back to top

13 Horror Games That Will Actually Scare You

Forget scary movies. Scary video games are where it's at.

Posted on

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

Fricitonal Games / Via bloody-disgusting.com

Why it's scary: Just as The Godfather must be included on any list of the greatest mob movies, so must Amnesia be included on any list of the greatest horror games. The game took survival-horror to new levels via a specific gameplay mechanic that forced players to run and hide instead of fight, but also prevented them from hiding for too long.

Combine the feeling of helplessness that Amnesia's gameplay instills with the game's excellent ambience and design, and you have an instant classic that will scare the pants off of just about anyone.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

2. PTSilent Hills Teaser (2014)

Konami / Via digitalspy.com

Why it's scary: Those who were fortunate enough to have downloaded PT when it was available and not deleted it are treated to a truly tense and terrifying experience, walking down the same looping hallway but encountering slight differences each time. With each loop, a disturbing story unfolds that becomes richer — and scarier — as the player solves specific puzzles.

It's arguably the scariest game ever made, and it's only a demo — and sadly, that's the way it's going to stay. PT was released on the Playstation Store as a teaser to Silent Hills, but Konami pulled the plug on the project and now the game has been wiped from the store.

PT is a must-play for any horror fan. Hopefully you can get your hands on it.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: Nothing right now, but the upcoming project Allison Road is inspired by PT.

3. Imscared (2012)

Ivan Zanotti / Via giantbomb.com

Why it's scary: At first, indie game Imscared doesn't seem like much. When you start playing, the game warns you that there might be a few bugs and glitches, then puts you through a sorta-scary story. There are a few jump scares and creepy goings-on, but when the game "ends" you might feel a little cheated.

The brilliance of Imscared is in what happens after you "finish" the game, however. You might find the creepy antagonist "White Face" on your computer in places you wouldn't expect to find him...

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

4. Five Nights at Freddy's Franchise (2014)

Scott Cawthon / Via youtube.com

Why it's scary: If you're one of those people who always thought the animatronics at Chuck E. Cheese's were more than a tad creepy, Five Nights at Freddy's is pretty much guaranteed to make you pee a little out of fear.

The gameplay in the series isn't complicated: The player sits in an office and must monitor the rooms and hallways of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza as the animatronic characters roam freely at night. If you survive until 6 a.m., you win. If not, you're treated to a rather nasty jump-scare.

Part of the success of Five Nights may be due in part to the franchise's lore, which still leaves some mysteries unanswered. After all, nothing is scarier than the unknown.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC, iOS, and Android

5. Nevermind (2015)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Why it's scary: Nevermind might seem like standard first-person horror fare at first glance: There's plenty of spooky imagery, but nothing game-changing. However, there's one twist to the game that sets it apart from the rest.

It knows how scared you are.

Nevermind is one of the first horror games to use actual biofeedback through sensors to adapt the game to each individual player. You play while wearing a sensor that measures your pulse, and when your pulse increases due to fear, the game becomes scarier.

This is a surefire way to make freaked-out players freak out even more, but it serves a more helpful purpose: If you can learn to calm your heartbeat in the face of the game's most horrific moments, they'll be easier to handle. You might find that you're better at controlling your fear by the time you're done.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

6. Soma (2015)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Why it's scary: Soma comes from the same team that made Amnesia, so it's practically a guarantee that it will scare your pants off. The experience here is similar, in that instead of fighting the monsters you come across, you have to come up with non-confrontational ways to get past them. However, the feeling here is more existential dread than straight horror, as you slowly uncover the terrible things that have been happening throughout the underwater laboratory in which you awake.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC and PS4

7. Spooky's House of Jump Scares

Lag Studios / Via kotaku.com

Why it's scary: At first, you might think that Spooky's House of Jump Scares won't be scary at all. As you first make your way through the game's maze, you're met with adorable little cardboard cut-outs of ghosts and pumpkins in the cutest attempt to jump-scare you. However, the deeper you make it into the maze, the creepier everything gets, and eventually you'll realize that the initial cuteness only makes the later game that much more disturbing.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

8. Dead Space Franchise

EA Games / Via geekspodcast.com

Why it's scary: Since it relies so heavily on jump scares, die-hard horror fans will argue that Dead Space isn't true horror. Still, the games will absolutely get your heart racing, and the decision in the original Dead Space to ditch the traditional HUD made the experience that much more immersive.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC

9. Silent Hill 2 (2001)

Konami

Why it's scary: An undisputed classic in the horror genre, Silent Hill 2 took everything that worked in the original Silent Hill and made it all even scarier. The monster design was incredible, as proven by the fact that Pyramid Head became an instant icon in horror gaming.

One of the great things about Silent Hill 2 is how well it blends traditional horror aspects and jump scares with more psychological horror, providing a truly scary experience for all kinds of horror fans.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: Xbox, PS2, Xbox 360 and PS3

10. Alien: Isolation (2014)

Sega / 20th Century Fox

Why it's scary: Remember how scary Alien was? Multiply that feeling at least a few times and you get the experience of playing Alien: Isolation. The game does everything the movie did right, including that feeling of hopelessness that nobody could ever fight back against a xenomorph.

This is another of the "run and hide" sort of horror games, and consider yourself lucky it is: you don't want to go face to face with one of these things.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC, Xbox One, and PS4

11. The Static Speaks My Name (2015)

Jesse Barksdale / Via store.steampowered.com

Why it's scary: The Static Speaks My Name is a very short game, playable in about 10 minutes. Its impact might stick with you a lot longer than that, though.

To call this a "horror" game might be a misnomer, but even if Static is low on real scares, it is almost guaranteed to be one of the more disturbing games you've played. The mundane start to the story only makes the rest of it even more unsettling.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

12. Fatal Frame II (2003)

Tecmo

Why it's scary: The Fatal Frame franchise has a number of great titles for horror fans, but the second installment in the series is widely considered to be the best. It's Japanese horror at its finest, as the twin protagonists investigate an abandoned village and find all kinds of evil spirits.

Fatal Frame benefits from its unique gameplay, arming the player with only a camera. This installment finds ways to force the player to stand their ground against enemies and encourages close-quarters action, making every encounter that much scarier.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: Xbox, PS2 and PS3

13. Stasis (2015)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Why it's scary: Remember the classic point-and-click horror game Sanitarium? It was intensely creepy, which is impressive considering how far from a first-person experience a point-and-click game is. Stasis is a true successor to Sanitarium, proving once again that a point-and-click can indeed scare the crap out of you.

Stasis takes the sci-fi horror approach, as you begin the story by waking up from stasis sleep aboard a ship transporting you and your family to one of Saturn's moons. Unfortunately for you, the ship is littered with bodies and stained with blood, and it's up to you to figure out what happened. Good luck.

Watch a playthrough here.

Available on: PC

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss