The 13 Greatest Zombies in Video Games

So, it's zombie awareness month, apparently, so here are the greatest individual zombies of all time, but like in most things horror, there are rules. 

THE RULES: First things first - SPECIFIC CHARACTERS! I could toss out boomers, tanks, and lickers all day, but they're just "types" o zombie. In the grand scheme, nothing too special about them or unique. Second, these are characters that have to have come back from the dead. No Characters that "beat" death by way of necromancy (looking at you Dark Priest Shaft and Chakan The Forever Man). Third, they have to have bodies, so no ghosts and/or poltergeists.Finally, no vampires, as they fall into their own classification, and will one day get their own list.

  • 13. The First Zombie (Resident Evil 1)

    13. The First Zombie (Resident Evil 1)
    Video: YouTube

    First things last, right?

    Sure there have been plenty other zombies out there that were more threatening, scarier, or actually had some sort of relevance on the plot.

    But (and I know I'm aging myself here) for those of us playing the original Resident Evil when it originally came out, turning the corner and seeing this guy, the only words were along the lines of. . .

    "HOLY S**TBALLS! ! IT'S A GODDAMN ZOMBIE! KILL IT! Oh crap oh crap oh crap, , why do I only have this worthless knife!? Oh go oh god oh god - and I'm dead! Thank's a lot Chris!"


    That is to say, it was an indelible moment of apprehension that we eloquently responded to with modest titillation and delight.

    This moment, hitting all of now-older gamers way back in 1996, was brought to us by that unnamed, pale, bald zombie. Good job zombie!

    But seriously, how in the nine hells of Rosie O'Donnell did Chris somehow lose his gun in the 52 seconds it took to get inside the mansion from when he was shooting at those dogs? Personally I think he never let it down, and this single act of idiocy gave him a severe inadequacy complex. How else do you explain his decade at the gym that turned him into Conan the freaking barbarian?

    Chris Redfield - Gaming's foremost expert on boulder punching.
  • 12. Zombie Marston (RDR: Undead Nightmare)

    12. Zombie Marston (RDR: Undead Nightmare)
    Video: YouTube

    Alright, I suppose Spoiler Alert - but come on!

    Zombie Marston was on the damn logo of the Undead Nightmare DLC pack. If you didn't expect it to actually happen after that, well then I don't want to count the paint chips you've been eating for breakfast.

    Anyways, Zombie Marston is hilarious. You get him after you beat the game, and there's nothing quite like hearing scared survivors talking to the decaying John as he responds with a garbled "AAUUGHHGHHGHH!" every time. (Best part: occasionally they respond as if he's made any sort of sense) Or his funny little little rigor mortis shamble as he stumbles around like some sort of . . . well zombie actually.

    It's really a nice little bonus feature. I might have preferred something like this proposed alternate ending , but I'll take what I can get.

    I guess that's what this entry represents, those times when we get to see our favorite characters in a new undead light. I suppose the cast of Metal Slug could go here, with their bloody vomit replacing grenades. Or even Wario, as becoming a zombie is one of his actual powers in the Wario Land games. Or how about the time it happened to Sam and Max . . .

    "So now that you're both the President AND a zombie, what're you going to use as you platform for re-election little buddy?"
    "Higher Education."
    "Really? Why?"
    "Knowledgeable minds lead to tastier BRAAIIINS!"

    But . . . none of those guys featured the awesome spooky surf-rock Undead Redemption had, which more than makes up for it as far as I'm concerned. Seriously, just play the attached video for a listen.

    Zombie Marston proves that it can actually be a heck of a lot of fun playing as the undead rather than just killing them. Which speaking of . . .
  • 11. Detective Fred Neuman (Dead Head Fred)

    11. Detective Fred Neuman (Dead Head Fred)
    Video: YouTube

    Not a lot of people actually played Dead Head Fred, a little PSP game that came out in 2007. It's a shame actually, the game was a total hoot.

    You stepped into the recently re-animated shoes of Fred Neuman, a gumshoe whose case (as well as his life) was cut short while investigating the mafia. Thankfully a mad scientist brought him back - though his skull was replaced by a detachable mason jar which encased his brain - Robocop 2 style.

    Except Fred wasn't addicted to nuke. NUUUUUKE!

    Like Dynamite Heady, you could use this detachable head as a gameplay mechanic, but unlike the "Original Master Headsman" (Dynamite Heady's DJ Name), you instead switched it out for the various other heads of your enemies to give you some sweet moves and powers. So while not a "normal" zombie, I have to grant some points for originality here.

    But what about the rest of the judges on the panel?

    CANADA - 8.5
    FRANCE - 9.1
    ENGLAND - 8.9
    BULGARIA - 3.4

    What the hell Bulgaria? Why are your standards so high?

    OK, so maybe it's not the world's best game ever, but it's still a lot of fun. Mostly because Fred doesn't seem to thing that he's a zombie (even though he totally is), and because he's a sarcastic Jerk-ass voiced by John C. McGinley, who is probably best known as one Dr. Cox from TV's "Scrubs".

    That's right; it's a game where you get to play as undead Dr. Cox, breaking down enemies as much with your slow burning insults as with your combination attacks. How did the rest of you not play this?

    You know what, I don't think Dr. Cox even cares if you played his awesome game or not.

    See? Told ya so.
  • 10. Lord Raptor (Darkstalkers)

    10. Lord Raptor (Darkstalkers)
    Video: YouTube

    He's British, a rock and roll star, a zombie, and nigh impossible to understand!

    It's not Ozzy Ozbourne, but easily one of the least important characters from Darkstalkers! Heeeere's . . . LORD RAPTOR!

    *Cue feigned Studio Audience excitement*

    Lord Raptor is pretty much what I think every Death Metal-Head eventually wants to be - rocking all night from beyond the grave baby!

    He's also pretty much what every death metal detractor want these fans to be - actually dead.

    While the zombieism and ability to produce some sweet licks on a guitar are definitely points in his favor, some of his extra-curriculars, like his ill thought out attempt to break into hip-hop in the attached video, definitely detract from his fan base.

    Also, his Fonzie impression is merely adequate.

    So while he's definitely got his fans, I think it's safe to assume Lord Raptor, like most of the Nu-Metal scene, is probably best referred to ironically.

    OK, I'm sorry, that was going too far.

    Lord Raptor isn't British - he's Australian.

    . . . which actually, maybe this explains Lord Raptor better. Perhaps it's just a cultural thing, this inability to fade into obscurity quietly? Some of his fellow country men seem to have a similar problem.
  • 9. Hsien-Ko (Darkstalkers)

    9. Hsien-Ko (Darkstalkers)
    Video: YouTube

    One interesting factoid about zombies- they differ greatly depending on the culture.

    I know that might be hard to believe, since the popularized "moving pictures" featuring the undead are played "around the world" and feature "universally obvious concepts that reveal the inner working of all people regardless of language or culture", but it's true.

    For example. . .

    In America, Zombies are often overweight (see: most of Dead Rising 1 and 2). Plus, they make excellent jerky:

    Which apparently they even eat themselves . . .cause you know- all the cannibalism and all.

    In China however, they're this weird ass, hybrid ghost thing that hops around like an undead bunny-rabbit (oh sweet, that ties into Easter, right?) called a Jiāngshī.

    What is a jiāngshī? How do you pronounce jiāngshī?

    I'm not entirely sure on either account, but Hsien-Ko (also from Darkstalkers) is apparently one of them.

    Also her sister is that piece of paper (called a "fu") on her hat. Weeeeeeeiird!

    How exactly does one hit on a piece of paper?
    "Hey baby, want to let me explore your folds?"

    So yeah Hsien-Ko's one of these jiāngshī things, so pretty much a zombie. She's also fairly popular these days, seeing as you can use her Hyper in MvC3 to put on crazy armor and then just spam her uninterrupteable assist all day long, but hey, at least she's getting used. Unlike Arthur and Jill, who are crying in the "corner of unloved characters" right now.
  • 8. Sylvanas Windrunner (WoW)

    8. Sylvanas Windrunner (WoW)
    Video: YouTube

    While we're making the rounds on the undead ladies, let's take a head on over to the lands of Azeroth, shall we?

    Here we meet Slyvanus Windrunner.

    Poor, poor, Sylvanus.

    Way back in Warcraft 3, Sylvia here was just your standard high-elf ranger-captain. Nobly defending her homeland of Quel'Thalas from total D-bag Arthas and his undead army. An army trying to bring darkness to the source of power in Quel'Thalas, the Sunwell. Kind of like what happened in that movie . . . you know, the one where Bruce Campbell was trying to defend a magical book from an undead group, sort of organized like a militia or something?

    Except since Bruce Campbell wasn't around, it fell to Sylvanus to defend her homeland without the help of a chainsaw or a boomstick. So Arthas, now an evil version of a former hero, kinda kicked everyone's ass and turned our stalwart elf-lady here into a wild-haired banshee dark version of herself . . . kind of like what happened to Embeth Davidtz- in that one flick.

    Yeah kind of like when this happened. Now if only I could remember the name of the damn thing!
    Help me out here. It was sort of like, "Battalion of the Night!"

    So yeah she becomes his minion, but not forever, as she stays like, super pissed at Arthas the whole time. Eventually she breaks out of the control of ol' Arthy, stops being a ghostly banshee thing and gets a body (albeit a zombie one) and forms a little group called the forsaken, which if you've ever rolled an undead Horde character in WoW, was who you were working for.

    So she's kind of a big deal in WoW, being a faction leader and all. She's also strangely alluring. At least for a corpse. Mostly because unlike the vast majority of undead characters in WoW, she apparently has all of her body parts, AND she's still an elf on top of that, so if you're into long ears, then things are going your way.

    Plus I've seen the cosplay:

    Is it necrophilia if they're just dressed as a corpse? Or am I just a complete and utter freak?

    Oh wait, no, I'm definitely a freak.