The Greatest Horror Video games of All Time

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The most effective horror video games all have one thing in widespread: The power to ship a sense of unease that somebody or one thing is in your tail — with sinister plans to take you out. Video games have solely grow to be extra scary as know-how has advanced, and with so many glorious horror video games, it’s time to place a highlight on the scariest video games we’ve ever performed.

Fortunately, there’s no scarcity of titles designed to ship you right into a heart-racing and adrenaline-pumping frenzy, and we’ve highlighted just a few of our favorites beneath. A few of them lean into motion, whereas others are extra targeted on survival, with just a few choices in between. The one factor all of them share is that they’re designed to make you’re feeling like something could possibly be lurking across the subsequent nook.

Additional studying:

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (PS4, PSVR, Xbox One, PC)

Kicking issues off is likely one of the most terrifying video video games thus far — Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. This sport managed to maintain the essence of what makes Resident Evil nice, however turned it on its head by presenting it in first-person. At first look, it won’t look like a Resident Evil sport in any respect, however after about an hour or so, every little thing begins to fall into place — particularly within the horror division.

The primary villains are mutated people, which come throughout as much more horrifying than conventional zombies as a result of they’re far more plausible. There’s a piece across the 30-minute mark ( the one), wherein you’re sitting on the dinner desk with the Baker household, and it’s one of the vital memorable moments of the technology. We gained’t spoil it, however it really units the tone for probably the most refreshing Resident Evil sport thus far.

And when you’re at it, we extremely suggest you play it in its entirety in PSVR. With it being a first-person sport, the scares are that rather more pronounced in PSVR, so give it a attempt should you’re courageous sufficient. However both approach, whether or not you’re enjoying the common model or in PSVR, don’t skip this one.

Learn our full Resident Evil 7: Biohazard overview

The Strolling Lifeless: Saints and Sinners (PSVR, Oculus Rift)

The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

Digital actuality can supply a sense of immersion merely unattainable by way of conventional video video games, and The Strolling Lifeless: Saints and Sinners is a shining instance of this. The primary-person VR sport is closely story-focused, with gamers impacting the result primarily based on their selections, and it options each ranged weapons and melee in fight. Set in New Orleans, it’s a distinct tackle the collection than the tv reveals or comics, and it has loads of facet content material for completionists.

In any zombie sport value its salt, the human survivors are simply as lethal because the undead, and that is actually the case with Saints and Sinners. Nobody could be trusted, and with quite a few choices for many conditions, it’s as much as gamers to resolve methods to finest method hazard.

Resident Evil 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Resident Evil 2

A remake of one of the vital beloved horror video games of all time, the deck was stacked towards 2019’s Resident Evil 2 having the ability to really impress longtime followers. Regardless of the legacy of the unique, nonetheless, that’s precisely what it did. That includes blood-curdling audio and going to an over-the-shoulder perspective just like Resident Evil 4, Capcom made the motion scarier and really feel extra fashionable. With loads of nice weapons to find and use towards zombies to Mr. X himself. Now not did really enjoying Resident Evil 2 get in the best way of experiencing its chilling story.

And what a narrative it stays in 2019. Shifting from the mansion of the primary sport to the infested streets and buildings of Raccoon Metropolis, Resident Evil 2 raises the stakes significantly with a conspiracy-filled journey that throws Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield into the center of a terrifying catastrophe. The people they encounter are sometimes simply as harmful because the contaminated, and it offers newer gamers an concept of what to anticipate from so-called allies within the the rest of the collection. Nobody could be trusted.

Learn our Resident Evil 2 overview

Metro Exodus (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Metro Exodus

Equal elements “survival” and “horror,” the Metro collection is likely one of the most chilling depictions of post-apocalyptic life ever seen in video video games or some other medium. Following a nuclear conflict that left most of humanity useless, protagonist Artyom and his comrades seek for a brand new house away from violence and sorrow – and are instantly greeted by each. The third sport, Metro Exodus, is especially terrifying with its depiction of mutants, cannibals, and irradiated areas that may kill males in mere seconds.

A lot of Metro Exodus’ scares come from the worry of working out of ammo when coping with monsters. Ammunition is scarce, as are the filters you want to your gasoline masks, and the enemies you encounter go far past the subway system itself. Metro Exodus stays a hopeful sport regardless of the horrors you encounter, and it’s one backed by impeccable storytelling. Characters don’t really feel like cardboard cutouts, so when one among them makes a risk or assaults, it feels actual.

Read our full Metro Exodus overview

Bloodborne (PS4)

Bloodborne

It’s an action-role-playing sport, too, however there isn’t any denying that From Software program’s Bloodborne is firmly rooted in horror. Impressed by gothic and Victorian structure and that includes Lovecraftian enemies to battle, the world of Yharnam is nothing in need of terrifying. Blood gushes out of enemies with each slash, and the bosses vary from monumental spiders to electrified behemoths with skulls faces. The sport’s cryptic story is even framed as a nightmare from which you can’t wake.

From Software program stored its knack for intelligent enemy placement intact for Bloodborne, which solely makes it scarier. You’ll hardly ever go greater than an hour with out having an enemy leap out unannounced, delivering a small cardiac episode as you slash and dodge your approach out of hazard. Oftentimes, nonetheless, you gained’t have the option to take action, and the horror of getting to seek out your misplaced Blood Echoes and remove hordes of enemies once more turns into as scary because the world itself.

Learn our full Bloodborne overview

Alan Wake (Xbox 360, PC)

Alan Wake

Arguably Treatment Leisure’s finest sport, Alan Wake is a psychological horror thriller with a ton of persona sprinkled all through. You’ve in all probability seen this comparability earlier than, however it’s very paying homage to standard thriller present, Twin Peaks. A lot of the sport’s driving pressure revolves round uncovering the thriller of the disappearance of Alan’s spouse, Alice, however you’ll additionally discover a satisfying gameplay loop and a outstanding sense of ambiance alongside the best way.

Alan Wake has was considerably of a cult hit, with a tight-knit group of loud, vocal followers, regardless of the sport failing to smash business data (although it did promote someplace within the neighborhood of 3 million copies). Apparently, Treatment’s latest sport, Management, is about in the identical universe as Alan Wake, and shall be getting a brand new piece of DLC that hyperlinks the 2 video games collectively.

Contemplating Treatment has regained the rights to Alan Wake (after Microsoft beforehand owned the IP), it’s attainable we’ll see a correct sequel or follow-up of some form as a stand-alone sport. Treatment has said it was beforehand engaged on a sequel, however it by no means got here to be. With the following technology on the horizon, that is the right candidate to benefit from the brand new {hardware} — whether or not it’s a brand new sport or a remaster of the unique.

Layers of Concern (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC)

Layers of Fear

A shock 2016 indie hit from developer Bloober Crew, Layers of Concern places gamers within the function of an formidable painter at work on his magnum opus. The sport takes place in his lavish Victorian mansion and he provides a brand new layer to the portray following the completion of every chapter. Ending the portray shortly appears to be secondary to the person’s psychological state.

All through the first-person expertise, gamers are uncovered to the person’s hallucinations about his disturbing previous. Mirroring the fashion of P.T., Layers of Concern‘s major supply of worry comes from the continually altering environments. Flip again to a wall that was beforehand empty, and a creaking door with gentle emitting from its backside crack could also be there.

Whereas it could possibly be categorized as a strolling simulator, as there isn’t any direct fight, gamers do work together with objects to be able to resolve puzzles to get the rooms to shift. From melting partitions and ever-changing portraits to eerie hauntings, Layers of Concern surprises all through its temporary however masterful journey. They did observe this sport up with a sequel — and a brand new sport, The Medium, completely on Xbox — however neither matches the scares of the primary in our eyes.

Outlast 2 (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC)

Outlast 2

Outclassing its predecessor, Outlast 2 is maybe the toughest sport to abdomen on this checklist. The grotesque and vile manifestations you encounter all through the sport are certain to show some gamers off — even those that actually benefit from the style. On the outset, Journalist Blake Langermann and his spouse head off to a distant location in Arizona the place a pregnant girl’s physique was mysteriously discovered on the facet of the street. The reason for demise was unknown and it doesn’t make sense that she died there. What begins as an investigation shortly turns right into a battle for survival.

Blake and Lynn garner the eye of a sex-crazed native cult and a vicious backwoods group. Similar to Outlast, you possibly can’t defend your self. Apart from sparse quick-time occasions, you will need to merely run and conceal. And you need to do each of those nicely except you need Blake to endure a brutal, torturous demise. With out going into the main points, let’s simply say that Outlast 2 isn’t for squeamish gamers.

Outlast 2 does each survival horror and psychological horror extremely nicely, tells a gripping narrative, and can hold your coronary heart beating a mile a minute as you navigate by means of its extraordinarily terrifying setting populated with much more terrifying individuals.

Learn our Outlast 2 overview

Lifeless Area (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Dead Space

Lifeless Area was and is particular as a result of it managed the uncommon feat of concurrently being an action-packed and deeply unsettling sport. Launched to near-universal acclaim in 2008, Lifeless Area stays one of many shining jewels of the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 period. You play as Isaac Clarke, a programs engineer tasked with working his approach by means of a mining ship that has grow to be overrun by aliens. The people that beforehand occupied the ship have was devastatingly scary and highly effective creatures dubbed Necromorphs.

The sport’s satisfying motion comes from dismembering these creatures limb by limb with high-tech weapons and devices. However you by no means know when they’ll crawl out of uncovered corridors or slither from the ceiling. The broken-down starship is full of atmospheric pressure, and Isaac’s solitude amplifies the sense of dread. Lifeless Area 2 and Lifeless Area 3 step by step shifted towards extra motion and fewer horror, however the unique’s terrific mix of motion and quiet intrigue make it stand out because the scariest sport within the franchise. We’ve been begging EA for a brand new entry, or perhaps a remaster of the unique to no avail. Hopefully Isaac Clarke will make his return quickly.

Amnesia: The Darkish Descent (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC)

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

From Frictional Video games, the group behind the Penumbra collection, 2010 indie darling Amnesia: The Darkish Descent expanded on the corporate’s distinctive model of first-person horror adventures and created one thing of a phenomenon amongst horror sport builders and indie sport followers.

Set in 1839, a younger Londoner named Daniel awakens in Prussia’s Brennenburg Fort. He’s confused, not realizing something however his title and that he’s desperately on the run from one thing that’s searching him. His lack of recollections, in keeping with a be aware he wrote himself, was self-imposed for his personal good. So begins the winding journey that twists and turns with each room Daniel visits within the sprawling fort.

Alongside the best way, Daniel runs into completely menacing creatures known as gatherers, who, like many horror sport oddities, have been beforehand human. Daniel can solely run or conceal from these nefarious beings. There’s hazard lurking in all places, however Amnesia tends to avoid wasting its most startling scares for once you suppose you’re secure. Unraveling the thriller of Daniel’s previous and the fort itself is a journey that can hold you up late at evening — and maybe even after you’ve exited the sport. The sequel, made by a distinct developer, was sadly unable to seize what made this sport so horrifying.

SOMA (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

SOMA

Frictional Video games has gotten so good at drawing screams out of gamers that it holds two slots on our checklist. In 2015 sci-fi chiller SOMA, you management a person named Simon Jarrett, who has suffered a traumatic mind damage from a automobile crash. Consequently, he agrees to be part of Mr. Munshi’s experimental analysis in reversing mind harm.

Nevertheless, throughout his mind scan, Simon seemingly loses consciousness and awakens in a desolate analysis middle positioned deep within the Atlantic Ocean. To make issues much more complicated, the 12 months is 2104, almost 80 years since his mind scan. And even worse, all human life was eradicated by a comet the 12 months prior. The PATHOS-II — the place he wakes up — was the final place the place human life was deemed secure. However he seems to be alone. What occurred?

SOMA follows Frictional Video games’ custom of utilizing an unknowing narrator to tease a grand and scary thriller. Greater than Amnesia, SOMA emphasizes psychological horror, with every shadowy creature representing some type of emotional trauma.

The sport closely depends on its ambiance, which is additional intensified by voice recordings, written notes, and its murky underwater atmosphere. A bit extra scenic when it comes to its terrors, it succeeds in bringing you into its world and making you’re feeling as in case you are residing Simon’s deep inside battle. It achieves a distinct sort of horror expertise, one which latches onto your thoughts and doesn’t let go.

Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

Silent Hill 2

The Silent Hill franchise sits alongside Resident Evil as a pioneer of the style. Whereas the primary three Silent Hill video games might all be thought of horror classics, Silent Hill 2 edges out the others for a spot on our checklist. Although it isn’t a direct successor to the unique, Silent Hill 2 returns to the eponymous dreary city.

James Sunderland’s spouse died three years in the past — at the very least, that’s what he thought. After receiving a letter asking him to come back meet her of their particular spot (Silent Hill), he embarks on a journey that takes many unsettling turns. (Discover how the setup mirrors that of Resident Evil 7).

As James navigates by means of the city, Silent Hill shortly turns into a maddening dreamscape full of monsters and eerie disturbances. What makes the Silent Hill video games stand out, and significantly Silent Hill 2, are the psychological parts designed to mess with the participant’s thoughts.

Very often, what James sees is merely a manifestation of his crumbling unconscious. And whereas the entire video games on this checklist are worthy of being performed greater than as soon as, Silent Hill 2 has a bevy of underlying themes, references to literature and movie, and sufficient subtext to make your second playthrough even higher than the primary.

Alien: Isolation (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC)

Alien: Isolation

Lots of gamers have a really intense love/hate relationship with the ultimate sport on our checklist. Alien: Isolation is a methodical, slow-moving sci-fi horror sport that takes its premise of specializing in a single alien creature all through its prolonged journey to an excessive that, for us, raises the artwork of creating the participant really feel extremely weak and remoted always to new heights.

Set 15 years after the unique 1979 movie, Amanda Ripley (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) is informed that the flight recorder from the famed Nostromo is on a distant area station. Amanda decides to hunt out the recorder in hopes of listening to her mom’s final phrases earlier than she died. Over the course of the almost 20-hour journey, Amanda will kill enemy people and robots, however right here’s the factor — Alien: Isolation actually revolves round one alien who you can’t kill regardless of how badly you wish to.

That alien is terrifying. Positive, you possibly can run and conceal from the alien, however relaxation assured, it will discover you. Irrespective of what number of instances you get devoured by the alien, you by no means actually get used to having its jaws descending on you. Add to {that a} foreboding setting that may make Ridley Scott proud, and Alien: Isolation is a wonderful addition to franchise lore.

Learn our full Alien: Isolation overview

The Evil Inside 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

The Evil Within 2

The Evil Inside 2 is likely one of the finest open world horror video games we’ve ever performed. Far superior to the unique in each respect, it was one of many shock hits of 2017. As soon as once more you step into the footwear of Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who has seemingly misplaced every little thing. When he learns that his daughter should be alive, he heads again into STEM, the portal to a lifelike dream world full of surprises and terrors.

This time round, The Evil Inside 2 dives deep into Sebastian’s psyche, and the end result is likely one of the most unsettling psychological thrillers round. In STEM, there are additionally exterior threats, from grotesque beings to twisted bosses comparable to a maniacal photographer who desires to point out you all of his grisly creations.

With out spoiling something, The Evil Inside 2 has one of the vital stunning reveals in latest reminiscence, one that’s each terrifying and miserable. Make no mistake, The Evil Inside 2 isn’t a cheerful sport, however it’s compelling. Rounded out by nice gunplay, an emphasis on survival, and a dreary open world full of secrets and techniques and frights, The Evil Inside 2 is nicely value enjoying even should you haven’t frolicked with the unique.

Learn our The Evil Inside 2 overview

Till Daybreak (PS4)

Until Dawn

Supermassive Video games’ Till Daybreak might be the least scary sport on this checklist, however that doesn’t imply it’s not an ideal horror film. Designed as an homage to slasher movies starring hapless youngsters, Till Daybreak charmingly performs like an interactive film. Set on Blackwood Mountain, eight youngsters head up the snowy slopes for a trip.

One 12 months in the past, two sisters of one of many buddies disappeared on that very mountain. Naturally, issues go sideways shortly, and the group finds themselves in a determined state of affairs with a crazed, bloodthirsty man searching them down.

Till Daybreak switches views all through every of its chapters. A lot of the gameplay is simply strolling, however the participant has to make vital selections that alter the course of the story. This rippling impact, dubbed within the sport because the “butterfly impact,” has penalties each small and huge. Full of bounce scares, tacky dialogue, and nice performances, Till Daybreak is the form of horror expertise that calls for to be performed alongside a gaggle of buddies.

Little Nightmares (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Change, PC, Stadia)

Little Nightmares

Little Nightmares makes a quite simple gameplay loop completely charming. It’s primarily a terrifying sport of hide-and-seek starring Six, a younger woman who finds herself within the nightmarish world of Maw. All through a five-hour journey, you information Six throughout a collection of rooms within the Maw full of dastardly people that can homicide the little woman if given the prospect.

Six merely desires one thing to eat, however this results in many issues with the Maw dwellers. A lot of the fear induced by Little Nightmares comes from the worry of being found. You will need to stay unseen, however even once you suppose you might be secure, there’s at all times the debilitating dread of getting caught looming overhead.

Little Nightmares has a collection of wonderful puzzles, all of which contribute to the ever-evolving story of this hellscape. It’s astonishing that Little Nightmares stays so scary even once you nearly at all times know the place the hazard lurks. That is completed by means of nice visible and sound design, and a collection of well-placed clues of what’s going to occur to Six if she will get caught. Whereas Little Nightmares doesn’t have the size of a few of the different video games on this checklist, it does pack an emotional punch on the finish.

P.T. (PS4)

P.T. (Playable Teaser) is likely one of the most fascinating video games in existence. In reality, because the title suggests, it’s not likely a full sport, however relatively a demo for what was revealed to be Silent Hills. It was to be directed by Metallic Gear’s Hideo Kojima and standard horror filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, however you didn’t know that till the top of the demo. Finally, it by no means got here to be, as a result of a dispute between Konami and Kojima, who later went on to kind Kojima Productions.

Let’s set the stage for the way P.T. rolled out and what it might have been. P.T. was initially a free obtain on PS4 as a result of a no-name developer known as 7780s Studio had created it. All the sport takes place in a home, and the gameplay consists of you looping round all through its hallways, with refined variations that seem with each lap. It’s introduced in first-person and consists of tremendous obscure puzzles, together with one that you just needed to communicate right into a microphone to resolve. Everybody was speaking about this sport, and there was even an internet neighborhood for sharing sport ideas. All the time, a creepy ghost named Lisa is in your tail, ready to come out and scare you. 

Fixing the sport’s in depth puzzles rewards you with a pleasant payoff: the reveal that P.T. is known as a disguised Silent Hill sport. Norman Reedus of The Strolling Lifeless, who additionally starred in Kojima’s Demise Stranding, stars on this sport, directed by Kojima and Guillermo del Toro.

P.T.’s distinctive design has made historical past, because of one of the vital viral and artistic advertising and marketing campaigns ever created. An natural buzz concerning the difficult sport unfold by means of phrase of mouth so shortly that the corporate didn’t must spend any cash on promoting.

You possibly can’t obtain P.T. from the PlayStation retailer anymore for the reason that firm delisted it. Yow will discover fan-made recreations on-line, however except you downloaded the sport in 2014, there’s no option to get the official model. The dearth of entry provides a layer of thriller to the sport’s intriguing story. Nevertheless, if you wish to see what it’s like, you’ll find playthrough movies on-line.

Phasmophobia (PC)

phasmophobia

The Twitch hit of 2020, Phasmophobia places you and your pals within the function of ghost hunters as you examine haunted areas and try and cleanse them of the harmful spirits that reside there. Whereas most horror video games stray away from cooperative play, and for good motive, this sport is simply extra terrifying once you play with buddies. Whereas it isn’t near being probably the most graphically spectacular sport, it was made by only one particular person in any case, it’s within the mechanics that this sport really terrifies. Not solely are you able to play the sport in VR, however the ghosts and spirits within the sport will really react dynamically to your voice as you play. There’s nothing fairly like saying a ghost’s title and seeing it reply in-game.

Gathering clues utilizing the assorted ghost-hunting instruments at your disposal will assist you and your group work out methods to entice the ghost because it haunts you. Till you and your squad can work out what you need to do, working and hiding are your solely actual technique of protection. There’s no huge story being introduced right here. As a substitute, Phasmophobia enables you to create your personal tales that often find yourself being much more horrifying than any scripted occasion might ever be.

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