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5 Psychological Horror Games Best Played With Headphones



You know how it goes. We often get lumbered with chores and family commitments, sort of how we often struggle to find the time to break away from the known world and immerse in something a little more, say — digital. It is what it is, and it's rare that we get to depart from reality and board a place where only the game matters and nothing else.

But when that time does roll on by — that's when you know you're onto something big. And with a pair of lavish headphones to boot, you're gearing up to fill the shoes of your hero or villain with all the right tools at your disposal. So, when those times do pass you by, then be ready to snatch the opportunity to immerse yourself in these epic psychological horror video games. Just bear in mind that, without headphones, you'll struggle to connect with each of their mesmerising narratives. No pressure.

5. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Gameplay Trailer | PS4

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, to put it simply, must be played with headphones. There's no other way to say it. And I don't mean you should at least consider using them, but more the point that they should be an essential part of your setup before plunging into its dark and dismal underworld. Without them, then the game ultimately loses its edge and becomes just another bog-standard action-adventure game.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice follows Senua, an emotionally charged warrior with a form of psychosis, who's put on a path through the icy depths of Helheim in search of her dead lover, Dillion. However, in order to plunge through the bottomless void, she must not only overcome the obstacles before her, but also the voices looming in her head every step of the way. And believe me, with headphones, those very voices can be what keeps you awake at night. After all, there's a reason why the game won multiple awards for its sound design. So, you know, best to experience it from the ear and not the speaker, so to speak.


4. Visage

Visage - Official Alpha Gameplay Trailer

Visage, being one of the darkest horror games of the last few years, almost relies on sound to guide you through its entity-infested world. And while you're able to navigate its hollow halls and blindly dig out its many secrets without any form of light to aid you — it isn't the greatest method to use for completing the game. Using the sounds that sprout directly from the creaking home, however, is highly recommended.

Of course, being a horror game, it's always worth playing with headphones for the full experience. It adds a lot more weight to the situation, making you feel even more helpless as you scrimmage around struggling to locate a lighter with no fluid. And Visage, being one of the scariest games we've seen in years, executes its sound design perfectly. So, with that being said, we strongly suggest you play the game with your headphones on. Just don't expect to be able to sleep at night after.


3. Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach - Gameplay Trailer | PS5

It goes without saying that Five Nights at Freddy's has to be played with headphones if you honestly want to enjoy all it has to offer. I mean, chances are you'll have a heart attack if you're not careful and happen to let the infamous Freddy Fazbear and his band of unruly bots claim you as one of their own. But then, having headphones on makes it that little more exciting — almost as if you have to survive, just to avoid that terrifying screech as the bots surround you.

Truth be told, not many of us are brave enough to crank up the volume and shovel through Five Nights at Freddy's without a care in the world. But it is something we recommend — even if the volume has to go a smidgen below double digits. It's terrifying, sure, but oh so captivating at the same time. And if you thought Visage was scary — then wait until you get catch a glimpse of these overworked pizzeria workers. Terror awaits.


2. Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 - Launch Trailer

There's a reason why horror fans begged for Visceral Games to rebuild Dead Space from the ground up. It's because of the innovations it brought to the horror genre. And not only only that, but the sheer brilliance that was channeled through its unsettling atmosphere and sound design.

Dead Space was in a league of its own, that's for sure. Its second installment, however, was leaps and bounds from the original, with a deeper focus on the horror and survival elements. Its world was compelling enough to explore every one of its eerie passages, its monsters were overwhelming in strong numbers, and its score was petrifying to say the least. All in all, it was a quality platter best served with a side of headphones, straight up.


1. Alien Isolation

Alien: Isolation - Launch Trailer

Looking back at all the times headphones felt essential in our gaming careers, Alien Isolation continues to remain as one of the all-time favourites. But it wasn't the gameplay itself that managed to garner such global popularity, but more the innovations Creative Assembly implemented in it. Things like having to remain quiet when wearing headphones in order to avoid detection.

Of course, even without headphones, the psychological horror proved to be highly skilled in building atmosphere through the use of strategic level and sound design. But with headphones, that experience transformed into something otherworldly, making that looming fear of death skyrocket to unmatched heights.


So, what did we miss? What games would you recommend playing with headphones on? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

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Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.