Horror Games: Definitive Scary Games Collection
By Freddy Mercery | Time To Read: 12 mins
Horror Games: Definitive Scary Games Collection
Are you a fan of thrills, haunted houses, scary atmospheres, and gloomy environments?
Are you not afraid of zombies, serial killers, vampires, or monsters from the underworld?
Then you’ve come to the right place, my friend!
Here you will find the best horror video games for Halloween and the scariest games of all time for your sleepovers under a full moon!
All this with great deals and coupon codes to buy them at the lowest price!
So don’t look back, and don’t forget to squeeze your butt and take a deep breath because things tend to bump in the night!
NOTE: Remember to look under your bed before sleeping. You never know…
Oh, and do have sweet dreams, hahaha!
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2. What is a Good Horror Game?
A good scary video game will destabilize you psychologically and emotionally and give you a feeling of helplessness concerning a reality you cannot control.
Monsters, a phobia, a supernatural power, an absurd and uncontrollable madness, something implacable and irrational of which you are the victim, with only death and oblivion as an outcome.
The recipe is simple:
Add disturbing music, terrifying noises, screams, a gloomy environment, and objects that arouse fear.
Everything should add to the stressful atmosphere where sudden events make you jump.
You should have no choice but to fight your fear, often for something bigger than your own personal survival, like saving a person or the world.
The mechanics can often differ in different horror game genres.
Some horrors will have you face enemies head-on or force you to travel undetected. Others will give you set weapons, and others will force you to craft weapons.
Sometimes you’re forced to use objects in your environment, and in psychological horror games, you will often have no weapons, reinforcing the feeling of helplessness.
These different methodologies define different sub-genres of horror games which we will discuss later, but for now, we will recap the best horror video games from the last few years and look at the most anticipated games of 2023.
3. Best Horror Games of All Time
Fear comes in all forms and on all platforms.
Whether on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo, here are the ten best horror video games on PC, PS4/PS5, Xbox, and Switch.
10) Dead Space (2008)
Set in the 26th century, the game takes players through USG Ishimura, a planetary mining ship infected by an unknown virus. Responding to the distress call, Isaac Clarke (the player), along with his teammates, set on the journey to unravel the mystery behind Ishimura’s going silent.
Soon after landing, almost all of the crew is slaughtered by the infected deadly once-human corpses. Left alone to fend for himself, Isaac sets on to rescue himself and his surviving crewmates.
Isaac Clarke’s adventures can be found in Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, released in 2011 and 2013 respectively, and in Dead Space Remake, one of the most anticipated upcoming scary games scheduled for release on 27 January 2023. Dead Space is playable via Steam, Origin, Gog.com and Epic Games.
Dead Space prices:
9) Silent Hill (2001)
The game plot revolves around James Sunderland who receives a letter from his dead wife. In the letter, his wife mentions that she is waiting for him in Silent Hill, a mysterious place filled with human-shaped grotesque monsters. In the game, get ready to brace yourself to experience some of the most terrifying horror elements in the game.
The Silent Hill franchise has been very successful since Silent Hill 2, as evidenced by the games that followed:
Note that recently Konami confirmed a new episode for its successful Silent Hill series:
Silent Hill prices:
8) Amnesia: Rebirth (2020)
You cannot fight; you can only run and hide. Amnesia: Rebirth gears down in delivering an unprecedented level of terror to its players.
Amnesia: Rebirth is a 2020 first-person single-player survival horror game developed by Frictional Games. Although being a relatively latest title, the game is set almost 100 years in the past.
After crash landing on an expedition in Algeria, Tasi has no recollection of what happened after regaining consciousness. Her companions are missing and while searching for them she comes across an abandoned French Fort. The player, assuming the control of Tasi (the protagonist), must avoid encounters with deadly ghouls while finding a way out after falling into ancient ruins.
Amnesia Rebirth prices:
7) SOMA (2015)
SOMA is a 2015 hit-famous first-person single-player survival horror game developed by Frictional Games.
The game setting takes place several years into the future, the year 2104, in an underwater research facility. Players assume the role of Simon Jarrett (the protagonist) who wakes up in the PATHOS-II (the research facility) under mysterious circumstances.
Simon’s last memory is his meeting with an accident in 2015 and shortly afterward going through a brain scan to heal his injuries. Simon sets out to explore the PATHOS-II facility creeping with robotic monsters who think they are humans now.
6) Resident Evil 4 (2005)
Resident Evil is a third-person single-player action survival horror video game franchise that needs no introduction. The game literally redefined scary video game mechanics. Resident Evil 4 is the fourth iteration in the series developed by Capcom Production Studio in 2005.
The game’s plot revolves around the US President’s daughter, Ashley Graham. As is seen in the game, she has been kidnapped by a cult belonging to rural Spain. As a Government Agent, you depart on a mission to rescue Ashley.
While exploring the area from a third-person perspective, the player (Leon S. Kennedy) encounters mind-controlling parasite-infected villagers and other gruesome enemies.
Resident Evil 4 prices:
5) Outlast 2 (2017)
Outlast 2 is a critically acclaimed first-person single-player psychological survival horror game developed by Red Barrels in 2017.
While investigating the death of Jane Doe, a pregnant teenager, you (Blake Langermann) and Lynn (your wife) set out on a helicopter expedition over Super Region, Coconino Country, Arizona.
After the crash landing, players find themselves in a town names Temple Gate. This town is filled with spooking terror elements where the residents have mercilessly murdered all of their children in the name of God and believe that the end days are near.
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4) Alien Isolation (2014)
Alien: Isolation is just another Alien-inspired first-person single-player stealth survival horror video game developed by Creative Assembly in 2014.
In the game, players assume control of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter (the protagonist of the Aliens movie). The game setting takes place 15 years after the events of the 1979 Aliens movie in the year 2137. Amanda sets on an expedition to find out more about her mother’s disappearance.
She reaches the space station Sevastopol. However, the Sevastopol has fallen prey to an Alien Invasion and Androids aboard the ship have malfunctioned, killing every human on the ship.
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3) Resident Evil 2 (2019)
As if the original Resident Evil 2’s horror gameplay was not sufficient, the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 steps up the game by delivering a one-of-a-kind terror to its players. Developed by Capcom in 2019, Resident Evil 2 is a third-person single-player action survival horror video game.
The game has the same plot as the 1998’s Resident Evil 2. Raccoon City has been disease-ridden with a T-Virus via the city’s water supply. The city’s population has become zombies that are ravaging everywhere, butchering any survivor they come across.
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2) The Evil Within 2 (2017)
Developed by Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within 2 is a 2017 sequel to the popular 2014 The Evil Within. The game is a third-person single-player survival horror that incorporates stealth elements into its main gameplay.
Having lost his beloved daughter, Lily, in a house fire and abandoned by his wife Myra, Sebastian Castellanos (the game protagonist) is now leading a sorrowful life. Upon being informed that Lily is still alive but being maliciously used as the Core for a STEM system, Sebastian sets out on a journey to rescue his daughter that is inhabited by grotesque monsters.
The Evil Within 2 prices:
1) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)
Let there be no doubt that the Resident Evil franchise is the best one out there that does a remarkably terrifying job of giving its players the most petrifying horror experience!
Developed by Capcom in 2017, Resident Evil 7 is a first-person single-player survival horror video game. What makes this game stand out from its sibling titles is its first-person perspective, the first-ever title to feature it!
The search for your long-lost wife brings you to a seemingly desolate plantation in Dulvey, Louisiana. Players control Ethan Winters who must find his wife but is trapped by members of the infected Bakers family.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard prices:
4. Best Horror Games 2021
6) Little Nightmares 2
Little Nightmares 2 is a 2021 horror game developed by Tarsier Studios. Being a puzzle platform, the game is different than most other scary video games in 2021. Little Nightmares 2 employs 2.5D graphics and your main objective is to flee from creepy-looking enemies. On your way out, you will encounter many puzzles while fighting and evading your foes.
Little Nightmares 2 prices
5) Resident Evil Village
Developed by Capcom in 2021, Resident Evil Village is a sequel to 2017’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. The game takes place three years after the events of Biohazard and players assume the control of Ethan Winters. The search for his daughter leads Ethan Winters, who now is more capable of better fighting due to military training, to a snowy explorable Eastern European village.
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4) Tormented Souls
The classic horror gameplays of the past have taken a modern look with this jaw-dropping Tormented Souls developed by Dual Effects and Abstract Digital in 2021.
While investigating the disappearance of 2 twin girls in the mansion, little did Caroline (the game protagonist) know that the place is rigged with scary monsters and creepy figures waiting to ambush Caroline in almost every dark corner of the mansion.
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3) Days Gone
Days Gone is a 2021 action survival horror game developed by Bend Studio for the Windows Platform. It originally came to PlayStation 4 in 2019.
It has been 2 years now since a devastating global pandemic killed millions of people while others got infected and became zombies (known as Freakers in the games). Amidst a land surrounded by death, Deacon St. John is one of the last few remaining survivors who sets on a quest in search of his lost wife whom he initially presumed dead.
Days Gone prices:
Inscryption is a 2021 deck-building horror video game developed by Daniel Mullings Games. Inscryption outshines in its own league as it employs deck-building gameplay mechanics and is one of the few titles in its category. When played in the dark, all alone, the game delivers some of the best scary moments to its players.
Since the Chernobyl Disaster, some dark things have been happening in the exclusion zone. Chernobylite is a survival horror video game developed by The Farm 51.
Already being hunted in his dreams and after receiving the picture of his wife, Igor (the game protagonist) sets out to look for his fiancée that shortly went missing before the catastrophe. In his search for answers, Igor uncovers mysteries unknown to mankind before.
5. Best Horror Games 2022
5) The Quarry
The Quarry is a survival horror game developed by Supermassive Games in 2022. The game plot is not fixed. You (the player) will determine how the game story unfolds based on your decisions.
You are responsible for 9 camp counselors’ lives who find themselves in Hackett’s Quarry and must survive through the night amidst supernatural beings and violent local inhabitants. Can you make all 9 survive or not?
The Quarry prices:
4) Dying Light 2 Stay Human
How often do you come across a title that is both horror and the open world? Meet Dying Light 2 Stay Human. Developed by Techland in 2022, the game is a sequel to 2015’s Dying Light.
The majority of the world population has been wiped out and the remaining survivors are now living in scattered human settlements. The game protagonist, Aiden, comes to the walled city of Villedor in search of his lost sister, Mia. As Aiden, can you find your sister?
Dying Light 2 Stay Human prices:
Get ready to experience the latest 2022 retro-style classic action survival horror game with spooky aesthetics: CULTIC, developed by Jasozz Games.
CULTIC brings back old-school gameplay fighting mechanics to a whole new level. The lighting, physics, audio, art, and the 3D world are all built upon a modern engine. CULTIC gives complete freedom in fighting your way out of the twisted cultic group.
A truly gruesome masterpiece not intended for weak-hearted players. Scorn is a 2022 survival horror game developed by Ebb Software that delivers some one-of-a-kind terrifying spooky visuals. With a bone-chilling silent game story that is delivered mainly through the game visuals and narratives, can you stand the alienated atmosphere of the Scorn?
1) SCP: Secret Files
SCP: Secret Files is a true jaw-dropping horror video game masterpiece that can terrify you to the core. Developed by GameZoo Studio in 2022, SCP: Secret Files will make you question your sanity.
As an assistant researcher to Dr. Raymond Hamm, you are assigned to help organize some of the SCP Foundation’s top-secret files. While exploring the archives, Karl’s perception (the player) is mysteriously affected by an anomaly that takes him through a series of abnormal journeys.
SCP: Secret Files is currently available on Steam while the console versions are scheduled to be released in 2023.
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6. Best Upcoming Horror Games
3) Dead Space
Owing to the critical success of the 2008 Dead Space, the developers have decided to go with a remake of this iconic title. Dead Space 2023 is an action survival horror game. Even though the 2008 Dead Space did a great job in delivering bone-chilling scary moments, let’s see what the remastered version will look like!
Dead Space Remake prices:
2) Resident Evil 4
A super-hit remake of 2005’s Resident Evil 4. The 2023 remake promises the same but all-new spooky terrifying gameplay visuals. The game follows the same story set in the original game but players will re-experience everything from the ground up. Everything in the remake version has been revamped!
Resident Evil 4 Remake prices:
1) S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl
Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl is an upcoming first-person survival horror game developed by GSC Game World. It will be the fourth investment in the Stalker series and will be available on PC via Steam Epic Games or Gog.com as well as Xbox Series X/S.
As of now, not much info is available on this title but one thing is for certain. The game is all set to deliver jaw-dropping visuals and frightening moments to its users.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl prices:
7. History of Horror Games
Horror video games date as far back as 1978.
The retro era horror games, in general, found their inspiration from the classic horror films of the contemporary time. For instance, the 1989 Project Firestart video game was influenced by the 1979 Aliens movie. And as such, horror video games continued to be inspired by movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th.
The first major solid ground for horror video games was set by the critically acclaimed Resident Evil (1996) by Capcom. It was then the tables got turned. Horror video games started influencing horror movies. The most early well-renowned example is the 2002 movie adaptation that goes by the same name, “Resident Evil”.
8. What are the different subgenres of horror games?
The popularity of horror games, in regards to the spooky gameplay experience they provided, led to all types of gameplay-style developments. As of today, we have a vast library of scary games in every gameplay mode. Be it 1st Person or 3rd Person, or even VR, terror games always have their places booked in every gameplay mode.
We can distinguish 6 main subgenres in horror games:
- Survival horror games
The concept of “limitation” plays a key role in survival horror video games. Everything in your environment is limited. From ammo to med-kits, every single item counts while you make your safe way out.
Last of Us (2013) released on PS3 and remastered for PS4 / PS5 is a very good example of a third-person survival horror video game. Along with its engaging storyline and unique characters, the game delivers some of the best visually spooking graphics to its users.
- Action horror games
As the name suggests, Action horror games revolve around combats. Sneaking past monsters is not an option. You have to battle your way out. Even though survival elements are included, action horror games are more combat-oriented.
Dead Space (2008) is a great example of a third-person action horror gameplay style. In the game, there is always some sort of jump scare or psychological horror awaiting you at every turn. Dead Space 3 (2013) introduces multiplayer co-op gameplay to the game franchise where you get to take on terrifying monsters together with friends.
- Psychological Horror games
These types of terror games target users emotionally and mentally. Monsters are there but you cannot see them. Usually, in combination with jump-scare moments and survival elements, psychological horror video games make players re-evaluate their rational thinking.
The Silent Hill franchise is best known for delivering top-notch psychological horror experiences to its players. Set in the mysterious Silent Hill location, are you brave enough to explore?
- Reverse Horror games
Instead of killing monsters and figuring your way out, YOU are the monster. Being the ultimate killer, your job is to unleash mayhem and kill any fleeing survivor you see.
- Multiplayer Horror and coop horror games
This type is generally less known. Multiplayer Horror games are necessarily not horror; however, they may be. Multiplayer Horror games’ major focus is on teamwork and cooperation which sometimes can be fun though.
The Call of Duty franchise has a zombie apocalypse mode that is independent of its main gameplay storyline. In the zombie apocalypse mode, you get to have a one-of-a-kind horror multiplayer co-op gameplay where you fend off endless incoming hordes of zombie soldiers.
You can find this zombie mode in Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- VR Horror games
These types of scary games are new to the party. They include all the above types but redefine how we experience them. VR horror games are like first-person games but you are not watching them on your screen. With the help of VR headsets, you put yourself in the shoes of the protagonist and relive all of the horror gameplay like you are IN the game.
Staking on the all-new realistic 1st person gameplay experience, the gaming industry has recently embraced VR tech. Consequently, we have only the latest games or remastered versions of classic titles that incorporate VR. Beware though! The horror VR gameplay of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and The Exorcist: Legion VR can make players have sleepless nights…
9. Horror Video Games and Addiction
Most gamers, when done with a game’s storyline, rarely give it a second try unless the game has something unique to offer. Since users know what to expect and how to deal with it, repetitive attempts in completing the same storyline are just like a wild goose chase.
On the other hand, gamers seem never to have enough of an appetite for horror games, especially in the more recent titles. There is always more than one way of dealing with terrifying monsters and grotesque zombies. And each way has its own way of sending chills down one’s spine.
Horror game addiction is real! Every time when you feel you have everything under control, that is when you realize everything is out of control… Horror games make players reevaluate their mental, psychological, and cognitive abilities under the most extreme time-limited events where it’s either a flight or fight decision based on already dire resources at hand.
10 . Conclusion:
Just as in horror films, from which video games have been inspired, the techniques for scaring people are similar.
They use phobias, gloomy visuals, haunting music, distressing noises, characters that are as threatening as they are unpredictable, stressful situations you have to face, sudden events, and the fear of dying or losing control.
But unlike the cinema, where the spectator can only undergo the characters’ actions, the player will be the master of their destiny and have to make their own choices. It is a question of life or death.
Horror games, therefore, lead players to re-evaluate their mental, psychological and cognitive capacities during extreme and stressful episodes, limited in time because they have to make an immediate decision to flee or fight according to the resources available, the danger of the threat, and the consequences for the rest of the story.
Do you have enough courage to play horror games alone in the dark, with the sound turned up on the headphones? Because that’s when the intensity would be even better!
Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your horror video game experiences and your best horror video game of all time!