There’s something about horror that draws in people – it allows you to feel scared without there being any imminent danger around you. While movies can be scary enough as it is, video games have taken the horror experience to another level, time and time again. Video games provide a unique horror experience in that there is a danger presented to you – losing the game or having to start over – and the horror elements further stimulate the experience in ways movies or books can’t.
The horror video game genre has gathered avid enthusiasts over the years, with developers churning out hits that kept audiences wanting more. From action staples to thriller adventures, there is no dearth of games to choose from if you are looking for a good scare during your next gaming session. But if you are looking for the best in the genre, then here are titles you should take a look at.
Resident Evil 2
When the 2019 remake of one of the greatest horror games was announced, people were skeptical about whether the new version could match and deliver better on what made the original a classic. When the game was finally released, it was clear that Capcom had delivered another success. The game takes you through a narrative that is full of twists and turns. You will have to fight zombies, and not even the humans, as you will soon discover, can be trusted.
Available For: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
If you thought Dark Souls was hard, wait till you play Bloodborne. Set in fictional Yharnan, this action RPG mixes Lovecraftian horror with action and adventure. The result is a game that is both visually entrancing and difficult to beat. You will constantly find yourself running into monsters when you least expect it, and there is no easy way to win. The world presents a nightmarish appearance, and its worldbuilding and narrative make for an experience in horror that you will not want to miss out on.
Available for: PlayStation 4
The first in the Dead Space franchise and arguably one of the best in the series, the first installment focuses more on sci-fi horror elements. You play as a systems engineer named Isaac Clarke. You wake up in an isolated mining ship and soon discover that the ship is being controlled by an alien species. There may have been other humans on board with you, but they are no longer humans but creatures called ‘necromorphs’ that you have to make your way through. One of the best survival horror games you will come across, Dead Space is a classic in the genre.
Available for: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
We Happy Few
A brilliant horror game with a unique narrative, this game is set in an alternate universe from ours, where history deviated from ours after World War II. In the year 1964, the city of Wellington Wells in England is overrun by people addicted to a hallucinogenic drug called ‘Joy’. There is a reason behind why they take this drug. They do not want to remember a crime they committed a long time ago. However, using this drug also turns them into people capable of criminal behavior and extreme brutality. You play as a ‘Downer’, that is, a character who has decided to stop using Joy. Navigate through this unique world in We Happy Few.
Available for: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
This is an indie game that became a staple in the horror video games genre. Its storytelling and first-person narrative, alongside the fact that you can only run and hide in this game, makes for an experience in horror you have to see for yourself. You play as Daniel, a man from London who wakes up in Brennenburg Castle in Prussia. You find out that you have lost all your memories, and that you did it to yourself to protect yourself. You are also surrounded by creatures called ‘Gatherers’, they were once human but are now the enemies hunting you down. You have to navigate through the castle while keeping yourself safe in order to discover the mystery behind Daniel’s past and the castle.
Available for: Linux, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac OSX
The best survival horror game you will come across, the first Outlast game, is an unmissable experience for any horror game fan of the genre. You play as a journalist that has gone to Colorado to investigate what is happening in a psychiatric hospital. There, you will have to run and hide from the enemies that attack you, with nothing more than a night vision camera to give you light.
Available for: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X