Top 25 Most Horrifying Games You Can Play If You Dare

Believe it or not, apart from being so much fun, videogames are considered a form of art, as many persons are behind its conception. From the story writers and art director to the music director and visual effects department, they work hard to bring us several games each year for our entertainment. Some of these game studios focus on horror games, such as Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Our favorites are #21#15 and #11. Also, don’t forget to check our Top 5!

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#25. Alan Wake

Released in 2010 by Remedy Interactive, Alan Wake was one of the breakthrough horror games at that time, as it mixed a compelling story, with great mechanics and gameplay. The story follows the main character, writer Alan Wake, as he faces a writer’s block, and decides to make a trip with his wife to the small city of Bright Falls.

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Soon after arriving, his wife goes missing and is nowhere to be found. So it is up to the player to find Alan’s wife, while facing nightmarish enemies armed with your flashlight and a set of diverse weapons. There are several scattered pages around the game that help to tell the background story of the game. Almost ten years after its release, Alan Wake continues to be one of the greatest games out there and fans are asking for a proper sequel!

#24. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Psychological survival horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent was released in 2010 by Frictional Games, famous for the game series Penumbra. You wake up in an old, giant castle, not knowing who you are, where you are, or what you are doing. The story is told through the glimpses of memory that come back to the protagonist and through notes that are found through the castle.

Photo: Courtesy of IGN

Your main objective not only is recovering your memory, but surviving the horrible creatures that haunt the castle. One of the main and most innovative characteristics of the game is your sanity level. If you spend too much time in the darkness or seeing a monster, your sanity level will decrease and you may even have a heart attack, so you have to take special attention to that.

#23. Condemned: Criminal Origins

Taking on the role of the FBI serial crime unit officer, Ethan Thomas, you will be in charge of investigating and identifying the person who framed him for murder and ultimately got him imprisoned. As a survival horror game, you will traverse creepy maps, while enjoying great background music and facing horrible enemies.

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Except that this time enemies are not monsters, but the crazy inhabitants of the city, that go from psychopathic to sadistic. At the same time, you will be struggling with your madness level, bringing you a completely tense gaming experience, perfect for horror lovers!

#22. Dead Space

The Dead Space series is one of the best selling shooter survival horror games ever made. The first installment was released in 2008 by EA. You will play as engineer Isaac Clarke, a crew member of the ISG Ishimura, which received an emergency call from the mining ship Aegis VII. You will be in charge of saving all survivors, or at least those you can find…

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A few minutes into the game, you will discover that the Aegis’ ship is overrun by monsters called Necromorphs, which are awful to look at, increasing the dread that you will feel when entering dark hallways or closed rooms. Fortunately, ammunition in this game is not scarce, so players will have the potential to destroy everything in their way. Dead Space has one of the most incredible stories in a horror game and thanks to that it spawned two sequels!

#21. Yume Nikki

Released in 2004 and created with the RPG Maker 2003, Yume Nikki is a surreal adventure horror game that takes place inside a dream world. The game has received mostly positive reviews, and it is considered one of the best indie pixel graphic games ever released, and even though it has been created with the RPG Maker, it does not resemble an RPG at all.

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You will traverse several dream worlds without any clear objective at all and without any dialogue at all either. At first, it seems that nothing will make sense, but after traversing several different dreams, a dark plot will start to unravel, and you will start coming face to face with several strange creatures. If you love pixel games, you should try this one, you will not be let down!

#20. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Nintendo Gamecube was not a very successful console, and sadly it was forgotten quite quickly. Nonetheless, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, released in 2002, is considered one of the greatest games ever released and was the first adult game created and released by Nintendo. The game is divided into twelve characters spanning twelve different time periods.

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Each character has its own unique storyline that builds to the climax of avoiding the resurrection or defeating an evil monster god known as Corpse God Mantorok. The playing system is similar to that of Resident Evil, facing enemies and solving puzzles to continue with the story progression.

#19. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

Released in 2003 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Fatal Frame II is the second installment of the survival horror series Fatal Frame. The first game was so scary that many players could not finish it, and this encouraged the creators of the sequel to create a more appealing storyline, and they delivered. Not only is the game considered a jewel among horror games, but it also has one of the best storylines ever.

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The game follows sisters Mio and Maya Amakura while they traverse the abandoned and haunted village of Minakami, in the region of the same name. While walking through the forest, they find themselves in front of the spirit of Saw Kurosawa, who tries to possess one of the sisters. Armed with only a camera that has exorcism powers, both sisters have to defend themselves while they try to escape the village without being possessed.

#18. Haunting Ground

Haunting Ground is the spiritual successor to the Clock Tower horror series and was released in April 2005 for the PlayStation 2 console. You take control of main character, Fiona, who after being caught up in an accident, wakes up in the basement of a castle with no recollection of what happened.

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After waking up, she finds that she is not alone but that a dog named Hewie is next to her. Of course, your main objective is to escape the castle while discovering how you ended up there and hiding from the monsters that want something from you. Hewie will be your main support throughout this horror survival game.

#17. Layers of Fear

Psychological horror game Layers of Gear, released in 2016 for PC and Xbox, puts you in the role of a painter in the late 1920s, after he comes back to the house he shared with his late wife and young daughter. The game not only tells you the story the main character, but it also makes you suffer his deteriorating mental state as you explore the house.

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The game is also told through the notes the player will find hidden in several areas of the game, as well as mementos. Paintings are also a main characteristic of the game that will show you which ending you may or may not get. It is a great scary game with several endings to be replayed!

#16. Observer

Futuristic psychological horror game Observer was released in 2018 by the same team that created and developed Layers of Fear. The game is set in a dystopian society where every person is divided into different castes according to their wealth and social standing. You will play as Daniel Lazarki, a private investigator in the city.

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Daniel receives a call from his wayward son, Adam, with whom he had lost contact, which will trigger the series of events that will lead you to a Class C citizen apartment block, where every inhabitant is locked in their rooms. It is up to you to discover what did really happen, and you will have your share of scares.

#15. Parasite Eve

Classic horror JRPG Parasite Eve, which was released exclusively for the PlayStation console in March 1998. The game will put you in the skin of rookie NYPD officer Aya Brea who sees every single person at an opera concert spontaneously burst into flames, except for her and the opera singer, who is none other than the main antagonist, Eve.

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The drive that moves Eve is to evolve the human mitochondria to destroy the human race completely. As Aya, you will have to face hordes of monsters as you level up, obtain new weapons and abilities, to be able to stand up to Eve and save humanity once and for all. A sequel to the game was released in 1999 for Playstation 2.

#14. Pathologic

Released in 2004 and developed by a Russian studio called Ice-Pick, survival horror adventure Pathologic is considered a cult horror game and has recently seen an HD remake. The game’s atmosphere will have you on the edge of your seat during the whole game, which takes place during twelve in-game days.

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The game will let you select between three main characters, the Bachelor, the Changeling or the Haruspex as they have to discover the source of a rare and unknown plague known as the “sand plague”, which struck a small village. The game does not feature jump scares, but the atmosphere is so creepy that you won’t be playing it alone at night.

#13. Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh

One of the most controversial horror games ever released, due to its incredible amount of violence and sex scenes, Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh was released in 1996 by Sierra Entertainment. The game is a horror point and click game where you play the part of 26-year-old Curtis Craig, who was released from a mental institution one year earlier than expected.

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Curtis starts having hallucinations that disconnect him from reality, and after his coworker is killed, he starts to wonder if maybe he was the one who murdered him in one of his psychotic episodes. Due to his problematic family, Curtis is a danger to himself and to others, and through the click-and-point adventure, you will have to discover what really happened!

#12. Resident Evil 2

Released in 1998 for the first time, the sequel to the cult game Resident Evil surpassed by a long shot the first entry of what would become the best-selling survival horror game ever made. This installment follows Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they are caught in the middle of a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City.

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While enemies in the game are mainly zombies, Leon and Claire will also have to face humans and even some mutated creatures like the Licker, all in an attempt to find and rescue Claire’s brother and ultimately escape Raccoon City. Fortunately, a remake of the game was released in 2019, which you should not miss!

#11. Resident Evil 7

One of the latest entries in the Resident Evil series of games was released last year for several consoles at the same time. At first, many fans of the saga did not believe that the game could be any good, as it departed from the classic third-person survival horror formula we were used to, but they were surprised by how good the game was. Resident Evil 7 offers a first-person gory gameplay that puts you in the role of Ethan Winters.

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Ethan is attracted to an old house in the city of Louisiana, the Baker Mansion, after receiving a message from his wife that has been missing for three years and presumed dead. After Ethan enters the Mansion, he finds his wife Mia locked in the basement, and they have to get out of the house. Nonetheless, the escape will not be easy as you will have to fight the family members, monsters and even mutated persons! The game features several creepy scenes, as a live amputation, that lives up to the name of Resident Evil.

#10. Alien: Isolation

Alien must be one of the best selling franchises in entertainment history, as it has several films released, as well as several videogames, books and comics. Alien: Isolation, which was released in 2014, brings a new narrative to the Alien universe and will make you feel the horror in the first person.

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You will play the role of Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s Ripley daughter, after her crew hears a distress call coming from the Sevastopol. Your objective is to enter the station and discover where the call came from while facing humans, androids, and of course, the Xenomorph and face-huggers. Stealth is a very important aspect of the game, as ammunition is also scarce and every bullet counts. A must-play if you love Alien!

#9. Rule of Rose

Released as a PlayStation 2 exclusive in 2006, Rule of Rose is a survival horror game set in the 1930s in which you play as young Jennifer, who is trapped in a bizarre world run only by girls, who formed a new type of society with different hierarchic levels. These girls call themselves The Red Cranyon Aristocrats and, as a newcomer, Jennifer is put in the lower end of the hierarchy.

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As such, Jennifer is tasked with bringing them offerings every day, and if she does not fulfill their wishes, she will be killed. Apart from surviving, your main objective will be to discover what is really going on with this new society, and you will be privy to some horrifying things, such as murder and suicide, and a backstory that will have you constantly shivering!

#8. Saya no Uta

If you are really a horror fan, you will know that many of the most famous and terrifying films are Japanese horror films, and the same happens with videogames. Saya no Uta is a horror visual novel that follows the story of Fuminori Sakisaka, an approximately 30-year-old man who undergoes experimental brain surgery, which ultimately was a success.

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But it seems that there was a secondary effect to that surgery, and now, everything he sees, from persons to food, has turned into something gory, grotesque or monstrous. From people converted into beasts and monsters taken directly from the mind of Lovecraft to everyday food that instead of looking fresh looks completely putrid. But when he meets Saha, everything will change. It’s up to you to see what will happen!

#7. Siren: Blood Curse

Siren: Blood Curse is a “remake” of the original PlayStation 2 Siren released in 2003. Blood Curse was released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, which offered improved graphics, remastered music and achievements for those who like to play the game with additional objectives. The story will follow several interconnected protagonists, as they try to survive in an abandoned Japanese village.

Photo: Courtesy of PlayStation

But the game will not be labeled as horror if it did not have its own cast of monsters or enemies, as the village is also cursed. All the protagonists share the same special power, which allows them to hear or see what the other players are seeing and hearing, in order to evade the shibito and the rest of the monsters. This is the only ability that the players must master if they are really trying to survive this PlayStation horror gem!

#6. System Shock 2

Released in 1999, System Shock 2 starts as an action RPG game with a few horror elements scattered here and there. The game is considered to be one of the best cyberpunk games and the spiritual father of the Bioshock games. You will play as an unnamed soldier on board of the Von Braun ship after an infection struck it. As the only soldier alive, you will have to find your way out and survive whatever the ship has in store for you.

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As you progress with the story, you will see that more and more horror elements start playing an important role, up to the point where you, as a player, will be spectator to one of the most incredible plot twists ever with the computer SHODAN and the appearance of the main villain of the game, that will have you on the edge of your nerves!

#5. The Thing

The Thing is a cult horror film from 1982 directed by horror master John Carpenter, and it was such a success that a game was created serving as a direct sequel to the film. You will play as the U.S. Special Forces Captain Blake when he is sent to Antarctica to unravel what happened with the original crew that was sent there, and why nobody came back.

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The game features a “fear/trust” system that will make you wary of every companion that follows you around throughout the game, as anyone may be The Thing, just like the original film. The game also has a cameo of Carpenter, who voiced a character and approved the story of the game.

#4. Until Dawn

If you have ever watched a horror film and you thought that you could have made more intelligent decisions than those of the main characters, Until Dawn is the game for you. Released exclusively for the Playstation 4 in 2015 by Supergiant games, this narrative survival horror will let you take control of eight different teenagers as they go for a trip to Blackwood Mountains.

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Before arriving, they realize that they are being stalked by a killer, and as such, you will be tasked to get the eight character alive. But in this game, every decision counts, and even all characters may die if you continue taking horrible decisions. So it is up to you and your decisions if the characters survive, and do not forget that you will be facing a killer and several other horrors that may lurk in the Blackwood Mountains.

#3. Silent Hill 4

As we have seen before, most of the Silent Hill games takes place in the fictional city of the same name, but that is not the case with its fourth and most terrifying installment, The Room. As the title of the game says, and what is indicated by the game itself, most of the time you will be trapped within the four walls of your own house. The only way that Henry Townshend has to leave the house is by strange portals.

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Every portal you take will lead you to a different part of the outside world, making the story progress and making more areas of your apartment open up. Not only will you be able to explore new areas of your house, but it will start to become dangerous, as enemies will start appearing in the walls and in every corner of your house. Silent Hill 4: The Room is one of the most terrifying experiences you will ever have and one of the best games in this genre.

#2. Resident Evil 2: Remake

The survival horror jewel Resident Evil 2 was already mentioned in this list, and we also mentioned that thanks to the fans asking for it, Capcom decided to create a remake of the original game. Released in January 2019, the game not only has improved graphics and mechanics, but it introduces new enemy types, new enemies, and greatly improved models from previous monsters. Just wait until you see the Lickers.

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As it is a remake, you must be thinking that you remember every step of the game and can breeze through it without any challenge at all, but as the creators took this into account, they created new puzzles, and even added a lot more of gore to the areas, so you will be paying a lot of attention to the details. The new era mechanics introduced to the game are a very nice addition that will make Resident Evil 2 feel like a completely new game!

#1. Silent Hill 2

Psychological survival horror game Silent Hill 2 is the second entry in one of the most critically acclaimed game series, Silent Hill. Most of them occur in the city of Silent Hill, and this game is not the exception. You will play the role of James Sunderland, a widower who enters the city of Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his dead wife telling him that she was there.

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As with the rest of the games, a deep and heavy mist covers the city and every step you take. The game is deeply psychological, and most of the enemies you will face will have a deep psychological connection with our main character, who will have to face his inner demons to survive Silent Hill and find his wife, Mary. The game offers many hours of fun, horror and puzzles!

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    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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