Video game players know quite well there are tons of horror video games out there in the market. Naturally some are better than others, while a select few are so well developed and memorable that they helped define the genre of horror video games and even crossed over into other media. These are the best horror video games to play in the dark, by yourself, or maybe not…
This game has an investigative journalist going to an asylum that is overrun by homicidal patients. The first-person perspective makes this experience truly frightening as you are chased by people who have been subjected to terrible mind control experiments, which turned them into dangerous lunatics. The sequel also has a journalist investigating a creepy cult in the desert that has also been subjected to similar experiments. The stealth action and lack of weapons makes this series of games a truly frightening experience.
9. Alan Wake
In a story that features a quirky town in the Northwest, Alan Wake is an author that goes in search of his missing wife while fighting shadow men that attack in the dark. Players have to run to areas of light amid dark forests and highways while using their flashlight to keep enemies at bay before destroying them. This makes the action both tense and interesting. The DLC Alan Wake’s American Nightmare continues the story and the upcoming sequel is finally coming out after more than a decade in the making.
8. The Evil Within
This game from the creator of Resident Evil has a detective trapped in a dream world induced by a machine that can access people’s dreams. It causes their subconscious to create horrific creatures based on the persons’ own fears. While investigating a mass murder, he is caught in this strange cycle of nightmares and monsters while questioning his own sanity. This title is a great blend of horror and action and is a call back to classic survival horror games.
F.E.A.R., or First Encounter Assault Recon, is a horror first-person shooter that has an elite army unit investigating a private military company’s secret research program where they encounter a powerful psychic girl named Alma who can kill with her thoughts. Her appearance is reminiscent of Sadako from The Ring movies and the ability of the player to slow down time while fighting makes this franchise a unique FPS experience.
This classic series features the Belmont clan fighting Dracula and his minions. The ongoing saga spans centuries and numerous side scrolling adventures, as well as some less regarded 3D action titles. The first game showcased Simon Belmont and his trusty whip, storming Dracula’s castle and confronting the Grim Reaper as well as Dracula himself. Subsequent games featured both his ancestors and descendants still fighting the forces of evil. There is also a highly regarded animated series on Netflix that revitalized the franchise and has fans hoping for more entries of vampire-busting action.
5. Fatal Frame
An Asian horror story franchise, these games feature female protagonists that actually combat ghosts with their mystical cameras. This unique spin on the survival horror genre gives it a different feel. The spooky atmosphere and tales of sacrifice and hauntings in Japan are a real treat for fans of films such as The Ring and The Grudge. This series has numerous sequels as wel,l and hopefully this original series will see more installments in the future.
This series is more of an action game, but its setting with demons invading Mars shows its horror roots, especially with Doom 3, which is basically a survival horror FPS. Its numerous sequels have gamers literally traveling to Hell to confront the demonic creatures that threaten to destroy Earth. The numerous strange looking beings that arrive through inter-dimensional gates in the Doom games are always a terror to behold.
3. Dead Space
A perfect combination of outer space horror and cults that spawn hideous creatures, this series is also on the rebound with an upcoming remake of the original from 2008 that showed an astronaut going to an outpost overrun with parasitic creatures that reanimated corpses and transformed them into deadly and horrific monsters. Legendary filmmaker John Carpenter is a fan of the franchise and has expressed interest in making a movie of it, which shows how far reaching this game is. If only a film studio would let Carpenter actually film it a live-action version of Dead Space, the film could wind up becoming an instant classic.
2. Silent Hill
More of a psychological horror tale as opposed to Resident Evil’s focus on action yarn, the haunted town of Silent Hill has unnerved gaming fans since the original game showed Harry Mason looking for his lost daughter in the fog and creature infested town, while traveling to a creepy and eerie alternate dimension. Its sequel is regarded as one of the best games of all time. The just announced remake of Silent Hill 2 has generated huge excitement and is seen as a comeback for the dormant franchise.
1. Resident Evil
The ultimate horror video game zombie franchise, this game has spawned dozens of sequels, as well as movies and TV shows, and is still going strong to this day with a highly anticipated remake of Resident Evil 4 coming next year and a just released movie and Netflix series. The original story of a police SWAT team known as STARS getting trapped in a decrepit mansion filled with not only zombies, but other mutated creatures still terrifies fans to this day, and its evolving story of corporate intrigue and bio-terror is a true horror video game classic.