The Most Atmospheric Post-Apocalyptic Video Game Worlds

Post-apocalyptic worlds in video games don't necessarily have to be grimdark, depressing or colourless. There are many fine examples where the game's design either moves beyond these tropes, or develops them to perfection. We have collected a few of them below.

Enslaved: Odyssey To The West


World Of Ruin In Final Fantasy VI

Source: veteran0121's let's play of the game

Half-Life 2

Source: Half-Life Wiki

2300AD In Chrono Trigger

Source: Xytrasx's walkthrough of the game and The Chrono Wiki

Beneath A Steel Sky

Source: NormanJayden's let's play

The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Source: 50CALBR's gameplay video

The Dark World In Dark Seed 2

Source: Retsupurae

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl

Source: The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Wiki

Fallout New Vegas


Borderlands 2


Tokyo Jungle

Source: official trailer

Make sure to tell us your own picks in the comments!


    At First, I Was Wondering Why Wind Waker Was On There, Then I Realized, Hyrule Was Flooded

      for all the cartoony and supposedly "kiddy" graphics, damn that game was really somber at parts.

      Last edited 25/01/13 7:08 pm

    I would argue Fallout 3 had a better atmosphere than New Vegas. That said, I still think New Vegas is a better game.

      i liked fo3 better but yes the atmosphere was better

      Last edited 25/01/13 8:49 pm

    Liberty City baby!

      o.O Post Apocalyptic, but k. I never thought of LC as that.

        Haha...oh only just clicked. This has been my biggest internets fail...eva.

          Haha. Though Liberty City would be kind of cool in a Post Apocalyptic event, so it' relevant I guess =P

    Does Borderlands 2 really qualify? I get the setting has a similar sort of feel, but I didn't think it was actually post apocalyptic. Just that it is a fringe world that is generally pretty lawless.

      Indeed, Borderlands was just a Tatooine style world, where thugs and criminals gather. A wild west style world, that's all.

    Final Fantasy X - Spira.

      They will get to it once they have finished releasing sequels to FF13! So maybe a few more years?

    Tallon IV. That particular realization of a civilization-in-ruins was second to none.

    Terminator future shock and skynet. Needs reboot!

    Articles like this are why I still visit Kotaku.

    I enjoyed "I am Alive" I think they did a pretty reasonable job at their concept. Quite realistic in terms of people just surviving.

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