I am going to stick with what I know, which is firearms and short stabbing blades (5 1/2 to 8 inch Tanto-style dagger), because I am pretty confident in my ability to stab or shoot, but I am not one of the few dozen people in the country who can actually use a sword as an effective weapon, as I don't have 20 years of training...
I have a number of firearms, a large enough variety and number that I am fairly comfortable with my ability to arm myself adequately for any situation that can be dealt with using small arms. I don't have an M240 Bravo or an M134a, unfortunately, but I am pretty confident that if I am in a situation where I need a freaking Minigun, I am dead anyway (although I would still take every single one I came across during ZPAW for arming vehicles and fortifying home base).
My opinion on what is ideal is quite different, and I don't consider melee weapons to be "ideal" but rather a secondary option or for use against a single target when absolutely zero noise is acceptable.
- Lightweight 5-8" stabbing/dagger blade for the "silent kills", I prefer Tanto blades as they pierce well but leave a wide wound, and it should not be serrated.
- Lightweight Aluminum Baseball/Softball Bat as I would not want any more blood splatter than necessary, and a lightweight bat can be used effectively by anyone if necessary, and it's a last resort weapon so endurance is not the main focus
- A Bayonet if you so desire, but I don't like the idea of my firearm getting stuck in a zombies cranial cavity
- Crossbows with quiet operation, relatively quick reload times, and high velocity will be very valuable for an encounter with 1-2 undead that need to be un-reanimated, and the bolts can be reused but should be cleaned often to reduce chance of cutting oneself with a bloody edge
- High Powered Air Rifles which fire 22cal or larger can actually deliver a fairly large amount of energy at 25-75yds or so (Benjamin makes 357, 45, 50cal and other large bore PCP rifles), and I have to believe that the heavy "bullets" would be able to do the trick after shooting a 357 model and watching the round go through a 4x8 lengthwise... The 50cal is supposed to be over 2x as powerful. Also, they are easily made silent with nothing more than a perforated tube about 0.1" larger inner diameter than the round running through the center of any 6-12" long 3-4" thick hollow tube stuffed with any sound absorbing material; seriously cuts the noise to a simple "whoosh").
- "Homemade Mortar/Cannon" which is essentially a better made spud gun with a stronger propellant that you can use to fire Molotov cocktails (keep the Molotov outside of the barrel, but attached to an "internal sabot"), or any other type of homemade incendiary or concussive device. Obviously not incredibly portable but makes up for this with ease of manufacture and use, not to mention it will shoot anything that fits inside. Large batteries (dead ones) using a smaller tube can be lethal...
FIREARMS (my preference):
- Bolt Action Rifle chambered in a common caliber will be reliable and act as an excellent long arm until you can find a weapon you prefer, even then it is still very useful.
- Revolver in 38, 357, or the like will make for an extremely reliable backup firearm under any circumstances
- Semi-Automatic Handguns of which I prefer HK USP45 Tactical and the Sig P226's make for a great weapon to have especially if it uses 9mm or 45ACP, which can be found everywhere
- Shotgun (pump/semi-auto) as it is versatile, potent (both 12ga and 20ga), can fire a vast amount of ammunition types such as buckshot for closer range, birdshot for breaching doors, and slugs for some serious knockdown power at range. I am partial to the Benelli M3 as I like being able to use semi automatic for quick follow up shots but retain the pump action versatility.
- Assault Rifles (AR15/AK-variants/SKS/Mini-14/M14/etc) which are either semi or select fire make for an ideal primary weapon as they have stopping power, accuracy, large magazine sizes, and common ammunition. I prefer Gas Piston AR's such as my HK416 or DD 6.8SPC short barreled rifles, although the platform is insanely versatile. I would not be engaging targets beyond 100-150yds unless in a defensive position, so a 10.4-12" barrel is my preference along with a suppressor and an EOTech EXPS3 and G23 3x magnifier. Everyone has their own choice for what suits them best, but I would stick to 5.56 and 7.62 as they are just too common to risk running out of some other obscure (relatively) round.
- Large Caliber Rifle (.338 Lapua Magnum thru 50BMG) would act as an excellent way to cover a scouting team, protect your base, and disable vehicles of unfriendly groups or even shoot through the vehicle.
- Heavy Automatic Weapons (M249/M240/M2HB/M27IAR/RPK/etc) if you run across them can make for excellent defensive weapons, vehicle mounted weapons, or some will even work well as offensive weapons. The firepower afforded by a heavy weapon could very well get your group out of a number of sticky situations, as you could slow down an entire crowd of zombies simply by letting loose a belt or two at waist level, shattering pelvises and legs, which means that the zombies won't be able to walk.
- Anything you can get, use. From hand grenades to Claymores to C4 to AT4's, you can use these for defense (I would sleep much better knowing that I had 20 Claymores set up outside) or offense. You can even use some of your video game knowledge and strap 0.5-2lb of C4 on an RC truck with a cheap video camera and Press the detonator button when it's in the middle of an unsuspecting group of zombies. Even if they aren't entirely dead, they will be easily dispatched beyond this point. Or, you can always get creative and stick the C4 in the middle of a jar or container filled with small bits of scrap metal, nails, etc. Also, thermite is easily made and you suddenly have an instant key to any lock...
Just my opinion