It’s true, VR video games have been terrifying us for years now. And what’s more, is that as time marches forward, virtual reality is becoming even more immersive, with gameplay nudging even further to that worryingly realistic tone. And, you know, that’s great for those who are really wanting to dive into that incredibly lifelike trance. Plus, it’s a perfect substitute for the movies, which, at the moment, isn’t always an option, mainly due to everchanging government guidelines and what have you.
Putting all of that aside, we do have to shed light on our top five most terrifying virtual reality titles on the current market. From the suspenseful sci-fi expeditions to the heart-wrenching apocalyptic tales, here’s what we think, personally, rank as the best games in the VR domain. And if you haven’t found a reason to pick up one of the many platforms available to you just yet — then allow these five to be your enabling factors. You can thank us later.
What started off as a trend amongst masses of gamers eventually spiralled into a thread of genuinely compelling content with all the bells and whistles to constitute a franchise. Phasmophobia, already being a terrifying experience from the comfort of a warm and homely environment, eventually rolled in support for VR, which meant the scare factor quickly ramped up by leaps and bounds to bone-shattering heights. And, as frightening as the newfound port was — we couldn’t help but embrace it with open arms.
Phasmophobia is set in an auto-generated world, crawling with all the ghosts one would expect from a haunted homestead. With nothing but your closest friends and an arsenal of equipment, it’s your job to investigate the paranormal and capture the evidence using whatever kit you hoard. However, you can expect to meet all kinds of dark and dismal creatures along the way, with demons stalking your every step as you trudge through the night. So, are you ready to prove that ghosts really do exist? Phasmophobia awaits.
4. The Exorcist: Legion VR
From the franchise that brought you one of the scariest movies of all time comes The Exorcist: Legion VR, an episodic series that will have you cowering beneath the covers before even trickling past the title card. The good news is, it’s all broken down into separate chunks, meaning you can tackle one at a time, without having to suffer one continuous heart attack. But other than that — you’re on your own, and in no way shape or form accompanied by so much as the light of day.
The Exorcist: Legion VR puts you on a course of discovery, where you’ll navigate between the art of exorcism and the land of the dead. Over the course of five relatively short chapters, you’ll have to uncover the secrets behind all the recent activity in the town, and, in turn, conclude matters in one final confrontation with the underworld and its clutch on evil. Along the way, however, you can expect some pretty suspenseful segments — made even more effective through an Oculus Quest headset, for sure.
3. Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted
It was only a matter of time before Freddy and his team of devilishly deviant droids booted their way to VR, to be honest. Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted, of course, was their foundation for drafting such a concept. And, as expected for such an acclaimed horror franchise — it paid off incredibly well when it finally secured roots on PlayStation VR. Although consisting of mini-games with some rehashed material from earlier PC editions, Help Wanted truly did encapsulate all the horror needed to send shivers down any spine brave enough to venture into its void.
Being the caretaker of a chain of pizza restaurants, you’d expect the graveyard shift to be an absolute breeze. Other than the wandering bots that roam the halls aimlessly through the twilight, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Except, well, you do. In fact, if you don’t keep yourself in check every waking moment, then those bots may just get the wrong impression of you and do something drastic. So, while you assume the role at one of Freddy’s famous joints — it’s always best to gloss over the manual before clocking in. Dawn doesn’t come so easily, that’s for sure.
2. AFFECTED: The Manor
As far as original horror titles on the virtual reality front go, we do have to give credit to one of 2016’s biggest hits, AFFECTED: The Manor. Although being several years old, this groundbreaking gem is still effortlessly extracting chills from players all over the world. And what’s more is that, even with the five year settling in period, Fallen Planet Studios are still bundling in enhancements to the core of the game. So, that means you can definitely expect a generous amount of fleshy updates as you bite into the horror world.
Although fairly hazy in terms of plot, AFFECTED: The Manor still lays out enough compelling material to keep you plucking away through its ashen feathers. From the moment you step foot into the creaking manor riddled with otherworldly entities, the only goal is to venture deeper into the rabbit hole, keeping your sanity in check as you scour the halls in search of freedom. However, in order to make it through the abandoned fortress, you’ll first have to bypass some insanely horrifying curveballs, all of which idle at every corner and in every towering shadow.
Dreadhalls has been making a major impact on the horror universe for years now, with many still branding it as the best VR horror game ever made. And, to be fair, they’re right. Truth be told, Dreadhalls, despite its relatively simple structure, is still one heck of a power hitter, with all the ingredients needed to build a flagship horror extravaganza. And if that hasn’t convinced you to dip a toe in its dark waters, then flicking through some of its Twitch streams will definitely sway you towards its forbidden keep.
Dreadhalls puts you in the centre of a monster-infested dungeon, where you’ll have to use your initiative to guide its hallways in search of a narrow escape. However, with a limited arsenal of items and no means to defend yourself, you’ll have to resort to stealth in order to avoid the patrolling entities that only wish to harm you. The good news is, you can flee the dungeon in sixty minutes if you time your moves right. The bad news, on the other hand, is that you can expect everlasting terror for every split second you try to find the door.