Horror games are a very well-established genre of gaming where all of the emphasis is on ambiance, terror, and the setting. Having the option of using good headphones while playing horror games is excellent because they provide a sense of immersion, further adding to the atmosphere. Another important thing to consider when playing a horror game is the gameplay. The best horror games will make you feel helpless against the enemies of whatever game you’re playing.
To help you find the best game for you, we have compiled this list of the best horror games. They are extremely well made, even though some of them were published a long time ago. However, no one can say that an old game is bad just because it’s old. If it’s well-made, it’s going to stand the test of time and remain a classic for many years to come.
Another popular genre of gaming is multiplayer. These games are solely focused on the interaction between players as they either work toward a common goal or work against each other to attain victory. To get a great list of the best of these games, take a look at our best multiplayer games article. If you’re very specific about the game you want to play and are a war-oriented combat enthusiast, then our best war games article is perfect for you!
The best horror games
One of the best horror games in history when it comes to ambiance, the original Dead Space is a masterpiece when it comes to Sci-Fi alien shooter games. In this game, you play Isaac Clarke, an engineer who has to accompany a team of soldiers on a planet-cracker ship called the Ishimura. Once you’re inside, the doors lock and you are assailed by grotesque, deformed humans with giant bladed limbs growing out of their bodies. When you manage to get away, you find a mining tool — the Plasma Cutter, which is going to be your best friend as it is the perfect tool to use for cutting the limbs of the aliens. The story gets a lot more complex the further into the ship you go, so we’re not going to spoil anything here. The remake of this game is coming sometime in 2022, so you should play through this one to really appreciate how the remake will turn up the heat!
Alien: Isolation is a game where you play Amanda Ripley, the daughter of the main protagonist of the Alien movies. Your mother’s voice was heard on a ship in distant space, so you go to check to see if she is there. Onboard the ship, nothing is how it’s supposed to be, and you learn that there is an alien presence on board that is hunting anything it hears. When it comes to gameplay, you’re not going to be fighting anything. That’s for sure. The whole emphasis is on stealth and managing to survive every encounter with the behemoth. What makes this game terrifying and one of the best horror games is the fact that the alien is hunting you all of this time but you can’t know exactly where it is, so you’re left guessing and tracking it to avoid it at all costs. The way the alien finds you is very interesting, actually. The developer stated that there are two A.I. brains in the alien, one that always knows where you are, and one that receives hints from the first one. Knowing this will confirm your suspicions — it is impossible to hide forever.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil: Biohazard changed the fundamentals of Resident Evil gameplay, switching from the action-packed shooters that defined Resident Evil 5 and 6 to a true survival horror experience where the chance of survival is slim. The setting is in Louisiana, the deep south of the USA. You play Ethan Winters, a normal guy who is looking for his missing wife who disappeared under suspicious circumstances a year earlier. Your search leads you to a massive house in the middle of nowhere, seemingly uninhabited. You make your way inside and learn the awful truth — your wife is there, but she is not alone. The main antagonists of the game are members of a demented, mutated family. It is made up of Jack, the father, Marguerite, his wife, their son Lucas, and finally, a little old lady in a wheelchair. Their behavior is consistent with what you would expect of a family made up of crazy country bumpkins, so you have to be extra careful as you make your way through the house trying to survive. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is one of the best horror games that everyone should try.
An interactive game, Until Dawn, takes place in a little mountain house during the retreat of some teenagers looking to camp and have a good time. There are a few characters and the player needs to control one, depending on the situation. You can make your own choices as you play, which can lead to different outcomes later in the story. There is an outside threat to the group of teenagers — something they can only describe as a monster prowling around the house. The dialogue and actions of the characters are consistent with a movie that has the same premise, so don’t expect spectacular voice acting or logic in certain scenarios. However, no matter which way you look at the game, it is phenomenal and brought a lot of good content to the genre of interactive games in general. A worthy addition to the best horror games list.
Outlast is one of the best horror games released in 2013 and it’s for a good reason. The game puts you into the shoes of a very incompetent protagonist — Miles Upshur. You are a reporter who got some gossip about unethical practices being done at Mount Massive Asylum, a psychiatric hospital. There is no one there when you arrive, but you can climb inside through a window, and that’s where everything goes wrong. The place is in shambles with insane patients lurking in the halls looking to kill anyone they find in the most creative ways possible. Their ramblings are ritualistic, implying something bigger might be going on. All you can do is fix some things around the asylum while trying to not get crushed by the enemies inside. Stealth is mandatory and if you are found, you need to run and hope you’re not found again. The game even features a few “bosses” that have their own situations where they can be killed, so you need to be able to solve puzzles and connect the dots quickly. It is an incredibly immersive experience that everyone who loves the horror gaming genre should try.
Bloodborne is a PS4 exclusive title published by FromSoftware, a renowned Japanese games studio that has produced some of the most difficult and challenging games on the market today. Bloodborne is one of them, and it carries the most horror conventions of all the releases. This is excellent because the best horror games should switch up their formula every once in a while. In Bloodborne, you arrive at Yharnam, a city that is rumored to produce an elixir that can cure any illness. When you get the blood transfusion, however, you are thrust into a dark world where the villagers of Yharnam have gone mad with bloodlust. There are creatures in the night that you, a newly-appointed Hunter need to dispatch in order to bring the night to an end and wake up to the morning sun. The atmosphere of the game is primarily inspired by Victorian times, where darkness prevails and everything wants to murder you. In terms of difficulty, Bloodborne ranks high among the other FromSoftware games so you can expect a fair deal of frustration, but it’s all worth it. Fear the Old Blood.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
This game has paved the way for so many other game releases over the years, and that’s because it’s a timeless classic. Amnesia was such a revolutionary game that the developers were saying that the game was so scary that you shouldn’t play more than 15 minutes of it at a time. This is, of course, ridiculous in today’s time, but back in 2010, this was something that every gamer took to heart, as graphical options were very lackluster before Amnesia came out. You play as Daniel, a man who has to explore Castle Brennenburg to find out what devilish evils lurk down there, all while trying to regain his memory. The game features many puzzle elements as well as heavy exploration hampered by the possibility of encountering the monsters that patrol the castle. These monsters are deformed creatures that the baron of Castle Brennenburg, Alexander tortured into insanity. For the time of its release, Amnesia has definitely secured a spot as one of the best horror games ever. There is a lot more to discover in this game, so we advise you to jump in!
Five Nights at Freddy’s
One of the best horror games released in 2014, Five Nights at Freddy’s re-defined the horror genre of the time, introducing new gameplay mechanics in the form of a coherent and interesting story. With over 45 sequels and spin-off games released, Five Nights at Freddy’s continues to be an extremely popular game even by today’s standards. In the game, you assume the role of a part-time worker who works in a restaurant as a night-shift security guard. Your only job is to sit in a dark room and observe the various parts of the restaurant through the guise of the many cameras placed in each room. There is no other aspect of gameplay except for sitting in place, closing the doors to either side of you, and checking the cameras. If you run out of battery… well, just try not to. As you play, you’ll notice that the animatronics used to entertain kids are not quite natural as they sometimes move of their own accord while you’re not looking. This revelation only leads to more intense gameplay down the line, but you’re gonna have to find that out for yourself.
Here we have a game that is a very interesting horror platformer for players who like that sort of approach. You play as Six, a small girl lost in something akin to a submarine called the Maw. The game is presented as a side-scroller that hides certain elements of puzzles within the sections you’re going to be crossing. Since some enemies will try to hunt you down periodically, there are sequences where you have to race against the clock in order to solve the puzzle of the room and slip out of sight. The narrative is surprisingly fantastic given that there is little-to-no dialogue and the emotions of the characters are rather limited. Nonetheless, both Little Nightmares and Little Nightmares 2 offer a fantastic story full of adventure just ready to be claimed, and they deserve their standing among the best horror games.
Layers of Fear
This is a very dark game with a depressing narrative. You play as a painter that has gone completely insane and strives to complete his magnum opus — a painting that is supposed to be his masterpiece. There are some specific items that can be found in the various rooms in the game. This is primarily a puzzle game where you need to decipher the hidden clues scattered around the house before you can complete your quest. While you’re thinking of solutions to the puzzles, you’ll notice that the atmosphere of the game is quite dark and monotonous. This adds to the unease the player feels as he pieces together fragments of the painter’s life, uncovering the truth of the painting and why he wants to complete it. The narrative experience makes Layers of Fear one of the best horror games.
There you have it, 10 of the best horror games you should check out. As we’ve mentioned previously, these games come from different gaming eras, so there are bound to be some differences in gameplay mechanics, but those are easily adjusted to, and every game here guarantees a great, terrifying experience. If you’ve found this list informative and helpful, then consider checking out our best zombie games article!