The best post-apocalyptic PS4 games - essential buyers' guide

From nuclear holocaust to run-away climate change, gaming has no shortage of gritty and gloomy settings to explore after humanity's fall. Join us as we run down the best post-apocalyptic adventures on PS4.

Days Gone

Style: Third-person action
Setting: Zombie apocalypse
Tone: Gritty / realistic
Players: Single player-only

A dramatic and unforgiving evocation of America’s rural northwest, Days Gone casts you in the role of former outlaw biker turned jobbing bounty hunter Deacon St. John. Scour the harsh wilderness foraging for weapons, search for supplies and fight off hordes of mutated humans known as ‘Freakers’.

 
 

Far Cry New Dawn

Style: First-person shooter
Setting: Post-nuclear wastes
Tone: Gritty / realistic
Players: Single player or cooperative

Return to Far Cry 5's Hope County more than a decade after the world has been devastated by a nuclear holocaust and drive out a roving and ruthless bandit group known as 'The Highwaymen'. Craft supplies, collect weapons and work to expand your base of operations, the peaceful town of Prosperity.

Rage 2

Style: First-person shooter
Setting: Post-apocalyptic wasteland
Tone: Over the top / stylised
Players: Single player-only

A sand-box style FPS filled with over-sized weapons, ridiculous power ups and a devil may care attitude to… well, pretty much everything. Trawl the post-cataclysm deserts of tomorrow tearing your way through bandit hideouts and blowing anything that stands in your way to absolute smithereens.

 
 

Nuclear Throne

Style: Top-down shooter / roguelike
Setting: Post-nuclear wastes
Tone: Goofy / irreverent
Players: Up to two players locally

Explore a burnt-out, post-nuclear desert now inhabited by crazed and bizarre mutants, hunting down weapons and powers ups in order to become the true ruler of this savage land. Frenetic, daft and gloriously good fun, Nuclear Throne is a very tongue-in-cheek take on the apocalypse.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Style: Third-person adventure
Setting: Far future post-apocalypse
Tone: Fantasy / futuristic
Players: Single player-only

Set foot into an arresting vision of the Earth long-after the collapse of modern civlisation - a world no longer ruled by men but by colossal, beast-like machines that roam the landscape. As outcast Nora warrior, Aloy, traverse the land to discover the source of the madness gripping these machines and restore peace to surviving human communities.

 
 

Mad Max

Style: Third-person adventure
Setting: Post-nuclear wasteland
Tone: Gritty / desperate
Players: Single player-only

Set forth into the untamed, sandy wastes of far future Australia - a bleak, hostile desert teeming with bandits, brigands and violent sandstorms. Left for dead by the scabrous War Boys and with nothing to lose, take on the role of Max Rockatansky, a lone drifter on the hunt for revenge.

Dying Light

Style: First-person action
Setting: Zombie apocalypse
Tone: Dark / desperate
Players: Single-player or cooperative campaign

Run high-risk missions into the zombie-infested streets of Harran as you try to claw back the city from the grip of a pandemic outbreak. Hop across rooftops and scrabble over walls to stay one step ahead of the hordes, collecting ammo and crafting weapons as you go to fight back when you find yourself cornered.

 
 

Fallout 4

Style: First-person RPG
Setting: Irradiated wasteland
Tone: Retro sci-fi / grungy
Players: Single player-only

Emerge from the safety of a specially-built nuclear bunker and explore what remains of America’s bombed-out east coast. Scavenge the landscape for weapons, clean water and medicine as you endure radioactive fallout, mutated fauna and a lawless social order driven by bandits and degenerates. 

 
 

Metro Exodus

Style: First-person action
Setting: Post-apocalyptic Russia
Tone: Gritty / dark
Players: Single player-only

Leave behind the bleak tunnels of the Moscow Metro and lead a small band of survivors across the stark, frozen wastes of Russia in search of civilisation and renewed hope. In a journey that will cross the seasons, scavenge for supplies, fight with deadly adversaries and do what it takes to survive. 

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Style: Third-person shooter
Setting: Pandemic collapse
Tone: Cinematic / visceral
Players: Online multiplayer-only

Work to restore order to a crumbling Washington D.C. as the deadly ‘Dollar’ virus pushes the country to the very brink of collapse. As a member of a crisis-management sleeper agency known as The Division, develop the skills, tools and weapons you’ll need to quell the lawlessness and chaos gripping the capital. 

 
 

The Last of Us Remastered

Style: Third-person action/horror
Setting: Zombie apocalypse
Tone: Dark / intense
Players: Single and multiplayer modes

Embark on an emotionally-charged and desperate journey across the ruined American landscape. Cross paths with the rag-tag remnants of a now collapsed civilisation - merciless bandits, crazed cultists and ruthless organisations – fighting, bartering and foraging for your very survival.

 
 

X-COM 2

Style: Real-time strategy
Setting: Alien invasion
Tone: Sci-fi / futurist
Players: Single player-only

After the Earth is conquered by invading alien forces, organise the survivors, prep them with training and weapons, and lead the fight to reclaim our home planet. As administrator of the X-COM initiative you’ll need to win the support of the world's remaining nations and survivors, securing and funding technology to drive out the extra-terrestrial interlopers.

NieR: Automata

Style: Action RPG
Setting: Far-future dystopia
Tone: Existential / futuristic
Players: Single player-only

As part of an elite android unit known as YorHa, descend into what remains of the ruined Earth 10,000 years into the future and embark on an existential journey into the very meaning of being. On foot or in special flight units tackle goliath enemies and uncover a deeply buried truth about the future of mankind.

 
 

The Walking Dead - The Telltale Series

Style: Narrative-driven adventure.
Setting: Zombie apocalypse
Tone: Psychological / desperate
Players: Single player-only

Inspired by the comic and TV series of the same name, Telltale Games' The Walking Dead is an episodic odyssey through a ruined future America overrun with zombies, low lives and ordinary people just trying to survive. Take on the role of multiple characters through three seasons and do what it takes to survive.

 
 

Arizona Sunshine

Style: First-person shooter
Setting: Zombie post-apocalypse
Tone: Tense / violent
Players: Up to four players online

Survive the baking heat of the American southwest as you fight your way through the Grand Canyon state, now over-run with hordes of ravenous zombies. Powered by PlayStation VR, use real-time motion-tracking to blow the flesh-eating walkers to pieces, taking care to make every shot count.

Wasteland 2

Style: Turn-based RPG
Setting: post-nuclear wasteland
Tone: Desolate / oppressive
Players: Single player-only

Explore the bombed-out wastes of the far-future in a gritty diesel-punk twist on the world after nuclear holocaust. With a party of up to four members, set out as part of the Desert Rangers into the wasteland to discover who killed veteran ranger General Vargas.