Games Like Plants vs Zombies – Ultimate List

It’s hard to find games like Plants Versus Zombies.  A game that can fill the chasm of yearning left by such a satisfactory experience.

I know, I’ve tried.

I’ve watched over fifty YouTube videos.

I’ve trawled through what seems like a thousand recommendation lists and I’m still struggling to find something that provides everything that Plants Versus Zombies did.

But without further ado, here is the best recommendations that I have found so far.

Looking For the Garden Warfare games?

Here is the list of Games like Garden Warfare.

I decided the only way to find a game worthy of being a Plant Versus Zombie successor is by tearing Plants Versus Zombies apart and organizing it into its core components.

DIRECTORY

  • Do I want a tower defense strategy game? for Mobile  or  for PC and Consoles
  • (That’s a game where you place something (usually a tower) to shoot and decimate invading troops – in case you didn’t know.)
  • Am I a zombiephile? Do I just want to immerse myself in the rotting necrotic flesh of the dead? And if so, would my time be better off looking for a psychiatrist and learning how to avoid the scrutiny of the FBI?
  • Is the vast sprawl of concrete getting me down? Do I long for the day where I can have a garden and so whittle my time away by basking in a simulated horticultural experience?  (There is no expansion article for this one due to lack of good tower defenses in this category. I could only find two decent entries worth reporting.)
  • Do I just enjoy the quirky and at times lame humor? The amount of times you have physically cringed whilst reading this should make that one a resounding yes. Crisis solved.
  • Or do I just like the versus clones and knockoffs… the idea of two natural enemies like Plants and Zombies (It’s a little-known fact that zombies suffer from server hay-fever. It’s littler known fact that plants have the densest brain matter in the animal kingdom. Sounds like natural enemies to me.) fighting each other to the proper final death… not the semi-death the one is currently in. Yeah, I’m confused too. I just examined every other word in the title and didn’t want versus to feel excluded.

For ease the links to the extend articles will also be provided at the bottom of each section.

 

 

Tower defense games that are like Plants VS Zombies for Mobiles

One of the best things about Plants VS Zombies is that it can be played on your mobile device without an internet connection.

Has your boss dragged you in to do mandatory overtime? Fed up of putting covers on those TPS reports? Why not just whip out your phone and stop the apocalypse via photosynthesis? It’s what I do.

There are loads of tower defense games that you can play anywhere without an internet connection, so these are the perfect games for long-flights or overnight spelunking expeditions. Or anywhere else you experience low reception.

Kingdom Rush Series

(iOS – Android – Web-based)

Kingdom Rush is one of the biggest tower defense franchises and may actually be more synonymous with the tower defense genre than Plant Versus Zombies. Armour games have released three Kingdom Rush games: Kingdom Rush (free for download), Kingdom Rush Frontiers, and Kingdom Rush Origins. Origins seems to have the higher Google Play Score coming in at 4.8, whereas the other two are a measly 4.7 (shocking difference, I know.)

Even though there is a distinct lack of plants and zombies, I personally love the Kingdom Rush Games.

It maybe because I’m a big role-playing fantasy geek and these games are very much grounded in RPG fantasy. There is magic, there are elves, there are dwarves, there are orcs, and big bad monster bosses. And lots of things to level up. I think I’m in heaven.

What it’s about:

You are trying to defend your kingdom’s roads from an army of marauding monsters that are flagrantly disobeying the green-cross code by jay-walking into oncoming carts. They’re threatening your kingdom’s traffic management system and increasing the number of commuters petitioning local earls about road safety. How very dare they. They must die. And something has to be done about the monster problem too. I like to think of my king as a mad tyrant type. As the levels progress you are given new road systems to protect from new foes that may be resist to one type of tower or move faster. These new locations and foes present an increasing need to develop new strategies to clear the level.  These levels can be very challenging at times so you do need to think tactically about tower placement and upgrades.

The strategy is enhanced by the role-playing elements. You get to upgrade your towers through multiple paths that effect damage, area of attack and other things. You also have heroes that you can place on the map and customize through various options. These heroes and their abilities can be a life saver.

The games also has some truly epic boss fights that are highly enjoyable.

The games are so popular they have also spawned a lot of clones that are fun (although they may not have quite lived up to the original):

  • Realm Defender (iOS -Android)
  • Castle Creeps (iOS – Android)
  • Tower Defence King (iOS – Android)
  • Castle Defense 1 and 2 (iOS – Android)
  • Tower Defense: Castle and Kingdom War (Android)
  • Tower Dwellers (iOS -Android)
  • Myth Defense Two (iOS – Android)
  • More games like Kingdom Rush

All these are great fantasy based tower defense and highly recommended.

Tiny Guardians

(iOS – Android – Steam)

Here is another fantasy-based tower defense game with a twist – it has no towers! It might seem like a total failure in generic concept of ‘tower defense’ and as if the developers have missed the point however, it is a TOWER defense game, but it actually works extremely well without the seemingly so important towers.

It is what makes this game so special and separates it from the Kingdom Rush clones. Many argue that it is actually more of a master defense game.

What it’s about:

Instead of building towers, your main character is centered in the road and summons guardians from cards. These summoned heroes act as the tower and protects you from swarms of enemies.  The game features quests that allows you to buy more cards. There are a diverse range of cards to collect that contain a lot of different guardian classes.  This allows for a versatile style of play, and there are a lot of strategies you could adopt to beat levels. This give it infinite replay value.  There are also a variety of modes to play through.

There are over 40 enemy types as well as boss encounters that make it an interesting and challenging game to play.

It also has quite a compelling story going on in the background – the quest to find a missing mentor told through cartoon graphic very similar to Plants VS Zombies. The artwork on the cards is particularly amazing…

Even though Tiny Guardians is available on Steam, as it’s a mobile port it does feel slightly lacking on that platform. It is a great mobile game though.

To my knowledge there are no similar games available on mobile platforms – although on Steam and PC you could try these:

  • Orcs Must Die 2 (Steam)
  • Deathtrap (Steam)

Tiny archers (iOS and Android) is another game that takes a unique slant on the tower defense genre if you are looking for something different and Digfender is another weird entry (iOS and Android) that blends Digger and tower defense.

You can find the extend list of Android and iOS tower defense here.

Tower defenses that are like Plants VS Zombies on Consoles /PC

This section is for those of you who want to take Plants Versus Zombies into the next generation or don’t own a mobile phone. You could be mobile phone Amish or have the long standing belief the pocket sized processors attached to a touch screen device will be the genesis of sky-net – and nobody wants to lose two hours of their life to yet another Terminator sequel.

This section will look at those tower defense games that are just too much for a mobile too handle and will bring Plants Versus Zombies to the big screen. So, if it is simplicity is what you’re looking for, this section is most probably not for you.

Aegis of Earth : Protonovus Assault

(PS – VITA-PS3- PS4 – Steam)

Aegis of Earth is a manga style tower defense game with a literal twist.

What it’s about:

You are defending a futuristic and perfectly circular city from an invasion of rampaging monsters. The city is compromised of interlocking circles on which you can build weapons or resource generators. You can rotate these circles to aim your weapons at the charging monsters and protect the city from harm. It must play havoc with the road system.

(1Could you imagine popping to the shop to pick up a pint of milk to discover your home has been rotated to the other end of the city?!)

It’s a classic B movie of a game, that is cheap but extremely good fun to play.  In its own right as a PS4 title it is mediocre at best but judged as a tower defense game it is top-tier, maybe one of the best.

The assaults on your city can get very fast paced and frantic and require you to think fast and develop on the fly strategies.

As twists on the tower defense genre go this is a solid gold one.

The rotating city provides some really good and unique game-play as you are constantly refocusing your line of fire and questioning the optimum placement of the guns. There is a rich development system you can sink points into with loads of customization options. There are also elements of city management where you have to manage power requirements and the happiness of the population.

The game does start off a little slow due to anime-style story. On the plus side, it comes with the original Japanese voice acting, so you can switch from the annoying Nickelodeon style English actors if you wish to. There are a lot of characters for you to get to know as well.

If you are considering buying it on Steam, read the reviews first. There has been some issues around the control system caused by a bad port – although this issue maybe fixed now.  Although a top tier defense games, it is more complex than Plants Versus Zombies and its game-play is very different.

Space Run Galaxy

(PC – Steam)

Space Run Galaxy is a tower defense game set in the deep void of space.

Your spaceship is the area you have to defend by building towers on it. In Space Run Galaxy, the objective is to deliver cargo to from point A to point B without having the pirates steal your cargo. The main objective is how fast you can deliver your cargo, without the pirates stealing it.

Each mission has set three speed goals to beat that give you an additional reward.

You will have to re-visit levels to beat the top speed goal with higher level equipment.

What it’s about:

Your ship is comprised of hexagons on which you can put different towers such as shields, thrusters, guns and the cargo that you are delivering and as such it soon become extremely tactical where you are juggling the placement defensive and offensive capabilities against the profitability of the mission.

There are three main factors to juggle: speed to meets the levels time targets, guns to deter the pirates, and cargo amount to keep your business contacts happy.

The ship has a wide range of customization, you can paint it as well as place more hexagons on it and by doing so redesign its’ shape.

The real fun thing about this game is that it has a crafting system for the towers. The crafting system is really deep in this game and allows you to build more hexagons or craft better towers. So, the more missions that you complete and the greater amount of material you gather the greater amount of towers you can build or upgrade.

It is a great and fun game. Small warning, although a great defense game with a nice story, it plays nothing like Plants Versus Zombies.

Click here for a more robust list of PC and Console based tower defense.

Zombie-based tower defense games that are like Plants versus Zombies

I love zombies. There are a lot of people that love all things zombie. And as such there is an amazing amount of zombie related games that are just bizarre.

Here I’ll just focus on tower defense games, but the extended article will list some interesting zombie games that are not tower defenses.

There are a lot of zombie tower defense games, and a huge amount of them have the zombies versus something like animals, wizards or even Spartans. So, there is a huge overlap of Zombies and Versus out there. However, these obvious clones tend to lack the humor and fun of Plants Versus Zombies. There are better tower defense games out there that offer something challenging and different.

Zombie City Defense Two

(iOS – Android – Steam)

Zombie City Defense is an in depth tactical tower defense organised around keeping a city safe from zombie infestation.

What it’s about:

There are numerous melee units you can deploy on the ground, turrets you can build, upgrades to building to create barricades and other things that will prevent the spread of the zombie infection. One of the greatest things about this game are the random events that work against you and are just outside of your control. I had a base that relied on fire based defenses to halt zombie incursions. In the midst of one such incursion there was a torrential down pour that literally dampened my defenses.  Instead of burning them into nothingness  – my city was overtaken by smoldering corpses.

You can research new units and you can fully customize the map – by destroying anything on it if you have the right unit. Is there a bridge that is too convenient for the zombies to cross? Then blow it up! If there is a building you just don’t like, then demolish it.

It is a great tower defense game featuring zombies but it lacks the sense of fun and cartoon graphics of Plants Versus Zombies. It comes across as a little too serious and deep in comparison.

Last Hope – Tower Defense

(iOS – Android – PC – Steam)

In Last Hope you join a war against the zombies in an open world environment. There are multiple heroes to choose from and a wide range of towers for you to build to protect yourself.

What it’s about:

Across the 140 levels you will face off not just against the zombie hordes but other survivors who are have turned to raiding and pillaging to survive.

The graphics are beautiful but they are more realistic than Plants Versus Zombies. It is more reminiscent of the gritty survival horror stories like The Walking Dead. Although that isn’t a bad thing in itself, it is when you compare it to the tone of Plants versus Zombies. The two are almost opposite tones.

The towers offer multiple expansion trees, you are able to customize your hero in a variety of ways to match your play style and you collect information on enemies encountered that will expose their weakness. There are numerous difficulty levels and multiple game modes for you to explore. It is a really fun game that has typical tower defense elements and is set amid a zombie outbreak. There is a very little humor and the plants are purely decorative which may leave it lacking if you liked the smiling sunflowers and vicious cactus.

For more zombie action please click here. 

Funny tower defense games that are Like Plant Versus Zombies

Plant versus Zombies has a unique and zany humor that is hard to replicate. I think there are very few tower defense games that come close to reaching the surreal style of humor present in the Plants Versus Zombies franchise. This might be why very few tower defense game live up to its standard.

Here are some of the zaniest and funniest tower defense games I can find.

OTTTD

(iOS – Android – Steam)

OTTTD stands for over the top tower defense and that is exactly what it is.

What it’s about:

Galactic peace has been achieved and the coffers of mercenary groups are growing low – so they open a dimensional rift and go to war in another dimensions. It is as insane as it sounds. It has some of the most incredible and memorable enemies to battle, such as a ghostly cactus.

There are a number of hero classes you can choose from, multiple paths for the customization of the towers, there are loads of enemies to encounter and combat; so pretty much everything that you would expect from a typical defense tower. It also has a great story that is jam-packed with over the top spoof like humor.

The game has amusing features, it features dead plants that are close to being zombies, and it’s a tower defense. It sounds like it should be the perfect tower defense game for a Plants versus Zombie fan, but the humor does have a slightly different tone and the game-play does vary a little more.

Jelly defense

(iOS – Android)

Jelly defense, much like Plants Versus Zombies, is a tower defense game that marches to the sound of its own drum.

It is so unique it’s almost wrong to try and compare it to other tower defense games. Not because the tower defense elements are amazing but because it is more a work of art than it is a game.

What it’s about:

The game is based on an alien planet full of jelly like creatures that come under-attack by an invading enemy force. You build towers to defend the Jelly population against the invading army. It may sound like a typical tower defense game, but the aesthetics is something else entirely. Words are unable describe it and only the screen-shots can start to do this beautifully rendered world justice.

You should see the cut scenes. They are jaw-dropping.

It is like Plants versus Zombies because it’s so very unique and is almost incomparable to other tower defense games on the market.

However, it has no plants or zombies within it and other than being beautiful it offers little of a unique playing style.

For more humorous tower defense games, please click here.

Plant-based tower defense games at are like Plants Versus Zombies

This section is for those of you who like the plant aspect of the game.

Personally, if I liked the whole planting mechanic, I’d try Farm Simulator. I’m waiting for Farm Simulator to develop a post nuclear apocalypse add-on so I can raise two headed cows and build turrets to protect my farm against raiding outlaws and angry super mutants… wait, isn’t that Falllout 4? Who knew?

Here are the top tower defense games featuring plants. Truthfully this section seems to suffer from a lot of clones of Plant Versus Zombies that are very poorly done for quick cash grabs.  As there are very few games worth playing in this category there is no expansion article elsewhere.

Sorry plant lovers, I have failed you.

Mushroom Wars One and Two

(PS4 – Xbox One – iOS – Android)

The sequel to Mushroom Wars will be released later this year across multiple platforms.  In Mushroom Wars Two the developers are promising us four solo campaign maps, one for each tribe Mushroom tribe that exists.  And a huge focus on multiplayer maps.

What it’s about:

Mushroom towers are built to devastate mushroom people as you move large units of them around that map.  Mushroom Wars Two looks like it will take the graphics the next level and these battles will take place in a lush environment. The graphics are pretty amazing and beautiful to look at.

Mushroom Wars one is currently available although graphically it doesn’t compare in the least to the screenshots released for Mushroom Wars Two. Both however lack any zombie aspect to the game.

Garden Rescue and Garden Rescue Christmas Edition

(iOS – Android – Steam)

Garden Rescue is a tower defense game where you have to defeat bugs that threaten your garden through plant based weaponry. It is a fun, colorful game that is easy to master and play.  The towers have loads of upgrades, there is detailed information about everything in the game and it is really cheap.

It is a good solid defense tower game with a good deal of content.

The biggest complaints about Garden Rescue, ironically, are that it’s trying too hard to be Plant Versus Zombie, and does so without bring anything new to the genre. The second biggest is that there are no story aspects to it whatsoever. Due to this people find it hard to carry on through the game.  There is nothing driving them forward. But this shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you love defense tower games.

No zombies, and may be too much of a clone for you to bear. I personally find the comparisons a little unfair, as this game used the more typical route to protect system whereas Plants Versus Zombies has a line defense system.

This is the best rip off of Plants versus Zombies in this section.

There are a lot of other clones are listed below. These have terrible, absolutely awful reviews. I’d give them a wide-berth.

  • Super Swarm Bug (iOS – Android)
  • Angry Plants 2 (iOS – Android)
  • Battle Ranch: Pigs Versus Plants (Steam)

I recommend avoiding all in that bullets list above. They’re so bad I thought it was worth stating again.

There are a total lack of viable defense games in the garden and plants area. However, there are games that revolve around gardening in other genres.  Typically these tend to be resource management style games. If that sounds like your thing than try one of these:

  • Farmdale (iOS – Android)
  • Gardens Inc 4 (iOS – Android)
  • Gardenscapes – New acres (iOS – Android)
  • Garden Mania 2 (iOS – Android)
  • Sky Garden : Farm in Paradise (iOS – Android)

Plants VS Zombies Clones and Knockoffs.  

This section explores tower defense games that use the word versus in the title.

This section is for those of you who are just contrary and want to oppose something. Or maybe you argue against everything that is ever said. We’ve all had significant others like that.

Choose a side and let your opposing nature run wild.

Oddly, this seems to be the sections that has the closest game-play mechanics to Plants Versus Zombies and maybe the best area for games that have simple mechanics and family friendly content.

Trolls Versus Vikings One and Two

(iOS – Android)

Trolls VS Vikings is pretty much what it sounds: trolls that battle Vikings.

This operates pretty much like Plant VS Zombies, so much so the biggest complaint is that it is a clone and offers nothing original despite changing the very nature of the things battling.

How are trolls anything like plants?!

They hang around under bridges all day posting inflammatory material on any forum they are not currently banned from. They don’t have any contact with sunlight at all. They definitely aren’t rooted in the local community.

What it’s about:

Despite the clone accusation, there are a huge amount of characters, enemies and levels to play through.  The game does suffer from some in app purchasing but it isn’t to the scale where the game is impossible to play without. There is a lot of content, spread across the two games. And as this section is all about those people that like to be contrite and argumentative there is an added bonus that they get to play as a troll. Win – Win.

This is a good alternative to Plants Versus Zombies as it checks a lot of the boxes. It’s a line defense system, it has simple games mechanics that are easy to pick up, and it is family friendly with great graphics.

Ninja Cats vs Samurai Dogs

(iOS – Android)

Ninja Cats VS Samurai Dogs is a great tower defense game that is a little wacky.  It also manages to avoid any comparison to Plants Versus Zombies despite having a very similar playing style which is a plus.

What it’s about:

There are a good amount of customization throughout and it is a pretty fun game to play.  It allows you to pick the side you wish to fight on – so it’s satisfying for both cat and dog people.

Though if you’re a dog ninja person then this game fails in the most epic of ways. We all know they exist. We’ve all seen Naruto.

As much as the game is fun, it’s not the sort of game that will grab your attention for long, nor does it have a lot of replay value.

A funny idea for a game, but its execution is slightly lacking. It just doesn’t seem to be as fun as it should be. Plus no zombies or plants.

To check out an extended list of versus games please click here…

Or don’t.

No need to get argumentative about it!

Conclusion

There are very few games that meet all the criteria of Plants Versus Zombies as it is such a unique game.

I hope at least some of the games, and categories we explored, has been a help to you in your quest to find some games like plants vs zombies.

What I found interesting was that certain categories had similar failings for an alternative – zombie base tower defense games where more geared to an adult audience, were more likely to have guns and be humorless, with more complex controls. Comedic and Zany ones were more like to fun graphically or story-wise but they were mostly derivative of the genre. Plant-based ones just sucked ass on a colossal sack – with the exception of Mushroom Wars. And versus were more likely to be line defense and have simple kid friendly materiel.

How weird is that?

Did we get all the right aspects of the game? Is there a category you want to see? Is there anything you would like us to expand on?  Is there a perfect game I just missed?  Get in touch with your thoughts.

Personally, I feel like this obsession must go on.

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