Friday the 13th is just around the corner, and the spook fanatics are getting all riled up. Some of us have a weekend planned and horror movies lined up.
Gamers needn’t feel left out. Over years, several AAA developers and publishers have produced thrilling video games. And some of the best games have come from indie devs as well. With advanced graphics and visuals, the spooky experience only keeps getting better.
If you’re looking for scary games to binge on, we’ve hunted down the best titles for you. Turn the lights off and grab your headphones. We’re heading right into the dark.
Top 5 Horror Games to Try Out
Get the Halloween vibes anytime you like!
Released in 2021, Returnal is a roguelike third-person shooting game. Players step into the shoes of the protagonist Selene, an astronaut, who is in search of White Shadow. She crashes and lands on an alien planet.
Returnal, the name itself suggests that every time you die, you return and start the game all over again. The sci-fi horror game makes good use of the time loop element. As you move ahead in the game, you realize you’re stuck in a time loop.
With each cycle, the planet changes and so do you. You have to come up with different strategies to succeed every time. Returnal has six levels, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the game is easy. It’s no cakewalk. You’ll have to grind through all the levels to finish the game.
Returnal is available on PS5.
4. Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil Village, the recent entry into the Resident Evil franchise was a pleasant surprise. The Capcom game received positive reviews and the “large vampire lady” became an instant icon.
The sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard features Ethan Winters as the protagonist. Players step into an Eastern European Village. Ethan’s combat skills are quite refined as he has received military training. So you can expect some high-level combat. Even though there is little character development, the rich story and intense mystery make up for it.
You will face powerful enemies like Lycans (and the vampire lady doesn’t make it easy either). The snow-clad village and immersive graphics add to the already eerie atmosphere of the game. Definitely a pick for Friday the 13th!
Resident Evil is available on PS4, PS5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Stadia.
Mundaun was developed by MWM Interactive and was released in 2021. The indie horror game quickly gained the spotlight due to its art style and intense storyline.
The first-person perspective game puts you in the shoes of Curdin, the protagonist. The game starts with Curdin returning to his hometown. He has been told that his grandfather died in a barn fire. However, Curdin discovers a burnt corpse, and it turns out, that his grandfather’s grave is empty.
This is where the mystery starts. You have to solve puzzles, gather items, and find keys to unlock doors. The game lets you go completely non-violent if you choose the option. Your choices will also affect the conclusion of the game.
Mundaun is available on PS4, Microsoft Windows and Xbox.
2. Little Nightmares II
Little Nightmare II is a prequel to the 2017 hit Little Nightmares. Developed by Tarsier Studios, the game was highly praised for its visuals, unique concept, and intense character development.
You step into Little Nightmares II as Mono. However, this time, the beloved protagonist is accompanied by Six. Together, you set out on a thrilling adventure and discover the dark secrets of The Signal Tower. On your journey, you also have to save Six from her fate.
While exploring the world, you may come across some tricky puzzles that you must solve to proceed further. Unlike the first version, Mono now can pick up items and also fight small enemies, however, while fighting big ones, he will need the help of Six. They need to join hands under certain circumstances like solving a puzzle or evading bigger foes.
Little Nightmare II is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows.
Video game veterans will tell you that Outlast by Red Barrel is the scariest video game they have ever played. The 2013 game is a masterpiece, and it has all the right elements for a gripping plot.
In Outlast, players take on the role of a freelance journalist trying to uncover the secrets of a remote asylum. There’s almost no violence in Outlast, that is, you don’t get to kill anybody. You have to rely on stealth to move ahead in the game.
You’ll find yourself in terrifying situations like being chased by mutilated patients, scary skeletal doctors, and more creatures. The audio along with the game’s environment (which consists of bloodied corpses, bloodied walls, dilapidated structures, dark rooms, etc.) is really a “Friday the 13th” experience. The night-vision camera makes Outlast scarier.
Outlast is available on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac. There are equally terrifying sequels to Outlast but the original 2013 remains the best.
And here's a bonus!
Layers of Fear
If you’re into psychological horror, then you should try out Layers of Fear. The game came out in 2016 and remains one of the unique games in this genre. It is truly a psychologically terrifying ride.
In this FPP game, you play as a painter who is psychologically unstable and is trying to complete his magnum opus. To help the painter complete his masterpiece, you have to solve puzzles and get ahead in the game.
The visuals can be terrifying and unsettling at times. Layers of Fear bundles up all your nightmares and throws them at you one by one – there are monsters behind curtains, misshapen faces in paintings, and creepy dolls. Although there is a sequel to this game with better controls, the first installment is often considered spookier.
Layers of Fear is available on Nintendo Switch, Linux, macOS, Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
Apart from the horror games mentioned in the list, you can check out Metro Exodus, Outlast II, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dead by Daylight, and more.
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