7 Best Zombie RTS Games to Play in 2024


Blasting through zombies is a video game trope as old as time, but sometimes it’s more fun to take a strategic approach instead of guns blazing.

Although it’s not the biggest genre yet, zombies have been shambling through the RTS population for a while now.

There’s a fine balance between terror and fun though, so we’ve tried to vary these a bit. Some will give you a fun time with more lighthearted, casual fare. Others are going to eviscerate you before chewing the meat off your bones with how punishing they are.

Either way, these zombie RTS games have quite the bite when it comes to fun.

7. Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs Zombies

Can’t beat a classic, especially when it comes to getting into casual RTS games. The best part is that it’s available almost everywhere, from your phone to your Xbox Series X. It’s such an easy game to pick up and play that a baby could do it (results may vary).

Plants vs. Zombies charges you with defending your home from, you guessed it, zombies. The mindless drones will steadily shamble toward your home in rows, and you have to strategically place your plants to stop them.

The initial levels might be easy enough, but soon, it becomes a major experiment in stress-managing your lines while keeping the zombies at bay. 

You might not find a whole lot of depth in the gameplay, but you will find plenty of fun. It’s the perfect place for anyone to get a nibble of RTS games with a zombie flavor before taking a huge bite. 

Play on: PC, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, Switch, Mobile

6. Infectonator: World Dominator

Infectonator World Dominator

I remember playing the original browser version of Infectonator using a VPN to get around my high school’s wifi blocker. That was thirteen years ago and somehow the game has shambled on since then, amassing a horde of updates along the way.

The premise is easy – you start out with one disease, pick a major city, choose where the disease is released, and then watch the carnage.

You’ll start unlocking different zombie units and upgrades for your basic undead brain-eaters, allowing you to further dominate the world at large.

It seems like a more casual strategy game at first, but the later levels require a surprising level of prep and planning if you want to annihilate every human.

Infectonator: World Dominator has all the updates from the last decade packed into one game. It might be one for more casual play, but you’ll end up finding yourself infected with the depth of fun it provides after a while. 

Play on: PC, Mobile

5. Plague Inc.

Plague Inc.

The typical game of Plague Inc. is a staple for the casual RTS scene, but the Necroa Virus DLC is a whole new game. This mode focuses solely on the undead virus, allowing you to control and evolve your way to zombie domination.

First, you’ll start with the typical Plague Inc. experience, choosing what country your virus starts out in. The Necroa Virus takes a slightly different approach, though, with different infectivity routes and symptoms to start.

The trick is to spread it around enough before wreaking havoc, turning from patient zero to a worldwide zombie outbreak in no time.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from the Necroa Virus expansion, it’s that a zombie virus taking over isn’t nearly as easy as the movies make it look.

It’s a ridiculously fun game mode from a classic strategy game, though. You’ll need to think quickly and respond quicker to virus evolutions or changes in the environment.

The real fun only begins when your first dead victim turns, unlocking an entirely new set of abilities. It’s really fun to start with slow, shambling zombies before going full 28 Days Later on the world.

Play on: PC, Xbox One/Series, Switch

4. Death Road to Canada

Death Road to Canada

This has to be one of the funniest games I’ve ever played, and I’ve been around for a while. The premise of Death Road to Canada is four jerks and a dog road-tripping across the US to Canada during a zombie apocalypse.

If that sounds like a Zombieland-esque comedy, that’s because it is, just in a roguelike RTS that keeps the surprises coming.

Every level of Death Road to Canada is randomly generated, and you’ll have to stop in cities and towns often. Get the crew out of the car, scavenge for supplies while fighting off the undead, then gas up and get in to hit the next town.

You’ll lose people, but there will always be more to find in the next town. Or you end up with all your actual humans dying and have to hope that whatever god is listening, your dog can pick up on driving a car.

There’s no telling what might happen! Only that you’re going to have to keep an eye on literally everything while managing your group down to the letter.

The other fun is that Death Road to Canada includes a player couch co-op if you want to. It becomes chaos, almost like a top-down, cutesy version of Left 4 Dead.

It’s so much fun, though; you’ll find yourself starting new runs time and time again to get further.

Play on: PC, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, Switch, Mobile

3. The Cepheus Protocol

The Cepheus Protocol

I got this out of a mystery indie bundle about two years ago and it’s probably the most played mystery game I’ve ever gotten.

Bad things are happening, where zombies are almost the least of the issues, and you’re in charge of fixing it. Good luck! You’ll start managing the early days of the infected outbreak and desperately try to keep order as it inevitably gets worse.

The cool thing about Cepheus Protocol is that it doesn’t stick with just zombies for a challenge. You’ll set up military bases, quarantine camps, and supply lines to try and keep humanity alive. Except the infected keep evolving and eventually some really terrifying giant creatures start showing up.

It’s going to take some major resource management skills and some sacrificial fighters to keep humanity alive in the Cepheus Protocol.

As good as the RTS and semi-tower defense-inspired gameplay is, the real fun comes in the hunt. Through everything, you’re keeping tabs and searching for Patient 0 to cure the virus, and it’s a thrilling chase.

Play on: PC

2. Age of Darkness

Age of Darkness

If Cepheus Protocol is the go-to sci-fi RTS, then Age of Darkness is the answer for fantasy fans. You’ll defend your small kingdom from an ever-growing nightmare, with zombies just being the start of horrors thrown at you.

It’s a rough game, too, but soon enough, you’ll get into the fantasy elements much, much more headfirst. The game begins with just the basics – things are bad, set up a base for survivors, and then figure out how to fight back.

Eventually, you’ll gain access to powerful magic, crushing medieval weaponry, and a chance to expand your kingdom in the face of darkness. There’s a lot of resource management that goes into Age of Darkness, but the major goal is expansion.

Survival is only the first step in this desolate world, and you’ll have to fight through the fog of war against undead hordes to reclaim the land. 

The aesthetic and design of Age of Darkness are just a brilliant merging of zombie RTS with sword and sorcery fantasy. Training up mages that can blow apart a zombie horde with huge runes of fire is stupidly satisfying every time.

Play on: PC

1. They Are Billions

They Are Billions

The perfect marriage of bloodthirsty zombies with RTS is They Are Billions. Having a steampunk aesthetic is just a huge bonus for it, but the game shines when it comes to surviving onslaughts of zombies despite all odds.

When you start up in the game, the world is already way past the point of saving, with only a few thousand humans left alive. Now it’s up to you to keep those humans alive, building up colonies, keeping infected out, and just maybe finding a cure so nobody else turns.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, though, because They Are Billions doesn’t just cover the screen in zombies; it overloads everything. If you make even one mistake, one little slip that allows a zombie through, your entire colony will be up in flames within minutes.

It’s exhilarating when a huge horde is rushing right at your defenses, and even more, to see them get lit up by every tower of flame and lightning you place in their way.

They Are Billions is as fun as it is difficult. You’ll need a few different runs before anything starts to click, but once it has its teeth in you, you’re done for.

This is heaven for base building and tower defense enthusiasts, blending flawlessly into the RTS genre.

Play on: PC

About Ross Tyson 22 Articles
Ross is a writer, gamer, parent, and tired adult. They’re from the Southeast US, and have been gaming since their first Sega Genesis as a kid. A parent, they often find themselves playing kids games these days, but makes time for plenty of RPGs, Roguelikes, and anything with the Kingdom Hearts name on it. They’re experts in Final Fantasy lore, and will try any anime game no matter how bad it may be.

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