I don’t know about you, but there’s something thrilling about being scared out of your skin. That feeling of knowing when a jump scare is around the corner, or, even worse, not knowing can send a satisfying shiver down your spine. Sometimes it’s the uber-detailed gore and sometimes it’s the unnerving darkness, but there’s something special about a good horror game.
Now, horror games are not for the faint of heart, and can even spook those who love Halloween, but if you have the nerve for horror, we’ve got the list for you. We’ve compiled a list of the Daily Gaming Report’s top horror games, including old and new titles alike.
Before we get started, it would be impossible to include every single fantastic horror game across all the sub-genres of horror. So, we’ve settled for 15 of our favourite horror games that span a wide range of horror genres. You may want to add some to the list, and if so, tell us what we missed in the comments below!
The Last of Us
One of the best games to have come out in the 21st century, The Last of Us is the definition of a modern classic. One of the first games to truly reinvent what it means to be a zombie horror survival game, The Last of Us combines thrilling narrative and deeply invested characters with bone chilling scares and a terrifying take on zombies. You’ve never truly felt fear until you’ve had a group of clickers chasing you!
Resident Evil 2 (Remake)
A remake of a classic game from one of the most loved zombie horror franchises, the Resident Evil 2 remake did not disappoint in bringing back a much-loved game without the pitfalls of retro styled gaming. Reinventing the classic whilst keeping true to the original’s charm and story, this remake is a landmark in modern gaming and a testament to where we currently are in the gaming industry. The realism of the zombies is brought to a whole new level, with appendage specific damage and hyper-realism to a terrifying degree.
In the same vein as Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls, Until Dawn takes on narrative heavy, quick-time event style gameplay where everything rides on your decisions and reflexes. Playing like a horror movie, Until Dawn lets you decide character relationships and how the story plays out (i.e. who dies). Whilst the game starts off slow, teaching you the mechanics and setting up the core story, you’ll be glad (or regret, depending on your tolerance for horror) you stayed on for the ride.
Devil May Cry 5
As you’d expect, Devil May Cry 5 is the 5th game in a long-standing franchise that focuses on fast-paced action and sarcastic humour also including endless amounts of horror too. Another new game on the market that shows how far graphical power in video games has come, with the highly detailed design and imaginative demonic creatures. This game has everything a demonic gore fan could wish for. Another quality of this game is that it brings back the linear, old-school style level design and somehow makes it feel fresh and expansive, without actually changing too much. A must play for those looking for a new graphically stunning horror game.
This game punishes confrontation and actively encourages hiding from your enemies. Despite Ripley having weapons, limited ammo and overpowered foes forces you to be strategic and only make sound when absolutely necessary. Alien: Isolation ultimately takes a loved sci-fi horror movies franchise and creates a well-balanced, perfectly crafted stealth survival horror game. Will you survive the space station, or will you succumb to the deadly alien on board?
Soma is an interesting take on a narrative horror game. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, and some may find it a boring walking simulator, but the horror and thrill of this game lies more in the smaller moments and deeper story than the immediate gameplay. A stealth survival game where the horror is more ominous and disturbing than you may expect.
A game that brought the indie Taiwanese horror sub-genre to the mainstream market, Detention uses side-scrolling mystery and subtle horror to provide a truly immersive, frightening experience. Set in the 1960s during the White Terror period in Taiwan, you must escape your high school as it falls further and further into madness through East Asian folklore and deep personal story.
One of the best horror games of the 00s, Dead Space reigns supreme as one of the most terrifying sci-fi horror games. A third-person shooter where you must fight your way through a mining spaceship once populated by your fellow crewmates, now infested with alien scourge that reanimate your dead friends. A pulse-pounding game that takes action-paced horror, and adds a level of chilling mystery to enhance the horror experience.
In the same vein as Alien Isolation, this game focuses more on avoiding the enemies than confronting them. As a journalist, you can’t really take on hulking monsters of men that don’t seem to be all that natural. With this noted, you have to discover what actually happened in a disturbed psychiatric hospital, whilst also trying desperately to survive and escape it. This stealth horror survival game will have your heart pounding, god forbid you run out of batteries.
The Evil Within
If you’re into horror games, you’ll definitely know of The Evil Within. Developed and directed by horror mastermind Shinji Mikami, the director behind Resident Evil and Dino Crisis, The Evil Within continues the fantastic storytelling prowess with intricate gameplay, environments and anxiety-inducing horror. Imaginative monster design similar to the Resident Evil franchise mixed with the classic zombies provides for a grotesquely beautiful horror experience.
Resident Evil 7
The newest iteration in the franchise, Resident Evil 7 changes the game with a first-person view, which allowed for the massively marketed VR experience. Now, if you can play this game completely in VR, kudos to you. Most people will be too scared, or too motion sick, to even attempt playing this game in VR. With an interesting storyline, terrifying in-your-face enemies and the classic Resident Evil inventory system, strategy is the name of the game.
Another remake of a classic game franchise, DOOM takes what made the old games fun and injects that same formula into a graphically stunning action game. A linear game with various enemy types and wave-style levels, it’s very easy to lose yourself in the gory demon crushing fun. Whilst the story isn’t as compelling as other horror titles, it still provides for a nice structure to a game that puts fast-paced fun ahead of everything else.
A truly retro game released just before the millennium hit, Silent Hill brought chills to PlayStation players across the world in a way never seen before. Whilst Resident Evil had already brought 3D rendered horror gameplay to the console market, Silent Hill brought its own sense of terror and disturbance to the genre. Here’s to hoping we get a fully remastered version of this classic in the same vein as the Resident Evil 2 remake one day!
Another 90s classic, System Shock was one of the other few franchises that brought mainstream horror gaming to a whole new level. System Shock was out before Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and was highly influential in the 3D gaming movement. From a first person-viewpoint, you must traverse a horror filled space station, fight off chilling enemies and solve puzzles to progress the story. Whilst a classic forever and always, System Shock 3 is in development and a full remaster of System Shock to today’s level of graphics is in the works.
Amnesia kicked off the 10s with a terrific horror game that took the walking simulator style and added a whole new level of anxiety-inducing horror. In first-person you have to avoid enemies and stay in the light to keep your sanity at a normal level. With physics-based puzzles and a sanity metre, you must stay vigilant whilst traversing the terror of the darkness.
Whilst 15 games make up a healthy list of horror games, we’ll add this last paragraph to honour some other horror titles that didn’t quite make the cut. These games include; P.T., Layers of Fear, Alan Wake, Bloodborne, Inside and Little Nightmares.
What did you think of our list of the top horror games? Are there any you would have added? Let us know in the comments below! If you liked this article why not share it on social media.