We all love zombies, don’t we? There’s just something about a walking and talking (well, kind of) rotting carcass that you can’t resist but want around you all the time. Ever since George Romero made the idea of the walking dead popular in 1969, they have (literally) invaded media: comics, movies, songs, and, of course, games.
But while we are all familiar with the Zombies mode in Call of Duty or the emotional narrative of The Walking Dead, why don’t we look a little bit closer at those undead folks? Don’t they deserve a bit of our love and affection? Here are the best video game zombies and all the reasons why we love them so much.
Stubbs (Stubbs the Zombie)
Stubbs is definitely one of the most recognized zombified faces around. There is something about a well-dressed, groomed and behaved zombie that just commands respect. Starring in his own titular game, Stubbs is hell-bent on getting revenge against a local millionaire, stopping his plans of creating a utopian city where the poor will suffer, and the rich will thrive. In the end, Stubbs manages to find love and sail happily in the sunset. As the “rebel without a pulse”, we were forced to feature Stubbs on this list, we would all need our own personal undead hero to fight against the injustices of society.
Baldy (Resident Evil)
All right, we made that name up, but I think we all recognize him, don’t we? For many 90s gamers, Baldy was probably one of the first zombies to brighten up their lives. The cutscene where we first met Baldy, where he was busy having a quick snack of brains and guts, is definitely one of the pivotal moments from the original Resident Evil and all of the horror genre. It is the moment where the mood switches from disquieting to full-on horror and, also, time for us to test our aim. Baldy has always been our first kill in the Resident Evil series, thus we can’t help but reserve a special place in our hearts, always. As long as he keeps his distance, though.
Boomer (Left 4 Dead)
While we are not out to fat shame anyone in our list of the best zombies, our dear Boomer could definitely shed a few pounds. And well, they are out to do exactly that by exploding in a festival of bile that will also attract other zombies and slow down survivors in Valve’s classic zombie shooter. Still, the sad story is that the Boomer is useless on their own, and they need companionship to be used effectively. Valve has given them a companion in the form of a Boomerette in Left 4 Dead 2. Delightful that Boomer has finally found their other half.
Polterguy (Haunting starring Polterguy)
There are not many classic 16-bit games where the protagonist dies right in the intro, but those few ones seem to all be on Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis). Sega DIES what Nintendon’t, we should say. Haunting was actually one of the goriest 16-bit games ever and one that just has to make your list of Halloween games. Polterguy is the titular hero of this quirky little adventure, where he haunts a house in order to scare a family away. Despite actually being a ghost, Poltergu’s greenish skin and punk jacket clearly qualifies him for our list. Also, much like Stubbs, our guy is out for revenge against the ones responsible for his untimely death. Go go Polterguy, scare away those mafiosi and bring great justice to our nation.
Gobtholomew (Fallout 3)
The poor Gob is one of several abused ghouls found in Fallout 3. He is treated like dirt only because, well, he died and came back to life. Technically, he’s a ghoul and not a zombie, but no, we are not doing a separate best ghouls list, sorry. Despite suffering daily abuse, Gob is still trying his best to maintain a friendly façade and be the best bartender he can be. We are not sure if he can actually drink any of that stuff without vomiting, but he does know that bartending service has to go on. While it is not part of any mission, I think we can all agree that killing off Moriarty, thus freeing Gob of his tormentor, is the only right thing to do. While we have seen that zombies are often rebels with nothing to lose, sometimes they might also need a little help.
Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)
This is definitely the one zombie you don’t want to meet in your daily walkies. Scorpion has always been an undead fighter, ever since the original 1993 Mortal Kombat. At least, he shouldn’t be too worried about being thrown in a pit of spikes or having his spine removed, right? The canon narrative has that his murderer was none other than Sub-Zero, on whom he finally managed to take revenge. But that only caused things to spiral down into a whole feud with the “Klan of frozen blokes” (that name might not be 100% canon). While we are pretty sure Scorpion doesn’t shamble around screaming for brains, he seems to spend all day in the gym, training. Now we even have to take life lessons from an undead, what has the world come to?
Griswold (Diablo 2)
In the original Diablo, our jolly round-bellied Scottish-accented blacksmith was a great help, repairing weapons and selling us overpriced swords and shields. Hey, a man has to feed his family, right? Despite a few dodgy deals, we never really wished him any harm, since he was one of the nicest blokes in Tristram. Unfortunately, in Diablo II, our man went and got himself zombified. Crivvens! Unfortunately, we cannot interact with him to ask if he’d like us to serve him frozen Deckard Cain brains, we can only pummel him until he goes down for good (?). Will he be back, again, in Diablo IV? So far, we haven’t seen his nice juicy zombie pectorals, but we are not giving up hope.
And you? What are your favourite zombie mates in games? Let us know on our socials, so we can tell you how much better our choices are.