trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans. The VR element makes creeping through abandoned buildings and hiding from walkers feel so much more realistic.
Staying true to the core of the survival horror genre, Saints & Sinners does everything it can to keep you on your toes.
While out trying to gather supplies, you don’t just have to worry about walkers. Limited inventory space means you have to pick and choose which supplies you take and which you leave behind.
Weapons have various stats as well as durability, so there’s always the risk that your weapon will break during a skirmish.
The inventory can also add another level of tension if you’re in a fight and need to dig through your backpack - trying to find the right item with the hordes surrounding you is intense.
Enemy NPCs also throw in an extra challenge - the walkers are bad enough, but throw in threats with guns and smarter AI, and you’re in hot water.
Walkers and NPCs alike react to your actions in the game, and breaking down doors or firing your gun is a sure way to give away your position.
There’s even an optional setting that lets the game react to any real-life sounds you make, adding another layer of tension and immersion.
The combat system integrates the VR perfectly - you can use the controllers to aim your gun, attack with melee weapons, and even grab walkers by the head to keep them steady or push them away. And with how fun it is to take out walkers when you’re kitted out, it’s easy to get carried away.
This just makes it all the more shocking when your weapon breaks, especially if you’ve taken on more than you can handle. Trust me - that’s not a position you want to find yourself in.
Throughout the story, you’ll have to make some difficult decisions (a la the Telltale series).
These have an impact on the game’s ending and several other key plot points and are usually morally questionable. This, along with the great storytelling and immersive atmosphere, really elevates Saints & Sinners above most other VR zombie games (and zombie games in general).
- Saints & Sinners has an incredibly immersive atmosphere that really puts you into the game’s world
- The integration of the VR into the combat is smooth and responsive, and feels great
- With multiple key choices affecting the plot (including the ending), there’s a lot to keep repeated play-throughs fresh and interesting
- The frequent missions into town can feel repetitive if you don’t get the most out of them
- While weapon durability is a great feature for keeping the game tense, the abundance of near-broken guns can be frustrating
Developer - Valve
Release - March 2020
While Half Life 3 is still stuck in Development Hell, this same-universe VR game is sure to scratch that same itch.
Even if you aren’t a fan of the previous games (or never even played them at all), Half Life: Alyx is a great choice for anyone looking for zombie VR games.
Set between Half Life 1 and 2, this game follows protagonist Alyx as she tries to defeat the aliens who have attacked the Earth. Like the previous entries in the series, Half Life: Alyx leans heavily into horror and suspense.
Adding VR only serves to make the Half Life universe more terrifying, with the creepy atmosphere and horrifying infected monsters feeling more intense than ever.
Although the undead in Half Life: Alyx aren’t zombies in the usual sense, the shambling headcrab zombies attacking you definitely seem to fit the mold.
You aren’t just facing headcrab zombies, however. Just like the previous entries in the Half Life series, you’re put up against various different alien monstrosities with weapons that really don’t seem up to the task.
These help keep the game fresh and scary through its long story, and make sure you never truly feel like you have the advantage.
The VR in Half Life: Alyx is top-notch. As a more recent VR game, the controls are responsive and fun, while the reactive environment lets you use the space around you to fight enemies and solve puzzles.
While the ability to manipulate your surroundings is definitely a great help, it can also be a hindrance.
Some enemies react to noise that you make, and monsters are also more than capable of breaking through windows and doors or knocking over glass bottles when you’re desperately trying to keep quiet.
Half Life: Alyx’s great gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere makes it one of the best games of 2020 overall, and a must-play VR experience.
- While it’s not Half Life: 3, Half Life: Alyx’s atmosphere and story makes it a well-deserved member of the series
- The controls make combat, interacting with the environment, and solving puzzles interesting and engaging
- Headcrabs zombies have never been so scary, with the games’ graphics and art style putting monsters right in your face
- The dark environments can make it hard to see properly
- Because it’s produced by Valve, you are only able to play this game on Steam with the supported headsets
Developer - Vertigo Games
Release - 2021 (Not Yet Fully Released)
After The Fall is the newest game on this list - in fact, it hasn’t even gotten its full release yet. Despite this, After The Fall is set to be one of the best zombie VR games ever.
A four-person co-op game similar to Left 4 Dead, After The Fall sees a group of players team up to find supplies and survive against the undead in a frozen post-apocalyptic LA.
The game features various types of zombies, ranging in size, strength, and difficulty. These zombies aren’t consistent across play-throughs, however.
Each session is different, with different zombies spawning in different numbers in different locations every time. This will make After The Fall much more replayable than other games on this list, and keeps you on your toes no matter how many times you’ve played.
It’s also due to be cross-platform, with players on different systems being able to play with each other in the VR space. The different versions are also supposed to be practically identical, meaning all players have the same experience in a campaign.
Although different platforms have different levels of visual quality (a PC will be able to render better graphics than mobile VR sets), the game's setpieces still look striking and intimidating.
Mowing down zombies leaves the white snow streaked with red, while hordes throwing themselves from the shadows in abandoned buildings is incredibly intense.
Although the game hasn’t been fully released yet, all of its preview results have been positive. After The Fall is one of the most highly anticipated VR games at the moment, and it’s definitely one to add to your wishlist.
- Multiplayer support across platforms means you can play with friends regardless of which system you’re using
- The randomly-generated terrain and hordes make the game endlessly replayable
- The combination of exploration, scavenging and combat keeps the pace of the game going
- The game hasn’t been released yet, so you’ll have to wait before you play
- Some platforms don’t look as good as others, with graphics suffering on machines with less power
Best VR Zombie Games Buying Guide
Now that you’ve taken a look at some of the best VR zombie games available, it’s time to decide which one to get. While all of these games are worth picking up, sometimes you’re only able to choose one. So how do you figure out which game is right for you?
While all of these titles are in the same genre and medium, there are several differences between them. The most notable traits that set each game apart are the style, the gameplay, and the levels of horror.
Which Game is the Best-Looking?
Stylistically, the best choice is down to your personal preference. Arizona Sunshine and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners share similar art styles, with their zombies looking like the stereotypical shambling corpses. Both games also take place mostly in brighter environments so you can see everything clearly.
Half Life: Alyx, on the other hand, spends a lot of time in darker spaces. While you can still see everything going on, the dark can make it easier to become disoriented or miss some details of what’s happening: a great way of making the player start to panic in scarier situations.
And speaking of dark and scary, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard’s photorealism puts it in a category of its own. The powerful RE engine manages to make even the most disgusting monster look impressive, without shying away from any gore.
Which Game has the Best Gameplay?
There is also a large variety of gameplay between each option.
If you’re more interested in gathering supplies and surviving against undead horrors, Saints & Sinners should be top of your list.
The combination of hiding from or fighting walkers and trying to choose the best items in your limited inventory keeps the tension up, while the compelling story makes sure the game stays moving.
If you simply want to blast away hordes of zombies, Arizona Sunshine is right up your alley. The mission-based gameplay puts you up against wave after wave of zombies, and your best option is to gun them down. The great controls and additional content makes Arizona Sunshine just as fun as it is scary.
Half Life: Alyx lets you use a lot of things in your environment, really pushing the limits of what you can and can’t do in VR. You’re not just set to limited actions either - you can swing weapons, throw grenades, operate machinery, and much more.
If it wasn’t for the terrifying creatures trying to attack you, it would be easy to get lost in the gameplay alone.
For players who really want to dial in on the horror gameplay aspect, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard delivers in abundance.
Prioritizing exploration and avoiding most conflicts as opposed to charging into the fray, Resi 7 crafts a much more tense atmosphere. You need to sneak around the Baker home, trying not to get caught by any of the horrible monsters living there.
And with the NPC’s clever and sneaky AI, you’re left sweating any time a floorboard creaks. Tense to the extreme.
Which Game is the Scariest?
Fear is quite subjective, but the games on this list all tackle horror in their own ways.
Games like Arizona Sunshine and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners try to go for a more mission-based survival horror atmosphere.
The scares aren’t from any particularly spooky atmosphere or jumpscares, but are more to do with having to frantically manage your resources against wave after wave of undead.
And while After The Fall is still waiting for release, the gameplay previews make it look more similar to these two titles.
Half Life: Alyx, on the other hand, focuses much more on immersing you in a tense environment.
The shuffling headcrab zombies, dark hallways, and constant sense of dread keeps your heart pounding for most of the game, occasionally breaking the tension with moments of gruesome slapstick or clever visual gags in the environment.
These moments don’t ruin the tone of the game, however - they’re mostly just Valve’s way of adding some much-needed catharsis into the game.
If you’re looking for something genuinely scary, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has got you covered. A creepy atmosphere, unpredictable monsters constantly hunting you down, haunting body-horror; it’s all great stuff, and experiencing it in VR will have you sleeping with the lights on.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best VR headset to use?
There isn’t a single best headset you can use - mostly it will come down to personal preference. However, that’s not to say that every VR headset is equal.
Older headsets like the Oculus Rift have been discontinued, so if you need to get a new headset you should avoid second-hand headsets if possible. Not only that, but some headsets aren’t fully compatible with every game, and older headsets may suffer from poorer quality.
Your headset also needs to be compatible with the game, as some platforms won’t work with certain headsets. For example, Half Life: Alyx won’t work with the Playstation VR headsets (although there is rumored to be a port in the works for the PS5).
Additionally, older headsets may not work at all with your game - for instance, many games that function with the Oculus Quest headset aren’t compatible with the Oculus Rift, an older model.
If you know which game you are going to be playing, make sure the VR headset you have is compatible.
What’s the best platform?
Again, this is down to personal preference. The same issues arise here of some games not being available on certain platforms, but as long as you check which platforms a game supports beforehand, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Some systems have higher processing power than others, and will therefore perform better. VR games for the PS5 may perform better than ones for the PS4, for example. Even just the amount of power your particular model of console or PC has can affect a game’s quality.
If you’re playing on a PC in particular, you need to make sure that your machine is up to scratch. PC gaming at the best of times requires a good, powerful computer, and VR manages to be even more taxing.
While PC games can run more smoothly and with higher graphics, it is important to make sure that your PC can handle heavier games before you commit.