Around about now, according to what time zone you’re in and which websites you’re reading, the Mayan apocalypse should be descending upon us, scorching the Earth and obliterating us all in the process. Whether that all turns out to be a steaming pile of bunk or not, it’s best to be prepared, and while movies can give us a brief insight into that process, video games, with their more fleshed out worlds and lengthier play times, can create a far broader picture of what might be to come. Whether it’s aliens, a crazed megalomaniac, nuclear fallout or a zombie invasion, these 10 games have our bases covered should the worst – and most unlikely – of events actually take place today. We suggest you kick back, break out one of the below games, and prepare yourself just in case.

Here are 10 awesome apocalyptic video games.



10. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (series)

What’s the best way to make an apocalypse even more depressing and fear-inducing? Set it in Russia, of course! And what’s more, don’t just set it in Russia, set it around one of the most significant historical events of the last thirty years – the Chernobyl nuclear explosion that irradiated a vast area of land indefinitely and caused hundreds of thousands of people to develop cancers and bizarre mutations. The game’s title is an acronym for “Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers, Robbers”, a succinct list of everyone you will encounter throughout the lengthy campaign, which focuses on the realism of an apocalyptic scenario, such that you have to fend off radiation and have relatively low health compared to other similar games to be featured later.

Granted, this series takes artistic license with real events, because as far as we know, the Chernobyl incident didn’t actually spawn any monstrous mutants likes the ones we see in this game, but it’s a diversion we’re glad for. The various titles - Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat – have continually expanded the universe, making for one of the most diverse and terrifying apocalypses in video game history.

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This article was first posted on December 21, 2012