A good horror game doesn’t have to have just jump scares. We also know that some games require you to leave the light on because we can never be too careful. Obviously some of the older games haven’t carried over through time too well. Most games have a bunch of mods available through Steam that you can download, which might just make it a little more bearable.
Recently there has been a rise in streamers who are playing horror games, mostly due to the scare factor in them. However, the genre has been around and thriving for several years. Going all the way back to the 90s, gamers have been getting scared out of their seats through different games that essentially molded its own genre. With several impeding horror games set to come out, now would be a good time to pick up some of the classics!
Alan Wake was a surprisingly good game as it’s a psychological horror surrounding a writer, which seems weak against other story tellers like Stephen King. However, as you explore the town of Bright Falls and look for the pages of Alan’s unwritten book, this game takes a hold of you. Not only to collecting the pages bring you back to your wife, but you uncover this beautiful story along the way. Not only in game will you be afraid of the dark, but you might sleep with the light on.
An excellent film-to-game adaptation, yet this game is rough. Dying is more often than living in this game, and progress is slow moving. With that in mind, Alien: Isolation contains beautiful design work which helps out immensely as you stealthily move around the space station. Yes, there is a huge space alien ripping through the station violently, but there are also real-life stories that players can relate to. Pulling at the heart strings is a cheap shot, yes, but it works. Preparing by watching the movie isn’t enough to equip you for this game.
This game is known for being one of the scariest games within the past 10 years, if ever. There are numerous jump scare moments along with the fact that this game is just straight brutal. If you are for blood and guts, then this game will be your pride and joy. Regardless of the gore, there is always more to a game then its cover, and the “sanity system” is a bit part of that. You can’t stare right into the face of the monsters so that helps make the game realistic, scary, fun, and mysterious all at once.
Bioshock fits in its own genre. Bioshock is its own game in the sense that there isn’t horror or a lot of action, but there is a ton of mystery. Besides the fact that Rapture is beautiful in its own underwater gloom, but the story is deeply inviting. Plus, as the games go on the series gets better.
If you have a fear of mannequins, then you should skip this one. Even for those who don’t have an issue will after this game. Working as a criminal investigator, you must find the serial killer who is leaving disturbing clues along with dealing with other vicious characters. If you can juggle it all, then you will walk away extremely satisfied, or in the need of a therapist.
This game leans more towards the shooter genre, but still, deserves to be on this list. As much as this game is a shooter, it is a horror game as well. Just like any other, there are times where you are left helpless and hopeless as shooting and using abilities won’t do anything. The only option is to dismember and crush the pieces with the heel of your boot. Not only does this leave you feeling like you succeeded when you probably didn’t, but the scare factor is real. Want to make it even better? Play with the lights off and headphones are. Watch your surrounding area as you will probably get hit with a jump scare or two.
An asymmetrical multiplayer horror title, Dead By Daylight sees four unlucky Survivors attempting to escape one sadistic Killer. Survivors get the benefits of a third-person view and numerical advantage, being able to cooperate in order to slow down or outwit the Killer. That, however doesn’t stop any of them from leaving the others behind if they think it gives them a better chance at getting out. Meanwhile, Killers see the world through a first-person view and range from bloodthirsty maniacs to supernatural entities, all with their own unique powers. With a cast of different characters, all with their separate progression trees to choose from, Dead By Daylight still boasts healthy player numbers two years after its initial release.
Just like Dead Space, this game is better off a shooter then a horror game, but still remains a horror treat. Just like any good horror game, there are several times where you are left to just sit and take the damage that is being dealt. The way that this game mixes in first person shooter action scenes with unexpected fear inflicting moments shouldn’t work, but it does.
Coming from one developer, this game launched into a franchise along with moving to other platforms. If that doesn’t speak for itself, then keep reading because there is more. Relatively simple, you have to survive the night in a children themed pizza parlor. FNAF is unique, oddly funny, and a game that bought horror into the spotlight and paved the road for indie developers.
If it’s gory co-op action you’re looking for, Killing Floor 2 has got you covered. An outbreak has swiped across continental Europe, unleashing all manner of nasty abberations affectionately named Zeds, and it’s up to you to save it. The title supports both solo play and 6-player co-op where, as one of the game’s various characters, you face off against hordes of monsters. If AI-controlled opponents don’t strike your fancy, the Versus Survival mode allows for 12-player PvP where one team plays as humans and the other controls Zeds. The sequel has also reworked its melee combat for a more brutal experience.
There are games that are featured around mental illness, but Layers of Fear feels eerily genuine. Starting out as a reclusive painter who is missing his creativity, he sets off to find it so he can continue his work. The only problem is that there are… things. The sounds, visuals, and flashing narration will leave you paranoid and hoping that the game isn’t making you lose your marbles too.
Left 4 Dead surprised the world by pulling off this survival horror first person shooter. It’s not often then shooter fans would rather walk then run in game, but this is how Left 4 Dead is. Valve gave us this gem as we moved and weaved through hordes of zombies while keeping our ears and eyes peeled for special zombies. Do you feel hunted? You probably are.
Little Nightmares follows Six, a small child donning a yellow raincoat that’s trapped on an unusual ship. As you explore the ship’s many rooms, solving puzzles and platforming across oversized furniture, you get to meet its strange denizens, many of which aren’t too keen on having you running around the place. A thick atmosphere, alongside visuals that don’t shy away from dancing with the grotesque, make this journey one well worth going on.
Inspired by Dmitry Glukhovsky’s bestselling series, Metro 2033 is set in a future where the Earth’s surface has become uninhabitable following an apocalyptic event. Humanity’s remnants have taken refuge underground, settling metro stations in an attempt to survive. You step into the shoes of Artyom, one such individual raised in Moscow’s metro, and not only get to experience the underground with its occasional glimmers of hope and feuding political factions but also journey to the surface, witnessing the changes it has undergone. The game does a good job of balancing first-person shooting with great narrative moments, while maintaining a heavy atmosphere and feeling of being hunted as soon as you leave the safety of the metro stations and sometimes even within them.
Helping to bring horror games into the recent spotlight of online personalities, this game capitializes on the jump scare factor with the lack of light. In game, you need to use your camcorder with night vision to truly see what you are facing. It feels like most of the time you are running away rather than facing your enemy, but alas this game is scary. Taking place in a psychiatric facility being overrun by mysterious creatures there is a guarantee that you will scream a couple times.
Running as the predecessor to Amnesia, which was already mentioned, it still deserves attention. Especially the fact that the combat system was implemented, albeit poorly. It makes the game have a different feel and fun if you can find the humor. Besides that, the main focuses are exploration and brain games. You will have no choice but to stare back and take damage if you make a mistake. Here is our advice for that; Don’t.
Remothered: Tormented Fathers follows 35-year-old Rosemary Reed as she investigates the disappearance of a girl named Celeste while exploring a dark mansion. It quickly becomes obvious that not all is as it seems, and Rosemary finds herself evading a handful of rather nasty inhabitants in her journey to find the girl, while using stealth and observation to maneuver around them.
Resident Evil 2
Release Year: 1998 Where to purchase: Capcom hasn’t released Resident Evil 2 digitally yet!
Originally being welcomed as the best in the original series as all of the fictional Raccoon City was free for exploration. We get to work with the pair Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy as we limp through the city trying to eradicate the virus. We also got introduced to the character system that was later used in Resident Evil Zero, which had one character’s actions effect another. Besides the games “expansion” we were welcomed to great scares and intense monsters.
The remake brings the classic horror title into the modern age, featuring overhauled visuals and areas, as well as a third-person camera replacing the fixed perspective of the original. While Resident Evil 2 2019 has players revisiting a Raccoon City beset by flesh eating zombies, it’s not an identical remake, certain elements having been reworked in an effort to make the game feel fresh even to those who’ve played plenty of the original.
If you have ever played the Resident Evil series, then you know that this game is often hailed the best in the series. This is one of the Resident Evil games that truly had a horror feel to it, and it certainly did. If you can deal with the now-cheesy dialogue and poor design, then you will quickly ignore the flaws and notice the brilliance of this game. As you go up against the Regenerators, you will be sucked in and unable to walk away. True horror-genre fanatics will appreciate this gem.
The first Resident Evil title to feature a first-person perspective and a much awaited return to its praised survival horror roots, following two games that dipped more into the action side of things, Resident Evil 7 managed to put the series back on track. Set in the fictional town of Dulvey, Louisiana, players take control of protagonist Ethan Winters as he tries to rescue his wife from the Baker family’s mansion. It’s a game mixes stressful navigation of claustrophobic hallways with stealth, chases and intense action sequence in an excellent manner, while featuring memorable antagonists.
Silent Hill 2
Release Year: 2001 Where to purchase: Konami don’t want to release this on Steam or GMG yet!
This game is often labeled “the scariest game ever”, and rightfully so. You trek through the game as James Sunderland as he searches for his terminally ill wife. Silent Hill 2 is brutal in the way you don’t know your character, so you learn about his wife’s and James’ all at the same time. This game is for more mature gamers as there are references of sexual assault along with torture, but of course there is anger, guilt, trauma, and tragedy. I don’t think any game character has suffered more than James. You won’t get too many jump scares, but this game will certainly feel heavy on you.
Slenderman is creepy to anybody, regardless if they know about his origin story. This game is busting from the seams with jump scares as it is more of an interactive game like Telltale’s The Walking Dead series. However, don’t let that scare you away. All you have to do is find the eight pages to a book, and not die. It’s simple. Anybody can do it. Right?
You won’t jump out of your chair in horror, but you will definitely feel creeped out. Being underwater and hearing the pressurized metal creak is definitely unnerving. On top of that, you have weird experiments and creepy blinking robots that make the question of consciousness in AI very relevant. Of course, with the sea there comes uncanny monsters as well.
System Shock was the original game that tossed an RPG, FPS, and horror exploration into a blender. We got this phenomenal result that placed us on a haunter space ship along with an odd AI. If you know GLaDOS, then you should know that SHODAN was the inspiration. With an intense dialogue along with deep character progression, this game is still a ball to play. Even better, you can toss on a few mods to make the game a little easier to visually digest.
If you want to see what Resident Evil could never do, then look no more. There is plenty of horror to go around as you get to run for your life from a range of typical psychopaths to chainsaw wielding psychopaths. Of course there are zombies and other fun creatures, but we all know everything is better with chainsaws.
In this game you take control of a man who has been sentenced to death for the murders of his ex-wife and two children. He is set to die on an Alcatraz-esque island where you fight, literally, for your life. Each turn can be your last, so is your innocence worth the risk? Even though this is from over 10 years ago, it was a great horror-action to play.
About Amanda Zelauskas
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