People want to get scared. We seek to thrill and excitement in the feeling of unusual. This paradox of wanting to be in danger exists as much as humans do. We entertained ourselves with scary fairy tales, classic gothic novels, and horror-movies. Horror games open a new dimension of the experience – to actually live through a nightmare and tell everyone about it. The stories of ghosts, ghouls, maniacs, and space monsters get a fresh coat of paint when you live in the moment than just observe it. Horror games are based on the familiar tropes and seek inspiration in all kinds of sources: starting with B-movies of the 80s and ending with classic literature. The wide specter of types of horror creates an almost endless list of good games. It is difficult to determine the scariest games of all time because each person has his own fears. Therefore, we present to you the list of games, which spooked most of the gamers and critics. Behold, our top of scary video games.
Time to get spooky. Best horror games
10. Doom 3
The “Doom” series is most famous for the brutal, fast-paced action of a one-man army against the hordes of demons. In this regard, Doom 3 stands out. The game was developed by ID Software. The release was in 2007. Doom 3 reimagines the classic “kill all the demons” formula and steps into the horror domain. Instead of complete hell annihilation, you have to survive in claustrophobic surroundings and fight for your life because nobody will help you, except yourself. The game accurately utilizes the darkness, which creates thick suspense. The game has a good pace also, combining long sequences of loneliness in the dark with challenging combat. The game aged well and even after a decade, looks decent. Maybe not the best “Doom” but one of the best horror games for sure.
Available on: Pc, Ps3, Ps4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.
9. Alan Wake
The game company “Remedy” is famous for its atmospheric, story-rich games. Alan Wake was no exception. The game was released in 2010; it tells us about Alan Wake, a writer on vacation, who searched for inspiration with his wife in a remote town Bright Falls. However, everything goes wrong. Alan lost memories about the past week and needs to find his wife, who mysteriously disappeared. The game is heavily inspired by Stephen King’s atmosphere of a remote town full of dark secrets and makes Alan go through surrealistic, nightmarish encounters. The player needs to balance fight or flight tactics against shadow monsters, who once were men and solve the mystery of Bright Falls. The soundtrack for the game was recorded by “Poets of the Fall” – a famous rock band, which contributes to the game’s tone and atmosphere. Stylish, immersive, captivating, Alan Wake is one of the best horror games.
Available on: Pc, Xbox 360.
8. Condemned: Criminal Origins
Despite the ever-present threat of dangerous criminals, video games rarely apply to this subject due to its controversy. However, Condemned: Criminal Origins makes a bold step forward and scares us with something trivial and yet something unknown – our world. The game was developed by Monolith Productions and released in 2005. The game’s plot is a pulp adventure of a police officer who chases a maniac. This maniac copies the murder style of famous serial killers, which makes each crime scene a macabre theatre. Condemned manages to create a pressing atmosphere from trivial things. Game locations are abandoned houses and sewers, our main enemies are junkies and hobos, but they fright no less than hellspawn. We need to go through familiar yet terrifying decorations, conduct an investigation, and solve the puzzle of the elusive criminal. This game will rush shivers through your spine. A gem among scary video games.
Available on: Pc, Xbox 360.
7. Forbidden Siren
After the huge success of “Silent Hill” descents from the “Team Silent” decided to create their vision of the Japanese horror. SCE Japan Studio released the game in 2004. That’s how the idea of “Forbidden Siren” was born. The long-abandoned village Honuda attracts all kinds of adventurers, with their skeletons in the closet. We need to play successively for different characters, resolve the mystery of the Honuda village and their past. The game has heavy cultural Japanese influence and embodies the fears of Japanese people. It may not be so scary for the European gamers, but this feature makes “Forbidden Siren” outstanding and unique among other horror games. This game is a glimpse of the subconscious fears of the other nation. They are so different and yet so similar to yours. One of the most unusual among the best horror games.
Available on: Ps2.
6. Alien: Isolation
The “Alien” universe created by Ridley Scott transcended from the movie’s domain and became a large, recognizable franchise. “Alien: Isolation” is another iteration of confrontation between men and fearful xenomorphs. The game was developed by Creative Assembly and released in 2014. The story covers the period between “Alien” and “Aliens” movies. We play as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen Ripley, and try to figure out where our mother has disappeared. Amanda ends on the space station “Sevastopol”, trapped with inhuman androids, mad marauders, and a xenomorph, which always lurks something near. The selling feature of the game is a strong and flexible AI of your opponent: the xenomorph can improvise and adapt to your game style, which makes the game of hide-n-seek fresh and tense during the whole game.
Available on: Pc, Ps3, Ps4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.
Before mastering the art of creating hardcore action-RPGs, From Software experimented with genres and settings. One such experiment was Kuon. The game was released in 2004. The plot of the game revolves around the mysterious rite, called “Kuon.” This rite is supposed to resurrect the dead but at a great price. Powerful wizards, exorcists, and their descendants start their struggle for the power of Kuon. The game’s main feature is setting. The events happen in a medieval Japanese manor of the Heian period. Costumes, decorations, the folklore of the time – everything is masterfully mixed with the tense atmosphere of survival horror. Another feature is the ofuda-based magic as a means to oppose ghouls and ghosts. The plot is intriguing and reveals its secrets one at a time, which keeps you engaged until the very culmination.
Available on: Ps2.
4. Dead Space
Dead Space became a cult video-game horror classic. Developed by Visceral Games and released in 2008, Dead Space combined familiar horror tropes and breathed new life in them. The year is 2508, space shuttle USG “Kellion” answers the SOS signal of USG “Ishimura,” a planet-destroyer ship. There’s no signal, and “Ishimura” aimlessly drifts in space. Engineer Isaac Klark enters “Ishimura” to help to fix the problem. Little he knew what nightmare lies before him. Dead Space mixes body and psychological horror, riding you on a roller-coaster of dread, confusion, tension, and disgust. The game tries to make you feel uncomfortable and to struggle against the bloodthirst environment. Your enemies, necromorphs, are numerous and fierce, your resources are scarce, and your body is fragile. Still, you have to make it because you have no other choice. Horror, which makes pale other scary video games.
Available on: PC, Ps3, Xbox 360, Android, iOs.
3. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
One of the best horror games ever created. “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” is a rightfully renowned masterpiece by Frictional games that saw the world in 2010. The castle Brannenburg tells a grim, and сhill blood story of Daniel. The young man wakes up at the entrance of the castle. Not long after, he finds the letter written by his hand and addressed to himself. Daniel from the past tells that he drank an amnesia elixir, unable to handle the weight of his sins. Daniel from the future needs to fix everything and to kill Alexander Brannenburg to atone their common sins. From this point starts a long and difficult journey in the castle’s depth. The gameplay features puzzles, health systems for body and mind, and deep story in a classic gothic horror mood.
Available on: Pc, Ps4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.
2. Resident Evil 2 (2019)
A remake of one of the best horror games from PS 1. Capcom released new Resident Evil 2 in 2019. The premise of the story is similar to the original: Leon Kennedy and Clair Redfield find themselves trapped in an extravagant police department of Racoon city infested with hordes of zombies. However, gamers love Resident Evil 2 not for rich stories or characters. The gameplay mechanics of survival horror polished to the absolute: each enemy is a life-threat, each bullet costs life. The labyrinth of the police department is filled with monsters and cryptic puzzles. At the top of that, a dangerous stalker, Mr.X, follows you wherever you go and tries to kill you. You can’t stop him or bargain with him, only run. Challenging and dreadful experience.
Available on: Pc, Ps4, Xbox One.
1. Silent Hill 3
Fear of loss is one of the greatest fears of a man. Silent Hill 3 explores this topic, and dives deep into human insecurities, raises topics on which we are afraid to speak. The game was developed by “Team Silent” and released in 2004. We play as Heather, who runs from the past, and who is haunted by a mysterious cult. She finds out that the cult is a threat to her close ones and her life. She has to face demons of the past days and to resolve all ties, which lead to the mysterious town of Silent Hill. The game turns usual horror elements into a symbolic representation of our everyday problems and fears. Under the masks of monsters and demons, we see our troubles and difficulties. And with Heather, we overcome them once and for all.
Available on: Pc, Ps 2, Ps 3, Xbox 360.
Not scary enough? There is more!
Even in the most compelling list of the scariest games of all time, you may not find this right spook. On our youtube channel “What’s Happening?!” you may find the games that you seek! We create video game overviews, share interesting facts about their development, and enlighten the news of the gaming industry. We aim to create not only entertaining but educational content for our audience. You will always find something to laugh about and to think about on our channel. Video games are not only joyful leisure but the creativity of people, who stand behind them, unusual decisions, and breaking limitations for the sake of ideas realization. A lot of games have a long and rich history of the series that entertain generations of gamers. We tell the stories of game companies and famous games’ lineages as well. Top of the horror games is not the only list we have; we feature different genres and types of the best games, so even the most worldly gamers will find something new for them. Our channel values its audience. We want to create qualitative and interesting content. We listen to your feedback and read the comments section to improve our videos. If you want to know what’s happening – visit our channel.