Horror games have a lot to offer gamers. There’s thrills, scares, and usually a rich, layered narrative that pulls players in. Over the last ten years there have been plenty of games that delivered in the horror department. But these are the 10 best.
Alien Isolation (2014)
A small classic, this game still sends chills down any gamer’s spine, and that’s all down to the atmosphere, which is exactly like the eerie ambience you experience in the movie.
In the game you are Ripley’s daughter, and unfortunately you end up facing the original movie’s Alien Xenomorph. Stealth is a key factor, and we defy anyone not to feel terrified as you hold your breath in the game’s dark and silent corridors, as the beast hunts for you. It’s a thrilling ride, and perhaps the key thing is the way the game makes you feel so alone.
Layers of Fear (2016)
This game became famous simply because it worked on some kind of meta level. Rather than just have the player experience jump scares and terrifying set pieces (which it does anyway, and rather well), it also plays with your mind. Things disappear, but their disappearance is subtle, You don't notice a door has gone at first. And when you do, you start to worry about your own sanity.
And that’s why the game is scary. Sure, it has blood and guts and huge scares. But it also plays with your mind.
A good old scary romp through an abandoned lunatic asylum. This game is all about the quick, jumpy scare. It works well, due to impressive graphics and an immersive experience. You are literally walking through an asylum at night, and there are horrible creatures in the shadows.
Pushing the boundaries of gaming in the sense that it keeps the tension going through the use of a night vision camera that, at times, you wish was broken, the game is a classic of heart-attack scares and incredibly atmospheric sound.
One that flew under the radar and has been missed by many gamers, this is a real classic. It has unpleasant elements around the nature of the human body that we feel you should be aware of. If you don't like the gross stuff, this is one you should avoid.
On top of that there is also another level of sheer unsettling story-telling, and this is one that you’ll only really appreciate if you play the game through. Not for everyone, but one of the bravest horror games around. It takes you to places you won’t forget in a hurry.
Yes, we know this was never a full game and it was more of an experiment than an actual valid title, but the short episode from the minds of one of the most gifted movie directors of all time (Guillermo Del Toro) and a game genius (Hideo Kojima) was supposed to be a Silent Hill teaser.
Instead, it became one of the most famous experiments of all time, and it is incredibly scary. Put it this way, there’s an entire community on YouTube of gamers ‘experiencing’ it. Their reactions tell you all you need to know about how scary it was.
Little Nightmares (2017)
Perhaps not everyone's choice, but if you have ever seen a movie called Eraserhead, you will know that the most disturbing images are those that just don’t seem right. Something weird and unsettling is more than enough to scare the bravest of souls.
Little Nightmares does this, and then some. The character is a ‘thing’ that has to run away from lots of ‘things’. That’s about as much as we can give you. But it’s beautiful and twisted at the same time, and certainly a game that will unsettle you. It’s sophisticated, intellectual horror.
Strictly speaking this isn’t true horror but horror themed, however a worthy inclusion. Beautiful in so many ways, Bloodborne gave the world it’s first ever Lovecraft game. Gothic beyond belief, and featuring some truly sinister characters, the gameplay only showed you more vision of Hell as the plot progressed.
This game has to be seen to be believed, and if you’re able to play it in the dark and with headphones, we need your name and address. Because you’re a fearless God, and we all want to be like you.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)
An instant classic, this game relied upon some simple tricks to keep players on their toes. The main character had to avoid the dark or he’d basically lose his mind, and the game was full of dark, dimly-lit scenes. Oh, and you have no weapons to fight the ridiculously scary monsters with.
And then on top of all that you get some of the most atmospheric sounds ever in a horror game. The overall effect brings you the stuff of nightmares. Genuinely a game that you may want to consider not playing on your own.
Until Dawn (2015)
Largely overlooked by nearly everyone on the planet when it was released back in 2015, Until Dawn was a wonderfully gory slasher movie on your gaming platform. And you lived through every second of the movie, so when the characters start to face horrible, certain death, you’re right there with them.
It also had a great sense of humour, and that is what makes it such a great game. Think Friday the 13th meets the Scream movies. It’s a wild ride, and more intelligent than you might think.
Dead Space (2013)
This is the grandaddy of horror games, and every single horror game fan will have played it at least once. You play a guy trapped on a spaceship full of flesh-eating aliens. There is hardly any ammo so you’re essentially on the run, and the aliens are the stuff of nightmares.
And the sound. The sound design really ramps up the stress and the scares, and we defy anyone not to cry out in fear at least twice in the game. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to experience the action in the movie Aliens, this is as close as you’ll ever get.