I have vivid memories of Halloween as a kid. Trick or treating around my neighborhood, wearing store-bought costumes, and shuffling through frightening haunted houses, Halloween is a holiday I wish came around more often—I mean, who doesn’t love the decorations?
Lucky for fans of horror, you don’t have to look hard for good content. If you like scary movies, Netflix is a good place to start. For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the best horror games, from Playdead’s Inside to the criminally underrated Until Dawn.
We tried to keep the list relatively current so the games would be more accessible. Many came out within the last twelve months, though a few classics inevitably made the cut.
Resident Evil 7 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Capcom ditched the third person perspective for a more intimate, claustrophobic take on the survival/horror genre, and the shift in perspective was worth it—Resident Evil 7 is a terrifying mystery that blends action and horror to perfection. And the downloadable content has been nothing short of incredible. This is one entry Resident Evil fans can’t afford to miss.
Outlast 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Outlast 2 reuses the run and hide formula introduced by the first game, and it works thanks to the new story and setting. When a journalist crash-lands in the Arizona desert, he’s forced to run for his life from a murderous cult. The result is a heart-pounding journey full of more jump scares than my poor heart can handle.
I know I said I was including titles that are accessible, but I can’t help but love P.T. You all know the story behind P.T. (aka Silent Hills) by now. The playable teaser was a masterclass in tension, using the backdrop of a seemingly normal suburban home to tell an unbelievable story that was surprisingly deep despite its brevity. The sad part is we’ll never know what could have been.
Inside (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS)
I wouldn’t consider Inside a horror game in the classic sense, as there are no jump scares. But I give it a nod because it builds a dystopic world full of mystery and gruesome imagery. Not a single line of dialog is uttered in the entirety of the game, yet Inside manages to say so much. If you liked LIMBO, you’ll love Inside.
Until Dawn (PS4)
Until Dawn let’s players control the outcome of a cheesy teen horror flick, which features more than a few unexpected twists. What’s cool is that not only is the game fun, but player choice has an affect over who lives and who dies. Make the wrong choice, and the jock will die. Make the right choice, and you can make it to the end with (mostly) everyone still alive.
The Evil Within 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
The Evil Within 2 is one of those rare sequels that tops the original. Since its release earlier this month, critics have given the game rave reviews, with many heralding the game’s imagery and exciting ideas. If you like the original, you’ll enjoy jumping back into the shoes of Sebastian Castellanos.
SOMA (PC, PS4)
SOMA arrived in 2015 without much fanfare despite earning positive buzz from critics. What makes SOMA so interesting is that it takes place in an underwater research facility—not exactly a location we associate with the horror genre. SOMA is not your average horror experience, and that’s what makes it so great.
Amnesia: Collection (PS4)
Amnesia: Collection contains the entire Amnesia horror series that fans know and love. The Amnesia series has taken on a cult following throughout the years, ushering in a horror experience unlike fans have seen. What makes Amnesia so great is its spooky atmosphere, immersive players into a world that definitely isn’t safe.
Dead Space (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
In remembrance of Visceral Games, we thought it fitting to include Dead Space, a brilliant title that blended action and horror with its cosmic setting. Not only was it a terrifying experience, but it featured a story worthy of a Hollywood movie. This is one of those instances of capturing lightning in a bottle, something Visceral went on to duplicate with both sequels.
Little Nightmares (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Like Inside, Little Nightmares is a great example of how to blend atmosphere, sound, and story. The game is like a little child’s nightmare come to life, featuring some wonderfully grotesque images and tense situations. You can check out TechnoBuffalo’s review of Little Nightmares for a better sense of just how macabre this virtual world is.