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20 terrifying PC horror games to play with the lights off

Back 4 Blood

Halloween is here, and you know what that means: It’s time to scare yourself silly. Horror games are a dime a dozen. But terrifying horror games,  good  horror games—well, those are much rarer. We’ve rounded up some of the best horror games ever made, running the gamut from big-budget extravaganzas released this very year to… text adventures. Yes, seriously.

Turn out the lights, put on some headphones, make sure you’ve got a spare pair of underwear nearby, and enjoy these terrifying spine-tinglers.

Editor’s note: This list was updated on October 31, 2022 to tweak the list below. Hayden Dingman and Adam Patrick Murray contributed extensively to this article .


Like  Left 4 Dead ,  Phasmophobia   is a first-person, 4-person horror coop game. But while Valve’s undead shooter leans into action with guns a-blazing,  Phasmophobia  takes a more classical approach to terror. You control a tiny team of paranormal ghost hunters, traveling to various locations and using an array of equipment (from UV blacklights to EMF readers) to try to identify the type of spook haunting the house, and where they’re lurking. The places are dark. The ghosts are  not  friendly.

It’s already the best ghost game I’ve ever played, even in its current slightly janky early access form. The tricks it pulls using the in-game voice chat can be truly terrifying. Turn off the lights, grab some friends, and don’t miss out.

Back 4 Blood

Turtle Rock

Speaking of “Like Left 4 Dead, ” Back 4 Blood is a cooperative first-person shooter where you and three buddies (or AI companions) blast through hordes of zombies, including special versions with meaner abilities. Sound familiar? It should—the game’s even made by Turtle Rock, the developer behind Left 4 Dead . A new card system adds a random element to the game that can turn situations on their heads (for better or worse) and amps up the replayability.

The player base has dwindled a bit since release, but if you’ve been feeling nostalgic for the L4D feel of yesteryear, grab some buddies and saddle up. Better yet, Back 4 Blood is included in Microsoft’s excellent Xbox Games Pass for PC, so you might not even spend a dime to get in on the fun.

The Medium

Bloober Team

What happens when you pair up the developers behind horror classics like Layers of Fear , Observer , and Blair Witch with Silent Hill veteran Akira Yamaoka contributing music, then top it all off with a cutting-edge real-time ray tracing graphics engine? You get The Medium , a truly dark and disturbing third person adventure where you play as a psychic who travels (sometimes in real time) between the real world and the spirit world to solve a mystery in an abandoned eastern Europe resort town. This one will stress your PC hardware as well as your psyche.



Not only is the idea of exploring the famous nuclear disaster site Chernobyl scary in itself, but imagine if there were supernatural creatures roaming around as well? Chernobylite feels like a sci-fi horror version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Metro set in Chernobyl’s excursion zone as you try to track down what happened to your fiancee 30 years ago. It’s a stealth based FPS with some interesting base building and choose-your-own-adventure-style storytelling in a package I’ve never experienced before, and I love it.

amnesia rebirth

Over a decade after its debut, Frictional’s  Amnesia  series remain some of the most truly spine-tingling horror games available. This year, Frictional delivered a treat just in time for Halloween.  Amnesia Rebirth  takes place in the Algerian desert in 1937, putting you in the shoes of Tasi Trianon, who—of course—wakes up with no memory. The game’s developers call it “A harrowing journey through desolation and despair, exploring the limits of human resilience.” Better yet,  Rebirth  is a direct follow-up to the legendary  Dark Descent , and some of the locales give off strong  Soma  vibes—two games we’ll talk about more later.  

blair witch

Bloober Team puts out damned creepy games, but the one I’m more enamored with isn’t a great fit for this list.  Layers of Fear 2  is a masterpiece of art direction , a brilliant homage to classic Hollywood that I highly recommend—but it’s not scary.

Blair Witch  is pretty tense though. Taking on the found footage aesthetic of the films, you play as an ex-cop who joins a missing persons search—and ends up (as you’d expect) hopelessly lost in the woods. As ever, Bloober’s got a neat gimmick to go with the action, scrubbing through film clips to change the state of the world. That’s a side course though. Really, this one’s just about the tension of being alone in a forest labyrinth, with no way out. Sometimes the simple concepts are the scariest, yeah?

pathologic 2

A remake of Ice Pick Lodge’s 2004 oddity  Pathologic , pseudo-sequel  Pathologic 2  preserves much of the original’s subtle horror. There’s a city. There’s a plague. There’s never enough time.

And sure, there are more traditional horror elements—cryptic speeches, otherworldly entities. It’s more about the  experience  though. Playing as “The Haruspex,” you’re ill-equipped to unravel  Pathologic 2 ‘s mysteries, and that’s part of the draw. If horror games are about making the player feel weak and powerless, then  Pathologic 2  is one of the most successful horror games of all time. Every success is hard-won, and any fleeting catharsis like a breath of fresh air for a dying man.

resident evil 2 remake

Resident Evil 2  was one of the more neglected  Resident Evil  entries. Whereas both the debut and  Resident Evil 4  have been remastered and even remade time and again,  Resident Evil 2  was left to languor on the PlayStation for two decades.

Capcom did right by it though . The  Resident Evil 2  remake  is the bar for any and all remakes going forward, transplanting the story and atmosphere of the original into a modern engine. A map that tracks your per-room progress is one of many smart tweaks here, as is ditching the iconic (but annoying) save ribbons for all but the hardest difficulties.

Since this remake came out, Resident Evil VII brought pure horror in a single bleak location back to the series, while Resident Evil VIIIage (sigh) revived the clockwork puzzle feel of the earlier games. There was also a Resident Evil 3 Remake that wasn’t quite as successful. But if you’ve only got time for one RE game this Halloween season, start with Resident Evil 2 Remake .


No Code’s Stories Untold  created horror from the mundane, nightmares unfolding while you spooled through microfiche or adjusted the dials on an X-ray machine.  Observation  is slightly more active, but retains that analog feel. This time you’re aboard a spaceship in Saturn’s orbit—or rather, you  are  the spaceship. You’re S.A.M., the ship’s artificial intelligence, only afforded a window on the world through your various security cameras.

I still think No Code described it best in their first pitch, when they said “ Observation  is kind of  2001: A Space Odyssey —but you’re HAL.” Combine that with some  Annihilation -esque cosmic horror, and  you’ve got all the makings of an unsettling slow burn .

control review

Another one for fans of New Weird,  Control  certainly isn’t the most traditional horror game. Hell, it’s not even the most traditional horror game made by Remedy. That’d be  Alan Wake , of course.

But  Control  draws a lot of inspiration from  The Southern Reach Trilogy , from SCP Foundation, from  House of Leaves , from  The X-Files  and  Twin Peaks— in other words, from a lot of sources that are horror or at least horror-adjacent. It’s rarely scary but it’s almost always creepy, a pervasive sense of wrongness that arises from every empty office, every blank concrete wall, and…well, probably from the people floating motionless in the air as well.

It’s the type of horror that sits in the back of your mind, like the veil of the world’s been torn back just a bit to reveal the abyss gazing through.  And that’s very special indeed .

man of medan

In 2015 Supermassive adapted Telltale’s style of branching cinematic storytelling to the horror genre. The result? PlayStation 4 exclusive  Until Dawn , a surprisingly entertaining pulp horror tale about a bunch of ill-fated teens.

Luckily follow-up  The Dark Pictures Anthology  is funded by Bandai Namco, and thus free to come to the PC as well. The first chapter is  Man of Medan , which  retells the story of the real-world ghost ship Ourang Medan —albeit from the perspective of a fresh group of ill-fated twenty-somethings. It’s part adventure game and part film, as you make dialogue choices and decisions that could keep your characters alive, or result in everyone’s death.

The writing is fairly predictable, and some of the acting a bit wooden, but it’s still a fun time trying to outsmart everyone’s favorite horror tropes. And whatever you do,  don’t open the coffins . What, are you  trying  to end up dead?


New Blood’s carved out a neat little niche, creating not just retro-inspired shooters but ones that are vaguely horror-inspired as well.  Dusk  takes you through sinister farms and abandoned cityscapes,  Amid Evil  to much weirder fantasy environs. But both are about moving a million miles an hour, shooting anything that moves, and opening a bunch of locked doors. Scary? Maybe not so much—but only because you have more than enough weapons to defend yourself from all the horrors that await.

If that’s not enough,  Blood: Fresh Supply   remasters one of New Blood’s inspirations. Might as well grab all three and get gibbing.

evil within 2

The first  Evil Within  was a mess of a game. Oh sure, it had brilliant ideas, but the execution was just  dismal  at times—clunky movement, a tedious and poorly paced opening, and a save system that caused more than one person I know to quit after a few hours.

But  The Evil Within 2  is excellent— one of 2017’s best games , even. The more open-world structure of some acts takes a bit of getting used to, but its more story-driven bits are home to jaw-dropping spectacle: people’s last moments frozen in time, unsettling architecture, supernatural hallucinations. All the ideas that made the first game worth the grind are back, and paired with a game that actually plays well this time.

dead by daylight

Once upon a time this slide was a battle between  Dead by Daylight  and  Friday the 13th , two horror games with a similar conceit: Asymmetric multiplayer, where four survivors have to band together and hold out while another player, the powerful monster, tries to kill them off. “Think  Evolve , but for sadists,” I wrote.

But  Dead by Daylight  is your only option now. The  Friday the 13th  game got caught up in the ongoing lawsuit over the series rights, with the developers pretty much abandoning and saying “no new content” would be forthcoming. Rest in peace, and all. You can still buy it on Steam, but you’re better off sticking with  Dead by Daylight .

alien isolation

One alien. That was the design direction behind Creative Assembly’s  Alien: Isolation , which pursued the survival horror mood of the original 1979 film instead of the action-packed plot of  Aliens .

And it worked. Though a bit overlong and at times needlessly difficult,  Alien: Isolation  is the strongest big-budget horror experience in years. This game is just plain  tense— almost unbearably so if you  play it with a VR headset . And it’s available for Linux, Steam Machines, and OS X, too.


SOMA   isn’t the scariest game Frictional’s ever made. It’s not. It’s barely a horror game for long stretches at a time, and the monsters are more hindrance than terror.

But the underwater confines of PATHOS-II are often unnerving, what with the groans of pressurized metal and the flickering lights and the robots that seem to believe they’re still human.  It’s a strong experience , and one well worth playing even if it won’t make you leap out of your seat.

amnesia dark descent

Now we’re digging into Frictional’s truly great scares. A Victorian-era castle may not seem like the best setting for a horror game, but with  Amnesia: The Dark Descent  Frictional took everything it learned from its earlier games, polished it, and released one of the scariest games of all time. You play as Daniel, an archeologist who’s lost his memory and has only a letter—apparently written by him—to guide his escape from the mad castle and shadowy figures that stalk him.

As of 2018,  Amnesia ‘s also been updated with a new difficulty level, harder than before. I wouldn’t recommend it for new players, as true horror’s found in thinking you  might  die and then escaping. But for veterans, it’s great to have a reason to revisit the castle.

And while it’s more polarizing, the sequel  Machine for Pigs  is worth checking out, as long as you curb your expectations.

doki doki literature club

Part of the appeal of  Doki Doki Literature Club  is not  knowing  it’s a horror game when you go into it, so it feels a bit like a betrayal to put it on here, a “Best Horror Games” list.

But even knowing there’s a twist coming,  Doki Doki Literature Club  is still a smart horror experience that pulls some unsettling tricks on the player. Better yet, it’s free, so even if you’re not big into the visual novel genre normally (I’m not) you won’t risk much by downloading it and giving it a try.


Asylums are easy fodder for horror. That said,  Outlast  makes the most of its clichéd setting by providing you no way to defend yourself and forcing you into the found-footage conceit popularized by horror films like  Blair Witch Project . The game has some pacing issues, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart—gore and jump scares abound.

And if you already played and enjoyed the base  Outlast  game, be sure to check out the  Whistleblower  DLC released last year.  Outlast 2 ?  Not so much .


It’s a point-and-click, but  Stasis  has atmosphere in spades. You wake up on a strange spaceship, surrounded by bodies, and it only gets worse from there.

Styled after the classic isometric horror game  Sanitarium  and paying obvious homage to  Alien ,  Event Horizon ,  I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,  and other bits of beloved genre fiction,  Stasis  is easily one of the best horror games in recent years—not necessarily because of overt scares, but because it tells a compelling story and has a way of getting under your skin.

dead space

If  System Shock 2  is the best space-based survival horror game of all time—and it is— Dead Space  is a close second. Engineer Isaac Clarke attempts to repair an enormous space station, only to find it’s infested by aliens known as the Necromorphs.

Dead Space  is essentially the horror game  Doom 3  so desperately tried to be. It’s absolutely worth checking out.


Scared by… a text adventure? It’s true. The tale of a creepy old mansion and a young couple,  Anchorhead  is over fifteen years old at this point and owes a  hefty  amount to Mr. H.P. Lovecraft. Like a good horror novel,  Anchorhead  is less about jump-out-of-your-seat scares and more about creating tension, but it does that  masterfully .

Plus it’s free, like most modern text adventures, and  playable through your browser .

Also worth checking out:  Slouching Towards Bedlam ,  Vespers .

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The best horror games on PC

These are the best horror games you can play on PC.

desiccated faces with columns protruding from their heads gaze forward toward the camera through an orange haze

  • Survival horror games
  • Multiplayer horror games
  • Indie horror games
  • Psychological horror games
  • RPG horror games
  • Stealth horror games
  • Free horror games

While many trumpeted the death of survival horror in the late aughts, like so many genres, it's come roaring back. Triple-A entries like Resident Evil or Dead Space form a rock solid core for this revitalized genre, but the real joy is found in the weird ones. Indie horror reigns supreme, and whether you want to weld yourself into a submarine at the bottom of an ocean of blood or stress yourself out in the graveyard shift of a funeral home, we've got you covered in this list.

The best survival horror games

Resident evil 4 remake.

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Release date: 2023 | Developer: Capcom | Steam

Okay look, Resident Evil 4 's never been the scariest entry in its series, but it is essential. Between it's attaché case inventory management and frantic crowd control, it's an extremely tense experience while also offering some truly standout horror set pieces in its middle and later portions. The remake's take on the Garrador enemy especially is inspired. Act 2's castle remains one of the most atmospheric locations in gaming, its sumptuous, decaying 17th century interiors given new life on the RE Engine. Other entries on this list may be spookier, but there's a reason the genre hasn't been able to get over Resident Evil 4 in 18 years.

Read more: Resident Evil 4's knife parry is the best thing to happen to the series in 18 years

Alan Wake 2

Release date: 2023 | Developer: Remedy Entertainment | Epic

The first Alan Wake was more spooky than scary, but its long-awaited sequel is genuinely frightening. Half-survival horror, half-spiral into surreal nightmare, Remedy's latest is a bold, ambitious storytelling experiment that's also full of tense and thrilling battles against the shadow-possessed Taken. Playing as both FBI agent Saga Anderson, investigating a series of ritual murders, and Alan Wake, a writer desperately trying to escape an ever-looping dream dimension, you delve through an adventure where a dark fiction is twisting reality in knots. Bold, brilliant, and bizarre. 

Read more: One of Alan Wake 2's expansions sounds like it's going to take us back to Control

Dead Space Remake

Release date: 2023 | Developer: Motive | Steam

2024 games : Upcoming releases Best PC games : All-time favorites Free PC games : Freebie fest Best FPS games : Finest gunplay Best MMOs : Massive worlds Best RPGs : Grand adventures

Dead Space was once the bold herald of survival horror's future, the 2008 original showing that actionized, over-the-shoulder combat doesn't preclude old-school dread. Despite proclamations of its demise, survival horror was alive and well in the Xbox 360 generation. Now in 2023 we get a perfect, as-you-remember-it remake, though protagonist Isaac Clarke is newly talkative, ginger, and arguably yassified in the Dead Space remake.

Modern rendering and conveniences are bolstered here with new story content and a New Game Plus mode featuring an alternate ending. For the first time in 10 years, the future of Dead Space looks bright. Er, is it still bright if it's horrible on purpose?

Read more: Dead Space's definitive remake paves the way for more great things from the once-dormant series.

Release date: 2022 | Developer: Ebb Software | Steam

Scorn 's like a gross Myst, Myst with guns and body horror. This first person adventure sees you crawling through the guts of a fallen civilization, one where everyone else went to the rapture a long time ago, leaving you to puzzle at their remains. Are you an unlucky member of its citizenry left behind when everyone else peaced out? More likely you're the grist for their biological mills, somehow spared that awful fate and now waking up into a different, possibly more awful fate.

The combat is challenging and has the same cadence as an old, tank-controlled PS1 survival horror game. While there may be a case that Scorn would have been stronger focusing purely on exploration and puzzle solving, The combat does have a certain delicious tension and demands the same movement mastery as juking Crimson Heads in the Resident Evil Remake. Ebb quickly patched the game's initial rough checkpoint system after launch, making Scorn a hands-down horror slam dunk.

Read more: Scorn is a guided tour of a forsaken civilization from its grim brown bowels to the heights of its lilac capital city

The best multiplayer horror games

Left 4 dead 2.

Release date: 2009 | Developer: Valve | Steam

A horde of great four-player co-op shooters followed in the wake of Left 4 Dead, much like the hordes of zombies follow its protagonists. Some of those co-op shooters are great, and you'll find them over on our list of best FPS games , but Left 4 Dead 2 remains one of those games that's still worth keeping installed for whenever you and up to three friends feel like working together to push across a slice of zombie-infested America.

The rhythm of Left 4 Dead means it always tells a story. Both quiet moments and swarming attacks are punctuated by special enemies with attacks that force you to work together, and Left 4 Dead 2's survivors—Coach, Rochelle, Nick, and Ellis, as well as the returning characters from the original game—chat and banter with each other like a functioning unit in a way that encourages you to do the same. 

Of course, you may well be playing with mods that replace those survivors with Hatsune Miku, Deadpool, Master Chief, and Juliet Starling from Lollipop Chainsaw, all fighting across Silent Hill or Helm's Deep. That's just another reason Left 4 Dead 2 keeps bringing us back 4 more.

Read more: Great moments in PC gaming: 'Don't startle the witch'


Release date: 2014 (early access) | Developer: Kinetic Games | Steam

TV shows like Ghost Hunters helped popularize a kind of pseudoscientific paranormal investigation, and Phasmophobia lets you and up to three friends become those kind of well-equipped spook-studiers. Each of you can only carry a handful of tools, which is why you need those friends to lighten the load. Technical tools from EMF readers to humble flashlights and cameras alongside supernatural tools like crucifixes might all be necessary. 

Need your horror games to look their best? Here are the best gaming PCs right now.

With those tools, you explore a haunted location, trying to find clues about what kind of ghost you're dealing with. Meanwhile, said ghost will start messing with you via poltergeist tricks while listening in on your panicked conversations thanks to Windows voice recognition so it knows when to ramp up the scares.

It's not all nightmares, though. Thanks to its early access state there's definitely some slapstick jankiness to it, and once you get familiar with its locations and tricks it can become a casual good time with friends . Or maybe we're being lulled into a false sense of security, and that's just what the ghosts want us to think.

Read more: Phasmophobia is the best ghost game ever made

Killing Floor 2

Release date: 2016 | Developer:  Tripwire Interactive | Steam

Killing Floor 2 offers a similar sort of high-zombie count, frantic survival as Left 4 Dead but with more of an emphasis on stationary wave survival than proceeding through linear levels. It also, quite crucially, has the advantage of being a live, well-supported game. Left 4 Dead will live on by sheer quality and reputation, but Tripwire is on that grind keeping Killing Floor players awash in new maps and cosmetics. A perfect "catch up with your friend from high school for a few hours on a weeknight" game if there ever was one.

Read more: Killing Floor 2 is a polished, fun co-op horde shooter with a healthy server browser

The best indie horror games

Faith: the unholy trinity.

Release date: 2022 | Developer: Airdorf Games | Steam

Basically think "The Exorcist, but on the Commodore 64." Faith primarily renders in bright pixels on dark black backgrounds, with absolutely phenomenal rotoscoped cutscenes. It's like if the eerie, primeval games of non-IBM PC compatible games of the 1980s were given the Shovel Knight treatment: 8-bit computing "as you remember it." Airdorf is able to mine a lot of surprising horror and depth out of this art style, and the Faith trilogy is a substantial supernatural horror experience.

Release date:  2022 |  Developer:  David Szymanski|  Steam

Iron Lung is an absolute must-play, a pound-for-pound shocker of a game. Six bucks and 90 minutes for something unforgettable. You play as the single crew member of a makeshift submarine lowered into an ocean of blood on an alien moon. The doors and windows are welded shut against the pressure, and you have to use X and Y coordinates and a blurry chart of the sea floor to navigate its pitch-dark chasms. Your goal is to take pictures of the unnerving things at the bottom of this faraway sea, but something else stirs in the deep. I first started Iron Lung at 1:45 AM with everyone else in the house asleep, and its imaginative premise, impeccable atmosphere, and knockout audio design had me so stressed I went running back to Super Mario Land 2 for comfort.

Read more:   YouTuber Markiplier is adapting Iron Lung into a movie

Release date: 2016 | Developer: Night School Studio | Steam , GOG , Epic , itch.io

Oxenfree stars a group of teens who wind up trapped on an island full of strange and mysterious happenings. Over time the island becomes more and more unnerving, and though the inexplicable radio phenomena can be unsettling, the real joy of Oxenfree is the banter between your friends (and grudging acquaintances), which mimics the fast-paced, witty dialogue of a good teen horror flick. And just like one of those, Oxenfree has plenty of clever tricks to hold your attention and keep you second-guessing all the way to the end of its ghostly yarn.

Read more: From 50 Cent: Bulletproof to Oxenfree, indie developer Sean Krankel has wild stories  

The best psychological horror games

Release date: 2022 | Developer: Rose Engine | Steam

Signalis came out of nowhere to be one of the standout games of 2022, an incredibly rich survival horror experience that demands your attention and contemplation. Signalis' closest mechanical cousin is classic Resident Evil. It's fixed camera horror at its best, demanding that you manage your limited inventory space and resources carefully as you crisscross back and forth through a highly dangerous, god-forsaken pit of a research facility.

Narratively, Signalis is sublime, casting you as a Blade Runner-style replicated human searching for their fully human commanding officer and secret lover. The tension between protagonist Elster's desires, needs, and essential nature as a constructed, enslaved being leave a haunting impression, and we all know that no fragile psychology survives first contact with Lovecraftian horrors. It all takes place in a crunchy analogue future straight out of the 1970s under the auspices of, wouldn't you know it, an evil despotic government playing with forces it doesn't comprehend.

Read more: Signalis is a new genre classic, one of the best psychological sci-fi chillers in years.

Release date: 2015 | Developer: Frictional Games | Steam

Frictional's underwater sci fi horror masterpiece blows its previous work on Amnesia out of the water for me. In Soma , you've got the same hide-and-seek horror with an oppressive atmosphere, but the kicker is its high-concept sci-fi plot. Its twisty yarn calls to mind the works of Philip K. Dick or Harlan Ellison: a rumination on how much the human spirit can bend before it is irretrievably broken, our own capacity for violating everything good and decent about ourselves. Don't read anything else about it before you load in (except maybe our review), and thank me later.

Read more: A masterpiece of audio and visual design, SOMA is atmospheric, cerebral, and occasionally frustrating

Pathologic 2

Release date: 2019 | Developer: Ice-Pick Lodge | Steam , GOG

Pathologic 2 is nasty . It will sit on your hard-drive like a gangrenous limb in need of amputation. If this sounds like a criticism, it isn't. Beyond the dirty, putrefied atmosphere, Pathologic 2 is weird and theatrical, frequently breaking the fourth wall and questioning your role as the player. 

You have 12 days to save a town afflicted by disease, paranoia, mob justice, and paranormal happenings. That ticking clock isn't just for show—events unfold in real time and you have to make difficult decisions about what you want to do and who you want to save. It's exhausting, yes. It's grueling, yes. But it's also unique and unforgettable.

Read more: Pathologic 2 is getting a difficulty slider but the developers don't want you to use it  

The Mortuary Assistant

Release date: 2022 | Developer: DarkStone Digital | Steam

Part supernatural/psychological horror yarn, part workplace simulator. The Mortuary Assistant gets at that surreal sense of dread you get when working a closing or graveyard shift, but with all of your horrors actually realized. Like Papers Please's gotcha bureaucratic battles, you have to check corpses for signs of possession. Embalm the normal cadavers, while the baddies get sent straight to hell (by way of the crematorium). 

Read More: Embalming corpses in The Mortuary Assistant is oddly satisfying

The best RPG horror games

Vampire: the masquerade – bloodlines.

Release date: 2004 | Developer: Troika Games | Steam , GOG

Still the unchallenged prince of vampire games, Bloodlines was confident enough to give you free rein to use your vampiric abilities. You can pluck NPCs off the street to feed on, clamber over the environments as freely as you can in an immersive sim, throw burrowing beetles into your enemies' bodies, and overheat their blood until they explode. It lets vampires be cool, not just through their powers but also by making them witty, sexy, or mysterious, which makes it plain why people want to become one of them.

That's how it gets you, of course. Going right back to the original 1990s tabletop RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade has always said it's a game of personal horror. It's only after you give in to the mystique, start to think about how great it is to be a part of the bloodsucking elite, that it turns around, opens up, and shows you the cost and the consequence of that.

While infamously buggy at launch, today the problems with Bloodlines are easily fixed .

Read more: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has aged like fine wine  

System Shock 2

Release date: 1999 | Developer: Irrational Games | Steam , GOG

Before BioShock was BioShock, it was System Shock: an altogether freakier combination of RPG and FPS, and one that in its second (and best) iteration told the story of a rogue AI on a haunted spaceship—that rogue AI being the incomparably uppercase SHODAN. 

The murderous artificial consciousness paved the way for GlaDOS of course, but it's the combination of meaningful character advancement, rewarding exploration, horrifying enemies and the (at the time) novel use of audio diaries that make System Shock 2 such a memorable horror game. It was essentially Deus Ex on a spaceship—if you've ever played Deus Ex, or been on a spaceship, you can imagine how delectable that sounds.

Read more: System Shock 2: How an underfunded and inexperienced team birthed a PC classic  

Dread Delusion

Release date: 2022 (early access) | Developer: Lovely Hellplace | Steam

Much like Resident Evil 4 or Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, we're straying so far from heartland horror as to almost break away, but just like with those two games, Dread Delusion's atmosphere and subject matter leaves it essential to any horror fan. In this game you're on the hunt for a dangerous criminal in a militantly atheist society bent on killing the last gods, all while human civilization clings to the asteroids winging around "Neuron Stars." The setting calls to mind classic, weird D&D lines like Spelljammer, Planescape, or Dark Sun, and it has the sensibility of classic American sci-fi. 

One side quest manages to nail the most chilling, flashlight-under-chin, spooky ghost yarn with the absolute minimum of development resources, while another offers the most truly vexing moral choice I've ever felt in a game over the synthetic human meat substitute farmed by a race of cannibalistic, yet sentient zombies. Dread Delusion whips.

Read More: This dreamlike indie RPG is a dense, perfectly refined bite of Elder Scrolls

The best stealth horror games

Amnesia: the bunker.

Release date: 2023 | Developer: Frictional Games | Steam , GOG , Epic

One of the best horror games I've ever played, Amnesia: The Bunker is pure, condensed stress from beginning to end. You awake as the last living enlisted man in a WWI French bunker, and there is something in the walls.

The Bunker expands on Amnesia's run and hide gameplay with the ability to fight back against your pursuer (in extremely limited fashion) with flares and a plinky old time revolver, but you also need to conserver resources to deal with environmental hazards like mutated rats and padlocked doors.

Through it all, you're juggling two primary resources: a brutally limited, classic Resident Evil-style inventory, and fuel to keep a generator (and the Bunker's lights) on. The plot doesn't get as "out there" as previous Frictional games Soma or Amnesia: Rebirth, but it's still a great, bite-sized tale of woe for the Amnesia-verse.

Read More: One of the best parts of Amnesia: The Bunker doesn't even involve its gruesome new monster

Alien Isolation

Release date: 2014 | Developer: Creative Assembly | Steam , GOG , Epic

The best Alien game ever, by a long way, Alien Isolation stars the smartest, scariest enemy in any game. The xenomorph's killer instinct is matched only by its curiosity. It learns more about the space station Sevastopol's nooks and crannies as it hunts you over the course of 12 hours, ripping doors off closets and peering under tables in search of its prey. Which is you.

The motion tracker can help you avoid the xenomorph's grasp, but the alien can hear the sound, and even see the gentle green light of its screen, making every glance at the device a risk. That's pretty scary, but when you're forced into the vents and can hear the creature in there with you, that's when Alien Isolation becomes one of the scariest games ever made.

Read more: The making of horror masterpiece Alien: Isolation: 'It was a giddy, exhausting, intense time'

Release date: 2022 (early access) | Developer: Dillon Rogers| Steam

A thief-inspired stealth-em-up from New Blood developer Dillon Rogers, Gloomwood leans into that series' horror elements for this survival horror-infused steampunk adventure. You get the return of Thief's excellent audio design, and a revamp/reinterpretation of its distinctive visuals, as well as a novel solution to the "Quicksave problem" so many immersive sims face: no quicksaves, only checkpoints. Gloomwood also, blessedly, features another instance of the best inventory screen in gaming, a grid-based attaché case where size and weight of items matters (see also: Resident Evil 4, Neverwinter Nights). The only caveat is that there's still a lot more Gloomwood left to be made, and immersive sim might be a bit of a rougher fit for this sort of game than your standard shooter.

Read More: Gloomwood is too good to play unfinished

Release date: 2017 | Developer: Red Barrels | Steam , GOG , Epic

As a trial-and-error stealth game Outlast 2 might not be for everyone, but thematically it's among the most interesting games on this list. A journalist searching for a missing woman in Arizona, your wife is kidnapped early on by a deranged cult, the origins of which are told through snippets of letters during the game. You navigate dark environments using the night vision mode of your camera, and it's just scary as heck, with a whole village wanting you dead and some of the most grueling imagery ever put into a game. 

Read more: Outlast 2 has one of most intense endings of any horror game  

Thief: Deadly Shadows

Release date: 2004 | Developer: Ion Storm| GOG

All three Thief games have horror elements deployed in different ways, but they're all easy recommendations to a horror fan. Deadly Shadows wins out for this list by virtue of one standout level: the Shalebridge Cradle. This former orphanage turned asylum accomplishes an oppressive atmosphere bolstered by bone-chilling background lore, with the mistreated patients of unethical doctors calling out for justice from beyond the grave. Come for the stealth action, stay for the spooks.

Read More: Great moments in PC gaming: The Shalebridge Cradle in Thief: Deadly Shadows

The best free horror games

The last stand 2.

Release date: 2008 | Developer: Con Artist | Kongregate

The Last Stand was a straightforward Flash game about standing behind barricades as the undead approached from screen left and learning when to switch to the chainsaw as they neared. Survive until dawn, and it ended. The Last Stand 2 added something to do in daylight hours: searching for survivors who will join you at the barricade, as well as more weapons and traps. (Watching a bear trap snag the legs of one of those fast zombies so you can lazily headshot them is a good time.) Any spare hours can be spent repairing the barricade.

But the real reason to search is to find supplies so you can travel to the next town. In 40 days the entire country's going to be quarantined and if you don't make it out by then, you never will. It's as simple, low-budget, and effective as the best movies about the living dead.

Read more: The Internet Archive's new Flash library is a nostalgic goldmine  

Release date: 1998 | Developer: Michael Gentry | The People's Republic of Interactive Fiction

Horror games owe a significant debt to Lovecraft, and not just because he's long dead and his work is out of copyright. Plenty of games have included little references to his brand of cosmic horror, but text adventure Anchorhead is more deeply inspired by Lovecraft than most, drawing from several of his novels and stories to tell the tale of a married couple who have inherited an old mansion in a creepy New England town. The sedate exploration of the game's opening segments eventually gives way to tense, turn-limited puzzles as you struggle to stop an ancient, possibly world-ending ritual from being completed. No pressure then.

The original, free version of Anchorhead can still be played online , but there's also an expanded and revised version with illustrations for sale on Steam and itch.io that was released 20 years after the original.

Read more: 1998 text adventure classic Anchorhead is an uncanny addition to 2018's lineup  

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Best horror games to play right now

The very best horror games comprise old school gems and modern masterpieces

Best horror games ever - Alan Wake 2 screenshot showing Alan trapped in the dark place under a red light

The best horror games will never let you down. Whether you love a bit of tense, atmospheric dread with your psychological terror or you're all about blasting the gnashing jaws off zombies in horde shooters, there's a lot more to a spooky game than blood and monsters. That being said, those two things are still very important, and the games below include both in spades.

This list collects a diverse bunch of horror games from across the subgenres, so there should be something to suit any taste. From creepy indies to the blockbuster hits of the Resident Evil timeline , we think we've got you covered. The best survival horror games are known for their scarce ammo and need for strict inventory management, while the likes of Amnesia: Rebirth will render you utterly helpless to defend yourself against terrifying monsters lurking in the dark. The list is bursting with grim tidings as it is, but with even more upcoming horror games on the way in 2024, now's as good a time as any to delve back into the very best horror games ever.

Recent updates

Our list of the best horror games was updated on December 19, ensuring the list is in tip-top shape as we enter the new year.

The best horror games, starting with...

25. the mortuary assistant.

Developer: Dark Stone Digital Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

Picture it: it's your first day of your new job at River Fields Mortuary. You're going about your day, happily embalming the dearly departed on your gurney , when you see an ominous woman in white staring back at you from the end of the long, long corridor toward the morgue. Whispering fills your ears, and when you look back at the table, the body is gone. This is just one of many procedurally-generated moments in The Mortuary Assistant, a horror game that places a scalpel in your hand and a demon in your soul as you fight to exorcise it before you become fully possessed.  

24. Returnal

Developer: Housemarque Platform: PS5

This might not seem like an obvious scary game but there's a strong vein of cosmic horror running through everything Returnal does. This time looping roguelike is littered with Lovecraftian alien ruins, wrong-shaped monsters, and a terror that comes from trying not to die every 10 minutes. I get that it's a big ask to try this as it is all about trying to fight through waves of monsters and impossible feeling boss fights. But there's a great atmosphere to it all and a disturbing story that gradually unfolds as you piece together the past and your place in it. 

23. Slender: The Eight Pages

Developer: Parsec Productions Platform: Available on: PC

It's old but it's free and a classic moment in horror gaming. While you can no longer play it online, it's easy to find a free download you can try. The premise is simple - find eight pages scattered around a spooky forest location without the Slender Man catching you. Every time you find a page he gets closer and harder to avoid. It's a simple idea but the execution is flawless and, even with the potato graphics, it's a terrifying experience. It's also a great game to challenge your friends to play and see how they get.

22. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly

Developer: Tecmo Platforms: PS4 and Xbox One (via backwards compatibility)

Picking up on the tropes of Japanese horror and folklore that were made famous in The Ring and Ju-on, the Fatal Frame series has always been unsettling. Characters are frozen in place with fear, their only weapon against soul-stealing ghosts is an ancient camera. This means the only way to fight your enemies is to face them head-on, an increasingly terrifying proposition as the game wears on. The franchise has several great entries, but we choose to single out the second game as the best fit for this list. Crimson Butterfly updates the graphics a bit from the first game, and it's the most inviting in its difficulty, making sure there's an ever-present threat without getting too frustrating. It also has the best story, a personal journey between two sisters dealing with loss and guilt. It's always nice when the intense experience is backed up by a plot that's deeper than 'survive'.

21. Mundaun

Developer: Hidden Fields Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Switch 

Mundaun is a weird creepy little game with a The Lighthouse and Midsommar vibe to its strange hand-drawn tale. The black and white first-person scares see you revising your Swiss hometown after the death of your grandfather and uncovering [spooky voice] an ancient family curse. The Swiss, 1920s-ish location and folklore, along with the scratchy penciled art, create an otherworldly vibe that gives the whole thing a foreign movie vibe you usually only see in Japanese horror games. It's a little clunky in places, with a few unclear puzzles and goals, but worth powering through if you want to try a horror game built from a different cultural foundation. 

20. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

Developer: Skydance Interactive Platforms: PS4, PC 

The only reason this isn't our top horror game full stop is that it's VR, which obviously limits a lot of people's access to it. However, if you can get a VR headset this is an essential horror game. It's one of the greatest playable interpretations of the source material ever made - from swinging axes or stabbing screwdrivers into zombie's heads, to cautiously exploring rotting houses, terrified of every corner - this absolutely nails the zombie horror fantasy. There's a semi-open-world too where you explore and revisit hubs, crisscrossing locations in search of valuable resources, enemies, and allies to help. It's also got nothing to do with the comics or TV show beyond the zombies, so you don't need to be a fan to enjoy it, either. 

19. Resident Evil Village

Developer: Capcom Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC

While Resident Evil Village certainly captured the public imagination, Lady Dimitrescu in particular, it's far from the best the series has ever been. There are some strong moments though. Especially in the opening few hours with Castle Dimitrescu offering up some great Gothic monster threats and characters. It's House Beneviento however that cements this game's place in history. It's an incredibly creepy, rewarding escape room beat that ends with one of the best reveals the series has ever seen. It's a high point for the game, the series, and the genre in general. The rest of the game is good but veers strongly into action and shooting, eroding the scares through familiarity and ending on a fairly low-brow shooty bang charge to victory. It's always fun though and varied enough that you feel like you get a bit of everything. 

18. Carrion

Developer: Phobia Game Studio Platforms: PS4, PC, Mac, Xbox One and Switch 

Carrion might look like a bit of fun because it is, but it's also a great horror game that reverses the roles and lets you play the monster. Through its pixelly recreation of tentacles and teeth, it really captures the essence of a good creature feature as you hoover up screaming scientists, rending limb from limb and leaving nothing but parts in your wake. It's excessively gory in a laugh-out-loud way and in between the bloody carnage, there are some decent puzzles to work out using an ever-expanding range of monster powers.  

Developer: Arkane Austin Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4 

While Morgan Yu’s trek across a space station doesn’t offer the breathless horror Dead Space does especially the Mooncrash DLC showed off Prey ’s potential for horror. A fairly straightforward alien shooter can become much more unsettling when the goal changes from you defending yourself to saving others, and the element of randomization in Mooncrash does a lot in keeping you on your toes. But basic Prey, too, has a certain spookiness to it. Apart from being a brilliant game with many secret nooks and crannies to discover, Prey, just like other Arkane games, gives you a certain freedom of approach. Many stories you come across in its environment tell of horrifying accidents, people trying to flee, or alien encounters. If you want a bit more action but love good environmental storytelling, this is another game you shouldn’t sleep on.

16. Little Nightmares 2

Developer: Tarsier Studios Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

There is something deeply wrong with Little Nightmare 2 , in a good way. The sequel really doubles down on the original creepy children's story world but somehow ups the unpleasantness to impressive levels. The weirdness just creeps under your skin as you explore. From creepy juddering mannequins, to faceless, lost people - faces seemingly worn away by the TV static they'll die to stare at - there's little in this game that won't unnerve you, or leave you feeling uncomfortable thinking about it. It can be frustrating at times - the controls never really live up to the demands and there are a few trial and error encounters to blunder through. But stick with it and you'll experience probably one of the most traumatizing games on this list. 

15. Until Dawn

Developer: Supermassive Games Platform: PS4

Teen slashers have been around for nearly four decades now, but aside from the abysmal Friday the 13th on NES, games haven't really been brave enough to venture into that territory. Until now. Or rather, Until Dawn (zing), a 2015 survival-horror game about a pack of randy teens going on vacation to an isolated mountain cabin, only to find that some heinous entity is set on killing them off. But it's not all fun and games: the characters will die gruesome deaths if you can't navigate Until Dawn's horror movie logic, and it takes every opportunity to scare the bejaysus out of you.

While many games on this list are here because of their fear-factor alone, Until Dawn earns a spot for more meta reasons, too - it's wilfully, soulfully entrenched in horror tradition, and uses those tropes brilliantly. It's packed with winks to the slasher genre, and you'll still love the ridiculous twists even if you see them coming from a mile away. You'll laugh as much as you scream, if not more, and few horror games capture that sense of grisly fun so well.

14. Darkwood

Developer: Acid Wizard Studio Platform: PC

The easiest way to describe Darkwood would be to call it a top-down survival game, but while the survival elements exist to keep your character, well, alive, it’s less a game about surviving and more about pushing you deeper into its forest of horrors so you can enjoy being creeped out by what you find. The only place you’re safe is your hut, so you need to maintain it, but in order to do so, you need to go out – funny how that sometimes turns out. On your journey through the woods, you sometimes find weapons to defend yourself with, but you’re better off using meager inventory space in other ways, frantically pointing the cone of light that marks how far you can see to and fro to not miss a thing. Darkwood is proof that even a game from a top-down perspective can be absolutely nerve-wracking.

13. Bloodborne

Developer: FromSoftware Platform: PS4

From Software's Dark Souls games - of which this is a very obvious descendent - don't play like horror standards. They're action-RPGs, built around stat micromanagement and skillful play. And yet they feel scarier than most games that build themselves around fear - stress, dread, and jumps come as frequently as loot and leveling. Bloodborne is the best of the lot, a sprawling, mysterious tale of eldritch horror set in a twisted nightmare vision of Victorian Europe. Traveling down cobblestone streets amidst dark spires, you'll hear hushed conversations behind firmly-locked doors, wondering who you are, and what "The Hunt" you seem to be on could be. It's gaming's best Lovecraftian horror - you'll be driven to discover its secrets as much as you are to master its vicious combat systems.

12. Devotion

Developer: Red Candle Games Platform: PC

Red Candle Games' first Devotion may now be best known for its troubled release history , but it’s a masterclass in environmental storytelling. Its horror doesn’t come from survival combat or even jump scares, but a feeling of creeping dread, mounting in time with you gathering more information about what happened to the inhabitants of the house you’re exploring. Devotion does a lot of great stuff with visuals, and while it’s not the most interesting game from an interactive perspective, it’s a great example of how to use space in horror, on par with classics like Amnesia.

11. Resident Evil 4

Developer: Capcom Production Studio Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

This is the series that invented modern survival horror, but that wasn't good enough for director Shinji Mikami. So in Resident Evil 4 , he invented the modern third-person shooting, just for fun. Leon Kennedy's adventures in gunplay are rightly famous, the feedback-heavy combat making every situation a shaky joy. But, I hear you cry, how does that make it qualify as a top 10 horror game? Surely it's just an action experience in Resi clothing?

Tell that to anyone coming to the Ganado-infested village for the first time. The sheer stress of being rushed by the parasite-infested local population, headed up by sack-masked, chainsaw-wielding maniac ranks up there with gaming's most frightening moments. It's a feeling that returns constantly - whether it's one of the iconic boss fights, a battle across crumbling rooftops, or in the most expected location, Resident Evil 4's horror is in how it puts you on the backfoot and asks you to fight your way out.

10. Amnesia: Rebirth

Developer: Frictional Games Platforms: PS4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Building on the themes of memory loss, pursuing monsters, and otherworldly magic, Amnesia: Rebirth builds on the previous games in the series to deliver a tense, playable slice of horror fiction. There's almost a literary feel to the game as you explore the darkness as Tasi, a French explorer lost in the desert. Familiar mechanics like failing sanity, eroded by the dark or looking at monsters, returns but this time contained within a much more coherent and enticing story. There are some great puzzles, horrible monsters but it's that narrative that binds it all together. Tasi goes on a journey and there's a strong draw to following her to see where it all goes and what it means. Whether you're a fan of the Amnesia franchise or not there's a real page-turning, 'must-see what happens' feel to the adventure. The monster encounters can be horrific and stressful but it's the space between where the story expands, and twists and turns that really sells it. 

9. Dead Space (2023)

Developer: Motive Studio Platforms: Xbox Series X, PS5, PC

The long-awaited remake of the 2008 original, Dead Space sees you stepping into the space boots of Isaac Clarke as he and his team investigate the strange goings on in a seemingly abandoned spaceship. Constantly pursued by horrific monsters known as necromorphs, this gore-filled survival horror game has been praised for its stellar visuals, sound design, and its notorious permadeath Impossible Mode . Even if you haven't played the original, Dead Space is set to be one of the best horror games in recent years; just don't aim for the head. 

Developer: Frictional Games Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

SOMA has problems, largely from the clumsy stealth section, but it also has, hands down, one of the most unpleasantly disturbing stories of anything in this list. To explain why would ruin it, but this plays with ideas of consciousness and what makes you 'you' in a terrifying way. When you're not exploring the rusting, decrepit undersea base of PATHOS II, you're playing with some pretty heavy metaphysic concepts fit to give you nightmares.  This is a world, filled with broken machines full of glitching human consciousnesses and slimy growths, that expands and morph into something terrible the longer you spend exploring. The undersea and biotech elements make a Bioshock comparison hard to avoid but while there are similarities - man's hubris and science pushed too far, especially - this is far more unpleasant and ethically shocking. The new 'safe mode' means you can also now play it just for the story - finish it and see if you can sleep after. 

Developer: Red Barrels Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Outlast offers a first-person trek through a setting literally no one in real life would willingly check out - an old asylum that seems abandoned, but also strangely very active. At night. In the mountains. Miles from help. Who does that?! The setup alone is perfect horror fodder, but this plays out like Found Footage: The Game, via clever use of a videocamera's night vision mode to see in the dark. The grainy, glowing green view it creates gets a little too close to real life as well. It's one part exploring to two parts follow shadowy, wheezing shapes in the black distance through a viewfinder while cowering behind a table. Scary enough already, the perfection of its pixilated whirring focus pulls only adds to the atmosphere. It's a great game to play with friends too, because you'll both be screaming at some point. 

6. Silent Hill 2

Developer: Team Silent Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4 (via backwards compatibility)

Silent Hill, as a franchise, is home to some of the most frightening enemies and situations in gaming history, but the series' most abiding horror is Silent Hill 2 . This PS2 classic manifests our deepest fears as flesh, to reveal there is no greater evil than our own imagination. Though he'll encounter creatures like the iconic nurses and Pyramid Head, protagonist James Sunderland is far more threatened by his personal demons. And the empty town of Silent Hill brings them all to the surface.

James has returned to Silent Hill answering a letter that seems to come from his dead wife, but all he finds are reminders of his own anguish and guilt over her death. Every corner of the town is inhabited by some new horror, but James has to push past his fears if he ever wants to know what's going on. You and he will not like what he finds beyond them. Silent Hill 2 doesn't just present you with a horror game worth playing, but a story worth being listened to, parsed, and gawping awfully about. The deeper you go, the worse it gets.

5. Alan Wake 2

Developer: Remedy Entertainment Platform(s): PS5, PC, Xbox Series X

We waited 13 long years for Alan Wake 2 , and the tormented novelist's return did not disappoint. Like we said in our review , "You won't find anything else quite like it this generation." It has everything you could possibly want as a horror fan: terrifying foes, atmospheric dread, slick third-person action, and a gnarled storyline split between its two protagonists that, as in the shared universe of  2019's Control, straddles temporal boundaries and constantly keeps us guessing. It's a psycho-thriller like no other, proving not only developer Remedy's growth as a studio over the last decade or so, but why it remains top of the class when it comes to creating some of the best horror games out there. 

4. Resident Evil 2 Remake

Developer: Capcom Platforms: PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, Nintendo Switch

It seems almost unimaginable that over 20 years after its original PS1 release the classic Resident Evil 2 is back on the best horror games list. But then we are talking about Resident Evil 2 Remake , a from-the-ground-up remake of the original game that honors the past while building a future for the franchise with a game nearly two decades old. It's a success, and high on this list, because of how it melds old and new so perfectly. It's a perfect retelling of Leon and Claire's original attempts to escape a zombie-filled Raccoon City, with all the monsters, set pieces and story beats you remember. BUT. It's also built with today's horror sensibilities - merging an almost beautiful level of indulgent gore with tight gunplay, clever puzzles, and some beautiful levels. This is as essential now as the original game was back in the day.

3. Alien: Isolation

Developer: Creative Assembly Platforms: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, and PC

Countless games have been inspired by elements of the Alien franchise, be it James Cameron 's space marines, Ellen Ripley's fortitude, or the chilling power of silence in a soundtrack. Despite all that, Alien: Isolation may be the series' greatest gaming triumph. It takes the gut-wrenching fear fostered by the lone Xenomorph in the original film and extends it into a lengthy game. Isolation's tense survival gameplay keeps the pulse-pounding for hours and hours

You take on the role of Ripley's daughter, Amanda, searching a derelict space station for her mother, only to find the same beast she fought. You're constantly on guard from the cinematic AI of your Alien hunter. This means holding your breath as you narrowly avoid detection, or screaming in terror after failing to reach safety. The atmosphere the game sustains is impressive enough, and it deserves even more credit for taking the Xenomorph, a movie monster bordering on cliché due to overexposure, and making it terrifying once again.

2. Layers of Fear

Developer: Bloober Team Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC

Most games can make you jump, they can make scream, but few can make you doubt yourself in real life. Layers of Fear initially appears very familiar as you explore a spooky, creepy, and cavernously empty house. The Gothic story unravels slowly as you play an unnamed artist returning home. It soon becomes clear though that madness has overtaken the painter and it expresses itself in the unreliable narration of the physical world. Doors disappear and corridors warp out of shape just in the corner of you; the game rearranges itself in such a way to recreate the main character's madness that only a few hours in and you'll find yourself questioning everything. Was that desk on that side of the room last time you looked? Are you sure? Add to that the nature of the protagonist's illness - an obsessional painting made from... less than savory materials, and you have one of the greatest horror games of all time.

1. Resident Evil 7

Developer: Capcom Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC

It could have been a disaster - a clunky, forced update to a revered series, that left fans clamoring for the bombastic nonsense of Resident Evil 6. But Resident Evil 7 is a triumph, smartly feeding off the best horror movies of the last 20 years, effortlessly easing all that edgy new into a recognizable, modern reinvention of the series. The central story is fantastic, the mysteries artfully concealed and your tormentors, the Bakers, are brilliantly subversive.

Switching the action to first-person adds some VR possibilities, but also makes the horror feel uncomfortably close - grueling, compelling stuff, in a setting you’ll remember long after exploring it up close. But perhaps the cleverest trick is just how Resi it all feels. The safe rooms have the same sense of unsettling respite; ammo feels desperately scarce; and the boss fights have the right mix of terror and glowing, oozing bits to shoot. It’s a tight, smart horror game, and far better than most fans dared hope. It's not the scariest – or most subtle – game on this list, but a brilliant and chilling rebirth. 

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I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content . I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. 

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most haunted games

Top 10 Horror Games To Play Right Now

Horror games provide some of gaming’s most exhilarating experiences, and much like their silver screen counterparts, they aim to get you as close to experiencing death as possible without actually dying. In between the thrills and jumpscares, horror also lends itself well to character-focused storytelling that can often pull on one’s heartstrings (but not before bumping that heart rate up a bit first). While what makes something scary ranges from person to person, this list highlights some of the most terrifying recent games we’ve played. Here are ten great horror games, listed in no particular order, that you’ll have a spooky time getting lost in.

most haunted games

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Resident Evil 2 Remake is a rare gaming feat in many ways. It successfully remakes the beloved classic of the same name, and it does so with some of the most visually stunning graphics in all of gaming. Plus, it’s straight-up terrifying. You play as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield while making your way through the zombie-ridden Raccoon City Police Department and other parts of the greater Raccoon City. As you might expect in a Resident Evil, there’s plenty of puzzles, scares, and of course, zombies. Easily one of the most terrifying entries in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 2 Remake is a master class in horror, blending together what solidified the series as a mainstay years ago with modern graphics and gameplay that have you squirming on the couch with clutched, sweaty hands. It boasts a lot of replayability, too, thanks to its various playable storylines and multi-character side content. Whether you’re new to the franchise or returning for a scare, Resident Evil 2 Remake is an excellent place to start. | Our Review

most haunted games

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village features much of what fans love about the series with a return to the very roots of horror: vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, and other monsters. As the name suggests, it takes place in a remote village in Europe cut off from the rest of the world, which makes it easy for nine-foot-tall beauty Lady Dimitrescu, hammer-wielding Heisenberg, and cursed ventriloquist doll Donna Beneviento to play with protagonist Ethan Winters like a toy. Ethan remains as bland a character as he was in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but his arc is given a shot in the arm thanks to a mysterious search for his missing daughter. Plus, Resident Evil Village is chock full of lore that long-time fans will surely eat up, although whether or not it’s lore they like will vary from player to player.  Resident Evil Village uniquely avoids the use of zombies, opting for classic horror antagonists like werewolves instead while still paying homage to all of the complex puzzles and survival-horror stress that popularized the series decades ago. | Our Review

most haunted games

Little Nightmares 2

Little Nightmares 2 might be the closest to a Tim Burton-made game as we’ll ever get if the famed Nightmare Before Christmas director were a game developer. From the moment it begins, Little Nightmares 2 immediately oozes the familiar ambiance and dread of a horror game. Add to it the world’s unsettling characters, as well as protagonist Mono, which resemble claymation more than anything else, and you’ll find Little Nightmares 2’s platforming some of the scariest in the genre. Its puzzles sit finely between being complex enough to be fun and simple enough not to be irritating, and while combat is easily the weakest aspect of Little Nightmares 2, it adds just enough variety to keep players on their toes. If words like “macabre,” “sinister,” “Tim Burton,” and “mysterious” characterize your favorite games, Little Nightmares 2 is sure to be a hit for you. If you haven’t yet played the first Little Nightmares either, it’s also great, and when played back-to-back, the series gives you an unnerving and stress-inducing romp through one of gaming’s most unique worlds. | Our Review

most haunted games

Until Dawn is perhaps the best couch-multiplayer title on this list and best played in a living room with friends. It is a classic b-horror camp film translated to a video game where you take control of eight teens trying to survive an ill-fated night at a spooky mountain cabin. Unlike the games it’s clearly inspired by (looking at you, Resident Evil), there are no puzzles or survival-horror inventory management systems to be found in Until Dawn. Instead, your primary focus is exploring the spooky locale and the characters who inhabit it. Until Dawn’s main claim to fame is how it emphasizes your decisions in-game. The fate of each character is up to you and the choices you make. Will you make it out with everyone alive, or will you be the lone survivor? That’s up to you, how much your hands shake while holding a controller ( antagonists can find you if your hands shake too much ), and how great you are at completing quick-time events. Those QTE’s are probably Until Dawn’s weakest points, mostly in that one glance away from the screen could drastically change a character’s outcome. Still, its production values, scares, and fun b-movie characters will have you forgetting about that failed button press in no time. | Our Review

most haunted games

Remember Amnesia and how scary that was? Well, Frictional Games took all the horror and existentialist dread from that series and placed it in an underwater AI-driven network of laboratories, living spaces, reactors, and more. You play a run-of-the-mill man who awakens in a seemingly abandoned research facility deep in the ocean, unaware of how you got there and, perhaps more importantly, why you’re there to begin with. Overgrown pipes and rusted gears fill the hallways of this network of underwater structures someone called home, or at least, the office. Drawing heavily on classic horrors like Alien and The Abyss , Soma thrives on making you feel alone… until you’re not, and then a hulking malfunctioning robot is doing all it can to make you fish food. As if the literal horror of being stuck on the ocean floor in an abandoned facility overrun with murderous AI wasn’t scary enough, the game takes many twists and turns that feel at home in one of Albert Camus’ existentialist stories. What makes something living? What exactly is life? How does AI play a role in extending our lives or perhaps taking them over? These questions await you hundreds of meters beneath the ocean waves of Soma’s sea of dread and terrifying ambiance. | Our Review

most haunted games

Dead by Daylight

There aren’t many horror multiplayer games out there, but when Dead by Daylight exists, that’s okay because it happens to be a scary movie brought to life. Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that sees a group of up to four survivors fight to stay alive by dodging an otherwise guaranteed death. That demise comes by way of the one player in control of the map’s killer. While the survivors fight to turn on generators, throw exit switches, and ultimately escape, the killer has one goal: slaughter the survivors first. It’s a ton of fun and perfect for online play with friends and family. When it launched, Dead by Daylight contained a modest amount of killers, but in the years since then, the killer roster has grown to 25, and that line-up is one of the main reasons Dead by Daylight is on this list. It doubles as an excellent way to keep things fresh and a love letter to horror. Its original killers are great, but Behaviour Interactive has added icons like Michael Myers, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Ghost Face, the Demogorgon, Pyramid Head, Elliot Spencer, Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, and more to take Dead By Daylight from a great game to check out to a must-play for fans of horror. | Our Review

most haunted games


If horror movies and television shows like Paranormal Activity and The Haunting of Hill House fit your fancy, then check out Phasmophobia. The pitch for Kinetic Games’ early access title (note: because it’s early access, you’ll almost certainly run into bugs, so keep that in mind when playing) is that you and up to three other players are paranormal investigators. Not unlike the ghost hunters seen in movies like Insidious or even Ghostbusters , you’re tasked with finding ghosts within a given location and what ensues is a slow burn toward the inevitable jump scare that will have all but one (the person who got scared) laughing a lot. Phasmophobia isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it’s a great game to play at night with friends. It doubles as a great game for people to watch, too, because who doesn’t love watching someone get scared? It’s also simple enough that anyone could jump in and experience the terror that is simply walking through a haunted house. Couple a round of Phasmophobia with a rewatch of Paranormal Activity, and you have yourself a terrifyingly great time.

most haunted games

Visage is an indie game about exploring what appears to be a haunted house. It oozes terror in mundane rooms like a kitchen or a laundry room, but it doesn’t take long for the game’s more psychological scares to reveal themselves. You’ll find yourself transported to cemeteries, psychiatric wards, abandoned supermarkets, and more, and it's here that you’ll be tasked with solving puzzles as different characters, each experiencing their own thematic journey through a personal Hell. Not only are these character arcs terrifying, but they’re legitimately great stories, which can sometimes be rare in the horror genre. Because of this storytelling approach, players can experience a variety of different scares in the same setting . While Visage has some jank around the edges and a clunky inventory system, it’s worth seeing past those issues as it’s an exceptional option for horror fans  | Our Review

most haunted games

Devotion is one of the most terrifying games on this list. It’s also the most controversial, having been pulled from online storefronts as a result of an in-game joke criticizing China’s president. While it’s still not available on most storefronts, it can be purchased on Red Candle Games’ official website. Devotion unfolds in a small apartment in 1980s Taiwan, using the otherwise mundane setting to tell the story of a family torn apart by marriage and career problems, and the struggles of raising a chronically sick child. Its gameplay is simple enough that anyone interested can give it a go – you’ll be collecting clues and items to solve puzzles – but the game uses its simplicity to keep the focus on the reason you’re playing Devotion: the horror. Devotion uses psychological scares to keep players on their feet, making them question if that hallway looked like that earlier or if you’re just losing your grasp on reality. Red Candle Games’ excellent sound design elevates the already fantastic horror experience to a new level, too, as every creak in the floor or whine from the window hinge will have you shaking in your seat. Devotion is downright scary, but it’s also a fantastic exploration into the family at the heart of this story. How does trauma breed new traumas? How does stress color the daily activities of life? These questions and more are answered as you barrel toward the game’s ending that successfully finishes before it can lose steam, a rarity in the genre. Simply put, if horror is your thing, play Devotion. | Our Review

most haunted games

When you ask someone what their favorite classic horror movie is, there’s a good chance it’s either The Exorcist or something like it, or Alien . If the latter is your answer, Returnal is a game for you. While it probably wouldn’t be described as horror first and foremost – its action-heavy third-person shooter gameplay sits front and center – a couple of hours with it reveals that it’s deeply rooted in the sci-fi horror that makes Alien scary over 40 years later. Returnal is about an astronaut stuck in a time loop. She crashed into an alien planet with nothing but a pistol on her person, and she must fight through hordes of hostile alien creatures and bosses to progress further and further. If you die, the loop begins all over, with little if any items carrying over from your previous run. Your one goal is to figure out what’s happening, and you do that by inching further and further toward the game’s thought-provoking ending. Returnal’s gameplay is excellent, but the horrors of the alien planet, the exotic yet dreadful atmosphere, and the mysteries contained within a reappearing and deceptively mundane house will keep you saying, “just one more try.” Don’t expect jump scares, demons, ghosts, or straightforward storytelling, but much in the same way that Alien thrives on keeping Ripley as close to death as possible at virtually all times, Returnal stresses how lucky you are to be alive, with just a pinch of health left, after every encounter. | Our Review

What games on this list do you enjoy? What games would you add that aren't currently listed? Let us know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other recent genre lists: 

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21 Horror Games to Play This Spooky Season

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The approach of Halloween is getting us all in the mood for something spooky, and there’s no better way to feel the fright than with horror video games. By immersing you in the action and putting you in charge of your own fate, horror games are often scarier than even the most intense horror movies.

Of course, even the horror-averse might want to dip a toe into the world of interactive scares this October. With those scaredy-cats in mind, we’re rounding up games that fall everywhere on the spooky spectrum, from those that are simply horror-adjacent to games that might actually cause you to literally die, Ringu -style.

We also made sure to include a diverse mix of games, spanning contemporary and classic, solo and multiplayer, competitive and cooperative, and more. So no matter what kind of scares you want to get into this October, there’s a horror game waiting for you.

Slightly Spooky

Vampire survivors (2021; mac, pc).

Play if you want: Addictive action gameplay that isn’t actually scary.

Vampire Survivors isn’t exactly a horror game, despite the name. But its gothic aesthetic and endless hordes of monsters make it a good choice for Halloween gaming. Your character attacks automatically; all you have to do is aim and survive as long as possible, which makes this game friendly even for the most casual gamers.

Doki Doki Literature Club (2017; Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X)

Play if you want: A Japanese-style interactive novel with surreal elements.

At first glance, Doki Doki Literature Club appears to be a typical Japanese-style “visual novel” in which you do high-school stuff like attend class and woo girls — a popular genre in its own right, but why is it on a horror list? The game, developed by a team led by American designer Dan Salvato, eventually devolves into full-on psychological horror. To say more would risk spoiling the experience, so we’ll leave it at that.

Metroid Dread (2021; Switch)

Play if you want: A polished Nintendo game with light horror atmosphere.

Metroid is one of the oldest and most beloved series in gaming. It’s always been tinged with horror, as you guide space bounty hunter Samus Aran around derelict spaceships and hostile alien environments until she’s powerful enough to escape. The latest entry, 2021’s Metroid Dread , lives up to its name, which producer Yoshio Sakamoto told GameSpot was inspired by the emotions he wanted the game to center on: fear and dread. It’s a must-play for Nintendo Switch owners.

Dead by Daylight (2016; Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X)

Play if you want: Slasher-inspired multiplayer fun.

Dead by Daylight is something known as an “asymmetrical” multiplayer game, because the teams are uneven. Four players control normal individuals simply trying to survive, while a fifth takes the role of a powerful Killer who stalks the survivors and tries to do what killers do. The game features a wide range of licensed characters, from Freddy Krueger and Leatherface to the Demogorgon from Netflix’s Stranger Things .

Bloodborne (2015; PlayStation 4)

Play if you want: Dark Souls , but with werewolves and Lovecraftian horror.

Elden Ring broke through to the mainstream this year, but it was just the latest in a long line of challenging, immersive “Souls” games by Japanese developer FromSoftware. That line includes Bloodborne , the 2015 PlayStation exclusive set in a world of H.P. Lovecraft–inspired cosmic mythology and gothic horror. Fans have been waiting years for a remaster on modern platforms, but failing that, the original still holds up well — as long as you don’t mind a challenge.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009; Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: To revisit the classic horror-comedy franchise in game form.

Who you gonna call if the most recent Ghostbusters films have just not scratched that ectoplasm itch the way you hoped they would? Try Ghostbusters: The Video Game , which is essentially a direct sequel to the original Ghostbusters 2 . Set in 1991, the game casts you as a new Ghostbusters recruit and features the voices and likenesses of the original cast. The remastered version available on modern consoles is well worth a trip down memory lane.

Oxenfree (2016; Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: Narrative-focused YA-style horror.

Oxenfree casts you as a teenage girl named Alex and sets you loose to explore an island where seemingly supernatural events are taking place. Its Stranger Things vibe gives it wide appeal, and its visuals, music, and writing are all top-notch. Best of all, its developer, Night School Studio, was purchased by Netflix, so Oxenfree is available to play for free from the Netflix app on your phone.

Formidably Fearsome

Limbo (2010; android, ios, nintendo switch, pc, playstation 4, xbox one).

Play if you want: Old-school gameplay with modern ambience.

Horror games often play in the first-person perspective, as the intimacy of being inside a character’s head can create plenty of chilling moments. Limbo is the rare old-school horror game that plays more like Mario , with the character moving from left to right on a 2-D plane. That doesn’t quell its spookiness, though. The black-and-white puzzle game and its spiritual successor, Inside , are cult favorites; just think twice before you start it up if you have a fear of giant spiders.

The Quarry (2022; PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X)

Play if you want: A cinematic horror experience that’s more like an interactive movie.

The Quarry has a traditional horror setup: Teenage summer-camp counselors have to survive a night filled with supernatural attackers. Its gameplay is anything but traditional, though, as you spend most of your time as the player simply making choices that impact the story. Any of the characters might live or die by the end, depending what you do. Developer Supermassive Games’ previous entry, Until Dawn , is also highly recommended.

Soma (2015; PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: Sci-fi horror with an emphasis on story.

From the developer of the beloved Amnesia series, Soma casts you as a hapless explorer on a decrepit underwater research facility run by an artificial intelligence. The story is intriguing and the setting is uniquely atmospheric.

Phasmaphobia (2020; PC)

Play if you want: Goofy co-op horror with friends.

Phasmaphobia takes all the goofy fun of a ghost-hunting show and puts the supernatural investigation in the hands of you and your friends. Missions set in haunted houses, prisons, campgrounds, and more task you and your team with using ghost-hunting tools like night-vision cameras, ouija boards, EMF meters, and UV flashlights to identify what kind of phantasm is haunting the area. It’s hilariously janky, but undeniably fun.

The Evil Within (2014; PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: More Resident Evil.

The Evil Within and its sequel are largely traditional survival-horror games created by Resident Evil series creator Shinji Mikami. It’s like a greatest hits of video-game horror: It has everything you want, from nightmarish environments to fight-or-flight gameplay, all in a polished package. Both games are worth playing, but start with the original.

The Forest (2018; PC, PlayStation 4)

Play if you want: Open-ended survival-horror.

Unlike many of the other survival-horror games on this list, The Forest is relatively open-ended. You play as a man looking for his son on a remote peninsula, and the environment is yours to explore. You scavenge and craft to survive while dodging the local cannibal population. It’s atmospheric and spooky, plus you can play by yourself or with friends.

Devotion (2019; Mac, PC)

Play if you want: Psychological Taiwanese horror.

Devotion is an atmospheric adventure game in which you explore an apartment complex while learning about the lives of a family who lived there. The game was the subject of controversy on its release in 2019 and was quickly removed from digital shelves due to a number of elements that were interpreted as being critical of the Chinese government. Eventually, developer Red Candle Games self-published Devotion online, where it’s available now.

Totally Terrifying

The mortuary assistant (2022; pc).

Play if you want: To be equally disgusted and terrified.

The Mortuary Assistant puts you in a totally unique role as an actual mortician, tasking you with performing embalmments and other skin-crawling duties. Of course, the horror doesn’t stop there, as River Fields Mortuary may or may not be haunted by a demon. The Mortuary Assistant is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a must-play for horror enthusiasts.

Five Nights at Freddy’s (2014; Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: Animatronic scares in an easily digestible format.

The game that spawned a moderate-size media empire is well worth a play still, even eight years after its original release and dozens of sequels and spinoffs later. You play as a night-shift employee at a Chuck E. Cheese–style amusement restaurant where the animatronic animals have come to life and developed murderous tendencies.

Resident Evil 7 (2017; Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play it if you want: Traditional single-player survival-horror gameplay with some serious scares.

The seventh Resident Evil game is, paradoxically, the perfect starting point for the legendary gaming franchise. You can jump straight into its kidnapped-by-cannibals story without any prior knowledge of the series’ zombie-apocalypse-sci-fi lore , and enjoy exploring an extremely scary house and its surrounding estate. The fun continues in the more recent Resident Evil Village , which concerns a coven of dominatrix-y vampires .

Play if you want: Hard-core co-op that will test the skills of you and three friends.

There are tons of cooperative multiplayer shooters that let you team up with friends to take down hordes of enemies. But GTFO stands out for its sheer, terrifying difficulty. You explore an underground complex with limited resources and try not to wake up too many enemies at a time, while always preparing for the worst. Because the worst will definitely happen.

Alien Isolation (2014; Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: Authentic horror set in the classic Alien movie universe.

Alien fans need look no further than Alien: Isolation . You play as Ripley and sneak around a space station while avoiding an unkillable Xenomorph alien, as well as other enemies. The creature stalks you intelligently, and this game pushes horror-stealth to its limits. There’s even an iOS version for those who like gaming on the go.

Outlast (2013; Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

Play if you want: To sneak around a psychiatric hospital while managing your camcorder’s battery life.

Starting with Amnesia: The Dark Descent , some horror-game developers in the 2010s decided to do away with combat entirely. What’s scarier than being totally unable to fight back? Outlast is one of the most fucked-up entries in this subgenre. You sneak around the Mount Massive Asylum while managing the battery life in your camcorder, your only source of light. The game got an expansion and a sequel, and a third entry is due out soon.

Dead Space (2008; PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Play if you want: Gory survival-horror with a sci-fi twist.

Dead Space is one of the best survival-horror games ever made. You’re cast as a space explorer on a mining ship infested with horrifying, mutilated monsters, armed with industrial weapons that can dismember them limb from limb. The game was so successful that its developer, EA Redwood Shores, was rebranded Visceral Games and set to work on sequels. The original has never been surpassed, though.

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15 best horror games to play in 2023, ranked


Horror games are not hard to find, but the best horror games can be elusive. There are so many games that promise a good scare, yet so few deliver, and sometimes when they do, it’s not very good. So we’ve brought together the 15 best horror games to play in 2023 so that you can find your next scare easily.

Top horror games, ranked

15 – dredge (2023).

Dredge How To Complete The A Place To Rest Pursuit Starting Quest

Dredge is a horror game that explores psychological horror and deep-seated fears. What makes the game scary is it borrows a lot from HP Lovecraft, who is a master at creating scary worlds and giving the reader a sense of existential dread. The story is thought-provoking, and it takes a unique approach to fear, focusing on the unknown parts of the human psyche. It’s worth trying and is an indie game, so it won’t cost you much.

14 – Sons of the Forest (2023)

How To Make A Rope (suspension) Bridge In Sons Of The Forest Featured Image(1)

Another indie game on the list, Sons of the Forest is a survival horror game set in a mysterious, supernatural forest. The game has cannibals, a four-armed mystery woman, and a companion who seems to want to break everything you make. It’s scary at first and will make you really think about what you’re doing. It has an eerie atmosphere, horrifying creatures, and the constant need for resource management.

It’s a lot of fun with friends, and while I didn’t really enjoy it because of the storyline, I think it’s a game worth trying.

13 – Little Nightmares (2017)

Litte Nightmares Player Under Bed Not Looking At Hands Reaching

If you’ve never played Little Nightmares yet, you are missing out. It’s a 2.5D side-scrolling survival horror game that follows Six, a young girl who is trapped in the Maw, a mysterious ship full of grotesque creatures. Six has to explore the Maw and find a way to escape while avoiding the creatures that hunt her.

The game’s environments are dark and menacing, and the enemies are truly horrifying. What made it scary for me was that you have to do puzzles while going through this creepy world, and it’s like the idea that you might be killed adds to the thrill and difficulty.

12 – Dead by Daylight (2016)

Dead By Daylight Those Things That Help The Killer That Players Need To Destroy

Dead by Daylight isn’t for everyone, and it’s only as scary as the killer decides to be. You will definitely feel your heart pounding and will want the killer to leave you alone if they do their jobs right. It’s a multiplayer game where four players are survivors trying to escape an area by powering generators, while a fifth player is a killer.

When it’s done right, it’s great, but some players cheese the game to make it unfair, which can make you want to quit. Either way, it’s worth playing with a group of friends because you’re going to have more fun than not.

11 – Until Dawn (2015)

Until Dawn Characters Playing With A Bad Board

Until Dawn is a cinematic survival horror game that follows a group of teenagers who are trapped in a cabin in the woods. This is like TellTale but better, and you make sure the teenagers work together to survive the night while being hunted by a mysterious killer.

Related: 15 Best PC Games To Play in 2023

Your choices matter, and if you mess up or make bad ones, you can very well end up with a bunch of dead teenagers. You’re constantly on edge but the story is really good, so I love it.

10 – The Quarry (2022)

The Quarry Brenda Song With Other People

Yeah, I like The Quarry more than I liked Until Dawn, it’s true. It might be because I had a crush on Brenda Song during the   Suite Life of Zack and Cody   days, but this one is better. The Quarry is a spiritual successor to Until Dawn and features many of the same elements. A group of teenagers are trapped in a remote location and being hunted by a mysterious killer. The game plays like a TellTale experience and has a bunch of consequences for your actions throughout.

Like Until Dawn, the Quarry has a lot of gore and gives you difficult decisions that will normally lead to the death of characters. There are jump scares here, but not overdone.

9 – Phasmophobia (2020)

Phasmaphobia Recording A Tent Where Ghosts Maybe Are

Play Phasmophobia if you haven’t. What are you doing not playing the game? This is a cooperative horror game where you have to investigate haunted locations as paranormal investigators. The environment and the scare tactics change every game. The ghosts are genuinely terrifying and playing with friends makes it a ton more fun. You legitimately feel like a paranormal investigator, but you also feel so unsafe by the end of each session.

8 – Alan Wake Remastered (2021)

Alan Wake Remastered Flashlight Scared Guy

Alan Wake is a psychological horror game about a writer who is struggling to write his next novel. He and his wife go on a vacation to a small town in Washington, but she goes missing shortly after they arrive. It’s then up to Alan to explore the town and unravel the mysteries behind his wife’s disappearance.

It’s a very good horror game and a lot of people like it. It’s not my cup of tea, as I don’t like horror games that give me this much to do. However, it’s got a big fanbase that is itching for more games, so it’s worth trying.

7 – The Evil Within (2014)

The Evil Within Player Crawling Away From Enemy

I couldn’t finish The Evil Within because I was too scared. I was so scared that I just turned off the TV and didn’t turn the console off until later — that’s how scary this game was to me. Evil Within is a third-person survival horror game that follows Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who is investigating the Beacon Mental Hospital.

Sebastian is knocked unconscious and wakes up in a nightmarish version of the hospital. You have to explore the hospital and survive the area while you look around. There are puzzles, traps, and things that will make you reach for the remote to turn the TV off.

Related: 14 Best Bethesda Games

6 – Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

Amenesia The Dark Descent Player With Lantern Pointing At Pigs Big Lifted

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the game that made PewDiePie popular. It’s an older first-person survival horror game where the player takes over Daniel, a man who wakes up with amnesia (I said the thing!). You have to explore a castle and dungeons to piece together your memories while avoiding the monsters that are trying to kill you.

The game is well-known to be scary and to have great puzzles. What makes it even better is the story that you piece together during it. It’s definitely worth playing through if you never have because the way they tell you the story is ironically unforgettable.

5 – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

Resident Evil Biohazard The Family Of Scary People

Resident Evil 7 is a first-person survival horror game that follows Ethan Winters as he searches for his missing wife, Mia, in a plantation house inhabited by the Baker family. This game was seen as the return to form for Resident Evil. I played the two before, and I wasn’t impressed. This is Resident Evil how you remember it, a terrifying adventure, not an action zombie game.

What makes Resident Evil 7 scary is its atmosphere and its use of first-person perspective. The game’s environments are claustrophobic and oppressive, and the player feels constantly vulnerable. Also, there is a lot of subversion, as the game reminds you that you are not safe when you believe you are.

4 – Resident Evil Village (2021)

Resident Evil Village Scary Monster Guy

Resident Evil Village is a first-person survival horror game that follows Ethan Winters as he searches for his daughter, Rose, in a village that is inhabited by strange creatures. The game features a variety of horror elements, including jump scares, gore, and disturbing imagery.

Related: 15 scariest Fortnite skins

What makes Resident Evil Village scary is its atmosphere and its use of enemies. The game’s environments are dark and atmospheric, and the enemies are truly terrifying. The game also features a variety of boss fights, which are challenging and suspenseful.

3 – Alien: Isolation (2014)

Alien Isolation Hungry Alien

Alien: Isolation is one of the older games on this list, but it’s still unmatched in how it works. You play as Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley from the Alien films, as she explores a space station that is being hunted by a Xenomorph. A lot of the elements are the same as the movies, these aliens are killers and you are not. However, it uses AI in a way that no game can match.

The Xenomorph is a truly terrifying creature, constantly stalking the player throughout the game. It adapts to your behavior and actions, and you can’t hide in the same place twice because it will remember how you got past it. The game also gets easier and harder depending on how well you play.

2 – Dead Space (2008)

Dead Space One Of The Abominations In Front Of Player

Dead Space is a well-known name in the horror game genre and my first experience was in a demo that came with Mass Effect 2 on PS3. Dead Space is a third-person survival horror game that follows Isaac Clarke, an engineer who is sent to investigate a mining ship that has gone silent. The ship is infested with Necromorphs, which are mutated human corpses that attack Isaac. They also can’t be killed by conventional means.

So you have to aim well, think ahead, and kill abominations while you can. It’s incredibly dangerous and you don’t even get to pause to work on your inventory. The story is also really top-tier.

1 – Resident Evil 4 (2005)

Resident Evil 4 Golden Knight Merciless Knight Complete

Yes, we all have our personal choices, and Resident Evil 4 is mine. I know how the game ends despite never finishing it myself because it’s too scary. The game makes such good use of needing to ration your bullets and paired with the difficult aiming, makes it too good. It’s like it wants you to mess up, and you can still find people playing the game today. It’s totally worth trying, and the story is really cool. Leon S. Kennedy has to fight through a remote village to save the president’s daughter. He’ll need to bring her back home and try and survive. It’s really good.

If you like lists like these, check out more  features  at PC Invasion.


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Den of Geek

15 Most Disturbing Horror Games Ever

Some are gross and others will simply make you grapple with the futility of your existence, but these are the most disturbing horror games ever made.

most haunted games

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Most Disturbing Horror Games

We all know what makes a video game scary. Some games may scare us more than others, but the canon of the absolute scariest games ever made is gradually becoming more established . However, what makes a title one of the most disturbing horror games ever made?

There’s no one thing that makes a horror game truly disturbing. Some are so gory that you begin to wonder if you can physically endure them for much longer. Others get under your skin in ways that may not be immediately apparent until you find yourself having nightmares about them. The one thing all disturbing horror games share is the way they make you want to escape them at any cost. Of course, the best such games keep you hooked long after you know you should go.

Before we dive into this list, here are a few rules and pieces of selection criteria to consider:

  • This is a list of disturbing horror games rather than disturbing games. The line between those types of games can be fine, but the basic idea is that this list doesn’t include otherwise non-scary games with disturbing moments.
  • This list does not include poorly designed games that are only meant to offer cheap shock value. In other words, games that let you simulate tragic historical events or “barely there” browser titles generally weren’t eligible for this list.
  • Finally, I tried to avoid major spoilers when possible. However, I would warn anyone who may be bothered by generally disturbing material to please look into some of these games a little bit before diving into them. Many of these games feature some incredibly troubling themes and content.

With that out of the way, prepare yourself for the most disturbing horror games ever made.

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most haunted games

15. Silent Hill 4 : The Room

While pretty much any of the Silent Hill games could have made this list (it’s kind of a messed-up franchise, in case you didn’t know), I think Silent Hill 4 is most deserving of this spot. It’s not the best Silent Hill (or even my favorite Silent Hill ), but it is the most deeply disturbing entry in the franchise. 

The thing that elevates this game above its companions so far as this topic goes is the “apartment” element of the story. The feeling of being locked in a room where your only escape is a portal to a truly terrifying world filled with unfathomable horrors was always disturbing. In these post-lockdown times, though, there’s something even more troubling about that basic concept. 

Rule of Rose

14. Rule of Rose

Rule of Ros e has always been a controversial game. Actually, this PS2 survival horror game was banned in the UK at the time of its 2006 release, and it was almost banned in several other countries as well. While some of those bans can be attributed to a lie-fuelled moral panic designed to score political points among “moralists,” there’s no denying that Rule of Rose is a deeply disturbing game. 

The very concept of a survival horror title starring such a young playable protagonist is troubling enough. What really puts this one over-the-top, though is its commitment to making young Jennifer endure some of the most indescribable horrors you’ve ever seen in such a title. Rule of Rose falls somewhere between a Silent Hill game and one of those old gothic fairy tales where the kids are most certainly not alright. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a child battle the manifestations of their elaborate nightmares while their only companion (a loveable dog) is constantly in danger, this is the game for you. 

most haunted games

13. Growing My Grandpa!

While there are quite a few indie horror titles that exist largely for shock value, I find Growing My Grandpa! to not only be one of the most troubling horror games on Steam but one of the most genuinely fascinating as well. 

Growing My Grandpa! is basically a Digimon game by way of David Cronenberg. It follows a child named Adrienne who discovers that…something is growing in the basement of their home. Adrienne soon takes it upon herself to help the thing survive, which leads to an almost indescribable adventure filled with disturbing virtual pet mechanics, meditations on depression, and a few wild plot twists. This game is certainly gross, but like the best examples of body horror, there are some truly fascinating bits of social commentary hidden beneath this game’s icky exterior. 

The Suffering game

12. The Suffering

I’ve sung the praises of The Suffering before, and I’ll gladly do it again whenever possible. After all, The Suffering is a very rare entry into the “third-person horror shooter” genre. However, there are times when I think that this title’s more action-heavy gameplay makes it a little too easy to forget how disturbing it really is. 

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The Suffering is perhaps best thought of as Crime and Punishment meets The Shining . While any game set in the most nightmarish prison imaginable is obviously not going to be a good time, The Suffering goes a step further by forcing you to deal with the possibility that you may be the worst monster in that suddenly supernatural structure. There are images in this game you’ll never be able to forget, but it’s the slightly more subtle elements of the story that really burrow into your brain.

The Cat Lady

11. The Cat Lady

I could see some arguing that The Cat Lady isn’t a “horror” game in the most traditional sense of the idea, but I truly believe it qualifies for the purposes of this list. Besides, few will argue that this game is anything less than seriously troubling, regardless of which genre they ultimately put it in. 

The Cat Lady tells the story of a lonely middle age woman who is days (perhaps hours?) from committing suicide. However, her plans are upset by a strange set of circumstances involving a few mysterious strangers. Any game that deals with suicide as openly and often as this adventure title does will always be disturbing, but that’s just the beginning of what this game has in store. Much like those nuclear panic movies from the ‘80s, this game is designed to showcase some of the worst scenarios you can possibly imagine. This is not an easy game to process by any means, though there is a kind of twisted beauty to the whole thing that makes this so much more than misery porn. 

most haunted games

10. Phantasmagoria

While there were very few “good” FMV games released during the ‘90s, most of the titles in that bizarre genre are memorable for reasons other than their quality. Phantasmagoria is one such title. 

This FMV adventure game begins with a young couple moving into a potentially haunted house. That familiar premise (relatively speaking) soon gives way to what can only be described as a trip through the torture porn hall of fame. This game’s most violent moments were clearly designed to make you feel ill. They often achieve that goal. Much like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre , though, those already disturbing images and ideas are strangely made worse by the decidedly low-budget nature of the presentation.

Harvester game

9. Harvester

At first, I felt kind of bad about including two gory FMV games from the ‘90s on this list. Ultimately, though, it was hard to part with either of those twisted, ugly journies that leave you feeling like you just played through a snuff film. 

Harvester opens with a man waking up in a small town he’s never heard of with no idea of how he got there. The almost Pleasantville -like quaint nature of the town soon unravels as our hero gradually begins to understand the nature of his situation. Harvester includes a scene in which smiling children eat their dying mother, and that’s not even the worst thing it will force you to witness. The whole game is definitely a bit corny (I said it’s a ’90s FMV title), but bad writing and bad acting won’t erase the images it forces into your brain. 

most haunted games

I know I just used that “snuff film” comparison an entry ago, but it’s kind of hard to talk about Manhunt and not bring that idea up again. After all, the premise of this game revolves around the idea of entertaining a twisted “director” who isn’t satisfied with the murders you commit unless they’re as violent as possible. 

As I’ve previously discussed , Manhunt really is the rare game that forces you to question how much you crave violence in a video game. It’s hard to get over the realization that your own pursuit of increasingly violent murders is really about your own amusement rather than the necessity of the situation. Manhunt 2 is the more violent game of the pair, but I have to give credit to the original in this instance. 

The Mortuary Assistant

7. The Mortuary Assistant

The newest game on this list, The Mortuary Assistant recently got a lot of attention from those YouTubers and streamers that love to overreact to scary games. However, I have to say that I not only find this game to be genuinely terrifying but deeply disturbing as well. 

The Mortuary Assistant stars a…well, a mortuary assistant who is called into work late one night under mysterious circumstances. The game’s Five Nights at Freddy ’s set-up leads to the usual jump scares, but this title has so much more up its sleeve than a few cheap thrills. Indeed, some of the most troubling things in this game are those more quiet moments when you’re able to manipulate corpses in ways that don’t always respect the dead. This game leans into the inherently disturbing nature of its subject matter in ways that will likely shock you. 

most haunted games

While certainly one of the more popular games on this list, don’t let Outlast ’s bigger budget and better presentation values give you the wrong impression. This is easily one of the most disturbing horror games ever made. 

Outlast (and its exceptional DLC) throws you into just about the worst scenario imaginable with no real way to defend yourself. Even worse, you kind of have to stare directly at the things that frighten you most in order to ensure that they can’t see you. That’s scary, but what really makes this one special are the ways this game goes out of its way to show you the troubling consequences of getting caught. It’s one thing for something to catch you and end your game. It’s another thing for that thing to catch you and mutilate you.

Doki Doki Literature Club

5. Doki Doki Literature Club

Doki Doki Literature Club has been on a pretty weird cultural journey. In 2017, this “game” (it’s closer to a visual novel) came out of nowhere en route to earning its cult classic status. In recent years, the growing familiarity with this title’s true nature has led some to wonder whether or not it’s really that disturbing. 

Even after you realize that this game is most certainly not what it seems, though, Doki Doki Literature Club can still find ways to shock you. The only things more disturbing than this game’s overt horror elements are the very real tragedies that trigger this title’s legendary genre shift. This is the kind of game that forces you to buckle in and go for a ride that you are likely not prepared for.

most haunted games

4. Detention

Detention is really that kind of game that forces you to draw a line between “scary” and “disturbing.” Parts of Detention are certainly scary in the traditional sense, but this isn’t really the kind of game you play when you want a good jump scare. Instead, Detention is the kind of game you play when you want to test the limits of your ability to process some heavy and unnerving material. 

Set primarily in a Taiwanese school that is about to be rocked by a typhoon, Detention deals with horrors both universal and more specific to the culture it portrays. A s the game goes on, we gradually learn the more overt supernatural horrors this game initially presents are really just a gateway to the even more disturbing personal problems and historical atrocities that form the heart of this title’s narrative. This isn’t always the most enjoyable game, but it is a work of art. 

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3. Sanitarium

There are actually very few horror games that utilize an isometric perspective, and I think Sanitarium shows us why. It’s incredibly hard to scare players in that “jump” kind of way when you allow them to see so much of the areas around them. Truth be told, this game isn’t even that scary. As noted above, though, the difference between “scary” and “disturbing” is sometimes an important distinction to make. 

While many games play with the idea of making you question your sanity by forcing you to separate the real from the unreal, Sanitarium arguably gets the most mileage out of that concept. There are points in this game when you’ll really start to question which (if any) of the game’s worlds you’re really in. This game is just a masterpiece of surrealist storytelling that grabs you with its incredible premise and striking style before making you question how far down the rabbit hole you’ve fallen. 

Agony game

2. Agony 

Despite riding a pretty sizeable wave of hype for such a small game, Agony turned out to be a pretty disappointing overall experience. However, I’ve yet to meet a person who has played this 2018 title and doesn’t consider it one of the most disturbing games ever made. 

Agony is all about a lost soul trying to survive a journey through Hell. While a trip through Hell is never a good time (and this title’s atrocious gameplay doesn’t help the experience), this game’s vision of Hell is one of the most disturbing that I’ve seen in any medium. Even if you brush aside this game’s stunning amount of unbelievably gory scenes (which is not an easy task), you’re left with its almost Hellraiser 2 -like vision of a labyrinthian version of the underworld. This one is really quite the endurance test. 

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

1. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

The name of this game (a title it shares with the Harlan Ellison story it’s based on) should give you an idea of what kind of experience it offers. Then again, nothing can really prepare you for what this 1996 adventure game expects you to suffer through. 

Many games on this list are designed to disturb you through a nearly constant onslaught of troubling images and ideas. The thing that makes this game so special is its variety of disturbing images and ideas. Just when you think you’ve acclimated yourself to this game’s scares, it forces you to go through some entirely different (but equally troubling) scenario. Torture, psychological horror, surreal imagery…nothing is off the table in this game that often refuses to offer even the slightest hint of hope. 

Despite being the kind of game that forces you to slowly wade through the personal hells of some cruel characters, I actually highly recommend this title. It’s genuinely clever and endlessly creative. Just know what you’re getting into. 

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd | @SilverTuna014

Matthew Byrd is Games Editor at Den of Geek and an entertainment enthusiast living in Brooklyn. When he's not exploring the culture of video games, he's…

The best horror games to play in 2024

From founding fathers of horror to underrated gems, here are some of the best horror games to sink your teeth into.

Update: There's no shortage of the brilliant horror games out there, so we've gone ahead and updated this list with additional entries so that you've more choice of which horror game to try and tackle next. We've also added some suggestions from commenters, and updated our list of honourable mentions.

2023 has been a great year for horror fans, so if you’re looking to scare yourself silly with some of the best horror games of all time, then you’re in the right place. Halloween has been and gone, but it's always an appropriate time to get cosy and play something spine-tingling. Whether you’re looking to lose sleep for fear of what lurks in the shadows, or you simply want some fear-fuelled laughs, there are an abundance of tremendously terrifying video games out there to try.

Resident Evil is one of the first games I remember, and the countless late nights I had binging horror movies with my dad have granted me an affectionate affinity towards horror as a genre. I’ve also realised that I don’t particularly like being scared, but I do really admire how horror games can make you feel so much at once when they’re done right. I also think monsters and aliens are kinda cool – and that's why horror games, in particular, rule: they can combine all of the above in an interactive, entertaining way.

With that in mind, here’s our list of some of the best horror games of all time (in no particular order) that you can still play today, ranging from recent award winners to some more off the radar titles.

  • Resident Evil

Silent Hill series

Murder house, dead by daylight, phasmophobia, alien isolation, the outlast series, amnesia: the dark descent, eternal darkness: sanity's requiem, fatal frame 2: crimson butterfly, little nightmares, alan wake remastered.

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Layers of Fear (2023)

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  • Honourable Mentions

Resident Evil 1, 2, and 7

Resident Evil 1 Remake

  • Released: 2015
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Capcom

Resident Evil 2 Remake

  • Released: 2019
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Resident Evil 7

  • Released: 2017

KR: I can’t choose a single Resident Evil game for this list, so I’m going to make mention of a few for different reasons.

Both Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 are horror heroes to this day, and the remakes of each certainly helped immortalise and amplify the outstanding architecture and endless gore they possess, while still remaining faithful to the original games. The original Resident Evil game, and its successor, are arguably some of the founding fathers of the survival horror genre as we know it today.

most haunted games

The third contender that I must make mention to is Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. I can’t begin to describe the relief I felt when I made my way through Biohazard for the first time . Having moved away from the less-than-impressive Resident Evil 5 and 6, Biohazard feels fresh, and is absolutely terrifying.

With Resident Evil 7, Capcom basically said, ‘You want horror? Here’s horror.’ and sent Ethan, a new character, on an adventure that feels eerily like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Shining. It’s a chilling experience from start to finish, especially with Jack and his family on your tail. And it sets you up perfectly for Resident Evil Village – if you want to graduate from horror to action in one quick step. That said, Resident Evil Village is still scary, but its Shadows of Rose DLC really amps up the horror.

While not explicitly on this list, Resident Evil 4 Remake is also a good shout for some more action-fuelled horror fun. Definitely a tad darker than the original 2005 title, it's well worth picking up if you're a fan of Resi.

Silent Hill

  • Released: 1999
  • Platforms: PS1, PS3, PC (Emulation)
  • Developer: Konami

Silent Hill 2

  • Released: 2001
  • Platforms: PS2, PC (Emulation)

KR: A classic brought to us by Keiichiro Toyama, Silent Hill (and its many sequels), will go down in history as some of the best horror games ever. Silent Hill intertwines physical and psychological hell; nothing is as it seems, and every character has plenty of personal demons to face in the desolate town.

most haunted games

The entire series hosts frightening enemies that you can only hope never appear in your nightmares. There’s the monstrous manifestation of Alessa’s fears, Double Head, in Silent Hill, the iconic Pyramid Head and Bubble Head Nurses of Silent Hill 2, and the horrifying Valtiel of Silent Hill 3, to name a few memorable encounters.

Most of the Silent Hill games offer great replayability too, if your mind can handle it. Each game has so much subtext, psychological analysis, and deeply embedded references to pop culture at the time that you’ll find yourself becoming a Silent Hill lore goblin sooner or later.

Better yet, there is also a remake of Silent Hill 2 in the works , so now is a better time than ever to revisit the original.

  • Released: 2022
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Rose-Engine

Signalis is a fresh horror game that takes inspiration from the classics on this list, primarily Silent Hill and Resident Evil. So much so, that despite visually being a very different game, it evokes some of the same feelings that those late nineties and early noughties horror games once did.

most haunted games

KR: Taking on the role of Elster, who's shuttle has crashed on a remote planet, you wake up with two goals in mind: finding your partner, and finding some answers as to what's going on. Sure enough, you're then thrown into claustrophic corridors packed with enemy units that feel like sci-fi Silent Hill nurses, and industrial noises that are reminiscent of Akira Yamaoka's scoring for the classic series.

Simply put, if you're a fan of Silent Hill, you'll be a fan of Signalis and all the puzzles and secrets there are for you to uncover.

  • Platforms: PC (via PSN), PS4
  • Developer: Supermassive Games

KR: Until Dawn is the spiritual predecessor to The Dark Pictures Anthology (which itself features other amazing horror titles such as Man of Medan, House of Ashes, and The Devil in Me). Each of these games, including Until Dawn, follows a strong narrative where you must make decisions that impact the outcome of the story and the characters you meet.

most haunted games

While the newer games mentioned build on the formula of Until Dawn, it’s the 2015 horror game that where it all began. Until Dawn takes the form of a teen slasher, a formula we’re all used to seeing in the likes of cult classic horror movies Friday the 13th and Halloween, and turns it into an interactive, story-based game where you try to keep curious teenagers safe from whatever creature is lurking in the surrounding mountains.

The narrative is familiar, but it encapsulates the classic slasher experience and makes you the director, as you try to keep alive as many characters as possible. Or you can purposefully ensure everything is killed off, you do you.

This title was recently in receipt of a spiritual sequel too. While I think Until Dawn is the better game, I explain a lot more in my review as to why The Quarry is still an absolute ball regardless.

  • Released: 2020
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Puppet Combo

KR: Murder House is an ode to the past created by one-man powerhouse developer (and publisher!), Puppet Combo. While Puppet Combo has a lot of horror games worthy of this list, it’s Murder House that has stuck with me for the longest.

most haunted games

As a news crew break into the abandoned home of a serial killer, you’re reminded of VHS eighties horror, and the crew land themselves in some trouble when it becomes apparent that they aren’t the only ones there. Can you make it out alive?

Inspired by the low-poly style of the PS1 era, specifically the likes of Silent Hill and Resident Evil, Murder House is a point-and-click horror escapade that feels incredibly gritty and inherently nineties. The villain also wears a bunny suit while wielding a shotel, which might even remind you of Silent Hill 3.

  • Released: 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Behaviour Interactive

KR: When it comes to multiplayer horror, we are rife with good options, but when it comes to asymmetrical multiplayer horror, we are rife with bad options more than anything else. Dead by Daylight , however, is one of the best asymmetrical multiplayer horror games we’ve seen in recent years. The formula isn’t new, but it’s arguably done a lot better in this game than it is in the Friday the 13th game adaptation.

most haunted games

Dead by Daylight pits four survivors against one killer - the killer more often than not being a familiar face from Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, or more recently, The Ring. Much of its content involves licensed collaborations with various horror franchises to bring as many beloved characters to the title as possible, and encountering classic horror villains and protagonists regularly is part of Dead by Daylight’s fun. Oh, and Nicolas Cage is one of the survivors, for some reason, but I'm not complaining.

This one provides plenty of jump scares, although it provides plenty more laughs when playing alongside friends. Dead by Daylight is one of the best ways for any fan of horror cinema to burn off steam. If you're a fan already, or plan on picking up the game, don't forget to check out our page of Dead by Daylight codes , too.

  • Platforms: PC
  • Developer: Kinetic Games

KR: Another win for multiplayer horror is Phasmophobia , and this ghost-hunting indie is still regularly having new features added. One day, we might even see it leave early access!

most haunted games

The game has you and your trusty team of paranormal investigators flock to various homes and places (including a prison and a campsite) to seek out what ghosts lurk there. The team here will be your friends (or a random lobby, or nobody, it’s up to you). As you scare yourselves senseless, you’ll find that Phasmophobia is a lot of fun when you’re not being subjected to blood-curdling screams of your scared friends.

Phasmophobia can also be played in VR, making the supernatural experience even more immersive. I’m too much of a scaredy-cat for Phasmophobia in VR personally; it’s hard enough staying alive as it is.

  • Released: 2014
  • Developer: Creative Assembly, Feral Interactive

KR: Alien Isolation is the 2014 sci-fi horror adapted from Ridley Scott’s iconic 1979 film, Alien. In the game, you find yourself in the claustrophobic environment of a trading station floating in space, with Xenomorph in pursuit of you. As Amanda, Ripley’s daughter, your mission is to not only stay alive, but to also try and find out what happened to your mother when she vanished 15 years ago.

most haunted games

If there’s any one way to do sci-fi horror, Alien Isolation did it, and they terrified us when they did. You find yourself entirely immersed in the universe of Alien, regularly running and hiding, so you don’t end up as prey in this stealth FPS.

Alien Isolation perfectly encapsulates the classic, Alien, and feels incredibly fresh as fear relies on ever-increasing tension, dread, and unscripted jump scares.

  • Released: 2013 (Outlast), 2023 (The Outlast Trials)
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Outlast) | PC (The Outlast Trials)
  • Developer: Red Barrels

KR: The Outlast series has its highs and lows, but fortunately, I’m here to tell you where those high points are. In 2013's Outlast, you are Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist. After receiving an anonymous tip-off that inhumane experiments are going down at Mount Massive Asylum, Miles takes himself to the psychiatric hospital to see what’s going on. Let me tell you, it isn’t pretty.

The front of the police station in The Outlast Trials

From there on out, it’s a terrifying experience from start to finish. It forces you to confront your fears head-on, and you’ll no doubt spend a lot of time simply fleeing homicidal enemies in fear. Its sequel, Outlast 2, doesn’t provide the same thrills, though, so I do recommend giving that one a miss.

If, however, you do enjoy Outlast, The Outlast Trials released in 2023, acting as a multiplayer prequel to the game. This prequel feels a little more action-oriented given its multiplayer format, but you’re placed into the shoes of one of Murkoff Corporation's many unfortunate pawns, forced to be a sleeper agent. It’s good fun, and a great experience after playing the first Outlast.

  • Released: 2010
  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Frictional Games

KR: I fondly remember my first laptop of my own, and downloading Amnesia: The Dark Descent onto it. The poor laptop fought for its life, but I managed to complete what I’d deem to be an absolute classic when it comes to horror games.

most haunted games

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a simple game, with another stereotypical start (you’re an amnesiac who awakes in a strange castle), but its legacy will forever live on. The game arguably kickstarted the careers of multiple YouTubers – one who is known for their fascination with the barrels of Amnesia – and inspired multiple games and budding creatives.

As for the game itself, it’s your job to try to flee from imminent danger if you wish to make it out alive. Regardless of its fame, Amnesia is a frightful experience that’ll leave you wanting, and if that’s the case when The Dark Descent comes to a close, there are dozens of custom, community-made stories to explore.

You want to know what's even better about this pick? Amnesia: Collection is now available on Xbox Game Pass. The collection includes The Dark Descent and its Justine DLC, as well as Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Amnesia: Rebirth is also available on the pass, too! There's also the brand-new Amnesia: The Bunker which is well worth checking out.

  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS4, Xbox One

KR: SOMA comes from Frictional Games, who are, funnily enough, the same team that brought us Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Even more funnily enough, SOMA is also currently on Xbox Game Pass. The sci-fi horror is another classic that explores some of the same themes as Frictional’s prior game: identity, morality, and the differences between mind and body.

most haunted games

In SOMA, you play as Simon Jarrett. Simon has a brain injury from a car accident, and for some reason, agrees to take part in Mr. Munshi’s studies on back-pedalling brain damage. When Simon goes for a scan, he later wakes up in a very different reality. 80 years have passed, human life is nowhere to be found, and the machines have started to think that they’re human.

As Simon attempts to solve the troublesome mystery that he’s found himself a part of, a lot of questions are raised in this psychological horror, and you’ll often find yourself querying what it actually means to be human.

  • Released: 2008
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • Developer: Visceral Games (previously known as Redwood Shores)

KR: Another sci-fi horror, another disconcertingly quiet spaceship, another win for horror games. The one thing that I consistently see nailed in sci-fi horror is atmosphere and suspense-building, Dead Space is no different in this regard. Let's not neglect the remake of the original 2008 game, either, which brings the USG Ishimura up to date.

most haunted games

As Isaac Clarke, you’re searching for your missing girlfriend aboard a seemingly abandoned spaceship. However, you’re (obviously) not alone. Rather than fleeing and hiding from the sight of aliens, coined Necromorphs, Dead Space relies more heavily on combat, making it unique to that of other sci-fi horror games on this list.

Even with a bloodbath of alien dismemberment on your hands, the unnerving nature of Dead Space never falters. Dead Space 2 and 3 are also worthy of a mention, but these games did what Resident Evil 5 and 6 did; they moved away from horror, and leaned more into action elements.

There’s also good news if you haven’t played this yet. A Dead Space remake is on its way, and is expected to arrive in 2023 .

  • Released: 2002
  • Platforms: Nintendo GameCube, PC (Emulation)
  • Developer: Silicon Knights

KR: A sanity mechanic in a horror game wouldn’t be surprising nowadays, but back on the Gamecube, you could argue that it was game-changing (literally). Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was one of the first horror games to make the most of this, and it messes with players in the best way.

most haunted games

While the game, at the time, wasn’t all that successful, it has gone down in history for how unique its gameplay was, and the way in which it tried to psychologically mess with the player. Perhaps the best way in which Eternal Darkness messed with those fortunate enough to play it would be by making them think all of their save files had been deleted in a moment of madness - something that we’ve seen more recent horror games, such as Doki Doki Literature Club, employ since.

This meta-game tactic might not seem fresh right now, but rest assured, Eternal Darkness was the first game to really f**k with its players and make them think their sanity was slipping.

  • Released: 2003
  • Platforms: PC (Emulation), PS2, PS3, Xbox
  • Developer: Tecmo

KR: Developer Tecmo struck themselves with the fear after creating Fatal Frame. The fear being that players were not finishing their game because of how scary it was. To overcome this problem, Tecmo placed more of an emphasis on narrative when it came to Fatal Frame 2. By doing this, they could create a horror game so compelling that players would have no choice but to play it to completion.

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Needless to say, Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly was, and is, a success. Leaning into Japanese folklore, Crimson Butterfly is equal parts haunting and harrowing. You’re Mio, twin sister to Mayu, and you wield a camera as your weapon. In this supernatural horror, you must face your fears directly as you use photography as a means of dispelling spirits and ghouls across Minakami Village.

While focusing on survival isn’t exactly a unique goal across horror, Crimson Butterfly feels a lot more soul-stirring as you attempt to protect your sister first and foremost, and is a game that certainly sticks with you for a long time afterwards. If the game doesn't make you feel some kind of way, the snappy camera angles certainly will.

  • Developer: Tarsier Studios, Supermassive Games

KR: Little Nightmares (and Little Nightmares 2) are both games that truly encapsulate what it means to be a ‘cosy horror’. Both instalments are puzzling platformers with a simple gameplay loop, and through both narrative and design, they're incredibly charming and difficult to put down.

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In Little Nightmares, you are Six, and have somehow ended up in the strange, sinister world of Maw. Hungry, alone, and afraid, you must make your way through various levels and traverse the dark, eerie, and structurally bizarre world of Maw in an attempt to escape.

This title, and its sequel, are both relatively short and sweet. Even as you get accustomed to where danger lurks, Little Nightmares doesn’t become any less spine-tingling, and you’ll never be emotionally prepared for how it ends.

  • Released: 2021
  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment

KR: Alan Wake is a bit cheesy at the best of times, but in the same way that early Resident Evil was. Expect dialogue that is blatantly obvious, and some of the most typical horror tropes of all time, but don’t let it put you off; it’s kind of the whole point, and brings us back to what was a fantastic era for horror.

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Alan Wake places you into the shoes of the troubled author. What should be a relaxing trip turns into the frantic search for Wake’s missing wife, and things get supernatural and strange very quickly. This eerie fever dream of a game is fantastic, and the Remastered version packs in its two story expansions, so you’ve plenty of content to play through. Oh, and Alan Wake returns later this year in Alan Wake 2, too.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Team Salvato

KR: Honestly, the less that you know about Doki Doki Literature Club , the better. It might look like a romantic visual-novel on the surface, but Doki Doki Literature Club hides some pretty dark secrets. Not just a little bit dark, either. I mean, super dark.

Monika in Doki Doki Literature Club

You’ll start out life in DDLC by going to school, attending literature club, and writing poems for the girls you come to befriend. You’ll be able to choose a favourite, catering your poems to their taste and ultimately building a relationship with them, but you’ll want to be careful.

You really don’t know what consequences your actions might have in this one… and they’re best experienced for yourself in this psychological horror story.

  • Released: 2023
  • Developer: Bloober Team, Anshar Studios

KR: I was hesitant about mentioning Layers of Fear (2023) , because in my review of the remastered game , it turns out that I didn’t actually enjoy most of it. That said, the original Layers of Fear from 2016, which makes up the first act of the 2023 remake, is incredibly strong.

This particular horror game is what you’d call a walking-sim, packed with environmental storytelling and myriad corridors, designed to put you on edge and keep you like that for hours to come. It makes you uneasy, uncertain of reality, and has you piecing together the story slowly but surely. I’d even argue that this game is as close to the P.T. demo as you’re going to get in 2023.

Layers of Fear’s first story, The Artist, whisks you away into a beautiful mansion packed with a dark, troubling history. The never-ending nightmare that is The Artist’s story is a great, short experience I’d recommend to everyone, especially those with a keen interest in art!

That said, Layers of Fear’s sequel (which makes up the latter half of the remake, plus some new additions) is a let down. I definitely recommend picking up Layers of Fear (2016) if you can, but if you’re particularly curious about Bloober Team’s endeavours, the 2023 remake which combines both Layers of Fear and Layers of Fear 2 might be up your street.

KR: Role-playing as a mortuary assistant is pretty creepy as it is. I know someone has to do it, but still. The Mortuary Assistant throws you into a job embalming corpses, but in this particular mortuary, things are not as simple as they seem.

River Fields Mortuary is privy to some terrifying, supernatural forces. When you’re called into work late one night to handle some last-minute embalmings, this becomes all the more apparent. You no longer have to solely embalm bodies, but help banish demons, and hopefully, survive.

There’s quite an interesting story at play in The Mortuary Assistant, and this game is one that you might find yourself doing multiple playthroughs of…

  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Developer: Tango Gameworks

KR: The Evil Within comes from the wonderful mind of Shinji Mikami and the studio he founded, Tango Gameworks, who directed the original Resident Evil. He also produced Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and many more, so you know that you’re in safe hands with The Evil Within.

most haunted games

The Evil Within is survival horror at its finest. You’ll spend most of your time playing this game simply questioning what the f**k is going on, and that’s why it’s so great. The Evil Within does its very best to provide you with an immersive, deeply horrifying experience. What it lacks technically, it makes up for in atmosphere. It’s definitely a tad aged by now, but if you have a Resident Evil itch to scratch, and also fancy something a little more paranormal, give The Evil Within (and The Evil Within 2!) a whirl.

  • Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
  • Developer: Ebb Software

KR: Scorn is a strange game with little direction, and that’s what makes it such an entrancing horror experience. This survival horror game will see you prodding various fleshy crevices and placing your hands into many slimy holes in an alien world as you try to figure out what the hell you’re even doing.

most haunted games

I will warn you that Scorn is very confusing, and pretty tough. All storytelling in this game is done via the inextricably detailed environment, and that means you might find yourself running around in circles often (or delving into my walkthrough !). Don’t let this put you off, as this incredibly eerie experience in a world inspired by H. R. Giger is incredibly interesting to explore, and it’s troublesome puzzles are so satisfying to finally complete.

I will warn you, though, if you venture through Scorn and begin hoping for answers; stop. Scorn won’t give you any answers, and instead puts it on the player to determine their own meaning of the bizarre goings-on in this world. This definitely puts some players off, but if you have some time and patience for Scorn, it’s a unique horror experience that you won’t be forgetting about anytime soon.

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS
  • Developer: Square Enix

RJ: As is so often the case with visual novels, the less you know about Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo before you play it, the better. It's incredibly hard to talk about this game in anything but broad strokes without giving something vital away, so my best advice is: go play it, and it feels like slow going at first, make sure you stick with it until the thing happens. Trust me, you'll know.

A woman named Yoko stares in fear at the player, pointing at something behind them and screaming incoherently.

If you need more reasons than just my say-so, consider the beautifully realised setting in 1980s Sumida, a ward of Tokyo that gets a lot less love in fiction than some other, more iconic and bustling areas of the city. I love a bit of mundane horror, and this lower-middle-class manufacturing district is as ordinary as it gets, which makes the outbreak of deadly paranormal curses that much more unnerving.

I will also say that even though Paranormasight telegraphs its jump scares well enough that any experienced horror aficionado will see them coming, they still have the power to get you good. But it's the creeping dread you feel even in a pleasant city park in the middle of a sunny day that is Paranormasight's real horror achievement.

  • Released: 2015-present
  • Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
  • Developer: Rusty Lake

RJ: Many people love a good spookening but can't stand the thought of something chasing them or jumping out at them, even when they're behind the safety of a screen (fair). For those people — or indeed for anyone who loves a good puzzle game — I cannot recommend the Rusty Lake series highly enough. This complex family saga about the search for immortality is more than a bit Twin Peaks inspired, and while there's rarely any actual threat within the games themselves, it's basically guaranteed that you'll be deliciously creeped out at all times.

A living room scene showing a desk with a fishbowl and iron atop it; a bookshelf with books, a babushka doll, and cactus plant; a safe box; and a picture on the wall. The walls visible to either side have wallpaper similar to the iconic Shining carpet print.

It's impossible to pick just one Rusty Lake game to represent the entire series, since all 16 games and counting (soon to be 17, with the upcoming release of Underground Blossom) add some delicious crumbs to the overarching web of lore. And if the messy mixed metaphor or that mental image of crumbs in a web is in any way off-putting to you, you might not love the Rusty Lake series, which can often be quite gross and is always extremely surreal.

But if that's your bag, boy do I have good news for you! Despite how dense and intimidating the prospect of a 17-game series might sound, most if not all games in the Rusty Lake (formerly Cube Escape) titles can be completed in a single sitting, and many are available to play for free. Pick one up at random and you'll quickly figure out if these games are for you; and if they are, you've got a whole eerie treasure trove to uncover.

  • Released: 2017, 2020, 2022
  • Developer: Kaigan Games OÜ

RJ: I have a significant weakness for comedy-horror, and while it's debatable whether the Simulacra games are being intentionally funny all the time, there's no denying that there's a real streak of tongue-in-cheek humour throughout these found phone mystery games.

A mobile phone display against the background of a living room. The phone shows a text chain between the POV character and a woman called Ashley.

If you're unfamiliar with the found phone genre, it's exactly what it sounds like: the conceit is that you've come into possession of a stranger's lost phone, and in the process of figuring out how to track them down to return it to them, you begin to learn about that person's life. This can play out in a number of ways, and in the Simulacra series, as you've probably guessed based on their inclusion on this list, things very quickly take a turn for the uncanny.

While these games can certainly deliver a good spook, what I actually like about them the most is the surprising moments you don't often see juxtaposed with horror: you'll find texts that show a protagonist engaged in a genuinely sweet romance, say, or see that they've uploaded their hilariously own bad music videos to YouTube. Just people using their phones, you know? And really, what could be scarier than the idea of these ever-present devices suddenly turning on us?

  • Developer: PureIceBlue

RJ: Lily's Well is so faithfully retro in its pixellated graphical style that it can be quite hard on the eyes at times, but given the often grim subject matter, you'll find yourself feeling grateful that you can't see all the gory details. This game is completely free to play, and is also in my estimation one of the real hidden indie gems to come out last year.

In an extremely retro pixel art image, a young girl with bright pink hair stands on a bridge across a river on a dark and rainy night. To the north of her, on the other side of the bridge, is a shed or shack.

The story starts out simple enough: a young girl, home alone at night, hears a voice coming from the bottom of the well in the garden. Being a nice kid (if entirely too trusting and evidently completely genre-blind), she sets about making a rope out of various items she finds lying around the house and its environs, intending to rescue the person in trouble.

By the end of the game, though, you'll have uncovered a tangled conspiracy to rival that of Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation, not to mention died dozens of times in a trial-and-error investigation process that's actually essential to figuring out the wider story. Bearing in mind that the protagonist is a nine-year-old child, this can be too much for some people to stomach, but this isn't mere shock for shock's sake, and the payoff has earned Lily's Well an extremely positive reception.

  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

KR: I spoke about how amazing Alan Wake 2 is at length in my review , but if you missed it, this is one of the best horror games of recent years. It's got all the atmosphere of Silent Hill while being entirely unique. Remedy Entertainment has really made a mark on the industry when it comes to creating fascinating, bizarre, but wholly entertaining games, and Alan Wake 2 is it's best. There's no telling what Remedy is capable of doing next.

Saga Anderson in Alan Wake 2 aims at a cult member in a run-down convenience store. The only light is a flashlight in her hands, and the cultist weilds a fire axe.

Alan Wake 2 expands on its 2010 predecessor, Alan Wake, and is a real delight to those who are already fans of Remedy's games. You'll step into the troubled authors shoes alongside new protagonist, FBI agent Saga Anderson, as you strive to get to the bottom of what The Dark Place is and its hold on the peculiar town of Bright Falls. Packed with new mechanics and layers you won't be able to stop peeling back, Alan Wake 2 is a real trip.

Combat is better than ever before, you get to play the role of detective amidst some terrifying scares (and more comical moments, in true Alan Wake style), and of course, the game is just beautiful. It's got some rather high specs to keep in mind, but if your PC or console can keep up, there's no game I'd recommend more to any horror fan than Alan Wake 2.

  • Developer: Zeekerss

Lethal Company comes from solo developer, Zeekerss, and is quite an impressive feat for just one person. Having developed games for Roblox previously, Zeekerss took the plunge and Lethal Company was launched in Early Access on Steam on October 23, 2023. It took no time at all for people to have some goofy fun with it, and for the game to climb Steam's top sellers charts .

The player faces two other players in a small room in Lethal Company, with a 'Systems Online' notification shown on the screen

In Lethal Company, you and your friends are tasked with retrieving scrap from different abandoned moons that you'll be travelling to, but it isn't that simple. Each moon is riddled with monsters that will try to steal your scrap and kill you. Your goal is to find scrap and survive, but it rarely goes as planned. With prxomity chat involved and some of the silliest running animations I've seen, you'll find yourself equal parts scared and amused while playing this survival horror co-op game.

Other Honourable Mentions

There are certainly some outstanding games that didn’t quite make this list, not for any particular reason or fault, but solely because we’d be here for weeks if we tried to discuss them all.

Kelsey's honourable mentions go to: Returnal, Bloodborne, P.T., Eternal Darkness, Limbo, Inside, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Parasite Eve, Milk Inside A Bag Of Milk Inside A Bag Of Milk, Slender: The Arrival, Metro Exodus, Oxenfree, Darkwood, Left 4 Dead 2, Visage

Rebecca's honourable mentions go to: Detention, Sucker For Love, Dark Deception, The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories, Song of Horror, Sherlock Holmes The Awakened, My Friendly Neighborhood, Anemoiapolis, The Letter, Mundaun, Ghostwire: Tokyo, I'm on Observation Duty

That’s all from us, but we’d love to hear what you think the best horror games of all time are. Be sure to let us know! In the meantime, check out our compilation of 50 of the best FPS games of all time or if that's not to your liking, take a look at some of the best co-op games of all time instead.

The 25 Scariest Games of This Generation

Ranking the most chill-inducing games of the last six years..

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25 Scariest Games of This Generation

With Resident Evil back on track, Shinji Mikami returning to the world of survival horror he helped create, and surprise indie hits like Outlast, the current console generation has been a treat for fans of the dark and dreary. With Halloween approaching, we're looking back at the 25 scariest games of this generation (November 2013–present).

25. Observer

Layers of Fear developer Bloober Team stepped away from its usual psychological horror for Observer, a mind-bender set in a cyberpunk dystopia. The result is a well-realized concoction of mind tricks that will have you slowly questioning the reality of the game world.

Echo may not be a typical horror game, but it’s main hook — being hunted by clones of the playable character who use your play style against you — creates a constant sense of unease and a moment-to-moment tension as you question every move you make.

23. Anatomy

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Coming in at under an hour per play through, Anatomy makes the most of each moment, guiding you through a barely visible house of horror. Developer Kitty Horrorshow told Slate "a jump scare is when you attack the player; a dread scare is when they have to do something, even if they don’t want to" — and the dread scare is what Kitty Horrorshow deploys to great effect in Anatomy.

22. Layers of Fear

Bloober Team has a knack for distorting reality, and the ever-shifting home of Layers of Fear’s mad artist is that distortion at its most effective. While its tricks become more predictable, and therefore less scary, as you progress, Layers of Fear hits impressive horror heights in its opening hour.

When any everyday object could be a murderous shape-shifting blob of black goo, it’s hard to ever feel safe in the world of Prey. With its constant threat of Mimics, occasional jump scare, and head-spinning sci-fi story, Prey succeeds as one of the generation’s best psychological horrors.

20. Stories Untold

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Stories Untold is a fresh take on the decades-old text adventure. There’s nothing in the realm of monsters or jump scares here; Stories Untold succeeds in its underlying psychological horror, thanks to smart writing and puzzle design that will keep you engaged through its four connected stories.

SOMA's atmospheric horror & occasional jump scares work to great effect in its underwater research facility. However, it’s the existential horror — a bleak look into the potential future of humanity and AI — that makes it stand out as one of the generation's most frightening and though-provoking games.

18. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

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Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs trades in the jump scares of its predecessor for a slower, dread-filled journey through the eyes of wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus. A Machine For Pigs is not the Dark Descent followup some expected, but it’s nonetheless successful in its more personal story and haunting world.

17. Bloodborne

Bloodborne may be billed as one of the generation’s best action-RPGs, but it’s also a masterful take on both survival and gothic horror. Through its storytelling, world design, monster design, and the constant threat of consequential death, Bloodborne is one of the most tense and terrifying experience you’ll find on PS4.

16. Yomawari: The Long Night Collection

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“Please turn off all the lights and focus only on this screen,” a prompt reads before the beginning of Midnight Shadows, one of the two bundled games in The Long Night Collection. It then asks if you promise not to look away, to which you must select yes, though we doubt it's a promise every player will be able to keep.

Don’t let its cute style fool you: These games are skin-crawling in their atmosphere and design. Beautiful, haunting, and occasionally upsetting, Yomawari’s expertly juxtaposes childlike art and adult themes.

15. Little Nightmares

Like Yomawari, Little Nightmares can’t be taken at face value. As the pages of this cartoonish, storybook-style adventure turn, its grotesque character design and gruesome varieties of death are revealed. Tense chase sequences add to create a memorable, relatively family friendly horror experience.

14. Until Dawn

13. the last of us, 12. doki doki literature club.

More than any other game on this list, it’s hard to discuss what makes Doki Doki Literature Club so unnerving without spoiling it. The best horror games keep you on edge after you stop playing, and few games do that as well as Doki Doki.

11. Five Nights at Freddy's

Five Nights at Freddy’s built a cult following off its effective jump scares. While simple in its design, its success is perhaps best attributed to its passive approach to gameplay — you’re not exploring an abandoned asylum, navigating a haunted house, or even hunting monsters; you’re sitting and waiting for the danger to come to you.

10. The Forest

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The Forest drops — or, rather, crashes — you into lush, serene woodlands, complete with bright greens and warm sunlight. Then come the cannibals, and the serenity of The Forest turns to heart-pumping terror. A thoughtful AI system that prevents enemies from blindly attacking keeps you on your toes and makes the scares that much more effective when they choose to strike.

9. The Evil Within 2

Take The Evil Within, expand its world, further limit its resources, add a more coherent story, and you have an excellent sequel to an already excellent survival horror experience. It's one of the generation's most complete horror packages, and while it's scares often surpass those of the first, familiarity dampens fear, and for that reason, we give the slight edge to its predecessor.

8. The Evil Within

Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s return to survival horror came in 2014 with The Evil Within, and it didn’t disappoint. With roots in RE, Evil Within thrived off its challenging gameplay, limited resources, inspired world, engaging story, and brilliantly horrific enemy design—The Keeper, Laura, Zehn, and Neun, to name a few.

7. Detention

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Quiet and disconcerting, Detention is a slow-paced, 2D horror game that largely takes place in an abandoned school. This isn’t in-your-face horror; it’s thoughtful, emotional, psychological horror rooted in mid-century Taiwanese history. From character design and movement to environmental art and lighting, Detention subtly nails the atmospheric horror of the genre’s best games.

6. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Coming into Resident Evil 7, the most prolific horror franchise in gaming had lost its way, gradually shifting toward action-heavy gameplay. RE6 was a low point for the mainline series, and after a five year hiatus, Capcom returned with the series’ scariest, most inventive game since RE4.

For the first time in series history, RE7 used a first-person perspective, a controversial decision for the historically third-person franchise. The decision paid off, however, as RE7’s new perspective notched up the immersion, and therefore the scares, and opened the door to an even more terrifying VR experience. Despite the change in perspective and initial disconnect from the series other games, RE7 proved to be the most “Resident Evil” game in years, paving the way for this year’s exceptional RE2 Remake and an exciting future for the survival horror franchise.

5. Outlast 2

As with The Evil Within series, Outlast’s second outing expanded on the original in scope and scale, while maintaining what made the original's horror so effective. Unmatched disturbing imagery, grotesque enemy design, a murderous cult rooted in religion, fast (jump) scares, slow (psychological) scares, and a coherent story to boot, Outlast 2 has a pinch of well-crafted terror for every type of horror fan.

4. Resident Evil 2 Remake

Capcom followed up RE7 with a masterful remake of Resident Evil 2. An already stellar survival horror game was made better by exponentially improved visuals, better character models, a more threatening version of Mr. X, a more fluid over-the-shoulder camera angle, and much more.

2019 upgrades aside, RE2 remains one of horror’s most effective games in terms of building tension: resources are scarce, sound design is excellent, and the constant threat of Mr. X and his improved stalking ability is surpassed only by that of the next game's antagonist....

3. Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation nails both the survival and horror aspects of the genre. It isn’t the most consistently scary game of the generation, but at its best, its terror is unmatched by that of any other game from the last six years. Beyond this generation, few games have achieved the level of tension-filled gameplay that makes up the majority of Alien: Isolation, as the Xenomorph's sharp, focused hunting ability leaves little time for respite across its 15-20-hour runtime.

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With Outlast, developer Red Barrels took the found footage movie genre and expertly turned it into a fiveish-hour interactive nightmare. Outlast gives players nothing in terms of defense; it’s a game of cat and mouse, where you’re the mouse and the cats are hyper-aggressive, disfigured patients at a supposedly abandoned psychiatric hospital.

Further, Outlast effectively turns sight into an in-game resource; the majority of the hospital is only visible through the green, grainy lens of your camera's night vision, and that camera relies on batteries sparsely scattered throughout the building. When you can see what’s chasing you, Outlast is as scary as any game on this list. When the lights go out, it stands nearly in a league of its own.

P.T. wasn’t a full release, and it’s no longer available to download, but the playable teaser was nonetheless the scariest video game released this generation.

The result of a cross-industry, once-in-a-console-generation collaboration between acclaimed creators Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, P.T. was revealed via a nondescript teaser at Gamescom 2014, followed by an otherwise quiet release on the PlayStation Store. Hours later, the enigma was solved, and P.T. was revealed to be Silent Hills. Though the code was cracked, the solution wasn’t clear. P.T. became an obsession, as players across the internet — Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, YouTube, NeoGAF, and other forums — attempted to piece together exactly how to reach P.T.’s true ending.

Kojima’s grand plan paid off, at least for a time: P.T. was downloaded over one million times in a month, and it remained at the center of the gaming world for weeks — a massive accomplishment in an industry that largely moves by day.

Then there was the game itself, which was as terrifying as its reveal was fascinating. P.T. was set in a single, beautifully rendered looping hallway. Turning a corner remained as scary the first time as it was on the fifteenth. The subtle changes to the environment on each loop preyed on players expectations of familiarity and added disturbing life to a seemingly restricted play area.

Like the other top entries on this list, you’re completely vulnerable in P.T., unable to manipulate the playable character beyond walking. You can't fight. You can't hide. One wrong step can result in failure, and the price of failure is steep when Lisa’s always right behind you .

Of course, Silent Hills would never come to fruition. Konami officially canceled the project a day after P.T. was removed from the PS Store, and with that, the bizarre tale of the generation’s most terrifying game came to an end.

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25 Scariest Video Games Of All Time

From Resident Evil to Dead Space, the scariest horror video games of all time put players under constant threat of putting the controller down.

  • The article discusses the popularity of horror games and how the experience of being terrified can be oddly satisfying for players.
  • The Science of Scare Project scientifically determined the scariest horror game of all time by measuring participants' heart rates, with MADiSON being ranked as the scariest game.
  • The article highlights other horror games such as The Suffering, Condemned: Criminal Origins, D, Clock Tower, Alone in the Dark, and Manhunt, emphasizing their unique horror elements and gameplay experiences.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been fascinated with fear. From cautionary tales to telling ghost stories, fear provokes a primal thrill. Horror may not be for everyone, but when done well, the sensation of being terrified can leave a lasting and oddly satisfying impression on a person. Horror games provide players with an experience almost as terrifying as being there in person, which leads fans to search from game to game for the most breathtaking scares.

There are few mediums better suited for horror than video games and the question of what is the scariest game in the world is an interesting one. Injecting a player into the middle of the experience provides that sensation of having to survive and endure. Where a film or a novel usually only manages to make the audience an observer, games have a unique perspective of putting their players in the middle. Inducing the fight or flight response is a must-have for many gamers as they search high and low for the scariest video games of all time.

Updated December 18, 2023, by Michael Colwander: This list has been updated to reflect new stylistic changes. In addition, data from 2022's The Science of Scare Project study was included for select games showing just how scary some of these games are.

10 Horror Games With The Best Atmosphere

25 madison's frightfulness is scientifically proven.

Looking at a box art or a trailer is one way to determine if a game is scary enough. What about using science? Broadband Choices set out to scientifically determine what is the scariest horror game of all time through their The Science of Scare Project by measuring the heart rate of study participants. The result? 2022's MADiSON is the scariest game ever.

MADiSON puts players in the shoes of a 16-year-old boy who possesses a camera that formally belongs to a serial killer. This camera acts as a bridge between the living and the dead as the boy must escape a demonic ritual. If that's not intimidating enough, there is a VR version incoming.

24 Fight Internal And External Demons In The Suffering

10 scariest horror games that give resident evil a run for its money.

The sixth generation of consoles had many horror gems. Among them is 2004's The Suffering made by the now-defunct Surreal Software and Midway Games.

The Suffering is an action horror game that brings the supernatural to a prison setting as a result of an earthquake on a prison island. Players play as Torque, a death row inmate who has no recollection of killing his ex-wife and child. Torque has to fight through demons both externally and internally, as he seeks truth and freedom. The truth of what happened to Torque's family is determined through three different endings based on gameplay choices, so players will have to brave Abbot State Penitentiary multiple times to fully experience The Suffering .

23 Condemned: Criminal Origins Blends Horror And Crime Solving

For most investigation games, the scary parts have already occurred as players normally see the aftermath of a killing in a safe setting. 2005's Condemned: Criminal Origins flips that on its head as solving crimes has never been more terrifying.

FBI Agent Ethan Thomas is an investigator for the Serial Crime Unit. In pursuit of a killed known as the "Match Maker" in the city of Metro, he is framed for murder. Ethan must juggle chasing after killers, clearing his name, and surviving in the ruthless Metro. Condemned features a unique-at-the-time first-person melee combat, which would later become immensely popular in the horror genre.

22 D Gives Players A Limited Amount Of Time To Complete It

Games from the mid-1990s obviously suffer the effects of their now considerable age, but Kenji Eno-directed masterpiece D is an absolute lesson in how to deliver scares. Somewhere between a horror-adventure game and an interactive movie, the story follows Laura Harris as she goes to investigate a hospital where her doctor father has gone on a killing spree and barricaded himself inside.

From there, the story becomes a bizarre and surreal experience that's heavy on the investigative angle and light on mechanical elements. It's an intensely creepy game that only allows the player about two hours to complete the entire game, with no pause or save function available. With themes like murder and cannibalism common, it's a must-play for any serious horror connoisseur.

21 Clock Tower Quickly Proved Just How Scary Point-And-Click Games Can Be

10 most underrated horror game franchises.

Though it has now gone on to spawn a very successful series, the first Clock Tower game remains the best. The story follows an orphan named Jennifer Simpson who has been adopted by a family along with some other girls in the same situation as her. Though all seems well at first, things quickly take a dark turn when an entity known as the Scissorman kills one of the other children.

Jennifer takes it upon herself to discover how it can be stopped and that is the premise that makes up the backbone of this point-and-click horror adventure. The game is excellent at delivering scares via its narrative and, though the gameplay is lacking in thrills, unwrapping the many layers of the game's story to its unnerving conclusion is a relatively unique journey. An enhanced port is set to be released in early 2024, which will be the first time the original Clock Tower was released internationally.

20 Alone In The Dark Was An Early Horror Trailblazer

The Alone in the Dark series is now extremely well-known, with more recent games decidedly mixed in terms of quality. The original, built for MS-DOS and released in 1992, is one of the all-time great retro video games . Sure, the low-resolution, frighteningly polygonal character models date the game significantly at this point, but it still feels great—almost like the entire style of the game was a design choice in 2023, rather than a necessity based on the technology of the time. In fact, a reimaging of Alone in the Dark is set to release in January 2024 with the voicework of David Harbour as Edward Carnby and Jodie Comer as Emily Hartwood.

The player can choose to play as Edward or Emily while they are trapped in a haunted mansion known as Dercerto. Starting off in the attic of the house, the game tasks players with finding a way through its many twisting corridors and stairways to the exit. On the way, there are enemies to fight, puzzles to solve, and the whole thing is a thrill from start to finish. This is very similar to old Resident Evil games, which it influenced.

19 Manhunt Had A Controversial Amount Of Violence And Gore

Some of the inherent scariness of Manhunt is lost after playing through some of its more disturbing scenes but, the first time around, the game is a genuinely frightening and torturous experience. Developed by Rockstar North, it's a stealth game that puts players in the shoes of death row prisoner James Earl Cash as he's forced to participate in a series of snuff films to earn his freedom.

Much of the terror comes from the game's liberal use of extreme violence and gore, as Cash takes on gang members sent to kill him, with each showpiece kill more egregious than the last. Though this isn't a game that will appeal to everyone, there's no denying its credentials when it comes to terrifying its audience. While Rockstar has its hands full with Grand Theft Auto VI , they should at least consider a Manhunt remake afterward.

18 SOMA Underwater Setting Is No Rapture — It's Scarier

In SOMA, Simon Jarrett explores an underwater research facility trying to piece together what happened there and his own past.

For the Most Unsettling Isolation Experience, Look No Further Than SOMA

The developers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent took their considerable talents and gave the world SOMA , a game whose scary credentials may not appear immediately obvious. Set underwater, players must struggle to survive and unlock the mystery of the desperate scenario they find themselves in.

The game does have the usual jump scares, though these are used sparingly, and it is in its use of subtle but gradually increasing tension that its true strength lies. There are stark and deliberate narrative threads for players to discover along the way and, although it isn't as out-and-out frightening as other horror games, it's easily one of the most accomplished.

17 Spend The Day To Prepare For The Night In Darkwood

Darkwood is a top-down survival horror game where players must defend themselves against horrifying entities.

Darkwood is a survival horror game that managed to subvert expectations and deliver scares throughout its semi-open world. As with many games of its ilk, the day/night cycle is key to how it functions. During the day, players can explore and collect materials to improve their situation and hide out. At night, things change dramatically as the player has to stay inside and ward off potential threats.

Though a relatively simple premise, the game places the user in a state of isolation with the occasional NPC the only welcome relief on offer. The game's unique art style, bonkers hallucinogen mechanic, and terrifying enemies rightly place this top-down fright-fest into the pantheon of best horror games of all time.

16 P.T. Is A Teaser That Makes The Most Of Its Time

Developed by Kojima Productions under the pseudonym 7780s Studio, P.T. was released as a literal playable teaser for the planned Silent Hills franchise entry. Though Silent Hills never saw the light of day , what players got to see here was much more than a proof of concept. Taking advantage of a first-person perspective for the first time, the unknown protagonist awakens in a fairly modern-looking house.

As the game progresses, it becomes clear that the house is a loop with the final door leading back to the start. With each run through the house, subtle changes start to occur with the tension building throughout. Couple that with body horror and outrageously frightening moments towards the end and this becomes a solid entry in its own right.

15 Visage Was Inspired By P.T.

Despite its short length and simple premise, P.T. has proven to be an immensely influential game. One of the best games P.T. influenced is the psychological horror game Visage .

Visage puts players in a large, seemingly empty, home—a classic horror setup. Unlike most horror games, players take on the role of the house's inhabitant. Players play as Dwayne Anderson who wakes up in his home after killing his own family before taking his own life. Dwayne's home is now taken over by the paranormal. Each chapter of Visage explores the life and death of each of the previous inhabitants of Dwayne's home. P.T. was scary enough, but stretch that out to nine hours and the result is a must-play game for horror fans.

14 Alan Wake Has Seen A Resurgence In Recent Years

Another game that nails the horror atmosphere while giving more action-oriented gameplay, Alan Wake is a masterclass on mood. Of all the game’s exceptional qualities (of which there are many), the way it builds tension and atmosphere in the environment is incredible, and blew critics and audiences away when it was first released.

The game is heavily influenced by horror pop culture, most notably Stephen King. The game even begins by directly quoting him. Combine that with nods to other classic works and tv shows like Twin Peaks , and you have a game just dripping with subtext fans of the genre can dig into.

In the game, you play as Alan Wake (surprising, we know). Wake is a best selling thriller writer, but he has suffered from severe writer’s block for the past several years. To help combat this, he and his wife Alicedecide to take a vacation to the small town of Bright Falls, Washington. However, things quickly go wrong for the couple, and Alan is separated from Alice. After waking up a week later, he must find out what happened to her as the events of his latest novel - a book he does not remember writing - unfold around him.

The game also has a unique combat mechanic. Enemies in the game are taken over by a mysterious darkness that makes them impervious to harm. Players have to shine flashlights and other light-based weapons to make them weak to attacks. It is a great way to change up the otherwise straightforward action sequences, and it adds to the game’s spooky atmosphere.

Alan Wake Remastered: 7 Ways It Improves On The Original Version

Though Alan Wake has a somewhat mixed legacy among the player base, there is no denying it did deliver on scares. So much so that it developed a cult following that led to Alan Wake finally receiving its award-winning sequel in October 2023. Taking control of the titular protagonist, a novelist suffering from acute writer's block, the player occupies a world where the population has begun to fall victim to a mysterious force known only as the "darkness".

As a result, light is Alan's greatest friend, and holding on to a working torch becomes just as important as holding a gun thanks to enemies that remain impervious to damage until exposed to direct light. The game features everything from jump scares to genuine tension, with a narrative and gameplay that remain solid to this day.

13 Fatal Frame Is A Picture-Perfect Horror Game

Fatal Frame incredibly popular series of games and it's still the very first entry on the PlayStation 2 that remains the most terrifying. Set in 1986, the game follows siblings Miku and Mafuyu Hinasaki as the latter attempts to search for a famous novelist in a haunted mansion. Mafuyu disappears and Miku goes to the house to search for her brother.

The game features the formerly supremely popular fixed camera system and the lack of control adds to the helpless feeling the mansion creates. With hostile ghosts, strange rituals, and clues to find, the Fatal Frame series redefined the investigative horror genre when it was released back in 2001.

12 Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Is A Forgotten Horror Classic

Releasing only on the Gamecube in 2002, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem remains proof that Nintendo is more than capable of pivoting to other styles. The game is a third-person perspective Lovecraftian effort that has some unique inventory and navigation systems.

The whole game is very different from most horror games, as players take control of a new character with each passing chapter, all of which are set at different times. It also has a branching narrative that changes based on the player's decisions and sanity levels that have to be kept in check. With a solid, if hard-to-follow, story and excellent gameplay to match, it's perhaps the best evidence that Nintendo should consider making another play in the horror genre.

11 Amnesia: The Dark Descent Didn't Need A Big Budget To Produce Scares

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is an indie horror game designed by Thomas Grip. When thinking of terrifying games, even if someone hasn't played this indie gem, they've likely heard of it, and for good reason. Like other indie games in the survival horror vein, The Dark Descent proved that it didn't need a massive budget to be terrifying.

Set from the first-person perspective to really make the player feel like they are trapped in a waking nightmare, the entire point of the game is to survive and escape the monster-filled Brennenburg Castle. As the name suggests, Daniel, the MC, has little memory of himself or how he got to this place, adding to the terror.

10 Five Nights At Freddy's Kicked Off One Of The Biggest Video Game Horror Franchises

10 scariest animatronics in the five nights at freddy’s games.

Five Nights at Freddy's is an indie game created by Scott Cawthon. Although there are many games in the franchise now and over the years, the games have adapted to a more sophisticated experience. Notably, when the original Five Nights at Freddy's game debuted, many people called it the scariest horror game of all time.

With extensive but difficult-to-piece-together lore, an unsettling environment, and jump scares that had seasoned players screaming, the game was a hit. Inspiring dozens of fan games and other indie games, such as the recent Poppy Playtime , Five Nights gave birth to a simplistic but immersive survival horror genre. Five Nights also recently spawned a live-action movie written and produced by Cawthon, which has been received well by fans of the games.

9 Silent Hill 2 Is Set To Receive A Much-Deserved Remake

Silent Hill as a franchise has long been remembered as one of the grandfathers of survival horror. While the franchise is known for many terrifying games, the most iconic of them is Silent Hill 2 . Introducing the world to the iconic horror monster, Pyramid Head, is often the first game that comes to fans' minds when considering horror gaming.

Playing as Silent Hill 2's questionably immoral protagonist , James, after he's trapped in Silent Hill, players must navigate the ash-covered town with limited resources. Due to the age of this game, it may not live up to modern horror games in the fear department, but for a long time, Silent Hill 2 was considered the scariest game in the world. Rumors of a remake have been sparked, so there's a chance this horror classic may be brought into the modern era.

8 The Evil Within Has Plenty Of Resident Evil In Its DNA

The Evil Within is a creative addition to the survival horror genre. Following the story of Detective Sebastian Castellanos after his daughter's alleged death and his wife's disappearance, Sebastian finds himself trapped in a living nightmare. The Evil Within can sometimes be confusing, as piecing together the story heavily depends on finding all the collectibles and documents.

This game explores the horror of being trapped in the mind of a malevolent force that only wishes to cause harm. STEM, the machine that transports those attached to it into this nightmare landscape, is an interesting interpretation of science gone wrong by mind-melding victims together and seeing its effects on the subjects.

7 The Last Of Us' Fantastic Writing Adds Emotional Weight To Its World's Terrors

With a remake released last year, an HBO show adaptation with glowing reviews, and a Part III rumored to be in production, The Last of Us is buzzing more than ever. In truth, the hype for this game never died. Regarded as one of the best zombie games, this game has a terrifying take on zombies that will leave seasoned gamers shaking.

Although the horrifying clickers can take players down in a single attack, the game isn't all bleak. Yes, Joel and Ellie have to take on zombies and corrupt humans alike, and the game highlights how horrific a world post-outbreak would be. Still, it does have a well-written and lovely found-family narrative of Joel letting Ellie into his heart and the pair enduring the horrors together.

6 Every Choice Could Have A Deadly Consequence In Until Dawn

Not every game has to be emotionally scarring and stress-inducing. Sometimes horror games and the genre at large can be a great way to kick back and relax and maybe have a good laugh. That’s evident in the slasher film genre, which soaks itself in the same tropes and plot beats that each subsequent film feels like a parody of all the others. Until Dawn is the video game equivalent of a slasher film, and while it’s got some great shock factor, it’s really just schlocky fun.

The game does have a unique approach to gameplay and story framing, though. The development team centered their design around a butterfly effect system. That means they wanted player choices to have a far-reaching impact on the game’s story. It doesn’t always live up to its promises, but when the butterfly effect works it works . The game has a branching story with certain scenes locked from players because of the choices they make or the challenges they fail. There is also no manual save, so if players really mess up they have to live with the consequences. It makes for a game with a lot of replay value, even if some of the decisions have no meaningful impacts on the story.

The game also has some great music and terrific performances from its cast. Despite being a slasher flick game, the cast really bring their characters to life. It takes place with a group of teens at a cabin in the woods one year after a pair of sisters mysteriously vanished, and the game goes pretty much exactly where you think from there. It does have some surprises though, and it is an excellent game for those who want a cinematic horror experience.

Every Supermassive Horror Game, Ranked

Until Dawn must be experienced by any lover of the genre. At the time of its release in 2015, it had some of the best and most immersive graphics ever put on a console. What made Until Dawn so unique, however, was its approach to the Butterfly Effect.

The idea that one decision, no matter how small, would change the entire course of events throughout the game, Until Dawn presents itself as a slasher story where players are forced to keep the entire cast alive. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there's a supernatural force at work. Every choice the players make can lead to devastation, and it's possible to get each character killed in a multitude of ways. Until Dawn is relentless in its brutality, often punishing players for making a decision that seems like the right option.

11 Horrifying Video Games That Still Scare the Sh*t Out of Us

Whether they were intended to be or not, these games are haunted as all hell.

scary video games

We suppose anything that conjures up different worlds can be scary. Like the static on the television screen in Poltergeist or the portrait of the eponymous Dorian Grey, video games sometimes evoke an unsettling feeling of gazing through the looking glass. What lies on the other side? Well, in the case of a beloved GameBoy title like Pokémon Red , a creepy little place called Lavender Town, full of soft-grey shrines to the dead, synth bells that sound unstuck in time, and well, wandering ghosts. And that’s not even to mention the spirit of a dead Pokémon mother that stalks you throughout the town. Yes, reader, video games can be spooky as hell.

Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)

Face, Animated cartoon, Green, Head, Cartoon, Animation, Toy, Fictional character,

One time a film teacher told me that the simple act of watching The Exorcist could potentially invite dark spirits into your home. I feel similarly about Majora’s Mask . It is a cruel, evil video game. The world in the game is ending. Everyone in the town is going fucking nuts, but not in a fun way. They’re like, actually sad. Nihilistic. Becoming depraved. And the most evil part of the whole thing is, there’s a psychotic little boy torturing the townspeople with a mask from hell that is summoning the end of times. Imagine playing this as a 10-year-old kid. It’s no wonder the game has inspired one of the most famous tales of internet folklore ever. —D.N.

The Last of Use Part II (2020)

the last of us part 2

Oh god, is this game terrifying. Yes, the zombies—with all their fungal nodes and mushroom-shaped mutations—are meant to terrify. But the human story at the core of this sensational title is even worse. The terror of violence and the fragility of human life that are on display in The Last of Us Part II kept me up, wide-eyed, for nights on end. Unlike its predecessor, which is frightening but not traumatic, Part II is the sort of game you wished you never played. Once you reach its grizzly, razor-edged ending , you will certainly never forget what you experienced. It is an all-time classic, and a devastatingly frightening one at that. — D.N.

Pokemon Red & Blue (1996)

Vehicle, Automotive exterior, Car,

The ghost-laden stage of Lavender Town is by far not the only thing that scared me about Pokémon as a child. You have got to admit, there is just something deeply weird about those early Pokémon games. Part of this one has players interact with a lost Cubone who mourns the death of his mother (he wears her skull on his face). But nothing was scarier to me than the “MissingNo” cheat, where you completed a strange string of tasks that involved talking to an old man, buying rare candy, and surfing up and down a weird island to catch what may as well have been an actual ghost. An aberration in the code of the game, MissingNo stood for “Missing Number,” because the game would glitch and produce a character that was not actually programmed. That sounds like it makes sense enough, but weird things would happen when you caught MissingNo. Like, if you kept the Pokémon with you for a while, it would start to mess with your game. Misplaced soundtracks would play at odd spots. The names of your other Pokémon would get all fucked up. I’ve never seen an actual ghost in my life, but I imagine the feeling of holding onto MissingNo is pretty close. —D.N.

Alien: Isolation (2014)

alien isolation

Survival games aren’t always scary. There’s not anything inherently frightening about performing the menial tasks of day-to-day human existence. But Isolation is about so much more than survival. As you play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, this awfully punishing game pits you toe-to-toe against an almost all-powerful A.I. beast on a desolate spaceship. The Xenomorph actually learns from your behavior in the game, and it adapts, too. After a zillion Alien movies, the monstrous extra terrestrial doesn’t terrify like it used to—but in this game, when you have nowhere to run, Xeno is as scary as she was in 1979 when she first dropped into movie theaters from the ceiling panels. Too bad no one can hear you scream. —D.N.

P.T. (2014)


P.T. is the rare case of a horror game that has actually become scarier with age. Developed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, this free-to-download title was only available for a short time on the PlayStation 4 online store. It was the duo’s “playable teaser” (get it, “P.T.”?) for their upcoming sequel to the Konami Silent Hill franchise, which ended up being scrapped, resulting in P.T. ’s untimely demise. After that, Kojima famously parted with Konami following creative disagreements, and so P.T. lives in a sort of limbo, only available to those who downloaded it at the time—or on the many playthrough videos that have surfaced online . This, I think, is why P.T. stands on its own in the horror genre. The immersive single-player, which has you wandering around a haunted house filled to the brim with ungodly terrors, has grown into something much bigger, much scarier than it ever could have been had it not been taken away so quickly. Today, it’s become something of a campfire story. —D.N.

Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday (1995)

Action-adventure game, Cartoon, Adventure game, Fictional character, Games, Fiction, Pc game,

I found this game, as many of us from later generations have, through emulation (don’t ask me how). Going down a list of games from the era, I was struck by this one’s wild title. What the fuck is a Haunted Holiday ? Turning on the 1995 game, it seemed clear almost right off the bat that this thing was fully, deeply demented. The opening titles read, “As Porky Pig is looking through Holiday brochures to plan his upcoming vacation, he drifts off to sleep and finds himself in a Haunted Haunted [sic] Holiday Nightmare.” What follows is as inexplicable as it is disturbing. You fight leprechauns in a black and white world where only you are in color. There are chains and spikes and you’re not wearing pants. You collect cupcakes. I need to know the creative process behind this game. What happened here, folks? —D.N.

Big Fun in Furbyland (1999)

Cartoon, Sky, Flip (acrobatic), Screenshot, Fictional character,

Furbys are the closest thing on earth to actual demons. They are nearly immortal and harness so much power that we are mere insects to them. I don't think we have to go any further than its title to understand that Big Fun in Furbyland was a shitty PC game; the tag line on the box read “Dah doo-ay wah" and showed a close-up of a Furby with dead, soulless eyes. The "big fun" to be had in Furbyland was just a series of minigames where Furbys barked orders at you, maybe, or cast curses on you, who really knows. It was not fun, it was just scary, and we need to stop the Furby uprising. —C.S.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (2017)

Sitting, Temple, Serveware, Dishware, Beard, Plate, Candle, Facial hair, Ritual, Home accessories,

Resident Evil was known as a horror-action hybrid series with tank controls. Then, Resident Evil 7 took away your ability to feel like an action star but kept all the horror, and wow does it send more fear running through me than playing as Hollywood stunt agent Leon Kennedy ever did. Don’t get me wrong: I love the early Resident Evils , and Resident Evil 4 is one of my most-played games, period. But the more cool and confident the protagonist, the less scary the game. This one sees Ethan Winters looking for his wife in an all but abandoned plantation now infested with a cannibal family. It is dirty, nasty, and horrifying. The game also features a VR mode, you know, for those who want to experience hell. —C.S.

Cat in the Hat (2003)

Cat, Art, Costume, Felidae, Illustration, Small to medium-sized cats,

This possessed game followed the best horror movie of 2003, the live-action Cat in the Hat . Starring a polygonal humanoid Michael Meyers as the Cat and turning the weird CG/live-action cast from the movie into full CG renderings for the game, the nightmares never stopped. Cat in the Hat was super busy, confusing, and dogged by Meyer’s quips, haunting even the toughest gamers. —C.S.

Super Mario 64 (1996)

Animation, Fictional character, Cartoon, Carmine, Animated cartoon, Games, Fiction, Toy, Figurine, Action figure,

Mario games are not meant to be scary. But that doesn’t make them any less other-worldly. This game has inspired creepypastas and urban legends for decades now. People believe every copy of the title is, somehow, personalized to the person who owns it. There are myths that an entire human brain is simulated in one of the levels. In one creepypasta, players say 64 can give you a stroke if you venture too deep into the castle’s basement. I think it’s because there are mysteries about this game that, despite years of hacking and code-mining, people just cannot solve. Like, why is there an inscription in the castle’s courtyard that says, “L is real?” Why do the Toads claim that their friends are “trapped in the walls?” These weird bits of folklore continue to elude gamers to this day, and now that the game is back as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars on the Nintendo Switch, we’re bound to get a new batch of folklore all over again. —D.N.

The Sims 2 (2004)

Backyard, Lawn, Grass, Yard, Garden, Table, Games, Event, Landscaping, Furniture,

In The Sims 2 , you could brick up a room and kill your Sim family. You could summon the Grim Reaper and have him haunt their every step. You could make your Sims live out their worst fears, and then you could neglect them entirely. And I did all of these things! But the scariest part of The Sims 2 was how quickly you could accumulate piles of cash (hello, cheat codes), build a glorious mansion full of richly ornamented rooms with obscenely luxurious accessories, and then become utterly bored with your Sims once it was completed. You'd stare at your boring dumb Sims and hate their boring dumb lives that you were tasked with protecting, even though it was so boring and dumb to do so. Capitalism is empty and isolating, friends. Good thing we learned that chilling lesson young. —Sarah Rense

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10 Paranormal Games That Will Freak You Out

by Adriana John updated September 13, 2023, 12:08 am

Tired of playing the usual, boring games? Want to do something challenging and thrilling? Why not delve into the paranormal and see what’s in store for you? You don’t have to be a skeptic or a believer to play these games—just be a thrill-seeking enthusiast and you’re good to go. Whether this list would encourage you to explore the supernatural dimension or convince you to avoid it would be up to you. Just a warning, though. Those who’ve tried these vowed to never try them again. It’s all fun and games till you realize you’re playing with a demon or an evil entity and life would never be the same again. Probably.

The Top 10 Paranormal Games That Are Not For The Faint Hearted.

Table of Contents

10. Three Kings

Paranormal Games

This game became popular after FableForge posted about it on a subreddit called nosleep. It is said that this game enables the player to gain access to another dimension. You’ll have to play this game in a large room, preferably a basement, without a single flash of light coming through. Also, you’ll be needing a pack of candles, two large mirrors, three chairs, and an object from your childhood.

One you’re done setting everything up, leave the door of the basement open, go to your bedroom, and set the alarm clock for exactly 3:30AM before you snooze off. If the alarm goes off at exactly 3:30AM and the things inside the basement remained as they are, then you can proceed with the game. You need to be seated at your throne at exactly 3:33AM with your lighted candle in hand. Do not let the candle go out and protect it from the fan behind you using your body. Once seated, look straight ahead into the darkness and never look into the mirrors nor the candle.

At this point, you’ll start to feel and hear a presence. Some accounts stated that it felt like having a conversation with your conscience, or an entity that manifests as a part of you. It will talk to you about your past and your unresolved issues. Some have claimed that this ritual is some kind of psychological experiment that puts you in a lucid dream. Whether you believe you’re talking to an entity from another dimension or it’s nothing but a psychological effect would be up to your judgment.

See Also: 10 Scary Paranormal Legends to Keep You up at night .

9. Closet Game

Closet Paranormal Games

The objective of the Closet Game is to summon not just a spirit or a ghost, but a demon. Basically, all you need to do is step inside a pitch-black closet, hold up an unlighted match, and say “Show me the light or leave me in darkness.” Once you being to hear any whispering, light the match immediately. In the event that you fail to light the match right away after hearing the whisper, it is said that something will grab you from behind and drag you to eternal darkness. The same thing would happen if you get curious enough to turn around and see what’s behind you.

If you didn’t do any of those mistakes, open the closet door with your lit match in hand and slowly step outside. From then on, you must always make sure to have the lights on whenever you look inside your closet since it is now permanently haunted by a demon.

8. Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary is a folklore-legend and is believed to be the vengeful spirit of a witch. In order to summon her, you’ll have to chant “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror while holding up a lighted candle. After that, what’s left for you to do is wait for a woman covered in blood to appear before you. Some have stated that participants of this game may have to endure Bloody Mary’s wrath which included getting strangled, cursed, or getting their souls taken.

There are numerous accounts of people sharing their experiences, with a few expressing their disappointments with the lack of thrilling occurrences and others expressing their horror upon encountering the infamous spirit. Bloody Mary is quite popular, with a few movie adaptations floating around.

7. Elevator to Another World

Paranormal Games

This game originated from Korea and performing it supposedly takes you to a different world via an elevator. All you have to do is find a building with at least ten floors and has an elevator. Make sure there’d be no one else riding the elevator aside from you before you proceed with the ritual.

Once you step inside, you’ll have to do a 4-2-6-2-10-5 combo on the elevator’s buttons. On the fifth floor, a woman would enter, but you should never look at her nor should you speak to her. Afterwards, press the button for the first floor. At this point, the elevator would begin ascending to the tenth floor instead of going down to the first. Upon arriving at the tenth floor, you may get off the elevator to explore this different world.

The woman would ask “Where are you going?” but you should never answer. After walking around, you may return to the real world by going inside the same elevator and using the same 4-2-6-2-10-5 combo. In the event that you pass out during the game, you’d most likely find yourself waking up inside your own home. But make sure to look around, since it may not be the same home anymore.

See Also: 10 Interesting Creatures from Japanese Folklore 10 Lesser-Known Folklore Creatures of the World The ten Creepiest Cemeteries in the World

6. The Hooded Man

The Hooded Man ritual is quite similar to the Elevator ritual, in the sense that it takes you to a world different from ours. This one requires you to perform a cleansing ritual prior to starting the game, like burning a sage and spreading salt on your front door.

Paranormal Games Hooded Man

When night comes, go to a room where there’s a telephone. Detailed instructions can be found online, but you’d basically be making a call for a cab. If you have succeeded, you’ll be seeing a black cab parked outside your house. Exit the building, climb into the cab’s empty back seat, lock the door behind you, and go to sleep. If you awaken and your watch reads exactly 3:30AM, then you’ll find yourself falling asleep for the second time. Once you wake up, the cab will be on an unfamiliar highway and you’ll notice the Hooded Man behind the wheels. Some accounts have stated that other passengers may get inside the cab and sit with you, but you should never pay attention to them.

If you want to end your ride, just lean closer towards the Hooded Man’s ear and whisper “I have reached my destination.” You’ll fall asleep and wake up in your house, after which you’ll have to go to the telephone, dial a number, and say “Thank you for the ride.” Do another cleansing ritual afterwards. Regarding the cab ride, it’s up to you whether you want to continue the ride for a longer period of time, but many have advised against it since the world gets more absurd as the ride goes on and the worst-case-scenario is that you might not be able to escape that world anymore.

5. One-Man Hide and Seek

Hitori Kakurenbo Paranormal Games

One-Man Hide and Seek, which originated from Japan and called Hitori Kakurenbo, is a paranormal games wherein you’ll be playing a game of hide and seek against a spirit-possessed doll. What you’ll need to do is take a stuffed doll, remove all its stuffing and replace it with rice along with a piece of your fingernail. Sew the doll’s opening with a red thread and wrap the remaining thread around the doll.

You’ll have to give the doll a name, place it in a tub filled with water, and proceed to your hiding place. Turn off all the lights and switch the television on. Take a mouthful of saltwater, but don’t swallow it. Get out of your hiding place and start looking for the doll, which is probably not in the tub anymore.

Once you find the doll, pour saltwater over it, allow it to dry, then burn it and discard the remains. Also, take note of the static in the television during the game, since it would warn you about potential, unwanted visitors wandering around.

4. Dry Bones

Dry Bones

Similar to Hitori Kakurenbo, Dry Bones is a ritual wherein you’d be playing a game of hide and seek. But instead of a doll, you’d be playing with a demon. Playing with a demon doesn’t sound like a good idea, but thrill-seekers are in it for the hopes that their wishes will be fulfilled once they win the game.

What you’ll need for this game is a bathroom with a mirror, a candle, and some matches. Begin the game at exactly 12:01AM, after ensuring that you are alone and you’ve closed all the doors and windows of your home. Go to the bathroom and stare at your reflection in the mirror while listening to your surroundings. If you hear anything, get out of the house immediately since it means that the demon’s already there. If it’s completely silent, then you may proceed by thinking of something you really want as a prize. Make sure that your wish is not harmful to anyone.

Light the candle with the match, but don’t blow out the match yourself. Wait for it to burn out on its own, then lie down on the floor and say “I am aware of your presence and I welcome you into my home. Come now.” After that, go to the largest room in your house and wait for a moaning house, which would indicate that the hide-and-seek has begun. If you manage to hide from the demon until 3:00AM, then you win. You must say “Thank you for playing, but please leave now. You are no longer welcome.” The demon will leave once you hear a groan. Expect the prize outside your front door the next morning. Sure, getting a prize is great, but you might not want to risk playing this game once you figure out the consequences of losing.

3. Daruma-san

Paranormal Games Daruma-san

Daruma-san or the Bath Game is another ritual originating from Japan. It involves summoning a ghost which will most likely follow you all day long to try and catch you. In order to summon said ghost, go to your bathroom before bedtime, strip yourself naked, fill the tub with water, and turn off the lights. Climb inside the tub and position yourself in front of the faucet. Close your eyes and begin washing your hair while chanting the words “Daruma-san fell down” over and over.

You will see a mental image of a Japanese woman standing in front of a bathtub before she falls on a rusty tap which impales her through the eye. Continue the chant until you finish washing your hair. Once you feel a presence near you, ask out loud “Why did you fall in the bathtub?” Don’t wait for an answer. With your eyes kept shut, carefully stand up, get a towel, exit the bathroom, and close the door behind you. Leave the bath water overnight and get some sleep because the real game will begin the next day.

You’ll be feeling a presence constantly following you. Do not allow her to catch you by putting some distance between you and her. In order to capture her, gaze over your right shoulder and shout “Kitta!” while doing a karate chopping motion with your hand. If you don’t do this properly or if you fail to catch her before midnight, expect her to follow you into your dreams.

See Also: 10 Creepy Places That Can Just Give You Chills 10 Most Haunted Places in New England Top 10 Scariest Places in the World Top 10 Creepy Abandoned Hotels

2. Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web

You might be familiar with the popular children’s book, Charlotte’s Web, but have you tried playing the game named after it? In this game, you’ll be calling for the spirit of Charlotte Webster—a little girl from the 1400s whose mother has been accused as a witch and burned at the stake. If you dislike the idea of playing paranormal games by yourself, then this might be the game for you, since it requires two players.

You and your partner has to go to a dark room with a large mirror. Bring a flashlight and a toy, preferably one that a little girl would like. Set up two chairs in front of the mirror and a table behind the chairs. Place the toy on top of the table. Make sure the toy’s reflection can be seen in the mirror. You should both take your seats and make sure no other light comes through the room except the ones coming from your flashlights. Say the words “We want to play Charlotte’s Web” in unison.

Wait for Charlotte as she appears in the mirror to take the toy. You may now converse with her or ask her questions. Once you’re done, say “Goodbye, Charlotte” with your partner, and that’s it. Those who’ve tried this game claimed that Charlotte can be a sweetheart, especially if you get on her good side or if she likes the toy you offered. Don’t play this game in an attempt to try and piss her off, though, because accounts say that Charlotte throwing a tantrum would be the last thing you’d ever want to see.

1. Midnight Game

Midnight Games

The Midnight Game is probably the most popular game on the list. If you find the other paranormal games unchallenging and you want to go to the extremes, then this dangerous game might just be the one for you. The Midnight Game was believed to be an old Pagan ritual used as a punishment to those who disobeyed the religion.

The instructions on how to play this game can easily be found online, but the gist is that you have to summon the Midnight Man and walk around your house while making sure you don’t get caught by him. If you manage to avoid the Midnight Man until 3:33AM, then you have won the game.

The game is not that complicated since the procedures are clear and easy enough to follow. What’s more is that, this can be played by more than one person so if you’re too scared to do it alone but still want to do it anyway, you can just ask your friends to share the misery with you. Just keep in mind that most of the people who have played this game included a warning to NEVER try this game. Some have experienced hallucinations and some were even left with permanent, mental scars. This game was so popular that it was even adapted into a film .

List Created By; Shiela Arbuso

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7 totally normal games that scared the bejesus out of us

When game devs decided to mess with you for Halloween

Normal games that are scary

Horror games have made terrifying you an art form — be it through a ton of jump scares like the Dead Space remake , or an overwhelming sense of dread like Resident Evil 4 . 

But we’re not talking about games that are clearly built to terrify. You can tell these apart by simply looking at the game case and promotional material. I mean the games that look perfectly normal from everything you see, but throw you a scary curveball. It’s these that have left a far bigger impression on us over the years because it’s the fright you don’t expect.

Let’s go through seven of them — ranging from current horror surprises to games from our childhood that left us too horrified to turn the console on again.

1. Uncharted

When I say “the bunker part,” a lot of seasoned players will already know what I’m talking about. It’s almost like Naughty Dog took a look at the Indiana Jones-esque adventure of Nathan Drake, and asked “how can we mess with these players?”

You enter a disused German facility in the middle of the jungle with one simple mission: turn on the bunker’s power to open the door and escape. Everything seems like your standard puzzle section — navigating through a series of jumps and pipe climbs to make it to the generator room.

Then, things start to get darker, and Drake switches on his flashlight. You head to a door, slowly open it, and if you’re not prepared, the jump scare is sudden. A mutant sprints towards you and kills you in one blow!

Nobody expected this sudden shift from the fun, lighthearted adventure to a terrifying moment that’s built up with some real survival horror finesse — from the orchestral score disappearing to the crackles of your walkie-talkie comms amping up the tension. This was the first real sign of Naughty Dog being able to scare you, which we saw in full force with The Last of Us.

— Jason England

2. Heart of Darkness

While I write about this, I want to emphasize one thing: this game is rated ‘E for Everyone.’ Got that? Good. Now let’s talk about the many terrifying ways the kid protagonist can die in the Darklands.

The story is innocent enough: a boy named Andy flies to a mysterious planet in his spaceship to save his dog Whiskey, after he’s kidnapped by a mysterious dark force during a solar eclipse. Think like your standard Goosebumps story, but with an additional family friendliness… At least that’s what I thought.

Because you see, the real horror was not in the story of overcoming your childhood fear of the dark — it was in the many creative ways you can die. From shadow monsters snapping your spine to giant centipedes pulling you helplessly into their burrow, and watching your legs flail then fall lifelessly limp after a horrifying snap, Infogrames pulled no punches.

This is the epitome of what I like in horror, which is that rather than showing you every gruesome detail of an in-game death, sometimes leaving the gorier parts of a killing to the player’s imagination allows the thoughts of what happened off-screen to ruminate and become a whole lot worse. That’s something Heart of Darkness did with a terrifying perfection.

Think like the celebration of being offed in all kinds of violent ways in The Callisto Protocol, but with a reliance on your mind building it up, and you’ll be close to realizing why this game left me scarred.

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar’s open-world prequel masterpiece is one of the best games I’ve ever played. And I don’t say that lightly. It’s a game about the birth of capitalism, the slow decay of the Old West and for this specific article, a really freakin’ scary mission involving a cave network of cannibals that comes out of nowhere.

Don’t get me wrong, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game loaded with heavy subject matter. Dollops of criminality are complimented by a central story that surrounds a terminal respiratory illness. So yeah, this isn’t exactly a game of giggles.

In its darkest moments, though, it’s genuinely scary in what’s ostensibly a slightly sarcastic yet melancholic Western that is as likely to serve criminal cowboy Arthur Morgan up a mission where he gets slaughtered on old time whiskey as he is to do genuinely heart-warming deeds, like financially bail out a mother and son he did horribly things to the dad to. 

Anyway, said people-munching mission is grim, and seriously scary. It evokes the uncomfortably claustrophobic, ultra-violent tone of Rockstar’s Manhunt. Tonally, it’s unlike anything else in the game. It’s genuinely frightening, involves some of the most challenging shootouts of the game due to its boxed-in confines and it’s not an experience I want to revisit anytime soon. 

— Dave Meikleham 

Portal was one of the first first-person games I ever played. And while most players remember Valve’s iconic puzzle platformer for the “Cake is a lie” memes or the sadistic AI GLaDOS and her repertoire of endlessly quotable taunts, it was a decidedly more terrifying experience for me. 

When I think of Portal, what I remember most is cowering in a little hidey-hole behind a bit of paneling that another test subject had pried from the wall, reading the frantic writings of Doug Rattmann and trying to ignore the creepy echo of a turret’s voice asking “Are you still there?” 

As the game goes on and you progress from completing simple tests to navigating literal deathtraps, the twist of GLaDOS’s sinister intentions is largely played for laughs. But when you’re already on edge and feeling slightly claustrophobic getting used to a new POV, it’s a more delirious kind of laughter. 

Once I realized I was trapped in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center with things that could kill me, the sterile test chambers felt as ominous as levels in a horror game. The turrets haunted my nightmares (though now, since I’ve grown a spine, I think they’re adorable little guys). And even as I was cracking up over GLaDOS’s deadpan voice lines, I was hyperventilating over everything she threw at me and desperately missing my Companion Cube. 

— Alyse Stanley

5. Super Mario 64

So put yourself in my shoes for a second. I already had the carpet ripped from beneath me by Heart of Darkness as a kid, so I decided to play something that was obviously going to not be scary — Super Mario 64. It’s the red plumber! This isn’t going to jumpscare me right? …right!?

Well, you already know where I’m going here. Enter Big Boo’s Haunt, and while it’s spooky, it’s not scary. That is until you enter a suspiciously quiet, empty room that contains only one item: a grand piano. You assume it’s just a little bit of scene dressing and head towards it until the instrument springs to life bearing sharp teeth — jumping towards you with a cacophonous sound of the strings inside.

Named The Mad Piano (or Killer Piano in Japan), this is another example of a seemingly innocent game pulling the old bait and switch. Me being a 6-year-old wuss at the time jumped out of my skin, and could no longer hide the fact I was playing games before bed time from my parents because of it. Thanks for that, Mario.

6. Batman: Arkham Asylum

The second best moment in Rocksteady’s incredible Dark Knight adventure is one that doesn’t get talked about anywhere near enough. Why? Well, because it’s exactly that: it’s ‘merely’ the runner-up in terms of amazing moments packed into this superbly focused superhero title. 

Even though the character got a major, scarier redesign in Batman: Arkham Knight , my favorite take on Dr. Jonathan Crane will always be Asylum's version. And that’s entirely because the foreshadowing before his stealth-focused boss encounters are so expertly handled. 

The moment which instantly springs to mind is the second encounter with Crane, where Bats is suddenly forced to relive the death of his parents via a hallucinogenic sequence that sees a massively ripped man dressed as a flying rodent briefly morph into a blubbering child as he crouches over his deceased folks. It’s an astonishing piece of in-game, mind-bending theatrically, but it’s not scary.

What is truly frightening is the build-up to Batman’s third Scarecrow boss battle. In another ingenious move by Rocksteady, the picture on your TV suddenly starts going on the fritz, with distortion and eventually a full on blackout that made me think Arkham Asylum had genuinely broken my beloved Panasonic plasma panel back in 2009. 

Once the in-game display resets, the opening of the game is brilliantly turned on its head. It’s now Batman tied to a gurney instead of the Joker, as the Clown Prince of Crime and Scarecrow merrily ferry him through the halls of the infamous asylum. It’s a discombobulating moment of script-flipping brilliance that made this A/V obsessive believe the game has broken my very experience TV. For a television geek like myself, that’s the ultimate definition of horror. 

— Dave Meikleham

7. Pokémon Red and Blue

Welcome to Lavender town. You thought this game about catching animals and forcing them to fight each other was innocent…well, since I put it that way, it clearly doesn’t sound like that, but trust me it is!

But think again, as you head over to this haunted location for Ghost-Type Pokémon. From the rather creepy music that builds a sense of dread to the horrifying stories of death that play out through all your interactions with the local residents, this is less about jump scares and more about creating tension.

And this tension was built beautifully in a Game Boy game of all things — that 8-bit creepiness just adds to the whole aesthetic.

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most haunted games

[Top 10] Haunted Games To Play With Friends (Ranked Fun To Most Fun)

 Haunted Games To Play With Friends (Ranked Fun To Most Fun)

As children, all of us have donned our eccentric costumes and gone knocking on front doors and saying, “Trick or Treat!” in hopes of some sweet candy. However, our Halloween fun as adults differs greatly from that of our youth; now, a gamer’s ideal Halloween is staying in and playing some fun haunted games with their best friends. 

With indie horror game popularity skyrocketing in the industry, it can be hard to know which multiplayer horror games are the best at building suspense to make the hair on the back of your neck stand. I’ve done the grueling work for you and compiled this list of the most fun haunted games you can play with your friends this Halloween season. 

10. Secret World Legends - 2017 (PC)  

most haunted games

Check out the beginning gameplay of this infamous online, role-playing world. 

Dive into this virtual realm and get as addicted to the dark, unsettling storyline as I am. This horror action RPG combines mythical and modern elements; from creep supernatural beings hellbent on your demise to helpful superhuman abilities available throughout the game,you and your friends will have a blast playing this multiplayer game!

You and your crew are soldiers in the war against the unearthly, and all of you will be able to use actual weaponry and superhuman skills to combat evil entities. You’re tasked with finding out how to banish evil from your homeland, but you’ll find that the truth can only be found with patience and time. The storyline will go over international waters, and you’ll have to develop your abilities, solve mysterious puzzles, and crush your enemies as they cross your path. 

This game is considered stellar because you can make the fun last all the way to Halloween. There are hundreds of hours of gameplay, and everything is completely free. You’ll have all the perks of customizing your character and interacting with unnerving game folklore at no cost, so this game is perfect if you and your friends are looking to stay on budget this holiday season!

9. BIGFOOT - 2017 (PC)

most haunted games

Markiplier is at it again! As an avid horror gamer, you can count on Mark for consistent content!

Ever wonder if the Bigfoot myths are real? Play this game and find out! BIGFOOT is a survival horror game that features a grueling hunt for a supernatural beast. With your friends as your hunting crew, set out into the woods to gather hunting equipment detrimental to your survival and brace yourself for unexpected jumpscares and ambient sound effects. 

But be warned: there are other predators stalking the forest that are just as lethal as Bigfoot. When you’re roaming the area with your friends, be on the lookout for other creepy monsters ready to feast on you. This adds that survivalist element to this game and ramps up the intensity; the fact that it’s so realistic immerses you in the world and everything will feel supremely realistic!

There are two different modes for you to choose from: playing against Bigfoot, or playing as Bigfoot. If you choose to play against Bigfoot, you and three of your friends will evade the beast as it stalks you. However, choosing to play as Bigfoot will allow an additional fifth player to join the lobby, and you’ll be able to use predator skills to set traps and hunt your friends. 

8. Fear Therapy - 2021 (PC)  

most haunted games

Forkzilla Gaming, a starter gaming YouTube channel, offers a hilarious gameplay of Fear Therapy.

Ready to be stuck in a haunted house with your friends? This multiplayer horror game permits your crew to wander a creepy house with unnerving sound effects and a disturbing atmosphere in search of ritualistic objects. These ritualistic objects can be used to banish the evil entity from the home and escape. 

This game is really reliant on randomness. You’ll never experience the same game twice because items spawn randomly across the map each time a game begins, and the map even changes every second in real time. Over time, difficulty will increase with experience, and the jumpscares generated are exclusively spontaneous. 

This game lets you play as Satan. That’s right; Satan mode allows you or one of your friends to embody the eerie demon that haunts the house and terrorizes the other players. If you’re looking for a game to share some laughter with friends, take turns playing as the demon and be prepared to scare the life out of your friends!

7. DEVOUR - 2021 (PC)  

most haunted games

You and your friends could have just as much fun as Markiplier and company! 

You’ll never want to encounter a cult ever again after playing this game, whether virtual or real. DEVOUR, a solo and multiplayer horror survival game, tasks you and three other players with stopping otherworldly cult members from sending your crew spiraling into the pits of hell. Break the demonic hold on the cultists by collecting ritualistic items to banish the evil. 

Like other horror games, DEVOUR is uniquely repeatable and no two walkthroughs will ever be the same. Necessary objects will be in different locations, and the number of spawned enemies will vary from game to game; for one hour, your only means of survival is a simple flashlight and convenient hiding spots. Work together as a team to listen for enemies, reach objectives, and gather needed materials to abolish the evil hold on the possessed cultists. 

Your crew will have to gain experience simply by playing the game and leveling up to increase your Cult Rank. As you level up, Ritual Tokens will be granted to you to unlock Perks, or skills that can be used in combat to aid your survival. Do you think all of this is too easy? Turn on “nightmare” mode for an unforgettably horrifying experience!

6. Hunt: Showdown - 2018 (PC, XBO/S/X, PS4/5)  

most haunted games

YouTube Gamer, Keith Ballard, offers a unique co-op walkthrough of this horror game! 

Ever wondered what it was like to live in the late 1800s? This game lets you travel back in time to the year 1895 as a hunter responsible for strategically executing ghoulish monsters threatening your community. In teams of two or three, you’ll participate in this online world and compete against other hunters to conquer each bounty and get ready for the next mission with all eyes on your prize. 

Your weaponry and clothing will be authentic from this era, but keep in mind that your death could result in the total loss of gear. The bleak, industrial graphics coincide with the natural settings of the time period, so you’ll be fully submerged in the game as a member of 1800s society. 

Take your time traversing through this open world; there’s a lot to take in at times because the game is incredibly detailed and created with a delicate hand. You’ll need to find specific clues that are hidden in the natural environment, so patience is key. Other hunters can also sneak up and eliminate you, so carefully listen to your surroundings as well!

5. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes - 2021 (PC, XBO/X/S, PS4/5)  

most haunted games

As the third installment of this game series, House of Ashes certainly doesn’t disappoint.  

Supermassive Games has created a series of horror survival games that’ll have you and your friends on the edge of your seats. Man of Medan, Little Hope, House of Ashes, and soon-to-be-released The Devil In Me are all part of the series. While each game can be played as a standalone, you’ll have a haunting experience playing just one that'll make you want to play them all. You’ll have fun making decisions that’ll affect the storyline and outcome of the game!

House of Ashes is set at the end of the Iraq War and follows a Special Forces team searching for any lethal weapons remaining in the aftermath. Unfortunately, the team accidentally stumbles upon a temple of supernatural creatures, and it’s your job to eliminate these enemies and escape to civilization. Play multiplayer mode with 1-4 friends to complete objectives and horde off the bloodthirsty beasts that have determined you to be dinner.

Your team will be playing in a temple, so the graphics are outstanding. The cinematic views and realistic character attributes reveal how much time was dedicated to developing this game. If not for the mysterious storyline, Supermassive Games certainly has another hit on their hands for the astounding graphics that’ll make you feel like you’re watching a movie. 

4. Lunch Lady - 2021 (PC) 

most haunted games

Popular horror streamer, John Wolfe, plays this perturbing game about everyone’s favorite lunch lady . 

Who knew school could be so terrifying? Play this game and you’ll never want to walk down the hallways again. This survival horror co-op allots four players to wander your school in search of the final exam answers. Who wouldn’t want to ace those pesky tests and coast away into summer? 

But here’s the catch: the lunch lady knows you’re in the school and is looking for you. Find all ten answer sheets and evade her before she catches you. Be careful of the game’s randomness; at the start of each new game, the lunch lady will look for you in new locations, and the answer sheets will be in different areas. What was once safe won’t be for long!

Like other demonic entities in these horror games, the Lunch Lady’s strength and prowess will increase as the game progresses. This will make it exceptionally hard to obtain all ten answer sheets. Prepared to be frustrated at times because death will arrive at the cusp of victory but this gameplay will be exhilarating and thrilling to play with friends.

3. Ghost Watchers - 2022 (PC) 

most haunted games

Do you think you’re an expert ghost hunter? Play this game and test your gaming skills! 

If you’re a fan of exploring abandoned buildings in search of adventure and mystery, you’ll love playing this game in the dark of night with your closest friends. Wander around abandoned homes to find lost souls trapped behind closed doors and capture them for studious purposes. 

This game will continually add new ghosts and locations, so you can repeatedly return to this game for more fun. There are eight types of ghosts and several types of demons, so be prepared for plenty of gory combat and jumpscares. Yet, you’ll be well-equipped to deal with danger; more than twenty tools to find clues and ward off demons will be accessible throughout the gameplay. 

The game’s graphics are really smooth and everything is visually sharp; it’s as if each corner of the furniture is digitally fine-tuned with a careful eye. A lot of effort was put into this game, which is why it’s at the very top of this list. It’s fun to play because of how intricately detailed it is, and this further immerses you in the gameplay. This game is perfect to get you in a spooky mood and to enjoy some quality time with your friends.

2. Labyrinthine - 2020 (PC)  

most haunted games

Markiplier and company try to escape this creepy maze; can you and your pals do the same? 

Not scared of haunted mazes? Labyrinthine is a co-op horror game that’ll make you terrified of them. With up to four players allowed, choose to play the gameplay version or the map version. The gameplay version features a storyline that will guide your crew through the maze with challenging puzzles. You’ll be forced to battle spontaneous, evil entities as part of a bigger plot. However, the map version is a bit different. 

In map mode, the game will generate random mazes that’ll get harder as your team gains experience. Because the map version exists, this game is replayable, so the fun can last throughout the holiday season. It’s essentially free roam of the maze, and you’ll stumble upon unexpected monsters in hidden locations. 

In map mode, you will also be able to collect items to help you traverse through the haunted maze. Whether it be notes for you to understand the maze’s unsettling history or a compass to give you a sense of direction, this game offers a unique cooperative experience that’ll leave you and your friends quivering with fear!

1. Phasmophobia - 2020 (PC)

most haunted games

Watch the infamous Markiplier and this crew of horror gamers partake in virtual ghost hunting! 

When the game title means “fear of ghosts,” you know you’re in for the scariest time of your life. Phasmophobia is an investigative single-player and multiplayer RPG; you and your friends will play as a team of ghost hunters, performing a series of creepy tasks to decipher a ghost’s identity, the location of the haunting, how to stop the haunting, etc. 

Phasmophobia isn’t free like other indie horror games that feature ghost hunting as their niche. On Steam, Phasmophobia is $13.99, a steep price for some gamers unwilling to dish out cash for content you can get from a free ghost hunting game. However, if you’re lucky enough to have an Oculus, you can up the ante and play this game in VR. With one Steam purchase, you’ll have the best of both virtual worlds. 

In this game, you’ll learn about ghost hunting tactics and different types of ghosts that prowl in the night. From the Twins and the Mimic to the Onryo and Raiju, this game submerges you and your friends into this terrifying virtual reality by incorporating elaborate details into the game. It seamlessly weaves a haunting storyline with free roam of an unsettling world.

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8 Haunting Paranormal Games/Rituals You Can Play With Your Friends

8 Haunting Paranormal Games/Rituals You Can Play With Your Friends

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Are you looking for some fun while you’re hanging out with your friends? Do you want to scare them so badly with some haunting rituals that will leave your bones quaking and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? These five games will leave you wanting to do them but also hesitating to actually follow through with them because of how terrifying they actually are.

Origin of Paranormal Games

The origin of haunting paranormal games is believed to be ancient satanic rituals but have been modified after being performed for a hundred of years and took a lesser grim version of the original occult. Rituals were used to summon the Devil , ferocious demons and deadly spirits to spread terror among the humans as well as to worship Satan. Although the rituals where carried out with the uppermost secrecy due to the sacrifices required to summon demonic beings, as years went by some of the rituals would be revealed to some of the public. An as a result of human curiosity the rituals were adapted by certain people as years went by. Until the 19 th century, when they took the form of haunting paranormal games which children would play for fun as well as thrill. But the evils that such games have the potential of unveiling is still of the same magnitude.


paranormal games

Part of the rules for The Midnight Game that can be found online.

Source:  Ghost Face Knife

The Midnight Game is the most haunting, most terrifying game out there that a person can play with their friends. Many believe this game to be an old Pagan ritual that was used as a punishment to those who disobeyed the religion.

Posted above is the beginning of the rules, but the others can simply be found online for those who are daring to play this game. The whole point of this game is to summon The Midnight Man at exactly midnight and surviving until 3:33 a.m.

If you survive the game and the time strikes 3:33 a.m., congratulations! You won the game! You have to walk around your house after following the very simple rules that are clearly outlined online and make sure you avoid him at all costs.

People claim that while playing this game, they have experienced hallucinations and are left with mental scars.People also say that if The Midnight Man catches you then he will either send you into a nightmare dimension or will rip your internal organs out. Be careful if you play this game, you may never know who is lurking around the corners of your home, waiting to attack.


hunted paranormal games

Part of the ritual that people need to do to play the game.

Source:  Mys Town

This game is also called “no sleep” and is extremely popular. This particular game enables the person playing it to go into another dimension. To play this game, the individual needs to play in a large room (preferably the basement) without a single stream of light coming through any doors or windows. A pack of candles, two large mirrors, three chairs and any object from your childhood is needed for this ritual.

You need to set everything up and once it’s complete, leave the door open to the basement and head up to your bedroom. Don’t forget to set your alarm for exactly 3:30 a.m.! If the alarm goes off exactly at 3:30 a.m. and the things in your basement remained as they are, then you can proceed with this game.

To proceed with this game, you need to be seated on your “throne” at exactly 3:33 a.m. with a lighted candle in your hand. DO NOT LET THE CANDLE GO! PROTECT IT FROM A FAN WITH YOUR BODY! When you are seated, look straight into the darkness and DO NOT look into either of the mirrors nor the candle. At this point in this game, you’ll start to feel and hear a presence from somewhere within the room.

People report that it is almost like having a conversation with your conscience or an entity that has manifested as a part of you. This particular entity or conversation will be about your past and the unresolved issues you may have. Some claim that this particular ritual is some kind of psychological experiment that puts you in a lucid dream. How would you feel talking about your past? Do you think this ritual is something that puts you into another dimension or do you think it’s just some type of psychological effect on you?


hunting games

Make sure to use an empty elevator like this one to play the game! 

Source:  Youtube

This particular ritual came from Korea and if this is performed correctly, then it will take you to another dimension by an elevator. To play this game or to conduct this ritual, you will need to find a building that has at least ten floors and has a working elevator. Ensure that no one else will be riding this elevator with you, and then you can proceed with the ritual! Once inside, you will have to do a 4-2-6-2-10-5 combo on the buttons of the elevator.

When it comes time for the elevator to go to the fifth floor, a woman would enter the elevator with you. WARNING: DO NOT SPEAK OR LOOK AT HER! Afterwards press the button for the first floor.

The elevator would begin ascending to the tenth floor inside of going down to the first floor. Once at the tenth floor, you may explore the world that awaits you. Further instructions can be found online and be sure to follow the instructions carefully if you want to have the full experience!

The woman may ask you where you are going but DO NOT ANSWER HER! After walking around in this new world, you may return to the real world by entering the elevator again and using the same combo as before. If you do pass out during this game, you will find yourself inside of your home- but be warned. Everything may not be as it seems.


hunting games

This is what the hooded man looks like when people play the game.

 Source:  Youtube

This ritual is similar to the Elevator ritual because it essentially takes you to another world other than ours. For this one, though, you need to perform a cleansing ritual before starting the actual game either burning sage or spreading salt on your front door. When night approaches, make sure you are in a room with a telephone.

From here, you will be making a call for a cab. If succeeded, a black cab parked outside of your house will appear. Exit your house, get into the cab’s back seat (make sure it’s empty!), lock the door behind you, and go to sleep. If awoken and your watch reads exactly 3:30 a.m., then you will find yourself falling asleep for the second time.

When you wake up the second time, you will be on an unfamiliar highway and the Hooded Man will be behind the wheel of the cab. People claim that other passengers have climbed into the back seat with you, but you should never, EVER acknowledge them. If you want your ride to end, whisper to the hooded man that you have reached your destination, you will fall asleep and then wake up in your house.

When you wake up, you will dial a number and say, “Thank you for the ride.” After this, proceed to do another cleansing ritual. People exclaim that you can continue the ride for as long as you want, but caution the ones that want to further it because the world becomes more absurd as the ride goes and in worst-case-scenario situations, some say you may never be able to escape that world anymore.


most haunted games

An old bathtub inside of an old abandoned house.

Source:  The Ghost In My Machine

Also known as Daruma-san, this game is another ritual from Japan. This particular game involves summoning a ghost that will follow you all day long and attempt to catch you. To do this, you have to go to a bathtub before bed, strip yourself of all of your clothes, fill the tub with water, and turn off all of the lights.

When you get inside of the bathtub, make sure you are facing the faucet. Then, close your eyes and begin to wash your hair while chanting “Daruma-san fell down” over and over again until you are done washing your hair. From there, you will see a mental image of a Japanese woman standing in front of you in the bathtub before she falls on a rusty tap which then goes through her eye.

When you feel a presence near you, ask out loud, “Why did fall in the bathtub?” DO NOT WAIT FOR AN ANSWER! Keep your eyes closed, stand up (carefully) and exit the bathroom with closing the door behind you. Leave the bathwater overnight and get some sleep- that’s where the real game begins! When you wake up, you will feel a presence around you all day.

DO NOT ALLOW HER TO CATCH YOU! Put some distance between you and her by catching her in a glimpse behind your right shoulder and shout, “Kitta!” while doing a karate chop motion with your hand. If you fail to do this properly and fail to catch her before midnight, then you will for sure see her in your dreams.

6. Ouija Board

most haunted games

Image via:  Tumblr

This is one of the most iconic paranormal games known to man, however, people sometimes don’t realize how dangerous this “game” really is. The Ouija board is used to connect with spirits that have crossed over to the other side, and somehow demons use this board as a way to enter our world and possess the people playing with the board or haunt their homes. Researchers have warned people about the dangers of the Ouija board because of the unknown dimensions we could be releasing into our world. They say if people do play with the Ouija board, then they need to follow the rules of it and should never ask a spirit for proof if they are there.

If you ask the spirit to blow out candles or give you a sign they are here, then you just gave them permission to enter our world. That’s something no one wants to happen because you never know what kind of spirit is going to cross over to our side. If you do “play” with the Ouija board, be careful who you talk to and the questions you ask, but most importantly, make sure you ALWAYS say goodbye when you’re done using it. Not saying goodbye allows the portal to remain open, letting any type of spirit roam into our world.

7. The Closet Game

most haunted games

Image via:  YouTube

This game has been deemed the scariest of all paranormal games because you are not just summoning a spirit to your house, you’re summoning an actual demon. In order to make this happen, you need to stand inside of a closet and make sure all of the lights are making, meaning you’re in complete darkness. Once you’re in the dark, you need to hold up an unlit match and say “show me the light or leave me in the darkness”. If you hear someone whispering in your ear, light the match immediately, but if you fail to do so, its said that a demon will drag you into a deep, dark abyss that you cannot escape from.

This could also happen if you look around when you hear the whispering instead of lighting the match right away. Once the match is lit, you have to walk out of your closet without looking back. You have to make sure that the match remains lit and that it doesn’t blow out or anything. From that day forward, whenever you go into your closet, you have to make sure that there is a light always on because the demon you had summoned now haunts your closet and waits for the day there is no light to snatch you and bring you to the dark abyss.

8. One Man Hide and Seek

most haunted games

This particular game originated in Japan and is originally called the Hitori Kakurenbo. While playing this game, you are playing hide and seek with a spirit possessed baby doll. To do this game, you need to find a babydoll, remove all of the stuffing from the inside, fill it with uncooked rice, and add either your fingernail or a piece of your hair to the inside of the doll. To close the doll up, you need to sew it together with red thread and then wrap the red thread around the doll. The next thing you need to do is name the doll any name you’d like and leave it in a bathtub or basket that is full of water.

After putting the doll in the water, you need to go around your house, turn all of the lights off, fill your mouth with salt water, and return to where you had left the doll. Be warned, though, the doll may not be where you left it. If it is not in the tub, you need to go and look for it and when you find the doll, you need to pour the salt water on it and then burn it. After this, you hide in your house somewhere and wait. People who have played the game claim that you don’t have to wait long because you will soon know that someone is looking for you in your own house.

Though these haunting paranormal games would seem very horrifying, one is somewhat tempted to play this game to see what horrors would be revealed into the realm of reality. One might believe these haunting paranormal games to be just funny games who give a bit of a panic and nothing else, and will be tricked into playing the game; might be the trick of a demon who is hungry for a soul! But one cannot avoid the inescapable.

If you think you have guts in you and mettle in your veins, go ahead and try what pokes your mind. Some of the games can be played easily inside a room like The Three Kings Ritual. Never forget to take the safety measures. Ignoring the rules of a haunting paranormal game is absolutely out of the question, failing to comply with the rules will result in… well, you’ll find it out yourself.

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Best Arcade Horror Games, Ranked

Posted: November 24, 2023 | Last updated: November 24, 2023

Arcade games can be stressful. Watching the timer tick away in the top corner as players shoot their way, or fight their way through levels, can create an exhilarating sense of excitement. This excitement is often heightened even further by playing some classic arcade horror games, which heightens the thrill exponentially.

From co-op light gun shooters , to gruesome brawlers, these horror games can create the ultimate arcade experience. Spanning across decades, arcade horror game releases aren't slowing down, and remain ever popular. From vampires and ghouls to zombies and goblins, arcade horror games put players' worst nightmares up against their patience and reaction skills. Players know they're always in for a fun time with these titles.

RELATED: Best Arcade Racing Games

Gamefaqs User Score: 2.5/5

Released in 1998 in arcade cabinets around the world, Evil Night is a great light gun shooter that will put players' reaction skills to the test. This is an incredibly graphic title, featuring dismemberment and a lot of blood, but it's an innovative shooter that fully leans into its horror roots.

Players will go up against chainsaw-wielding zombies and some cheesy-looking skeletons as they explore a variety of levels in a haunted mansion and attempt to complete the game. It's quite difficult, but its legacy should be noted for its gruesome approach to the arcade experience and its destructible objects.

Zombie Revenge

Gamefaqs user score: 3/5.

Originally intending to release with a House of the Dead tagline, Zombie Revenge is a spinoff from the popular arcade franchise. However, instead of becoming another generic light gun shooter, Zombie Revenge is a great 3D beat 'em up game that feels like all the good parts of the original Resident Evil mashed into an arcade format.

RELATED: Best Zombie Games, Ranked

The story is ridiculously convoluted, but it's the gameplay that excels here. Players will fight their way through hordes of zombies with a variety of weapons, often interacting with the surrounding environments. The boss fights are great, and the general level designs are also awesome.

Vampire Night

Vampire night gamefaqs user score: 3/5.

At the time of release in 2001, Vampire Night received mostly positive, but slightly mixed reviews. However, looking back on it today in comparison to newer arcade experience, Vampire Night is actually pretty great. It's got one of the best settings in any arcade horror title and includes an interesting variety of enemies.

The gunplay itself is fun, albeit a little difficult to master. However, it's the story that really shines here, especially for an arcade game. It's a simple setup - two vampire hunters enter a castle to take out all threats - but the way it plays out feels like an arcade version of Devil May Cry . It's just a super fun, horror arcade experience, and gamers can even get it on their PS2.

Gamefaqs User Score: 3.5/5

CarnEvil is an arcade light gun shooter which consists of four action-packed levels. Released in 1998, gamers all around the world were put off by the game's creepy atmosphere containing a number of psycho clowns and haunted amusement parks. It dives into a niche but prominent fear and is definitely one to avoid if players have a phobia of clowns!

RELATED: Gaming Clowns That Are Not Evil

However, for those looking to jump into a creepy, horror-filled, light gun experience, CarnEvil won't let players down. The arcade cabinet featured a pump-action shotgun for gamers to arm themselves with, and its incredibly satisfying shooting down the various ghouls and enemies. Just be warned that it might put some players off visiting an amusement park anytime soon!

Dark Escape 4D

The best thing about Dark Escape 4D is its entire arcade cabinet. When it was released to arcades in 2012, Dark Escape 4D went above and beyond expectations to immerse gamers. This is an arcade experience that included 3D glasses, a surround sound system, seat vibrations and even air fans, which created the ultimate, most realistic jump scare experiences .

It all ties in to create a genuinely terrifying arcade horror game. The beginning of the game feels like a setup from a Saw movie, and the environments feel extremely unsettling. It's not often that jump scares are effective, but this is an arcade game that pulls them off like no other.


Splatterhouse is an arcade beat 'em up , sidescroller which released in 1988. Players assume control of a machete-wielding lunatic wearing a hockey-mask. It garnered a lot of controversy when it was released both in arcades and on home consoles due to its violent nature and satanic themes.

However, Splatterhouse includes one of the most satisfying approaches to 2D arcade gameplay ever, as every swing of the weapon in-game feels heavy and feels like it has a real impact. The graphics were great for its time, and it still holds up well today, creating an effectively spooky arcade atmosphere.

RELATED: Best Modern Arcade Games

Night Slashers

Night Slashers is like a cult-classic horror film in arcade video game format. It's a classic side-scrolling , beat 'em up adventure but with added horror elements that all merge into a super fun experience. The combat is entertaining, to say the least, and players can literally punch hordes of zombies to death.

It's got some memorable music, which pairs well with its scenic environments and action-based gameplay. It feels like a 1980s, cheesy B-movie horror experience and it's well worth playing.

The House Of The Dead 2

The house of the dead 2.

Of course, the best arcade horror games fall under the House of the Dead franchise, but it's The House of the Dead 2 that takes the cake for the best entry in the franchise. A huge improvement from the original, The House of the Dead 2 is one of the best light gun games ever made. It's visually great, the gunplay is solid, and it's the perfect length and level of difficulty.

Released in 1998, The House of the Dead 2 is set in Italy and continues the story of AMS Agents from the original game, who are attempting to stop the spread of a zombie infection. If gamers have to pick one arcade horror game to play, then this should be the one. Sure, it's quite camp and goofy at times, but what arcade game isn't?

Ghouls 'n Ghosts

Gamefaqs user score: 4/5.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts is a 1990 arcade horror title that built on the success of its predecessor, Ghosts 'n Goblins , to create one of the best side-scrolling arcade games ever made. The visuals were incredible for a 1990 arcade title, and the gameplay was solid and surprisingly deep.

Developed by Capcom , Ghouls 'n Ghosts also featured a great soundtrack, which perfectly resembled the games' haunting atmosphere. Throughout the short game, players play as Sir Arthur, traversing a haunted village and taking out any enemies along the way. Throwing spears at some ghouls has never been more fun.

MORE: Best Arcade Games That Were Left In The Arcade

Best Arcade Horror Games, Ranked

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The Most-Anticipated Horror Games Of 2024 And Beyond

By Mark Delaney on January 9, 2024 at 10:00AM PST

most haunted games

We looked back on 2023 as perhaps the best year in horror video games of all time , and yet, 2024 is looking scary-good, too. The year ahead in horror gaming is full of major series sequels and remakes, tiny indies to look out for, and everything in between. Scare-wise, you've got zombies, ghosts, mutants, twisted takes on Disney, and Killer Klowns, among lots else.

If you're one to turn off the lights, throw on a headset, and dive into something haunting, here's what you can expect to find in 2024 and beyond. Given the frequency with which games are delayed, we've organized this list alphabetically, but we've included release dates and platform availability wherever possible. For more, check out all of the upcoming 2024 release dates we know about.

A Feral Night

A Feral Night

Release date: 2024 | Platforms: PC

The first game on our list comes from Dan McGrath, the solo horror dev behind last year's incredible alien abduction game, Incident at Grove Lake . When I knew I would be writing this, I reached out to see what's next from McGrath because I've found his projects on itch.io are becoming some of the best modern horror games available. A Feral Night is set in his childhood home and centers around an entity that comes out in the dark, which you must confront. Fans of Skinamarink should take note. He also shared that a second game is in the works. Currently without a title, it focuses on you playing "a Priest sent by the Church to study [a nun's] claims that she has been chosen by God to give birth to the Next Messiah."

Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Release date: March 20 | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

For horror fans who go way back, Alone in the Dark is a familiar name. It's been nearly a decade since the last game in the series, even longer since the last single-player game in the series (2008), and even longer since the last well-received game in the series (2001). The original game goes all the way back to 1992 and this 2024 remake is a modern retelling of that, which allows for a much greater graphical leap than last year's Dead Space and Resident Evil 4 remakes.

Bye Sweet Carole

Bye Sweet Carole

We've just begun, but spoiler warning: This is probably the most visually striking game on this list. Just look at it--amazing. Bye Sweet Carole is a 2D horror adventure game made to look very much like a classic-era Disney animation such as Snow White or Cinderella. That juxtaposition gives the whole project a Grimm's Fairy Tales vibe, so don't be surprised if you can never watch Disney hand-drawn movies the same after Bye Sweet Carole.

Clock Tower

Clock Tower

Release date: 2024 | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Xbox One, PS4, Switch

Another name that goes way back for horror fans is Clock Tower, and for players in the western hemisphere, the re-launch of the original 2D Clock Tower is likely the first chance they've had to play it since the game named Clock Tower that launched on PlayStation in 1997 was actually Clock Tower 2. The true first game in the series, once found on Super Famicom (SNES), is making its debut in many regions later this year. Players can decide for themselves how the horrors have aged in nearly 30 years, but it remains an interesting piece of genre history anyway.

Dead Letter Dept.

Dead Letter Dept.

Release date: TBA | Platforms: PC

Sometimes my colleagues get gently annoyed with my distaste for virtually anything retro-flavored, but I make exceptions for horror games, in which case I think fuzzy, lo-fi scares are actually pretty great. That's why, to me, Dead Letter Dept. looks like one to keep an eye on. It's already got a Steam demo, so you can see for yourself how creepy mail-sorting can be.

Hideo Kojima's OD

Hideo Kojima's OD

Release date: TBA | Platforms: Xbox

We'd be surprised if this one actually launches in 2024, but given rumors swirled for nearly two years before its official reveal in December 2023, and the way it's billed as some kind of game-movie hybrid project, it could be closer than we think. Like a lot of Kojima projects, it's what we don't know that is most fun to speculate about. What is Jordan Peele's involvement? Why did the set for the game's reveal resemble PT's opening scene exactly? Why were the actors in the debut trailer speaking such nonsense? It'll be fun to unravel while we wait.


If you loved 2022's Signalis for the way it borrowed from PS1- and PS2-era horror games, Hollowbody is one to watch. It's made to look quite like the horror games of that era, complete with fixed camera angles, tricky puzzles, and an emphasis on inventory management. It's also set in a post-Brexit dystopia, so it likely has something more to say than "Boo!"

John Carpenter's Toxic Commando

John Carpenter's Toxic Commando

Release date: 2024 | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

John Carpenter has never been shy about his adoration of video games , so fans of his should rejoice at the news that he's making another one himself. His first game since narrating and consulting on FEAR 3, Toxic Commando is a first-person zombie shooter with, judging by the name, some B-movie antics in play. It comes from Saber Interactive, which has been involved in many past horror projects already, like Evil Dead and World War Z.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game

Joining the increasingly crowded space of licensed horror games comes Killer Klowns, based on the cult classic Chiodo brothers movie from the '80s. Killer Klowns will be played in asymmetrical teams, putting it in the same proverbial bucket as Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Evil Dead, and Dead By Daylight. Given the game's modest stature, the game actually has a chance to be the biggest part of the IP to date.

Little Nightmares 3

Little Nightmares 3

After two unsettling entries from Tarsier Studio, the third Little Nightmares game is coming, this time from Supermassive, the horror aficionados responsible for games like Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures Anthology, and The Quarry. The debut trailer showed off plenty of, well, nightmare fuel, akin to the first two games, only this time it can all happen in two-player co-op. Maybe that will help reduce the terror, or maybe it'll make things worse when your co-op buddy gets dragged into the shadows.


The tendrils of PT's influence continue to reach out and touch new projects even today, nearly a full decade since the game's surprising debut. Luto is among the latest of the PT-likes, with a haunted house story that's very reminiscent of the once-planned Silent Hill sequel. I played the demo for this once myself and I'm eager to see more once I can.

Pacific Drive

Pacific Drive

Release date: February 22 | Platforms: PC, PS5

Take a little cosmic horror, a bit of management sim, and set it all in a jalopy embarking on a roguelite trek across the Pacific Northwest, and you have Pacific Drive. This is another that won me over with a demo session, thanks in part to the very hands-on gameplay that demands players maintain their vehicle's usefulness through a series of upgrades and maintenance mechanics as an oddly sci-fi dystopian world seeks to swallow them whole. The vibes are strong and the threats are real in this one.

Paranormal Tales

Paranormal Tales

This bodycam-presented haunted house story went viral on X/Twitter when its first gameplay footage was shown off, partly because it's one of a few different bodycam games that have displayed an incredible level of visual fidelity. We don't know a lot else about the game for now, which has led some to wonder if it's anything more than an eye-catching tech demo , but the developer says a full game is in the works. Its novel perspective could make it a trendsetter in the horror genre.


Release date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Xbox One, PS4

Not the first PT-inspired game on this list, Reveil mixes in a touch of creepy clowns and dark circus with the residential terrors of the PT-like subgenre. That difference could help set it apart from a crowded field of games that may at first resemble it quite closely. If you're down with the (creepy) clown, this could be one for you.


Release date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One

Routine was previously shown off during an Xbox Games Showcase, giving the indie sci-fi horror a sizable stage to make a good first impression. With a space setting similar to the Nostromo of Alien and No Code's Observation, this one should appeal to players who like slow-burning atmospheric horrors set far away from the safe haven of Earth.

Silent Hill 2 remake

Silent Hill 2 remake

Release date: 2024 | Platforms: PC, PS5

Silent Hill 2 is arguably the game with the most buzz around it, but that buzz has come in a few different varieties. After recent horror remakes have gone well, some players are eager for the next classic to be reborn in a modern context. Others have been dubious that Layers of Fear's Bloober Team is the right studio to reimagine such a classic. The stunning conclusion to this debate should come this year, as the game is pacing to launch before it's over.

Silent Hill F

Silent Hill F

Release date: TBA | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

For some Silent Hill fans, it's the oddly-titled Silent Hill F (stylized as Silent Hill f) that is actually the most exciting one. SHF is being made by a team in Japan that includes former Resident Evil devs, and given the series' lineage, it's this one--with its emphasis on music and curiously dark imagery--that has many fans most eager of all upcoming Silent Hill projects.

Silent Hill: Townfall

Silent Hill: Townfall

Release date: TBA | Platforms: TBA

And then there's this one, which comes from No Code, the team behind brilliant horror games Observation and Stories Untold. If those are any indication of what Townfall will be like, players can expect a non-traditional take on the horror hallmark, as the studio has done a lot with adventure-style gameplay that may ignore something like third-person character survival mechanics. But then again, we've seen almost none of it, so only time will tell.



Though it's not a Silent Hill game like the last three on this list, Slitterhead likely still appeals to the same fans, as it's got a vibe to it that's very reminiscent of early-aughts horror games where the ammo was scarce and the monsters were totally f***ed up. It also comes from Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama, so it's got a pedigree to it that most games can't boast.

Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl

Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl

Release date: 2024 | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S

The much-anticipated post-apocalyptic wasteland horror-shooter has been delayed a few times due to the team's unfortunate displacement following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but through it all, the studio has led with a determined, at times even defiant, public image as it seeks to complete this major sequel to a game that fans of Metro 2033 shouldn't miss.

Still Wakes The Deep

Still Wakes The Deep

Another indie horror shown off on a big Xbox stage last year, Still Wakes The Deep comes from the team behind Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (pretty creepy) and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (not a horror game, but still kind of creepy). For this next game, something weird is going on aboard an oil rig in Scotland during Christmas of 1975, which makes for a novel setting for a scary story. At sea, can anyone hear you scream?

The Casting of Frank Stone

The Casting of Frank Stone

At the time of writing this, Frank Stone is one of the newest game reveals on this list--it's actually the newest of them all if you don't count the next one below. So there's not a lot we know for sure, other than it takes place within the wider Dead By Daylight universe. However, it comes from Supermassive, so it seems like it could be done in the vein of Until Dawn or another of the team's narrative horror games.

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered

Release date: January 19 | Platforms: PS5

The Last of Us is now a series with two entries and three remasters, which definitely comes off as odd, but if you somehow missed one of 2020's best games, or are itching to return to it, this PS5-only remaster has a lot to offer, including updated visuals, a new roguelite mode called No Return, and more. If you already own the game on PS4, you can upgrade to this version for $10, too.

The Outlast Trials

The Outlast Trials

Release date: March 5 | Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S, PS5

The 1.0 launch of the first-ever Outlast multiplayer game coincides with its port to consoles later this year, which should give many more players a chance to see the nauseatingly terrifying series in a whole new light. I played this one for some hours last year during early access, but I'd like to get more time with it to see how I really feel about it--something I intend to do just as soon as I round up three others brave enough to join.

Disclosure: GameSpot and Fanatical are both owned by Fandom.

  • Leave Blank

most haunted games

Screen Rant

10 most anticipated horror games of 2024.

From slow-burning psychological horror to gore-filled breakneck action, there are plenty of horror titles releasing in 2024 to sink your teeth into.

  • Highly anticipated horror games like Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Tormented Souls 2 offer unique worlds and intense atmospheres for fans of blood, gore, and thrilling experiences.
  • The Casting of Frank Stone is a single-player horror game with a creepy narrative set in the Dead by Daylight universe, offering divergent storylines and unique endings.
  • Some of the most anticipated horror games are iconic titles with updated graphics and a faithful retelling of the original story.

It takes a certain type of person to truly revel in the frights and scares of a truly immersive horror game . Whether it's a psychological thriller like Alone in the Dark or player-choice, narrative-driven games like The Casting of Frank Stone , plenty of highly anticipated horror games are being released in 2024. While some of the new games come in the form of known and loved franchises or as reboots of iconic titles like The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered , other games are creating wholly unique and new worlds for players to explore and experiment in.

Those with a penchant for blood and gore and don't mind a bit of violence, enjoy the thrills of hectic chases down dark corridors, or just genuinely enjoy the horror genre for the emotional ups and downs it can elicit will not be left wanting. Though a game like Slitterhead is a highly-anticipated title with iconic developers involved in its creation, games without an official release window won't be included.

25 Best Horror Games To Play Right Now

10 killer klowns from outer space: the game (2024), platforms: pc, ps4/ps5, xbox one & x/s.

Though it's arguable whether Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game will be a good asymmetrical horror game, it is a title based on a beloved cult-classic horror film from 1988. Only time will tell whether it can capture the audiences that enjoy games like Dead by Daylight or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , but the strong IP and familiar clowns give this title some needed anticipation. Similar to its source material, Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game looks to be a wackier, more slapstick affair than other dark horror titles more rooted in reality.

9 Tormented Souls 2 (2024)

Platforms: pc, ps5, xbox x/s.

A long-awaited sequel to the original game with the same name, Tormented Souls 2 , was announced at Gamescom 2023 to great fanfare from those who played the original. If Tormented Souls 2 is anything like the first game, it's destined to be a gritty, surreal experience filled with dark and horrifying atmosphere and mystery . Reminiscent of the original Resident Evil titles with a much greater emphasis on puzzle solving, much of what holds the first game back is its technical limitations, something the sequel can remedy.

Tormented Souls 2 will follow the story of Caroline Walker as she desperately attempts to rescue her cursed sister.

8 Banishers: Ghosts Of New Eden (February 13, 2024)

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is an upcoming immersive-action RPG set in a vivid and horrific world filled with otherworldy beasts, vengeful spirits, and ominous curses . Set in the late 1600s, the game follows two lovers and ghost hunters who set out to protect people from deadly ghosts and spirits that roam the town of New Eden. With divergent story arcs and what looks to be high-paced and compelling gameplay, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is one to look out for for those who enjoy action horror games.

7 The Casting Of Frank Stone (2024)

The casting of frank stone.

Though The Casting of Frank Stone may not be known to those who don't play Behaviour Interactive's Dead by Daylight , every horror fan should know about the upcoming single-player horror title. Developed in collaboration with Supermassive Games, the same devs that created The Dark Pictures Anthology , The Casting of Frank Stone is a creepy narrative horror tale set inside the macabre Dead by Daylight universe . Like other Supermassive titles, decisions will decide the fate of a group of hapless teenagers, leading to divergent storylines and unique endings.

New Game Set In Dead By Daylight Universe Is Single-Player (& Coming Soon)

6 alone in the dark (march 20, 2024), alone in the dark (2024).

A Southern Gothic psychological thriller, Alone in the Dark is a new survival horror game and a re-imagining of the original 1992 game of the same name. Like the original story, the new Alone in the Dark will follow the story of 1920s private detective Edward Carnby (played by David Harbour) and Emily Hardwood (played by Jodie Comer) as they unlock the mysteries behind a cursed location. A blending of the works of H.R. Giger and H.P. Lovecraft, Alone in the Dark is a true love letter to noir-style detective thrillers with a horror-thriller twist.

"The Granddaddy of Survival Horror Returns" - Alone in the Dark Preview

5 little nightmares 3 (2024), platforms: nintendo switch, pc, ps4/ps5, xbox one & x/s, little nightmares 3.

Yet another sequel to a wildly popular game, Little Nightmares 3 , will pick up where the second puzzle-platformer left off but will feature two new characters, Low and Alone. Taking place in a 2.5D world, the game will finally contain online co-op, which makes sense considering the teamwork features in the game and the fact there are two main protagonists. Though not the most realistically horrifying franchise, the stylish dark aesthetic and compelling gameplay make this a horror title suited for a wide range of audiences.

4 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart Of Chornobyl (Q1 2024)

Platforms: pc, s.t.a.l.k.e.r. 2: heart of chornobyl.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart Of Chornobyl is the highly-anticipated sequel to the original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. released in 2007, and will feature the same mysterious, creeping, and often horrifying story of discovery while navigating the horrors created by the fallout from the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. A blend of first-person shooting, survival horror, and simulation , the upcoming title has been highly anticipated by those who have played the first game, and for good reason.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart Of Chornobyl has seen several development and production delays, as the game's developers, GSC Game World, based out of Ukraine, have been the unfortunate targets of cyberattacks and have been affected by war in the region. That said, it looks like the survival horror title will finally get a proper release in the early months of 2024, though no hard date has been officially set.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl Hands-On Preview - Clunky Gunplay In Scary Environmental Dangers

3 vampire: the masquerade - bloodlines 2 (fall 2024).

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is a highly-anticipated title nearly 20 years in the making, as the original came out in 2004 and quickly gained a cult following. The original Bloodlines put people in the shoes of a night-stalking vampire in a semi-open world RPG with a ton of character customization and progression , enabling people to create everything from a smooth-operating romancer to a grotesque Nosferatu-like creature.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will place the protagonist in the center of an all-out vampire civil war as an elder vampire looking to claim power for themselves in modern-day Seattle. With updated graphics, a new narrative and story, and a host of new abilities, hopefully, the new title will also boast the same player-choice options that made the original so popular.

The first Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was developed by Troika Games and published by Activision, while the sequel will be developed by The Chinese Room and published by Paradox Interactive.

2 Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 (2024)

Platforms: pc, xbox x/s.

Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is the much-anticipated follow-up to the highly-praised Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice from 2017. An action-adventure horror title, the original Hellblade was an intense, psychological thriller with monstrous abominations and plenty of gore , and the sequel promises to follow up in glorious form. Following the events after the first title, the game will again follow Senua as she navigates dangerous open areas, solves complex puzzles, and fights against the dark creatures infesting her mind. Announced at The Game Awards 2023, the original title was a fascinating and terrifying look at mental health and trauma.

1 Silent Hill 2 Remake (2024)

Platforms: pc, ps5, silent hill 2 remake.

Though there's been a ton of hype since the Silent Hill 2 Remake was originally announced in the fall of 2022, not much has been revealed about the remake of the iconic horror game from 2001. A rejuvenation of the franchise, the game is being produced by Motoi Okamoto of Konami while the creature designer of the original title, Masahiro Ito, and composer Akira Yamaoka has returned to work on the remake of the game. Like the original Silent Hill 2 , the remake will follow closely with the original story of James Sunderland on the hunt to find his wife after receiving a mysterious letter.

most haunted games

Nielsen Streaming Top 10: ‘Reacher’ Returns at No. 2 With Over 1.5 Billion Minutes Viewed, ‘Leave the World Behind’ Stays at No. 1

By BreAnna Bell

BreAnna Bell

  • ‘The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks’ Reaches 10 Million Viewers Across Platforms 9 hours ago
  • Nielsen Streaming Top 10: ‘Reacher’ Returns at No. 2 With Over 1.5 Billion Minutes Viewed, ‘Leave the World Behind’ Stays at No. 1 1 day ago
  • Brittany Snow, Louis Herthum, Berto Colon, and Two More Join Netflix’s ‘Night Agent’ for Season 2 1 day ago

Reacher Season 2

Amazon’s “Reacher” returned to Nielsen’s streaming top 10 at No. 2 during the Dec. 11-17 viewing window following the release of the first three episodes in Season 2 on Dec. 15. In its first three days of availability, the series snagged 1.7 billion viewing minutes. According to Nielsen, two-thirds of that audience belong to the ages 50+ demographic and 58% of the show’s viewers are male — a stat that has been carried over from Season 1.

After cracking the chart last week at No. 1 with nearly 2 billion minutes viewed, “ Leave the World Behind ” remains at the top of Nielsen’s weekly streaming rankings. In its first full week of availability, the film earned another impressive 1.95 billion minutes watched.

It was followed by “ Young Sheldon ,” which landed on Nielsen’s streaming chart three weeks ago after debuting on Netflix, despite it already being available on Max. Across both streamers from during the interval, the CBS comedy was watched for 1.43 billion minutes.

Also marking its return to Nielsen’s chart is “The Crown” which landed in fourth place following the Dec. 14 of the royal drama’s final episodes. The series earned 1.22 billion minutes viewed over the course of four days. It lands just ahead of “My Life With the Walter Boys,” which racked up 1.1 billion minutes viewed in its first week of availability following its Dec. 7 debut.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” dropped to No. 7 on the chart with 898 million minutes watched after previously ranking third in the previous interval. Netflix’s “Obliterated” moved to No. 9 on this week’s rankings with 729 million minutes viewed after making its debut on the overall chart last week at No. 5 with 917 million minutes watched.

It’s also worth noting that “Barbie,” which landed on Max during this interval on Dec. 15, didn’t manage to land on the overall streaming chart, but opened at No. 3 on the movies chart with 518 million minutes viewed in its first three days of streaming.

See Nielsen’s list of overall streaming rankings for Dec. 11-17 first, followed by original streaming titles, acquired titles and then films.

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