As the saying goes – what’s your favorite scary movie? Well, to one-up it – what’s your favorite horror game? In this, we’ll be counting down the best, worst, and scariest games from the horror genre. Horror games tend to be similar to each other with jump scares and so on, but there is an original game that shows up on the horizon from time to time.
Most horror games will tell you to solve puzzles, put you in some kind of survival horror or guide you through some little nightmares that will keep you awake at night, leaving you with psychological scares of a nightmarish world in the distance.
Some horror games will let you go through all of it from the first-person perspective to shock you from wherever. Others, however, let you enjoy the psychological horror from up far. That said, there is no “best” way to tell a disturbing story, but with so many terrifying games – we hope you will find something for yourself.
So, counting down, here is our subjective list of the greatest horror games in gaming history! Horror fans unite!
Resident Evil (franchise)
Well, the first game is probably the most obvious one of them all. Or should we say a few of the most obvious ones because it is a franchise that impacted the video game and pop culture world.
It was not just one of the scary games to add to your collections – it was an experience! Since the franchise’s first game release, the horror gaming genre has never been the same.
Killing zombies, running away, investigating world-wide conspiracy or even protecting the president’s daughter – every Resident Evil game had something unique going on for them. Well, all of the Resident Evil games had something going on, especially considering that there are many movies and comics based on the franchise.
It’s a great pick with still playable Resident Evil 7 CD key and recent Resident Evil Village CD key. The latter one especially, as it gained a lot of traction by connecting the franchise to the open-world games genre. Well, you just have to try it for yourself.
- Great plot that guides you through the hordes of zombies (Resident Evil 2 – still the best, especially with a remake on the way).
- A must-play in the horror genre, considering the history of gaming.
- Creative shooting system.
Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil: Village
With such a massive franchise, we just had to differentiate some of the best and playable parts. Going 20 years back can probably be a visual shock, so let’s focus on some newer editions in the franchise.
Like – Resident Evil 7, for example, and its continuation – Resident Evil: Village. Here is our protagonist – Ethan Winters. His missing wife, Mia, who has not been seen for three years now, managed to send out some message for him to go to Dulvey, Louisiana, where the Baker family lives.
He ultimately manages to save his wife with a bit of help from Chris Redfield…just to get into the hands of evil (and – searched for on the internet – Lady Dimitrescu).
It’s a two-part series that really reignited the belief in the Resident Evil franchise after some hiccups, so make sure to check it out!
Resident Evil 4 VR
It’s a bonus but worth checking out, as the VR experience changes everything. You are Leon S. Kennedy protecting the president’s daughter, this time, from the first-person perspective. If you haven’t tried it – your should definitely do!
Resident Evil 2 Remake
It was one of the best games in the series, and now it’s coming back. Fall of the Raccoon City can be now experienced as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield!
It is still, to this day, an amazing experience to be had and a game that just demands to be played one more time. With a remake – it is possible to take on the Raccoon City once more!
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The second one on our list is the fan-favorite (also getting a remake shortly) – Dead Space! One of the most terrifying games to this date because it puts you in the role of not some space marine or whatever.
You were an engineer with zero combat experience. So – you just had to survive.
It’s a great horror game with layers of fear piling on top of one another. You are on an abandoned space station (or rather a ghost ship). All of your crew members got turned into some kind of zombie, and you are here on your own, fighting your inner demons.
There are two things that really made this game, besides the fact that the protagonist is an engineer. The first one was the plot. Many games have a brooding atmosphere, but this one takes the cake. It really feels like one of the movies from the Aliens franchise.
The second one was the design of the monsters. Necromorphs are really scary, with their crazy limbs and heads. It’s probably the variation on a human body that makes it feel so weird and unsettling. Remember – don’t shoot them in the head; tear their limbs one by one.
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- Unsettling atmosphere.
- A variation on the protagonist aspect.
- Great enemies design.
Silent Hill (franchise)
You can’t spell scary game without talking about Silent Hill. Our parents and partners processing these weird screams in the night is probably the least weird thing about this franchise.
Silent Hll is a fictional town, where, well, bad things happen. After the siren or a bell, you just need to find a place to hide and get out of there because the hell breaks loose (literally).
Pyramid head is probably the staple in the scary characters universe and for a reason. The game has a really creative design and an atmosphere of constant danger.
Putting the player in one of the Silent Hills and just asking them to survive is a scary and sadistic concept that gamers worldwide enjoyed. With a horror movie and popularity that other games can only dream of – it is an important one on our list.
It does not matter if you want to try some classic Silent Hill or Silent Hill 2 action or try something new like Dead by Daylight: Silent Hill Chapter Steam CD key – you will be terrified and begging for it to stop. In a good way!
- Amazing character design.
- Plot that inspired many other horror games.
- One of the biggest games in the genre.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Frictional Games created a monster with this one. The reason Pewdiepie has over 100 million subs on YouTube. The reason why children are scared to open the computer. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is not only another game in the genre. It’s a revolution.
You can’t fight them off. You can’t run away from them. You really cannot do much, and just by looking at them – you will become insane! It’s one of those games that will make you scream a lot.
For a better chance of survival – use headphones. Audio cues are key to finding out where the monsters are.
Solving puzzles while simultaneously trying not to die, then die a lot seems like a good afternoon experience, wouldn’t you say?
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- One of the scariest games to this date.
- A tremendous amount of scary monsters.
- Fun puzzles to solve.
The Dark Pictures Anthology
Supermassive Games, a company responsible for the series, created an interesting horror game concept to follow. It’s a third-person perspective kind of game in which one or more players take control of the five different characters. In Man of Medan – you are trapped on a ghost ship.
The gameplay is where this game really tools off to the unknown. Usually, in this type of game, it looks like that – well, go there, solve a puzzle, try not the die – see ya! Here – it’s totally different.
Players have to make a decision based on the character’s head or heart. It’s really a role-playing kind of experience.
While choosing, the game will adapt to their choices and change the course of events based on it. It’s a really fun idea to toy with and a fantastic game to play with your friends. Definitely worth checking out!
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- Unusual gameplay where you have to make choices based on one characteristic.
- Great voice acting.
- Innovative approach to the horror genre.
If there is one good reason to play Alan Wake, it’s that you’ll never feel as much as Stephen King as in this single-player experience. You are a writer with a past to deal with. Your wife has gone missing during vacation. Now – you are lost, feeling empty, tearing the house down, trying to make sense of it.
Well – here is your typical writer’s experience. When it came out, everyone was talking about how great this game was and how everyone should play it. And – for a reason!
The atmosphere of being a writer investigating a story while refusing to acknowledge your wife's death – it’s like Twin Peaks (or Bright Falls as in this case) would meet horror genre and have a kid!
Creatures are lurking in the shadows, so remember to take your flashlight with you – horrors do not like the light. With a sequel on the way, it’s great to get some detailed information on the first game. Who knows, maybe it’s your next best game!
You are just a young girl in a weird conflict. But – not just a girl, oh no. You are Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter – a character known for kicking butts and tough looks into alien mouths.
If Dead Space was the closest to Alien franchise, here we have – the Alien franchise.
As usual – you are stuck on a space station, there is an alien to take care of and a terrifying one, to be exact.
Things took the wrong turn, so instead of trying to kill the monster – just hide. You cannot fight with them, so find a way to get around the alien monsters! It’s a great game of hide and seek and a love letter to the franchise. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of some Ripley family action!
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- Inspired by the Alien franchise.
- Hide-and-seek simulator.
- Great atmosphere of helplessness.
Slender: The Eight Pages
If you’ve never played Slender Man – now is an as good time as any. It’s a masterpiece in its own right that inspired many copycats worldwide.
The game is a straightforward adventure – you are looking for some pages in a really weird place/forest. What you’re trying to figure out is how to escape, thinking that collecting clues can help you with that.
On the other side of this story, this weird tall gentleman keeps following you around. Your heart racing is his joy. Of course – he wants not only to scare you but probably take the living out of you and create one for his own in search of the meaning of life.
Or – he just wants to mess with you. A cheap jump scare was never as perfectly done as in this game.
Nevertheless – this game really turned upside down the gaming industry, especially in the horror genre. As it turns out, you only need some good sound design, a creepy character, and you’re good to go!
- Simple yet terrifying experience.
- Global phenomenon with movies being made based on a few MB game.
- Great character design.
The Evil Within 2
Tango Gameworks one day must have thought – what if we created a Texas Chainsaw Massacre but even crazier? And – so they did.
This time – you get a little more agency traded for some killing bosses action! You are not only a toy to play with – you are the toymaker (it made sense somehow). Go through mansions and kill the scary, scary monsters with one thing in mind – will those shells be enough to take them all? Few horror games managed to combine shooting with stealthing as well as this title.
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- It’s more killing than hiding
- Inspire fear in your enemies with your weapons.
- Excessive gore elements.
Dead by Daylight
It’s a game that combines all the other games and movies in the genre. It’s not like you’ve never thought about it, but putting players in the perspective of monsters is a novelty.
There are two teams that fight with each other. They consist of people trying to hide and escape and one-monster-team trying to catch them all. It’s pretty simple – you pick the character from the human section, the opposite side choses from the monster section. The game starts and you have to hide until the monster finds you and puts you on a hook of sorts. Your friend may hel you out but if the monster puts you all on hooks – the game is over.
It’s essentially a hide-and-seek type of game where you can play as Jason from Friday the 13th or Freddy Krueger.
There are many add-ons and crazy playable characters to choose from. It’s a great multiplayer experience with a really devoted community so before getting into it – check out what are the rules of engagement. You would not want to ruin someone else’s fun, wouldn’t you?
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- Great multiplayer experience.
- You get to play as your favorite monsters.
- Amazing and devoted community.
While this is not your usual horror games genre kind of game, Doom 3 is definitely a worthy pick for the best horror games list.
It is not only probably the scariest game in the Doom franchise, but it really captured what it feels like to be constantly attacked by swarms of enemies. And it is a scary experience.
Narrow corridors, pathways, and not as many shells as you would want to – it’s Doom 3 in its essence. ID Software created a game that enjoys being between survival horror and a first-person shooter.
The latest editions may be more flashy, but it was the Doom 3 that created those scary demons coming out of the wall behind you. And you just remember this kind of stuff for life!
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- A mix of survival horror and first-person shooter.
- Great range of weapons.
- Amazing atmosphere.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
If you’ve ever needed some ultra violence – Condemned: Criminal Origins is a game for you! It’s a first-person terrifying action that people still play today. It does not matter that this game came out ten years ago!
You are the one, the only – Ethan Thomas – a police officer on duty to find out what happened…somewhere. Well, the plot is not the most important thing in this game. What is, though, is the fact that many homeless people are trying to get you. And you don’t have any weapons, so you got to fight them off with your bare knuckles.
They are everywhere and coming for you so prepare to throw some punches. It may not be the most progressive game when it comes to fighting homeless people, but it is still a good game to play.
- Unconventional game idea.
- Great gameplay.
- Doesn’t use monsters to scare you.
And that concludes our list. Of course, there are a lot of other games to play in a horror genre we didn’t consider because there had to be an ending to it somewhere.
You can definitely check out Metro: Exodus, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Kinetic Games’ Phasmophobia, Pathos II, and many, many more.
There are many different platforms to enjoy these games on – Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, PC, Xbox One, Playstation VR, Playstation 4, Playstation 5 and many, many more!
There are more platforms to play than ever, so before checking out the game, make sure that you have the right equipment to play it on.
Anyways, remember to check out our other articles on many different topics and to like and subscribe. Thanks for the reading and game on!