34 Horror Games You Can’t Afford To Miss


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Horror games come and go, much like any other genre. There can be big, bombastic AAA titles that are all hype and no jump scare, whilst small indie games can catch like wildfire and outdo any big budget effort.

There are some that earn their reputation on series alone, or that they’ve changed it up a bit from being stale. Others are less conspicuous, gaining traction from the likes of streamers and content creators bringing them into the spotlight.

So naturally, you might miss a few over the years. Or maybe it’s that you didn’t think it would be worth all the hype and advertising. Well, fear not (for this list anyway), as we’re going to tell you a few good ones worth checking out:

#34 Sons of the Forest

Platform: PC
Release Date: February 23, 2023


It was meant to be a simple mission. You were supposed to go to an island and find a billionaire who had disappeared. No one could’ve known that when you arrived, you’d find it incredibly hard to leave!

In Sons Of The Forest, you’ll be trapped on an island with cannibals and other horrors that will not hesitate to attack if you get too close.

As you explore the island, you must think carefully about how you want to survive and what you arm yourself with to take on these threats. Will you survive the island? Or will you be its next victim?

#33 Resident Evil 4 Remake

Developers: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: PC PS4 PS5 XSX|S
Release date: March 24, 2023

Steam | Playstation | Xbox

What does it mean for a title to be “can’t miss”? That depends on how you view certain things. But in the case of the Resident Evil 4 remake, it’s can’t miss because, in its original form, it was the best the series had to offer at one point.

So now imagine that game from past generations on a next-gen system with better graphics, expanded story and characters, and new gameplay elements for a deeper experience. That makes it can’t miss.

The title is perfect for those who never played the original or want to see how much is improved in the remake. Either way, you’ll have fun.

#32 Dead Space Remake

Developer: Motive Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Platforms: PC PS5 XSX|S
Release: January 27, 2023

Horror games in the video game space are notorious for their inconsistent natures. But with the Dead Space Remake, you’ll get the horror feeling that the original game delivered, but with a new coat of paint that makes it all the more special.

Specifically, they upgraded the visuals and the audio to deliver a truly terrifying experience as you wander around the ship you were brought in to help fix. But things can only get bad when you never know what lies around every corner.

So be smart, pay attention to what’s around you, and figure out the truth. If the truth is worth finding, that is.

#31 The Callisto Protocol

Developer: Striking Distance Studios
Publisher: KRAFTON
Platform: PC PS4 PS5 Xbox One XSX|S
Release date: December 02, 2022

The Callisto Protocol comes from Glen Schofield, who you might be familiar with from his previous survival horror experience, Dead Space. In The Callisto Protocol, players are taking the role of Jacob Lee, a contract freight transporter where his latest transport goes awry as he’s forced to crash land on Callisto, one of Jupiter’s moons. Unfortunately, this is also the moon where a heavily armed prison facility is located. Mysteriously, Jacob finds himself thrown into prison without a trial. If things weren’t already bad, an alien parasite has plagued the facility, leaving nothing but havoc and chaos. Players will have to battle their way through the prison in search of what’s going on and a means of escape from this hellhole. 

#30 The Mortuary Assistant

  • Developer: DarkStone Digital
  • Publisher: DreadXP
  • Released: 2022

The Mortuary Assistant is a scary game in more aspects than one. First off, the setting. You are a mortuary assistant whose goal is to embalm corpses. Not fun. But if playing with dead bodies wasn’t creepy enough, you also have to face demonic entities that are trying to come for your soul.

This game isn’t for the faint of heart. It is horrifying, with an unsettling setting and various jumpscares as the demonic entities come to possess the bodies you try to embalm. The Mortuary Assistant manages to keep you on the edge of your seat, and it is the work of a single developer who successfully created the fuel for your future nightmares.

#29 Phasmophobia

  • Developer: Kinetic Games
  • Publisher: Kinetic Games
  • Released: 2020

Phasmosphobia gets a special mention purely because FNAF beat it as “game the streamers hyped to death”. Much like DEVOUR, Phasmophobia is a multiplayer game that plays like an interactive version of Most Haunted.

Players are trying to exorcise ghosts, ghosts don’t want to quietly into the good afterlife, horror shenanigans ensue. It can be scary when things all go to hell, but only works when you’ve got a team to balls it all up with.

#28 Ghostwire Tokyo

  • Developer: Tango Gameworks
  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
  • Released: 2022

Ghostwire Tokyo is an action-adventure game taking place in an abandoned version of Tokyo. A mysterious fog covered the city, turning all humans into spirits. Only the main character of the game is left alive, thanks to a spirit that possessed him right before the fog hit the city.

Your goal is to find out who is responsible for this fog and free the spirits of those who disappeared. The city is now filled with creepy ghosts hunting Tokyo that you need to defeat with your newfound supernatural powers. Ghostwire Tokyo isn’t full of jumpscares, but its eerie setting and the weird entities floating around can create a sense of anxiety.

#27 The Forest

  • Developer: Endnight Games
  • Publisher: Endnight Games
  • Released: 2018

Just a quick mention on The Forest, as to talk too much about it would spoil the surprise. Suffice to say; it’s very much worth checking out if you like your outdoor horror.

Yet unlike games like The Blair Witch, The Forest manages to be horrifying during the day too. Not many games can boast that, y’know. The less said about the cannibal survival, the better. Go and get lost in The Forest.

#26 The Quarry

The Quarry
  • Developer: Supermassive Games
  • Publisher: 2K Games
  • Released: 2022

If you’re not sure whether to watch a horror movie or play a scary video game, The Quarry brings the best of both worlds. This interactive drama horror follows the story of nine teenage counselors who must survive a night in their summer camp, as supernatural creatures and violent locals are trying to kill them.

The Quarry is the spiritual successor to 2015’s Until Dawn. Most of the game looks like a movie, but you will have to make the decisions that could save or kill each of the characters. As the fate of the teenage counselors rests on your shoulders, there is a total of 186 different endings – depending on who died and who survived.

#25 Darkwood

  • Developer: Acid Wizard Studio
  • Publisher: Crunching Koalas
  • Released: 2017

Top-down gaming is usually reserved for real time strategy, or twin-stick, isometric-ish shooters. So when Darkwood came out, as a top-down survival horror game, eyebrows were raised. This wasn’t normal, terror being associated with Zerg rushes in Starcraft.

But Darkwood does scare, and it does it well in its tense locales. Limited vision, lots of darkness and some ingenious sound design make it a truly scary experience. Like a top-down Blair Witch, Darkwood is worth checking out if you like things freaking you out in surround sound.

#24 Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

  • Developer: Tecmo
  • Publisher: Tecmo
  • Released: 2003

The Fatal Frame series (Zero in Japan, Project Zero elsewhere) has never broken it into the “mainstream” of horror games. It’s a well respected series, but it’s never touted alongside the greats. Which is a shame, as Crimson Butterfly needs more gamers to experience it.

Much like J-horror movies like The Grudge and The Ring, Fatal Frame II is a ghost story set around Japanese folklore. The scares come from having to face the ghosts, dispelling them with magic photography skills. Whilst there are elements of escape, you have to take the head-to-ethereal-head to progress at times. Talk about facing your fears.

#23 P.T.

  • Developer: Konami
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Released: 2014 (discontinued same year)

As much as it sucks to admit, P.T. still isn’t and never will be a full game. It also, unless you’ve got it installed on a PS4 already, won’t ever be available again.

Which is a shame, as it’s one of the most terrifying experiences put to gaming. Stuck in a confined loop, players are under constant threat from a vengeful ghost and their own fears. A simple mechanic, with a few Silent Hill-reminiscent puzzles, P.T. nonetheless gripped those hoping for Silent Hill to go back to its horror ways.

#22 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Released: 2017

By the time Resident Evil 7 came around, all bets were off. The series had lost its way, churning out silly action games and films and pretty much ditching its horror roots. But in the wake of the cancelled Silent Hills, this was Capcom’s chance.

And boy, did they go for it. Reinventing their gameplay style again, RE7 switched to first person. No more city-sized bioweapons, instead replaced with claustrophobic corridors and relentless rednecks. It loses its way by act three, but for the most part is bloody terrifying.

#21 Inscryption

  • Developer: Daniel Mullins Games
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Released: 2021

Card games can be scary in their own right. Hiding an ace up your sleeve, knowing your opponent can break your thumbs can put the frighteners in you, true. But not normally associated with video gaming. Well, Inscryption is here to defy that norm.

It starts off a bit meta, with a story of a vlogger opening card packs and stumbling across a note, which leads to an old game… and a deal with the devil. Or thereabouts, but this was a generalisation. A deck-building card game, Inscryption may not sound scary, but the great thing about unique combinations is they can catch you by surprise.

#20 Dying Light (Night Time)

  • Publisher: Techland
  • Developer: Warner Bros.
  • Released: 2015

During the day hop, skip and jumping over zombies is great fun. Play with weapon types, boot an undead onto a spike trap, hours of joy. When the sun goes down though, is when it gets serious.

Gone is the frivolity, out come the Volatiles. Quicker, harder and scarier than your average zombie, these buggers are relentless. No shambling here, turning Dying Light into a game of violent combat tag throughout the night. The game does tell players about this, granted, but it can’t prepare you for it.


  • Developer: Straight Back Games
  • Publisher: Straight Back Games
  • Released: 2021

Multiplayer doesn’t tend to work well with horror, largely because there’s always humour to share in tense moments between friends. Left 4 Dead isn’t scary when you work together, just frenetic.

DEVOUR may not look the shiniest game on the market, but don’t let that deter you. Gather some friends, or randoms, and take on a demonic cult before you’re dragged to hell. Work together, or panic and leave the others for dead, and you’ll find a strangely compelling horror multiplayer here.

#18 The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

  • Developer: Skydance Interactive
  • Publisher: Skydance Interactive
  • Released: 2020

Outside of Telltale’s episodic adventure, The Walking Dead games have been a bit lacking. Turgid, by-the-numbers shooters, it was only when Saints and Sinners came out that it shook that formula up.

Mainly because it’s in VR. Zombie killing is so much better when it’s done in creative, literally-hand controlled ways. It’s got an extremely inconsequential story to it, but who cares when you can get crafty in virtual reality?

#17 Subnautica (Series)

  • Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • Released: 2018

Subnautica shouldn’t work as a horror game. It’s mainly billed as a survival/crafting series, after all. But like Minecraft and its survival mode, Subnautica has deceptively scary tones to it.

For one, it’s based in the watery depths of the ocean(s). They’re naturally dark, deep, and at times seemingly endless. And then there are the horrifying, freaky monsters and god knows what else that lurks deep. What becomes “build a sea base” soon turns into “hurry up before something bigger than you appears from nowhere and eats you”.

#16 SOMA

  • Developer: Frictional Games
  • Publisher: Frictional Games
  • Released: 2015

Existentialism is never really a top theme for “scariest game ever”. It’s more a philosophical thing, debating the existence of one’s soul, purpose and id. Not really spooky, more introspective.

So fair play to Frictional Games, responsible for another on this list, for making that a horrific scenario. Set in an underwater base and, ironically, a fish out of water hero, SOMA is a scary adventure complete with lurking, monstrous beasties.

#15 Five Nights At Freddy’s (Series)

  • Developer: Scott Cawthon
  • Publisher: Scottgames
  • Released: 2014

Much as you can scoff at how the first few sequels are more of the same, there’s no denying the impact that the Five Nights series has had. Largely boosted by over-exaggerating streamers, the first game had a simple yet tense mechanic: survive the night, don’t be eaten by animatronic animals.

Cue some eight years later and the series has evolved. Security Breach is a full on, 3D survival horror game. Sure, the story is more or less the same, as is the terror, but you can’t deny that FNAF must be doing something right to keep scaring the life out of people.

#14 Layers of Fear

  • Developer: Bloober Team
  • Publisher: Aspyr
  • Released: 2016

Before hitting the mainstream with 2021’s The Medium, Bloober Team made Layers of Fear. A walking simulator (in that there’s no combat), the horror here is what may or may not be lurking around the corner.

That’s because the game is hosted in a creepy, desolate mansion. Small, tight corridors and stuffy rooms lend well to dim lighting and what could be lurking in the shadows. Add some mind-messing moments and a pretty grim story, Layers of Fear is… well, not a fun time but definitely creepy and horrible.

#13 Resident Evil 3 (2020)

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Released: 2020

Much like the original, Resident Evil 3 is a shorter, more action-focused game than Resident Evil 2. And coming out in the same timeframe as the originals did, it would be easy to think this was just a quick cash in.

Cast those aspersions aside and there’s a fun action-horror game in here. Unlike the original, the Nemesis is the one in set appearances this time over the Tyrant in 2, but that doesn’t make him any less pant-wetting as he bursts through a wall. Boasting some damn fine visuals, Resident Evil 3’s remake is a worthy punt if you liked the Resident Evil 2 remake.

#12 Little Nightmares

  • Developer: Tarsier Studios
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Released: 2017

From gross, relentless monsters to cute-looking 2D platformers now, don’t let Little Nightmares put you off. Sure, it may look like a Tim Burton dream playing out in the Oddworld universe, but it is much freakier than that.

Think Coraline, but the things that players flee from are grosser, uninhibited from the trappings of a children’s film. Couple that with some challenging platforming and chase sequences, Little Nightmares shouldn’t be dismissed on its cutely weird looks.

#11 Until Dawn

  • Developer: Supermassive Games
  • Publisher: Sony
  • Released: 2015

Sure, it may look like Teen Slasher Film: The Game… and it mostly comes across like that, but don’t let that put you off. It may have a star studded cast chewing the scenery with each line, but again, don’t dismiss it so easily.

Because, corny as it appears, Until Dawn offers an impressive, multiple choice horror adventure. You can attempt to keep all the kids alive, or let them die, the choice is yours. A visually good looking and lengthy story, the decisions you make here will matter. The tension here is not dying, rather than thinking that your actions won’t change anything. Oh, and some well-planned jump scares.

#10 Outlast (Series)

  • Developer: Red Barrels
  • Publisher: Red Barrels
  • Released: 2013

The camcorder footage style of horror pretty much came and went with the Blair Witch Project. So it’d be fair to say that some fourteen years later, horror fans weren’t expecting it to be a core mechanic in a video game.

But fair play to Red Barrels for making a horror series so captivating. Why is it captivating? Well, because it’s hard to see what’s sneaking up behind you when you’re squinting through the nightvision screen on a camcorder. The stories in these games are also worth exploring, encouraging players to suck it up and keep hunting for camera batteries.

#9 Amnesia: The Dark Descent

  • Developer: Frictional Games
  • Publisher: Frictional Games
  • Released: 2010

Before questioning existential dread in SOMA, Frictional Games were messing with our heads with Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Call them masters of their craft, because they nailed it early on with this one.

No modern trappings and lighting here, making for a dark, creepy adventure. It wouldn’t be far to spoil the story, but there are some very weird things going on that will mess with both Daniel and the player’s minds. It’s psychological horror at its finest, and it is frightening.

#8 Resident Evil Village

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Released: 2021

Another (yet not the last) Resident Evil in this list, Village (or 8 if you like) could be regarded as more of the same from 7. Same character, same gameplay introduced in that second reboot… why is it on this list?

Purely because whilst 7 was good, no one expected it to be as good as it was, and therefore wanted more. So Capcom delivered, offering some very gory and tense body horror in this current generation offering. True, it does fall back on some action moments, but don’t let that deter from the horror on display here. Especially the dollhouse bit.

#7 Alan Wake

  • Developer: Remedy
  • Publisher: Remedy
  • Released: 2010 (originally), October 2021 (remaster)

Whilst it may play more akin to an action/adventure title, Alan Wake still has its roots in horror. Paying homage to the works of Stephen King (and literally name-dropping him at the beginning), with a dose of Twin Peaks weirdness, it still has its effective scares.

Set against a backdrop of writer’s block, a holiday gone wrong and demonic forces, the lengthy story will keep players occupied. Paired with some fun exploration and decent combat mechanics, Alan Wake is both accessible and engaging.

And what with it now being remastered for the current generation, complete with DLC, you can’t go wrong on a trip to Bright Falls.

#6 Visage

  • Developer: SadSquare Studios
  • Publisher: SadSquare Studios
  • Released: 2020

If you were sad about the cancellation of Konami’s Silent Hills, based off of the P. T. demo, then Visage will cheer you up. Well, it won’t, it’ll scare the piss out of you.

It starts off grim and only gets worse as events unfold. Trapped in a house that appears possessed, players will be trying to figure out what goes wrong as they step into the past. Pair that with some very murderous poltergeists, that attack at random, and you’ve got a very nerve-wracking experience indeed.

#5 Condemned: Criminal Origins

  • Developer: Monolith Productions
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Released: 2005

It’s a shame the sequel to this sullied what was established, then maybe it wouldn’t have disappeared into obscurity. For you see, before shouty Illuminati nonsense, there was a stylish, first person horror title that launched with the Xbox 360.

Condemned combined crime scene investigation, itself with horrifying murder scenes, with some extremely visceral melee combat. Guns were scarce, putting players in tense situations with nothing but a pipe and their wits. With a plot about a copycat killer bumping off serial killers, Condemned may look ropey now but is still worth checking out.

#4 Dead Space

  • Developer: Visceral Games
  • Publisher: EA
  • Released: 2008

Over-the-shoulder horror… in space! Dead Space, before it got all action-y in its third game, was a fresh take on the “Resident Evil 4” formula in 2008. Based on a plot not completely dissimilar to the film Event Horizon, it was a large adventure about a derelict space station.

It was also a fresh take on combat: no headshots here, just tactical limb severing. Which was integral, as the Necromorph infestation were relentless. Ammo preservation was essential, especially on higher difficulties, as was knowing when to leg it. Here’s hoping the upcoming remake does it justice.

#3 Resident Evil 2 (2019)

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Released: 2019

Resident Evil 2, the 1998 version, deserves its place on many “…of all time” lists. So, when announced that it was getting a remake, fans wondered what direction it would go. Whilst incorporating the gameplay brought to popularity in Resident Evil 4, RE2 Remake is a faithful adaptation from the source material.

Keeping most of the original template, whilst making a few things for modern and streamlined, the horror is still there. Zombies don’t die easily, meaning ammo conservation is key, but they’re nothing compared to Mr. X. The Tyrant is relentless, which makes things much scarier when the unstoppable behemoth is breathing down your neck as you try and solve puzzles.

#2 Silent Hill 2

  • Developer: Konami
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Released: 2001

It doesn’t have to be grotesque monsters and jump scares to be an effective horror. Sometimes, it can mess with your head and be just as terrifying, as Silent Hill 2 effectively demonstrates.

Putting players in the shoes of a widower on an unusual trip to Silent Hill, it’s not long before unease starts to set in. There are monsters and wonky combat, adding to the tension and fear factors, but that’s not what makes it effective.

It’s the town itself, with its incessant fog and labyrinthine ways, constantly putting you on edge. That, and a story I won’t spoil, make it truly one of the most effective psychological horrors ever released.

#1 Alien: Isolation

  • Developer: Creative Assembly
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Released: 2014

Given the track record of movie/game spinoffs, not to mention the disastrous Colonial Marines before it, it would be easy to dismiss Alien: Isolation as a cash in. But doing so will have gamers missing one of the best horror titles ever.

Set after the events of the first film, Creative Assembly faithfully kept the 70’s retro-future aesthetic of the derelict Sevastopol. Hiding from murderous androids and the titular xenomorph, it’s a beautiful yet terrifying first person experience.

Complete with an impressive AI that picks up how well you play or noise you make, nowhere is particularly safe from the dangers aplenty. Sadly underrated on release, Alien: Isolation deserves to played at least once for any fan of the franchise.

Bonus Titles


  • Developer: 10 Chambers
  • Publisher: 10 Chambers
  • Released: 2021

Last but not least, the most recent game on the list: GTFO. Childish swearword-in-a-title aside, GTFO is the game that Alien: Fireteam wants to be. A creepy yet chaotic multiplayer shooter, GTFO is the best horror shooter on the market. Upset by Back 4 Blood not being Left 4 Dead 3?

Make that switch to GTFO, a gorgeous shooter that will have you both cacking yourself and wanting to attempt one more run.

Inside the Backrooms

  • Developer: MrFatcat
  • Publishers: MrFatcat, Dropsiick
  • Released: 2022

Inside the Backrooms is a creepy experience you can share with friends. This co-op online horror game for up to 4 players is based around the creepypasta stating there is a place you could get trapped in that looks like a labyrinth filled with malevolent entities.

Each player of Inside the Backrooms has to solve various puzzles and explore the countless identical rooms to find a way to survive. And if being stuck in backrooms with no exits wasn’t scary enough, there are monsters lurking in the shadows ready to kill you whenever they get the opportunity.

Ghost Watchers

  • Developer: Renderise
  • Publisher: Renderise
  • Released: 2022

There’s something strange in this neighborhood, and you are one of the Ghost Watchers. This co-op online horror game for up to four players asks you to hunt down various ghosts haunting abandoned houses.

Your goal is not only to watch those ghosts but also to catch them. There are 8 different types of ghosts, from souls of suicides to demons. To help you find and catch those poor souls, various shreds of evidence are lying around the abandoned houses. They will help you determine the age and mood of the ghost before it flashes before your eyes and kills you from a heart attack.

The Death | THAN TRUNG

  • Developer: DUT Studio
  • Publisher: DUT Studio
  • Released: 2022

The Death | Than Trung is an indie Vietnamese psychological horror adventure taking place in the city of Hanoi. The main character is an ordinary young man, until one day mysterious events start affecting him.

The gameplay of The Death | Than Trung revolves around exploring the environment and solving various puzzles. The game offers different endings depending on your gameplay, so you can play this game several times without having the exact same experience. Since this is a psychological horror game, The Death | Than Trung features several creepy scenes and jumpscares.


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