Post-Apocalyptic RPGs to Play as You Prepare for the Inevitable End of the World

Does the presidential election have you in a state of panic? These games might give you the edge you need in a post-election apocalypse.

Does the presidential election have you in a state of panic? These games might give you the edge you need in a post-election apocalypse.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that election day is close at hand here in America. While some people may be voting early or attending that final rally for their candidate, there is something as equally important to have in the back of your mind…


Okay, maybe I play too many post-apocalyptic video games. But, what if this was to my benefit? What if my experiences in game translated into viable survival skills? We’ll pretend for a moment that this is the case, and take a look at the scenarios.

Okay, so candidate X wins the presidency and we have our new Evil Overlord genuinely concerned leader who is completely unbiased about the state of affairs of our great nation. But then, some dastardly force unleashes upon us a chemical zombie virus!

zombie hand reaching up from the dirt

State of Decay

Zombie survival simulator

If there is one thing I have learned about surviving the end of the world via zombies, it’s that you can only really rely on yourself. State of Decay has taught me the finer points of survival:

  • Leaving yourself supply caches throughout the ruined city in case of emergency
  • Always carry a backup weapon, preferably melee
  • Helping your neighbors can help you, especially if they’re a doctor
  • Don’t drink the water from the lake full of zombie bodies

Okay, but, what if it isn’t zombies? Maybe our glorious leader somehow manages to make the wrong people mad? I know that it’s highly unlikely given that the candidates are professional, charismatic, and upstanding citizens but remember, this is just some worst case scenario planning.

What if, despite their good intentions, there were to be a nuclear Armageddon instead of a zombie outbreak?

Yes man Fallout: New vegas

Fallout: New Vegas 

Nuclear Annihilation Simulator

The Fallout franchise has much to offer to those willing to learn. Even if it’s set in an alternate timeline when nuclear power was harnessed over fossil fuels and people still dressed like it was the roaring 20’s.

In this case, I want to look at Fallout: New Vegas. In New Vegas, we take on the persona of a post-apocalyptic mail carrier who was shot in the line of duty but kinda shrugs it off.

This game teaches resourcefulness — like turning cactus fruit into a delicious, thirst-quenching beverage or turning junk into ammunition. Not only that, but it teaches you to think before you act. Why rush headlong into a Super Mutant ambush when you can wait for those pesky raiders to meet their well-deserved fate?

And people skills…you’ll learn people skills as well. You’ll meet all kinds of people at the end of the world. Some will be helpful, like you. Others will be jerks, like the raiders.  And others still will only care about the greater good for their fellow man though they themselves are but a robot sporting a blank, lifeless stare.

Okay, okay. I can hear you now. “Justin, what you’re saying is utter nonsense. None of these things are likely, let alone probable.” Well, I still have one more pitch.

What if we elect the wrong person? What if, we screw up so badly that the Earth itself decides to punish our poor judgment with a massive natural disaster? Yes, I even have a game for that. 

I am Alive ruined bridge

I am Alive 

Natural Disaster Simulator

In I am Alive, a disaster only known as “The Event” destroys most of the major cities in the United States. The government does the best it can to help the people, but there just isn’t enough resources to go around. Popular novelist Neil Gaiman once wrote that “civilization is two meals and twenty-four hours away from barbarism” and this game takes that to heart. 

One of the key takeaways from this game is that you don’t have to devolve into violence, but chances are those around you will. Other survivors want what little you have — food, water, medical supplies. You can choose to give what you have or fight for your life and meager supplies, typically against overwhelming numbers. 

Did I mention that this game has lots of urban exploring? You get to traverse the ruined cityscape and search for goodies to make your survival easier. But, you best keep an eye on your stamina.

Don’t forget the great intimidation system over flat out combat. Generally, enemies don’t know your gun is devoid of bullets until your bluff fails and the tension is furthered by the useless click of the hammer as you’re surrounded.

Remember folks, these are all just scenarios. I’m hoping fairly sure that it won’t come to this and that our great country will be in caring hands. But, if you haven’t played these games, then I totally recommend them if for nothing more than some quality entertainment.

Got a game that taught you some great tips for surviving the end of the world? Tell me about it in the comments below. 

About the author

Justin Michael

From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.