What are the top horror games for PC? Horror games often challenge traditional action concepts and make you run from your enemies. These games can make you feel vulnerable, rather than empowered, and they will haunt you for years to come.
There is more to the top horror games than just jump scares or gore. While Outlast and Amnesia are obvious choices, there are many other games that will raise your pulse and get you sweating. This list is not out of date. We regularly update it with new frightening games.
Roosevelt once said that “we have nothing but that bit of FEAR where you’re climbing a ladder and Alma suddenly appears and you are all just like argh!”
You are left to Survive
Although we avoided talking about zombies in this article, there are so many of these games, and we have written one. However, we thought we’d add one because, after all, a zombie apocalypse to many is the most frightening thing of all.
Left to Survive is the game that we chose to represent this genre. The game is free and offers many different gameplay options. There are two options: the on-rails shooting levels, in which you face off against zombies in abandoned urban areas. Then there is the base-building aspect of the game, where resources are used to build your settlement of survivors. If you’re looking to challenge other players, you can also use the PvP mode.
Play Left for Survive to Get a Free
Phasmophobia’s popularity has increased rapidly since its Early Access release. It is now a cult favorite and shows no signs of slowing down.
Phasmophobia can be considered a horror game but you can also view it as a cooperative detective game. You and up to three others will explore haunted locations in an attempt to determine what ghost is terrorizing the area before reporting back. You will need to work together, use your detective skills, and have nerves to navigate dark corridors and quiet rooms.
You and your team will need equipment such as spirit boxes, spirit boxes, crucifixes, and smudge stick to investigate the haunting. Other tasks include taking pictures of dirty water and asking questions. You should be careful as all your prying could upset the ghost and make it start hunting.
Metro Exodus contains a variety of games in one post-apocalyptic Russian setting. It’s both a story-focused family drama and a Wolfenstein-esque, heavy-metal-score FPS. There are many spine-tingling horror sequences that creep up on the way to the ending of the Metro Exodus.
4A Games’ irradiated Outing lets you choose whether Artyom’s adventure will be a gun-blazing assault or stealthy affair shrouded by darkness, thanks to its day/night mechanic. You can expect to be much more scared if you opt to stay up until the dark hours of the day to sneak up on your enemies in pitch darkness. While human enemies may be on the defensive, the chilling sound of a Watchmen or the charge from a Humanimal can make it seem like they are in the thick of things.
However, it is the game that is most frightening when it changes the rules, as we have highlighted in our Metro Exodus PC Review. The game’s early stages teach you how to control the darkness and extinguish the light. It becomes your weapon in the spider-infested bunkers below the Caspian Sea. Arachnid enemies are extremely sensitive to light and will hide in every darkened crevice that they can. It becomes clear that Metro Exodus is a place where you cannot let your guard down.
Resident Evil Village
Ethan Winters, the main protagonist of Resident Evil Village, is never in a hurry. Ethan first meets us in Resident Evil 7. His long-lost wife mysteriously contacts him. He sets out to find his wife and gets into a run-in with the Baker family, a shady group of residents. Chris Redfield intervenes to save Ethan’s life, but not for very long. Resident Evil 8 turns Ethan’s life upside-down. He’s trapped in a village full of monsters and feral people. Resident Evil Village is best known for its tall, savage antagonist. But this survival game first-person quickly gets the scares.
Resident Evil has a long and rich history of bad and good games. Resident Evil 6 is a low point in this series. As you can see in our Resident Evil Village Review, this game is in the upper echelons. This is a very intense adventure, where you must keep your cool to survive the undead thralls and werewolf-like creatures. Even the tall lady can use her long, sharp claws to rip off limbs. This Resident Evil game may not be right for you if you don’t like body horror or dismemberment.
Similar: This guide will show you the best zombie games for your PC
This episode also features the most terrifying moment in the series. We won’t spoil the surprise for you. If you feel braver than usual, we suggest you turn the lights off when entering this house.
The Evil Within 2
These horror games will keep you awake at night. The Evil Within 2 is a horror game that will keep you awake at night. After seeing a heap of severed bodies scurry across the floor, you will find it difficult to fall asleep. They form a pale, fleshy mass with several faces and a buzzsaw instead of a right hand.
The Evil Within 2 is filled with set-pieces that are as innovative as they get, and it’s packed full of skin-crawling sets-pieces. The excellent sequel by Tango Gameworks is more than just a list of top horror games moments. Open-world sections separate the two activities of slaying bosses and exploring haunted mansions. You never know what you might find: shotgun shells, or devious spirits that will haunt you throughout your playthrough.
The Evil Within 2 is a survival horror game that combines a whip-smart enemy with level design. It always pits you against one more insane enemy than you have bullets. If all that isn’t enough to convince, take a look at our Evil Within 2 review.
Alien: Isolation, a horror-game about being trapped on a space station with an alien (spoiler alert) that is much more frightening than it should be. This horror game can be used as a hiding place for your monstrous stalker, which you cannot beat, shoot, or bludgeon into submission, as we found out while reviewing Alien.
Alien: Isolation is one of the best horror games. It makes you feel completely powerless. You can expect a terrifying creature that will appear unscripted and without warning at any time.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Do you like horror games that are unflinchingly brutal and intensely emotional? Monolith’s Condemned Criminal Origins, despite its decade-old graphics, is an easy-to-follow first-person horror that is worth looking out.
Here is a homeless-person-fighting simulator in which you play the role of nocturnal crime scene investigator and human punching bag Ethan Thomas. Condemned Criminal Origins, despite its absence of guns, is a true flashlight horror game with frightening, unwashed men swarming around you from corners and out of the shadows. You must be careful with your timing and patience when blocking your opponent’s attacks. If you are facing multiple enemies, your best option is to simply run.
This is a unique police game, but horror games could use a little Condemned Criminal Origins more in their bloodstream.
Horror games don’t give enough credit to sound. If you need to remind yourself of how powerful a scratching noise or distant knock can be, Darkwood is one of the best independent games. This horror game is about a man who cooks mushrooms in a house in the middle of a plague-infested wood.
You can freely roam the woods when it is dark outside, fighting off rabid animals, gathering resources, and trying out to figure who you are and where you came from. At night, you have no choice but to return to your home and wait for the terrors of the night. You can pack your generator with fuel, hide behind bars, and set traps to protect yourself. But they will come for you regardless of how prepared you are.
Darkwood’s uncanny ability to penetrate your pores and haunt you, without you even seeing a limb, is amazing. We were unable to resist the inhuman shrieks and creaky doors, which led us to smashing the Esc key, walking away from the desktop, and making a lot of rustling noises. This is one of the most terrifying horror games available.
System Shock 2
System Shock 2 introduced a new type of survival horror game. The game features an open-ended structure with a maze of quarters and decks that encourage exploration and discovery. It’s a lot like being trapped in a haunted John Lewis except that there are psychic death monkeys.
Von Braun, a faster-than-light world, is persistent and appears to be unfolding even as your back is turned. This creates a greater sense of place aboard this starship.
It is SHODAN, a corrupted artificial intelligence, who makes System Shock 2 one the most terrifying horror games ever to grace our platform. She is right up there with HAL 9000, the subtly evil, soothing voiced computer stakes. She torments you and tricks you endlessly, making an already frightening survival RPG an isolationist horror masterpiece. Few space games can match System Shock 2’s sense of isolation.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Nightmares don’t look like horror games, and they don’t have any rules that make sense. Amnesia, The Dark Descent, is truly a nightmare. This horror game is full of monsters that can take you out no matter what. Sneaking away from them is the only way to defend yourself. Simply looking at them can drive you crazy.
Amnesia: Dark Descent’s monsters can be found in your room. You will almost feel like you are able to curl up and close your eyes. Amnesia is The Dark Descent is a horror game that’s as terrifying as any other. It sticks to the golden rule of horror: Fear of the Unknown is the most terrifying fear.
The sequel Amnesia – A Machine for Pigs is equally psychologically arresting. We wouldn’t recommend alternating them – you will need to keep your sanity in check, just as Amnesia’s main character.
Outlast, a first-person exploration video game that uses the ‘found footage” style of modern horror cinema, is set in an abandoned mental hospital. This abandoned psychiatric hospital is just like all horror games that feature abandoned psychiatric facilities. It’s home to a number of insane patients and cruel staff members, which you will need to avoid in order for your body to survive. These tropes may be familiar to horror movies, but they can be used in horror games. Outlast is a good example.
To find your way through Outlast’s dark corridors, you will need to carefully peer through your camcorder’s green-tinged Infrared mode. Outlast’s dark corridors have a haunting visual identity that leaves you vulnerable to being spotted by baddies. The battery life of your camera is only for a short time so it is important that you have enough batteries to power the hospital where you are looking. Phew.
Dead Space is a horror-game adaptation of Event Horizon. It tells the story of a fun group of ne’er-do well cultists that bring down a deep-space mining ship to its pathetic, malfunctioning knees.
A mechanic is equipped with a laser cutter that can strategically demember the legions malformed alien creatures infesting the ship. However, despite all your weaponry, you’re never at ease.
Dead Space’s horror is a horror game that, like all horror games, can be disturbing. It mixes violence with paranoia to create a dark and depressing atmosphere. You will be aboard a haunted house spaceship, complete with dark corridors and plenty of corners to hide behind.
Stories Untold is a collection of four short horror stories that are incredibly imaginative. Each story uses a different piece retro technology as its main vehicle to tell the twisted tales. The episode’s opening episode has you sitting in front of an old CRT monitor, playing a horror text adventure called The House Abandon. Soon, the environment around you starts to reflect the story you are reading. Lights flicker, strange thuds go unseen, and imaginary sounds keep you on the screen in the hope of a jump-scare. Stories Untold’s methodical pace is what sets it apart from other horror games. Its four episodes are more concerned with mood and atmosphere than cheap thrills.
These spooky tales can be found in a variety of media and genres. You might find a terrifying thriller revealed by decoding radio transmissions. Or, you may discover a complex sci-fi tale that involves you performing experiments on mysterious artifacts using a number of contraptions and machines. Each episode is distinct, but they are connected in subtle ways. The final act has a punchy twist that would have M. Knight Shyamalan laughing.
The Horror Game Observation is also from Stories Untold. This sci-fi thriller places you in the role of an artificial intelligence trying to save a crisis-hit space station.
Little Nightmares 2 is out, but it’s worth buying the original game. It sets the stage for the sequel against The Thin Man, and it’s perhaps even more frightening. You play the role of Six, a small child who is trying to escape the horrors of The Maw’s remote vessel. This place is full of mystery and evil.
Similar: See our list of top platform gamers for PC
To navigate through the maze of corridors and rooms, you will need to solve puzzles. You will be pursued by the grotesque Twin Chefs with their sharp butcher knives. The Janitor’s long, stout arms will wind through the air vents and chase you down as you try desperately to escape. Although it is a short game, Little Nightmares manages a lot to increase the tension in a dark, disturbing world. It also creates a terrifying storyline that takes us on an incredible journey that culminates in an epic finale.
Like Little Nightmares’ protagonist, he must escape from a dark world where he is alone and hunted. He must also move through dangerous obstacles and avoid detection. He can use a mind control helmet to control the unwitting, chaotic crowds of people huddled around him, helping him move objects and solve puzzles. Like Limbo before it, you’ll probably die often. The screen will fade to black quickly and all the possible ways you could die are graphic.
Inside’s art style employs monochromatic backgrounds and occasional flashes in colour to create an unsettling experience. This sinister, narrative-driven platformer, is horrifyingly haunting.
The story opens with a group of friends traveling to a remote island for a party. But once they get off the ferry, the party turns sinister as the island is plagued by haunted horrors. Alex is a rebellious teenager who creates a rift between the worlds. He makes decisions and chooses dialogue to shape the story.
Similar: All the top story games for PC
This supernatural thriller switches between paranormal horror and relaxing adventure games to create a disconcerting, tense atmosphere that continues to the end. Oxenfree is able to transform genre into something beautiful, terrifying, and magical.
Doom 3 may be almost as old as the original Doom 3 when it came out, but, as with all horror games, what matters most is how frightening it is. Doom 3 remains as scary as ever.
This shooter is as traditional as it gets. The focus here is on an ever-growing arsenal of weapons that can be used to kill an army of hell demons and upside-down baby face spiders. The id Tech 4 engine was a wonder of its time, adding an incredible level of detail to an otherwise flat-brown sprites.
Even though Doom 3 has been around for a decade, its jump scares and pop up monsters feel almost cruel. The horror game’s selection of terrifying enemies is perfect for entertainment.
Until Dawn, a PS4 exclusive, was a surprise hit in 2015. It told a ‘cabin-in-the-woods’-style tale of teen horror and let you make the difficult decisions. Creators Supermassive Games returns to the remote woods setting of The Quarry, the latest Dark Pictures Anthology game. It tells the story about a group of teenage counsellors as they leave camp.
They settle down for a night of partying only to be attacked by bloodthirsty villager and another creature lurking in the forest. It is important to get all of the characters alive. If you are always the one pointing out bad decisions in horror movies, you can now see where your decision-making could take you. You can see all The quarry cast, and learn how to get the best The Quarry endings.
We have the best horror games on PC. You can find the best building games and best cards for some R&R. You can get out of whatever furniture you have been hiding behind. We won’t give you a cheap jump scare in the credits.