Anyone who loves horror films and TV as well as gaming knows that both things are even better when combined into a truly scary horror game.
The best horror games mix elements of fear, the supernatural, science fiction, and suspense into one enthralling world or worlds to explore.
Whether you are looking for the best free horror games, the best horror games on steam, the best PC horror games, the best indie horror games, or the best horror games on Playstation, Xbox, or your console or gaming platform of choice.
Why do people play horror games?
There’s something to be said for the adrenaline rush of being scared while you conquer new worlds and vanquish demons, killers, aliens, or other dangerous creatures.
In this guide, we’ll break down the ultimate scary games list.
- Best Survival Horror Games
- Co Op Horror Games
- Multiplayer Horror Games
- Psychological Horror Games
- Horror RPG Games
- Horror Games Online
- Best Horror Games on Steam
- Free Scary Games
- Roblox Horror Games
- Indie Horror Games
- VR Horror Games
- Horror Puzzle Games
- Horror Games PC
- Best Horror Games PS4
- Best Horror Games of All Time
Best Survival Horror Games
Silent Hill 2
Image concept by Eric Persson
Perhaps the best known and definitely one of the most frightening horror games, all of the Silent Hill games have been well-received and considered some of the defining games of the horror gaming realm.
The Silent Hill games also marked a shift in the horror game genre, because they emphasize the psychological aspects of game play as opposed to gore and jump scares.
They became popular because they don’t just startle you or gross you out with blood and guts; instead, aspects of the Silent Hill games get into your head and stay there whether you want them to or not.
“Embracing imperfection, steering into the skid, is perhaps the only way a game can be perfect, and that’s Silent Hill 2’s true, dark brilliance.”
Perhaps the ultimate proof of Silent Hill’s ability to terrify its players?
The games were adapted into a successful movie that opened at number one in the U.S. box office and made over $9 million in its first year.
And the game is more frightening than the movie – and even more engrossing.
The Resident Evil Franchise
Image: Resident Evil 2 (Jan 2019 remake)
What list of the best horror games would be complete without mentioning the Resident Evil franchise?
Image: Resident Evil 2 (Jan 2019 remake)
Originally released in Japan under the title Biohazard, the games under the Resident Evil umbrella have been some of the most popular horror games and they are Capcom’s best selling titles.
All those players can’t be totally wrong, right?
Resident Evil 2 is currently the most popular and widely considered to be the most terrifying of the trilogy, which got a stunning remake in 2019.
Image: Resident Evil 2 (Jan 2019 remake)
These games have also been turned into a movie franchise; in fact, the Resident Evil series of films is the highest grossing collection of movies based on a video of all time, earning over $1.2 billion worldwide.
Image: Feral Interactive
Based on the popular Alien science fiction movie series, this game combines sci-fi with horror in an extremely unique way, combining stealth skills and survival tactics that require you to outsmart a single alien creature.
It has a vintage aesthetic (think about what people in the 70s thought the future would look like and you get the idea) and was widely praised for its retro futuristic design when it was first released and there have been many games since that have emulated the unique style of Alien – Isolation.
Image: Feral Interactive
This first person horror game allows you to inhabit the mind and body of Amanda Ripley (daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley from the Alien movies) who learns that the flight recorder from her mother’s flight has been recovered from her mother’s ship – and so she sets out to learn the truth and gain closure – and of course encounters many obstacles along the way.
From technical problems that require you to enter an abandoned space station on your own (and it was abandoned because it was taken over by alien creatures) to actually fighting Facehugger aliens, androids, and more, this subtly unnerving game and its complex plot can really hook you in and keep you entranced until you beat the game.
If you really want to see how scary this game can get and you have a virtual reality headset, then check out the unofficial VR mod versions of Alien Isolation and prepare to be immersed in a terrifying quest.
Amnesia – The Dark Descent
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to play Indiana Jones in a horror movie, then you should check out this first person survival horror game if you haven’t already.
The main character Daniel has to avoid monsters and other frightening creatures while exploring the haunted Prussian Brennenberg castle.
His amnesia comes into play when he realizes that he remembers nothing but his name and that he is from London, but through the game’s journey he uncovers his own diaries and slowly pieces things together.
Amnesia – The Dark Descent has received significant positive acclaim and even won two awards from the Independent Games Festival.
And if you want to extend the world of the game even further, Mitch Hedburg wrote a collection of five short stories set in the realm of Amnesia- The Dark Descent.
“…this gothic horror adventure is a relentlessly intense and terrifying experience from start to finish.”
If you liked The Blair Witch Project (the game, the movie, or both) then you might love playing Outlast.
It’s based in an asylum – which is always a ripe breeding ground for horror of any kind – and filled with gore and jump scares.
The primary protagonist is an investigative journalist who is delving into the story behind a remote psychiatric hospital, and there’s an add-on pack called Outlast- Whistleblower which centers around the man who inspired the journalist to check out the asylum in the first place.
“Easily one of the scariest games I’ve ever played.”
This might not be a horror game in the traditional sense, but if you have even the slightest bit of thalassophobia (fear of the deep ocean), then some stretches of this game will be downright unnerving.
It takes place in an underwater research facility and things start to get creepy when the machines take on human characteristics.
The game is played from a first person perspective, using the POV of Simon Jarrett, a man who found himself in the deep water lab under mysterious circumstances.
He must uncover clues to his past while fighting off the various creatures that lurk in the shadowy depths.
Relying more on psychological horror as opposed to gore or jump scares, Soma has been praised for its tight focus on the central narrative and voice acting.
“…slowly-unfolding story, and the choices you live with, make the experience one that will stay with you for some time, the ending hitting all the right notes.”
A first person shooter game where the enemies are not always human is unsettling enough, but add some ghost children who appear at the most inopportune times and things get downright uncomfortable.
There are also times when objects start to move on their own (think poltergeist-style) and there’s even a telepathic cannibal to contend with.
As if the creepy dead girl who tends to appear right after the protagonist has escaped from a shootout wasn’t enough!
“F.E.A.R. is quite easily one of the most intense and atmospheric games that you’ll play… “
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The Dead Space series are perhaps the original and most influential games in the horror sci-fi survival genre.
Set in an interstellar mining craft, players have to navigate their spaceship and fight reanimated corpses or Necromorphs playing as an engineer who was left abroad an abandoned spaceship.
Designed to be “creepier and darker” than Resident Evil but created by the same team, this game utilizes “strategic dismemberment” and has received criticism for its high levels of violence.
“…inventive puzzle-solving and fierce boss-battles, truly scary atmospherics round off a fine game.”
Condemned – Criminal Origins
Anyone who loves solving murder mysteries should be playing this game that combines elements of horror with a block and melee style of shooting or fighting.
It does have some campiness at the beginning (think overly staged murders like what you’d expect from a game of Clue or one of those murder mystery “who-dun-it” type of books or movies), but it quickly descends (or ascends, depending on your perspective) into a combative and spooky game with homeless people who attack your character, bloody trails that you follow with a black light, and even a department store filled with enemies dressed as discarded mannequins – or maybe the old mannequins themselves have to life?
“An art-form of amazing psychological horror which has not been replicated to this day.”
The Fatal Frame series of games is ideal for anyone who has a Japanese horror bent (so if you loved The Ring, Ju-On, The Grudge, and similar films, then these might be the games for you).
This game is often compared to popular titles like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but the multiple variations have only been released in Japan so it has yet to receive worldwide recognition or popularity.
Which Fatal Frame is the scariest?
Co Op Horror Games
Is there anything better than escaping the real world and experiencing the pure adrenaline rush of playing a horror game for a few hours?
Perhaps playing it with friends and other horror game aficionados!
We’ve collected some of the best co-op horror titles out there if you want to experience terror alongside your fellow gamers.
7 Days To Die
Image: The Fun Pimps
Imagine if the Minecraft realm was combined with Left For Dead, The Walking Dead, and other similar horror games, and you have 7 Days To Die.
You have to choose and fortify a home, collect food and supplies, and fight off the dead.
“This game is the best Zombie FPS that I have ever played, it has a great mix of building and survival.”
Resident Evil 5
Years after surviving the apocalyptic events in Raccoon City, Chris Redfield steps into the role of Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), Chris goes to Africa to investigate a new breed of aggressive mutants.
Along with Sheva Alomar, this co-horror game has lots of tasks and creatures to fight.
I bought it just to see Chris punching a boulder
Watch a gameplay video of RE5.
With the depiction of a deceased child in the opening trailer, the game developers spared no expense for mix of blood and gore.
Fight on the zombie-infested island of Banoi, a fictional place that looks like its the start of sequel to the 2004 hit Dawn of the Dead, you’re going to need a companion to help you out.
While the game received generally lukewarm reviews, the atmosphere and gameplay is considered solid.
Check out the controversial trailer below.
The gameplay is stunning, fast-paced and a whole lot of fun.
World War Z
Based on a book from 2006, World War Z is an open world survival game against a world full of aggressive zombies.
From New York to Paris, you and your co op partner have six classes of specialized skill sets, like explosives and slashing weapons.
Although the main goal of the game doesn’t go beyond surviving the zombies, the game is praised for its visuals and shooting mechanics.
Here’s a quick video review.
Dead By Daylight
Image: Behaviour Interactive
This intriguing multiplayer game involves a one on four scenario where one of the five players is the ultimate ruthless killer, while the other four are just trying to survive and avoid being sacrificed to the Entity.
Dead By Daylight also has downloadable expansion characters from several popular horror movie franchises, including Scream, Stranger Things, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Left 4 Dead, Nightmare On Elm Street, Evil Dead, and Saw.
Another deceptively cute game, Visage (video game) has a unique aesthetic that also plays on the trope of children being the most unsettling characters in the horror genre.
A first person survival game that is set in a haunted house where many families have lived and terrible things have clearly occurred, Visage was launched via Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaigns.
To win (or just survive), Visage players have to piece together the history of the house and solve the crimes that have occurred while avoiding the many haunted spirits that lurk within.
“Visage is a terrifying experience that feels like what Silent Hills could have been.”
The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man Of Medan
This interactive survival horror game is designed from a third person perspective; players choose to play as one of five different people trapped on board a ghost ship.
The game advances through decisions made based around a moral “Compass” (e.g. making a choice with one’s head versus one’s heart will bring about a different result).
The game’s narrative changes based on these choices, how the characters relate to each other, and even whether characters live or die.
The “Dark Pictures” aspect comes in when players find pictures that hint at what might happen to them in the future and help to uncover the mystery of the ghost ship.
Multiplayer options include “Shared Story” and “Movie Night”, the former allowing two people to play together online, and the latter allowing for up to five players to play together.
The Red Dead Redemption Franchise
Perhaps one of the biggest breakout hits of the past decade, this series of open world games takes place in the American West and Mexico during the era of cowboys and gunslingers – the outlaws of the Wild West.
All three games in the franchise – Red Dead Revolver, Red Dead Redemption, and Red Dead Redemption 2 – exist in different areas of the same universe.
This multiplayer game has shootouts, robberies, hunting, saloon girls, and more; it’s based on a unique “honor code” that allows players to earn points through their deeds.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was the second most successful launch in gaming history with $725 million in sales, and it is the most successful video game of all time with 29 million copies sold (so far) and numerous awards.
While it is definitely not a horror game in the traditional sense, getting the Undead Nightmare expansion pack definitely makes it one; plus after completing the “real world” version of the game, you can unlock supernatural creatures to hunt.
“…if you’re craving a well-polished zombie-filled package of fun, here it is.”
Psychological Horror Games
Layers Of Fear
There’s always something spooky about old Victorian-style mansions, and in Layers of Fear things get extra creepy when you play as a mentally ill painter whose goal is to complete his ultimate masterpiece while living in a decades old house.
The game has extremely dark and dim visuals, and takes six chapters or quests to complete – but there are three different possible endings (a “good” ending, a “bad ending”, and a “true ending” depending on the choices you make during the game.
“Layers of Fear goes into the mind of an insane artist and creates a horror game magnum opus.”
If you love suspenseful novels with a horror vibe, then you might love – or already love – Alan Wake.
This first person horror game involves becoming the best selling novelist Alan Wake who is investigating the death of his wife all the while events unfold that echo the stories from his latest novel – a novel that he has no memory of writing.
Doki Doki Literature Club
This anime-inspired visual novel might seem too adorably cute to be a horror game, but looks can definitely be deceiving.
At first glance, Doki Doki Literature Club appears to be a fun dating simulator based around a male high school student who joins a literature club with four female members, but it quickly turns into a multi-layered psychological horror game that can end in one of three different ways.
Created by American developer Dan Salvato as a way to explore his love/hate relationship relationship with anime, Doki Doki Literature Club is a departure from the other games on our list since it doesn’t feature gruesome or terrifying things attacking the main character, but relies on mental manipulation to subtly unnerve its players.
Based on the surprise indie hit horror movie The Blair Witch Project, this first person single campaign survival horror game takes place in the same setting as the film, the Black Hills forest.
This first person survival game follows police officer Ellis Lynch and his dog Bullet.
They are scouring the forest searching for a missing boy; along the way, players will have to fend off creepy creatures who are hiding in the shadows and solve puzzles.
Like the film, “found footage” is integrated into the game-play in the form of cassette tapes and more.
There are four different possible endings or fates for the lost little boy based on the decisions that you make during the game.
“Blair Witch is easily one of the best psychological horror games…”
One of the weirdest (and scary short) horror games out there, this “playable teaser” game was a first person single player puzzle game that primarily served as a teaser or preview for the upcoming release of Silent Hill.
That said, it became somewhat popular in its own right due to the complicated puzzles that were designed to take players about a week to complete – making this anxiety-inducing cryptic horror game a very long preview!
Interested in watching the hype?
Unless you own a PS4 with the demo downloaded, this game was pulled by Konami, and PS4’s with the demo are selling for a premium on Ebay.
If you love the X-Files, Twin Peaks, or the House of Leaves (or all of the above), then control might be the type of creepily unsettling horror game that you’ll love to dive into.
The game is centered around the fictional “Federal Bureau Of Control” which is a fictional agency tasked with studying the paranormal and supernatural.
Players use a third person perspective to play as and defeat “Hiss”, a phenomena that has invaded and corrupted reality as it is currently known.
Horror RPG Games
The Witch’s House
This puzzle oriented horror game is based around the story of a witch named Ellen (there’s also a comic book series and a manga based around the same character).
The goal of this survival horror game is to solve all the puzzles as the protagonist Viola and make your way out of the witch’s house alive.
The Witch’s house game is full of riddles, puzzles, and jump scares, all contained within a creepy atmosphere.
It has two endings, the “good ending” and the “true ending” with surprise reveals.
This survival puzzle horror game is based around the story of a shy eleven year old girl called Aya who discovers her father’s secret laboratory and the horrifying background behind his research which involves experimenting on and killing humans in the basement, as well as the fact that he’s been having an affair with a homeless woman named Monika.
However, things get stranger once Monika passes away.
Aya uncovers the narrative of this game only gets more twisted from there.
Horror Games Online
Over fifteen years of creepy gaming experience went into building this Lovecraftian horror fiction game.
It takes place in a New England town where the main character uncovers a plot to summon the “Great Old One” with an ancient ritual that could put the entire planet at risk.
“Incredibly rich and memorable – not for the difficulty navigating, or for the puzzles, but for the immersive experience it provided.”
Best Horror Games on Steam
Friday The 13th
The classic horror movie gets even creepier when it’s turned into a scary game.
You can play as Jason and get truly diabolical, or team up with a group of friends for a co-op horror game experience to find supplies and fix a car to escape the serial killer.
This co-op interactive horror game is a four player (or single player co-op game) where the main protagonist is a man that must rescue his son that was kidnapped by crazed cannibals while also building a base and avoiding or fighting giant mutants.
Oh, and all of that happens after a traumatic plane crash.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 is a co-op first-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on survival using a variety of crafted weapons against a horde of the infected (zombies).
Left 4 Dead 2 is set in the aftermath of a worldwide pandemic of an infectious disease that turns humans into aggressive zombies out for blood.
“Even after more than 10 years, this game is still relevant!”
Free Scary Games
This short game or webtoon is a Korean horror drama that features a lot of jump scares, 3-D effects, and became viral partially due to a scene where a hand appears to reach out of the screen and grab you.
This 2011 release went viral when it was promoted by popular blogger PewPewDie.
Slenderman Must Die: Silent Streets
This first person shooter game places you in a small village that is being terrorized by the iconic creepy figure known as the Slenderman, the subject of many movies, books, and other media over the years.
Your job is search the village for clues and find and destroy Slenderman – and keep yourself alive along the way.
Slendrina Must Die: The Forest
Similar to Slenderman Must Die: Silent Streets, this first person shooter pits you against the mysterious Slenderina who lives in a forest with her mother and child.
However, you don’t necessarily need to destroy her – rather, you must find the seven clues that allow you to unravel the mystery behind Slenderina.
SCP Containment Breach
A free open source indie horror game is based on the paranormal fiction series from the SCP Foundation website, SCP Containment Breach puts you in the shoes of a human test subject – D-9431 – who is in a lab facility full of dangerous experiments and creatures.
There has been a security breach and the goal is to escape at any cost.
Roblox Horror Games
Horror games are some of the most popular types of games on Roblox, Steam, and other indie game platforms.
What’s more, since Roblox games are playable on iOS, Xbox One, Android, and various Amazon devices, checking out popular Roblox horror game titles is super easy and likely doesn’t require a new console or other device.
With a tagline of “where light becomes your weapon”, this game gives you a torch and a pistol with the goal of killing a nearly invisible monster.
You can play alone or with a friend via the various Roblox gaming platforms.
Originally a free casual horror game, IMSCARED was released as a full game in 2016.
Characterized by a distinct and purposefully crude style, this indie game is referred to as a “sentient glitch” with outside files to interact with once you download and start playing the game.
Watch a playthrough:
Indie Horror Games
Cube Escape – Paradox
This game follows the story of a detective who finds himself trapped in a room where he must solve increasingly complicated puzzles that will help escape the room he’s trapped in and recover his memory, allowing him to return to his seemingly normal life.
Designed by Jasper Byrne (who was responsible for turning the beloved Silent Hill series into highly playable 2D versions), this is a game where not only is the main character subject to wandering dark corridors surrounded by creepy beasts of all varieties, but players can’t be sure they are actually the good guys in its terrifying world where they are the only living human (or so one thinks).
VR Horror Games
If you are lucky enough to have a VR set-up, then you know that horror games can get even more creepy and immersive once you are completely ensconced in the game’s world.
From scary games created specifically for virtual reality to unauthorized mods that make some of the best horrors work with VR, read on to discover some of the creepiest video games out there at the moment.
Imagine attempting to navigate complicated mazes while also being stalked by some truly disturbing monsters who aim to surprise and shock you.
This game is quickly becoming a virtual reality classic due to the fact that it is easy to jump in and play Dreadhalls – but incredibly hard to walk away from.
The Exorcist – Legion
The Exorcist is perhaps one of the most terrifying scary movies of all time, so it only goes to follow that the virtual reality game version is equally terrifying.
Set in the same world as the original Academy Award winning film, this game requires a strong stomach and will definitely make an appearance in your dreams – or nightmares – long after you’ve completed it.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Horror Puzzle Games
A puzzle platform game that is relatively quick to play through (compared to some of the other games on our list), this game plays on the common horror movie trope of super creepy children – but are they really the most terrifying ones?
In this game, the main character – called Six – wakes up on Maw, a ship filled with powerful and creatures. At the end of the first release of the game, Six is still awaiting rescue…but perhaps we’ll find out the rest of her story in the next iteration.
There will be a sequel to Little Nightmares released in 2020 featuring a new character named Mono in addition to the original protagonist Six, so stay tuned for more information.
“This is a horror game that genuinely has new things to show you.”
The Walking Dead Franchise
Fans of the zombie-centric TV show The Walking Dead will definitely want to check out this gruesome game series.
While many of the games on our list of the greatest horror games are centered around puzzle solving, The Walking Dead focuses more on plot and character development.
This weirdly quiet puzzle platformer game involves playing the role of a young boy who lives in an unnerving dystopia, with an end goal of freeing a humanoid creature called the Huddle from the scientists who created him.
There are two different endings, a main one that is more positive, and an alternate ending that is much creepier.
This sci-fi adventure-puzzle game lets players control the artificial intelligence that runs a space station with the goal of figuring out why it suddenly lost its crew.
Players work with SAM – the system administration module – on board the ship to figure out what went wrong and how to make things right.
This game was described as “expertly paced” by Destructoid and “gripping” by Game Informer, making it one of the more compelling puzzle games out there right now.
“Old science fiction meets New Weird in this 2001: A Space Odyssey homage.”
Horror Games PCImage: Steam
Originally developed in Russia, this single player game centers around three characters (two male, one female) who are trying to discover the source of a disease referred to as the “sand plague” that struck a small town.
Players can choose to play as any of the three characters, but there is only one common storyline and the end goal of all three is the same – to simply survive.
This point and click game is incredibly atmospheric and has a way of sticking with you even when you’re not actively playing it; fans of movies like Alien or Event Horizon and any other horror or psychological thrillers based in outer space should check this game out.
The game opens with the protagonist John Maracheck waking up abroad a seemingly abandoned spaceship, where he has to find his missing wife and daughter before the ship descends into Neptune’s methane clouds.
Described as an “eerie and sinister experience” by Destructoid, this game was originally funded and released via Kickstarter in 2015, and a prequel to Statis called Cayne was released in 2017.
“It’s more than just “good for an indie game”, it’s a mandatory experience for fans of sci-fi horror.”
Best Horror Games PS4
This interactive drama survival horror game focuses on eight characters who have to survive by their wits when they are exploring Blackwood Mountain.
Set in 1952 Japan, this game was designed to be the video game equivalent of a slasher film.
It’s played from a third person perspective and users can essentially choose their own adventure, finding weapons and solving puzzles to find clues that will possibly lead them to safety.
“It’s a remarkable experience that horror fans shouldn’t miss.”
An intriguing game set in a fictional Victorian city that is suffering from a blood-borne illness, this survival horror game is focused on uncovering the mystery behind the plague while also fighting mythical beasts.
This game’s interconnected world design, sound and audio design, and unique plot and atmosphere have lead to critical acclaim and even a few spin-offs including a card game and a comic book series.
“…excellent action, beautiful artistry, and religious melodrama make it another must-play in the Demon’s Souls tradition.”
Best Horror Games of All Time
- Resident Evil 4
- Amnesia: Dark Descent
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (VR)
- Dead Space
- Alien Isolation
- Silent Hill 2
Games that almost made the list: Resident Evil 2 Remake, Silent Hill 3, Layers of Fear, The Last of Us, Siren: Blood Curse.
Do you love playing horror games?
Which are your favorites and what are the best horror games in your opinion?
Do you prefer simple horror games or horror games with complex universes, or do you enjoy both?
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