There’s less than a month left until the Mad Max video game comes out in September, but in case that’s still too far away, I have some ideas for how you could tide yourself over.
Fortunately, there are other games out there that capture that post-apocalyptic feel, and I’ve rounded up 10 of the best for embracing your inner Max before the real thing arrives.
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Heavily influenced by the Mad Max series, Rage is an easy recommendation to make. You’re in a bleak post-apocalyptic future where you spend nearly as much time driving around as you do taking out bandits.
With a focus on survival and exploration, Rage captures the barren feel of this kind of universe. While you can opt to be subtle and stealthy, you can just as easily go in guns blazing. There’s also a handy side offering of vehicular races, highlighting the importance of transportation in this unforgiving world.
9. ’BORDERLANDS: THE HANDSOME COLLECTION’
Xbox One, PS4
A more unhinged take on a post-apocalyptic world, the Borderlands series is fantastic fun, especially with friends. There’s still room for it to capture a Mad Max style vibe though. Kind of like a precursor to Destiny with its simple role-playing elements like experience and loot, you’re mostly exploring barren wastelands and completing numerous quests as you travel.
There are even a few direct Mad Max references in there, to ensure you can’t fail but spot the connections. The Handsome Collection made its way to the current generation of consoles fairly recently, so it’s the ideal time to dive in.
8. ’FALLOUT 3’
PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Pretty much all of the Fallout games owe a lot to the Mad Max franchise, but Fallout 3 is the most accessible and arguably the best of the bunch. A nuclear apocalypse has wiped out the planet and food, shelter, and resources are scarce.
It’s not as barren as some games, with plenty of familiar landmarks to spot, but the need to survive is strong. You’ll soon learn just how important it is to collect up every scrap around you, piecing it together to build a surprisingly effective tool.
7. ’METRO REDUX
PC, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One
A more horror-focused post apocalyptic game, Metro 2033 is suitably disturbing at times. Roaming the ruins of a devastated Russia, you’ll find yourself taking out swarms of mutants that seem far from human. Ammunition is hard to come by, ensuring you’re always on your toes and struggling to survive for long.
It’s not quite the same as fending off the War Boys of Mad Max: Fury Road, and there aren’t any car chases, but it’s got that same kind of subhuman kind of feel to it. And if you pick up the more recent Metro Redux, you get Metro 2033 and its sequel, Metro: Last Light, in upgraded forms.
6. ’TWISTED METAL’ SERIES
PS1, PS2, PS3, PSP, PC Vehicular combat is a big part of Mad Max: Fury Road, and the Twisted Metal series captures that sentiment well. It’s a demolition derby really, but with projectiles, machine guns, mines, and all kinds of other weapons, all the way up to a nuke.
There are no nuances to the storyline here or clever insights. It’s all about chaos and destruction. Odds are, though, you’ve watched Fury Road and felt a desperate urge for more great car chases. Twisted Metal can easily offer that.
5. ’MOTORSTORM: APOCALYPSE’
Another game full of car chases, MotorStorm: Apocalypse is a more story-driven affair. This time round, you’re driving across an area based on the West Coast, as you dodge various active earthquakes and tornados.
The tracks change in real time with bridges buckling, buildings collapsing, and there are Crazies out to disrupt your racing. It captures the doomed feeling well.
4. ‘I AM ALIVE’
Xbox 360, PS3, PC
There’s a curious juxtaposition to I Am Alive in that it offers more humanity than most games on this list, but it’s also so much more brutal in places. After a terrible disaster wipes out most of the cities of the world, resources are at an all time low causing violent uprisings.
It’s a different experience to other survival games but it captures the loss of humanity in such situations fairly well.
3. ‘DEAD RISING’ SERIES
Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Xbox One
Ok, this one is a little far removed from Mad Max, but it does offer vehicles, resource gathering, and chaos. The chaos stems from zombies rather than a nuclear war, but Dead Rising easily demonstrates the inventiveness of humankind.
You can use pretty much anything as a weapon, from a cash register to a traffic cone, and it’s sure to satisfy that urge for fictional violence that the adrenaline of Fury Road might have left you with.
2. ‘THE LAST OF US’
The Last of Us isn’t here for conventional reasons. Sure, it’s all about a post apocalyptic environment and using precious resources to survive. However, its strongest component is its strong female lead—just like in Fury Road.
Ellie is a young but tough protagonist, who demonstrates that human spirit overcomes some very nasty scenarios. It’s dark in a different sort of way than most, getting under your skin, but it also ably shows just how great it is to see a strong female character in this kind of position.
1. ‘JUST CAUSE’
PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360
Why should you care about the Just Cause games when there’s nothing post apocalyptic about them? In fact, they look positively lush instead, thanks to their island settings. It might prove to be a great insight into what’s to come, however, with both Mad Max and the Just Cause series sharing the same developer in Avalanche Studios.
It’s part third person shooter, part driving game, and until Grand Theft V, had the best sense of openness and flexibility in any sandbox game. You can perform a crazy number of stunts in it, as well as control numerous different vehicles, including speedboats. It should be a fine appetizer for what might come in Mad Max.
Jennifer Allen is a freelance writer based in not-so-sunny Wales. She’s been gaming for over 20 years and cites Final Fantasy VII and Goldeneye as “life-changing.” Jennifer has written for outlets such as GamePro.com, G4TV.com, and PasteMagazine.com. In her free time, she pretends she knows what she’s doing at the gym.
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