10 Video Games Where You Can Only Die ONCE

No extra lives can save you.

ancestors the humankind odyssey
Panache Games

When it comes to most video games, dying isn’t really an issue. You always have extra lives or a conveniently placed auto-save to spare you the trouble of starting everything over.

However, there are some games that like to make death feel more consequential by forcing you to fully restart whenever you get a game over. And then there are games that push this concept even further—they only let you die once.

Yes, in some cases, death isn’t just an inconvenience or even a full reset of your progress. You only have one chance to finish your run, and if you die along the way, you will never be able to play it again. You never get your character back, the world changes completely, and the run you’ve had is gone forever.

In some extreme cases, the game won’t even allow you to play it after you die!

The challenge these games propose is no joke, but then again, sometimes it feels nice to know your mistakes actually matter, as it makes victory taste all the sweeter. If you’re interested in taking on such a challenge on your own, the following titles are for you!

10. ZombiU

ancestors the humankind odyssey

ZombiU is one of those early 2010s games that spawned out of the zombie apocalypse craze at the time. However, unlike its competitors, the game has a rather unique approach to emphasizing the dread of trying to survive the undead uprising. Every death in ZombiU is permanent.

Even though the game features a save system, whenever you die, you don't get to play as your character again. Instead, you are spawned into the world as another survivor, and your previous one is turned into a zombie.

For this reason, no single run is the same, and as you may imagine, this makes for some interesting gameplay. Each time you die, you need to reacquaint yourself with your surroundings and your new character, and then venture out into the world to find your previous self and take back your belongings from their zombified body.

Of course, it can be frustrating to lose a character you've grown attached to, but then again, this feeling is exactly what ZombiU relies on to make your postapocalyptic struggle all the more intense.

If you want your favorite survivor to get a happy ending, you need to make extra sure no zombies are getting free nibbles from them.


Video games enthusiast with a love for bizarre facts about his favorite titles. Really into old-school strategies and RPGs of all shapes and sizes.