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8 Games Like Left 4 Dead

Explore games similar to the zombie-filled Left 4 Dead. This list includes exhilarating titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Portal 2, all offering gripping, cooperative gameplay.

If you’re a fan of the adrenaline-inducing, zombie-blasting experience offered by the iconic Left 4 Dead 2, you’ll surely appreciate the following roundup.

In this article, you will be introduced to a curated selection of nine games that successfully echo this beloved multiplayer game with their shared emphasis on engaging team-based gameplay. Characterized by similar tension-creating elements, these games present players with various undead killers and mythological monsters, day/night systems that modify enemy behaviors, and gripping storylines.

Some of these games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, offer a similar zombie fight-off mode, while others have inventive twists, such as strategic puzzle-solving in the case of Portal 2.

As you read, you’ll relish the vivid descriptions, neatly outlined with bullet points specifying release dates, genres, platforms, and comparison with Left 4 Dead that will put you on the path to find your next gameplay adventures.

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

cod coldwar

Release and availability

Get ready to immerse yourself in the explosive action of “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War”. Launched in November 2020, this game is the 17th installment in the Call of Duty franchise. It is available on multiple platforms, including PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Windows.

Game’s genre

Black Ops Cold War is a first-person shooter that takes you back to the depths of the Cold War era of the 1980s. Beyond the campaign, the game boasts extensive multiplayer and classic, suspense-filled Zombies modes.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

While distinctively a military combat game, “Black Ops Cold War” is similar to “Left 4 Dead”, particularly through its iconic Zombies mode. The gameplay encourages team collaboration to fight off relentless waves of undead, adding an exciting twist to the conventional Call of Duty formula.

2. Remnant: From The Ashes

Release and availability

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, “Remnant: From The Ashes” was released in August 2019. This thrilling game is available for gameplay on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.

Game’s genre

Regarding genre, Remnant is an action role-playing game where you must strategize and make critical decisions in the face of adversity. This game offers an intense shooting experience with a focus on cooperative gameplay.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

Just like “Left 4 Dead”, “Remnant: From The Ashes” promotes team-based gameplay as players work together to overcome monsters and sinister creatures. The multiplayer environment is reminiscent of Left 4 Dead’s cooperative mode, taking the battle against evil to the next level.

3. Dying Light, Dying Light 2: Stay Human, and Payday 2

Dying Light, Dying Light 2_ Stay Human, and Payday 2

Release and availability

“Dying Light” was initially released in January 2015, offering a unique blend of survival and action in a zombie-infested world. After years of anticipation, its sequel, “Dying Light 2: Stay Human”, will be released in December 2021. “Dying Light” can be enjoyed on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Game’s genre

As a survival horror game, “Dying Light” ingeniously plunges you into two distinct worlds where the atmosphere changes daily tonight.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

Dying Light takes inspiration from Left 4 Dead’s zombie-themed premise, integrating teamwork and survival elements into their gameplay. This game matches Left 4 Dead’s players’ tension when being swarmed by hordes of zombies. Also, Payday 2 shares Left 4 Dead’s cooperative, team-based approach, but instead of zombies, you’re planning and executing high-stakes heists.

4. The Last Of Us

the last of us

Release and availability

“The Last of Us” is a masterpiece that was initially released in June 2013 for PlayStation 3. It was later remastered for PlayStation 4 in July 2014, and plans are to adapt the game into a TV series.

Game’s genre

This game falls under the action-adventure genre with elements of survival horror. The narrative-driven experience is revered for its compelling characters and a moving, thought-provoking storyline.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

“The Last of Us” shares the post-apocalyptic theme with “Left 4 Dead”. It gives players a sense of urgency and desperation to survive in a world that’s fallen into chaos while emphasizing the importance of cooperation to overcome obstacles.

5. Dead Island

dead island

Release and availability

Survive in Paradise with “Dead Island”, released in September 2011. This game is available to play on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows.

Game’s genre

This popular action role-playing video game features melee combat and emphasizes character development through a skill tree system.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

“Dead Island” mirrors “Left 4 Dead” in several ways. It’s set in a tropical paradise turned nightmare, featuring frenzied, aggressive zombies. The game focuses heavily on cooperative gameplay, testing your ability to strategize and adapt under panic-inducing circumstances.

6. Portal 2

portal 2

Release and availability

“Portal 2”, the mind-bending sequel to the ground-breaking original game, was released in April 2011. It’s available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Game’s genre

This physics-based puzzle platform requires precision and superior problem-solving skills, challenging you to overcome multifaceted challenges using the innovative portal gun.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

While they operate in strikingly different spaces, “Portal 2” shares the cooperative gameplay emphasized in “Left 4 Dead”. It features a cooperative mode where players work together to solve intricate puzzles, fostering a similar sense of camaraderie and team spirit.

7. World War Z

world war z

Release and availability

Inspired by the eponymous movie, “World War Z” was released in April 2019. This epic survival game can be enjoyed on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.

Game’s genre

World War Z is a thrilling third-person shooter that requires sharp skills and situational awareness to survive against massive hordes of zombies.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

With its cooperative gameplay and vast swarms of undead enemies, “World War Z” harks back to the tense, action-packed “Left 4 Dead” gameplay. The game features hordes of fast-moving zombies, posing a constant threat that requires teamwork to overcome, similar to Left 4 Dead’s gameplay dynamic.

8. Call of Duty: World at War

cod world at war

Release and availability

“Call of Duty: World at War”, released in November 2008, is the first title to introduce the popular Zombies mode in the franchise. It’s available to play on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Windows.

Game’s genre

World at War thrusts players into the gritty realities of WWII as a first-person shooter. The game earned its reputation for its intense campaigns and multiplayer mode, but the real standout is the cooperative zombie mode.

Similarities to Left 4 Dead

The feature that ties “World at War” to “Left 4 Dead” is its Zombies mode. This mode emphasizes cooperative, team-based survival against waves of undead enemies.

Comparative Analysis of Games Similar to Left 4 Dead

Similitudes in team-based gameplay

“Left 4 Dead” introduced a cooperative gameplay concept that resonates with several other titles. Games such as “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War”, “Remnant: From The Ashes”, “Dying Light”, “The Last Of Us”, “Dead Island”, “Portal 2”, “World War Z”, and “Call of Duty: World at War” have all adopted the cooperative principle, where teamwork is paramount to survival.

Differences in style and mechanics

While these games carry the team-based gameplay principle, they vary widely in terms of style, setting, and mechanics. From the strategic puzzle-solving of “Portal 2” to the high-velocity shooting in “World War Z” or the gripping narrative of “The Last of Us”, each game offers a unique spin to the cooperative concept introduced by “Left 4 Dead”.

Shared themes of survival and cooperation

Among all the games discussed, the prominent common thread is the theme of survival amid despair. Whether fighting off hordes of zombies as in “Left 4 Dead” or navigating through a decimated world as in “The Last of Us”, these games all share a sense of urgency and dread that pushes players to rely on each other to survive.

This shared thematic essence connects these diverse games on a deeper level.

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By Jupiter Hadley

Jupiter is an avid indie gaming journalist that covers lesser titles. She highlights thousands of game jams and independent games on YouTube. She judges several jams and events and oversees, a global game jam calendar.