If you haven’t already checked out Bend Studio’s Days Gone, it’s worth a look. While it tells a lacklustre story and doesn’t really offer anything you won’t have seen before, it’s a solid zombie open-world sandbox game with a focus on vehicular traversal and a wealth of content if you do enjoy its core gameplay loop. If you’ve already finished this underrated Sony first-party game, you might be wondering what kind of games like Days Gone are out there to play. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the titles you should play if you enjoyed Days Gone.
Death Stranding (PlayStation, PC)
Hideo Kojima’s latest epic is as beautiful as it is utterly bizarre. You are Sam Porter-Bridges, a post-apocalyptic delivery boy in a world ravaged by ghosts known as BTs (Beached Things). Explaining the setup of Death Stranding would take far, far longer than we have here, but suffice it to say that Kojima wrings everything he can out of the “walking simulator” genre. Death Stranding is a true walking simulator; you’ll have to factor in elevation, time, and other confounding factors as you arduously move from place to place, hoping you can get packages to different locations in time.
Horizon Zero Dawn (PlayStation, PC)
If your favourite part of Days Gone was exploring a post-apocalyptic landscape looking for signs of the world you once knew, then Horizon Zero Dawn is going to be a treat for you. It stars Aloy, a taciturn hunter who must uncover the truth behind her own origins and those of the robotic dinosaur monsters that stalk the earth. Oh, yeah, and there are robot dinosaurs. Perhaps we should have led with that. Hunting these creatures is a thrill; you’ll need to use all the tools at your disposal to take them down as you explore the vast wasteland that was once the continental United States.
Dying Light (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC)
One of the quintessential games like Days Gone, Dying Light is a post-apocalyptic zombie sandbox game. Unlike Days Gone, however, Dying Light places a heavy emphasis on traversal and movement mechanics. It’s as much a parkour sim as it is a zombie-killing RPG; you’ll need to move with fluidity and confidence as you bound across the rooftops of Harran, avoiding the infected and completing whatever your objective currently happens to be. Dying Light is effectively best summarised as “Dead Island done right”, so if you played that game and wished it was better, you’ve got to check this one out.
The two games that currently comprise the entirety of the Last of Us franchise are harrowing, stressful odysseys across post-apocalyptic terrain. In the first game, you play as Joel, a gruff everyman who must escort teenager Ellie across the US in order to explore why she’s immune to the cordyceps plague that has struck down the rest of the world. Part II picks up after the first game’s conclusion, and follows Ellie as she deals with her own struggles in the wake of the revelations that rocked her world after…well…the first game’s ending. Check these out if you want games like Days Gone that have the same bleak, melancholy tone.
Wasteland 3 (PlayStation, Xbox, PC)
Wasteland 3 is a great option if you loved Days Gone, but wish there was just a little more character and choice to it. This is a classic RPG from Brian Fargo, one of the key creative forces behind the original Fallout. It’s set in a similar post-nuclear world to that franchise, and follows one of the Rangers as they attempt to keep the peace in an increasingly fractured Colorado. You’ll have plenty of knotty moral choices to make in Wasteland 3, none of which have “correct” answers, and if you’re just all about the shootin’, the turn-based combat should keep you interested, as should the loot-gathering and character specialisation system.
Mad Max (PlayStation, Xbox, PC)
From the creators of the Just Cause franchise comes this rollicking open-world vehicular combat sim. Mad Max is essentially Twisted Metal meets Rage meets Assassin’s Creed, with a spot of Batman: Arkham combat thrown in for good measure. As you might have gathered, the game can sometimes feel like it doesn’t really have its own identity, but it’s a fun romp through the titular franchise’s weird and wonderful desert setting. The car customisation on offer here is pretty impressive, too, so if you love nothing more than endlessly tinkering with spikes and other doohickeys to put on your vehicle, you’ll love Mad Max.
Far Cry: New Dawn (PlayStation, Xbox, PC)
Around the time of Far Cry 5’s release, Ubisoft’s open-world shooter franchise – and the studio’s formula as a whole – had just begun to outstay its welcome. Far Cry 5 changed that by bringing some fresh new ideas to the open-world formula, and also by ending in a way that was genuinely shocking and impressive. There’s no way of saying this without spoiling that ending, but New Dawn is a post-apocalyptic game that picks up in the wake of Far Cry 5’s bomb blast. It’s more Far Cry, but this time in a weird setting that incorporates magical realism, of all things.
We hope you enjoy these games like Days Gone and find some entertainment in them. There are plenty more like this, too, so if you enjoyed these, we’d recommend giving State of Decay, DayZ, and Dead Island a go, among others. What are your favourite open-world zombie games? Which ones did we miss?