Left 4 What? If you're not one of the legions to be playing Valve's newest zombie shoot-em' up, fear not. Just because you aren't killing the undead with your friends doesn't mean that you can't partake in the best open-source and freeware zombie titles! Better yet, fire up some of these games while waiting for your big Steam download to finish. Because nothing gets one in the mood to kill zombies like, well, killing zombies.
Why it rocks: This 2D side-scroller is full of blood and guts. Enjoy battling the legions of the undead using all sorts of colorful weaponry. The game's beautiful particle effects and "unfunny 'in' jokes" will keep you coming back for more -- especially helpful, given that zombie hordes never really stop... coming. The only bummer about Facewound is that its a title that will never actually be finished -- you're playing a build of the game, not the imaginary final product.
Murrgh: Is it a zombie game? No. But this title, which pits you as a psychic bodyguard tasked with protecting VIPs each level, does come with a super-special zombie mode after subsequent levels of gameplay. Just what you need when you've finished protecting the imaginary president from assassins: Protecting the imaginary president from zombie assassins.
Urhrhhgh: No, this is not a joke. In this independent title, you're going to be mashing the spacebar to raise support for your Zombie senate candidate over the dastardly Senator Birdbeard. We only include this game on the list as its hilarious story (and suggestion of a Zombie/Pirate governmental system) totally outweighs any other flaws the game might have. It's up to you to do you undead civic duty and install this immediately!
Braaaains: With three successive iterations under its belt, this 2D side-scroller is barbaric in its zombie bloodletting. The premise is simple: Use a bunch of weapons to bash zombie brains in. The weapons themselves can consist of anything from the mundane (trash can lids) to the creative (frying pans) to the squishy (severed spinal cords). And your character grows the more you kill, earning tattoos as upgrades to increase the power of you undead pulverization. You can even cast magic spells, including one that summons a fully-loaded Uzi to your hands--not exactly the D&D wizardry we're used to, but hilarious nonetheless.
Jamboree: Board up the doors. Zombies are attacking your little cottage, and it's up to you to keep them at bay! But we're serious: Board up the doors, the windows, and stack anything you can against the entrances of your little hut! This game gives you a lot of creative leeway in protecting your domain from the undead, reminding us a lot of our favorite desktop time-waster, Tower Defense. This should give you a lot of practice for the strategic elements of Left4Dead
Huh: Zombie Baseball. 'nuff said.